Vegan cafe in Soho pledges to boycott new £10 note over animal fat

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A vegan café in Soho has said it will boycott the UK’s new £10 banknote after it emerged the cash is made using animal fat.

The plastic banknote, released into circulation today, has reignited the row over animal rights after the Bank of England confirmed they do contain small amounts of tallow, a substance derived from animal fat.

A backlash among animal activists erupted in September last year when the five pound note, which also contains the substance, was launched.

Vegans have already vocalised their anger at the decision to push ahead with the £10 notes with more than 137,000 people signing a petition calling on the Bank of England to scrap tallow in the cash.

The manager of Vegan Hippo, a plant-based café in Rupert Street, admitted “it will be hard” to stick to their animal rights values – especially ahead of plans to introduce a polymer £20 note in 2020.

Gosia Piskulak, who runs the café, told the Standard: “It’s really bad. We don’t accept the £5 note, we won’t accept the £10 note.

“But soon it will be trouble, we won’t be able to accept any notes. 

“It is hard. But it’s against our values.”

​Dominika Piasecka, a spokeswoman for The Vegan Society, said: “Tallow being present in £10 banknotes that have entered circulation today is disappointing to the UK’s fast-growing vegan community who for strongly held ethical reasons aim to live without the use of animal products. 

“Vegans avoid animal products because we oppose any use of animals, regardless of how small- or large-scale, but as we live in a non-vegan world we have to accept that some of those products are unavoidable at this point in time.”

The Bank of England said in August that they had “not taken this decision lightly” to continue using tallow in the plastic notes.

They launched a public consultation, which found 88 per cent of people were against using animal-derived products and 48 per cent objects to the alternative option, palm oil.

Their previous statement said: “The Bank fully recognises the concerns raised by members of the public, both prior to and during the consultation.

“The Bank has had to balance these responses against its other public duties and priorities as well as the other evidence gathered over the past months.”

The Bank of England has been contacted for comment.


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