Bringing Vegan into Vogue
Mafia vs conservation
Fighting sea crime with The Black Fish
Year of the vegan beer
Nick Knowles On his vegan journey
Help! Iâ€™m a teen vegan
Life with rescue chickens
Big night in
Expert advice for young people and their parents
Tasty curry at home
Spring rolls p.15
Also inArt this issue... Vegan Collections May 2016| issue 15 | ÂŁ4.25
An unexpected path p.114
Meet the chef p.66
Let them eat cake p.72
Welcome It’s always amazing to get feedback from our readers, and one thing I’ve been hearing loud and clear is how much lots of you have been enjoying our coverage of grassroots activism. So many people have been in touch to ask for details about how they can get involved in one of the projects we shared in a news story-creating a vegan billboard-I decided to write an extended feature on the piece. Here you’ll be able to find all the contact details and information you need to forge ahead with your own poster project. This month has been really exciting. I was lucky to meet with Wietse Van Der Werf, a pioneer of marine conservation. The face of activism seems to be shifting somewhat, and he is at the forefront of this, pooling his expertise and experience with the resources of official bodies and other NGOs. Some of the things he has to say about the connection between fishing and organised crime are genuinely shocking. A debate I keep seeing everywhere at the moment is the idea of ‘vegganism’. In other words, people who follow a plant-based diet but eat eggs. While most of us know the horrors of the egg industry, something many of us are unaware of is the emotional lives of chickens. More research is emerging to suggest our feathered friends are more complex and intelligent than we may have thought. We look at two unique perspectives on chickens-one from Italy, where a wonderful woman is working hard to win the same rights for chickens that companion animals have, and one from a Scot living with rescue hens. I finally sat down with someone I've wanted to meet for a long time this month: chef King Cook from King Cook Daily in Shoreditch. His food is incredible and I'm excited to share the recipe for one of his most popular dishes with you. We’ve pulled together some of the vegan treats to be found in your local high street restaurants with a handy guide, listing the vegan dishes, and how you can customise options on the menu to make them vegan. I keep a snap of this page on my phone. It saves time and angst when eating out. Last month I asked for your vegan pictures…thanks for all the ones I have received so far. Keep them rolling in. We’re looking forward to compiling a feature with all your Instagram-worthy snaps.
thoughts along the vegan way Recipe and image from Jessica Hylton-Leckie jessicainthekitchen.com
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Meet the Team
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contents ON THE COVER
80 Mafia vs conservation Wietse Van Der Werf is ruthless in his pursuit of saving marine life 22 Nick Knowles On the road to veganism 60 Henpecked Stephen Balfour on lessons learned from his feathered friends 62 Big night in A crowd-pleasing creamy curry complete with fancy flatbreads 46 2016: Year of the vegan beer The industry is starting to go plant-based 26 Help! I'm a teen vegan Expert advice for young people
22 54 Street-wise An easy guide to eating vegan at chain restaurants 66 Meet the chef We catch up with King Cook 70 Black rats in focus Misunderstood and unloved
15 On the cover Layer up the veg in these colourful rolls 18 Fuel your day Colourful, sweet and filled with interesting textures 24 Grain power Experiment with this Middle Eastern delicacy 28 Bellissimo! Impress your guests with these chocolate-y treats 34 Breakfast of champions Start your day the right way 38 Munch crunch lunch These midday recipes pack a punch 44 Spear me the details A simple way to spruce up your asparagus
8 Vegan news All the latest stories
68 King Cook's signature dish Now you can enjoy the chef's famous food at home
48 Green Cleaning A guide to cruelty-free cleaning
72 Let them eat cake A lovely light vegan sweet to serve at tea parties
52 Brand vegan Michael Donnelly charts the rise of veganism from niche to mainstream
78 Sweet indulgence Treat yourself with these decadent dishes
24 92 Family favourites Rustle up these easy mid-week meals 100 Veg on wheels Make the most of your weekly veg box 108 Beyond lettuce These recipes take salad to a new level
19 Our vegan lives Publisher Keith reflects on being part of this vibrant community 36 Is veganism the answer to food insecurity? Helena Jones examines the global food shortage 40 Sole searching The manufacturing process behind leather and alternatives 58 Grassroots vegan Navigating the contemporary vegan community
106 Lifestyle, Health and Nutrition
30 Algae ally This water plant packs a powerful nutritional punch 74 Back to our roots Sylvia Smith shares her views on herbal medicines 86 Julie's vegan finds Vegan Lifeâ€™s publisher takes to the shops 98 Karate chop An expert's perspective on this ancient art 106 Precision luxury in Hong Kong Paul and Caryl continue to find the best vegan food in the world
6 Vegan diary Unmissable events 16 Dear FGV Top blogger and Vegan Life agony uncle Fat Gay Vegan
73 And they ate happily ever after Vegan Lifeâ€™s art director on raising a family in a meat-free house
20 Vegan planet Vegan news from around the world
84 Project billboard An innovative plan to spread the vegan message started in Scotland
88 Unique perspective A Saatchi-shortlisted artist talks about his remarkable life and work 96 A-pollo mission A campaign to see chickens granted companion animal rights 102 Do serial killers start as animal abusers? Kate Fowler looks at violence towards different species 114 An unexpected path The meat industry inspired this writer to set up an animal sanctuary
32 Eat and drink - vegan style Zizzi 45 Vegan myths We tackle some of the biggest misconceptions around veganism 56 Subscribe to Vegan Life Magazine 105 The accidental vegan A selection of products that are SFV by chance 110 Vegan pages
1 4 7 14 21 28 29 May 2016
VegFest Los Angeles
This free non-profit annual event will be held in Woodley Park in the San Fernando Valley. The organisers say: “VegFest L.A is a vegan immersive experience. Bring your friends and family to kick start their vegan journey or come just to be in an oasis of like-minded people. We provide Q&A, cooking skills and top health speakers among others.” Event begins at 10:30am. vegfestla.org
Wellness Wednesdays Cambridge
Every Wednesday at the Black Cat Café, between 6-9pm, you can enjoy an array of vegan, gluten-free and super tasty dishes whilst meeting fellow vegans in a relaxing and fun atmosphere. The menu changes weekly, and is updated on the Facebook page every Monday. No need to book in advance just turn up and order what you fancy. rockingrawchef.com
Norwich Vegan Festival
The first all-vegan festival to be held in Norwich will take place at the Forum, Millennium Plain. The event will feature vegan food, an abundance of indoor and outdoor stalls, live music from local artists, and activities for kids. All proceeds from the festival will fund rescue work at Pudz Animal Sanctuary as well as helping local Norwich animal charities. Entry is £1 and doors open at 10am. theforumnorwich.co.uk
This free event will take place in Trafalgar Square, London, but people from all over the world are encouraged to take part. The movie Earthlings will be screened via laptops and/or tablets to bring attention to animal abuse. Participants wear masks and avoid interaction with the public to allow the movie to speak for itself. When attending the event you will need to bring your own mask and a laptop or sign encouraging people to watch the video. More information is available on the event's Facebook page. londonveganactions.com
The festival, now in its third year, is taking place at the Assembly Rooms in Newcastle City Centre and everyone is welcome. Organisers say: “The event will include talks, demonstrations; food tasting and vegan food stalls including chocolate, cheese, cakes and takeaway food. There will be a mix of local and national suppliers present.” veganfestival.co.uk
Newcastle Vegan Festival
International Earthlings Experience Day
VON Manchester Vegan Fair
This event, which is run by the Vegan Organic Network, will be held at Chorlton Irish Club on High Lane. With fine vegan food and ale, live music and poetry, vegan speed dating, complementary therapies and wind-solar rickshaw rides, this northern fair promises to be a fun day out for the whole family. Doors open at 11am. Arrive early as the first 100 visitors will receive a free goody bag. Admission is £2. veganorganic.net
May 21 - 22 Bristol VegFest
Europe’s biggest vegan festival is returning to the Amphitheatre in Bristol. This event merges plant-based food with evening entertainment. Admission is £5 for the day or £8 for the weekend (kids under 16 go free), with gates open from 11am. Throughout the day, attendees can sample vegan food from across the globe and watch stacks of cookery demos as well as attend talks and presentations designed to help people see how easy it is to go vegan, live vegan and stay vegan. bristol.vegfest.co.uk
Hugletts Wood Sanctuary Open Day
Head over to Hugletts Wood Farm in Dallington, East Sussex for the opportunity to meet animals and birds who are now living in peace and tranquillity. You’ll also be able to learn about the animals and how they are cared for, you could even hug a cow or two, and enjoy woodland walks. There will be plenty of vegan food and drinks available throughout the day. Gates open at 11am. facebook.com
May 1 - 31
No Meat May – Australia
Throughout the month of May a collective of people from Australia are encouraging others to cut meat and animal products from their diets. The organisers say: “Right now, as a society, we are grossly abusing our position in the food chain. By changing our behaviour, and educating those around us, we can all create positive change for animals. Together, we will end factory farming." nomeatmay.net
vegan news Bite-sized updates on all things vegan from the worlds of entertainment, politics, sports, animal advocacy and more. Got news to share with us? Get in touch!
Victory for vegan student in university meals row
A vegan student at Manchester University has convinced the canteen to serve vegan food. First year mathematics student Aless Donebauer, 18, is currently the only vegan in the catered Tree Court at Owens Park in Manchester-but her food has gained a number of fans across the university. She said: "Hopefully the new menus will help educate people as to how veganism is great for not just the animals, but also the environment and our health. Myles Kitchiner, operations manager in catering, added: "There's been an increase this year of vegan students throughout Manchester and we've reacted to that. We have this particular student who was the only vegan in her halls and the chefs went out of the way to do the dishes for her, hence she's been publicising how pleased she is. On the back of that, this semester we decided to put a vegan dish in all the halls on each day in all the menus.”
'Wonderful surprise’ for Inspector called to collapsed cow
An RSPCA inspector had a pleasant surprise when he was called to an emergency involving a collapsed cow-only to arrive to a proud new mum and her one-hour-old calf. Inspector Jaime Godfrey was called to Chalfont St. Giles, in Buckinghamshire one lunchtime back in March. He arrived at the location and eventually managed to find the huge, red-coloured Highland cow. Inspector Godfrey said: “It took me a while to find her in the woodland. I was running through the woods with the caller on the phone directing me to the right spot. When I finally found the cow I was delighted to see the mother licking her newborn calf clean. He must have been only an hour or so old. He was standing up and appeared perfectly healthy so I imagine the caller spotted the pair on the ground just after birth. I kept my distance as new mothers can be very protective of their calves, and I didn’t want to risk getting too close to those huge foot-long horns.” Mum seemed to be happy and healthy after the birth.
Pet passport scheme ‘flawed’ claims Kent MP
There is a flaw in the Pet Passport scheme that must be corrected according to patron of the Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation Sir Roger Gale. Replying to two parliamentary questions following an outbreak of Canine Babiosis in Essex the MP said: “The first of these answers identifies the likely cause of infection and recommends that pet-owners returning from mainland Europe and those bringing pets into the UK should 'treat pet dogs with an appropriate treatment ….prior to bringing them in from Europe'. The second answer acknowledges that the tick treatment, which was originally and with good reason compulsory as part of the pet passport scheme, has been abandoned in the interests of 'harmonisation of pet travels rules'. We are told that this follows a 'qualitative risk assessment'. It is clear, in the light of experience, that that 'risk assessment' has underestimated the potential risks to domestic animals in the UK and the likelihood, once again, of the prospect of tick-borne diseases spreading. We are fortunate that we have, as an island nation, an immunity from some parasitic diseases that are prevalent throughout mainland Europe and it is crazy not to take advantage of that status and to do our best to protect our animals.”
Low demand sends Florida beef plant packing
Florida’s largest beef-packing plant, Central Beef, will close by the end of May. According to reports the plant, which has been in operation since 1946 and processes up to 750 cows per day, has suffered from several issues including contaminated wastewater and problems securing funding and investment. It has also been affected by the steady decline in America’s per capita beef consumption which has dropped from 74.7 pounds in 1965 to 53.9 pounds in 2015. The facility has allegedly filed a 60-day notice with the state outlining plans to lay off all 214 of its workers.
Public Health England slashes recommended dairy amounts
Government organisation Public Health England [PHE] has provoked the ire of the dairy industry-by changing its recommended guidelines of the foodstuff from 15 per cent to eight per cent of daily caloric intake. Explaining why dairy products had been downgraded a PHE spokesperson said: “Our independent expert body said you can get calcium from across the diet and not just from dairy products. We are currently meeting or exceeding calcium recommendations whereas we are still consuming too much saturated fat and salt. We did analysis and some modelling using our national diet nutrition survey and the result was the dairy segment decreased in size but it was all evidence based. The evidence shows that we should continue to base our meals on starchy carbohydrates, especially wholegrain, and eat at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables each day.” Dairy UK chief executive Judith Bryans said: “It is genuinely disconcerting to see the dairy food group being disadvantaged by a public health campaign.”
Liverpool vegan kitchen sells one meal gives one to charity
Give Kitchen, a registered charity that pledges to 'eradicate hunger, poverty and disease by 2040', will soon open its inaugural inspiration centre, eatery and organic shop in Liverpool. For every meal sold, one will be given to a homeless person in the UK or a starving child abroad. The inspiration centre will offer vegan wholefood breakfasts, large and small plates, and desserts. Co-founders Paul Hampson and Dario Curcillo’s own-branded, organic, fairtrade-certificated coffee will also be on offer, alongside a selection of vegan drinks. The venue in Harrington Road at Brunswick Dock will also have an on-site shop. Paul Hampson told the Liverpool Echo: “We hope our guests will leave not only feeling satisfyingly full but also great knowing they’ve helped someone out who is less fortunate.”
Bristol vegan pub closes doors with ‘heavy heart’
A pair of sea eagles are currently preparing to nest on RSPB Scotland’s Hoy nature reserve, raising hopes that this year may see Orkney’s first chicks in nearly 150 years. The young pair are assumed to be the birds that nested on the nature reserve last year-the first breeding attempt seen in the county since 1873. Although last year’s eggs were infertile, hopes are high that with their growing maturity and experience from last season the birds may make history this spring. Alan Leitch, RSPB Scotland’s Sites Manager in Orkney, said: “It’s very exciting to see Hoy’s sea eagles back on the cliffs. It’s been quite a journey from their national extinction in 1918 to seeing these birds soaring over Orkney’s hills and coasts again, and with luck we may all witness the next step in their story this year. With a wingspan of 2.4 m, or eight feet, sea eagles are one of the most magnificent birds you can hope to experience in Orkney. We’re looking forward to helping people spot this pair at an informal watchpoint at the small roadside car park for the Dwarfie Stone, opposite the Dwarfie Hamars, the cliffs where the birds have recently been seen displaying.”
Dutch government says 'Take meat off menu'
The Netherlands Nutrition Centre-a government-funded program that creates dietary guidelines-has issued a recommendation that people eat no more than two servings of meat per week. The centre released its recommendations after nearly five years of studying the health and ecological impacts of an average Dutch diet. The new guidelines recommend that a person should consume no more than 500 grams (or a little over a pound) of meat per week. Corné van Dooren, a sustainable food expert at the centre said: “The new dietary guidelines are implemented in our new education model …in a way that the total environmental impact of the diet is lower than the current consumption. We focus on eating a less animal-based and more plant-based diet by the unique advice to consume not more than 500 grams of meat a week.”
The Adam and Eve pub in Bristol has closed. The pub, which recently announced it had become vegan, blamed operating costs for its demise. A statement put out by the owners read: “It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce the imminent closure of the Adam and Eve. We have had some real issues over the last couple of months trying to keep the building and the equipment operating, which has cost us large unforeseen chunks of money. While we are hugely passionate about what we are doing in the Eve, there is only so long we can sustain spending such large amounts of cash on a building that is not ours and fixing equipment that is causing us to lose money on a week by week basis. The support we have had in the Eve over the last three months has been nothing short of spectacular. We can’t thank everyone who has came down and used the place enough. The events have sold out, and the feedback we’ve had to the food has been amazing.”
Veganuary: We saved 3.8 million animals’ lives
A massive 23,000 participants officially registered to take part in Veganuary this yearwith thousands more taking part unofficially. And a follow-up survey showed 81 per cent of respondents plan to continue with their plant-based lifestyle. According to organisers a great deal of work has gone into improving the support service. Clea Grady, the campaign’s marketing manager said: “The beauty of being such a young and vibrant campaign is that we can shift with the tides, so if we receive feedback that our participants want something more from us then that’s what they’ll get. Veganuary 2016 was even more ‘hands-on’ than previous years, and it’s more than apparent that this has had a positive impact.” Now the team behind Veganuary has tried to calculate how many lives were saved by this year’s campaign, saying: “Such impact is difficult to calculate, but the team like to provide their participants with something tangible to feel proud of after every campaign. This year, with the help of research organisation Faunalytics, we estimate as many as 3.8 million animals could have been spared. A statistic that everyone involved in Veganuary 2016 can deservedly shout about.”
Congress members to be honoured for defending Endangered Species Act
Eight members of Congress will be recognized today by leading national conservation groups for their critical role in protecting the Endangered Species Act. The ‘Champions of the Endangered Species Act’ reception will feature former secretary of the interior Bruce Babbitt among others. The honorees will be recognized by the Animal Welfare Institute, Audubon, Born Free USA, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, the Endangered Species Coalition, Environmental Defense Fund, the League of Conservation Voters, the Native Plant Conservation Campaign, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, WildEarth Guardians, and Wildlands Network. The groups jointly issued the following statement: “We celebrate and honour these conservation leaders whose vision and leadership has created a legacy of immeasurable benefit to our environment, to our nation’s most imperiled wildlife, and to our communities. Their tireless support for wildlife is vital as powerful special interests continue efforts to weaken or eliminate the Endangered Species Act and other bedrock conservation laws grounded in science.”
Poultry industry to become self-regulated
Following the government’s decision to repeal official guidance on animal welfare standards, the British Poultry Council [BPC] will take over control. The decision is part of a move to ‘industry-led guidance’ with the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) handing over control on April 27. A spokeswoman for Defra said: “No changes are being made to farm animal welfare legislation or the strict enforcement and penalties that apply. Instead, the British Poultry Council has produced new non-statutory guidance on how to comply with the legislation. The industry-led guidance can also be used as evidence in court to prove criminal liability and will ensure farmers have the most up-to-date and practical information.” But charities including the RSPCA and Compassion in World Farming believe standards will become more lax, and Kerry McCarthy, the shadow environment secretary, said: “Abandoning codes of practice for farm animal welfare is not in the best interests of the animals and will not produce higher quality food.”
Armani shuns fur as ‘cruel and unnecessary’
Luxury brand Armani will leave out all real fur, including rabbit fur, from its collection starting from the fall/winter season 2016. The brand committed to this policy after working with the Fur Free Alliance, an international coalition of over 40 animal protection organisations focused on ending the fur trade. Giorgio Armani said: “I am pleased to announce that the Armani Group has made a firm commitment to abolish the use of animal fur in its collections. Technological progress made over the years allows us to have valid alternatives at our disposition that render the use of cruel practices unnecessary as regards animals. Pursuing the positive process undertaken long ago, my company is now taking a major step ahead, reflecting our attention to the critical issues of protecting and caring for the environment and animals.” Most fur used in the fashion industry comes from fur farms, where wild animals are kept in small cages and killed by cruel methods. Fur farming was banned in the UK in 2000, and, across Europe, more countries are adopting similar bans.
Meat lobby fears ‘anti-meat agenda’
Meat could be the next target of health campaigners, a leading figure in the meat industry has warned. According to Dr Carrie Ruxton, a nutritionist with the Meat Advisory Panel: “There’s an antimeat agenda creeping in that consumers are paying heed to,” she said. “Even on the NHS website, red meat is way down the list of foods to eat when iron-deficient, when it’s one of the iron-richest foods available. It’s affecting the industry and sales of red and processed meat are down.” However despite the recent announcement of a sugar tax, she does not believe meat will be taxed in the same way, claiming: “It’s easy to reformulate soft drinks, but processed meat is a different story. It would be much more complicated to cut the content of these meats as they also contain protein and iron and it would be difficult to replace them with something else. I imagine that taking on meat would involve consumer activity rather than taxation.”
CALF Sanctuary has hit its fundraising target-meaning the animals who live there will not lose their home. The sanctuary was facing closure when the lease for the rented land it occupied was terminated, leaving the owners no choice but to find alternative accommodation. A crowdfunding campaign was launched to try and raise money to buy new land. According to a spokeswoman for the sanctuary (at the time of going to press): “The 80K needed to secure the new home was reached last week-there is still 24 hours of the fundraiser left and everything raised over the 80K is going to help build Duke's barn and shelters for the animals. Owner Sharon's had estimates of between £30-£40,000 that will be needed for this once they've moved in to make sure they're ready for next winter. This morning the total stands at £86,355 so it really is fantastic.”
Inspections for all French abattoirs after undercover film
A shocking uncover video filmed at an ‘organic’ slaughterhouse in France shows such cruelty all of the country’s abattoirs are to be inspected. French newspaper Le Monde released hidden camera images of some animals being hung and bled or even cut up while still alive at the abattoir in the Basque country, in the south west, prompting agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll to announce the nationwide inspections. The abattoir intercommunal de Soule, in the village of Mauléon-Licharre provides meat to the restaurants of the multi-Michelin starred Alain Ducasse. The horrific images were filmed secretly in March by animal welfare group L214, which said it was filing a legal complaint for ‘mistreatment, serious abuse and acts of cruelty’ towards animals. Following the release of the video, the slaughterhouse was shut while an inquiry was held.
Mr Universe is new spokesman for Peta
Sea Shepherd: we must end Japan's lawless bloodshed
According to the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), the private governmentfunded body that conducts Japan’s whale hunts, the whaling fleet, has killed 333 minke whales since the end of last year– including 200 pregnant females. Japan’s Southern Ocean whaling program has been declared illegal by the International Court of Justice, which said in March 2014 that the program in existence was a commercial enterprise with no scientific basis, ordering Japan to stop issuing whaling permits to ICR. Marine charity Sea Shepherd’s founder advisor Paul Watson said: “This is the same pattern we’ve seen for years: Japan simply ignores international law and international opinion, and continues to slaughter whales with impunity, selling their flesh for a profit. Nearly two years have passed since the International Court of Justice ruled Japan’s commercial whaling program illegal, and yet the whalers are still announcing hundreds of fresh kills, including pregnant mothers. The world must unite to end this lawless bloodshed once and for all.”
Barny du Plessis-2014’s Mr Universe-has posed in a new advert for animal rights charity Peta. The ad sees the strongman compare himself to the world’s toughest animals, saying: “The world’s strongest animals are plant-eaters: gorillas, buffaloes, elephants and me”. Barny (who we recently interviewed in Vegan Life) is a lifelong bodybuilder. He once believed consuming vast amounts of meat and eggs was the only way to build muscle. However, a growing list of health issues made him reassess his diet and ditch the flesh for protein-packed vegan meals. Since then, his health has improved dramatically, and he’s never been happier with his physique. He says: “Since becoming a vegan my training has been amazing. I wake up feeling good, I’ve got more energy, my recovery’s really good and I’ve got no aches and pains. Best of all, I’m not contributing to the suffering of animals.”
Oxford research says vegan diet could slash global emissions
Several million deaths per year could be saved by 2050 by a global approach to eating less meat and more fruit and vegetables, new research has found. The same report also says a plant-based diet could cut planet-warming emissions substantially, and save billions of dollars annually in healthcare costs and climate damage. The study, written by Oxford University researchers and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the first to estimate both the health and climate change impacts of a global move towards a more plant-based diet. "We do not expect everybody to become vegan," said lead author Marco Springmann of the Oxford Martin Program on the Future of Food. “But if they did, they'd live longer and help reduce the changes that are skewing the climate. What we eat greatly influences our personal health and the global environment. Climate change impacts of the food system will be hard to tackle and likely require more than just technological changes. Adopting healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets can be a large step in the right direction. Climate change impacts of the food system will be hard to tackle and likely require more than just technological changes. Adopting healthier and more environmentally sustainable diets can be a large step in the right direction."
