It came to light earlier this week that the new plastic fivers that entered circulation to much fanfare in September, are actually made using tallow, a substance produced from animal fat.
The news sparked an online petition calling for the production process behind the notes to be changed and so far it has attracted more than 116,000 signatures.
The Bank of England has also received angry calls from vegans and vegetarians to cease the use of these banknotes immediately and change the substance used in the production of currency that they have to use in everyday life.
The petition was started by Doug Maw who states that the animal fat contained in the £5 notes is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and many others in the UK.
This news has also been taken extremely seriously by a Hindu temple in Leicester who have urged worshippers not to give new five pound notes in donations.
So how many cows will actually need to be sacrificed to make all these new fivers?
VICE have put together a ‘very precise calculation’ of how many animals will be slaughtered in order to make the 329 million banknotes likely to be in circulation by the time the paper banknotes have been phased out!
The answer: Just over half of one cow.
So will next year’s new £10 note be vegan?
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England has stated that they are treating concerns about traces of tallow in the new polymer banknote with the utmost seriousness but also that the bank did not know about the issue when the it signed the contract for the notes.
Innovia, the company who make the polymer are already working towards potential solutions for the tallow substance which is also used in household items such as candles and soap.