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if it is morraly wrong for a vegan to eat truffles found by working pigs.  then is it also 'vegan' morraly wrong for a working rescue dog to save survivors of earthquakes???

just a thought
Coffee Lounge / Re: One nation or two
« Last post by pgkevet on Today at 08:11:07 pm »

OK, not sure who's meant to be envious of whom. Do you want to share or shall we guess?

But Scotland has no debt. That was made quite clear in 2014 and if the same arrangements are followed as then, Scotland would become a new nation and rUK would be the continuing country. This would have meant that rUK would have stayed in the EU and Scotland would have had to seek to rejoin (kind of moot now) and also means that rUK keeps the existing NATO membership and a seat on the UN Security Council, which is important to the Westminster / Whitehall Establishment.

All debt belongs to rUK. The devolved Scottish government has only recently been given very limited borrowing powers but has not yet used them.
The new Scottish government, or its negotiating team, may choose to take part of the rUK's debt as part of the negotiations. Scotland would be entitled to a proportion of the UKs assets, probably based on population - so shares of military equipment, bases, embassy buildings around the world, Bank of England reserves etc etc. Some of these we probably wouldn't want so could probably monetise that.
Gordon Brown, bless him (remember him? the Union will wheel him out of retirement soon to tell us all how hopeless Scotland is  ::) ), instructed civil servants to make a comprehensive list of all UK assets - so we know what assets there are - so no hiding the odd embassy or aircraft carrier  ;D John Swinney told me it was the only useful thing Broon had ever done, but he may have been exaggerating for effect.
<<OK, not sure who's meant to be envious of whom. Do you want to share or shall we guess?>>
I'm sure you understood that phrase. One of the classic approaches to any party argument is how much better off we're all going to be and how we're all being held back by the other side. It was originally coined (I think) when there was talk of a wealth tax but it's a neat expression.
I looked up your argument about scotland being free of any UK national debt and entitled to a chunk of UK assets
A quick scan down the entries did find one supprting that view and several that didn't. It must be a nice idea from the Scottish viewpoint and I have no idea how it would shake out and doubt there is any international laws on the subject - except that it was Britain that took out the loan and is responsble for it. But banks and international loan places don't like pikers which is why UK pays a divorce bill to europe and doesn't just walk away demanding a percentage of every project that UK's payments to the EU helped construct.
This is a suitable place to point out that any projects in Scotland that you choose to believe came from EU funds were effectively paid for by the UK - because we put in more than we got out and you got some of it.
When i had my business i had several business and personal bank accounts. However i booked those down within creative and legal tax avoidance didn't get away from the fact it was really all one pot.
Coffee Lounge / Re: One nation or two
« Last post by pgkevet on Today at 07:56:11 pm »

Para 1 Really? How?Para 2. Norway? Really? Hmm, re the Glasgow shipyards, having a hiccup but a bit of a resurgence building ferries for the Scottish Government. And that was another 2014 lie - Vote Yes and the shipyards will be gubbed. Well, we voted No ,and quelle surprise, gubbed.
Darn I just got timed out on a login having written a lot on this... sigh
Para1 Useless UK negortiators allowed EU to dictate terms - deciding on 'divorce; payments before any other negotiations - all to drag it out so we keep paying while having no further say in EU business/ Also by dragging out the whole process way longer than needed. Also by threats to stop UK banks being able to trade Euros, throwing in all the deliberate statements about making it harder to travel to europe etc - the usual project fear type of stuff.

One of the main reasons for leaving the EU is that Germany and then France both planned on assaults to take over the London Stock Exchange and cripple a major source of Uk revenue. There is still warfare in europe - just economic (the modern way)
Para2 Why not? Norway has a long friednly association with the Uk and if Scotland tries to charge exorbitant fees for Uk bases then I'd argue that Norway may be a better place from which to monitor Russian shipping paticulalrly with climate change. But I'm no military strategist.
Re shipyards etc. As I understand it (quite possibly wrongly) EU rules dictate that major projects have to be tendered across european countries for the cheapest bid.  Of course this never allows for the losses associated with idle factories, unemployment or increasing foreign debt which is highly significant. free of those constraints it may be worth the UK getting back to shipbuilding if it can modernise and keep the unions from screwing it up. Something needs to be done about Uk productivity (a different discussion).
I'd reiterate at this point that my comments are to stimulate thought because otherwise it all sounds so easy and simple/. I have no personal interests in the outcome cos I'm too old and close to the grave.
Its also worth a quick mention over an earlier comment by someone over easy movement from Norway via sweden etc. To remind folk Norway voted to leave the EU - it can be done. The Norway model (as I understand it) still demands Norway obey all sorts of EU rules and alignments. If the Uk had adopted those then the Irish border wouldn't be an issue. If UK doesn't adopt those and Scotland is either a member of EU or a Norway model then I'd expect a  border - even if it's some sort of paper excercise