Oregon’s wolf population rises while livestock .v. wolf conflicts decline
Oregon’s emphasis on proactive and non-lethal wolf management has helped allow the state’s small wolf population to increase by 36 percent this year, according to the annual population count released this week by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. This population rise occurred as confirmed livestock loss to wolves declined for a second consecutive year. Quinn Read, Defenders Northwest representative, said: “Oregon’s wolf management to date has worked exceedingly well and these numbers prove it. Oregon’s wolf management plan prioritises the use of non-lethal conflict avoidance tools, such as livestock guarding dogs or fencing, to reduce potential livestock-wolf conflicts. This approach is one of the reasons we’re seeing a recovering wolf population while simultaneously seeing a decrease in livestock-wolf conflict. In order for Oregon to maintain its success and leadership in wolf conservation, it is essential that the state maintain these precautionary and protective measures for wolves statewide. What Oregon does not need is politicians interfering with the state’s wolf management, and right now, that is exactly what is occurring.”
Born Free teams up to help foxes
Marine Conservation Society calls for deposit on plastic bottles
Our beaches are horribly polluted-and one charity thinks it has the answer. The Marine Conservation Society [MCS] claims over 8,000 plastic bottles were found on UK beaches during just one weekend. On average, 99 bottles were picked up along every kilometre cleaned at 340 beaches from Orkney to the Channel Islands during the MCS Great British Beach Clean last September. It’s estimated that plastic bottles could take up to 500 years to break down once in our seas. The charity’s report also reveals a shocking 34 per cent rise in beach litter overall between 2014 and 2015. The figures highlight an issue that UK and devolved governments are now being asked to consider– deposit return systems. Lauren Eyles, MCS Beachwatch Manager says: “Deposit Return Systems (DRS) are nothing new. Lots of people will remember taking pop bottles back to the shop and up until last year the makers of Irn-Bru were returning 30p on glass bottles. Currently DRS schemes run successfully in Germany, Denmark, and some states in Australia and the USA. Studies have shown that a scheme can reduce the amount of littered drink containers, lead to more recycling and contribute to the circular economy–where resources are used again and again to extract maximum value. The schemes put a surcharge on drinks containers and when they’re returned–avoiding pollution–the surcharge is refunded.”
Animal charity Born Free has joined forces with the West Sussex Wildlife Protection (WSWP) rescue charity. The voluntary rescue organisation is on call 24 hours a day to help wild animals in distress, including birds, badgers, foxes, deer and many more. The casualties are assessed by a vet before being transferred for rehabilitation at a sanctuary called Brent Lodge in Sidlesham. A spokesman said: “Over the winter, the WSWP team take in foxes who are suffering from mange. They will often need six weeks or more of treatment and rehabilitation before they can be released back into the wild. Without their winter coats, it can get cold in the outdoor rehabilitation enclosures which are used for nocturnal animals like foxes and badgers to reduce the amount of human contact required during their recovery. Born Free was asked to help out with some extra heat to help them through their recovery. We funded four heaters with covers and four heating pads to take away the winter chill. The foxes were soon cuddling up and on the road to recovery. We can’t way to see these beautiful animals fully recovered and back in the wild very soon.”
on the cover Layer up the veg in these colourful rolls
Spring Rolls For • • • • • • • • For • • • • • • • • 1.
Per Roll: 169
the rolls 9-10 rice paper rolls 1 carrot, julienned 5g (¼ cup) chopped mint 171g (2 cups) sliced red cabbage 52g (almost ½ cup) chopped red bell pepper 52g (almost ½ cup) chopped yellow bell pepper 7-8 torn leaves of lettuce 150g (5oz) cooked vermicelli noodles the peanut ginger sauce ½ tsp ground ginger 1 tbsp maple syrup 2 tbsp soy sauce 1 tsp distilled white vinegar ½ tsp sesame seeds 85g (1/3 cup) natural peanut butter 60ml (¼ cup) warm water ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes To prepare the sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a deep bowl until combined. Set aside until ready to use. To prepare the rolls, chop up your veggies and place on a cutting board. Prepare the rice paper wrappers as per the instructions on your packaging. I poured water into a large wide bowl. I then dipped the rice papers into the water, until they began to become completely transparent. You want to ensure it’s soft, but not so soft that it can be easily ripped. For my rice papers, this was about 20-30 seconds. Ithen removed from the water and onto a plastic cutting mat (they seemed to stick to my wooden board) and slightly pat dry. Fill your rolls! I placed 2-3 slices of the varying bell peppers, a few slices of julienned carrots, some cabbage, a handful of rice noodles, a sprinkling of mint and a small handful of lettuce (basically 1/10th of the amount I have in total). I lined these up in the centre of the rice paper. Irolled the top and bottom of the rolls over the filling, then from left to right. So I rolled the left of the rice paper over the filing, then began to tuck the filling in as I rolled towards the right like a burrito. I continued to roll tightly until finished, then lay them on the folded edges to set on a plate. This took me about 30-45 seconds to do including putting in the filling. Serve on a plate with the dipping sauce and enjoy!
Recipe and image from Jessica Hylton-Leckie | jessicainthekitchen.com
Top blogger and Vegan Life agony uncle Fat Gay Vegan offers his words of wisdom, encyclopaedic plant-based knowledge, and trademark wit. Got a problem? Write to email@example.com
Dear FGV, I am the (non-vegan) partner of a devoted animal-rights activist, campaigner, and vegan. I love my girlfriend and would never expect her to change. And she doesn’t expect me to change. In our home, I am perfectly happy to eat vegan food, use cruelty-free toiletries, wear non-leather clothes etc. I do eat meat when I’m out sometimes but this is something I could give up in the future. My question really is about how I support someone who puts themselves in a very painful space. When she goes to live export demos, seeing the animals in the trucks makes her incredibly upset. When she has been hunt sabbing, and seen a kill, she has spent entire days alone, crying, not talking. I respect that she does this, I respect how passionate she is, but sometimes I feel she’s setting herself up for real damage by exposing herself to terrible things that make her upset. I don’t really understand why she would hurt herself in this way. How should I help? Lou
Dear Lou, I like your letter because it can be answered simply, leaving more time for me to make chocolate milk shakes and sugar cookies.
You should help your partner by being supportive, loving, and understanding. I should leave it there and rush off for my sweet treats, but I have this page to fill so I’m going to have to dig a bit deeper. Being on the front line of animal campaigning is tough. There is no other way to look at it. Your partner is most definitely being confronted by harrowing images and the dismal reality that an almost unfathomable number of animals are mistreated and killed every single day just so humans can have shoes, belts, circuses, cream puffs, eggs over easy, bull fights and T-bone steaks. But for many driven campaigners, the harrowing statistics and grim imagery is the fuel to their compassionate fire. Committing yourself to campaigning for animals is in no way a small undertaking and, for many of us, being reminded why we are vegan is the big push we need to keep putting ourselves on the front line. It might just be that your partner feeds off the upset and stays focused thanks to these stark reminders. My best advice is for you to remain being a compassionate and caring voice at your partner’s side. She has picked this path because it is something she believes in. A hug, a kind word, and maybe even allowing her some space to feel sad will help her when times get tough. Of course, you could go the extra mile and put yourself in your partner’s shoes in a show of solidarity. Grab a placard and join your girlfriend at the next anti-cruelty demo. You will be supporting someone you love AND helping to improve outcomes for animals. It might just be one of the most important experiences of your life. I’ll meet you there with a plate of sugar cookies.
Dear FGV, I’m interested in your views on this new mania for creating new spins on veganism. You know, ‘vegans’ who eat eggs (veggans *shudder*) or even ‘vegans’ who eat seafood (seagans). Personally I find these ideas pretty stupid. When having this conversation with a group of friends (omnis and veggies, I was the only vegan) I was accused of being ‘too extreme’ for having this view. I was told that people who would want to be vegan would be put off overly-‘militant’ vegans, and I should be ‘grateful’ people are trying these stepping stones. I don’t understand this: I am vegan because I don’t believe in the exploitation of animals. My views on this will not change. But what if I have been putting people off? Should I embrace ‘vegganism’ and the like? Stef
Dear Stef, Short answer? Absolutely no way in the world would I suggest that we start accepting eating eggs and seafood as a form of veganism!
I recently stumbled upon this ‘veggan’ phenomenon while writing a blog post about a new restaurant in London. The restaurant had billed itself as a 100 per cent plant-based eatery, so I zoomed over to their Instagram page to soak up what I thought would be a glorious collection of vegan food photos. But guess what? I saw a lot of eggs. Not Vegg or VeganEgg, but eggs. The sort that get pushed out of a chicken. How peculiar that this restaurant would think it was OK to label their menu 100 per cent plant-based (which most people read as vegan) when they were busy scrambling, poaching and boiling eggs. Of course I joined the vegan voices that warbled at the restaurant to ditch the eggs or ditch the plant-based label. Our chorus of disapproval convinced the restaurant to revise their description and they now bill themselves as 90 per cent plant-based. We spoke up and we got our terminology back! Labels do matter. When an egg aficionado claims to be vegan, it devalues the power of the word. When Bill Clinton is celebrated as a vegan but casually drops the name of his favourite fish dish into an interview, it dilutes the power of our compassionate message. Eating vegan is actually a very simple concept that means not consuming animal-derived ingredients and telling someone where eggs Benedict or a prawn cocktail comes from is simply clarifying and reclaiming our word. I don’t think you should be concerned about putting people off veganism. If someone is riled by you clarifying the term vegan, chances are they would have had a problem with veganism anyway. Donald Watson coined the term vegan for a reason and it wasn’t to make almost-vegans feel better about sneaking in a bowl of clam chowder now and then. But by all means next time you meet a ‘veggan’, congratulate them on being 90 per cent plant-based and let them know how close they are to becoming a fully-fledged vegan.
fuel your day Colourful, sweet and filled with interesting textures
Pineapple Power Parfait • • • • • • • •
230g (1 cup) vegan yogurt, unsweetened and/or plain flavoured 165g (1 cup) fresh pineapple chunks 2 tbsp hemp seeds 2 tbsp walnut pieces 2 tbsp pecan pieces 2 tbsp coconut flakes 75g (½ cup) fresh blueberries, optional 2–4 tbsp fruit sweetened granola, optional
1. Place all ingredients in your bowl in the order listed and enjoy!
Per Serving: 970
Recipe from Six Weeks to Sexy Abs Meal Plan by Ella Magers with the permission of Page Street Publishing. Photography by Grace Dickinson, Michael Reh, and Anthony Gaston
Publisher Keith Coomber reflects on being part of this vibrant community…
Last month we featured Animal Equality’s excellent virtual reality campaign iAnimal. Animal Equality had gone out to film footage of pigs from birth to death then made a film they showed on virtual reality headsets. I decided to go and take part in one of these viewing sessions, and I have to say, I was absolutely blown away by the power of this work. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit the brutality of the meat industry left me in tears. I was assured by Toni, director of Animal Equality, that this is in fact a natural reaction to seeing animals suffering. It was a very intense experience, the 360 view of the pigs in the dirty farms and slaughterhouses, and I would recommend it to anyone. I can’t wait to check back in with Toni once the scheme has been launched more widely. I feel this project really has the ability to make people think about the food they eat. While my veganism is never called into question, I have to admit that when I attend these types of events, I am more firmly dedicated than ever to eradicate the suffering and abuse of animals worldwide. The more proactive stance I have been taking on veganism recently has really opened my eyes. I now understand concepts like compassion burnout. It is exhausting to be constantly exposed to so much suffering and feel so powerless in the face of it. But it is also so inspiring to be surrounded by people who are working so tirelessly to create a better world. Something Toni said really stuck with me: we, as consumers, have so much power to end the suffering of factory farmed animals. We simply vote with our wallets and boycott these products. Money talks very loudly, it is one of our strongest tools. Every time we buy a vegan product-and don’t buy a non-vegan productwe are doing something positive.
vegan planet Vegan news from around the world
USA: Reward offered in Pennsylvania pony abuse case The Humane Society of the United States is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for hitting a nearly blind horse with a paintball gun more than 100 times and then abandoning her. On March 14, cruelty officers discovered a 20-year-old Arabian/Appaloosa pony mix who was blind in her right eye, had a low body condition score and a slight temperature. Lily was sore to the touch as a result of being shot with a paintball gun nearly 130 times. Veterinarians at Penn Vet New Bolton removed Lily’s right eye and operated on her left eye to remove the unhealthy tissue, which jumpstarted her healing process. The Lancaster county SPCA transferred custody of Lily to Omega Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre on March 18. Kirsten Tullo, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS said: “Lily is one of the sweetest and most gentle souls I have ever encountered. There is no excuse for wounding defenseless animal like this horse in Lancaster. Susan Martin, executive director of the Lancaster County SPCA added: “It takes a truly callous person to shoot a horse with a paint ball gun more than 100 times. We are hopeful that The HSUS’ reward will bring forward anyone with information about this heinous crime.”
Iceland: Brutal whale fin hunt cancelled The planned hunt and murder of over 150 whales in Iceland this summer has been canned due to pressure from activists. Hvalur hf is one the largest conductors of whaling in the region. Despite the cancellation of the finback whale hunt, the Icelandic company will likely still hunt smaller whales. Hvalur hf’s director, Kristján Loftsson, remarked in an interview; “If we knew what kind of trouble was brewing in Japan when we commenced whaling in 2009, after a 20-year pause, we would have never started again.” Vanessa Williams-Grey, senior whaling campaigner at Whale and Dolphin Conservation, said; “It is well documented that whale meat contains high levels of toxins, and much of the meat exported by Loftsson’s company sits, unwanted, in frozen stockpiles. It seems that Kristján Loftsson has finally realized that his fin whaling has no future. The end of commercial whaling has moved a step closer today.”
China: Almost nine million back bill to end cat and dog meat eating A massive number of Chinese nationals have backed a bill to ban the eating of cats and dogs. The ground-breaking legislative proposal is the work of Zheng Xiaohe, a 52-yearold deputy to the National People’s Congress. In his request to outlaw the dog and cat meat industry he said:“Please ban cat and dog meat from entering food and catering markets as well as for use in food processing materials. Please ban the transport, trade, slaughter, manufacture and sales of cats and dogs for the purpose of eating.” Animals Asia cat and dog welfare director Irene Feng said: “It wasn’t so long ago that no-one questioned where their food came from-least of all meat from dogs and cats. Now food safety is a big issue in China and, at the same time, we are seeing rising interest in animal welfare, particularly in reference to companion animals. First people didn’t think about the source of this meat. Then they were told it was farmed. Now they know it’s stolen-potentially even poisoned-and the ‘collection’ is responsible for not just great sadness but also burglary, violence and murder. We know that we have huge support in China to end cat and dog meat eating. Almost nine million votes here show how widespread that is.”
India: End of re-testing drugs on animals for new drug registrations Indian minister Maneka Gandhi from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has passed an amendment that will prevent testing on animals for new drug registrations when complete data from earlier toxicity experiments already exist for drugs approved abroad. Last year, upon reviewing the requests from PETA and union minister Gandhi, the Indian Investigational New Drugs Division recommended that animals be spared cruel duplicative tests for new drug registrations when relevant data from other countries already exist. Peta supporter and X-Files star Gillian Anderson, who was in India filming for Gurinder Chadha’s Viceroy’s House, also penned a letter to the minister of health and family welfare requesting that he quickly remove the requirement for redundant toxicity testing on animals by amending the relevant rules. “By ending redundant and painful tests on animals, the Indian government will spare the lives of potentially hundreds of thousands of animals each year”, says PETA India research associate Dr Dipti Kapoor. “Peta India will continue to work to save other animals from being painfully and lethally poisoned for outdated, unreliable tests.”
ON THE road TO VEGANISM Nick Knowles talks about losing the meat-and gaining a restaurant
here is no such thing as the ‘typical’ vegan and proving this better than anyone is TV star Nick Knowles. With his 6’2” frame, and 46 inch chest, the DIY SOS presenter is as far away as you can get from the unfair stereotype of the weak and frail herbivore. “I’m not what people expect for a vegan,” he tells Vegan Life. “Nor do plant-based restaurants cater often for my type of appetite-I’m a big unit and need a good wholesome feed so decided to get into the industry with a restaurant and a book later this year for meat-eaters who want to change over and give plant food a try. People do have doubts and do tend to think it’s all grated salad, cabbage, and people who dress like they’re at a festival, but good health is for anybody so we have to encourage people to try vegan food, rather than barrack them for their current eating habits.” The restaurant he talks about is O'Joy in Shrewsbury. “It’s great. It has a relaxed cafe restaurant vibe with alternative therapies available upstairs-I see people peering through the window wanting to give it a try but I think they’re worried we’ll get them wearing tie-dye if they come in. “The vibe is come and eat healthy and tasty food once a week and you’ll be healthier. Three times a week is better still. Maybe get some reflexology or just a coffee and a raw chocolate slice that tastes good to get you started. It’s about tasty food with no pressure so give it a try. I love the Thai curry but it’s all lovely and we’ll keep introducing new ideas all the time. Becky Porter who started the restaurant and who I’m now in partnership with has a really good instinct for the menu and therapies.”
but I know a lot of people are put off by the militant nature of the vegan tribe so won’t even try it-good health should be for everyone not just members of a particular 'sect.'
“Let’s encourage people to try being vegan not shout at them for eating other things-I think we’ll have more success and frighten people less.”
The busy presenter is no stranger to travelling to a number of locations to film his shows, so has found his own tricks for dealing with a lack of plant-based catering, saying: “I think most places, if you ask, will now try to provide vegan alternatives but the trick is to think in advance and take a bag of shopping with you. It’s easy to nip into a veg shop and get enough raw fruit and veg to satisfy any appetite if your hotel or local restaurant can’t help.”
Nick cut out the meat and dairy earlier this year when he took a group of people to Thailand to a retreat to make a show about fasting, alternative therapies and the benefits of a plant-based diet. “The results were astounding,” he says. “And so I have continued with it since. I am now predominantly vegan which means currently 100 per cent of the time.” His transition to a plant-based lifestyle-and involvement in the restaurant business-is no surprise. Nick says: “I am very much a foodie. I’m a decent chef, I’ve tried most Michelin-star restaurants, have some chef buddies, cooked for my pescatarian wife, and always did a lot of vegan and veggie dishes even when I was eating meat.
“The health benefits are huge and food in general is heading that way for most people so business will only go up. The restaurant is a sound investment for me and I’m there to help with menu, marketing and to change how people see veganism away from this slightly cult feeling, I hope.”
Nick’s schedule is currently packed with creative projects. “I have lots more DIY SOS coming up, Saturday night quizzes and my first moviewritten and produced by me-Golden Years, will be in Odeon cinemas at the end of April. It’s about a bunch of pensioners who are buddies at a bowls club. They find their pensions aren’t enough to live on so combine a caravan tour of National Trust properties with robbing banks and building societies to help their friends. There’s a fantastic British cast with Bernard Hill, Sue Johnston and Virginia McKennavegetarian and campaigner for wildlife and animals in general with Born Free Foundation-in the lead.”
“Shrewsbury where the restaurant is based is a real foodie place too. Apart from us at O'Joy there’s Chris Burt chef at the Peach Tree who is a real food artist, truly wonderful, Drapers Hall does some great food, the Swift bakery is making artisan breads especially for us-there’s great food talent in Shrewsbury and a fantastic food fair in the summer.”
Nick supports the Born Free Foundation (as well as a number of other animal organisations) and previously said of the charity: “They do great work and I like the people in it. The fact that we can have long discussions around the camp fire and talk for hours passionately about Born Free’s work and different beliefs and philosophies and they don’t get irritated, is really encouraging and it’s this holistic and open minded approach to their conservation work with animals is the reason I’m wild about Born Free.”
The star does not pull any punches when talking about the issues he currently sees within veganism. He says: “One of the things that worried me about the community when I joined it is the militant nature of some of those who are in it. A plant-based diet has massive benefits
And Nick wants to take this open-minded and inclusive approach and use it to encourage people into veganism. He says: “Let’s encourage people to try being vegan not shout at them for eating other things-I think we’ll have more success and frighten people less.”
grain power Experiment with this Middle Eastern delicacy
Kamut with Chermoula Dressing Serves 4 •
400g (2 cups) vine-ripened cherry tomatoes • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 150g (2/3 cup) kamut (you can also use barley or brown rice) • 200g (2 cups) spring greens or kale, tough outer leaves and stems discarded, leaves finely shredded • 2 large handfuls of freshly chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves For the dressing • 1 small preserved lemon and 2 tbsp juice from the jar • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 1 tsp each ground cumin, ground ginger and ground coriander • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1. 2.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6. Toss the tomatoes in the oil and spread out in a large roasting pan. Roast for 15–20 minutes, until starting to collapse. Meanwhile, put the kamut in a pan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, partcover and simmer for 10–12 minutes, until tender. Drain and transfer to a serving bowl with the spring greens and coriander. For the dressing, scoop out and discard the flesh from the preserved lemon. Finely chop the skin and combine it with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon half of the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Pile the tomatoes on top, then spoon over the rest of the dressing and serve.
Per Serving: Recipe and image from Power Grains published by Ryland Peters & Small
Stvdio 5 Stvdio 5 is giving away five sets containing its man in black face cleanser, macaron lip balm, skin repair moisturiser, and amour bath bomb, worth £20. The face cleanser contains 100 per cent natural and rich ingredients, including olive, coconut and almond oils with added charcoal powder to absorb grease and leave skin clean and moisturised. The lip balm contains a rich blend of moisturising oils and butters and the moisturiser is made combining water and butters, using a naturally derived olive oil emulsifier. stvdio5.co.uk
TO GIVE AWAY
ENTER at veganlifemag/stvdio
Pulsin’ Win a haul of delicious new Pulsin’ Kids’ Fruity Oat Bars and a Sass & Bell lunch bag. New Pulsin’ Kids’ Fruity Oat Bars come in three tasty flavours strawberry, blackcurrant and apple and orange choc chip. Deliciously wholesome they are made with real fruit and natural ingredients and are created for kids aged three-nine years. They have reduced sugar: in fact they only contain natural sugars, are made with a nut free recipe and are gluten free, dairy free and soya free with no artificial ingredients. pulsin.co.uk
TO GIVE AWAY
ENTER at veganlifemag/pulsin
TO GIVE AWAY
Freet Freet is giving away one pair of its Meta AYR shoes. Launching March 2016, the Meta AYR is Freet’s latest barefoot shoe. Featuring the leading shock absorbing material Poron, and Preneshell all-year-round upper, the Meta takes natural movement comfort to the next level. All Freet's shoes have a roomy forefoot shape to allow natural toe flex, ‘zero’ drop from heel to toe, and flexible uppers. All this adds up to you connecting with the ground and enjoying the sensation of moving as nature intended. freet.co.uk ENTER at veganlifemag/freet
Images: Lucy Anna Art
HELP! I’M A TEEN VEGAN Expert advice for young people
hoosing a vegan lifestyle can be daunting for some: you may be changing a lot of your eating and shopping habits. On top of that, you may feel isolated if you don’t know other vegans. It’s not just about the food you’re eating-many people find it difficult when their ethical code does not tally with those around them. If you’re a young person-or the guardian of one-it can seem even more intense. “There are a lot of wonderful campaigning groups and lifestyle groups for adults, some that even have a youth section, but nowhere that solely focuses on and supports teens in this very difficult time in their life,” says Laura, one of the founders of Teen VGN, an organisation that provides support and advice to young people. “We all know how hard teen years are anyway, but adding your vegetarian or vegan lifestyle on top of that can really take its toll. So we decided that setting up a group for them was the way forward and it’s been received better than we could have ever imagined.”
