IN CONVERSATION  : SANDRA IN NOTTINGHAM CITY CENTRE

 

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The exterior of Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem, a Nottingham inn, said to date back to 1189.

 

AUDIO Coming soon

Sandra and I discuss Nottingham past and present, the work of Alan Sillitoe, and veganism.


TRANSCRIPT

JO: I’m stood with Sandra

S: yes

JO: am I saying it correctly? I’m a Southerner.

S: oh. Sandra.

JO: Sandra

S: yes

JO: I lived in Bath for most of my …

S: Bath. We say it Bath, with an ‘f’

JO: oh. Bath.

S: Bath with an ‘f’

JO: yes. Bath.

S: Bath, that’s it, yes.

JO: Yes. I think I walk around saying Bath

S: yes, that’s it.

JO: Anyway, getting over that cultural barrier … but we’re stood in the car park … I just happened to meet you, didn’t I?

S: yes

JO: I think you were fixing one of these machines

S: yes … no … I was … once a week, we .. because of the traffic it gets, we have to clean all the readers and the note accepters and everything inside …

JO: otherwise it all comes to a halt …

S: especially because it’s the run up to Christmas

JO: and you kindly … kindly came out because I said I was a bit lost in terms of trying to find people to speak to …

S: it’s actually part of our job but … we get a lot of students at this time and we don’t get as many visitors as we used to … we used to get a lot of foreign visitors …we just ..

JO: even in the autumn?

S: yes

JO: and you’re talking generally sort of throughout the year?

S: yes

JO: why do you think that’s fallen off then?

S: I don’t know. Terrorism maybe. Because we used to get a lot of Americans. I’ve noticed they’re not travelling any more … I don’t know. Terrorism. A few years ago, Nottingham got that really bad reputation for guns, didn’t it?

JO: ah. Well, that makes sense. A couple of my friends, when I mentioned Nottingham, one … you know … and this is a tough Scot I know, said “oo, watch yourself” … so that’s obviously percolated into public consciousness a bit …

S: … but you’ve kind of got to …

JO: … but that’s the same in any city, isn’t it?

S: no … Nottingham

JO: you think Nottingham’s a bit sharper?

S: yes, it is, so …

JO: you have to watch yourself a bit …

S: yes

JO: I was offered drugs on the street last night

S: Was you? it’s probably the way you look!

JO: that’s what I thought

S: he looks a bit hippyish

JO: morning

3rdP: morning

S: he’s the …

JO: that’s the first thing I thought … ah! Got some street cred.

S: I’ve lived in Nottingham and then I’ve been away … I’ve lived away …

JO: are you from here originally?

S: yes. When I was away I was homesick all the time and yet when I come back, I don’t want to be here.

JO: oh dear. That’s a bit of a rock and a hard place.

S: it is but it’s like you belong here but you can’t seem to get rid of it …. you know … do you know what I mean?

JO: what would …

S: it’s like this week we’ve got Goose Fair

JO: what’s …

S: you’ve got to go to Goose Fair …

JO: I saw the signs for that ..

S: you must go

JO: what’s Goose Fair? It’s a big thing, yes?

S: well, of course it is …

JO: I might not … I might not be here … what is it?

S: it starts Wednesday afternoon …

JO: yes

S: so, it’s a thousand year old … 700, 800, 1000

JO: blimey ..

S: and they used to be put all the geese and now it’s one of the biggest travelling fairs in Europe … and it’s up and over that road …

JO: so, a fair, as in …

S: about a ten minute walk …

JO: not a circus ..

S: a travelling fair …

JO: meaning …

S: all the rides and … and mushy peas …

JO: so, in medieval times, it would have been to do with agriculture

S: yes … taking your geese there and everything .. yes

JO: to sell, like a market …

S: yes

JO: ok … so like Scarborough Fair or something

S: and it’s always called … Goose Fair

JO: … but it comes in the autumn, yes? It’s kind of harvest time …

S: it’s the first week of October …

JO: yes

S: and it comes for a week … and it’s just one big travelling fair … rides and stalls …

JO: but it’s still a massive thing in Nottingham

S: food … mushy peas … yes

JO: I did go to the .. is it ‘The Old Way to Jerusalem’ ?

