IT’S thoughtful of the owners of the Ethical Dairy to offer a “safe space” to “vegans with concerns about farming” (Largest cow-with-calf dairy farm in UK to hold vegan-friendly farm tour, January 31). However, the owners may be disappointed to discover that no vegans want to find out more about dairy farming; we know all we need to know.

We would rather that the offer of a “safe space” was made to farm animals in the form of an animal sanctuary.

READ MORE: Almost £350,000 invested to keep cows and calves together for longer

No matter how well cows and their calves are cared for, these animals are all sent to be slaughtered and there is no good reason for this. Male dairy calves, in particular, are useless to farmers and so they are often slaughtered within a week of birth.

There is no nutritional necessity for us to consume dairy products or meat so there is no moral justification for killing any farm animal. The problem is not animal welfare; it is simply the abusive termination of sentient animal lives.

In Scotland, most of us loathe the execution of criminals in other, less civilised countries. Offering such criminals a slap-up breakfast before they are taken to be hanged would not alleviate our feelings of repulsion at this brutal practice.

READ MORE: Veganuary sign-ups beat expectations with 400k committing to diet

The owners of Rainton Farm’s “Ethical Dairy” should consider switching to an environmentally and morally sustainable form of farming such as arable, forestry or wind. The Scottish Government should adjust its subsidies to farmers to expedite and facilitate this change and our churches should take a long hard look at themselves for saying nothing about this monstrous butchery of biblical proportions: their silence is deafening.

The only “ethical dairies” in this country are the rapidly expanding oat milk producers; other “ethical dairies” are not available (for oxymoronic reasons).

James Boyle

I REFER to Professor Wilson McLeod’s excellent article in the paper on Friday, in which he provides a very accurate analysis of the challenges and the complexity of strategies required for maintaining Gaelic in the Western Isles “Securing Gaelic ... in the Western Isles and beyond, January 31).

Economic development of the islands, education and providing housing for people who want to speak the language are fundamentally important and a strategic part of the National Gaelic Language Plan 2018-23.

READ MORE: Securing Gaelic in the Western Isles and beyond

The board of Bòrd na Gàidhlig is acutely aware of the challenges in creating environments where people use Gaelic and speak it as often as possible. That is why it is working with Outer Hebrides Tourism on its new marketing campaign “Scotland’s Gaelic Islands”. VisitScotland has also developed a Gaelic tourism strategy as one of its Gaelic plan commitments, leading to a far greater understanding of the sustainable economic opportunity that Gaelic offers the Western Isles and how it can be realised.

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s recent policy change for Gaelic-medium education is a critical part of the development of the Gaelic language in the Western Isles.

Bòrd na Gàidhlig also ensures that Gaelic is considered in the development of any national or regional strategy, a recent example , being our contribution to the National Islands Plan which now includes impact on Gaelic in housing, transport and education rather than in a section on culture.

Gaelic is fundamental part of the future of Scotland and we welcome all conversations and opinions as we work together to strengthen the language.

Deagh dhùrachd,

Shona C NicIllinnein
CEO, Bòrd na Gàidhlig

TO all Brexit voters,

Well done! You got your result! Enjoy your chlorine-washed chicken, your hormone-injected beef and your health service run at the whims of big pharma. Enjoy also the malign influence of big tobacco, the abolition of all employment rights, and being regarded as a pariah state by all of the civilised world!

Enjoy it! It’s what you voted for. You’ll feel quite at home in England’s green and pleasant land. Meanwhile, here in Scotland we will continue the fight to rejoin our friends, allies and business partners in the biggest single market in the world, and all the wonderful cultural diversity that goes along with it.

Alastair Naughton

I MISSED the opportunity to comment on the First Minister’s speech on Friday as I was on my way to Edinburgh to support the Yes event at the Scottish Parliament. The format was excellent and the speakers and entertainment inspirational.

My comment would have been: “Patience is a virtue, but promises of jam tomorrow or perhaps the day after will not cut it when the Tory wolves are already huffing and puffing at the door.”

Unsurprisingly, Ruth Wishart in yesterday’s National (Yes campaign must not drop ball like rugby team, February 3) had similar thoughts.

Derek Marnoch
via email