In line with the general growth of veganism, more and more young people are turning to the lifestyle. This is reflected in the increasing number of them joining the Teen VGN website and chatting with Laura and co-founder Kylie every week. Both Laura and Kylie have been vegan for around five years. They are based in south Wales but the website and organisation is open globally, with members from all around the world. They both run the organisation completely voluntarily and have done since its inception in March 2013. They both also have full time jobs separate from TeenVGN. Laura says: “I think veganism is becoming ‘trendy’ and also, people are becoming more aware of their health and what they are putting into and onto their bodies. I think sometimes we underestimate how much these youngsters take in and how knowledgeable they are of certain topics already. Whatever angle they come at it, we are open to their views and their questions and are happy to support them however we
can. Not everyone comes at it from an ethical stance, some come from a health point of view, or even just because they know it’s better for the environment. All we can say to them is never be afraid to ask questions, and don’t beat yourself up if you ever make a small mistake. Learn from it and use it to educate others.” According to newbie vegan Sophia, 15, having support is essential. “I haven’t eaten meat since I was eight years old,” she says. “My parents were fine about it. I didn’t make a huge connection between animals and farming at that time, I was just a really picky eater. About a year ago, I started paying more attention to animal cruelty when I learnt about vivisection and animal testing on things like make-up. I wanted to be cruelty-free when I bought cosmetics, and soon after that I thought it was crazy to be putting cruelty-free products on my face, and not paying the same attention to my food. “My parents were a bit concerned when I said I didn’t want to eat things like dairy, eggs, and honey. My mum thought I would be really limited in what I could eat and was a bit worried I was doing it to try and lose weight, or to try and be ‘different’. But I actually don’t want to stand out, and actually wish I had more friends who were vegan too. It can be quite lonely.” In fact this sense of isolation is something Laura and Kylie are hoping to alleviate with support. “Being vegan can sometimes make you feel even more alone, especially when your peers don’t see eye to eye with you about things,” says Laura. “It’s important to not get too offended (we know this can be hard when you’re so passionate about your lifestyle), but be open to conversation, respect their views but offer your input, do your research and maybe give them some tips or invite them to watch a documentary with you. “This is the start of helping your friends see that you have chosen a compassionate lifestyle, in turn hopefully letting you feel less isolated and more involved in making a difference. I think sometimes the feeling of isolation can be resolved by changing our attitudes towards situations. Of course, you can also join our website and come along to our summer camp and teen zones which we host throughout the country. We’ve had some amazing feedback from teens over the last few years telling us how much more confident being a part of a teen vegan community has made them. Chatting and putting the world to rights with other young people can really elate your spirit and heart for your lifestyle.” The scrutiny Sophia felt from her parents was a huge challenge to overcome. What advice would Laura and Kylie give to caregivers? “First thing I would say is to be open and have a discussion with your teen about why they have chosen a vegan lifestyle,” says Laura. “Ask them their reasons, understand that they have got this information from somewhere, maybe even ask them to share with you where they got their information from. Do your own research too and don’t be afraid to ask groups like ourselves if you have any other more specific questions.” Teen VGN is available on social media: @teenvgn (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube.) For more information about the Summer Camp, please visit teenvgn.com/camp.
Teen VGN summer camp VGN Summer Camp is an annual camp for young people, open to everyone whether vegan, vegetarian, meat reducers or just animal lovers in general. August 2016 will be the second camp: the first one sold-out within 34 hours of tickets going on sale. Laura says: “We’re back with over double the amount of spaces and a shiny new state of the art venue in the heart of south Wales. At our camp you’ll find campaigns and outreach talks and workshops, parties, movie nights, games nights, skill development of things like survival in the wild and sprouting your own food. “We’re also hoping to have some special guests and camp fire nights complete with vegan s’mores and music. It’s a place for these compassionate young people to come and meet new friends of like lifestyle, educate and increase their knowledge about veganism, animal rights, our environment and their health but also tackling other social justice and common problems that they face on a daily basis at school and in general life e.g. LGBTQ+ rights, human rights, politics and other issues.”
bellissimo! Impress your guests with these chocolate-y treats
Ferrero Rocher Cookie Bars •
300g (1 cup) vegan chocolate hazelnut butter or vegan chocolate spread • 250g (1½ cups) dark chocolate, melted • 90g (½ cup) chopped hazelnuts Cookie dough • 62ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil • 125g (½ cup) smooth peanut butter • 50g (¼ cup) sugar • 150g (¾ cup) light brown sugar • 1 tbsp maple syrup • 3 tbsp soy milk • ½ tsp vanilla extract • 100g (1 cup) plain flour • ½ tsp baking soda • Pinch of salt • 130g (¾ cup) dark chocolate chips • 90g (½ cup) whole hazelnuts
Recipe and image from Charis Mitchell. floralfrosting.blogspot.com Instagram & Twitter: @floralfrosting
Makes 12 1. Grease a square cake tin and preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F. 2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine the oil, peanut butter, sugars, maple, milk and vanilla until you have a smooth, caramel-like mixture. Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Fold in the dark chocolate chips and press the cookie dough into the tin using your fingers (make sure it’s nice and even.) Carefully press the hazelnuts into the top of the cookie dough, space them about an inch apart. Bake the cookie bars for 15-20mins, until they’re golden brown and don’t jiggle if you shake the pan. Leave to cool in the tin before moving on to the toppings. 3. Spread the hazelnut butter evenly over the cookie bars. Pour the melted dark chocolate over the top and use a knife to smooth it over. Sprinkle the chopped hazelnuts over the top and place the cookie bars in the fridge to set for a few hours or overnight. 4. Once set turn the bars out and cut into 12 slices. I find it’s easiest to cut them with the bars upside down on a chopping board (chocolate side down) as the cookie part is softer than the chocolate so cuts easily. 5. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
ALGAE ALLY This water plant packs a powerful nutritional punch
eaweed is often overlooked as an ingredient. But why? It is incredibly nutritious, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly. It’s good for gut health and an excellent source of iodine. It lowers blood pressure and is packed with antioxidants–the list is endless.
“It is incredibly nutritious, sustainable, and environmentally friendly.” It also acts as a flavour enhancer (like adding MSG to food, except it's healthier) and acts as a salt replacement, even though it’s very low in sodium. In conclusion, it is a natural, readily-available and sustainable food which has been consumed since we were hunter/gatherers and to which our bodies are supremely adapted.
Gram for gram this nutrient-rich plant has twice the vitamin C content of oranges, 10 times the calcium of milk and 50 times the iron of spinach. A 1g serving is the equivalent iodine content of three mackerel and provides a great boost of all the essential vitamins and minerals in any dish-though it should be noted some seaweeds are incredibly high in iodine. Iodine is very important, but taking too much can be risky (see box). So how sustainable is seaweed? In the UK we are surrounded by 650 species–all of it is edible and we hardly use any of it. It is naturally organic, and no fertilisers or pesticides are required to grow it, no fresh water needed to irrigate it. There’s also no waste–the harvested portion of the plant is fully used. The vast majority of seaweed is harvested sustainably, meaning the top section of seaweed is taken leaving the rest to rejuvenate. Traditionally, low impact harvesting is employed–this means the crop is usually harvested by hand, not disturbing other sea life. This often
creates employment in rural areas, supporting local communities as the pattern of harvesting often fits in with other employment like fishing and crofting. And seaweed performs a valuable service for other sea-dwellers, with beds of the plant providing protection for fish and other sea creatures to flourish.
“Even though it doesn’t taste salty, because it boosts flavour, it can be used to replace salt in recipes.” Ok, but how do I use it? Seaweed is extremely versatile and can be used in a number of ways. You can try it as a flavour enhancer by adding it to your cooking–savoury or sweet. It boosts the existing flavours of your food, acting in a similar way to monosodium glutamate (MSG), except that it’s very healthy, adding ‘umami’ (richness) to everyday cooking. Don’t worry, you don’t taste the seaweed (unless you’re very heavy-handed), just stronger flavours of your other ingredients. You can also experiment with seaweed as a salt substitute. Even though it doesn’t taste salty, because it boosts flavour, it can be used to replace salt in recipes, in some cases replacing added salt by at least half or completely. It’s very low in sodium – around three and a half per cent compared to 45 per cent in salt. Another option with this unique plant is to use it as a natural preservative as its antibacterial qualities extends the life of food when added to things like bread, stews and cakes. If you are looking for the health benefits, but not the flavour of seaweed, you can sprinkle it into any of your recipes as the flavour is relatively neutral unless you use too much. Options include sprinkling into porridge, smoothies, vegan bolognese sauce with the rest of the herbs, stirring it into baked beans, sprinkling it onto roast potatoes before they go into the oven, or even mixing it into takeaways. A 1g per portion (about a fifth of a teaspoon) works well for less for sweet dishes. If you taste seaweed in your dishes, you’re using too much. Iodine: What is it good for? According to the World Health Organisation [WHO]: “Iodine deficiency is the world’s most prevalent, yet easily preventable, cause of brain damage. Today we are on the verge of eliminating it–an achievement that will be hailed as a major public health triumph that ranks with getting rid of smallpox and poliomyelitis.” According to the NHS: “Adults need 0.14mg of iodine a day. Most people should be able to get all the iodine they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. Taking high doses of iodine for long periods of time could change the way your thyroid gland works. This can lead to a wide range of different symptoms, such as weight gain. If you take iodine supplements, don’t take too much, because this could be harmful. Taking 0.5mg or less a day of iodine supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.” Iodine supports the thyroid. Insufficient iodine can lead to hypothyroidism resulting in a number of problems including weight gain, decreased metabolism, feeling run down, lacking in energy, depression, aching muscles, heart disease, and thinning hair among others. It can be found in seafood and milk and eggs which are obviously off the menu for vegans. It is found in plant foods, but inconsistently, depending on the iodine content of the soil. Food grown near the ocean tends to be higher in iodine. Iodine is consistently found in only a few foods such as dairy products (iodine solutions are used to clean the cows’ teats and dairy equipment and end up in the milk) and seafood (including seaweed). A number of components can counteract iodine. They are known as ‘iodine antagonists’ and can be found in soy, flax seeds, and raw cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage). These components, called goitrogens, cause an enlarged thyroid gland, also called a goiter. Thus, large amounts of soy combined with inadequate iodine intake can exacerbate iodine deficiency.
eat and drink-Vegan style Zizzi Nationwide
hain restaurant Zizzi recently caused somewhat of a social media storm after announcing it would launch its own brand of vegan mozzarella-style cheese. The ‘mozzarisella’-made from rice milk-means this is the first mainstream high street brand offering a fully plantbased pizza option to diners. The pizza is part of a wider vegan menu which offers olives, bruschetta, and garlic bread as a starter, a simple pasta pomodoro and pizza for mains, and sorbet, or nectarines and its own coconut milk ice-cream, for pudding. The garlic bread is an extremely hearty plate: a whole pizza dough brushed with a olive-oil and garlic topic with lots of rosemary, and a generous sprinkling of roasted cloves. It’s very tasty, definitely one of the highlights of the menu, but a large dish best split between a few people. The bruschetta was also worth a punt: a toasted ciabatta topped with garlic and whole baby tomatoes. Lots of flavour and a much smaller portion than the garlic bread.
"More to the point, sitting in a restaurant you could find in any high street, eating dairy-free cheese, is a very pleasant experience." The big question however, revolves around the pizza with mozzarisella. Is it any good? The pizza itself is very tasty: the dough is excellent and the topics are generous but not overdone. I had balsamic onions, artichoke and black olive. The mozzarisella is not a perfect dupe for its dairy-based alternative, but it certainly works here. It has a good creamy texture, perfect melt, and mild taste. More to the point, sitting in a restaurant you could find in most high streets, eating dairy-free cheese, is a very pleasant experience. While there is still a long way to go, this new menu is a sign of how far things have come. It’s worth noting the staff were well-trained in the new menu and the vegan options came with small labels on the plates.
"The pizza with mozzarisella. Is it any good? It has a good creamy texture, perfect melt, and mild taste." Although we were seriously stuffed after all that we decided it was only prudent to test the desserts, in the interest of this review. I had the nectarine with coconut and mango gelato. It looked completely different to the promotional photos I’d seen of the dish, which showed the fruit halved, grilled, and topped with the ice-cream. In reality, it came with cold slivers of fruit and ice-cream on the side. Because of how hearty the main dishes were, I generally wouldn’t have had dessert, but if you’re a fan of sweets, this is a light and pleasant way to finish a meal. The other option is sorbet which comes in strawberry and lemon flavours-both very flavourful, no complaints here. It’s also worth noting most of the wines are vegan (the menu clearly points this out). We had a Shiraz, which was a neat accompaniment to our garlic and tomato-filled meal.
breakfast of champions Start your day the right way
Wake up Waffles Per Serving:
Recipes and images from Protein Ninja: Power Through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch by Terry Hope Romero is published by Da Capo Lifelong, ÂŁ15.99.
Wake Up Waffles
45g (1/3 cup) brown rice protein powder 375ml (1 ½ cups) unsweetened plain or vanilla soy or almond milk • 85ml (1/3 cup) water • Mashed ripe banana (about 1 small banana) • 2 tbsp canola oil or melted refined coconut oil • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 1 tsp pure vanilla or maple extract • 125g (1 cup) unbleached all-purpose flour • 65g (½ cup) whole wheat pastry flour • 2 tbsp organic sugar • 1 ½ tsp baking powder • ½ tsp ground cinnamon • ½ tsp salt • Cooking oil spray or canola oil, for waffle iron Serve with • Pure maple syrup • Vegan butter • Fresh berries or diced fruit • Toasted shelled hemp seeds • A sprinkle of cinnamon 1. 2. 3. 4.
Blend together the rice protein powder, soy milk, water, banana, oil, vinegar, and vanilla until smooth. In a mixing bowl, combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Pour the blended ingredients into the dry and use a rubber spatula to fold together until the dry ingredients are moistened but still slightly lumpy. Preheat your waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s directions. Lightly oil both griddles of the iron before adding the batter. Pour in about 1/3 cup of batter per waffle for square waffles or ½ cup of batter for larger Belgian-style round waffles. Bake until the waffle iron almost stops steaming, or according to the manufacturer’s directions. Serve hot with all the proper waffle fixin’s. Waffles freeze beautifully, too: Seal in resealable plastic bags and freeze for up to 2 months. Reheat in a toaster or toaster oven.
Superfood Chocolate Almond Toast Per 100g
To assemble • Hot whole-grain or rustic white bread toast • Sliced strawberries or bananas, or fresh raspberries • Goji berries • Cacao nibs
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85g (1 cup) roasted whole almonds 42g (¼ cup) shelled hemp seeds 50g (¼ cup) coconut sugar 20g (¼ cup) raw cocoa powder 3 tbsp maca powder ¼ tsp sea salt 3 tbsp melted virgin coconut oil
Make the spread: In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground. Add the hemp seeds. Pulse into a thick paste, occasionally scraping down the sides of the processor bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the coconut sugar, cocoa powder, maca powder, and salt. Pulse and scrape down the bowl until the powders are completely absorbed into the spread. Pulse in the melted coconut oil. Use immediately, or pack into a glass container, cover, and chill for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to develop. Keep chilled in a tightly covered container and use within 3 weeks. The chilled spread will be very firm; set it on a kitchen counter for 5 minutes to soften up a little for easier spreading. To assemble: Slather over the hot toast and top with the fruit and cacao nibs, or eat with a spoon; toast doesn’t care.
2. 3. 4. 5.
IS VEGANISM THE ANSWER TO FOOD INSECURITY? Helena Jones examines the global food shortage
imply getting enough food to survive is a daily struggle for many people globally. In the face of rapid global population growth and a greater demand for cleaner biofuels, which replace crops grown for human consumption, there is less food to go round meaning food prices have risen dramatically.
“Food security is about not just supplybut also access-to food.” And this imbalance is also perpetuated by worsening inequality between the richest nations and developing countries, so rising food prices become increasingly problematic for the poorest countries in the world. So food security is about not just supply-but also access-to food. The World Food Summit in 1996 defined food security as a state when: “All
people at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.” The scale of this crisis is truly staggering. Between 2012 and 2014, 805 million people were chronically undernourished (with insufficient food for a healthy life), according to the Food and Agriculture Organization for the United Nations. And a report by UNICEF states that a third of all deaths in children aged under five are linked to undernutrition. In spite of great advances in agricultural technology and productivity, why does this basic necessity increasingly continue to pose food for thought? What is the current food security crisis? And why is meat an unsustainable option? The huge environmental impacts of cattle and poultry production, due to the intensive use of water and energy, make the continued farming of livestock environmentally untenable. A conservative estimate by the UN claims 18 percent of worldwide carbon emissions come from
livestock farming, more than all global transport emissions combined. Other estimates go up to a massive 51 per cent.
“A switch to vegan diets would produce more food for more people, from the same amount of natural resources.” Crucially, meat production also perpetuates the inequality between the richest and poorest countries in the world. The EU currently imports 70 percent of its protein used for animal feed. So people go hungry in developing countries because instead of growing grain for their own populations they are growing grain for meat consumption in western countries. Therefore the environmental and social impacts of meat production, along with the huge economic investment required to farm livestock, present an inadequate solution to food security in developing countries. How can veganism help? A vegan diet uses significantly less water and land for its production than a meat diet. John Robbins is the author of No Happy CowDispatches from the frontlines of the food revolution. He calculates it takes 60 pounds of water to produce a pound of potatoes and 108 pounds of water to produce a pound of wheat. In comparison he claims it takes around 20,000lbs of water to yield a single pound of beef. Farming uses around 70 per cent of the world’s available water. If meat production increases to keep up with population growth, this can only put a strain on water resources. In terms of land, it is generally believed that around 30 per cent of the available (and ice-free) area of the planet is used for rearing livestock or growing feed for livestock. While it is not a straightforward equation (for example, low grade agricultural land used for grazing may not be sufficient for arable farming) by using some of this land to grow food for humans directly we would yield more protein from the same amount of land than if it were used for livestock. A switch to vegan diets would produce more food for more people, from the same amount of natural resources. So is arable farming a perfect solution? Whilst a vegan diet certainly uses less energy and provides more protein per acre than the meat industry, it may still create problems. The commercial farming of plant-based proteins, such as the soybean, can lead to intensive mono-cropping, where an extensive area of land is devoted to one crop. Why is this a problem? This fall in biodiversity can reduce a crop’s resistance to disease and harsh conditions, so there may be an increased risk of losing the whole crop. Another problem with encouraging the consumption of plantbased proteins in developing countries can occur if the same foods become so desirable in more affluent countries that food is no longer affordable in the place where it is made. For instance, the International Monetary Fund encouraged farmers in Peru to grow quinoa, as it is an extremely good source of protein. However, as the food’s popularity grew in Western countries, in some places the global price of quinoa became too high for local people. So plant-based protein on its own is not a magic bullet in food security and can fall prey to global fluctuations in food prices.
Is a solution to be found in mycoprotein? Protein-rich fungi (such as the mycoprotein used in Quorn) could provide an extremely environmentally and economically sustainable provision of food in developing countries. Once the initial fungus is grown in a fermenter, it can multiply thousands of times over to produce a very high yield of protein-rich food. Whilst such a process requires an initial investment, the money required to sustain it is substantially lower than the prolonged investment in agriculture. So this could facilitate greater access to food, not just a greater supply. Mycoprotein can be vegan, with the introduction of a vegan Quorn range this year, and these meatsubstitutes grown through fermentation could provide a key solution for food crises in developing countries. The future for food security? Food security remains a key concern for people and governments across the globe and is only likely to increase in significance, as populations grow and increasingly turn to meat-based diets. However, vegan diets could feed substantially more people than a meat-based diet, with the same amount of plant mass. Whilst plant-based proteins are far from environmentally or socially neutral, new technologies in the fermentation of vegan protein sources could lead to the more sustainable and affordable production of plant-based protein in developing countries. This acknowledgement of the unequal distribution of food could help to address not just the supply of food, but also the structural inequality in access to food. So a vegan diet that recognizes inequality of nutrition and works to improve access to protein-rich foods could provide a more economically and environmentally sustainable future for global food security.
munch crunch lunch These midday recipes pack a punch
Recipes from Vegan Love Story by Reto Frei (of Hiltl and tibits) Photography by Juliette Chretien
Apple and Lentil Salad Per Serving:
Kebab Sandwich Makes 4
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
400g (14oz) seitan, in one piece 2 pinches ground coriander 2 pinches cumin 1-2 pinches dried oregano 1-2 pinches dried chillies 1 heaped tbsp mild paprika 3 tbsp neutral-flavoured vegetable oil Salt, ground pepper ½ onion 1-2 tomatoes ½ cucumber 4 pitta or ciabatta breads 20g (1oz) iceberg lettuce leaves
300g (1½ cups) Beluga lentils 2 medium-sized apples 60g (¼ cup) raw cane sugar 150ml (2/3 cup) cider vinegar 1 bunch parsley 9 tbsp neutral-flavoured vegetable oil 1 pinch chilli powder Salt, ground pepper
Sort through the lentils (there could be small stones mixed in) and rinse thoroughly. Simmer in boiling, unsalted water for about 30 minutes until soft. Drain and leave to dry. In the meantime, peel the apples, remove the cores and dice finely. Heat the sugar together with the vinegar until the sugar has dissolved. Add the diced apple and allow the liquid to cool. Finely chop the parsley. When the liquid is lukewarm, mix in the finely chopped parsley, oil and chilli powder. Pour the sauce over the still-warm lentils and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot or cold.
Per Serving: 618
• • • • • • • •
For a crunchier texture, use apple with the peel still on. If the lentils are cooked for too long, they will fall apart and will not look as good – so test them every once in a while.
1. Cut the seitan into thin 5 cm/2 inch long and 2 cm/¾ inch wide strips with a potato peeler. Mix well in a bowl with the herbs and spices. 2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sear the seitan quickly on a high heat, turning regularly. Season with salt and pepper and put on a plate. 3. Peel the onion and cut into thin slices. Wash and prepare the tomato, wash the cucumber and cut both into ½ cm thick slices. 4. Heat the bread in the oven for a few minutes and cut in half. Cover the lower half of the bread with the seitan. Put the tomato, cucumber and onion slices on top and garnish with lettuce. Put the top on the sandwich and serve.
TOP TIP •
Before adding the filling, the bread can be spread with vegan mayonnaise, cream cheese or margarine if liked, and seasoned with sambal oelek or harissa.
Recipes from Vegan Love Story by Reto Frei (of Hiltl and tibits) Photography by Juliette Chretien
SOLE SEARCHING Coral Brown examines the manufacturing process behind leather and alternatives
esigner fashion has a penchant for animal materials. Although fur is thankfully on a downwards trajectory, there aren’t many catwalks free of leather, wool, shearling, cashmere, exotic skins, feathers and silk. It’s as though animal materials are synonymous with luxury. This then feeds into high street fashion, with premium ranges donning the label ‘Genuine Leather’ and charging a pretty penny for it. This perpetuates the myth that clothes and shoes made with animal materials are better quality. Whilst it’s clear those industries can’t boast of high standards of animal welfare, the arguments justifying the use of animal materials have retreated to the claim that they are more durable and more environmentally-friendly than synthetic alternatives. However, thanks to new technological advancements improving the sustainability of plastics, more and more vegan alternatives are not only matching animal materials for durability, but surpassing their supposed eco-credentials. In fact, the rate at which new innovative crueltyfree materials are appearing makes it an exciting time for vegan fashionistas.
“The majority of leather is produced and tanned in countries such as India, Bangladesh and China, where there is little or no environmental protection.” Vegan leather has come under fire for being damaging to the planet. It’s often made from oil-based plastics, making it part of the fossil fuel clan. However, many of the criticisms of modern vegan leather are actually more accurate of its predecessor, PVC, which undoubtedly has a damning environmental track record. It’s been denounced by Greenpeace as being the ‘single most environmentally damaging type of plastic’, as PVC production releases harmful dioxins, and after use, disposal is very problematic. Luckily, many have phased out the use of PVC and it’s much less commonly used nowadays, especially in fashion. The days of garish knee-high PVC platform boots are thankfully locked away in the past. Today, vegan leather is more often made with PU plastic, and while the raw ingredients are still toxic, it’s far less so than PVC. When PU is manufactured in the EU, regulations require all vents to be controlled, and so its environmental impact can be more effectively managed. Plus, innovations in plastics have led to the creation of plant-based PU as opposed to oil, which reduces the chemical hazards in production, and makes it more biodegradable. Also, a recent emergence on the market is recycled PU, which ups the sustainability factor even more. So while vegan leather isn’t entirely squeaky clean, it’s always selfimproving.
is substantial. Runoff from farmland containing the fertilisers and pesticides used on the feed crop and the antibiotics and hormones in the animal waste makes it a large source of water pollution. And that’s just stage one of leather production. The most hazardous stage of leather production is tanning. In order to prevent the animal hide from naturally decomposing, it’s treated with a dangerous mix of chemicals. The majority of leather is produced and tanned in countries such as India, Bangladesh and China, where there is little or no environmental protection, or health and safety protection for the workers.
