I READ with much interest the changes to the menu at Beck Hall, in Malham (England’s first plant-based hotel announced for the Yorkshire Dales. Craven Herald October 26). This encouraged me to have a look at the menu on their website.

I was especially interested to see olives, bananas, seitan - aka wheat gluten (mostly imported from China), chia, avocado, tofu, chickpeas, and lentils listed in the ingredients. None of these are grown commercially in the UK. Indeed the growing of soya crops is one of the drivers of rain forest clearance. But they claim one of their concerns was a benefit for the environment. Unless these imports have come via sail ship a good chunk of fossil fuels will have powered the shipping.

As for compassion for animals a more sensitive person than myself might be offended. I rear ruminant livestock to enter the food chain. There are laws governing the rearing of that livestock and their slaughter. There is absolutely no pecuniary self interest in conducting that process without compassion for the animal that then feeds us.

It might also be of interest that the main feed for said livestock is grass. This in my operation is produced with only the input of sunshine and rain. This is in contrast to many of the ingredients at Beck Hall which may well have probably used fossil fuel based fertilisers.

Finally to criticise livestock farming whilst operating in the midst of a landscape and community that has a centuries old tradition of doing so is, with respect, at best tone deaf.

I suspect many of my fellow livestock farmers would use language somewhat more robust and probably unparliamentary.

Anthony Bradley


Long Preston