S: trip … the ‘Trip’

JO: trip .. the ‘Trip to Jerusalem’ …

S: yes … did you see the cursed … did you not see the cursed …

JO: the cursed ?

S: boat …

JO: no … looks like I’m going to have to go back there …

S: yes

JO: what did I miss?

S: it’s all encased … well … any time … [ ] .. it’s all cobwebbed up ’cause any time somebody tried to clean it, they died … it’s right at the top …

JO: so they stopped cleaning it …

S: yes … and it’s in a case now …

JO: what is it?

S: I don’t know … it’s like a boat or like a vessel or something … I just can’t remember what it is …

JO: yes … that’s a bit spooky …

S: the last person who tried to clean it fell off trying to clean it and [ ] killed … hit his head and that was it

JO: so, it’s sitting … quite

S: in the Trip … you know as you go in .. into the Trip, you see the stairs upstairs … you’ve got like a little bit upstairs …. it’s up there

JO: ok .. I sat in the cave bit next to it …

S: yes … the cave bit … did you have a go at the horn?

JO: no … the horn? You see what kind of a researcher I am? I find out after the event ….

S: right … next time you go in .. ask them … it doesn’t … it doesn’t sound very good … but tell them now … you want to go in … you want to play the horn …

JO: ok

S: so … what it is … it’s from … you know the crusaders used to go off

JO: yes

S: to the Crusades … Before they went, they used to go in there and have a couple of pints and they used to play the horn … and it’s a … it used to be an old bull’s horn … and you’ve got a piece of string with a bull’s ring on it

JO: yes

S: and you’ve got to swing it … to get it … it’s too short … so the way to do it … I’m one of the very few people that have done it … you’ve got to swing it round at an angle … push it on …

JO: so you’re in an elite … a Nottingham elite …

S: well I think there are a few people that have done it … but it took me about a year to work it out .. . you can’t do that … you have to swing it… swing it round

JO: so why are you uncomfortable here do you think?

S: I just … I don’t know … I wouldn’t …

JO: you belong to Nottingham …

S: yes, I belong to Nottingham and

JO: … but you don’t feel

S: well

JO: at ease?

S: no, it’s not that …it’s … no, I feel at ease .. I’m alright here …

JO: so that’s alright …

S: yes, I am alright here … it’s just that, you know, sometimes you just … I find it a very aggressive city … very aggressive … you live in the suburbs and … I don’t know what it is but everybody’s got to have a go at somebody or …. you can walk down the streets and there’s somebody shouting “Oi! You fucking …” … it’s very aggressive … when you go and live somewhere else …

JO: first place I’ve been … and I’ve been to all of the major cities of the UK, so far … it’s the first place I’ve felt quite a lot of edge

S: yes … it is … [ ] it is just constantly … [ ]

JO: so I would say that …

S: I find it a very aggressive city …

JO: .. that does chime with my experience …

S: even where I live ….

JO: yes

S: I live in a reasonable area but domestic violence is really bad … the conflict with neighbours is really bad … you know .. you walk and people are like “c’mon then …” [ ]

JO: are conditions in Nottingham really … I mean they’re … I think they’re pretty dire everywhere …

S: [ ] the pollution’s sending us mad … because apparently the pollution is really high in Nottingham

JO: what’s that … air pollution?

S: yes, air pollution, yes … and [ ] sending us … I think it’s just sending us a bit all loopy

JO: well there’s something that’s sending us a bit loopy …

S: yes, yes … it is … [ ] ’cause I support Notts County ..

JO: that’s a big rivalry, isn’t it, in …

S: [ ] I mean .. Notts County

JO: Forest and County ?

S: and Forest, yes … but …

JO: someone … I think a cabbie told me they were only about ….

S: it’s a big rivalry, but …

JO: twenty metres across the road from each other …

S: they are … no … across the river .. but it’s [ ]

JO: yes … that’s alright .. that’s a reasonable …

S: are you alright?
3rdP: alright

S: it’s not like a bad rivalry …

JO: yes … it’s good natured ….

