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We care about animals

THIS month has seen a huge influx of people in the UK and around the world deciding to try a plant based diet for January. It’s been dubbed Veganary to try and help raise awareness by vegan charities to help everyone join the movement of ultimate kindness to animals.

The Advertiser recently ran an article with regards to trialling some vegan cheeses as part of your food reviews section. The journalist made contact with the Swindon and Wiltshire Vegans on their Facebook Page. The journalist requested the opinion of some of the members and came up against some different opinions with regards to the article he was writing.

I apologise that the journalist in question felt that the group was unwelcoming. In my experience this is anything but the case. The group is run and managed by very caring and thoughtful people who feel very deeply and passionately about animal welfare and would love to see nothing more than more people convert to veganism.

Vegans have a lot of negative press already. Sadly, I do not think that the article published by the Adver has helped encourage others to try going vegan or vegetarian.

Considering the very many health and environmental benefits of a vegan lifestyle this feels like a real shame.

It would be lovely to see people come together to support animals in Swindon. After all we are a nation of animal lovers, and what a good way to help raise awareness and encourage people to think about what they are eating and the effect their food choices have on the environment around them.

My husband has been vegan all his life - some 36 years - and I have been trying to convert myself for six years. We are all human, and we would never wish to judge others for their choices. I think people often assume that vegans are militant and aggressive and that they have a superiority over others. I simply think this is misconception, there may well be a handful of people who are not quite so helpful but the majority of vegans that I have had the pleasure of meeting are just ordinary people who care an extraordinary amount for the lives of animals.

The most important part of being vegan to myself and my husband is to be kind to all things, animal or human.


Bigger market out there

Molly Scott-Cato MEP is typical of most politicians in her use of statistics, as proven by her latest pronouncement made during a visit to Honda UK (SA 13 Jan) in which she uses different measurements to enhance her point of view. Such misuse of statistics is regrettable and is only designed to confuse.

Dr Scott-Cato correctly states that UK exports to the EU in 2016 were £240 billion and that UK exports to the rest of the world fell by 0.2 per cent. In her view this makes the EU important and the rest of the world less so; but is this really the case?

The UK does export £240 billion to the EU, but it also exports £310 billion to the rest of the world which suggests that the non EU market is worth £70 blllion more that the EU market – unless I am living in a different world to Molly, her assertion that the EU is ‘our key market’ is simply not true.

Using 2016 figures, Molly said UK exports to the ROtW fell by 0.2%, why she didn’t want to use the latest 2017 figures is quite inexplicable unless it was because they didn’t support her argument, especially as they showed a significant 2.6% increase in export activity for the quarter to November 2017, which makes her figure of 0.2% seem quite inconsequential. What she also failed to mention is that UK exports to the EU in the same period flatlined and have been experiencing a steady decline since 1999, which suggests the EU isn’t quite the attractive market it is purported to be.

What would be nice to hear from Molly is that she and her Green, LibDem and Labour colleagues in Brussels are working hard to persuade the European Commission to offer the UK reciprocal tariff free trading from the moment Brexit day is reached. That is certainly an eminently achievable proposition.

DES MORGAN, Caraway Drive, Swindon

We will be better off

Oh dear Mr Dyson,where do I start? (Justifiable concerns, SA January 10th.)

Yes I believe Brexit will be a success as the regular positive financial news reports I alluded to indicate.

Busts occur after meteoric rises such as the dotcom boom. No sign of that.

The statement regarding sovereignty and ownership of shares is nonsense. Sovereignty is the authority of a state to govern itself.

Foreign ownership of UK shares indicates confidence in the UK economy. The UK is the fifth largest economy in the world and ninth largest manufacturer.

UK private limited companies abound - no foreign shareholders there then!

James Dyson is investing £2.5bn in modern technology, much of it locally, as the 517 acre Hullavington campus shows.

Other big privately owned UK companies include JCB, construction machinery, Ineos, petrochemicals and Clarks, the world’s fourth largest footware manufacturer.

Of the publicly quoted companies that the pesky Yanks keep buying shares in, Rolls Royce is the world’s second largest manufacturer of aero engines, AE Systems third largest defence contractor, laxoSmithKline sixth largest pharmaceutical manufacturer and Astra Zeneca seventh largest.

According to Manufacturing & Engineering Report 2017, 45% of UK exports are from the manufacturing industry and 14% of business investment is made in the manufacturing sector.

Incidentally we are not leaving Europe, we are leaving the EU.

Will we be better off out of the EU? Absolutely.


Not so sensible now

I was disappointed at your report of Martin Costello’s speech at a far right rally in London. At the general election hustings you held last year, he seemed to be the more sensible of the two UKIP candidates, but now this.

Far from overwhelming the NHS, the doctor who treated my prostate cancer was either an immigrant or the child of one, his nurse was an immigrant and the only one person at the radiotherapy clinic, in Oxford, who was an immigrant was a West Indian gentleman.

It has been shown so many times that you are more likely to be treated by an immigrant than queueing behind one to be treated in the NHS that I find it impossible to believe Mr Costello doesn’t know this. What does this make him? Well you decide.

If he says this sort of thing in public what obnoxious things does he say in private.

STEVE THOMPSON, Norman Road, Swindon

Condemn terrorism

I take issue with Martin Costello’s view where he said the murderer of Jo Cox suffered mental health issues (letter “MPs work for us” Jan 10).

He was in fact a vile fascist terrorist who supported the vile Britain First. I wonder if Mr Costello says the equally vile head chopping supporters of ISIS have mental health issues or are they terrorists?

Don’t make excuses for terrorists Mr. Costello. Condemn any form of terrorism, violence and hatred like I have, often on these very pages.

MARK WEBB, Old Town, Swindon

Waste of resources

I see that Ally Laws and his ‘group’ are proud of the fact that they were able to invade the Oasis Leisure Centre and take a dip in the pool and, in doing so, be proud of the achievement.

This escapade, and others, over time, obviously required a use of police resources that are stretched anyway.

I hope that, if ever Ally Laws and his group ever require the use of police resources to go to their aid, then the police really take their time to get to them.

CHRIS GLEED, Proud Close, Purton