Vegan Shadow Farming Minister: Why I’m sick of Christmas

Corbyn’s vegan shadow farming minister: Spokesman says she dreads festive season as it means ‘getting up close and personal with bits of dead animals’

Her friends, who are ‘normally nice and interesting and funny’, suddenly start sharing pictures online of ‘stuffing turkeys, smothering potatoes in beef fat and boiling ham in Coke’, she wrote.

Miss McCarthy, who as shadow environment secretary is supposed to represent the food and farming industries, wrote the blog after spending a previous Christmas Day ‘as usual with a bunch of meat-eaters’.

She described the ordeal of ‘fussing over them to make sure they’re not using the same serving utensils for the vegetables and the meat, and that the vegetarian gravy hasn’t got muddled up with the ordinary gravy, and trying to help with the serving up and clearing away without having to get too up close and personal with bits of dead animals’.

‘To be honest I got rather sick of it’, she wrote in 2010, five years after becoming MP for Bristol East in a blog entitled ‘A Vegan at Christmas’.

‘And for the first time I felt, I don’t really want to do this again. Yes, Christmas should be about spending time with family, but perhaps next year I’ll just turn up in time to see them vegging out in front of Dr Who and EastEnders’.

Some commenters on the blog reassured her it was fine to bring her own drinks and snacks.

Miss McCarthy insists she does not mind having dinner with a meat-eater, and pays no attention to what is on other people’s plates, but said she had not lived with a meat-eater since the 1980s.

Her seasonal favourites include a ‘traditional Christmas curry’. The following year, just after Christmas 2011, she tweeted: ‘No mince pies for me – I hate them!’

The MP has been a vegan for two decades and was a vegetarian for ten years before that.

Shortly after she was appointed to the shadow cabinet three months ago, she alarmed countryside campaigners and farmers by saying: ‘I really believe that meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco, with public campaigns to stop people eating it.’

In a magazine interview, she said the ‘constant challenging of the environmental impact of livestock farming is making me more and more militant’ - and she slapped down dairy farmers struggling with low milk prices, saying: ‘It’s a supply and demand thing.’

Back in 2009, she questioned the US tradition of the Pardoning of the Thanksgiving Turkey, tweeting: ‘If it’s good to pardon one turkey, surely that’s an admission it’s mean to kill the rest?’