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Voiceless People's Choice- Please vote for Little Oak! [Aug. 25th, 2013|10:18 am]
I know not too many people are lurking here these days, but for those who are, Little Oak Sanctuary is located just outside of Canberra in rural NSW and is home to a range of animals who have been rescued from unfortunate circumstances.

Little Oak Sanctuary is up for the Voiceless People's Choice Award this year and if they win hopes to use the funds for a public education campaign. They are up against some much larger competition so it would great if you could vote for them (it takes less than 2 minutes) here:
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History [Mar. 29th, 2011|11:24 pm]
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Just came across an interesting book "No Animal Food" by Rupert H. Wheldon.

This is your standard this is why you shouldn't use animal products and here are some recipes type of thing. Lots of number on agricultural production, how animals are treated, the increase in disease with the increase in meat consumption, nutrition advice and the like. Also some 100 odd recipes (thought two of them are for spinach soup :P) However, I'm finding it particularly facinating because it was published in 1910 - some 34 years before the term "vegan" was invented. Discussion with other veg*an history buffs suggests that it might be the first vegan cookbook.

You can download it here.

And here's a quote from it that appeals right now:

"The reformer may have, indeed must have, to pay a price, and sometimes a big one, for the privilege, the greatest of all privileges, of educating his fellows to a realisation of their errors, to a realisation of a better and nobler view of life than they have hitherto known. Seldom do men who carve out a way for themselves, casting aside the conventional prejudices of their day, and daring to proclaim, and live up to, the truth they see, meet with the esteem and respect due to them; but this should not, and, if they are sincere and courageous, does not, deter them from announcing their message and caring for the personal discomfort it causes. It is such as these that the world has to thank for its progress."
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Interesting little piece on Bluefin Tuna... [Feb. 17th, 2011|10:05 pm]

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Quote of the day [Feb. 7th, 2011|06:59 pm]

"While fur is obviously disgusting, it is also incredibly useful in that it alerts you to the fact that the person wearing it is a complete moron, without you having to waste time talking to them."
 -Hadley Freeman
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Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary Appeal [Feb. 3rd, 2011|11:30 am]
Please see below the cut about a specific emergency appeal for Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary in East Sussex. Hugletts Wood is a primarily a sanctuary for cow but many sheep and birds (geese, chickens, ducks etc) also live there. Further information about the amazing work they do can be found on their facebook page:

Appeal details...Collapse )

Cross posted about the place.
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Linkies... [Nov. 13th, 2010|03:50 am]
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Just a quick post of some interesting articles I've seen over the past couple of weeks:

* The case of Jimmy (a 26 year old chimp currently imprisioned in a Rio zoo) will be before the Brazilian courts next week. As Jimmy prefers painting to playing a group of lawyers and animal rights groups are seeking to secure Jimmy's release using the principle of Habeas corpus.

* The Huffington Post published an article on the link between rape and meat consumption and looked at the way individuals are assaulted for the production of animal products. Warning: there are some pictures at the bottom of the article which are graphic. Meanwhile the same issue was mentioned over at the MOS blog. No pics with that one.

* Viva! released footage showing how male chicks are treated by the egg industry (ie being thrown alive into mincers or gassed). This received wide coverage in the mainstream press, including in the Daily Mail and The Telegraph. Warning: some of the comments will hurt your head.

* Next week the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas meets in Paris to discuss quotas in the killing of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna. One report suggests a third of tuna being caught is done so illegally and concerns about the tracking system used with Japan (the world's biggest consumer) refusing to accept large amounts of tuna due to paperwork concerns.

* In other news on how the Tory's are screwing up the country the Guardian reports how industry groups have been asked to assist with developing public health policy. Yup that's right Pepsico will be heading the sub-group on calories and the Wine & Spirit Trade Association is heading the alcohol group.

* The Independent reports on a number of animal welfare issues that have been delayed or dropped by the government, including stalling on the ban on beak trimming being pushed back by at least five years.
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Film: Making The Connection [Nov. 1st, 2010|06:39 pm]
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The Vegan Society and Environment Films have come together to produce a contemporary film about the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle. With views on veganism from a wide variety of people, including chefs, an MP, atheletes, a dietician, environmentalists, stock free farmers and a poet it's a rather excellent film.

It can be seen in full here. However The Vegan Society is putting it up in "chapters" on their youtube (chapter one is below). You can also get free copies of the film from Environment Films and The Vegan Society if you want to screen it.

