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Rowlatt Going Cold Turkey

Rowlatt Going Cold Turkey

Like BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin, BBC Newsnight blogger Ethical Man, aka Justin Rowlatt, has taken a pledge to go completely vegan. For the month of January, he’ll be testing what studies have already proven – that a vegan diet is environmentally friendly.

Rowlatt, fresh off the slaughter chic trend, is taking his mission quite seriously. He’s compiling a mental encyclopedia of animal by-products, inducing eye strain as he scans long, poly-syllabic ingredients lists, and grappling with where, exactly, he draws the line. That’s where the human hair comes in. He goes into great detail about animal and human by-product L-Cysteine, which is sometimes found in flour products, emphasizing the point that most consumers are blissfully unaware of what’s in their food. Many people, even avowed meat-eaters, would be repulsed to know that their Campari is made with bug juice.

All of this will sound familiar to many of our readers. (Indeed, red food and drink can strike fear in the heart of a diligent vegetarian comparable to the great red M & M cancer scare of the 70s.) Rowlatt, who is already pining for hamburgers, will probably return to meat-eating at the end of his experiment, but at least he will be better informed about what’s in his food. And his readership will be, too.

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