Putting Vegans off their dinner

THE NOISE of veganism continued unabated this week, but one wee thing you may have missed is that a very famous painting in a Cambridge College has been taken down because it offended vegans.

Hughes Hall at the University of Cambridge removed the 17th century painting ‘The Fowl Market’, by Flemish artist, Frans Snyder, from the wall of its dining room after complaints.

It does feature a striking collection of dead animals on a butcher’s table depicting everything from swans to stags.

Fair enough, but will they put up a suitably bucolic picture of a soya field instead?!

Blair the jet-setter

Scotland’s showmen and women have endured a busy few weeks preparing stock and their ‘kists’ for the surge of national fatstock events up and down the country, but few will have had more pressure on them over the past few days than top showman, Blair Duffton, from Huntly.

Having produced several of the cattle prize winners at the Scottish Fatstock Club’s LiveScot event, at Lanark, last Saturday, Blair proceeded to fly out to Dublin that night to judge the Carrick-on-Shannon Winter Fair, on the Sunday.

If that wasn’t enough, he flew to Wales the following morning to exhibit his cattle at the Welsh Winter Fair, picking up several awards, before flying back to Dublin that night to buy his choice of champion calf at Carrick-on-Shannon – a British Blue cross yearling heifer – in the early hours of Tuesday morning at 12.20am for a centre record breaking price of €10,000, in partnership with Gary Bell, Lockerbie.

A few Red Bulls and black coffees later and Blair was back on the road to drive up to Belfast to judge the Allams Royal Ulster beef and lamb championship, where he bought his choice of cattle champion for £5300 from JCB, on behalf of Anthony Kitson, of Kitson butchers, Yorkshire.

Back on home turf early Wednesday morning and the big man was aff to Dingwall and another cattle sale – Now that is dedication for you! However, the one thing he did miss this week was seeing two of the cattle he shares with Rebecca Stuart, not only win the bullock and heifer championships on 'home-turf' at the Thainstone Christmas Classic, but also the champion and reserve overall.

Ill-gotten gains

MAYBE TO keep the kist full, he can ask Davie Moir for a sub?

The keen sheep and cattle showman was no where to be found on Tuesday morning at Thainstone and it turned out he hadn’t made it back to his bed the previous night. However, it seems that a night at the casino proved very worthwhile for Davie. He arrived back to the hotel in time for a late breakfast with a prize wad of £2100.

He did, however, manage to have his sheep out for the prime sheep judging first thing that morning. But is mother has been searching his pockets for 'her share' of the loot as repayment for the worry!

Rallying call

North-east Fife NFU chair, Gordon Rennie, contacted the Raider to inform me that he is very keen to meet as many NFUS members as possible to listen to their views and concerns at its forthcoming agm, on December 5, in the Inn at Lathones, Largoward.

Making the point that there is no point in moaning from your cosy armchair at home, he said: "Your voice counts and we will make sure the high heid yins at HQ get the message loud and clear.

"Farming support will change and every farmer I meet accepts that, but the biggest message I get is that farmers in Scotland want a level playing field with farmers in England! Far more important than subsides is the burden of red tape and the fear of the knock on the door from officers of the Scottish Government."

He added: "These civil servants do not arrive to assist farmers in these harsh times. No, they have come for one intention to inspect all the farm with a fine tooth comb which in the vast majority of cases results in a financial penalty. We do not want to live in a country where a Government prefers to punish decent farmers for the most minor infringement. We would rather the inspectors should sit down and help the farmer, not punish him!"

So come along and make your voice heard. There may even be some tawdry entertainment from the guest speaker!

Who's the oldest?

EAST KILBRIDE Farm Show committee remains committed to arousing the ire of some of the other show committees around Scotland by maintaining its claims as the oldest show in Scotland – it will celebrate its 250th show in 2022.

To that end, the show committee has put together a special calendar to raise funds towards that milestone event.

But, in the words of the M and S scriptwriter, this is 'no ordinary calendar' ... this is an East Kilbride Farm Show Calendar!

It takes a nostalgic look back at the farms that worked the land on what became Scotland's first new town of East Kilbride, a designation which dates back to 1947. So, there's lots of old pics of farms that do not now exist.

It's well worth the £5 for this charitable organisation to go towards its fighting fund, which will probably mean that it will have to invite rival claimants to the 'oldest' title, most notably those from West Fife, to keep them quiet!