Bringing Vegan into Vogue
How to campaign By the man behind #GourmetMurderKitchen
Jack Monroe My cooking has a new lease of life
Too many people?
prizes worth over ÂŁ500!
The strain on the planet
Eat to beat anxiety
Raspberry and Rose Tartlets with Pistachio Frangipane p.66
Also inArt this issue... Vegan Collections April 2016| issue 14 | ÂŁ4.25
Deer in focus p.48
National treasure p.86
Cheesy does it p.52
Welcome The simple act of being vegan can create huge changes: it’s far less intensive to grow vegetables than rear livestock, for example. Your carbon footprint is lower. And of course you are not contributing to the suffering of animals raised for food, experimented on in labs, or abused for entertainment. But some vegans choose to take their activities a step further and these grassroots activists are creating widespread change. I was extremely excited to sit down and chat to Robbie Lockie this month, you will probably remember the global success of his #GourmetMurderKitchen campaign. He told us about his background and shared some invaluable advice about activism. Another activist we spoke to is poverty campaigner, cookbook author, and journalist Jack Monroe. As an avid follower of their Twitter feed, I was very excited to see Jack take the plunge into veganism after Veganuary. I was even more excited when they agreed to answer some of my questions about their decision to give up all animal products. We also managed to nab wonderful star of the stage and screen Peter Egan who was generous enough to share some wonderful stories. We continue to smash the myth that vegans are weak with an interview with two incredible sports people. They work on ITV’s Ninja Warrior show and their levels of commitment, ability, and of course, compassion, are incredibly engaging. On top of this, we have some great features about eco architecture, how feminism ties into veganism, the use of drones in wildlife crime, the growth of veganism in Scotland, and an in-depth look at the controversial work of artist Heidi Mary Porter. We also share some of our tastiest recipes, news from the vegan world, and our top finds of the month. Now I have something to ask you: we’d love to start sharing more pictures of our readers in the magazine. Your most Instagram-worthy, arty snaps showing your vegan lives. Maybe you enjoy the best plant-based brunch every weekend? Or perhaps you help out at a sanctuary? If so, send your images to firstname.lastname@example.org with a bit of information about what you’re doing. I decided to get the ball rolling this month with a snap (see top) of me and Little Lester at the wonderful Huggletts Farm Animal Sanctuary in East Sussex. I look forward to seeing your pictures soon!
thoughts along the vegan way Recipe from Clean Cakes: Delicious pâtisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder (Jacqui Small, £20)
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Meet the Team
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contents ON THE COVER
68 How to campaign Robbie Lockie explains his #GourmetMurderKitchen success 32 Jack Monroe First do no harm 26 Too many people? Helena Jones looks at how population growth is affecting the planet 98 Eat to beat anxiety Rose Glover examines the link between food and stress
Special Features 6 Vegan news All the latest stories
38 Meet the chef We catch up with Matthew Nutter 44 Vegancation Your guide to plant-powered holidays 48 Deer in focus We shine a spotlight on these majestic animals 92 Veganism is a feminist issue Kate Fowler looks at the systematic abuse of female farm animals
22 Fancy focaccia? This simple recipe yields tasty results 34 Knead to know These easy pastry recipes are a midweek winner 40 Matthewâ€™s signature dish Succulent flavours and sophisticated techniques 43 Salad days Robust flavours and textures make incredible dishes 47 Kale, yeah! This plant is top of the greens 52 Cheesy does it And you thought vegans couldnâ€™t eat it... 56 Souper tasty Fill up with this hearty soup 60 Clean living Classic plates to help you live well 66 On the cover Elegant bites for a special occasion 70 The bare necessities Delicious recipes for health and wellbeing 82 Ciao chow Italians do it better 90 Savoury cakes A perfect midweek supper
36 Going the distance Representing veganism on the sports circuit 41 Brains behind Nearly half a century’s vegan experience led to this innovative business 42 And they ate happily ever after Vegan Life’s art director on raising a family in a meat-free house 58 Tartan Carrot Claire Hider talks to vegans on a mission to turn Scotland green 76 Inside hell Will this immersive experience stop people eating meat?
