The new plastic £5 note was warmly welcomed when it launched back in September, thanks to its enhanced durability and sleek, more modern-looking appearance. But, already, the humble little note has found itself at the heart of a controversy. Vegans and vegetarians are up in arms over the news that it contains animal fat, The Independent reported. In response to a question from Twitter user @SteffiRox, the Bank of England confirmed on Monday that the note contains tallow, a fatty substance derived from beef or mutton. The bank said there is "a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets" found in the base layer of the new note.
More than 8,300 people have so far signed an online petition against the note, calling on the Bank of England to stop using animal products in the money we all have to use. "The new £5 notes contain animal fat in the form of tallow. This is unacceptable to millions of vegans & vegetarians in the U.K. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use," wrote petition founder Doug Maw. With more of us adhering to vegan lifestyles and ethical consumer principles than ever before, many argued that the use of animal fat in such products is unnecessary and outdated.
Not everyone seemed to care, however, with others taking the opportunity to mock people for caring about animal rights.
One person even said the "moaning" over the new note was the "most stupid thing" he's heard this year, which must mean he's had his head in the sand for most of 2016.