(cross posted about the place)
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Ruby Tuesday's Bakery [Oct. 15th, 2010|07:46 pm]
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Greenwich Market is a fantastic place to be. Lots of interesting stalls selling small press books, clothing and jewelry from local designers, interesting handicrafts and a delicious number of food stalls.

I must admit though this is the stall I always seek out...

Ruby Tuesday's Bakery

Ruby Tuesday's Bakery
sells a variety of animal free cakes, biscuits, slices and other delicious deserty things that are "Handmade With Love". Ruby tends to go towards seasonal flavours with spiced pumpkin and chai latte being some of the new cupcake flavours for autumn. There's also triple chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, chocolate and fresh mint, banana choc-chip and mocha to name but a few. Larger cakes are also available by the slice and she also does gluten, wheat and sugar free treats as well. Unlike many cupcake vendors the cakes are always really moist and have subtle flavours that are not over powered with sugar.

My regular favourite is the Lemon and Blueberry cupcakes...

Ruby Tuesday's Bakery

Ruby Tuesday's is at Greenwich Market on Saturday and Sunday as well as being at various other festivals. If you are London-side do check her out for some of the best cakes in town (actually I really mean the world)!
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EVA turns ten [Oct. 15th, 2010|07:42 pm]
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Congratulations to the Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA) in Belgium on their tenth birthday this week. You might remember them from the Donderdag Veggiedag (Thursday Veggieday) campaign which was adopted by the city of Ghent.

You can check out a picture of their very funky birthday cake here.
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For Perthies... [Sep. 27th, 2010|06:16 am]
The Cat Haven is once again looking for foster carers, feel free to pass on to anyone who you think might be able to help:

"Although it seems strange with the sunny weather we've been having, Cat Haven is in the midst of yet another nasty cat flu outbreak and we are facing putting to sleep beautiful, re-homable cats just because they are sneezing! Cat flu is very much the same as human flu (though definitely not transmissable to us!) and simply requires a few weeks of TLC and a chance for some rest and receuperation, something we unfortunately just don't have the facilities for here. That's why our wonderful foster carers can actually save a life simply by caring for a cat for a month. You don't need a big house or any special facilities - the cats honestly won't mind spending all their time in a spare room or laundry if that's all you can offer - anything is better than the alternative! Consider the situation we were in yesterday; 29 cats showing flu symptoms and only 16 spaces in which to house them. It just doesn't add up. While you are fostering one of our beautiful kitties we provide everything you need including food, kitty litter and bedding, plus we have a vet on-site 7 days if you do have concerns at any point. We are really quite desperate at this point in time and anyone who can help will, without doubt, be saving an animal's life. If you are able to assist, please please contact Freedom on 0403 152 991 or 9442 3618."
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Three places for the vegan in Edinburgh [Aug. 26th, 2010|03:13 pm]
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So other than catching up with friends, laughing at sock puppets, singing along to smutty songs and watching some creepy theatre in a Masonic Lodge I managed to check out a couple of the fine eateries of Edinburgh recently...

The Baked Potato Shop (56 Cockburn Street, just off the Royal Mail)
Baked spuds are a UK staple and on more than one occasion I've been thankful for the "baked potato and beans" that was the sole vegan option on a menu. I recall this place as being very good from my last trip to Edinburgh in 2004 and in the past six years, not alot has changed. It's a tiny shop just off the Royal Mile often with a queue out the door, selling baked potatoes, salads, drinks, cakes and vegan haggis samosas (how's that one for fusion cuisine!)

We got there for early dinner on our first day in town and the resounding veg*an consensus was that we needed to go back there (Mx, the omnivore, thought it was good, but generally didn't like baked potatoes anyway). The potatoes are fluffy inside and the skin is delicious- clearly well baked rather than par-boiled or microwaved first- and there is an extensive range of around 30 vegan and vegetarian toppings. Chickpeas, haggis, different types of beans, hommus, pineapple, chili. Suffice to say choosing was difficult but I went for Mexician bean mix and vegan coleslaw on the two occasions we made it there for potatoes. The Mexican bean mix was very spicy but the coleslaw was great, and the servings were huge- I struggled to finish a small one. We did try to get potatoes early another morning, but the spuds weren't ready yet so I had to make do with a slice of carrot cake. Deliciously moist, walnut free, not too sweet and with pumpkin seeds I can't fault it.

