Some Hindu temples ban new 5 pound ‘non-veg’ notes in UK

LONDON, Dec 5:  A number of Hindu temples in the UK have decided to ban the new five-pound notes as it contains traces of animal fat.
It was found last week that these notes contain tallow, which comes from beef or mutton fat, triggering anger among vegetarians and religious groups.
Now the Bhaktivedanta Manor, one of the UK’s largest Hare Krishna temples in Hertfordshire, southern England, posted a photo of a sign to Facebook which said: “We no longer accept the new five pound notes as they contain animal fat. Apologies for the inconvenience”.
The National Council of Hindu Temples said in a statement that the new note “ceases to be a simple medium of exchange but becomes a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it”.
While it is unclear exactly how many temples have imposed a clear, the Hindu Forum of Britain (HFB), an umbrella body of Hindu organisations, had issued a statement over the weekend saying they were urging people to sign a petition to withdraw the notes and avoid its use in donations.
Tarang Shelat, president of the Hindu Council of Birmingham – which is part of HFB, said: “It is important that we do make our views known in the strongest terms to the relevant authorities”.
Through ignorance they may not be aware of offence it is causing us as Hindus.
“It is also important to mention that in our place of worship, animal based products are strictly forbidden and this would have a drastic effect on our collection boxes as 5 pound will not be allowed as donation,” the petition titled ‘Remove Tallow from bank notes’ had clocked nearly 130,000 signatures.
It will be delivered to the Bank of England when it hits 150,000.
It reads: “The new 5 pound notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans & vegetarians in the UK. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use”.
The new notes with an image of Britain’s war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill became legal tender in September this year.
A vegetarian cafe in the university town of Cambridge had refused to accept the new notes last week.
Sharon Meijland, owner of Rainbow Cafe, put up signs warning customers about the policy.
“Tallow’s an animal product isn’t it? Our whole business is based around not having anything like that on the premises. Although the same person doesn’t handle the money that handles the food, that’s not really the point,” she said.
The Bank of England says it is now looking into ways of removing the substance from the supply chain.
“We are aware of some people’s concerns about traces of tallow in our new five pound note. We respect those concerns and are treating them with the utmost seriousness,” a spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the Australian pioneer of the polymer bank note says it’s “stupid” that vegetarian and vegans are protesting in the UK about the five pound polymer note containing animal fat.
Professor David Solomon says the polymer notes contain trivial amounts of tallow, which is also used in candles and soap.
“It’s stupid. It’s absolutely stupid. There’s trivial amounts of it in there. It picks up less drugs than paper notes and you don’t chop down trees. It’s more hygienic than a paper note by a long way,” he said. (PTI)