Sheep / Re: Is veganism a threat to the planet? *** contentious ***
« Last post by PipKelpy on Today at 07:13:24 pm »

While I’m posting:  I don’t hear much debate about vegans’ use of plastics, derived from fossil fuels driving climate change, or of cotton which is a very resource-hungry product.

Finally!! Someone who thinks like I do with regards to vegan alternatives!!

One thing that NO vegan has ever answered (I did post the question in the local rag 'Shropshire Star' many moons ago and a sarky comment came back along the lines, "Typical meat eater question!!")

If the entire planet were to suddenly go meat free, what would vegans suggest we do with the animals??

If they had their way, NO animals would ever be destroyed for food, fur, skin, glue, dog food etc. So what would you do with them?

Probably like some folk on this forum, smallholding for me is a lifestyle (I've lived here all my life) it doesn't mean that I have money. The few sheep that I have, now down to 8 with only 3 lambing this year (2 weren't interested in the tup, 2, I won't lamb and 1's a wether), is a small enough number to stay here for the foreseeable future (1 in particular lived in the house for 7 months so she'll be here for life!) But, they still have costs. I can escape certain vet bills as I treat homoeopathically. The cattle numbers have gone from 4, (December 2018, Cow with 8 month weanling, bulling heifer, 6 week old rearing heifer calf (Mary Moo!), to 7 (today, - Cow with 8 month weanling, weaned weanling, 14month bawling heifer (Mary Moo!) 10 month heifer for bulling later this year and 2 week calved Knickers and her lad Eddie!)

And yes, I am attached to my cattle.

So, if we all went meat free, what do I do with my animals. As said above, sheep numbers are low enough, I don't have a tup on the place, so yes, I could never lamb them again and they all live here until they decide to kark it.

Cattle however, are very much different and this is where the problem lies and NO vegan seems to understand this!

Female cattle come bulling every 17 days. Some are very VERY vocal about it. (Mary!!) Some are quiet and its shear guess work! (Juniper and it appears also Jennifer. Must be a family  thing!!) And others are very "Hiya mum!!" Wink wink, nod nod! Knickers!! Trust me when I say, she's not the type to turn your back on when she's up for it!!

So, sniggering aside, if we don't breed these animals and don't cull these animals, what are we to do with them? I am very much aware that some farmers will not castrate the bulls when they are calves so they let them go out on the place and mix in with the heifers. Auctions are having to sort out the arguments when unsuspecting farmers are buying in heifers for fattening only to find them bagging up as the animal is in calf.

And that's animals going for the chop.

Cattle need feeding and the honest truth is as much as I like my cattle, I cannot afford to have 4 females here and NOT breed them. Not when they will be coming bulling every 3 weeks and basically be dangerous and frisky through no fault of their own.

If my cattle are like that, then surely worldwide they are. Its hormones and its nature. If these animals are NOT culled then they maul the heifers (the bulls that is) and they will continue to breed. The planet will be overrun with cattle and sheep even more than it is now. Pigs? Don't pigs come into season once they've weaned their litters?

Do vegans suggest mass culling of rabbits and other wildlife or is it only farm livestock?

"While I’m posting:  I don’t hear much debate about vegans’ use of plastics, derived from fossil fuels driving climate change, or of cotton which is a very resource-hungry product."

I suppose where I am, I'm living in la la land with regards to thinking grow your own (looked on the garden and could weep at my brassicas!!). How many vegans though in this country, ONLY survive on food grown in this country?

One of the main arguments about Veganism this time round (it usually happens after every Christmas) is to do with the latest on climate change, fair enough. I apologise if I'm going off target!! However, similar to the "what to do with all the animals comment of mine", with regards to climate change, rather than blame the animals (mind you, Juniper belches like a trooper!!, though my one dog farts too so she could be blamed aswell!) why don't they blame the real reason, US!!

