James Lileks devotes his latest “Athwart” column in National Review to the views of Britain’s “new vegan shadow farming minister,” a woman who will assume a cabinet-level post if the Labour Party wins the next election in the United Kingdom.

The shadow minister, Kerry McCarthy, has been quoted as saying, “I really believe meat should be treated in exactly the same way as tobacco … with public campaigns to stop people eating it.” Lileks responds.

Later, she clarified with the usual windy twaddle: “There will be different viewpoints, there will be violent disagreements, but it’s about trying to listen to the evidence, approach things with an open mind — and I am very much prepared to do that.”

Uh-huh. If there’s anything we know about people who believe they stand atop the moral high ground with the banner of Truth in one hand and Science in the other and want to take away freedom and choice in the name of some amorphous wonderful Glory — in this case, a plate of mashed black beans — it’s that they’re open-minded and prepared to listen. Well, here’s a thought. Some smokers have switched to vaping, a cigarette substitute that trades horrible smoke for nicotine-infused water vapor. Cities are attempting to regulate or ban it, because it seems to destigmatize inhaling gas from a narrow tube. And we can’t have that.

So. Tofu is often substituted for meat. If vaping is bad because it reminds people of smoking, then tofu must also be castigated in public-relations campaigns because it reminds people of meat, and meat is killing the planet. Some militant vegans see the Golden Arches of McDonald’s and a voice screams in their head: Miami will be underwater in 16 years! In previous eras, people thus afflicted were smearing applesauce on the walls of their asylum cell; now they are appointed to government agencies.

This is how the world ends: not with a belch, but with the flatulence of the legume enthusiast.