50 Runner being Two vegan runners share their marathon training stories 64 Veg on wheels Make the most of your weekly veg box 78 Five dream eco homes from around the world Morwenna Calow looks at some unique buildings 106 Holiday Czech list Rachel Kerry eats her way around Prague
13 Competition Win six months supply of Nuique Omega 3 Capsules
86 National treasure The Downton Abbey star with a paw print on his soul
14 Vegan diary Unmissable events
94 Shock tactics Heidi Mary Porter puts herself in the line of fire for animal rights
16 Dear FGV Top blogger and Vegan Life agony uncle Fat Gay Vegan
100 Vegan warriors These remarkable athletes are purely plant-powered
18 Vegan planet Vegan news from around the world
102 Attack of the drones When it comes to conservation it’s all about having an eye in the sky…
114 Resc-ewe This vegan sanctuary gave an injured sheep a new lease of life
Lifestyle, Health and Nutrition 20 Julie’s vegan finds Vegan Life’s publisher takes to the shops 30 Lighter drinks Pour a little sunshine into your glass
23 The accidental vegan A selection of products that are SFV by chance 24 Subscribe to Vegan Life Magazine 28 Eat and drink - vegan style The Black Cat in Hackney 108 Vegan myths We tackle some of the biggest misconceptions around veganism 109 Vegan pages
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!
Thieves pinch animal rescue collection box Designers turn to tropical fruit for cruelty-free leather
A new leather-style fabric has been created out of pineapples. The material, known as piñatex, was created by Spanish designer Carmen Hijosa after a visit to the Philippines. Seeing how leather tanneries operate inspired her to find a more sustainable and cruelty-free alternative. The new fabric boasts a number of advantages over traditional leather: it is vegan and cruelty-free, and it’s also more environmentally-friendly to produce, since it is sourced from fruit wastes that don’t require more water or fertilisers. In addition it can be used as compost by the time of its disposal. It is also cheaper than leather, costing about 23 euros per square metre compared to 25-38 euros per square meter of leather. Because of this, a number of companies including Puma, are already using piñatex.
Crooks have stolen money collected for the Benvardin Animal Rescue Kennels (BARK) in County Antrim. The charity, which offers shelter to hundreds of abused and unwanted animals every year, has reported the theft to police. According to a spokesman for BARK, a couple came into the charity’s store in Portrush, and one took the money as the other distracted the worker. It’s not the first time BARK has fallen prey to crooks: last year its shop in the centre of Ballymoney was targeted by shoplifters. The charity, which relies solely on donations from the public, has faced financial hardship in recent years. The spokesman for BARK added: “The matter has been reported to the PSNI. Please do not let this put you off donating to your local animal rescue.”
Did veganism save Bill Clinton’s life?
There has been some controversy over former American president’s Bill Clinton’s ‘mainly vegan’ diet. But the politico has credited his plant-based ways with possibly saving his life. Chatting with vegan café owner Stacy Dougan Bill said cutting meat from his diet has given him more energy. He said: “I might not be around if I hadn’t become a vegan.” Bill committed to his ‘mainly’ vegan diet for health reasons after undergoing emergency heart surgery in 2010. “I take blood tests often,” he reportedly told Dougan, adding that he would be entirely vegan, ‘but [my doctor] asked me to eat organic salmon once a week.’
New powers proposed for ‘lenient’ animal cruelty sentences in Northern Ireland
The Public Prosecution Service in Northern Ireland will be able to refer unduly lenient animal cruelty sentences to the Court of Appeal under proposed new rules. The review follows a 2014 case which saw four men from Belfast receive suspended sentences for animal cruelty chargesdespite extensive evidence including video footage of the men allowing a cat to be mauled to death by dogs. The measly sentence provoked outrage but the director of public prosecutions said he was powerless to refer the case to the court of appeal. This is because the offence-keeping or training animals in connection with dog fighting-was not on a list of offences covered by the regulation. The new legislation will see the maximum fine a magistrate can impose increase from £5,000 to £20,000. Cases dealt with at crown courts will see maximum jail terms increase from two to five year terms.
Award for animal testing alternative
Farewell to London’s last dog-racing track
Wimbledon stadium-home to greyhound racing-will close in June. The announcement follows a successful planning application by football team AFC Wimbledon and developer Galliard Homes to repurpose the property for a new stadium and 600 homes. Critics of dog racing claim greyhounds are kept muzzled in small cages for up to 23 hours a day. Campaigners are currently working to have the activity slowly phased out, with anti-racing group CAGED North West saying public interest is declining. Group manager Rita James says: “I think more people are realising there is a dark side to this industry. The public are seeing so many of the dogs being rehomed– many of whom are absolutely traumatised by their experience–it’s just not got the same pull it used to. How confident are we that it will die out? Honestly, we are very confident. Not in terms of being reliant on the government to do anything, more because less and less people are interested in it.” But Simon Banks of the Greyhound Racing Board of Great Britain claims track closures are down to the value of land for development. “The industry has stayed fairly steady,” he believes. “We’d like to see it grow, but we are unlikely to return to the heydays of the 1950s as there’s more for people to do now. But we see it as stable.”