S: it’s not like Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday … well, I wouldn’t say it was good natured … it’s not on a par with …

JO: you wouldn’t go that far …

S: [ ] … so it’s …

JO: are they in the same league at the moment?

S: no

JO: or division … whatever you call it …

S: that helps … Forest are a bit higher [ ] …

JO: so, I asked about sort of who shall I speak to in terms of activists … I did do a quick search this morning in the limited time I had left

S: yes

JO: after laundry etc … and one thing that came up was apparently a load of Black Lives activists … Black Lives Matter activists chained themselves across the tramway a few years ago …

S: yes, well they’ve done …

JO: … but I imagine … you know … that’s a few years old now .. there’s other stuff going on

S: I could have sent you to a shop … a barber’s shop … down near the station but unfortunately the bloke’s had a stroke and he’s not very well … if you had walked in there and said [ ] he would have just put you right … ’cause I know there’s a few people against the council … we’ve got hunt saboteurs here

JO: ok … that’s an interesting one …. it hasn’t occurred to me yet to try and find some of those guys

S: yes

JO: so they’re all over the country, I think ….

S: yes

JO: … but there’s an active Nottingham …

S: there’s an active Nottinghamshire branch …

JO: yes … any one else come to mind?

S: activists … the activists in Nottingham … most of them are like … [ ] really say anything ’cause … you know .. you know … the police .. and everything ..

JO: what … it’s quite heavy .. heavy-handed?

S: yes … you’ve got the eco … what happened years ago was that one that went to the electricity …. the power station at Ratcliffe

JO: yes

S: and they were going to scale the things and climb up and raid it and everything ..

JO: who was doing that? That sounds like …

S: yes … well they met at a school in Sneinton

JO: I’m trying not to lead you …

S: and one of the blokes .. the bloke that was undercover … the bloke that was undercover …

JO: what … there was an undercover cop?

S: copper .. yes … he had actually … he was seeing one of the girls and got her pregnant …

JO: nice

S: he ended up being revealed during the court case and he got them … all they were doing were meeting in the school

JO: I know … it’s

S: and they all got arrested …

JO: I don’t think average people know what goes on …. do you?

S: Well have you seen Catalonia at the moment?

JO: It’s disgusting, isn’t it? I saw … I just watched this morning some video of what’s been going on

S: yes

JO: I actually saw men .. police …

S: women …yes the women …

JO: delighting in thumping

S: women

JO: women of all ages … throwing them down the stairs …

S: I know

JO: all sorts of stuff

S: and all the … you had the metal bars on them police … firemen trying to protect the women and … it’s terrible

JO: I was quite surprised there wasn’t … there wasn’t more of a … they seemed to be quite committed to a non-violent approach … the people that were getting assaulted … I couldn’t believe that the men and the other women just kind of didn’t react more than they did …

S: yes … I know … I know … if it had been here in Nottingham .. it would have been a full scale [ ]

JO: riot

S: we don’t have hardly any police in the city centre now because what’s happened is … you know … working in the job I do ..because what it is … is Nottingham’s got a reasonable murder [ ] … murder

JO: rate

S: rate, yes …

JO: what, it’s not particularly high?

S: well, it used to be guns … well it is particularly high … I think it’s nearly one a week isn’t it?

JO: I don’t know

S: yes … it’s nearly one a week … it used to be guns and now it’s stabbings … I mean next to me on Saturday … a little place near me .. Netherfield .. somebody hit somebody over the head with a hammer and he’s [ ] about an inch of his life …

JO: a hammer

S: yes …

JO: shit …

S: yes … but now it’s stabbings … there’s loads of stabbings going on now .. it used to be guns, now it’s stabbings .. and .. the police … because the police have been cut down so much … and they’ve moved out of the city centre .. they’ve moved out of that building ….

JO: have they closed police stations and things?

