Readers Letters: A Green who is not a vegetarian is a hypocrite

Yet another article about the Greens, this time by Euan McColm (“The radical Greens have left SNP and Yousaf paying a heavy price”, 13 August) with no mention of one issue that any journalist should want to latch on to.
Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie - a former vegetarian - and Lorna Slater - a fan of red meat (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie - a former vegetarian - and Lorna Slater - a fan of red meat (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Scottish Greens co-leaders Patrick Harvie - a former vegetarian - and Lorna Slater - a fan of red meat (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

It never ceases to amaze me how the Green Party, especially the leaders, leave themselves wide open for an obvious major criticism – the fact that many so-called Greens aren't green at all.

Neither Lorna Slater nor Patrick Harvie are even vegetarian, let alone vegan. The old but true saying, "practice what you preach” is something the Greens should adhere to and, of course, the party leaders should be setting the example. No one who consumes an animal-based diet is entitled to call him/herself green, given the damage it does to the environment/the planet, more damage than all forms of transport combined and using up many more resources, more fuel, more water, etc, than a plant-based diet.

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When I took one former Green party candidate to task for wearing a real fur coat, her response was that it was made of rabbit and “we all eat rabbit”, to which I replied, “maybe you do, but I don't – nor does anyone else who is genuinely green”.

All those who claim to be green and/or who claim to be concerned about climate change, when wishing to be elected and/or when taking part in debates, should be required to state what diet they consume, so that we can know straight away who the genuine ones are and who are the “faux green” hypocrites.

Sandra Busell, Edinburgh

In hot water

In yet another idiotic Green Party plan it is being proposed that grants for house insulation will not be available unless the house has a heat pump system. This is contrary to the national plan to have all Scottish houses insulated to a high level to save energy usage whatever the source of heating.

Heat pumps in Scotland have a track record of being expensive and somewhat ineffective and are clearly not suitable for many types of Scottish housing.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Bucksburn, Aberdeen

Homophobia survives

This month I attended a Festival of Politics event in the Scottish Parliament which discussed how it had been 35 years since the inception of Section 28: a hateful and now repealed local government act which sought to ban the “promotion” of homosexuality as a “as a pretended family relationship”. Though I lived through it at the time it was still shocking to be reminded that gay relationships were believed to be “pretended”, and of the absurd idea that children would have chosen to be gay simply because they knew about the existence of LGBT people.

Many battles have been won since those days but we are reminded that outstanding LGBT inequalities are largely religiously based: faith schools are exempt from providing LGBT-inclusive sex and relationships classes should that run counter to their “ethos”; a full ban on so-called gay conversion therapy was met with demands that “pray away the gay”, uniquely, should be allowed to continue and unrepentant homophobic views are to be excused even in candidates for First Minister if they are religiously derived.

We cannot prevent that minority of believers who still hold these views from privately doing so but separation of church and state is absolutely vital to prevent them being deployed from a position of advantage or privilege.

Neil Barber, Edinburgh Secular Society

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