Blaming the animals is easy, but its not their fault. It's US. There are too many of us on this planet. The demand for meat, and if you see in the shops, the good cuts too. Personally I prefer brisket over topside. Due to this demand faster growing breeds have taken over from the slower growing breeds. We once bought in a dexter butchered and the chap said you'll never taste anything as good. I did actually, a Brown Swiss that I took to 29 month old. He was castrated as a calf but when he went the hump had come on his neck and the abbatoir thought he was a bull. He was actually some of the tastiest beef I have ever eaten. Thats the 29 month age! Now a days beef is bright red in the shops and thats what, 14 month old?? We once ate a joint out of the freezer, Pesky, was done in 2004 and this was 2010. Rather freezer burnt, but I cut it all off and then wacked it in the oven. Wow! Melt in the mouth!

So, Veganism - if we were meant to eat grass we wouldnt have been given wisdom teeth!! Evolution for you. I still got one, its impacted. Dentist has said "look after it, if it ever has to come out, its a hospital job!!"

2 Final points -

1 - There was a program on tv a few weeks ago and my sister admitted that if it weren't for the fact she knows where her meat came from, she would give it up as it upset her knowing how some producers treat their animals considering that they are going for meat. If my sister can think this and she sees her future meals out of her window, you can understand why those who don't have these picturesque views stop eating meat!

2 -  I know of a young teenager, a vegetarian who has recently become a vegan. Why? Because whilst she was on holiday, she ate the national dish of that country. Guinea Pig!! Her friends were disgusted as guinea pigs are pets - hence now a vegan!! Don't the Chinese eat dogs??

Coffee Lounge / Re: One nation or two
« Last post by pgkevet on Today at 07:13:06 pm »
but if UK did decide to let Scotalnd go it alone
And therein lies the rub. You just don't get it.
I get you want to leave. At the moment Westminster holds the key to whether you get a referendum unless you take the Catalan route or do a Rhodesia. Thus I think my words were used correctly.
Coffee Lounge / Re: One nation or two
« Last post by pgkevet on Today at 07:06:50 pm »
Not really mine either but there's been quite a lot of work done on this in other places.

I would guess that Scotland will remain part of NATO at least in the medium term, but would seek to be free of weapons of mass destruction. rUK can keep the nukes but since they don't have anywhere to keep them currently, that would form part of the separation negotiations; on nukes, only three nations in NATO have nuclear weapons - USA, France and UK, so a Scottish desire to be nuclear free shouldn't be a problem. Iceland is a member of NATO and doesn't have an army of any significance.

Scotland would have its own defence force sufficient to defend our country and meet international obligations. Since we have a long coastline, many islands and a big resource at sea, this would be mainly naval with air and ground support. Lossiemouth and Leuchars would probably be the air bases; we have plenty barracks and other defence premises.

In truth, the major threats to Scottish national security would come from terrorism and cyber attack, so we would need to set up a body for dealing with that, probably linked to Police Scotland and working with other international agencies. Our risk from terrorist attack would be linked to our international relations. 

It will be for future Scottish governments to decide which countries, if any, they wish to rent military bases to.
On the issue of maritime security, there are no naval security vessels based in Scotland. When there was a recent incursion by a Russian naval vessel, it took something like 12 hours for a vessel from the South of England to get to our waters, by which time the Russian ship was long gone. Terrific protection.

The size of the likely Scottish defence force is based on that of other similar sized European countries. The estimated cost is significantly less that we currently pay for our share of the UK armed forces.
This discussion is going to get really long-winded and my senile brain may struggle to keep up with all the sub sub sections soon.

As an independant Scotland I guess it won't remain part of Nato - it will have to join. Doubtless there will be more negotiation on that point.

Are you against the use of nuclear weapons or just against the storage of nukes on your territiory? Again I don't know but would guess that many countries in europe without a nuke capability still have them tucked away somewhere courtesy of the US even if they have no direct control of them. No sane person ever wants them used but you can't always stick the genie back in the bottle. They are supposedly a deterrant i.e not to be used. But if one claims never to use them (a point Corbyn blew) then any deterrant capability has gone and you're lost before you start.

It also poses the question of whether Scotland would be prepared to have itself defended by their use or prefer to capitulate to an enemy. Use of nukes doesn't assume use on Scottish territory.