S: that one there …. yes …

JO: yes …

S: there’s hardly any …

JO: yes, in Bath, there’s … you see things called mobile police stations … you know, it’s a van …

S: yes .. but you know when you see Nottingham on a Saturday night, it’s like one of these cowboy films … [ ] you know when they go in through the doors …

JO: the saloons ..

S: it’s like … everybody’s in the street

JO: well, apparently … apparently the wild west was never really like that …

S: no

JO: … but Nottingham 21st century

S: yes, it is … yes, but … I worked … one of the worst shifts I’ve ever done was at night …. on a bank holiday … the Sunday night …. I’ve never … driving through town and …

JO: it was like a war-zone or something

S: yes … there were people on the floor … doing all sorts … fighting … and then there’s like one or two police vans and they just can’t cope with it all …

JO: yes

S: ’cause there’s no police … I mean not long ago there was no PCSOs …

JO: that’s a ….

S: whatsoever …

JO: community support …

S: yes ..[ ]

JO: I saw one yesterday … you know that guy … you know that guy that was … he’s sleeping …

S: that was a community … that wasn’t a PCSO … that was a community

JO: ok … so they’re not exactly the same thing …

S: no there’s two things … yes … they’re two different …

JO: ok … they have different powers .. yes …ok

S: that’s why I was saying “leave him alone” because that now is the norm in Nottingham

JO: yes … that’s what the first guy I came across … I did bump into someone in a high-vis jacket

S: yes … it’s normal in Nottingham’s … I think there’s a lot …

JO: he said straight away … “that’s” … there are two words for it … one is spice … one is …

S: black mamba …

JO: yes … mamba …. he said “that’s mamba … that’s what it does” .. he said “yes, I’ll go and check it out”

S: it’s normal … you just leave them. There’ s nothing you can do with it. But we’re finding a lot of young people on the streets now .. a lot of young people … it’s sad … very sad …

JO: it’s sinful …

S: of course it is

JO: it’s unacceptable …

S: of course it is … you know why don’t you …

JO: I mean … I feel it’s just … well, say it!

S: because of the government …

JO: You’re talking to people like you

S: yes

JO: in the rest of the country …

S: it’s the government … yes

JO: yes, it’s being done … I think it’s being done knowingly … they know what happens when you do this

S: they are not bothered, are they?

JO: no ..because they have .. I think these sorts of people have a view of … there are people who matter and there are people who don’t

S: yes

JO: so … if you are in the don’t category which is quite a large …

S: well, this is why most young people …

JO: quite a large group … it’s about … what … 2/3 of the population or something …

S: yes …. well the last two elections, I think, have been diddled … because there was more people voted for Labour or whoever than they did …. but because they … they changed the boundaries, didn’t they?

JO: you think it’s not necessarily for an innocent reason

S: no …

JO: I don’t … I’m not hugely up on all that

S: no

JO: but gerrymandering is very old, yes?

S: yes

JO: so it wouldn’t be out of line

S: no

JO: with history

S: no … I mean … you get .. you know .. so many people .. I mean you’re getting so many people .. If you worked up at even our office, at Loxley House, the city council, you’re away from everything … you know when you work on the front line, you actually see what them policies are doing

JO: yes … yes I think that’s a big part of it …

S: the people just [ ] their heads ….

JO: I mean a lot of .. just so you know … I’ll give you all the details … yes, you saw that in Grenfell, didn’t you? With the ridiculous response …

S: yes

JO: … of the people that had basically murdered, I think, hundreds of people … I don’t believe this crap about 80 dead or something

S: no .. no … there was a lot of people

JO: they’re probably … they’re probably six to a room … six to a flat on average

S: that’s it … yes

JO: it just doesn’t make sense …

S: no

JO: I’m touring the country as part of a project … it’s my project … no one’s funding it … I’m funding it with my meagre savings that are left … I’ve had enough …

S: yes

JO: I’m a … I’ve been teaching at university on these stupid zero hours contracts

S: yes

JO: my relationship …

S: what were you teaching?

JO: academic writing

S: yes

JO: I was trying to do a PhD as well .. at the same time … which didn’t go awful well …

S: I’ve got an ‘O’ Level in English Literature

JO: … but an ‘O’ Level … that’s harder than a GCSE

S: we had to do it on …

JO: D.H. Lawrence?