“Putting the upsetting animal cruelty to one side, this complex industry is one of the top six largest pollution threats in the world.”
Animal leather is another story. Putting the upsetting animal cruelty to one side, this complex industry is one of the top six largest pollution threats in the world, according to a 2015 Pure Earth report. The leather industry’s unbreakable link with the livestock industry means profit made from leather funds animal agriculture, which is responsible for 18 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions according to the UN report, Livestock’s Dark Shadow.
Whilst no method of tanning animal hide has the environmental upper hand, the most common and dangerous is with chromium, used in 80 per cent of all leather tanning. As the workers aren’t provided with gloves, goggles or any protective equipment, they have direct contact with chromium in their day to day work. Chromium exposure has been linked to many forms of serious cancers, asthma, bronchitis, polyps, pharyngitis, skin discolouration, cracked skin and pneumonia. This worrying human cost of leather is one that’s not often discussed.
The demand for arable land is a major cause of deforestation, and water use for animal consumption and for irrigation of their feed crop
Whilst those most at risk are the workers, the surrounding people are also affected due to the widespread water pollution. The tanning of >
leather in these countries is largely unregulated, so toxic solid and liquid waste is regularly dumped in local rivers and farmland. The Buriganga River in Bangladesh has been classified as dead because of the toxic pollution caused by the many local tanneries, and this river supplies local people with water. Pure Earth estimates that a total 16 million people worldwide are at risk of exposure to chromium from leather tanning.
“Synthetic alternatives not only have a significantly smaller environmental impact, but also one that’s far easier to regulate and control.” In the context of leather production, synthetic alternatives not only have a significantly smaller environmental impact, but also one that’s far easier to regulate and control. As is often the case with vegan brands, they are always on the lookout for more sustainable alternative fabrics and materials, dynamically improving their environmental standards.
With so many cutting edge vegan fashion brands using cruelty-free materials, it seems only a matter of time before luxury and sustainable synthetic alternatives are more closely associated in the mainstream. And there’s a long list of examples of this happening already. Beyond Skin’s next collection of designer shoes will be lined with 100 per cent recycled PU with a vegetable-based plastic coating made in the EU. Stella McCartney’s bags are lined with a material made from recycled plastic bottles. Pamela Anderson’s vegan faux shearling boots are made using recycled electronics. Vaute Couture’s luxurious faux wool jumpers are made using recycled yarn from industrial waste cotton.
“As consumer demand for animal-free alternatives increases, the market will have to adapt.” As consumer demand for animal-free alternatives increases, the market will have to adapt. Hopefully in the not-too-distant future, those luxury premium shoes in high street shops will be made by Beyond Skin, proudly labelled ‘Genuinely Not Leather’.
spear me the details A simple way to spruce up your asparagus
Recipe and image from britishasparagus.com
Sesame and Garlic Roasted British Asparagus Serves 4 Per Serving:
• • • • • •
2 bunches of British asparagus, trimmed 2 cloves garlic, sliced very thinly 1 tbsp sesame oil 1 tsp red wine vinegar Large pinch of Maldon salt 1 tbsp sesame seeds
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan, put the asparagus in a wide bowl with the sliced garlic. Drizzle over the oil and vinegar, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Transfer the asparagus and garlic to an oven tray (keep the bowl with the oil for later) and sprinkle over the sesame seeds. Roast for 10-12 minutes until softened and browning. Once cooked tip the veg back into the bowl and toss again in the retained dressing, add a little more salt if necessary and serve immediately.
animals wouldn’t exist if we didn’t eat them We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism and tackle them head on
his is always a popular argument on the ‘defensive omnivore’ bingo board-the idea these animals are lucky to be alive, because if we didn’t rear and slaughter them, they would simply never have been born at all, which would be much crueler than eating them For Gary Francione, American scholar and distinguished theorist on animal rights, the question is one of basic ethics. He says: “The fact that we are in some sense responsible for the existence of a being does not give us the right to treat that being as our resource. Were that so, then we could treat our children as resources.
So many of these animals who are bred for food suffer terribly along the way and are slaughtered violently: does that really make the life they are given a gift? “After all, they would not exist were it not for our actions–from decisions to conceive to decisions not to abort. And although we are granted a certain amount of discretion as to how we treat our children, there are limits: we cannot treat them as we do animals. We cannot enslave them, sell them into prostitution, or sell their organs. We cannot kill them. Indeed, it is a cultural norm that bringing a child into existence creates moral obligations on the part of the parents to care for the child and not exploit her.”
To continue living is the most basic right of all: even when animals are reared in ways considered more ‘humane’ than others, they are always killed, and denied this right. In addition, when we look at modern agriculture and factory farming it’s clear a number of other rights are being violated. The right to behave naturally, for example. Many farmed animals are denied access to natural sunlight, movement and even care of their own young. So many of these animals who are bred for food suffer terribly along the way and are slaughtered violently: does that really make the life they are given a gift? What would happen to these animals in a vegan world? Clea Grady, marketing manager for Veganuary, which encourages people to try veganism for January, says: “In today’s world, animals are effectively mass-produced; forcibly impregnated, force fed, and then killed in their billions after living only a few short months. “This intensive and invasive breeding would be forced to slow if more and more people stopped eating animals. The lack of demand would make it less profitable and, if we could take animals off the menu for good, the industry would eventually cease. “During this time, the number of animals would have dramatically reduced, and those still kept for meat, dairy and eggs could be rehomed or allowed to live out their lives in sanctuaries. The very nature of farming would change, and animals currently eaten or used by humans would be allowed to live naturally, or as companions.”
The Year of Vegan Beer The industry is starting to go plant-based
Follow Oliver Coningham on twitter: @forkandcarrot
emember the numbers 2016, because this year will be the year of vegan beer. Momentum began in the latter part of 2015 when Guinness announced plans to go vegan. The company is to invest in a state-of-the-art filtration system that will remove the use of isinglass (derived from fish) in the brewing process. Guinness hopes to have the new system up and running by late 2016 leaving many vegans eagerly anticipating their first sip. This revelation led to many features and articles about vegan beer in the mainstream media. From The best vegan beers in The Guardian to Clean pints: why Britain is thirsty for vegan beer from The Telegraph. Interest in beer without fish swim bladders has finally reached public consciousness. In February, maverick Scottish brewery BrewDog declared that 23 of its beers would now be accredited by the Vegan Society and carry the recognisable logo. The first few months of 2016 has seen many vegan beer events. Brighton Vegan Beer Festival was held at the Cowley Club in February to coincide with Brighton Vegfest. Weird Vegans partnered with The Beer Boutique in Putney, South West London to create It’s a plantbased party! This vegan beer and food pairing evening featured
coconut cream and cacao nib truffles, and toasted Brazil nut choc chip brownies; both made with Weird Beard’s Out of Office Coffee IPA. The now-closed Adam & Eve vegetarian pub in Hotwells, Bristol hosted two incredible five-course vegan dinners with Moor Beer and Arbor Ales. There’s no need to feel left out if you missed these vegan beer events as there are many more planned throughout 2016. The Gunmakers Arms in Birmingham will host the Brum Vegan Beer Fest on July 15 and 16. Vegan friendly beers from Twisted Barrel Ale and Freedom Brewery will be featured among others. Fat Gay Vegan will not only be bringing London Vegan Beer Fest back this year, but the festival will also be visiting two more UK cities. These include Glasgow in August and Manchester in September. An increased awareness of the use of animal products in brewing has led to more and more breweries choosing to brew without the aid of isinglass to clear their beers. Breweries are either leaving them unfined and instead relying on time and temperature to clear them, or utilising mechanical filtration, either centrifuge or diatomaceous earth. The result is not only better aesthetics, mouthfeel and taste, but also beer open for all to enjoy.
Sunshine (5.7%) – Brass Castle RRP £2.90 for 500ml (Brass Castle Online Shop) Yorkshire’s Brass Castle is a winner of the Best Beer in Show for its vanilla porter Bad Kitty and Best Overall Brewery as voted for by attendees of London Vegan Beer Fest 2015. Sunshine, packaged in large 500ml bottles, continues its varied portfolio of beer. The label is commanding with its bold colour and unique logo. Turn the bottle upside down (once empty of course) to see the clever use of typography! Sunshine is remarkably fresh and clean tasting where some beers of this style can become heavy. Brandy soaked peaches vault from the glass followed by ripe pineapple. The pineapple continues on the tongue with sweet orange and caramel. Brass Castle does not use any animal-derived products in brewing its beers.
Withens Pale Ale (3.9%) – Little Valley RRP £2.29 for 500ml (Little Valley Online Shop) Founded in 2005, Little Valley Brewery is a familyrun business located high on the Pennine moorland of Cragg Vale, just outside Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Its diverse range of beers are made using traditional techniques and are 100 per cent organic and vegan-friendly. From Ginger Pale Ale with hints of ginger and citrus to Hebden’s Wheat with notes of coriander and lemon. Withens Pale Ale sits a golden yellow in the glass with a tall white head. For a 3.9 per cent pale ale there is a considerable amount of flavour; fresh and zesty at first with lemon and lime. Some mellow cereal character shines through followed by an earthy spiciness and dry bitter finish. All Little Valley beers are 100 per cent organic and vegan-friendly.
Seville Orange Sour (3.5%) – Cloudwater RRP £2.40 for 330ml (Specialist Bottle Shops & Online Stockists) Manchester’s Cloudwater has quickly developed a reputation for its modern, seasonal beer. Instead of a core range of beers, each season a new range is released taking inspiration from the season and showcasing seasonal ingredients too. Each release sees a new artist partnership whose creations adorn each bottle. The beautiful metallic Cloudwater logo is printed above. Seville Orange Sour cascades crystal clear from the bottle with no head. The initial aroma is distinctive; strong Seville Orange with a touch of sugary sweetness. It’s tart at first, almost mouth-puckering at times, then becomes reminiscent of Berocca! An unusual, but always enjoyable beer. Cloudwater beers are always vegan using temperature and time to clear them.
Decadence Stout (5.5%) – Weird Beard RRP £3.35 for 500ml (Specialist Bottle Shops & Online Stockists) Weird Beard arrived into the emerging London beer scene in early 2013 with a love of ‘upfront, in-yourface, hop-focused beers’ along with some classic beer styles. The core range of beers include Mariana Trench, a Pale Ale brewed with New Zealand Pacific Gem and American Citra hops, to Five O’clock Shadow, an American IPA with bold citrus and floral notes. Decadence Stout is made with roasted malts and oats to add creaminess to this luxuriously smooth stout. Rich tasting and full of decadent chocolate character with lingering notes of gently roasted coffee beans. Most Weird Beard beers are vegan with the exception of some with lactose and honey (clearly indicated on the labels and website).
Organic Helles (4.8%) – Freedom Brewery RRP £1.65 for 330ml (Freedom Brewery Online Shop) Freedom Brewery is the UK’s original craft lager brewer with their first brewery built in London back in 1995. From the beginning Freedom Brewery set out to challenge the notion that lager is bland yellow fizz produced on an industrial scale. The range has been recently rebranded with attractive labels in bright colours and now includes an American Red Beer and India Pale Lager. Organic Helles is a traditional Bavarian helles lager brewed with German Hallertau Tradition Noble hops. It pours a pale golden yellow with streams of tiny bubbles rising to the surface. There’s a strong sweet pollen scent that immediately hits the nose. Organic Helles is earthy, grassy and occasionally herbal. Soft spicy notes and a mellow bitterness continue throughout. All Freedom Beers are certified by The Vegan Society. Beers are sterile triple- filtered to remove any remaining yeast and protein cells.
Big Cat Organic Stout (4.5%) – Stroud Brewery RRP £2.65 for 500ml (Vintage Roots & Independent Health Food Shops) With an increased awareness of its impact on the planet, Stroud Brewery seeks to make its business as sustainable as possible. This means minimising the resources used, using local and organic ingredients and recycling their waste as far as possible. Inspired by a flurry of large feline sightings in the area, Big Cat is an easy drinking stout with complex flavours from the dark malts used. Pouring a near black with reddish hues and a lasting cream head, the opening aroma is smoky with hints of roasted coffee beans. There’s a huge depth of flavour to this stout with rich molasses and fruity cherry to warming licorice. Stroud Brewery’s entire range of bottled beers (excluding their honey beer, Melissa) are organic and vegan.
Green Cleaning A guide to cruelty-free cleaning
his time of year is often thought of as the right season to have a blitz through your house, casting off the cobwebs of winter, and letting in the beautiful sunlight of spring and summer.
Despite this, a YouGov poll commissioned by green energy company Good Energy, showed that less than half (49 per cent) of those surveyed said that they still undertake a once-a-year blitz of their homes. A sizeable 30 per cent also confessed that they have never ever attempted a spring clean.
Obviously the inclusion of any animal-derived ingredient is an obvious one. Some products contain milk, some contain beeswax. A number of fabric conditioners contain tallow-a type of animal fat.
“A key element of veganism is concern for the environment.”
Many of the products on shop shelves are highly corrosive and can cause irritation for humans (despite cruel testing on animals). So for some cruelty-free producers there is an additional element to consider-human safety. According to Lloyd Atkin from Bio-D: “The Bio-D range was created to provide consumers with safer, greener and cruelty-free alternatives to standard cleaning products-that ‘don’t cost the earth’.
The Wiltshire-based renewable electricity company also found that 41 per cent of people saw spring cleaning as an old-fashioned practice, whilst nearly two thirds (60 per cent) felt their parents and grandparents generation were more concerned about having a cleaner home. If you’re one of the ones who will be spring cleaning you will be looking for every practicable measure you can take to avoid the exploitation and abuse of animals. When it comes to obvious issues-like eating meat-it’s generally very clear what to avoid. But when you start looking at other facets of cruelty-free living, it requires a little more research.
Cleaning and household products are one part of the equation. While it is not difficult to avoid using non-vegan products, it is best to find out as much as possible about these items in advance of going shopping. There are a few things that make a product unsuitable for vegans.
“In a previous job, the founder of Bio-D used to clean ships. He realised that many home cleaning products contained the same ingredients as industrial cleaners he used to clean ships–which require the use of heavy-duty health and safety equipment such as respirators. He therefore set out to create products that contained no harmful ingredients. “Our range is the only 100 per cent hypoallergenic home cleaning range in the UK. We’re providing more and more allergy sufferers with an alternative to ‘traditional’ home detergents that often exacerbate
asthma, eczema and other conditions. Statistics show that an estimated 21 million people in the UK suffer from at least one allergy and that, since the 1980s, prevalence of allergic rhinitis and eczema in children has trebled. Our fragrance free laundry products are accredited by Allergy UK.”
“If you’re one of the ones who will be spring cleaning you will be looking for every practicable measure you can take to avoid the exploitation and abuse of animals.” Marie Savage from cleaning brand Humblestuff adds: “I’ve been a domestic cleaner for over ten years, however, when I wanted to clean my own oven without needing a gas mask, that’s when I began research into more natural cleaning solutions.” One option is to take an old-fashioned approach to cleaning using some common household ingredients. According to Green Energy you can create ‘sparkling surfaces’ using strange ingredients. A spokesman says: “By mixing together one part distilled white vinegar, two parts water and a hearty squeeze of lemon juice, you can create a great surface cleaner which cuts through grime on most kitchen, bath and floor surfaces. “Alternatively, by rubbing half a grapefruit over surfaces, sprinkling liberally with some salt and washing off with a sponge and hot water, you can achieve the most gleaming and shiny sink, bath tubs and work surfaces.” For streak-free windows and mirrors, Green Energy says: “First mix together a 50:50 solution of distilled white vinegar and hot water in a spray bottle and spritz over the pane or mirror. Once applied simply give it a good rub with a cloth or a scrunched up piece of old newspaper and leave it to dry. A great tip for a streak-free finish. For polishing your wood, lemons and olive oil offer an alternative to make wooden floors and furniture shine. By using a solution of one part lemon juice to two parts olive oil, not only will this buff your wood to perfection.” And you can get pots and pans spic and span with a simple home remedy too. “Got stubborn stains on cutlery and utensils that just won’t come off? Well, according to the original domestic goddess Mrs Beeton, nothing beats a solution made from warm water and baking soda which is then scrubbed in hard using a crust of bread. Rinse with water and your pots and pans will be glistening once again. Plus, if you’ve got any rusty cutlery, try using some onions to bring back that shine. Plunge a knife or fork into a large onion three or four times and the rust should come straight off.” But all is not lost for those who want the convenience and efficiency of purpose-made products. A key element of veganism is concern for the environment and this is something companies are increasingly seeking to address creating formulations with this in mind. Ingrid Hume from Sodason says: “Our product is a unique vegetable based and eco-friendly cleaner. The organic vegetable oil soap is manufactured in specially developed low-temperature saponification process. >
The production is CO2–neutral and Sodasan only use powder from Greenpeace energy, therefore work 100 per cent free of nuclear power.”
“What is concealed from the public is the cruelty involved in the production process.” Rebecca Kinnaird from Ecoleaf adds: “We were dissatisfied with other environmentally friendly cleaning products because we felt they either didn’t work, were too expensive, weren’t cruelty free or were manufactured abroad, ours are made not far from us in Birkenhead. “Our range of cleaning products is derived from plant extracts and is based on biodegradable and non-hazardous ingredients. All the extracted plant ingredients are from sustainable sources. Most cleaning products are derived from petroleum-based resources and may contain harsh chemicals such as phosphates, caustics and other chemicals that can be hazardous to the user and the environment.” Even if a product is free of animal ingredients, if it has been tested on animals, it will not be appropriate. It is generally easy enough to find this out by looking up the company online, but it is worth being wary of vague phrases like, ‘we are against animal testing’, unless this is substantiated with a reassurance that neither the finished product nor the raw ingredients were tested by the company or farmed out for testing by a third party. While there is an EU ban on testing cosmetics on animals it is still legal to test cleaning products on them. Cruelty Free International, a company working towards ending these tests, says: “Across Europe, countless animals such as rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice continue to suffer and die in household product testing. They are injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets.” According to Animal Aid, a campaign group: “Staying ahead of the competition is the number one priority for household product manufacturers. This is what generates the endless torrent of new ‘improved’ versions of everything from washing powders and air fresheners to floor cleaners and paints. What is concealed from the public is the cruelty involved in the production process. “Animals are still subjected to horrific tests during the testing phase of all new household products, food additives, agricultural and industrial chemicals. 97,743 animals were used for such purposes in 2001. “New products mean more animal tests-yet many thousands of ingredients are already available for manufacturers to choose fromhow many more do we need?” The good news is there are plenty of useful options out there. One of the easiest ways to find them is to look for the Vegan Trademark symbol. You can also go on the society’s online database of companies when searching for their approved products. Many of these companies will be smaller ones, so you’ll be supporting small ethical producers in many cases.
Are any common cleaning products harmful to my companion animals? According to the Humane Society of the United States, a number of common products used for cleaning and household and car maintenance, can be deadly for animals. The society says : “The HSUS recommends that pet owners use all household products with caution. We also recommend that you put together a pet first aid kit (for dogs and cats) and have a manual readily available. If all of your precautions fail, and you believe that your pet has been poisoned, contact your vet immediately. Signs of poisoning include listlessness, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle tremors, lack of coordination and fever.” Common dangers: • Fumes from nonstick cooking surfaces and selfcleaning ovens can be deadly to birds. Always be cautious when using any pump or aerosol spray around birds. • Insect control products, such as the insecticides used in many over-the-counter flea and tick remedies, may be toxic to companion animals. Prescription flea and tick control products are much safer and more effective. Pet owners should never use any product without first consulting a veterinarian. • Antifreeze that contains ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that attracts animals but is deadly if consumed in even small quantities; one teaspoon can kill a sevenpound cat. The HSUS recommends pet owners use a safe antifreeze in their vehicles. Look for antifreeze that contains propylene glycol, which is safe for animals if ingested in small amounts. Ethylene glycol can also be found in common household products like snow globes, so be sure to keep these things out the reach of animals.
Michael Donnelly charts the rise of veganism from niche to mainstream
he past year has been a big one for ‘brand vegan’, with companies like Guinness and Quorn jumping on the plantbased bandwagon by launching vegan-friendly fare. The launch of the Plant Based Foods Association-a lobby group protecting and promoting the interest of plant-based food producers in the US-shows veganism is becoming a market force to deal with. And the trend is set to continue. According to industry insiders, a number of countries are seeing steady growth in the meat-free sector. "Europeans are increasingly turning to plant-based diets as concerns about the health, ethics and price of meat consumption change habits,” explains Jodie Minotto, senior global food trends analyst at market research company Mintel. “While few consumers in the region are strict devotees of vegetarianism or veganism, many are adopting so-called flexitarian diets, which allow them to eat meat occasionally. The segment still only appeals to a relatively niche audience but these figures are likely to rise as consumers go back-to-basics in their diets."
This change can be seen in the mainstream: restaurants and major supermarkets have become increasingly aware of the increasing demand for vegan products, and adjusted their ranges accordingly, with some companies launching offers to tie in with this year’s Veganuary. Veganuary, which encourages consumers to live a vegan lifestyle for the first month of the year, saw a sharp spike in the number of participants in 2016. Marketing director Clea Grady says:“Within the last 12 to 18 months there has been a marked increase in not only the food on our supermarket shelves, but also the options in restaurants and cafes, which makes being vegan all the more possible because it’s the convenience factor that people often really struggle with.” This is something canny businesses are well aware of, leading a number of high street chains to forge a bond with Veganuary. Clea says: “The amount of unsolicited support we’ve had from various
companies this year, compared to last year, has been huge. We have more official sponsors than ever. We were actually contacted by the Handmade Burger Company before January, and they have been fantastically supportive of us. Even though they’re not a vegan restaurant, they have four different vegan burgers on their menu, and they offered 50 per cent off any vegan burger, or vegan sides. They’ve reported that they’ve never had an offer go down so well.
“Cities in the UK like Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Brighton are full of places that are pushing the boat out with vegan cuisine.” “We’ve also had support from YoSushi! with a 40 per cent off offer in most of their stores in the country that applies to their vegan food as well. They got behind Veganuary and sent out a newsletter to their entire database, which I think is about 500,000 strong, talking about us and pointing out they have these vegan options on their menu. In addition, Pret A Manger got in touch to let all our participants know their new soup range has six vegetarian soups which are all vegan, so there is always one vegan option on the menu every day, regardless of which branch you go into.” The deal worked so well for the Handmade Burger Company it extended the offer throughout February, with a spokesman for the chain saying: “We’re really proud of our vegan range and we have so many customers that love what we do. We are accredited by the Vegan Society so Veganuary was a great opportunity to share this range with the community. We were overwhelmed by the response of the promotion and the amount of customers that told us that they love these options.” Have vegans noticed this growing availability of plant-based food? Comedian Carl Donnelly is best known for appearances on TV shows like Mock the Week and Russell Howard’s Good News, as well as his extensive live touring. He says: “As someone who travels the world for gigs, I’ve noticed more and more the growing availability of vegan food in the last couple of years. London vegans like myself can be guilty of assuming our metropolis would logically be the best place for catering to our lifestyle but I’m constantly surprised when I go to other cities just how many cool new locations are popping up. Cities in the UK like Manchester, Nottingham, Bristol, Glasgow and Brighton are full of places that are pushing the boat out with vegan cuisine.” Celebrity endorsement and retail brands aside, could it be that social media and the ease in connectivity of the internet mean issues surrounding veganism and reluctance to try it have increasingly allowed people to become more informed and receptive to going vegan?
workplace, and one of the team members, who was taking part in Veganuary had discovered that milk could be found in wine, and the whole room let out a collective ‘eurgh, how awful.’ And that’s only milk, let alone when you start talking about egg albumen, fish scales and all that sort of thing.” As the adage ‘money talks’ remains ever relevant, so too does the emergence of social media retention. In an economic landscape where the prospect of paying for advertising or promotion of a cause is an alien concept, how can niche events, however big they may be, maintain their stakeholders' attention? How can social networks and electronic communication best be utilised as fast and effective ways of giving consumers what they want? “What we put on new for 2016 was the area of the website with the vegan starter kit. That came out of the 2015 survey,” Clea explains. “People said they needed to have the essential information all in one place. They also said that they wanted meal plans. So we gathered everything we thought you’d need to basically hit the ground running to try vegan, and we’ve included eight different meal plans in there. The click through rates on that area of the website has just blown all previous rates for our website out of the water. That’s just proved to us that we need to listen to feedback, and act on it so again we will do that this year.
