Politics, Elephants and a Very Odd Cake

Old toppies like me are known for being somewhat querulous about the world around them but really I am beginning to despair of the political classes.

We have the two Tory leadership contenders making ever more extravagant promises which we know they won’t keep and we have the newly emergent Brexit party, for which I had high hopes childishly turning their backs on the European national anthem on their first day as MEPs. The lib-dems on the other hand wore yellow T shirts saying ‘Stop Brexit.

I have always admired Nigel Farage for his almost single-handed fight to leave the European Union, but this is surely the time to continue that fight in Brussels or Strasbourg, not court public ridicule with puerile stunts. I won’t comment on the lib dems and their attire because they really are beneath worrying about. I personally feel that the European Union is an abomination designed to enrich a few people, but it is there and must be fought responsibly by those elected to its ranks.

Please Mr Farage, bring your troops to heel and don’t encourage any more of this lunacy. The public will support you if you fight for Brexit – that ideal that seventeen and a half million of us voted for in what was the largest voting turnout in British history!

Cecil the lion caused an outcry by getting in the way of a hunter’s bullet a few years ago. It was sad but totally legal yet the armchair conservationists made and are still making a great deal of noise about it. Now we have Voortrekker (I have never understood why scientists name wild animals) the elephant gunned down in Namibia. Voortrekker was apparently a large male desert elephant of some fifty years of age, but according to the authorities, he went on the rampage and had to be shot for the protection of villagers.

Unlike most of the people shouting about the incident from their comfortable homes and offices, I have on three separate occasions seen the destruction caused to villages by a rampaging elephant and it is heart-breaking and absolutely terrifying to the villagers involved. I don’t know why this elephant suddenly became aggressive. I suppose he could have been in an extended period of musth or perhaps he had a toothache which drove him wild. Whatever the case, the photographs produced of the damage he caused are pretty horrendous and I feel for those folk who lost so much and might well have been killed themselves.

Part of the outcry would seem to centre on the fact that the Namibian government outsourced the hunt to a professional hunter and some £6000 was paid to kill the elephant. Yes it sounds pretty horrible when expressed so baldly but I wish the so-called ‘conservationists would put themselves in the shoes of the villagers.

To most tribesmen living in the remoter parts of rural Africa, elephants are the enemy and I can’t blame them for their views. The predictable outrage from outsiders merely fuels the hatred the local people feel for all dangerous wild life and will lead to more killings, probably not as cleanly carried out as the death of this elephant.

The problem lies not with the elephants or with the need to kill them, but with the incredible and ever growing increase in human beings. There is no room for people and wild life left I’m afraid and they cannot live together, so one species or the other needs to be culled. I know which I would prefer to see go under the gun, but unfortunately my choice would be illegal!

I have heard and read a great deal about veganism over the years. I have a vegan Grandson and a good friend who is vegan and cycles professionally, but I have never understood it. I enjoy a reasonably balanced diet – without too many vegetables – and I have lived to a ripe old age. People were designed to be omnivores damnit, so cutting anything out doesn’t seem logical.

So where is the leading you might ask? Well I accidentally tasted a vegan chocolate cake the other day and it was truly horrible. It didn’t taste anything like cake and I couldn’t finish my half slice. Is all vegan food like that I wonder?

And I will have to remain wondering as I am not going to try that again. As soon as I finish this little screed I am going to make a good, healthy oxtail stew!

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