Vegan Celebrities

Boris Johnson and his Brief Experiment with Veganism

Does the Prime Ministerial candidate have the capacity to reflect on veganism?

Boris Johnson, the hot favourite to become the next British Prime Minister, told the Sunday Times on 9 June 2019 that he had engaged in a “brief experiment with veganism.” Prior to this interview, he had confided to a fellow MP that he was “toying with going vegan”.

He admitted that he had “difficulty to keep it up for more than six hours at a stretch.”

Johnson also described the “sheer cruelty of being denied cheese.”

He said he thinks he tried to be vegan for a “couple of days or so.”

Sunday Times readers may grin at the superficial response of Johnson to his relationship to eating animals, birds and dairy products. Surely, Johnson needs to reflect on the sheer cruelty that cows, pigs, sheep and chickens suffer in factory farms.

Animal production contributes to deforestation, water shortage and use of land that could feed far more people through growing crops, vegetable and fruit.

Johnson might need to take notice of the 2018 landmark UN report that society has to engage in a massive cut in meat and dairy consumption to help end the climate crisis.

In the past, the prospective British Prime Minister has dismissed the research of scientists and UN experts on global situations. In response to an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report which recommended people reduce their meat, Johnson described the proposition as “so irritating” that he wanted to eat more meat.

“If they seriously believe that I am going to give up eating meat – in the hope of reducing the temperature of the planet – then they must be totally barmy,” he wrote in the Daily Telegraph.

The capacity for thoughtful reflection?

Mr Johnson, 54, seems to lack the capacity for thoughtful reflection on the causes for the climate emergency, factory farms and his own health. Significantly overweight, he leans forward when he walks putting extra pressure on his heart, organs and arteries. It is the walk of an old man.

Boris Johnson is a strong advocate of political populism, where self-importance takes priority. This leads to the rubbishing of concerns of those who care for people, animals and the environment. Populist leaders like to sink to the lowest common denominator of distasteful views and dismiss scientists, experts and thoughtful organisations as part of an elite.

Johnson belongs to the privileged British elite, who attended Eton Public School and Oxford University.

He regularly makes distasteful comments. He has made discriminatory remarks against the dress code of Muslim women, criticised police for engaging in investigating historic cases of child sex abuse, used racist language against Black children, claimed that Africa would be better off if the UK took control and claimed without evidence that Barack Obama had an “ancestral dislike of the British Empire.”

Johnson appears to have a deep-seated need to express views in order to bring attention to himself, even when it is deeply hurtful to others.

Show More

Christopher Titmuss

Christopher Titmuss is a senior teacher, social critic, campaigner and poet and in the Buddhist tradition. A former Theravada Buddhist monk, he is the author of numerous books including The Political Buddha, Light on Enlightenment and The Spiritual Roots of Mindfulness. He writes a weekly Dharma blog on major issues. His teachings focus on insight meditation (vipassana), the expansive heart and liberation. He has lived in Totnes, Devon, England since 1982. Contact:

Leave a Reply

Back to top button