“I’m sure the generation below me will have loads more vegans from all different backgrounds.” “So I think this means that companies are going to have to start being a lot more transparent. If the consumer starts becoming more aware, they’ll start voting with their money, and of course that’s going to hit large companies where it matters most, which is at their profit level." Carl Donnelly adds: “My parents are old working class London Irish folk so they’ve had 70 years of every dinner having to be made up of a meat, some potatoes and one type of vegetable. They also come from a time where animal welfare was never on the news or in any mainstream media. They are at a point in their life when they can’t be swayed whereas I grew up in more diverse times with more media outlets so learned about animal cruelty and was exposed to all the potential options for living a cruelty free life. “I’m sure the generation below me will have loads more vegans from all different backgrounds who rather than follow their parents ways will make their own.” Though progress is evident in the growth of the vegan lifestyle, particularly through the expansion and popularity of campaigns such as Veganuary, gauging the scale of growth emphasises the need for persistence and resilience in promoting the benefits of brand vegan.
Clea says:“I think social media does enable Joe Public to be so much more aware of what they’re buying and what they’re consuming, and one of the things we’ve noticed during the month is how genuinely horrified people are to discover what is actually in their food and drink. This happened to us when we were doing a presentation in someone’s
Helena Jones compiles an easy guide to eating vegan at chain restaurants
he high street is starting to catch up with vegan demand. While many plant-based eaters are used to having a side salad and a bowl of chips when eating out, it is becoming increasingly easy to find hearty, delicious meals in a number of popular stores. This guide is a useful resource for when you’re out and about. We recommend you take a snap of this page on your phone, so it’s always to hand.
All allergen information was correct at the time of going to press.
LAS IGUANAS This restaurant, serving what it describes as ‘Latin-style food, has its very own vegan menu. Plant-based dishes include three mushroom fajitas, moqueca coconut curry and chilli con verduras. For something sweet diners can enjoy the coconut tembleque pudding.
CARLUCCIO’S Ask your waiter for the separate vegan menu. It’s not the most exciting selection (there’s a simple spaghetti al Pomodoro for the pasta dish) but it’s all tasty-especially the bruschetta. And there’s dessert too, in the form of lemon, mandarin and melon sorbet. JAMIE’S ITALIAN Jamie’s online menu clearly labels everything that’s vegan and there’s an amazing range of choices. For starters try the roasted squash bruschetta. Main meals range from Harissaspiced aubergine, wild mushroom and winter greens risotto to veggie tagliatelle bolognese
WASABI This Japanese restaurant clearly says on every dish if it has dairy or egg ingredients. Wasabi does great vegan sushi such as the tofu roll and avocado homosaki, a delicious pumpkin croquette salad and warm tofu yakisoba.
PIZZA EXPRESS This chain pizza restaurant has been catering to vegans for a while, with its cheese-free pianta pizza. Loaded up with fresh rocket, spinach, chestnut mushrooms, pine kernels and artichokes, with arrabbiata basesauce, it’s a very tasty option. As all the pizza bases are vegan, you can sub any animal-derived ingredients on any pizza. Additionally, if you bring your own vegan cheese, chefs will put it on your pizza (as long as it’s in a sealed packet and is in date). Dough balls are also SFV provided your waiter brings olive oil for dipping, and not the garlic butter which normally accompanies them.
ZIZZI Zizzi, which serves Italianstyle fare, has been a bit of a hit with vegans on social media recently, after launching its new menu. Now vegans are catered for well, with the brand’s ‘mozzarisella’ a dairyfree cheese made from rice, which can top any pizza (see our review in this issue). There is also a SFV coconut and mango swirl gelato for afters, as well as a good range of vegan wines. There are a number of dishes which can be adapted to make them free of animalderived ingredients. Try the spaghetti pomodora without mozzarella, or the pappardelle pollo funghi without chicken.
NANDO’S The website has a special vegan filter, and you can also amend a lot of dishes to make them vegan. The chips and garlic bread are vegan, along with hummus with peri-peri drizzle, chargrilled veg and corn on the cob. You can also order the Portabello mushroom pitta without halloumi, quinoa salad and their Mediterranean salad without feta. Hold the mayo on a veggie burger and you’re good to go. A number of stores have passion fruit gelado which is also SFV.
GIRAFFE Giraffe serves a number of ‘global, family-friendly dishes’, many of which are very meaty. But vegans can find something to eat on the extensive menu. The tofu and squash laksa as it comes. Alternatively you can ask for the falafel and red pepper and harissa houmous no-bun burger-just replace the tzaziki with baba ganoush or more houmous. Or for something lighter you can order the Marrakech market salad without the lemon honey dressing.
WILDWOOD Whilst it may appear like there is hardly anything suitable here, the kitchen is very happy to amend recipes for vegans. The toasted focaccia is already vegan. But you could ask for wild mushroom risotto or cherry bell pepper and spring vegetable risotto. Just make sure you ask them to use oil instead of butter and cheese.
WETHERSPOONS This wallet-friendly pub has recently launched a menu with its vegan items, and the dishes that can be adapted to make them SFV. Dishes include pasta pomodoro, vegetable samosas, jacket potatoes with a side salad and baked beans, large onion bhajis and sweet potato, and chickpea and spinach curry. The new list (supplied with the menu) also features possibilities that can be made vegan with a simple modification including nachos-hold the cheese and sour cream, mini corn on the cob-ask for it without butter, and a side salad, minus creamy dressing.
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GRASSROOTS VEGAN Influencer Damien Clarkson talks about navigating the contemporary vegan community “
ommunity is a group of people who have a particular characteristic in common. When you have a social justice movement like veganism, the community surrounding you acts like a support system. It’s really easy to become isolated when you believe in something that isn’t a mainstream belief which is why it’s so important to try and engage with other people who share your views.” Damien Clarkson is an active part of the vegan community, from cofounding 2015’s Vegan Futures festival to his regular YouTubing and vlogging, he has many fingers in many meat-free pies. His proactive stance in the plant-based community makes him a well-known face both in London, where he lives, and online. “I was a climate change activist,” he says. “I became more aware about the impact of animal agriculture on the planet, by reading various reports. I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t call myself an environmentalist while eating meat. “I started learning more about animal agriculture and it all kind of clicked for me. I didn’t want to be part of it anymore. It was the animal aspect that brought me to veganism in the end. It’s been such a massive lifestyle thing for me. I have found a strong energy I didn’t realise I had, and have started doing lots more sporting events. It’s been a real blessing.” For someone starting out on a vegan path it can seem a lonely one: some vegans don’t know any other people who share their values, and don’t know how to get involved in the wider community. The internet can be a good resource in these situations, with a number of vegan groups doing ‘friend bombs’ where members can connect with others.
"I have found a strong energy I didn’t realise I had, and have started doing lots more sporting events. It’s been a real blessing." However one of the current issues facing newbies is a recent spate of arguing within the online community: an issue which crops up a lot. “I see far too much infighting,” says Damien. "We all have the same aim and the same message-to get people to eat fewer animals and go vegan. There is more we have in common than sets up apart. Some people have said this kind of hostility can put them off getting involved in the community. I would advise someone who’s new to veganism to look at social media channels like YouTube. Get on there and reach out to these people who are vlogging. There are people on there who will be very happy to connect and forge friendships, both on and offline, so that can be a valuable tool for meeting people. It tends to be a really friendly community.”
Sometimes the vegan community can seem very London-centric. Does he have any advice for those further afield, or cities which may not have such a large gathering of people? “Vegan meet-ups are a good start,” he says. “There are groups throughout the country and it can be a good way to meet in person. Again, I would suggest platforms like YouTube are a really powerful way to connect.”
"People sharing their journey on social media has made it easier for people across the world to find allies." He believes the internet is a hugely valuable tool, saying: “Social media has been the most effective growth tool for veganism ever. You just need to look at how many people went vegan after watching a speech on Youtube or Earthlings,-10 years ago this wasn't happening. People sharing their journey on social media has made it easier for people across the world to find allies. I think it's important we use the tools that young people use to share information, although I am sure there are 14 year old vegans out there who young people may much rather listen to than someone who is 31.” You can find Damien online at @damienclarkson on Twitter and Instagram. Some of Damien’s work • He recently released a short YouTube film called Do we accept this? “It was inspired partly by my own childhood experiences and the work of Dr Melanie Joy on the topic of Carnism,” he says. “In my activism I have always been a big fan of subverting and hacking messages of those organisations I want to target. In this short I definitely try to poke fun and the fast food companies in this video whilst highlighting how blatantly their marketing targeted children.” •
He's currently putting together a group called the Kindness Collective. This is a unique project which will see a number of vegans coming together to create content promoting veganism and the various aspects of the movement including environmentalism, animal rights issues, and health. They will find a co-working place in the city and exchange work on campaigns for desk space. “The hope is to launch this spring,” he says.
Last year Damien co-organised the Vegan Futures lifestyle festival in London. The show brought together expert speakers and focused on a number of issues including health and fitness TED talks. He’s currently working on another tech-heavy festival called Vevolution.
Lay your own bloody eggs! Stephen Balfour on lessons learned from his feathered friends
ix months ago four beautiful young ladies joined our household. Maude, Matilda, Penny and Primrose came with a bit of back story: they are all ex-battery hens. They were lucky ones of around 500 rescued by the wonderful charity organisation Hens4Homes. I’ve learned so much about these wonderful creatures over the last few months about these wonderful creatures. Please allow me to share my experience with you. Truly shocking Before we collected them, our girls had spent two weeks with Homes4Hens to get acclimatised to the fact they were no longer restricted to a small metal cage. The girls also had been wormed. Despite this they were in a truly appalling condition. Beyond a few feathers here and there they looked like plucked chickens with 80 per cent of their bodies being completely bald. Even though I had seen pictures and video footage of factory farmed chickens before I was bit stunned when I first saw them. Y.M.C.A. To keep the girls warm we purchased Omlet glow in the dark vests for our new flock. My partner Seonad also knitted them cute but
functional jumpers. One of the earlier comments on Facebook that made me laugh was when a fellow vegan suggested they looked like the construction guy from the 70s band Y.M.C.A. What do you do with their eggs? I have lost count of the number of people who have asked me if I’m eating their eggs. For the record, no I do not. My response has now been edited down to: no, that is not the reason why we re-homed them. We re-homed them so they would not be sent to slaughter. As frustrating as the discussions have been, I have used them as an opportunity to discuss the extent of how chickens, (both egg-laying and broiler), are abused in food production. The egg discussion has caused me no end of hassle... My partner does not eat eggs from anywhere else but has eaten a few of our eggs. Before anyone writes in, I don’t agree with this, at all! This has caused no end of arguments in our house. Hopefully a recent discovery that the chickens enjoy eating their own eggs may soon put an end to our arguments. Unfortunately there appears to be very little information online as to what would constitute a healthy intake of scrambled eggs for your typical chicken.
Chickens are a lot bigger than I had thought Our house is home to a menagerie of re-homed animals. Perhaps I had become too used to the size of our rescued budgies and cockatiel Georgie who fly freely round our house. I’ll be honest I was initially wary of putting my hand into their carry case to lift them out when we first took them home as they looked huge. I shouldn’t have worried as they are really gentle souls. I now suffer from chicken-run envy I thought my chicken-run looked pretty awesome until I saw pictures of some wooden palaces online. I’m pleased for the chickens who live there but my efforts now looked pretty amateur in comparison. Chickens are nosy buggers Chickens truly are inquisitive creatures. The first time I let the girls out of their run I left them to go into the garage to tidy up. A few minutes later I was aware I was being watched. I turned around to see the four chickens standing immediately behind me tilting their heads to get a better look at what I was doing. This situation is 100 times worse now they realise I sometimes come bearing gifts in the shape of corn or better still, hot, scrambled egg. Our flock have better recall than our three dogs Admittedly that wouldn’t be hard given that it appears that I have trained our dogs to either completely ignore me or to do the opposite of what I ask. Our chickens' recall is a complete contrast to this. They all come sprinting when they are called. Their running style though leaves a bit to be desired and is cartoon-like. My partner describes it as being akin to an old lady in Victorian garb lifting up her skirt as she runs. Those who know chickens will immediately recognise the image. It certainly makes me laugh. There isn’t anything as pleasurable as watching animals do what comes naturally to them No not that. Come on people get your mind out of the gutter. What I mean is when I see our hens digging in the dirt, rather than be annoyed at the state of my lawn, it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I think of where they have come from. It really is lovely to observe.
when they arrived
I know our girls are the lucky ones Homes4Hens does an amazing job re-homing thousands of hens each year. The reality however is that this a drop in the ocean. The average chicken shed is ‘home’ to around 10,000 birds. There was a ‘cull’ (god I hate that word) at a farm not far from my home recently. This farm is by no means large however 90,000 birds were slaughtered in the process. Even in the absence of virus outbreaks like this, farms routinely empty their sheds/slaughter their laying hens every 11 months when their egg laying productivity passes peaks. My girls are fighting for other chickens I have featured my girls in numerous social media posts. A few omnivore friends have commented about the effect their plight has had on their eating habits. I make a point of introducing omnivore friends and family to our ‘flock’ whenever they visit. I want to make it as difficult as possible for them to consume chicken products in the future. We have a long way to go Go into any supermarket and I reckon at least 80 per cent of the fillings have some kind of chicken product (meat and/or eggs) in them. It is at least heartening to see chicken replacement products begin to attract investment and achieve some traction in the market Hopefully there will be four more on their way We have the space so at least another four chickens will be coming to live with us in the spring. What is that famous saying, re-homing a chicken won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that chicken. I’ll hold onto that thought as dwelling on the bigger picture saddens me greatly. Stephen lives with his family and a variety of rescue companion animals in Fife, Scotland. A passionate vegan he can be contacted to discuss any vegan projects via firstname.lastname@example.org or via most of the usual social media channels.
Recipes and images from Protein Ninja: Power Through Your Day with 100 Hearty Plant-Based Recipes that Pack a Protein Punch by Terry Hope Romero is published by Da Capo Lifelong, ÂŁ15.99.
Big night in A crowd-pleasing creamy curry complete with fancy flatbreads
Coriander Mint Garbanzo Bean Flatbreads Makes 8, 6 inch flatbreads Per Serving:
• • • •
200g (1 ½ cups) whole wheat white flour, plus more for dusting 50g (½ cup) garbanzo bean flour ½ tsp baking powder ½ tsp salt 600ml (¼ cup) olive oil, almost frozen (pour oil into a plastic container, then pop into the freezer for 20-25 minutes, or until very thick and cloudy. It should have the consistency of sorbet) 180ml (¾ cup) cold water 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Olive or coconut oil, for pan (optional) • Cornmeal, for dusting Coriander basil pesto • 1 bunch coriander (cilantro) (40g or 2 cups lightly packed leaves) • 1 bunch basil (40g or 2 cups lightly packed leaves) • Grated zest of 1 lemon • 80ml (1/3 cup) extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tsp salt • 225g (1½ cups) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed • Nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes for topping.
Make the dough first: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt. Spoon the almost frozen olive oil into the flour mixture and cut in with a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture looks like damp sand. Create a well in the centre and pour in the water and lemon juice; stir to form a soft dough. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for a minute. If the dough seems sticky, sprinkle with flour; if it’s too dry, sprinkle with water. Cover with a damp, clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest. Preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F). Lightly oil a baking sheet or preheat a pizza stone. While the oven preheats and the dough is resting, pulse together all the pesto ingredients, except the chickpeas, until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the chickpeas. Divide the dough into eight equal pieces and dust generously with whole wheat flour. Shape each piece of dough into a .-inchthick round on a work surface generously dusted with cornmeal. Do this either with a rolling pin dusted with flour, or just pat the dough with your fingers. Divide the pesto mixture evenly on top of each round, smoothing the pesto almost to the edges. Bake each mini pizza wait, I mean flatbread (perhaps you can bake up to three at a time, depending on the size of your pan or baking stone) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the dough is browned and the top is sizzling. Dust the hot flatbreads with nutritional yeast and red pepper flakes before serving. >
Creamy Tomato Tofu Curry Tofu and vegetables • 500g (1lb) firm tofu • 2 tbsp coconut oil • 1 leek • 300g (3 cups) cauliflower florets • 250g (2 cups) courgette (zucchini) or yellow summer squash • 100g (1 cup) green beans • 1 large yellow onion Curry paste • 80g (½ cup) minced shallots • 2 garlic cloves, peeled • 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger • 1 to 3 fresh red chiles • 2 Medjool dates, pitted 1. 2. 3. 4.
1 tbsp mild curry powder 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice • ½ tsp ground turmeric • 1 tsp salt Tomato white bean purée • 400g (14oz) fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain) • 400g (14oz) white beans, drained and rinsed • 375ml (1 ½ cups) water • 130g (1 cup) frozen green peas • 20g (1 cup) chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
Start the tofu: Drain and then press the tofu according to the top tip. Meanwhile, blend together the curry paste ingredients in a food processor or blender. While the tofu is pressing, chop the vegetables for the broth: Peel and slice the onion into thick half-moons. Remove the root and green part of the leek, slice in half, wash well to remove any grit, and chop into ½ inch-thick pieces. Chop the
cauliflower and squash into bite-size pieces, and the green beans into bite-size lengths. This should keep you plenty busy while that tofu presses, but when it’s ready to go, dice the tofu into ½ inch cubes. Heat 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a large wok over mediumhigh heat. Brown the tofu for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally and always spreading out in one layer for even browning. Transfer the tofu to a plate. Heat the remaining coconut oil and fry the onion and leek until just starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the cauliflower, squash, and green beans and fry for another 2 minutes. Make the tomato white bean puree: In a blender, puree the diced tomatoes, white beans, and water. Stir into the wok mixture and simmer the curry for another 15 minutes or so, or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy and the curry has thickened up a little. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with more salt or lemon juice, if desired. Stir in the frozen peas and cilantro, simmer for 1 minute, and remove from the heat. The curry will be crazy hot! If possible, set it aside
TOP TIP •
Press the tofu for 30 minutes: Slice the tofu into 8 pieces, sandwich between 2 cutting boards, and press over a sink for 30 minutes. Or use a tofu press.
Images: Jordan Hughes
Meet the chef S
ome meals leave you in a disoriented haze, the flavours so intense and the composition so perfect, you’re left dreaming of the pleasure a long time after your plate is empty. King Cook’s Vegan Hard Bowl (available from his Shoreditch BOXPARK eatery King Cook Daily) is that kind of meal. The bravest diners can start with the Scotch bonnet chilli peppers on top. Others dig straight into the yams, dumplings, brown rice and quinoa, all in a delicious curry sauce. “I can’t define what my food is exactly,” explains King Cook. “Some of it is Thai, this is Caribbean. It’s not about a specific cuisine from a specific location, it’s more about flavours that are personal to me somehow. Every plate has a story, every ingredient has a purpose. I like to play with language when I’m creating a dish too.”
"He takes the vegan philosophy, in its entirety, very seriously." One of his most popular dishes, High Grade (turn over for the recipe) is a perfect example of this. The ingredient names fall into the semantic field of marijuana. “It’s metaphorical,” he says. “You have hemp oil, a smoky sauce, green herbs. It’s about playing with language, but it all has to fall into place too. For example the hemp seeds I use fit into the theme of the dish, but they also provide texture. It has to work, it can’t just be a clever gimmick.” The chef spent many years training classically-a background he believes has stood him in good stead. He says: “That training informs my food now. I spent a lot of time in really high end kitchens [including Vanilla Black-a Michelin-recommended vegetarian restaurant in London]. When you go to a really good restaurant in France looking for a job, they will tell you to make an omelette. If you cook it for a few seconds too long, they’ll know your level of skill. There is a precision in classical training that is really important in my cooking.” He turned to veganism after meditating. Being a trainee chef is hard graft, and after long days in stressful kitchens, he would spend time at a meditation class. This led to thinking about the food he was eating and he soon cut out meat, dairy and eggs. He takes the vegan philosophy, in its entirety, very seriously. “Veganism has changed my life,” he says. “Before I was an angry chef. I was touching meat all the time. But now how can I be angry? I’m not working with dead animals anymore, I’m touching broccoli and bananas.” He evens sells merchandise adorned with the slogan ‘No blood, no bones’, a sign of how unapologetically vegan he is. “I’m not plantbased,” he says. “I’m vegan for the animals.” Luckily this lifestyle leads into his exciting style of creating food: “You have to see this way of cooking as an opportunity,” he says. “I look at it like this: when someone takes meat away from their Christmas dinner, people are going to be missing something. They are going to be eating side dishes. But as a chef you get to be more creative when you take
that meat away. It unlocks another way of thinking. You get to learn about vegetables-really learn about them and all the different types. It’s a whole new world. There are so many different plants and that is exciting. And you have to always respect these ingredients you knowyou don’t want to just boil the vegetables until they are tasteless.” This skill for making vegetables into something delicious is very important: not only is he surrounded by other eateries, he is just metres away from the famous Dirty Burger outlet. With a local crowd who are passionate about meat it’s a remarkable achievement for a year old restaurant to consistently have queues out the door. “I know the area, and know the locals really well. I know what the area needs and what this part of London was missing. “I don’t want to specifically call this a health food place as I don’t want to get boxed in to a genre like that. I want to be known for making the best vegan food in London.” And a number of prolific vegans have said King Cook is making the best food. The chef was heaped with praise by popular blogger (and Vegan Life agony uncle) Fat Gay Vegan who said: “I’m not f**king around here when I say this meal is one of the finest you will eat in the UK. This is what skill, talent and dedication tastes like. Exquisite.” Such is the power of the blogger, the day after this post-entitled Best in London-was published, King Cook Daily was crammed with new customers ordering the FGV’s choice of the Full English-a combination of scrambled tofu, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausage, rice, and sauce.
"I call it ‘vegan grub’. It’s fresh, it’s perfect flavours, it all works well." He has also had a number of celebrity endorsements, including one from Professor Green who Tweeted: “I might move to Shoreditch so I can eat at Home and Cook Daily every day. Vegan living made easy.” Diners may have seen the rapper who is a regular customer. King Cook Daily-the first of many planned venues-has been designed as King’s own kitchen with the décor and the food plotted with precision. “My chef’s whites are hanging up in the dining area: you’re stepping into my space when you come in here. “There are 10 dishes on the menu. I decided I would make just a few perfect plates instead of always changing things around. Everything is cooked fresh to order and we don’t have any slow cookers or deep fat fryers in the back. It always comes back to quality and taste. Everything I cook has a special meaning but above and beyond that, it has to work on the plate. I call it ‘vegan grub’. It’s fresh, it’s perfect flavours, it all works well. “I’m excited about where veganism is heading and how much it has grown recently. 2015 was the beginning of something big, 2016 will be a big year. Let’s see how much more it grows in the future.”