A 3D model of brain tissue which could help cut the number of animals experimented on has picked up an award at the 3Rs Awards. The ceremony is organised by NC3R, a group focused on replacing, refining, and reducing the use of animals in research. This prize aims to recognise excellence in scientific advances which could minimise the use of animals, or improve their welfare. Dr Madeline Lancaster, from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge and Dr Laura Hall of the University of Stirling were joint winners, with Dr Lancaster developing the first 3D model where brain tissue is able to spontaneously self-organise to form a structure resembling the human embryonic brain. This could be a huge step towards reducing reliance on animals in studying neurological diseases and the development of new treatments. Professor Ian Kimber OBE chair of the prize panel, said: “The task of the panel in reaching decisions about the annual NC3Rs prize is always formidable, but this year was more challenging than ever. There were some outstanding nominations describing truly ground-breaking research. The substantial achievements made by these joint winners are very different, and serve to illustrate the breadth of the science that can impact on the 3Rs. The panel congratulate the winners, and the highly commended awardee, for their remarkable work.”
Plant-based workplaces: Good for everyone?
Companies could save money by improving employee health through plant-based eating in the work place. That’s according to Dr Michael Greger. According to the doctor, a number of studies have shown workers who eat lots of animal protein are more likely to be obese than workers who eat plant-based protein. He added: “Obese and diabetic employees were asked to follow a plant-based diet of whole grains, vegetables, beans and fruit while avoiding meat, dairy and eggs. Compliance wasn’t great. Fewer than half really got their animal product consumption down, but there were definitely improvements such as significant reductions in saturated fat, an increase in protective nutrients and even noted weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levers and better blood sugar control in diabetics. Eating plants appears to boost metabolism. This may be due to increased insulin sensitivity in cells, allowing cells to metabolize carbohydrates more quickly rather than storing them as body fat. As a result, vegan diets have been shown to increase postprandial calorie burn by about 16 percent, up to three hours after consuming a meal.”
Manchester vegans challenge meat-eaters to join protest
Government data shows China’s coal consumption has fallen for the second year running. China, one of the world’s biggest polluters, is aiming to tackle chronic pollution. Coal consumption fell by 3.7 per cent in 2015, compared to a fall of 2.9 per cent in 2014. This followed a doubling of use of the fuel in the decade leading up to 2014, with a massive four billion tonnes of coal burned a year. There are doubts over the accuracy of the statistics though, after it emerged last November that China had been under-reporting its consumption for years. Lauri Myllyvirta, a senior global campaigner on coal for Greenpeace, said: “These statistics show that China is on track to far surpass its Paris climate targets, which is great news for everyone. However, the trend is not moving as fast as it could.”
Northern-based vegans in the Manchester Pig Save group invited meat-eaters to join them at a peaceful protest at the Tulip factory in Dukinfield. Members of the group-which aims to challenge conceptions about meat production–said they hoped dozens of people would join them in protest. Group member Chris Foot, 33, said Manchester Pig Save members take a peaceful approach to protest and hope to strike up a ‘good relationship’ with Tulip. He said: “The main aim of Pig Save is to be there for the pigs. Many of these animals are more intelligent than cats and dogs and in some ways, more intelligent than a four-year-old child. The conditions they are reared in are often crowded and dirty. We try and show compassion and support for the pigs. It’s just about trying to show some love for them because for some it’s the only nice interaction they will get.”
Charity calls for ‘an end to rabies’
China coal consumption drops in bid to stave off global warming
Research shows veganism reduces prostate cancer risk
Vegans have a 35 per cent reduced risk of developing prostate cancer, according to research funded by World Cancer Research Fund. Scientists at Loma Linda University in California, USA looked at over 26,000 men, and for the first time assessed the link between prostate cancer and various types of diet including nonvegetarian, pescatarian and vegan diets. “The evidence around the disease-preventative qualities of the vegan diet is now overwhelming. Time and again we are seeing new research showing the vegan diet to be significantly better for our health,” said Jimmy Pierce, spokesperson for the Vegan Society. “Still lingering, however, is the perception that eating meat is macho, that it somehow enhances masculinity or virility. Yet it is killing thousands of men in the UK every year. Now is the time to reject this out-dated notion.” Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK with over 47,000 new cases annually. Over 10,000 men die of the cancer each year, and worldwide it is the second most common cancer in men. “This exciting research has, for the first time, helped fill some vital gaps in our knowledge about eating patterns and the prevention of prostate cancer. Prevention is key if we are to see a decrease in the number of men developing the disease,” said Dr Panagiota Mitrou, director of research funding at World Cancer Research Fund.
