Hey, Jet-Setting Vegetarians: Don't Eat the Money in Britain

It contains animal products and people are freaking out.

If you’re vegetarian or vegan and planning a trip to England — which you might want to do these days following Brexit, when the U.S. dollar will go far — you will want to pack snacks in your bag, lest you be otherwise tempted to eat the currency. Wait, what? 

Let’s rewind. The Bank of England released a new five-pound note in September, and at the time said the polymer bills were stronger, safer, and more environmentally friendly, according to The New York Times. But it turns out they do contain animal products, a fact that is currently freaking people out and provoking outrage.

Can't believe the new fiver ain't suitable for vegetarians. Madness

— Tom Mckeon (@Mckeon92) November 30, 2016

The new bills, worth about $6.25 in U.S. dollar equivalent, contain tallow, which is a fatty material made from rendered beef or mutton suet. It’s commonly found in soap and candles.

OK, fair enough — the bills aren’t animal friendly, and that is a reasonable cause to stoke anger, not just from run-of-the-mill vegetarians and vegans but also from some religious groups such as Hindus and Sikhs. 

But would people actually eat the notes? According to The Times report, apparently yes: The Bank of England said that 5,364 bills had to be replaced last year for just that reason.

So we now return you to our warning message for animal-loving tourists: Pack a snack. 

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