Animal welfare

The ‘clean meat’ revolution is coming

On 19 December last year, some chicken nuggets were sold in a restaurant called 1880, in Singapore. This doesn’t sound like a significant turning point in history, but it was. That small plate of chicken nuggets might well have been the start of a major industrial, social and cultural revolution — one the UK needs to prepare for. That Singaporean chicken nugget was the first time in history that meat that did not come from a slaughtered animal had been sold commercially. It was genuine chicken meat, not a substitute, but it had been cultured from cells in a vat called a bioreactor. The cultured chicken meat was approved a

Good luck enjoying eating salmon ever again

‘I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by cat videos,’ begins Henry Mance’s How to Love Animals, winningly. That is the paradox he sets out to unpick in this densely factual and intermittently horrifying book: how a world in thrall to cuteness, endlessly compelled to click on videos of kittens and owls having a special friendship, can remain indifferent to the suffering of almost all other animals, whether farmed, in captivity or in the wild. That’s a tough brief. I’m not sure it’s a book I would choose off the shelf, because the subject matter is deeply unpalatable. The facts and figures — intensely researched and carefully woven

The true cost of Gordon Elliott’s crass stupidity

Thanks to Covid, there could be no spine-tingling roar at the Cheltenham Festival this year as the first race runners set off, no exultant crowds lining the rails from the finish to the winners’ enclosure to cheer their sweaty heroes. Twitchy racing officials will have watched with their gaze half averted for fear that equine fatalities or excessive whip use by jockeys desperate to extract the last ounce of effort from their mounts will have swelled the chorus of the sport’s opponents and would-be eradicators. Publishing schedules mean that I must write before a Festival race is run, but I have no doubt that the week will have been dominated

Why animals’ names matter

Pretty Man was a plump white pony in the forefront of a sad picture. The photograph showed the seizure by the RSPCA of 123 horses from a farm down the road from where I live. The picture came to summarise many aspects of a story that exploded on to social media and released so many emotions among the public, especially horse-lovers. A plump white pony is standing defiantly in the middle of a herd of muddy horses being rounded up and loaded on to lorries to be taken away. Later it emerged that the pony wouldn’t load. He refused to get on the lorry. It took most of the day