World Animal Protection has teamed up with the Global Alliance for Rabies Control to launch a campaign to end rabies around the world by 2030. The End Rabies Now campaign is calling on countries around the world to eliminate rabies transmitted to humans by dogs within 13 years. According to the organisation: “Vaccinating dogs is the only proven way of eliminating the disease. And vaccination can protect dogs from the countless incidences of cruelty and inhumane culling that go on in the name of rabies too. But countries that bear the burden of rabies are often poor. The End Rabies Now campaign is calling on donor countries like the UK and international agencies to put funding towards vaccinating dogs against rabies to consign this ancient disease to the history books.” The charity claims the mass killing of dogs in response to rabies is often done in inhumane ways and is ineffective. There is no evidence to show mass killing of dogs reduces their numbers in the long-term or has an effect on rabies transmission.
Hugletts-inspired pottery raises money for the animals
Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary has made a few appearances in Vegan Life’s pages-and for good reason. This wonderful sanctuary is doing important work saving animalsincluding those destined for slaughter-and rehoming them to live a life free of fear, exploitation and abuse at the large farm in East Sussex. Now design company Magpie is producing a range of pottery inspired by the sanctuary with some proceeds being directly donated to help the animals. Nicky Sloan, director of Magpie told Vegan Life: “We have donated to Hugletts Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary for a few years now through our sales at Vegfest. After visiting the sanctuary we decided to make a collection using it as inspiration–that’s why you can find cows, sheep, hens and pigs in typical farmyard settings on each product. The sanctuary is a retreat for animals that have come to the end of their working lives, rescuing them in most cases before slaughter. The farm now houses over 200 rescued animals. The collection features midcentury style illustrations of the animals in a muted country colour palette, across ceramics, enamel tins and tea towels. As usual, all of the products in the collection are vegan-friendly.” magpieline.com/hugletts-wood
Progress for C-A-L-F Sanctuary but help still needed
Last issue we covered the plight of C-A-L-F Sanctuary-a vegan-run facility for animals which is losing its rented land. The inhabitants, including disabled young cow Duke Bullock, are facing an uncertain future. Fans of the sanctuary have rallied together to donate money through various means including a crowdfunding page and auction. Sanctuary founder Sharon Lawler says: “Today we spoke to the bank. Good news, they are interested in lending us money. Bad news they want us to refinance our vegan cafe, which I’m not too keen on doing as it will incur huge costs that to us are not necessary, but we now know we will be in a position to steam ahead if we can raise the shortfall in the deposit.” At the time of going to press, the sanctuary had raised almost £60,000 of an £80,000 goal. To find out more visit chuffed.org/project/dukes-place-called-home.
Wonky veg sparks social media trend
The new ‘wonky veg’ which supermarket giant Asda has started to sell has prompted their own hashtag. Consumers are taking pics of their less than perfect carrots, parsnips and other veggies and tagging them #WonkyVeg. The idea of selling the previously wasted food has been met with enthusiasm by many on social media with one Twitter user, JO GB, saying: “Yeah #wonkyveg! I might start shopping in @asda-all supermarkets must surely follow suit! #perfectimperfection.” Ian Harrison, Asda’s produce quality director, said: “We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed by the response to our wonky vegetable box and think it shows just how conscious our customers are of food waste, particularly in the produce aisle. We’re extremely excited to be able to bring the wonky veg box to even more people across the UK and in turn, further support our growers to ensure we’re buying as much of their crop as possible.”
Scottish police accused of ‘pro-hunt bias’
Friends of the Earth are friends of the EU
Environmental charity Friends of the Earth has claimed there are strong reasons to vote to stay in the European Union. According to a blog post by the group, EU rules mean we have benefited from cleaner air and beaches as well as better protection for various species and their habitats. Despite admitting the union is ‘far from perfect’ Chief executive Craig Bennett said: “Leaving the EU would consume much needed time and political energy. This time and energy would be better pushing for rapid action on global issues such as climate change, air pollution and the rampant destruction of nature. The environment must be at the heart of the debate about our European future. The safety of the air we breathe, combating climate change and extreme weather wrecking homes and livelihoods will depend on us working with many countries to face these challenges. Now is not the time to be pulling apart.”