You claim Scotland will have it's own sufficient defence force - a bland statement without any concete knowledge of how large or costly that may need to be - and I don't know either but wouldn't dismiss a a possible costly item so easily. War planes are particularly expensive as are surveillance drones and all the support and training needed. Logically such costs are better spread over the whole UK with rapid deployment to a theatre of interest. I doubt that an independant Scotland could afford it's own GCHQ so it's going to be dependant of a 'special relationship' of it's own with whatever closed door shennanigans (aka deals) go on to achieve that.
Next bit I read this as you assume terrorism will be minor due to Scotland not interfering with other countries. I may well be wrong. However History shows that heads of state all want a place on the world stage to prop up their self-importance and that deals over security get tied to other deals and pledges of support. Quite apart from any direct threats to Scotland from terrorism is the threat to the UK from terrorist groups using Scotland as a safe base. I have no idea how all that shakes out and or leads to border controls/patrols.

Of course as a separate nation one expects Scotland to be able to decide where or to whom it leases bases but again all sorts of manipulations go on over such matters. Your example of a Russian incursion might need further study. While you report that it took time for a british warship to arrive - and implies it was useless - it shows that UK surveillance knew it was there and likely had the capability to use air strike if necessary. I'd guess they were watching from the skies and sent the ship out as much as an excuse for an excercise as anything else?

You say all this will cost less than you pay at the moment. That's a convenient statement I'd need to see accounts for before I'd believe it. HS2 was only going to cost 30-odd billion too.
Coffee Lounge / Re: Your day in one sentence
« Last post by arobwk on Today at 06:57:02 pm »
Great weather, lots of fieldwork planned - but, oh dear, iffy tummy and so I didn't hang around !!
Coffee Lounge / Re: I know it's been done before but...
« Last post by arobwk on Today at 06:29:06 pm »
What a great topic for discussion.

I am lucky - more than lucky - I have my dream life of a little smallholding, out of the way, but not so isolated it is difficult, and I have peace, and my animals. 20 years of keeping horses ( my first love ) on livery yards, being ruled by their imposed sanctions on what I can and can't do, was too much. After 2 years on a yard that had *unlimited*  turnout, which turned out to be * horses not turned out at all from October to April* - we moved. Seeing how the horses flourished in 24h turnout with shelter was the reward. I got 4 sheep with the intention to fatten them for the freezer.  We did, they were lovely, in all ways - lovely to see, lovely to handle and lovely to eat. I made myself take them to the slaughterhouse ( I can't call it lovely, because it was a horrific experience for me, but nothing to do with the people - fabulous, calm, helpful, reassuring - or the place - clean, calm, quiet ) and I collected them 3 days later. And I ate them, and they were very tasty. I had had them from weaned lambs, and I knew they had a lovely life, and a calm, stress free death. I also have a small flock of pet sheep - yes I have bred them, but always well well within the limits of the land we have, and when older sheep reach their end, they are humanely dispatched, and removed - not kept beyond what is acceptable for a *reasonable* care or a life. The same is true for my horses, dogs, chickens etc. They have their place, and they are looked after well, and when they retire, they do so with the same care as the others, until life isn't good for them anymore. Better a week too early than a day too late. The fleeces from the sheep go to a friend of a friend, who spins it into wool ball things, and makes stuff. I managed to grab a couple of wool balls and make a hat ! (it didn't fit, I can't do hats, only scarves apparently ) but it was - and will be in the future - used.
Not far from me is a rescue place. All sorts there - horses, donkeys, sheep, a few cows, goats, geese, chicken etc. Some of the sheep are lame, the chickens look like there is a red mite issue, the geese are stressed and thin, the donkey has rain scald, and the horses are standing in deep mud, around a ring feeder with some hay in it, and they look miserable. Apparently they were all rescued from homes that didn't care for them, or used them for breeding/food etc. They sell the wool as vegan, and the eggs as organic, ditto the milk from the cows, yet when I asked how they got the milk, given their *non breeding* status, they wouldn't answer. They sell kittens, and bunnies, baby goats as pets, and offer lamb feeding experiences as a perk in the spring.
Am I wrong in thinking this *ethical vegan farm* is not as ethical as it sounds, and that people go there and feel better about themselves for funding this so called *good* experience. I asked where the goat and sheep babies that didn't get sold went, they wouldn't answer that either.
If the sheep are kept and only culled when dying or suffering, thats OK. Otherwise it's a falsehood.

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