KING COOK’S SIGNATURE DISH Now you can enjoy the chef’s famous food at home
High Grade High Grade Sauce • 2 tbsp of hemp oil • 2 tbsp of olive oil • 1 small white onion, diced • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 banana shallots, diced • 1 tsp tomato puree • 450g (2 cups) plum tomatoes • 130ml (½ cup) cider vinegar • 70ml (1/3 cup) rice vinegar • 115g (1/3 cup) molasses • 3 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce • 3 tbsp raw coconut sugar • 2 tsp smoked paprika • 2 tbsp of sesame oil • 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Sautéed Vegetables • 1 tbsp olive oil • ¼ sliced onion • 1 garlic clove, sliced • 1 inch bashed fresh ginger • 500g (17½ oz) mixed vegetables such as bell peppers, okra, carrots, mange tout, baby corn and broccoli • 2 tbsp cooked chickpeas • 1 tbsp tamari sauce • 250ml (1 cup) vegetable stock • 2 tbsp of High Grade sauce To serve • Brown rice and quinoa • Hemp hearts and coriander to garnish
3. 4. 5.
To make the sauce, heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, shallots and cook until fragrant, around 1-2 minutes. Add plum tomatoes, tomato puree, cider vinegar, rice vinegar, molasses, vegan Worcestershire sauce, raw coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika and sesame oil and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the above ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth adding the hemp oil last. Set aside to cool. To prepare the vegetables, heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, then fry the onions, garlic and ginger for 1-2 minutes. Add the chickpeas and vegetables and toss for 2-3 minutes, then add the Tamari along with the High Grade sauce, mixing well. Once the veggies are nicely coated add the vegetable stock and cook for a further 1-2 minutes on a high heat. Serve over brown rice and quinoa and garnish with hemp hearts and coriander.
BLACK RATS IN FOCUS Misunderstood and unloved, these marvellous creatures deserve the spotlight
any people cringe when they think about black rats but there’s more to these animals than the plague. Broadly speaking, there are two rat varieties in the UK–the brown and the black-though other varieties may exist on these shores in smaller numbers. According to the British Wildlife Centre: “The black rat, also known as the ship rat, has a notorious history. It is originally from India, arriving here with the Romans 2,000 years ago in ships and crates of cargo. Fleas on black rats brought the plague to Europe in the Middle Ages, when they came with the last Crusaders returning from the Holy Land in 1348. The Black Death killed three million people in England-over half the population at that time.”
According to the People’s Trust for Endangered Species: “Black rats are one of the rarest mammals in Britain now, their numbers having diminished over the last 50 years as dockyards, which served as their last outpost, have been modernised.” The species was largely absent from British shores for almost 100 years from around 1900. A rat controller found six of the animals in Cornwall in 1999. They were not carrying ﬂeas. Black rats were once very common but have been largely displaced by the bigger and more aggressive brown rat.
Black rats are omnivores and will eat anything. Plants including grains and fruits form a large part of their diet, but they will also consume carrion, insects, and rubbish.
Black rats can breed throughout the year, though peak breeding season is between summer and autumn. Females, who are able to reproduce by the age of three months, can produce up to ﬁve litters per annum, with litters ranging from six to 12 oﬀspring. The gestation period lasts up to 21 days. Babies are weaned and independent by four weeks old. Males do not contribute much care to their oﬀspring as they simply reproduce with one female then move onto the next. Males are generally less aggressive than females.
Rats are extremely sociable and aﬀectionate, enjoying the company of other rats, as well as humans. In fact without companionship they are likely to become lonely and depressed. The life expectancy of a black rat in the wild is only around 12 months. (It’s longer for a brown rat at approximately two years). Black rats are generally considered to be very good swimmers and climbers. They can run along telephone wires, and like to make their nests high up in roof spaces. Their coats can vary in colour from black to greybrown. While they are smaller than brown rats, they have comparatively larger eyes and ears, and longer, thinner tails. Their ears are almost hairless, compared with the furry ears of brown rats. Black rats are mostly nocturnal and live in groups with a dominant male. The black rat is quite a vocal creature and emits a high-pitched sqeak whenever s/he feels threatened or is socialising. Other habits include leaving oily little smears to denote territorial boundaries, and using body language cues to show group hierarchy. These can include threatening postures and even physical contact. Black rats engage all ﬁve of their senses when scoping out their environments. Although rats are often considered to be dirty they spend hours grooming and cleaning themselves.
let them eat cake A lovely light vegan sweet to serve at tea parties
Fluffy Cake with Strawberry Coulis Serves 6 – 8 •
30g (1/3 cup) chestnut flour (or cocoa, carob or coffee powder) • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon • 155ml (½ cup) soy milk • 140g (1½ cups) millet (or teff) flour • 30g (1/3 cup) wholemeal oat flour • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda • ½ tsp baking powder • ¼ tsp bourbon vanilla powder 1 • /8 tsp sea salt • 3 tbsp sunflower oil • 150g (½ cup) rice syrup Strawberry coulis • 320g (1½ cups) fresh strawberries • 2 tbsp maple syrup • 1 tsp lemon juice • A pinch of sea salt 1.
6. Per Serving: 226
Recipe and image from Power Grains published by Ryland Peters & Small
If you’re using chestnut flour that hasn’t been pre-roasted, place it in a dry frying pan over a medium heat and stir until fragrant. Set aside. Add the lemon juice to the milk and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, sift the chestnut, millet and oat flour with the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and then add the vanilla and salt. Prepare the coulis by mixing all the ingredients and letting them sit for 30 minutes. Mash with a fork to get a juicy coulis with some texture. You can also blend it if you prefer a smooth sauce. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. Add the oil and syrup to the milk and lemon mixture and mix well with a spatula. Make sure you don’t mix too much, otherwise the cake might turn chewy. Pour the batter into your 24cm springform cake pan, greased and baselined with baking parchment and spread evenly. Bake for 18–20 minutes. Test if done by inserting a cocktail stick into the middle of the cake; if it comes out clean, it’s done. Let the cake cool completely, and then cut with a bread knife into 6–8 equal slices. Spoon the coulis over the cake slices just before serving.
And they ate happily ever after Vegan Life art director – and mother of two - Emily talks about raising a family in a meat-free house
amily is the most important thing to me: both my immediate family and my extended one. I am lucky to have a large support network of people who love and understand me.
But I firmly believe I can provide a loving, warm and supportive home for my kids, full of life, fun, and good food, without harming them or harming the non-human animals we share our planet with.
But while my family understands my values, not everyone agrees with them, and it can be difficult to balance my personal beliefs with my close relationships. This very issue was brought sharply into focus recently when Ruby wanted to go to the zoo. Her cousin (they are a similar age and thick as thieves) was going. It could be a family outing, something the kids would enjoy doing. The thing is, obviously as a vegan, I don’t support zoos. I don’t support the exploitation of animals for our entertainment, or any other reason. And although some facilities are more humane than others it is not an industry I want to support financially or otherwise. But this is a difficult thing to explain to a three year old. It is so hard telling your child why they can’t do something they want to. Especially when her intentions are so good: she loves the animals and wants to see them, maybe interact with them. Without a doubt this is the most difficult thing about being vegan: explaining to my children why they will sometimes miss out on the things they want to do-the things they see their friends doing. And then where do you draw the line when it comes to explaining why? I don’t want to break her heart by being too explicit. This is not the only issue. I have friends accusing me of ‘pushing’ my own values on to my kids. I am sure most vegan parents have felt the sting of that accusation. I feel that Ruby and her brother Charlie can make up their own minds about being vegan when they are older. In the meantime, they will not have engaged in the exploitative and inhumane world of using animals for whatever reason. So what happened? The family went out to the zoo, and we met up with them after, having spent quality time together in the park. Learning to balance the precious relationships I have with others, and the vegan principles I hold within myself will always be a challenge.
Images: Richard Duebel
BACK TO OUR ROOTS Sylvia Smith shares her views on herbal medicines
lternative medicine has become something of a lifestyle choice over the last decade or so. High streets throughout the country have a Chinese medical centre often complementing a nearby Chinese restaurant, and, with foreign travel ever more popular, exotic cures such as Ayurveda are gathering almost as many fans as acupuncture. From applied kinesiology to Zhang Fu and with more alternatives in between than you can easily count, choosing which path to follow isn’t straightforward. It’s a dilemma for those with non-life threatening ailments who want to look beyond conventional medicine.
says. “This causes side effects you don’t get when using whole plant medicine.” According to Lorraine Luke, a London-based herbalist who practices at the Life Centre in Notting Hill Gate, a herbalist prescribes according to the underlying cause of the illness, not just the obvious symptoms. “It is common for prescriptions to vary between patients with similar illnesses,” she explains. “The actual herbal treatment is often backed up with advice on lifestyle and nutrition. It is an individual, personal >
The no ads, no fads method is a good place to start, especially for vegans who want reassurance that no animal parts are included in any medication. Having outlived blood-letting and other quackery herbal medicine has been going strong since the middle-ages.
“Prior to the pill-popping culture, now the norm in the west, indigenous British people relied heavily on herbal plants growing wild to cure their ills.” Prior to the pill-popping culture, now the norm in the west, indigenous British people relied heavily on herbal plants growing wild to cure their ills. Once the preserve of monasteries, the universities, and medical schools of the age, herbal medicine is enjoying a revival with the increasing number of vegans and vegetarians seeking cruelty-free good health. Plants are the source of western herbal medicine. The most active part of the plant e.g. the leaf, root or rhizome is used either in the form of dried herbs, tinctures (often the most common form of medication), a glycerite or a topical application. A tincture is plant medicine set in a small amount of ethanol, which is not suitable for Muslim clients or alcoholics on a detox programme. However it is then that dried herbs come to the fore, taken in the form of a steeped tea or compacted into capsule cases. Founded in 1894, The National Institute of Medical Herbalists, the UK’s leading professional organisation of practitioners is still quietly evolving. It doesn’t follow fashion but it does back research into new aspects of plants and herbs interaction and their impact on maintaining good health and banishing disease. It’s very low-key and as English as roses and bluebells. One fan of herbal medicine says she loves the characters, eccentrics and people with passion who choose to train in phytotherapy rather than entering the one-size fits-all, conveyor belt system of the GP referral system. “Orthodox medicine uses the same plant medicine as its basis, but synthesizes it into today’s mass medicines,” she
Lorraine Luke Prescribes Reduce toxic overload Remove plastics from food you purchase. Remove herbs and vegetables from plastic packaging before freezing. Decant fruit drinks out of plastic and into glass containers. Plastics release toxins into food. Avoid frying food and do not reheat previously used oil. Steam, oven-bake, and grill instead. Take up yoga/meditation in order to combat the stresses of life and bring the mind and body together. Finally, dare I say it, come and see me. Symptoms from backache to bowel problems, from hormonal imbalances to headaches, witness the body attempting to rights itself naturally. Many unwanted toxins can be successfully banished by a formal change in the way we structure our intake of food-rather than resorting to the drastic “no solids” principle that has caught on as the celebrity approach to correcting imbalance. Now that spring is here, try a 10 day detox programme using a blend of herbal medicines in tincture form.
You can contact Lorraine Luke on 07973 262593 or at the Life Centre on 020 7221 4602
approach that means western herbal medicine is suitable for everyone.”
“Lorraine Luke says western herbal medicine requires individual diagnosis and making specific remedies for each patient, quite the opposite of over-thecounter remedies.” Although herbal medicine is often lumped together with traditional Chinese medicine, the latter can contain wild and domestic animal parts in the ingredients; (we’ve all heard of the disgraceful trade in rhocerus horn and elephant tusk). One of the oldest natural medicine traditions, and now the new kid on the block, especially in London, is Ayurvedic medicine, which can also contain about 15-20 per cent of animal derived substances. Herbal medicine is often confused with homeopathy. Neither are quick fix therapies and both take into account past physiological and emotional events. But while homeopathy is British Royal family approved and thought to work by stimulating the body’s own healing energy and remedies consist of minute doses of natural substances, herbal medicine uses the whole plant. Practitioners make up their own concoctions of tinctures and blended teas. Some with outside space and grow their own herbs. Lorraine Luke says western herbal medicine requires individual diagnosis and making specific remedies for each patient, quite the opposite of over-the-counter remedies. Her family are from Trinidad and using herbs to cure illness was the norm on the Caribbean island. “My great-grandmother was a successful, independent midwife,” she says. “Her emphasis was on treating infertility and cleaning out the womb post-birth. Her influence is felt throughout the family.” But allergies can occur in phytotherapy and people who are allergic to ragweed might also be allergic to plants from the Asteraceae family, such as chamomile. “My mother used herbal and homeopathic remedies as an adjunct to orthodox medicine,” Lorraine adds.
“While being a vegan can help to maintain or improve one’s health, it is each person’s constitution, set before birth, that largely determines state of health and vitality throughout life.” Our regular user of phytotherapy points out that with no common regulatory framework for the training of herbal and traditional medicine practitioners across the EU, she seeks treatment from either diploma or degree-trained practitioners. “Make this a requirement before seeking treatment,” she emphasises. “Labelling herbalists as
quacks has been a historical feature and without accredited training you are open to treatment by charlatans.” Lorraine Luke undertook a three-year degree course accredited by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, presently seeking statutory regulation from the government. “My training included studying anatomy, physiology, pharmacognosy (the study of medicinal drugs from plants) and pharmaceutical medicine”, she clarifies. While being a vegan can help to maintain or improve one’s health, it is each person’s constitution, set before birth, that largely determines state of health and vitality throughout life. As a plant-based diet, veganism goes a long way to enhance the health of a person, as long as it fits their constitution. Some herbal medicine suppliers are accredited by the Vegan Society. The National HeaIth Service [NHS] is still a post-code lottery and your treatment depends on how the lead consultant views your case and what is passed down to his or her junior doctors – the registrars and consultants of the future. But some phytotherapy is available on the National Health (uclh.nhs.uk/rlhim). You can also buy your own herbs from specialist British company, Rutland Biodynamics, which holds weekends explaining how biodynamic herbs are processed after harvesting. Biodynamic growing increases the vitality of the soil which in turn is imparted to the patient. As a vegan it is very easy to believe that all complementary therapies are suitable or that they provide a complete alternative to orthodox medicine. In truth bringing together the two provides for an integrative medicine approach that results in whole health.
Note: This article is not intended to replace the advice of your GP or suggest alternative medicine should be used in place of conventional medicine.
The opinions are those of the author and should not be used to diagnose or treat any illness or suspected illness. If you have, or suspect you have, any medical condition you should always consult your doctor.
Sweet indulgence Treat yourself with these decadent dishes
Carrot Cake Per Serving:
Recipe and image from Charis Mitchell. floralfrosting.blogspot.com Instagram & Twitter: @floralfrosting
Carrot Cake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting Serves 8 – 12 Carrot cake • 250g (2 ½ cups) plain flour • 2 tsp baking powder • 170g (¾ cup) granulated sugar • 50g (¼ cup) light soft brown sugar • ½ tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice) • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon • ½ tsp salt • 320ml (1 ¼ cups) almond milk • 110g (½ cup) vegan butter spread, melted • 3 tbsp aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas) • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar • 50g (1 cup) finely grated carrots (3 small/medium carrots) Frosting • 2 tbsp vegan butter spread (e.g. Vitalite) • 2 tbsp vegan shortening (e.g. Stork Margarine) • 6 tbsp vegan cream cheese (e.g. Tofutti) • 1 tsp vanilla extract • 2 tbsp almond milk • 1.8kg (7-8 cups) powdered sugar • 1 tsp cinnamon • Cinnamon to finish 1. 2.
Preheat the oven to 170°C (340°F) and line and grease two round cake tins. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Mix the wet ingredients together in a jug or small bowl and add to the dry mix. Mix well until there are no lumps left before folding in the grated carrots and pouring into the cake tins. Bang each cake tin on the counter a couple of times to burst any air bubbles forming and bake for 20-25mins, or until the cakes are risen and golden, and a skewer inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tins for 20mins and then turn out onto wire cooling racks to go completely cold while you make the frosting. Cream together the butter spread, shortening and cream cheese until very smooth. Add the vanilla and half the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add the almond milk and the rest of the powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy. (Add more milk or powdered sugar as needed!) Finally add the cinnamon and mix until well incorporated. Spoon a quarter of the frosting mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and set aside. Put a third of the remaining frosting on top of the base cake and spread out evenly. Sandwich together with the second cake and top with another third of the frosting and then cover the sides with the final third. Pipe around the bottom and the top edges and dust the cake with cinnamon. Cake lasts one week in the refrigerator.
Superfood Roasted Nut Butter Per 100g: 601
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140g (1 cup) raw almonds 100g (1 cup) raw walnuts 2 tbsp Nutriseed Ground Flaxseed 2 tbsp Nutriseed Hemp Protein Powder 3 tbsp Nutriseed Chia Seeds 3 tbsp maple syrup Pinch or two of salt
Preheat the oven to 165°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the nuts, flax and hemp powders, chia seeds, maple syrup and a pinch or two of salt. Stir until the nuts are coated with the syrup. Pour the nut mixture onto the lined baking sheet. Roast the nuts at 165°C for 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Once the nuts have roasted for 20 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and let them cool for 10-15 minutes. Once the nuts have cooled slightly, transfer them to your food processor. Process the nuts on high for about 10 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides every minute or so. Once the nuts have turned into a glossy, slightly runny butter, you’re done! Transfer the nut butter to a glass container, and store at room temperature for up to a week. Enjoy!
3. 4. 5. 6. 7.
Recipe and image from nutriseed.uk
Image: Michael Williams
Mafia vs Conservation Wietse Van Der Werf is ruthless in his pursuit of saving marine life
ur oceans are being plundered by reckless criminals: over 800kg of fish illegally taken from the water every second. The scale of overfishing is so vast it has been connected to organised crime. The barons propping up this lucrative trade are sophisticated with a number of resources at their disposal. After all, it’s an attractive proposition: high profits from fish sold with only a minor chance of being caught. There are of course regulatory quotas in place against overfishing but it is extremely difficult to monitor this activity. Add to this the high prices attached to endangered species and it’s easy to be bleak about the future of marine life. Enter Wietse Van Der Werf, founder of The Black Fish organisation (which aims to end illegal overfishing), and one of the most exciting voices on the conservation scene. This former violin maker (‘I was interested in woodwork and violins are the hardest thing to make,’) is making huge waves in an industry in danger of sinking itself.
Wietse, who is currently working on a number of projects under The Black Fish banner to fight fishing crime, recently co-authored a report on the topic. The report says: “Because it is largely treated as a regulatory matter, illegal, unregulated and unreported [IUU] fishing has been allowed to flourish. Perpetrators are levied minimal fines, if anything, and are permitted to continue their illicit and profitable activities. Far from constituting a harmless lack of compliance with regulations, IUU fishing destroys marine ecosystems, threatens food security, harms legitimate fishers and damages the economy and state governance. This report presents a wide range of case studies selected from across the globe, to argue that IUU fishing is in fact a dangerous and highly organized form of transnational crime, and one associated with other illegal, violent and destructive practices.” So what exactly does he plan to do about this problem? There are a number of issues at hand, from monitoring overfishing and gathering
One of his projects is the Wildlife Air Service-the first civilian air service funded by private aviation. He tells Vegan Life: “The thinking was, ‘how can we get aircraft in the sky?’ That is the best place to monitor activity from but it is expensive. There are a lot of private pilots who might not care about conservation but they love flying so they started to do the patrols by flying. How do we involve new demographics of people who are not vegan, or not already involved in animal rights campaigning?
Image: Paul Wolfgang Webster
evidence, to ensuring that evidence is exploited fully to ensure lasting change-preferably in the pursuit of legislative change.
“We need more people to step in. I was talking to a guy who says he doesn’t care about conservation but he loves his Cessna [light aircraft] and that’s the way in. People contribute where their heart lies. As activists we started from the point of saying there are problems, we need to do something about it. And of course the more people learn about something the more they care. Someone who isn’t interested about conservation can become very passionate. “So you start with the question: What do you love? If you can apply that passion, people will feel ownership and become more interested. We all started at a point then we met a person or heard a talk, getting inspired when we were exposed to those ideas. The animal rights world is very closed, and often seems to be many very similar people-usually young, white and middle class. When we try to open this out, we can find a much bigger pool of people to work with.” Another answer was to launch the Citizen Inspector Network. This is a truly innovative project. As Wietse says, ‘this is about ordinary people tackling organised crime’. The programme recruits volunteers, then trains them to identify illegal activity (see box). The programme was inspired by the Royal Observer Corps, a civil defence organisation that monitored enemy aircraft. Founded in 1925, the group made its mark during the Battle of Britain, a wartime operation that took place between July 1940 and June 1941. The Royal Observer Corps passed on essential information to strategically direct a hugely outnumbered RAF. “Civil society has so much to offer,” Wietse says. “What we have going on now is fragmentation, but governments and lobbyists are merging. Government does not always have the expertise and need a helping hand which NGOS like The Black Fish can give them. Working with government bodies and local law enforcement agencies against illegal fishing can work well. Let’s enforce the law together through high seas intervention. The crime aspect of this fishing gets people on board too. The moment you talk about illegality you don’t need to be vegan or an activist.” And talk about it he is: A speaking tour is lined up for Germany in September passing through 17 cities in three weeks, and with a massive number of lectures already under his belt Wietse is working hard to bring the issue to the masses. His colleague Valeska has been invited to talk at the International Animal Rights Gathering in Luxemburg early September. Wietse is becoming an increasingly public figure, with large outlets-notably the Guardian-writing about his work in almost forensic detail. Could this affect any of his surveillance work? Or, bearing in mind the criminals involved with illegal fishing, make his position dangerous? He says: “Well I guess I am mostly the person getting more known, which is important since I’m the public face of our efforts. However, I’m >
Citizen Inspectors [C.I.] • One of the duties undertaken by the C.I.s is port inspection. Day or night, groups of between two and four people visit ports in Europe. The purpose is to gather information: what type of fishing is prominent in this area? What type of fish are generally targeted and caught? Measuring the mesh on nets can give huge clues about the types of fish being targeted. Is there any notable by catch? Any illegal activity? According to the organisation having a presence is an important part of the success. And the more inspectors visit ports, the more likely it is that wrongdoing can be spotted and documented. • C.I.s also visit fish markets. This way they can see if any endangered or illegal fish are being sold, as well as identify the way fish have been caught. Sometimes these visits are paired with vehicle tracking-a way to link companies with which fish are being caught. This type of mission is reserved for experienced inspectors. • Coastal patrols are sometimes operated by The Black Fish. The organisation aims to procure a larger, permanent vessel in which to undertake these patrols. • The data gathered by the inspectors has to be organised and stored. This type of intelligence analysis is crucial. • While the position of citizen inspector is voluntary meals are provided-all vegan of course.
Image: Kukka Ranta less involved in the field (at least for port and market inspections) and since we’re training more and more people, it is increasingly less likely that a citizen inspector is recognised. “But what is true of course is the fact that as we get more known, grow in size and do more ambitious projects, our success may well meet more resistance and possible retaliation. Our top priority will always be to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our people, so while we continue to launch more ambitious investigations, we continue to weigh up the risks.” And these risks can be high. In 2014, Cambodian journalist Suon Chan was beaten to death by 10 fishermen. Authorities believe he may have been killed because of his investigative work around illegal fishing. And the involvement of a criminal element in the industry could be global, with high profile crime-rings involved. According to The Black Fish's report on fishing crime: “Organized crime’s use of fishing vessels and involvement in illegal fishing has been alleged in many regions of the world, from New York’s Fulton Fish Market to groups from the former Soviet Union, China, South America and South Africa. All of Italy’s major Mafia syndicates are involved in maritime transport and fishing. “In September 2004 70 members of the ‘Francesco Muto clan’ were issued arrest warrants and charged with extortion against the tuna canning company Tonno Callipo, based in Vibo Valentia. In Western Sicily, tuna ranches paid high sums of money to local Mafiosi clans associated with Cosa Nostra. The WWF also reports that the Cosa Nostra Mazzei clan was heavily involved in fish purchases in the Catania and Portopalo fish-markets.”
But it is these risks that push Wietse and the organisation to work in a different way. And this ambition is helping to push the profile of the organisation and even challenge perceptions about the traditional face of activism. For example, Wietse talks about wearing a suit when meeting government organisations: “First impressions make a big impact, and if the compromise I have to make is wearing a suit to make my message heard, I can do that. “It isn’t about being a rebel on the outside anymore, it is about joining forces to maximise potential.”