The food is great, the options are excellent, staff are efficient and friendly and they give discounts to supporters of various animal rights and veg*an groups. Just don't expect to sit inside, it's rather small and on this visit the only small table was blocked off. Oh yeah, and they are pretty cheap too- less than £5 for a spud and toppings.

David Bann (56-58 St. Mary Street)
David Bann is an award winning vegetarian restaurant. How award winning? Well they won restaurant of the year from The Vegetarian Society in 2009 and was the BBC Olive magazine's pick for top UK vegetarian restaurant earlier this year. So not bad. We popped by to make a booking for Saturday night and were told they didn't make bookings during August, but it starts getting really busy by 7. We got there at about 6:20 and there was already a line of people. The line did move fast though- it was only 15-20 minutes before we were seated.

I think possibly we'd skipped lunch or something so we got hommus and olives to tide us over for the main. The olives were huge, the hommus was delicious and the various breads were fresh and tasty. Oh and some wine. Of the six mains, one was vegan and another two could be made vegan. Mx and I selected the Organic Udon noodles with ginger red pepper sauce and home smoked tofu. Both of us enjoyed it- the flavours of the sauce worked really well- not too spicy or too plain and just enough ginger without being overwhelming. The tofu was very good as well. nevryn  and Ax got the Chilli with sweet potato and chocolate sauce (one vegan, one vegetarian) which both of them seemed to enjoy. nevryn  adds it could have used a little more sweet potato, and some more chilli but it was nice. Also presentation was excellent and service was pretty good (though I had to remind them to bring us the wine).

After spying delicious looking desserts being brought to other tables I was a little disappointed that we needed to head off to the next show*. David Bann has a great atmosphere and setting, good food and is one of the best UK veg places. I went here back in 2004 and hadn't realised it was a nicer place. The staff then treated me just as well in my hiking boots and grubby jeans as they did just now when I was in a skirt and stockings, which I think is nice too.

Black Bo's (57-61 Blackfriars Street)
We walked past this place about a dozen times before realising that it was a vegetarian eatery and bar. nevryn, a omnivore friend of his (different to the other one we were traveling with) and I decided to head there for dinner one evening on the advice of Happycow. The menu is impressively creative with things like Stuffed Banana Soufflé with chocolate sauce and Pistachio and Spinach Roulade with cranberries, cassis and cinnamon.

To start we ordered mushroom garlic bread, which was really just mushroom bruchetta, it was fine, nothing exciting. The mains were all good. I had the asparagus and tofu balls with pineapple chutney which were a little dry- some extra chutney or salsa would have helped with this. But it was still pretty tasty. The sauce on nevryn 's spinach and puff pastry roulade was overwhelmingly sweet- more suited to a dessert than a main. The banana soufflé was also apparently very nice but couldn't be veganised. All of us ordered the blueberry tart for dessert. The filling for it was delicious, but the base was too dry and overly sweet. It was also very plainly presented, a drizzle of blueberry sauce could have added to presentation and also to the overall dryness.

This is definately a vegetarian rather than vegan place, but they do make a bit of an effort. When we went there were only three vegan options for mains and only two for dessert. One sorbet flavour (they had four non-vegan ones plus loads of dairy ice-cream) and the tart. They didn't have enough copies of menus stating what was and wasn't vegan- we were given only one copy which got taken away for another table whilst we were still deciding! Also, there was no vegan wine on the extensive wine list. When I asked about it, they said it was too hard to get vegan wine. Which I found a bit difficult to believe given that David Bann around the corner had a pretty good selection and
both Tesco and Sainsbury's sell quite a bit of it many of which are excellent.

* Though it was to see The Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre who were hilarious and we got to be in the front row.

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Memorial... [Aug. 3rd, 2010|11:02 pm]
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Not long after moving to Greenwich I spotted this memorial in a small garden by the Thames, near The Cutty Sark Tavern.

It reads:

"In memory of the uncounted millions of animals who died not of foot and mouth but of the cure for foot and mouth"

Despite vaccines and treatment being available, often a cull occurs when there is a foot and mouth disease outbreak. This is primarily so that they have a greater export market as animals can be considered both foot and mouth and vaccine free. When outbreaks do occur, not only are infected animals and their herds killed but often animals in the surrounding area.