S: no

JO: you’re very good at that …

S: my favourite .. come on let’s go down working class … Alan Sillitoe …

JO: yes … “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” ..

S: … but he also did some really good short stories …

B: Sandra!

S: What Brian?

JO: shall I put him on a list of things people ought to watch and read … ’cause I’m also doing that with my teacher’s hat on .. I’m saying …

S: yes … Alan Sillitoe …

JO: if you are interested

S: if you want to see what Nottingham is like … and I’m telling you …

JO: is he from this part of the world?

S: yes … he’s from Nottingham … he comes from Radford … I always say one of the best things about Nottingham is the diversity of it …

JO: that’s true … I’ve noticed that …

S: Brian and [ ] and everything … we all get on .. yes people have got different religions and that … but we all get on and what not but … you know I get on really well with Brian and you know … he’s from Trinidad …he’s like my best mate … he loves cricket .. you know

JO: of course he does … Viv Richards is from …

S: … but he brings his little bit …

JO: no he wasn’t … he was from Antigua

S: that little bit of the Caribbean to our workplace and I love it because .. you know .. [ ] so different

JO: it’s just colourful, yes? It’s not … I’m not just saying it of … you know, it sounds like an old English thing …

S: it is …

JO: .. . but you are colourful for him …

S: yes

JO: life is very dull if everyone is exactly the same …

S: yes …

JO: you know .. it’s just talking to yourself otherwise …

S: yes …. don’t take that home!

B: [ ]

S: yes

JO: so what …. so what …

S: yes .. Alan Sillitoe …

JO: yes

S: he’d done some wonderful short stories .. he’s done Saturday Night, Sunday Morning.

JO: yes … I know that ..

S: it’s a classic

JO: I think I’ve watched it …

S: yes it’s a classic … read it … it’s even better

JO: a long time ago … better to read it ….

S: he’s got some short stories out … short stories to me …. being from … I was born and brought up in rough parts of Nottingham … to me he gets that life down to a tee … Nothing has changed …

JO: you think that … that’s still ..

S: nothing has changed maybe the religion of people .. maybe the [ ] …. but nothing has changed …

JO: the dynamics …the way it feels

S: maybe … I mean .. the work has changed because obviously people are more in … it was based on people working in Raleigh and Boots … and …you know … the big industries

JO: Nottingham is Boots …

S: yes, Raleigh … yes … Raleigh has shut down now ….

JO: Raleigh bicycles I grew up with ..

S: we had Raleigh, we had Players …

JO: Grifters, Strikers, Boxers …

S: Choppers … we had Players as well, didn’t we?

JO: Players ….

S: the cigarette place

JO: I thought it was a cigarette brand … they’ve all … they’ve all disappeared, have they?

S: well .. yesterday

JO: Boots hasn’t …

S: no Boots …

JO: although it’s owned by a private equity nonsense thing, yes?

S: Boots is … yes, American … that’s changed a lot … in Nottingham .. the bloke who .. Boots himself … he changed a lot in Nottingham .. you know .. he changed a lot … he tried to make things

B: [ ]

S: yes … see you mate … he tried to make a lot of things different in Nottingham … he gave a lot of green space to Nottingham people …. unfortunately that’s not been …

JO: So, I’ve been hogging you for 20 minutes now …

S: [ ] but anyway … get hold of Alan Sillitoe … people here … when we did [ ] English Literature … will be like Byron or D.H. Lawrence and things like that … no

JO: Lawrence is the one that, I think, is sort of on the shop window … yes … still

S: yes … of course it will be … everybody’s read Lady Chatterley’s Lover [ ]

JO: yes

S: … but Alan Sillitoe is this kind of …

JO: it’s not what you would lead with

S: … big hero for me …. if you ever get hold of his short stories, have a look ’cause they’ve got … it’s got Going to the Match, or something … and he was a Notts County fan, actually … and he goes …. and it’s just so funny because I read it and I thought nothing has changed! .. but the [ ] was … was basically the bloke lived in the Meadows which is the area next to the ground …

JO: yes

S: and they lost 4-1 … 4-0

JO: yes

S: and he went home and he beat his wife …

JO: shit

S: so basically … but it’s portraying pure Nottingham life … ’cause that’s how a lot of life was and probably still is … you’re not telling me that everybody that goes to a football game don’t go home and take it out on their missus? Course they do. .. but … that’s …

JO: it’s real, yes

S: yes … you know when you go to read the bit about the match … you know … I thought God! Nothing’s changed there! It’s just the same! They’re just as shit!