Veganism and activism Wietse has been vegan for 10 years. “I met the right people,” he says. “I was vegetarian for a decade before I made the connection. It’s the best decision I have ever made. People think it’s limiting but it isn’t, it opens up a whole world. You learn about so many things, and it’s a key part of living a low impact life. “Of course the other side of veganism-and how popular it is -is that it is becoming the consumerist choice. Just because something is vegan does not mean it is low impact, for example, some of the highly processed food. “For me veganism is the natural choice, but it’s not something I make a big deal out of. So many of the activists I meet are vegan, but lots of people who start to get interested aren’t, and they have a very important contribution to make.”
PROJECT BILLBOARD An innovative plan to spread the vegan message started in Scotland
n March’s edition of Vegan Life we published a news story about Tracy Cassidy from Manchester who hired a billboard space in her city to display a huge poster about veganism. The project, which was crowdfunded, had a big impact on the people who saw it. It also had a huge impact on our readers as many wrote in wanting to find out more about how they could get involved. We decided to speak to the inspirational women who started it all. Susan and Barbara Bolton are sisters who live in Glasgow and Edinburgh respectively. They have both been vegan for several years and take a proactive stance towards saving animals. “We believe the best thing anyone can do for animals is go vegan,” says Barbara. “In fact, we believe if you care about animals at all, the least you can do is be vegan. Once you are, then you can build on that, educate others and help to encourage people to do it too. That’s what we focus our energy on.”
A billboard with a thought-provoking question is a great way to expose as many people as possible to the vegan message. Barbara says: “Susan came up an image with the line of animals, from left to right, starting with the animals typically viewed as companions or pets. As you move to the right you see the animals more often viewed as resources, the species we typically eat. The question is posed to the viewer: ‘where do you draw the line?’ All animals want to live. It’s a simple design and with one clear message, which is what you need for a billboard that people may only see in passing. It’s designed to challenge speciesism, posing the question to the viewer to trigger a thought process. “We asked an illustrator to draw the image so it was good quality, and then we found a billboard company with billboard locations in Glasgow and Edinburgh. We selected the locations with the most impact and got the prices. We were then able to show people the plan and begin
crowd-funding to pay to get it up. We needed over £1000 for the two billboards for two weeks each.” The women are members of a 2,000-strong Facebook group called Vegan Edinburgh and Glasgow [VEG]. They thought if they could get donations from members of that group they’d be able to put the billboards up quickly. “It took a bit longer than we anticipated, as things do, and to boost our funds we sold vegan tablet [a Scottish sugar confection] at a local vegan fête and got help from the owner of a chain of plant-based restaurants, (Mono, Stereo, the Flying Duck and the 78) in Glasgow. He kindly organised a fundraising night where we had bands perform and we even had the vegan comedian Jake Yapp compere,” says Barbara. Having raised the money, the pair erected two boards, one in Glasgow (at a busy junction in Anniesland) and Edinburgh (outside a Tesco Superstore). “It was just incredible to finally see the image up where thousands of people would view it. It was quite emotional,” says Barbara. “We got some brilliant feedback once the billboards went up. “People who’d contributed to the campaign sent us photos of themselves standing next to the posters. We heard about a group of school kids busting into cheers as their bus went past it, and someone in VEG told us how her mum was really affected by the image. It was great outreach to non-vegans and it was all also great for vegans to see that message up there. More donations rolled in and soon we had enough to put up a third billboard at the beginning of this year in Glasgow. We’ve also encouraged other people to fundraise to get the image up in their towns.” Barbara and Susan haven’t stopped there, expanding the scope of their operation, and changing their name from Vegan Billboard to Go Vegan Scotland. Barbara says: “We are overtly, expressly, unabashedly promoting veganism. We believe that is the most effective way to encourage people to do what’s right. We don’t encourage people to take a step in the direction of veganism, we don’t encourage people to go vegetarian. We talk to people about it.”
“You have to be very focused in these ads, they can’t contain too much information or text so it will be a striking image with a simple but powerful message.” At first they did this through leafleting, now they have a stall. “Flyering was a good experience,” says Barbara. “Some people reacted positively and it felt worthwhile, but we also realise the best and most worthwhile interactions we had were with people who actually approached us to talk when they realised what we were doing there. They wanted to talk about it. They wanted to tell us: ‘I really admire you vegans, but’, and: ‘I know what happens to animals is not right, but…’ and we spoke for some time, they thanked us and said they would come and speak to us again another time. ���We realised we could have more impact if we set ourselves up somewhere where people could approach us, ask us for information, and challenge us with their ‘buts’. We saw on Facebook that other
groups were setting up vegan information stalls, in New Zealand, Spain, Ireland, and we decided to give it a go. With the Scottish weather, cover is essential, so we had to buy a gazebo and some other kit. We wanted a positive, pro-vegan approach, inviting people to approach us to find out more about veganism and get some free food samples to try.” The work is not yet done with plans for the next advert currently underway. This time the sisters will look at dairy. Barbara says: “You have to be very focused in these ads, they can’t contain too much information or text so it will be a striking image with a simple but powerful message. It will direct people to the new website which will have all the info on what veganism is, why people should go vegan, and how to go vegan, with a particular focus on Scottish-specific information. “We’re looking at alternatives to billboards, pricing all the options first and then we’ll decide what to do next. We’re pricing bus shelters, the Glasgow subway, petrol pump adds and campus adds. Everything we do in terms of big campaigns is crowdfunded so once we’ve got the image and the priced up plan we’ll be telling everyone about it and asking them to support it if they can.” They are also trying to get some funds through GVS merchandise, which has the added value of getting the message out there, with GVS window stickers, tote bags and hoodies up for sale. Susan is making tablet to sell at the Glasgow monthly vegan fete.
If you’d like advice on how to run your own local billboard project, please contact Barbara and Susan on email@example.com. You can also visit their Go Vegan Scotland page on Facebook
Foodie Flavours Blossom Set of Natural Flavourings
These super tasty snacks are packed with a host of seeds and are full of Omegas 3 and 6. With quinoa and chia, they keep you full between meals, without being too high in calories. perkier.co.uk
This ‘blossom set’ of natural food flavourings from Foodie Flavours includes almond, apple, and cherry. Because the flavours are high strength only a few drops are needed in recipes. Ideal for cooking, baking, desserts and more. foodieflavours.com
Six of these seven drinks are vegan. They look cool, taste really good alone, or go well with mixers. Money from each bottle sold goes to charity too. lemon-aid.com
Raw Passion Heavenly Hemp Moisturising & Healing Skin Oil
These oils help with a range of skin problems, leaving you with healthy, radiant, naturally glowing skin. They can be used by all skin types-damaged, dry, chapped, flaky, irritated, eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne prone, inflamed, and combination skin, including teen skin. rawpassion.co.uk
White Rabbit Orange and Aloe Toner
This is a holy grail product. Aloe soothes and (vegan) glycerine moisturises. Perfect as a second toner (after your acid-step), as a toner by itself, or as a refreshing spritz throughout the day. Love it. whiterabbitskincare.co.uk
vegan finds Publisher Julie takes to the shops to bring you her favourite vegan finds. Send information about new products to firstname.lastname@example.org Moringa Leaf Co-Moringa Powder Current favourite superfood moringa is stuffed with nutrients. Put a spoonful of this powder in smoothies, soups, or salad for a virtuous hit of iron, calcium, and potassium among other goodies. moringaleafcompany.com
Twinings Camomile and Fennel Infusion
It’s been all about the cuppas this month, and this tasty and unusual brew made my favourites list. twinings.co.uk
Heart in Health brown coconut oil
This unique brown oil has a deliciously ‘toasty’ smell and a multitude of uses in the kitchen and as a beauty product. browncoconutoil.co.uk
Seed and Bean Extra Dark Cornish Sea Salt
Multi award-winning Seed and Bean’s mission is to create the most ethical, sustainable and delicious handmade British This plant-based chocolate. This salted bar packs ‘food replacement’ a double punch with contains every rich, dark chocolate nutrient needed and a salty edge. by the human seedandbean.co.uk body. While I don’t see it replacing food completely, the shakes you make with this powder are a brilliantly handy and tasty option for healthy living on the go. huel.com
UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE A Saatchi-shortlisted artist talks about his remarkable life and work
he animals you see in my painting Alternative Nativity are based on photos of animals 15 minutes away from slaughter. You see the image of Christ and he knows his future is the future of these animals. The Madonna-the ultimate symbol of motherhoodis seen in the centre of the canvas holding a lamb. But where is that lamb’s mother? The piece is full of questions if the viewer wants to ask them.”
production. The distress in the animal was so huge it was something I revisited many years later when I wrote my book Babylon Farm. That was it. Milk and eggs were gone. It was tricky in those days-there were no things like vegan cheese. You had to make it with kosher margarine and flour. A while later when you could get yeast flakes you could add them and make it a little cheesier, but it didn’t taste good, and it was very hard on the digestion.”
Four time Saatchi-shortlisted artist and photographer Geoff Francis paints what he describes as 'translations of the images [he finds] when [he closes his eyes]'. As a long-time vegan of nearly half a century, it’s no surprise his work is full of the struggle of animals. The artist has a remarkable story from being a restauranteur in London’s West End to recognised painter. Every step has been flavoured by a deep desire to extend compassion towards all species (including man) and the planet.
Geoff had always wanted to have his own veggie or vegan restaurant so around 1976 he found a space on Marylebone Road and set up Rosalie’s Good Eats Café with his then-fiancee. “We didn’t want to use the word ‘vegan’ in the name," he says. “It wasn’t about it being vegan food, it was about it being good food. I wasn’t interested in preaching to the converted, I wanted all kinds of people to come in and see it was delicious stuff.”
“I’ve been vegan for 45 years,” he says. “I remember how it happened. I went veggie three years before I went vegan. I had been travelling around America, this was sometime around 1968 or 69. I went to the states because I was following the love of my life. I was young and naïve. It was cheap to get over there, and you could get 50 days travel on the Greyhound buses for $50. I was travelling everywhere with them. I was sleeping on the buses then just grabbing a Hershey bar wherever I could. I spent a lot of time thinking and during that process I decided to become veggie.
The restaurant was funded by his chain of successful record stores (‘It was so easy in those days, you just bought a load of records then found a space to sell them from’) but it was a gruelling business to run. “It was the most stupid thing I had ever done,” he says. “I took the private side of my life-my relationship and my veganism-and made them a financial liability. And it was difficult to make money from the business. I found out our waiters were giving away lots of free food and drinks. When I told them we had to increase profit margins, one of them said: ‘My god, everything gets to be dirty sooner or later’. People think if you own a shop you are a major capitalist. If you have a series of them it gets even worse.
“A few years after that I was watching a TV show. They were following the milk industry but in a fairly benign way. The cow they were filming had given birth to a calf and you saw her run after the baby when they had taken him away. I realised the cruelty that was involved in the
“The records were heavily subsidising the restaurant but could only go so far. Then there was a huge downturn in the market-this is sometime
around 78. I was trying to sustain everything, but it was a toughie. I remember the end of Rosalie’s very well. I went for a juice with my fiancée in Baker Street. She asked me to close it down, and I said I would as a gesture of love. When I got back to the place the staff were on the pavement and the freezer was on fire. I took that as a sign.” After closing down the café, Geoff went travelling, interested in seeking an alternative to the western approach to life and its treatment of animals, only finding an interesting answer in Buddhism. It was something he became closely engaged with until catching hepatitis. Over the next few years he was involved in some remarkable creative pursuits as well as campaigning. “I was in a band, we toured and I ended up releasing a single with Captain Sensible (Wot no Meat). I went on to set up campaign group 'Enough' which I based on Ghandi’s saying: “The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.” We focused on a message about how farming was a huge waste of resources and was contributing to third world hunger. This was around the time of Live Aid. A number of celebrities got involved, including Carla Lane (writer of sitcom Bread among other shows). She introduced me to Linda McCartney and we set up an organisation that I ran for several years. “But the daily coalface of humanity’s inhumanity got too much and I resigned. It was just hugely draining, I was doing it for free, which put me in a difficult situation at times.” It was at this point Geoff decided to paint. “At that age, I was about 40 then, I thought, ‘If you don’t paint now you’re never going to’. I just
stopped everything and painted. The first 10 years I painted out all the stuff I had felt so intensely inside. All the issues I had been dealing with regarding animals. I became quite accomplished in my field and even occasionally recognised as a painter. I used a similar artistic process on a lot of my Social Conscience collection. That was about getting a general concept then looking for a reference for it. “So if the first 10 years were all about angst coming out then the next period was about developing something gentler, more abstract, with more influences from other artists. If I am working in an abstract format I tend to work with an unstretched canvas and do terrible things like walk over it to achieve a certain texture. Then I will add paint. My work is very much about feeling. I describe it as ‘inevitable chance’, everything appears to be happening by chance but I know that’s how it should be. I know when my brush has made its last stroke.” The next few years look just as busy as the last ones, with a number of projects lined up, one of which is a charity. “We are working on one called No More Dodos,” he explains. “It focuses on loss of habitat and species. We’ll be coming at this from a unique perspective combining football and art. “We’ll be launching more comprehensively this summer and sharing more details of this unique collaboration.”
Vegan Life readers can exclusively buy signed 20”x6” posters of Alternative Nativity (pictured at the front of this article) for £25 plus p+p. All proceeds will go to No More Dodos. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
family favourites Rustle up these easy mid-week meals
Courgette Schnitzel Serves 4 (approximately 12 schnitzels)
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2 large courgettes (zucchini) Salt 40g (¼ cup) sesame seeds 80g (1¼ cup) vegan breadcrumbs 7 tbsp soy milk 2½ tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) Ground pepper 9 tbsp white flour
Wash and prepare the courgettes (zucchini) and cut into thin slices. Sprinkle the slices with a little salt and leave to infuse for 10 minutes, until water escapes from them. Pat dry with kitchen paper. Preheat the oven to 60°C/140°F. Dry roast the sesame seeds in a small frying pan. Then mix with the breadcrumbs on a deep plate. Prepare two further deep plates: on one, mix the soy milk with the cornflour (cornstarch) and season well with salt and pepper. Put the flour on the other plate. First coat the dried courgette (zucchini) slices in the flour, then carefully dip in the soy milk and cornflour (cornstarch) mixture and finally turn a few times in the sesame seed and breadcrumb mixture. Take care that the courgette (zucchini) slices are completely covered with each ingredient; you will possibly need to dip them in the soy mixture again and then turn in the breadcrumbs. Press the breadcrumbs on with your fingers. Heat half of the oil in a pan and, immediately after covering them in breadcrumbs, fry the schnitzel in portions on both sides until golden brown – do not let the oil get too hot or the sesame seeds will burn. Lay the finished schnitzels next to one another on a baking tray lined with baking paper and keep warm in the centre of the preheated oven. After half of the schnitzels are complete, heat the remaining oil in the pan and fry the rest of the schnitzels. Cut the lemon into slices and garnish the schnitzels with 1 lemon slice each. They taste good hot or cold.
Recipe from Vegan Love Story by Reto Frei (of Hiltl and tibits) Photography by Juliette Chretien
TOP TIP •
Take care that the schnitzels are not lying on top of one another when kept warm in the oven, as they will become soft. For more variety, add oats or wheatgerm to the breadcrumbs.
Garlic Potato Kale Cakes
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6 russet potatoes, peeled, cubed, and cooked 675g (3 cups) finely chopped kale leaves 130ml (½ cup) unsweetened almond milk 1 tbsp vegan margarine 3 tbsp sifted unbleached all-purpose flour 1 clove garlic, minced 1 tsp onion powder 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 bunch of spring onions (scallions) sliced, for garnish
After draining the potatoes, return them to the same pot. Add the kale and toss so the heat from the potato wilts the kale leaves, about 5 minutes. Once the kale is wilted, add the almond milk,vegan margarine, flour, garlic, onion powder, parsley,pepper, and sea salt. Blend with an immersion blender (or blend in batches in a regular blender) until mostly smooth,with a handful of potato chunks. You want it to have some texture. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over mediumhigh heat. Shape the kale-potato mixture with your hands into ¼-inch-thick patties. Place them on parchment paper. Once the oil is hot, use a metal spatula to place the cakes in the oil. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side,or until golden brown. Transfer the patties to a plate and top each with a dollop of vegan ranch dip or vegan sour cream and spring onion.
4. 5. 6.
Recipe and image reprinted from Nom Yourself by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2015, Mary Mattern
Leek and Quinoa Soup Per Serving:
Recipe from Vegan Love Story by Reto Frei (of Hiltl and tibits) Photography by Juliette Chretien
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1 large head of cauliflower, chopped 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 15g (¼ cup) nutritional yeast 125ml (½ cup) unsweetened almond milk 2 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp onion powder 1 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped 2 pinches of sea salt 1 340g (12oz) jar tomato sauce 1 400g (12oz) package jumbo shells, cooked to al dente and drained
Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). In the bowl of a blender, blend the cauliflower, olive oil, nutritional yeast, almond milk, garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and sea salt. Don’t overblend. You want to eliminate big chunks of cauliflower, but you still want a coarse consistency. Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch glass baking dish. Stuff the shells with the cauliflower mixture, arrange them in the baking dish, and pour the remaining sauce on top of the shells. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. 4. 5.
TOP TIP •
Wash and prepare the leek and cut into fine slices. Peel the parsnip and dice finely. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the vegetables for 5 minutes. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1½-cm/½-inch cubes. Add the stock, the diced potato and salt and pepper to the vegetables and leave everything to cook for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Purée the soup with a hand blender. Add the quinoa and cook until soft. Add the almond milk and heat up. Season the soup again with salt and pepper and serve garnished with finely chopped parsley.
Cauliflower Ricotta Stuffed Shells kcal
Depending on your preference, fresh herbs, a little horseradish or ginger goes well with this as seasoning.
½ leek 1 small parsnip 2 tbsp neutral-flavoured vegetable oil 2 floury potatoes 1 litre (4¼ cups) vegetable stock Salt, ground pepper 50g (¼ cup) white quinoa 200ml (¾ cup) almond milk Finely chopped chives to garnish
Makes about 20 medium shells
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Add some fresh basil and vegan Parmesan cheese on top if you have it! If you don’t have shells, you can also use manicotti, or use the cauliflower ricotta for lasagna. Recipe and image reprinted from Nom Yourself by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2015, Mary Mattern
A-POLLO MISSION Julie Vegani writes about a remarkable campaign to see chickens granted companion animal rights
n the largest public gardens in Bologna in Italy, I Giardini Margherita, tourists, children, the inquisitive, and the perplexed, make a beeline for the two friends soaking up the sun on a picnic blanket. When asked about their friendship, one of them answers in Italian and the other in Henglish–a language currently understood by few. There are around 30 different vocalizations in Henglish and native speakers can, among many other things, succinctly warn those nearby of exactly where a possible aggressor may be about to attack from: from above, below, the left or the right. Simona and Gertrude may not speak the same language but they are the best of friends, and while Gertrude’s life will not be long it will be happy. At the age of just three days old, Gertrude and her siblings knew how to add and subtract but Simona’s maths prodigy companions only live, on average, about one year and seven months due to skeletal, metabolic, heart and circulatory disorders which are a result of selective breeding and which they soon succumb to, despite their healthy lifestyle. Sometimes people talk to Gertrude and Simona, start to walk away then stop and walk back, with tears in their eyes because they have something to add: “I will never eat chicken again. I will never eat any other animal again. I couldn’t after what I’ve just seen.” Another victory for the Hen for a Friend (Una Gallina Per Amica) project, which Simona has been promoting since 2014 and which aims to see chickens legally recognized as companion animals.
“All animals can be our friends, all animals deserve our love and protection because they’ve never done anything to us. It’s always been us that have harmed them.” She has appeared on two national TV stations to speak about the project and encourage people to sign the online petition* as the more signatures she manages to collect, the more chance she stands of bringing about this change. Gertrude and the rest of the feathered girls saved as chicks or adults from factory farms by Simona live at her sanctuary and enjoy persimmons, figs, cherries and grapes straight from the plants that grow there while she herself puts in the legwork and distributes about a thousand leaflets a month to promote a plant-based diet. “By opening the shelter, I wanted to send out a clear message: all animals can be our friends, all animals deserve our love and protection because they’ve never done anything to us. It’s always been us who have harmed them.” The hens sleep in cosy baskets when they’re not out and about with their human companion enjoying the view from a bus or train window, sunbathing and raising awareness in parks, or sitting on her knee watching TV. Simona became vegetarian at the age of eight, when she was given a chick to look after as the chick's mother had been killed by a dog, and vegan in 2006. She gives the eggs laid by the hens to her neighbours so that they don’t fund exploitation by buying them from the supermarket. Five years ago Simona, who works as a lawyer, founded
the anti-slaughter league ‘Lega Anti-Macellazione’ (LAM) after watching footage of what goes on in abattoirs and hearing about unspeakable ways chickens were often killed in the Italian countryside until quite recently. One method involved stabbing them in the eyes with scissors so that they would bleed to death through their orbits as this would supposedly make their flesh paler and more tender. “People are usually amazed at how affectionate and sociable the hens are,” she says. “They seek out attention, play readily, and never say no to a bit of vegan chocolate cake. They can also tell how you’re feeling and, if they see me crying, they’ll come and sit on my knee to keep me company and help banish all the sad thoughts. They even purr when you stroke them.” Indeed, unhatched chicks will purr from inside their egg to let their mother know they are contented or emit cheeps of distress to get her to provide more warmth. Chickens can also distinguish between and remember over a hundred individuals across species and will greet their friends: “Gertrude, long time no see! Come and share this corn I’ve just found.”
“Adult chickens show long-term gratitude to humans who rescue them, running to greet them, wings outstretched.” This impressive memory also means that adult chickens show longterm gratitude to humans who rescue them, running to greet them, wings outstretched, even when they know there’s no food to be had. Just before Christmas last year, Simona rescued an adult hen, Mery, who was living in the usual dire chicken-rearing conditions and was days away from being slaughtered and took her to her new adoptive home in Livorno by car. Mery divided the car journey between gazing at her rescuer from the dashboard and snuggling up to her with unmistakable acknowledgement. As our understanding of these intelligent and sentient animals increases, so does the need for education, awareness, and compassion. *The petition can be found at: change.org/p/michela-vittoria-brambilla-maria-elena-boschi-unagallina-per-amica-per-il-riconoscimento-legislativo-anche-dellegalline-da-compagnia
KARATE CHOP An expertâ€™s perspective on this ancient art
arate is more than just a sport: many see it as an art form, the perfect merging of philosophy, movement and strength. It is not about aggression, rather self-defence: the Japanese characters for the word ‘karate’ literally spell out ‘empty-hands’. This means practitioners use their bodies as weapons when defending themselves against attack. It began in Okinawa sometime around 1600 and started to become popular in the UK in the 1960s. Techniques include kicking, punching, blocking, and striking. These moves are combined into patterns known as ‘kata’ and then used against opponents in sparring matches.
