Sir, – People are deeply upset about what’s going on in Australia: kangaroos trapped in barbed-wire fencing while attempting to flee the fires, cows and sheep being cooked alive in the flames, and an estimated 800,000 million or more animals now killed in the conflagrations.
Now, we add shooters being ordered to gun down thousands of camels desperately searching for water.
But there is something that can be done – a long-term fix for this horror and the others that will inevitably follow, as prolonged heat and drought have extended seasonal wildfire periods around the world and we’re facing mass extinctions, rising sea levels, and record-breaking temperature changes.
It’s imperative that we take personal responsibility for the protection of our planet, and by far the easiest way to do that is to stop eating animals and go vegan right now.
The UN has stated meat consumption must decrease by as much as 90% in order for us to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
This requires zero governmental initiative and no promises from giant corporations – it just means choosing to leave animals out of our shopping trolleys.
It’s a simple but revolutionary action that says: “We will not let this planet and countless sensitive animals die on our watch.”
We urge all caring people to join the vegan movement.
The earth and all its human and non-human inhabitants depend on it.
Director of International Programmes,
PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.)
Disturbing toll on teenagers
Sir, – It is disturbing that by the time they are 15, more than a third of girls in Scotland reported experiencing “very high” emotional problems.
Facts such as this shine an uncomfortable spotlight on the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people.
Even more striking was to note the disparity in gender, as the figures showed such problems to be up to three times higher for girls than boys.
A recent report from the Scottish Government also noted that many young girls in Scotland report being “unsatisfied with their physical appearance”, often trying to meet unrealistic standards seen on social media, leading to anxiety and depression.
The need for greater research to understand more about the impact of social media on our young people is clear, as is the need to ensure that they are educated on how to use it healthily and on how social media promotes unrealistic expectations.
While people are now more willing to talk about their mental health, as they would their physical health, more needs to be done to develop the resilience of our children and young people and to ensure they get the support they need when they need it.
When it is required, sadly too many of our children and young people wait too long for support.
By raising children and young people with good mental wellbeing we can ensure that they are able to reach their full potential.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition.
4 Queen Street,
Poor poorer and rich richer
Sir, – Malcolm Parkin (No more money, just debt Courier, January 9) in response to my recent letter, suggests the last 10-plus years of austerity have been necessary and, by implication, that our Conservative Government has handled matters pretty well.
Well I’m no economist, but I am aware that many economists maintain, and have warned all along, that the current parlous state of the UK’s finances has not been ameliorated by austerity, but caused by it.
But what I would like Mr Parkin to explain is why it is that, over this period of ‘necessary’ austerity with the country on its uppers, poor people have got much poorer, even those in work, yet the rich, and particularly the very rich, have got dramatically richer.
Austerity for the poor, loadsamoney for the rich.
An everyday tale of Tory Government.
5 Carmichael Gardens,
An unequal partnership
Sir, – Many of the regular writers to this forum are members of Scotland in Union (SiU), a Conservative organisation supported financially by the rich and titled.
Along with their fellow Tory travellers, the one question they fail to ask is why Scots continue to vote for SNP governance?
An electorate that is defying the unionist mantra of, SNP/BAD and repeatedly voting for a party branded as a failure by a London establishment.
The Tory Party’s solution to Scots’ not supporting their agenda will be to direct powers and revenues to the Scotland Office, circumventing the Scottish electorate.
In 2020 we once again find our future being decided by an institution with no Scottish mandate, entering into trade deals with Scottish resources not in its gift.
History has demonstrated that this unequal partnership delivers no benefits to the citizens of our wealthy country.
I don’t foresee a more honest approach by SiU in the coming months, but as an acknowledgement of Scotland’s true relationship with our southern neighbour, as demonstrated daily by Westminster, perhaps a change of title might be considered.
Colonials in Empire, perhaps?
c/o 15 Thorter Way,
Prepare for hot air in Glasgow
Sir, –The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) will be held in Glasgow in November. This will be the 26th year of hot air, broken promises, increasing global emissions and lavish hospitality.
What have these yearly gatherings achieved?
Normally there are 30,000 attendees so let’s look at projected Glasgow numbers. Glasgow in November will be cold, wet and stormy. Deduct 5,000. Those who would normally fly must do a Greta to cut their carbon footprint – another 5,000. Vegans have the headlines just now so all meat eaters disqualified. Another 5,000.
Those who plan to make an entrance in a limousine, helicopter or petrol/diesel car will be refused entry. Another 5,000.
Attendees will have to pay Glasgow’s congestion charge and tourist tax. Another 5,000.
Finally, all delegates must pay towards the $100 billion a year Climate Fund for the poorer countries. 4,500 fewer. This leaves 500, saving greenhouse gasses of 98%.
138 Springfield Road,
Bonus benefit for government
Sir, – It is gratifying to see Greggs’ profits being shared with staff.
However, I was struck by a comment which suggested that as many of these workers receive in-work benefits, they will see much of this bonus recovered by the government as benefit reduction.
If this is true, then the importance of this cannot be underestimated.
First, the negative effect destroys the incentive to work.
Second, this is wealth redistribution to central government away from local economies.
10 Hillpark Drive,