JO: yes … but they’re yours …

S: yes .. but they’re ours … and it … Nottingham .. Notts County are a pure Nottingham team … it’s really a deep … you know … so we’ve had …

JO: well I am talking … I’ll give you all the details ’cause I think you’d be interested, yes?

S: yes

JO: and you’ll see your imprint in the project hopefully …

S: nice, yes

JO: I’m going to talk to people such as yourself that I am bumping into .. but the real focus of this trip is to try and collar some experts off a list of mine that I’ve come to know over sort of 10 / 15 years ..

S: yes

JO: their work …

S: yes

JO: who are all around the country … but, of course, they’re busy people so I’ve only managed to see about half of them

S: yes

JO: and activists …

S: yes

JO: and see what they’re doing and what they think they can do from where they are … and say “shouldn’t we be coordinating this a bit more than we are at the moment?”

S: you see I’m a bit of an activist but only on Facebook …

JO: yes … well .. that’s something

S: ‘because I’m animal rights activist …

JO: yes

S: I’m … ‘because I’m vegan I am …

JO: that’s a big deal for you … yes

S: I’m vegan …

JO: has that been a long time?

S: I’ve been vegetarian for a long time … I’m vegan now … but when I was younger, I was … you know … into all sorts .. you know when you settle down …

JO: you’re supposed to when you’re young

S: unfortunately …

JO: I’ve saved mine up until now

S: I’ve got a lot of friends who were … a lot of women friends who used to do the nuclear ..

JO: Greenham Common?

S: yes .. Greenham and all that .. yes … [ ]

JO: I knew … a colleague of mine was at Greenham

S: … they went through a lot they did … but I was sat there safe … but if I was younger now I’d be doing that again because I’ve got such a strong …

JO: but there are things you can do now ..

S: you know, being a vegan … I know … know … I know … I’ve farmed … farming is in my family … I’ve farmed … I know what goes on … I know … and it’s absolute … it’s just terrible ..

JO: yesterday

S: it’s just terrible …. that that is allowed

JO: what sort of … are we talking about like dairy farming

S: yes … just all of … go to an abattoir … I think every school child in this country …

JO: yes

S: never mind visiting your religious centres and that … should go to an abattoir … and not be hidden because it’s the truth …

JO: yes .. and make a decision based on …

S: on their own … my Mum let me make my own decision … and

JO: you’ve given me a thought … maybe I should go and visit an abattoir …

S: yes but …

JO: ’cause if I’m stuck for ideas …

S: some of them are quite controlled so what you’ll get is ..

JO: you’ll get the PR tour …

S: you get the bolt through the head … will drop ’em dead … not all the time …

JO: most of the time or something

S: … a lot of them … are still alive and they are dumped … and the other thing is they’re still experimenting on animals in this day and age … for God’s sake … for God’s sake

JO: I’m sympathetic ..

S: Not in my name.

JO: I’m still eating all sorts of things but I am very sympathetic to the argument that as much cruelty needs to go as possible

S: yes

JO: that there are right ways of farming and wrong ways … and that whatever happens, we’re going to have to eat less meat

S: well .. I’ve never been [ ]

JO: whether it’s zero or not … but you feel great on it, yes?

S: yes

JO: Yes, a vegan .. a guy in the Travelodge in Manchester on the M62 said he just naturally became one because his girlfriend was a better cook and she was vegan so she kept serving him vegan meals and he said the only thing he struggled with was cheese …

S: yes

JO: he missed cheese a bit …

S: yes … but I’ve got … I’ve found a vegan cheese now that’s really nice …

JO: yes, I think he mentioned that it’s improving …

S: yes … so .. but I like … I’m Buddhist as well … so through my meditation I can make a connection to … basically a lot of things

JO: Do you think that picked that up?