In 2001 an outbreak of foot and mouth disease occurred in the UK and millions of animals were killed over several months as a result (some reports suggest 6 million, others upwards of 20 million). This didn't just affect farmed animals but also companion and rescue animals. Some of the stories from this time were quite amazing. People forming human chains to protect animals on sanctuaries, people moving animals into their living rooms, court battles over if MAFF had the right to order the death of animals, lobbying both for and against vaccination, lots of confusion as to what was and wasn't allowed, ban on movement, impact on local tourism and so on.

There is another memorial at Mossburn Animal Centre- who fought off a dawn raid by MAFF and a number of legal challenges to save the animals at the sanctuary in 2001.  Greenwich seems an odd place though for a memorial for the animals that died in the cull. I do wonder who made the memorial and why they placed it in a small garden, by the Thames in South-East London.
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(no subject) [Jul. 31st, 2010|02:12 pm]
"I'm fascinated by the fact that these intelligent, thinking people actually eat the flesh of dead animals. This seems to be the point at which their ethics vanish. They recycle, eschew the use of cars, buy fair-trade coffee and bananas, use environmentally friendly detergent. But when it comes to the moral and environmental issue of meat consumption, their desire for food they enjoy the taste of, the sensual pleasure it gives them, overrides any ethical considerations."

What I'm Really Thinking: The Vegan, The Guardian, 31 July 2010
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On privilege... [Jul. 31st, 2010|01:54 pm]
Quote of the day...

How much of a privilege is it for you to be able to eat another being and have your society support your choice to do so?


The next time someone screams "privilege" in a discussion, they better be a vegan.

PS bitspike  is awesome.
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A Choice... [May. 23rd, 2010|10:22 pm]

Thanks to EVA for linking this cartoon, originally posted at Veganise Me.
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uhuh... [May. 17th, 2010|11:16 pm]

Apparently there is a foot-and-mouth outbreak in Japan which has been affecting a number of pig and cattle herds, including the Wagyu cattle. This means there is a mass slaughter of animals who would have eventually been slaughtered anyway because people want to eat them to stop a disease that is preventable by vaccine and with low natural mortality rate.

I love this quote from this ABC article:

"The rock stars of the bovine world, Japan's wagyu cattle are often fed beer, massaged daily and treated to music for relaxation. Once butchered, the beef, with its concentrated marbling, can fetch up to $360 a kilogram in Japan."

Because rock stars are often raped, genetically modified, fattened, kept in cramped conditions and slaughtered because people like the way they taste.

Won't somebody think of the rock stars?!
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Positive article [May. 15th, 2010|04:23 pm]
An Aussie friend of mine posted a link to an article in The Age on her facebook. It's a lovely positive piece on going vegan- by Marieke Hardy who went vegan for a dare (and to snag a vegan) and stayed that way. My favourite bit is:

"Veganism became an option for me because I stopped being scared of it and realised that it was a rich, fulfilling, exciting, compassionate way to live. Outside of meeting Shaun Micallef, it's pretty much the best thing that's ever happened to me."

Edit: For Non-Aussies Shaun Micallef is an Aussie comedian
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Vegan Pledge 2010 recap [May. 6th, 2010|06:29 pm]
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Vegan Campaigns is a London based organisation that promotes veganism to the wider community. They hold free-food and information stalls, offer catering, organise the huge London Vegan Festival and, for the last three years, have run The Vegan Pledge.

The Vegan Pledge is where non-vegans choose to become a dietary-vegan for a month. Some people do this as a personal challenge others do it with the view to become life long vegans. There are two information days, advice, mentor support, free basic health checks and lots of vegan food. Here's the video of this years pledge:

I was a mentor and volunteer this year (yes you can see me lurking around in the background of the video). It was alot of fun and makes me wish there was a similar program a 12 years ago.

The Vegan Society also offer a vegan mentor service for those wishing to try veganism and is open to anyone internationally.
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(no subject) [Mar. 12th, 2010|03:35 pm]

The Australian government thinks that hunting and  trading critically endangered animals is ok:

Despite a collapse of world tuna stocks, the Australian Government has decided not to support a global ban on the trade of the northern variety of the species.

''Australia strongly believes that firm and effective fisheries management, including through international fora, offers the best means to secure populations of this species of tuna across the globe,'' Mr Garrett said.

Mr Garrett, would that be like the proposed legalised whaling of non endangered whales that the Japanese government has proposed in the past that the Australian government is claiming to oppose?

Will write more about tuna and the CITES meeting (which officially starts tomorrow) when I have a moment...
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(no subject) [Feb. 28th, 2010|08:06 pm]

Give a man a fish...
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