Our confused relationship with foxes: cull them, feed them, hunt them, kill them
The trouble with foxes isn’t foxes themselves – it’s with the rest of us, and our on/off relationship with them. If we’re not calling for them to be culled, hunting them for their fur, or poisoning them to protect our poultry, we’re leaving out little suppers of dog food for them in the back garden.
It’s no wonder they’re confused – whatever they do, they’re foxed.
The chaos in our meat markets
The horsemeat scandal is no longer just an issue of cheap beef. The confusion about the origins of the implicated food raises sickening questions about how much we know about the food on our plates.
Take the Findus horsemeat lasagnes, which were produced in Luxembourg by French company Comigel. The head of Comigel says he “believed” his company was buying French beef from its supplier, Spanghero, whose parent company is called Poujol. But Benoît Hamon, France’s consumer-affairs minister, told the Financial Times that Poujol “acquired the frozen meat from a Cypriot trader, which had sub-contracted the order to a trader in the Netherlands [who was] supplied from an abattoir and butcher in Romania”.
Somewhere along this convoluted food-production process, it appears one product was swapped for another, completely different one, and no one picked it up – until the Irish Food Safety Authority uncovered the Tesco “horseburger”. Even in the unlikely event other unpalatable substances aren’t discovered in our food chain, it is evident that the section of society that buys this kind of processed food may have been living on a kind of Frankenstein diet. And with the price of a basket of groceries gone up 12 per cent in two years, they probably don’t have much choice.
Come in, page three, your time is up
The end of an era that few women will mourn is nigh – and no, I’m not referring to Pope Benedict XVI’s tenure.
Rather, Rupert Murdoch has hinted that he is “considering” whether it might be time to finally kill off the page-three girl. In response to a tweet from one of his followers, he wrote “Page three so last century! You may be right, don’t know but considering.” Later, he described the reaction to his tweet as “OTT”.
Come on, Rupert – you’ve had nearly 40 years to realise what an anachronistic relic the daily phenomenon of naked mammaries masquerading as news is. Those who mourn the demise of page three will trot out the old chestnut about a woman’s right to make a “feminist choice” if she wants to be photographed semi-naked.
But here’s the thing. She might have a choice, but the rest of us don’t. No one asks how we feel about the cat calls, the nasty comments, the irritation at being reduced to the sum of your (preferably naked) body parts, just because you’re a woman.