S: it will do, yes … the connection … so basically … it’s quite hard to explain but when you make that connection to everything, you realise everybody’s connected … so it’s called inter- … co .. co-independent … co-dependent

JO: yes

S: there’s no way that you can get on without anybody else … so … like you’ve got like a flower … it can’t live without the rain … can’t live without the sun … it can’t just live …

we couldn’t do that … so [ ] all dependent on each … co-dependent … and we’ve all got the same minerals and that in us as animals and everything … so we’re all dependent … when you make that connection, you can never eat meat again …

JO: you start … you start seeing things very, very differently

S: you can never eat meat again … because you can’t … because of the compassion in you is there .. you cannot do it … that animal …

JO: you wouldn’t .. you wouldn’t think .. I’m trying to think of … I mean I know … I’m going to try and see a guy called Colin Tudge in Oxfordshire …

S: yes

JO: who, for sure, I would guess .. is against industrial agriculture … all the stuff that goes with it … so on and so forth …

S: pesticides

JO: but I … yes.. certainly against all that … so they’re for something I think they’re calling agroecology … which is a little bit like that …

S: yes

JO: ecology is like a Western scientific version of the same idea, I guess … so it’s vastly different to what we’ve got but …. it would probably I would guess still include the use of animals for human consumption …

S: there’s only … yes, but there’s only one thing that you’ve ever got to think about ..

JO: yes

S: when you … when anybody has an argument with me ’cause I [ ] …

JO: I mean … I hope you can tell I am trying to … I am trying to explore it …

S: the stick you get when you’re vegan … yes .. the stick you get when you’re vegan is unbelievable …

JO: really?

S: yes

JO: like .. if you reveal it …

S: especially if they’re religious … that’s where you get most stick from … so God made these animals so we could eat them …

JO: ok … so that teaching which comes from the ….

S: I don’t know …

JO: that comes from the Bible I think

S: yes ..

JO: dominion over …

S: whatever it is … God made these creatures so we could eat them ….

JO: for your benefit

S: no, hang on … so why did God give them feelings and made them feel pain? If they were just …

JO: put there for you?

S: why would a God … why would a God then give an animal pain?

JO: yes

S: ’cause I’ll tell you now .. you’ve not been in an abattoir … I have … I have not seen the fear … I have seen the fear and the pain … and the pain and the suffering all them animals go through …

JO: it’s pretty obvious, yes?

S: yes … very obvious …

JO: yes

S: you only have to look at them … it’s very, very sad … and … “no, no … that’s what they’re bred for … if … they wouldn’t be here if …”

JO: is there … is there any like … no … I mean I don’t take that view obviously right … I’ve managed to escape my Church of England

S: yes

JO: programming but is there … is there any way of doing it nicely?

S: well no, because you are killing an animal, aren’t you? And when you kill an animal …

JO: yes .. I am not disputing that …

S: so if I come along just now and maybe killed you, you’re not saying that you’re not going to feel fear and pain and suffer? Of course you are, you are going to feel all them three … How can you kill somebody nicely? This is why I don’t .. this is why I don’t …

JO: no .. but let’s … let’s talk about chickens for example, like … so a horrible way of dealing with chickens .. which I am not going to argue with that …

S: yesterday

JO: I also think it’s horrible … is what they do … with the really cheap, horrible, mass produced chickens and stuff … full of antibiotics and all the rest of it …

S: yes

JO: so, obviously I am not arguing about that … but a harder case for me to think about .. which is, I think, more productive then as regards whether I … whether I can cross over to where you are

S: yes

JO: is how about chickens which are kept in chicken like environments like messing around …

S: that’s fair enough but you’ve still got to kill them

JO: yes … but is there a … is there a … I suppose a good word to use given my project title … is there a ‘decent’ way of doing it .. or for you … is that just, by definition, not …

S: well, at the end of the day, if you tell me how killing a human or an animal .. is without pain …

JO: so, for example, if you allowed a chicken to live a happy existence … you were taking its eggs … I mean … you might have a problem with that, I would guess …

S: yes … vegan

JO: so you were using its eggs .. it was living a fairly ok existence …

S: yes

JO: life cycle comes round … I don’t know how long chickens live for …

S: not very long … not in this country

JO: and then when they start … but when they start … you know … becoming … whatever a chicken does in its old age … probably the same as us … then you put it out of its misery …

S: but why is their life any less value than ours?