“I have witnessed thousands of students change their lives for the better when they start karate. It helps improve selfconfidence, focus and discipline whilst getting fit and improving general health and wellbeing.” The philosophy of karate values the person as a whole-their mental agility and spirituality and their emotional strength as well as their physical strength. There is a code of conduct that teaches students to avoid conflict in the first instance. This means some schools will teach pupils how to recognise dangerous situations, as well as how to deal with them with the moves and techniques. This ties into the idea of ‘way and place’. As with all sports, a plant-based diet can provide the appropriate nutrition for practicing karate. A great example of a vegan karateka is Tammy Fry, of vegan company Fry’s Family Foods. She says: “I represented South Africa for over 10 years as a junior and 10 years as a senior, competing at the highest level of karate. The highlight of my career was competing at the World Games in Germany and winning the Junior World Championships in 1998. Karate has been a cornerstone in my life for nearly 30 years, and I am currently graded 5th Dan.
choose to as it is a good sign of improvement. The gradings are represented by different colour belts. The first (which generally takes six sessions to attain) is a yellow belt, known as 8th Kyu. This then passes through several other colours up to the famous black beltor ‘dan’. There are a number of gradings within the black belt system and 5th Dan-as achieved by Tammy-is one of the highest, and it was extremely difficult to attain. “I would say coming back from childbirth and then grading for my 5th Dan just six months after my son was born is my biggest ever fitness challenge,” she says. “I thought by setting a goal for myself, I would get back to my previous fitness level a lot quicker with no excuses. This was one of the toughest challenges of my life. A 5th Dan grading is extremely tough. I had to fight six men (there were no females) one after the other in a round robin match.” There are two main ways in which karate is practised: through a sparring competition (kumite) or a formal exercise competition (kata). In kumite, participants gain points by theoretically ‘beating’ their opponent. This means they stop their blows before actual contact. The theoretical effectiveness of the blow is decided by a referee and a panel of judges. There are a number of rules in place: you aren’t allowed to hit your opponent with force, or jab them in the eye, for example. Kata are patterns of movement which can be practised alone or in pairs. Again, points are awarded by judges. Karate can, of course, be practised without the competitive aspect. Either way it can be a part of a healthy vegan lifestyle. Tammy says: “I am very active. As well as karate, I love Crossfit, surfing and many other sports. I believe that in order to change other people’s lives or influence them, I have to try and be the best role model I can be for plant-based living.” If you want to try your hand at karate, the first step is to find a schoolknown as a ‘dojo’ which literally translates as ‘the place where the way is taught’. (Do means ‘way’ and ‘jo’ means place). Tammy says: “I have witnessed thousands of students change their lives for the better when they start karate. It helps improve self-confidence, focus and discipline whilst getting fit and improving general health and wellbeing.” To find out more about Tammy Fry, visit frysvegetarian.co.uk.
“Karate is thought to be the most widely-practiced martial art in the world-which is no surprise as it is fantastic exercise. It requires stamina and co-ordination as well as mental and spiritual discipline and provides an intense, full-body workout, and can be practised at any level, from beginner to world standard. “While there are some physical conditions that could make it difficult to take up the sport, on the whole, it is fairly accessible to a number of people, irrespective of age, gender and current fitness level”, adds Tammy who currently teaches ages three to 73. “Participants can move at their own pace and are graded according to their own ability. As the instructor you are required to assist every student to reach their own personal best while instilling the great values karate teaches." As you progress through the sport there are different grades. It is not mandatory to pass through the grading system but many people
G E V on s l e e h w Jacqueline Meldrum inspires you to make the most of your weekly veg box
here are changes once more in the land of veg boxes and we’ll be seeing a lot of staples like broccoli, carrots and peas each week, as well as salad leaves, radishes and salty green samphire. I have to admit fresh peas are a bit of a problem for me. I love popping those sweet little spheres out of their shells and into my mouth. The problem is I eat them like sweeties and can’t seem to stop. I have no discipline when it comes to them. It really takes more willpower than I have to stop eating them. I inevitably eat them all then guiltily turn to my freezer for more peas when it’s time to make dinner. I’m also rather excited to see samphire appearing again as it’s one of my little boy’s favourite veggies. He can be a fussy eater so I’m always delighted when he decides he likes a new vegetable. On his current acceptable list are potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, red pepper, cucumber, sweetcorn and peas, which he also likes eating straight out of the pod.
Broccoli Broccoli is such a versatile ingredient. You can add it to most dishes. Steam broccoli, peas, and spinach, then whizz them up in a blender with some vegetable stock until smooth and season for a delicious soup. Alternatively chop cooked broccoli finely and mix with mashed potato, chopped parsley, some nutritional yeast and a little English mustard powder. Season the mixture then shape it into burgers which you can bake or fry in a little rapeseed oil until crisp.
Carrots I make a lot of soup with carrots, but I also like to grate them onto a sandwich spread thickly with hummus. If I’m feeling particularly hungry I’ll add falafel too. I like to bake spicy carrot cake and add carrots to smoothies. Carrots also work particularly well in smoothies with apples, oranges and fresh ginger.
Peas If you can resist eating peas straight out of the pod, lightly blanch them in boiling water, then whizz them up with a clove of garlic, a generous handful of salted cashew nuts, fresh basil, olive oil and a good grinding of black pepper to make a fresh pea pesto that’s heavenly tossed through spaghetti. It also makes a great topping for freshly grilled crusty bread, rubbed with a cut clove of garlic.
Radishes Radishes like many other vegetables take on a whole new flavour and texture when roasted. Toss the radishes with olive oil, garlic powder, onion powder, a little smoked paprika, salt and pepper, then roast in a hot oven for approximately 30 minutes until golden or why not add a peppery crunch to your breakfast by topping mashed avocado on toast with thin slices of radish.
Salad Leaves You’ll start to see a bigger variety of salad leaves appearing in your veg box this month. They are the base for so many interesting salads but don’t just add them plain: grill the robust bitter leaves in a little oil for a different texture. Leftover leaves can be a problem, but don’t throw them away even if they’re looking past their best. Add them to smoothies, soups and stews.
Samphire Salty samphire is wonderful tossed through new potatoes with mint and a little olive oil, but also try it in a puff pastry tart. Cut some ready rolled puff pastry into rectangles, score a 1 cm border lightly with a knife and spread the inner square with dairy free pesto. Top with slices of firmly cooked potatoes, lightly blanched slices of courgette and samphire. Bake for about 20 minutes in a hot oven. When it’s golden remove it from the oven and top with fresh rocket just before serving. You can find more of Jacqueline’s ideas and recipes at tinnedtomatoes.com
Apple, Beet and Pecan Salad
Per serving: 317
• • • • • • • • • • • •
1 red apple A squeeze of fresh lemon juice 100g (1 ½ cups) salad leaves, including rocket 2 - 3 spring onions, finely sliced 6 pickled baby beets, halved 12 slices cucumber A handful of pecans 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp white wine vinegar 1 - 2 tsp agave nectar 1 tsp wholegrain mustard A grinding of black pepper
Core and slice the apple thinly in full circles, then toss in lemon juice to prevent it discolouring. Whisk up the olive oil, vinegar, agave, mustard and black pepper to make the dressing. Layer up your salad. First a selection of leaves, the spring onion, cucumber and apple slices. Then add the beets. Finally sprinkle with pecans and a drizzle of the dressing. Enjoy!
2. 3. 4.
Recipe and image from Jacqueline Meldrum tinnedtomatoes.com
DO SERIAL KILLERS START AS ANIMAL ABUSERS? Kate Fowler looks at violence towards different species 102
uring the 1970s and 80s, two men raped women in and around London so prolifically that not even they know how many victims there were, and when rape alone no longer satisfied them, they started to kill. I remember it vividly. I was a pupil at a girls’ school in Hertfordshire at the time and during school assembly one morning, the importance was pressed upon us of not going home alone, and not taking short cuts, lifts or chances. One of our school’s pupils had been dragged off the street and raped. John Duffy was caught in 1986 after three women had been killed by him. It took much longer to convict his accomplice David Mulcahy but today he is behind bars too. The men had been friends since their first day at school and were so close that one intended victim who managed to fight them off said; "They were like two bodies with one brain, soul mates." Theirs was a friendship forged in pain and terror. At the age of 13, they were found torturing and killing a hedgehog in the school playground. Mulcahy was covered in blood: Duffy stood beside him, laughing.
“According to the FBI, cruelty to animals is one of three predictors used to determine a juvenile’s potential for becoming psychopathic.” Since then, research has continued to find connections between children (and adults) who cause deliberate suffering to an animal and their propensity for violence towards other people. According to the FBI, cruelty to animals is one of three predictors used to determine a juvenile’s potential for becoming psychopathic. Robert Ressler who founded its Behavioural Sciences Unit said: "These are the kids who never learned it was wrong to poke out a puppy’s eyes." The downward trajectory often begins in childhood. In 1968, Mary Bell–herself the victim of serious abuse–strangled and killed two young boys. Journalist Gitta Sereny who collaborated on a book with Bell in the 1990s was convinced the young Mary wanted to be stopped. Her actions had escalated from kicking, scratching and biting children to strangling pigeons before she killed her playmates, but no one intervened as the violence worsened. Equally infamous is Robert Thompson who murdered two-year-old Jamie Bulger in 1993 (see box). Another troubled child in a violent home, Thompson pulled the heads off live baby pigeons and there were reports of ‘noted cruelty to pets’. In 2003 I was asked to write a report on the link between abusing animals and violence to people, which would be sent to police forces, magistrates and prosecutors across the UK. It wasn’t a subject I knew much about but even without a history of police, criminologists and psychiatrists asking the relevant questions of convicted murderers, it wasn’t hard to find multiple examples of killers who had started out harming–some believe ‘practising on’–animals. Moors murderer Ian Brady abused animals as both a child and an adult. Gavin McGuire committed a catalogue of violence against animals, including setting fire to pigeons when he was just 14. He was later convicted of sexual assault, rape and murder. As a child Peter Dinsdale (aka Bruce Lee) also strangled pigeons. He was later convicted of 15 counts of manslaughter. Dunblane murderer, Thomas Hamilton, encouraged the boys at his youth club to shoot any animal
they saw, and reportedly spent his own youth squashing rabbits’ heads beneath the wheels of cars. In America, there were similar reports. Serial killer Jeffery Dahmer impaled the heads of dogs and cats on spikes; Lee Boyd Malvo began hunting and killing stray cats from the age of eight; while many other killers, including Luke Woodham, Kip Kinkel, Albert DeSalvo, David Berkowitz and Brenda Spencer–about whom the song I don’t like Mondays was written–all tortured animals before they killed people. Later, I was asked to produce a report for Australia, too, and there were still more grisly examples to choose from, including Archibald McCafferty who told a psychiatrist he enjoyed strangling chickens, dogs and cats, and later beat, kicked and stabbed three people to death. And John Travers, whose rape and throat-cutting of animals was the precursor to the rape and throat-cutting of a woman.
“Animal abuse is often the first manifestation of serious emotional turmoil that may escalate into extreme violence, such as mass killing.” Not every child or adolescent who deliberately inflicts suffering onto an animal will become a killer. That is obvious and true. “But”, says Gail F Melson, professor emerita of human development and family studies at Purdue University, “animal abuse is often the first manifestation of serious emotional turmoil that may escalate into extreme violence, such as mass killing.” Harming animals is a ‘moral hurdle’, according to veterinarian Pete Wedderburn. Those who can get over it are freer to pursue violence to people. >
Serial killers who abused animals David Berkowitz, better known as ‘The Son of Sam’ is currently serving six consecutive life sentences after he committed some truly horrific crimes, saying he believed god was ‘telling him to kill’. He killed six people and wounded seven in shootings. He had also killed his neighbour’s dog. Jeffrey Dahmer committed the murder of 17 men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Psychiatrists diagnosed him as suffering from a borderline personality disorder. As a child Dahmer tortured and killed a number of local companion animals. Also known as the ‘Boston Strangler’ Albert Desalvo confessed to killing 13 women, though DNA evidence used following his death disputes some of his confessions and links him to other murders. The son of a violent, alcoholic, father, he started abusing cats and dogs as a child, trapping them in a box and shooting them with an arrow.
Children who abuse animals are likely to be victims of abuse themselves. In an assessment of almost 1,500 children aged six to 12, Professor Frank Ascione, who has conducted much of the research into this link, found that among abused children, 60 per cent had deliberately harmed animals. Most will agree that causing deliberate suffering to animals is wrong in itself, but it is also a red flag that the child is being abused, and that if he or she is not stopped, their own violence may escalate.
“According to the FBI, cruelty to animals is one of three predictors used to determine a juvenile’s potential for becoming psychopathic.” Talking to teachers at an education show some ten years ago, I broached this subject. What surprised me was that almost all of them reacted in the same way. They looked shocked at first and then, after a moment, said that it made sense to them and, in fact, it seemed obvious. It was obvious, too, to John Locke back in the seventeenth century. He wrote that cruelty to animals by children must be stopped ‘for the custom of killing other animals will, by degrees, harden their hearts toward men.’ It’s taken another 400 years for criminologists to recognise this connection, but now we know that allowing a child to hurt an animal could be as disastrous for her as for the creature in her hands, the question remains: what will our agencies, our society and we as individuals do about it?
Ted Bundy, who killed 40 people, learned how to abuse animals by watching his father torture them. He then went on to do the same thing, eventually turning his violent tendencies against human animals. He killed numerous women throughout the 1970s (and possibly before). He denied his crimes for many years, but shortly before his execution, he confessed to 30 homicides. Carroll Edward Cole was an American serial killer who was convicted for the murder of 16 people. He was executed by lethal injection in 1985. As a teenager, he committed a number of petty crimes, including drunkenness and thefts. He also committed violence against animals, telling the police he strangled a puppy. Infamous British killer Ian Brady, who committed the so-called ‘moors murders’ with female accomplice Myra Hindley, is also believed to have had a history of animal abuse. This murderer is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of five children. His partner in crime, Myra Hindley, died in prison in 2002. Brady was declared criminally insane and is currently incarcerated in high-security Ashworth Hospital. Robert Thompson and Jon Venables murdered twoyear-old James Bulger in 1993. The pair, who are the youngest convicted murderers in English history, were playing truant from school when they went to the New Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle. The crime was described as one of ‘unparalleled evil and barbarity’ by the judge. He said: “In my judgment, your conduct was both cunning and very wicked.” These young men were said to have abused animals before murdering the toddler. The Dunblane school massacre has been described as one of the worst mass murders in British history. On March 13 1996, gunman Thomas Hamilton went into Dunblane Primary School and killed 16 children and one teacher with a gun. He then killed himself. Like these other killers, he too had a history of abusing animals. The scale of his crime was so bad, it lead to two new Firearm Acts being passed in Parliament-effectively leading to outlawing of private handgun ownership in the UK.
Baxters Hearty Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
It’s always useful to keep a few tins in the cupboard, and this soup, as well as being SFV, is pleasantly substantial. It contains three of your five a day, and is freefrom artificial flavours, preservatives or colouring. It is also gluten free. It’s available from most supermarkets, which makes it a handy convenience food for times you’re just too busy to cook.
Tesco Barbecue air popped snacks
These crunchy crisp-like snacks are a tasty option when you want something salty. With a strong and tangy bite, they are shaped a bit like fusilli pasta, meaning the flavour gathers in the crevices and twists. They are forged from yellow peas making them especially light and crispy. Excellent for sharing and good to have as nibbles.
Marks & Spencer Three Seed and Oat Granola
This tasty cereal is marketed as a ‘healthier’ option, but it is delicious too. It’s sweetened with agave syrup, giving it a delicious flavour, and it has a generous helping of pumpkin and sunflower seeds, as well as golden linseeds, in every bowl. This is a hearty and satisfying breakfast.
the accidental vegan A selection of products that are vegan by chance rather than design
This page is all about top treat and snack food finds that just happen to be suitable for vegans. These products aren’t advertised or clearly marked as vegan, but we scan and check the ingredients, and share our discoveries with you. If any of these products say they may contain milk or other animal-derived substances, this is due to the item being made in the same factory as other food produce. All ingredients listings are subject to change.
Essential Waitrose Elderflower Jelly
Jelly is a much-loved childhood classic but this one is a bit more sophisticated than the lurid coloured and flavoured concoctions of childhood. Also, unlike most of the jelly from years gone by, this one is SFV. Gelatine-free, it is a grown-up treat for those who want an easy dessert on the run. The berries inside, and the elderflower flavour, make this a refreshing and fruity snack.
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Fox’s Crinkle Crunch (coconut flavour)
Just as the name suggests these biscuits are super crunchy. Even dunking them into a hot cuppa won’t make them go soggy. This makes them the perfect accompaniment to a mid-morning brew. Coconut seems to be everywhere at the moment and these biscuits pack a hearty punch of flavour.
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PRECISION LUXURY IN HONG KONG Paul and Caryl from Vegan Food Quest are enjoying their third year of full time travel as they continue to find, eat and write about the best vegan food in the world
ining in a Michelin-starred restaurant was firmly on our bucket list, so when we arrived in Hong Kong, after nearly two years of vegan travel in south east Asia, we went in search of places where we might be able to fulfil our foodie-driven dream. With little effort we found five different restaurants that offered an existing vegan menu (or who were happy to adjust dishes to make them vegan) so we did what any sane, foodie would do and made reservations at them all. The Michelin Guide was set up over a hundred years ago and since then has been helping people choose restaurants with their system of one, two or three stars that identify places as 'very good' in their category, 'worth a detour' for their excellent food or 'worth a special journey' for their exceptional cuisine. At the beginning of the week we thought about our expectations, hopes and fears: eating in some of the world’s finest restaurants was an important event for us. We expected the food to be good, we hoped it would be exceptional, but in the back of our minds we feared we might miss out as vegans eating in these high-end restaurants where chefs were used to cooking with animal ingredients. Would they understand that like many vegans, we wanted delicious food, to be impressed with creativity and spoilt with dishes steeped in history and tradition? Would we be as amazed as we hoped or would we finish the week only having tasted disappointment? The week was full of amazing dining experiences, however the food wasn’t the elaborate, artistic creations we had imagined were needed to earn Michelin stars: instead the focus was firmly on service, ingredients, traditional preparation methods and flavour of the food. We ate dinner in the world’s highest hotel, the Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, where their two Michelin-starred restaurant ‘Tin Lung Heen’ is located on the 102nd floor. The views of Hong Kong were mesmerising and the sparkling lights of the city took our breath away. We were served dishes like dim sum covered in gold leaf and braised bean curd sheet with yellow carrot in a nutty, salty and rich fermented soy bean paste. These were traditional Hong Kong dishes which used ingredients that are uncommon in Europe; the food was wonderfully new to us and simply delicious. We were introduced to vegan versions of Hong Kong classics like the deliciously addictive X.O. sauce at ‘Lung King Heen’ in the Four Seasons Hong Kong. This is the only restaurant in Hong Kong that has been awarded three Michelin stars and was also the first Chinese restaurant in the world to receive this recognition. Perhaps it goes some way to explain why the sauce was just so good? Made by combining spicy chillies, soy, garlic, dried tofu and lemongrass with oil, our vegan version of a famous Hong Kong sauce was outstanding.
But this wasn’t the highlight of our meal. That moment happened when we were served a dish that was so mouth-wateringly good we’d fly to Hong Kong just to eat it again. Layers of moist bean curd sheet were scrunched up, coated in a light sesame batter and deep fried. The result was crispy on the outside, but delicate tender and juicy on the inside. Doused in a thick, zesty lemon sauce that was both sweet and sour, it came together in succulent, crispy perfection. There were several moments like this where a particular dish would steal our hearts with the first mouthful. We only need to think about the mushroom dish we enjoyed at ‘Shang Palace’ in the Kowloon Shangri-La and it leaves us baffled to think that people say vegan food is boring. A butter soft piece of mushroom which melted away when eaten, with delicate earthy flavours and a delicious rich soy marinade was served on a crispy rice cake and was nothing short of exquisite-a truly wonderful thing to eat. Part of our Michelin-starred vegan week included drinking a lot of Chinese tea, selecting which variety we’d sip throughout our meal from finely crafted menus. Luckily for tea drinking novices such as ourselves, some of the restaurants had ‘tea sommeliers’ who were happy to make recommendations. At ‘Yan Toh Heen’, the beautiful waterside restaurant at the InterContinental Hong Kong, their award-winning tea sommelier recommended ‘Phoenix Osmanthus’, a semi-fermented Oolong Tea, said to aid digestion. He poured the pale liquor, which had a sweet aroma and a clean, pure taste, creating a ritual that never seemed to end throughout our meal as our cups were kept permanently topped up. It was refreshing to see some restaurants embracing locally and ethically sourced produce. Using local suppliers adds to the positive environmental impact of veganism and so we were happy to see these options at the Island Shangri-La’s two Michelin starred ‘Summer Palace’. Their ‘Rooted in Nature’ initiative gave us dishes filled with sweet, fresh asparagus, aubergine cut into soft fillets that melted when eaten and giant cashews mingled amongst the vegetables, all coated with a glossy sauce that had a pleasing chilli pepper heat. By the end of the week we felt well versed in fine Cantonese cuisine. We’d learnt about culture in Hong Kong, we’d dipped our toes into the ocean of knowledge needed to be an expert tea drinker and had been introduced to more varieties of mushrooms, types of sauces and versions of tofu than we could count. We’d been treated like royalty, amazed by the food we were served and had to pinch ourselves to check we weren’t dreaming several times-all without harming a single animal. Perhaps the world is changing and veganism is becoming more widely accepted? If it means getting to eat food like this, we certainly hope so. Follow their adventure at veganfoodquest.com
Beyond lettuce These recipes take salad to a new level
Golden Beet and Blackberry Salad • • • • • • • • •
450g (1lb) small golden beets of similar size 2 tbsp chopped chives (save flowers if available) 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp red wine vinegar 1 ½ tsp maple syrup 2 tbsp minced fresh mint leaves Zest of 1 lemon Sea salt and freshly ground pepper 50g (½ cup) blackberries
Preheat oven to 200°C (400°F). Place beets in baking dish, fill with ¼-inch water and cover with foil. Roast 45 minutes or until soft throughout (time will vary depending on size of beets). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel or use thumbs to rub away skins, and cut beets into wedges. Place in bowl and add chives. In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mint and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour three-quarters of dressing over beets and toss to coat. Place berries in separate bowl, add remaining dressing and toss to coat. Transfer beets to serving dish, arrange berries and chive flowers on top and serve.
Per Serving: Recipe and image from Eat Clean Live Well by Terry Walters, published by Sterling (£19.99, available from thegmcgroup.com)
Shredded Rainbow Salad Serves 4 – 6 Per Serving: 121
• ½ small red cabbage • 2 carrots • 3–4 kale leaves, stems removed • ½ cucumber • 150g (5oz) shelled frozen edamame • 3 tbsp shelled hempseeds Lemony Avocado Dressing • 1 small avocado • 2 tbsp fresh coriander • 60ml (2floz) water • 2 tbsp lemon juice • ¼ tsp sea salt 1.
Shred or grate all the vegetables either by hand or using a food processor fitted with the grating blade. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook the edamame in boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes. Strain and rinse in cool water to stop the cooking process. Combine all the shredded vegetables in a large bowl along with the edamame and 2 tablespoons hemp seeds. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until silky smooth. Add the lemony avocado dressing to the vegetables and toss well. Store any leftover dressing in a covered container in the fridge for up to three days. Garnish with the last tablespoon of hemp seeds. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe from Greens 24/7 by Jessica Nadel, with photography by Jackie Sobon. Published by Apple Press, £14.99.
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AN UNEXPECTED PATH The reality of the meat industry inspired a writer to set up an animal sanctuary “
never intended to set up a sanctuary,” says Jan Taylor, founder of the Farm Animal Sanctuary in Worcestershire. “I was a journalist. But I ended up going to some of the livestock markets. It was like something out of hell. I’ve been to slaughterhouses too. I wasn’t vegan when this started but I am now. I had to do something and that’s how this place was born.”
“Now hundreds of animals live out their natural lives at the sanctuary.” Now hundreds of animals-many destined for slaughter-live out their natural lives at the sanctuary. Some of the recent residents include eight young calves. “A vegan brought me the calves,” explains Jan. “She had got to know them. The people who had bred them were losing their land, and the calves were going to market. This good Samaritan doesn’t believe in buying animals, but having got to know these cows, wouldn’t have been able to live knowing they had been killed.”
So the calves were bought and brought to Jan. “Funnily enough the man who was going to send them to market was very happy to find out they had ended up here. He was pleased to think they were going to have a life. When they were born, one was very tiny. The vet had said that cow probably wouldn’t survive, and to have her put down, but he reared her and made her healthy.” The calves have settled in brilliantly. Jan says: “We had to keep them in for a few days to get to know them. They were a bit stressed out because of the journey here but very quickly they started acting like kids-playing, kicking and jumping.” The sanctuary is currently looking for people to sponsor all of its residents. Until now, there has been very little formal fundraising in place, due to Jan spending all her time maintaining the animals. Now though, people can adopt one of the many inhabitants, and send money towards their upkeep. Among the hundreds of animals are sheep, cows, pigs, ponies, cats, rabbits, and many others. “We recently handled an eviction crisis which is now over,” says Jan. “But that was five years of dealing with lawyers. Now we are putting structures into place to try and raise money more consistently.”