JO: Is that still a problem for you? I’m not saying … I don’t think there’s a necessary .. for me, I don’t feel there’s a … I’m not denigrating

S: no

JO: the animal … I still think there’s a space at the moment … ’cause it might change as I keep thinking about it … but I still think there’s a space where you can really respect another creature as something .. as you say … a lifeform like you … another form of the cosmos

S: try and connect with them a bit .. if you connect with them

JO: … but I’m still … I’m still thinking there might be a space where you can treat them in a certain way but still use them as a food

S: I always make …. no … because …

JO: for you, no

S: you’ve still got to kill them, haven’t you? There’s no nice way … you can’t kill somebody nicely … you can’t kill somebody nicely … it’s like the … I don’t know if you agree with this but I had an argument about a year ago with somebody … who’ve never spoke to me since … they were on about the death penalty … and .. to me, I just think that’s murdering somebody …

JO: that’s what I think

S: so basically they were saying … yes, but what if it was your own mother? Or you wouldn’t feel like you’d want revenge? No, because all you’re doing is just killing somebody else on top of that …

JO: yes .. you’re saying “that is wrong. So, I am going to do it”.

S: if somebody murdered me, I wouldn’t want that person … ’cause that’s just another murder … what’s the … I mean … you’re murdering someone … you’re doing it legally but you’re still murdering someone ..

JO: it’s even worse, isn’t it? ’cause it’s sort of sanctioning killing …

S: yes …. to me, that’s no different with animals neither …

JO: ok … food for thought

S: it is food for thought …

JO: sorry, it popped out …

S: yes … but..

JO: thanks … that’s terrific …

S: yes … that’s alright … yes … I could go on all day if you want ..

JO: well … you’d better be careful … you’re already speaking for Nottingham as it is …

S: no, I don’t represent Nottingham …

JO: no, as a researcher, I wouldn’t say that …

S: because a lot of us of are … a lot of us are … there’s not … there is vegetarians in Nottingham and there’s vegans but not loads …

JO: here’s a good final question … if I described you as … you were reticent about calling yourself an activist

S: yes

JO: but I would …

S: I’m an online activist I would say

JO: well, let’s say someone who cares …

S: yes

JO: is slightly careful about how they live …

S: yes

JO: yes … what percentage of people do you think are like this?

S: in Nottingham ? 10%

JO: so, it’s quite a small minority …

S: yes

JO: but not insignificant … 10% is a fair number of people

S: yes .. probably … but a lot of them will probably be for medical reasons … I was talking to somebody … I went to the supermarket and there was an old guy …

JO: I’m not just talking about food necessarily …

S: no ..

JO: so, anything … like environment … or how people are doing …

S: yes, yes … I’m like that with everything …

JO: homelessness … or …

S: I mean … there’s one thing that we’ve got where I live … because I live … so you’ve got the

city, and you’ve got the city council and you’ve got different boroughs … and I live in one them boroughs ..

JO: yes

S: and Gedling borough where I live are fantastic for recycling …

JO: [ ]

S: Gedling

JO: Gedling

S: are really good for recycling …

JO: G E D L I N G

S: yes … so we’ve got all our recycling … so we’ve got the glass and the things so they’re really good, but the city .. I don’t think they are …

JO: gosh … so even in the space of what, 5 miles, or something … it’s quite different …

S: yes, it’s different … so …

JO: ok .. that’s really useful stuff, actually …

S: yes …

JO: so let me give you some details and then you can keep tabs on …

S: yes, alright …


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