Scot newspaper the Sunday Herald claims to have uncovered the ‘systematic harassment of animal rights activists by Police Scotland and an apparent bias towards fox hunts allegedly involved in illegal activity’. According to the paper, its investigation found Police Scotland told members of the Hunt Saboteurs Association (HAS) they could not monitor fox hunts-and threatened them with arrest for doing so. Sunday Herald journalists were also threatened with arrest while investigating allegations of illegal hunting in Fife. The article states: “We spent 12 months investigating and our findings have prompted concern over Police Scotland’s commitment to impartiality and its willingness to fully investigate allegations of criminality by mounted hunts.” Police Scotland said: “It would be inaccurate to suggest that we do not investigate wildlife crime. Police Scotland thoroughly investigates all reports of wildlife crime. Tackling wildlife crime is not just about law enforcement, it is about working with partners and the public to raise awareness and to prevent it happening. Lastly, we do not comment on investigative and operational processes.”
Another win for vegan butchery
A vegan butchery has opened in San Francisco. The store, which is on University Avenue, mainly sells meat and cheese alternatives as well as pastries, sandwiches and cannoli. Some of the ‘meats’ on offer include pineapple teriyaki cracked pepper turkey, roast beef, and yuba pulled pork-all made from seitan. Cheeses include three types of feta, and a fresh mozzarella. Sandwiches include a vegan steak and cheese, fried mozzarella meatball, and pulled pork. Co-owner Christina Stobing said: “The idea is to give people the stuff they had, but that they no longer have because they’re vegan. It’s an opportunity for people to enjoy their childhood favourites.”
Vegan Runners UK slashes membership costs
One of the UK’s largest running clubs has halved its annual membership price from £12 to £6. Vegan Runners UK, which aims to promote veganism through sport as well as provide a community for plant-based runners throughout the country, has seen its membership increase sharply in recent months. This rapid increase, along with the anticipated continued growth, has enabled the club to revise its fee structure accordingly to now make joining even more accessible to everyone. As with other running clubs many members of Vegan Runners choose to upgrade their membership to also include affiliation to England Athletics (for an extra £13), thus entitling them to discounts on race entry fees as well as appearing in race listings and race results as a member of ‘Vegan Runners’. Originally set up in the United Kingdom, Vegan Runners now has affiliated organisations in many other countries around the world, with an international Facebook following of over 7,000 and almost 1900 on the UK Vegan Runners site. VRUK is affiliated to England Athletics (EA), SEEA, ECCA and the Vegan Society.
Publisher Keith Coomber reflects on being part of this vibrant community…
On a cold and blustery Saturday afternoon in February, I took a long drive down to Dover Eastern Dock in Kent, to take part in the monthly live animal export. Organised by Kent Against Animal Live Export (KAALE) and staged on the first Saturday of every month, this month’s protest was especially poignant as it was also to be a memorial to Jill Phipps who died fighting the trade in live animal exports on February 1, 1995. Live export is truly heart-breaking: animals are forced to make long, gruelling journeys over land and sea. Some don’t survive the journey, those who do face a gristly fate in slaughterhouses which often have even lower welfare standards than those in Britain. That is why people like Jill Phipps fight so strongly against this brutal trade. I have long admired Jill, who, at the time of her death was just 31. She was a British animal rights activist whose conviction was so strong she would lay down her life for it. Jill was crushed to death in Baginton, Warwickshire, England by a lorry transporting live veal calves. She was one of 35 protesters at the airport, protesting at the export of the calves to Amsterdam for distribution across Europe when 10 protesters broke through police lines and were trying to bring the lorry to a halt by sitting in the road or chaining themselves to it. The actions of these brave campaigners helped shine a spotlight on live exports during the mid-nineties. Highlighting the trade through many of the Kent ports helped to bring about a virtual collapse reducing the number of animals transported from 2.5 million to around 4,000. Despite this huge decrease, exports still continue. KAALE founder Ian Birchall told me: “We believe P&O Ferries knows how devastating exporting live animals would be to business, and have no plans to allow animal transporters on-board their ferries, however our protest group’s constant presence at Dover’s Eastern Dock serves as a constant reminder and to the depth of feeling about this trade”.
Shocking report reveals true horror of live export
Compassion in World Farming has produced a report on live exports which includes information from over 15 investigations carried out over a five year period. The organisation found animals illegally kept on trucks at the Turkish border for days on end in squalid conditions. According to a spokesman: “This five year report has uncovered repeated systematic breaches of basic animal welfare laws, causing immense animal suffering. Some of the investigations show animals were given no shade in extremely high temperatures, and also endured a basic lack of food and water, with some animals exhibiting signs of extreme dehydration. We call for a ban on long-distance animal transport from the EU to Turkey. Neither the EU Commission, the Member States, the Turkish authorities, nor the exporters and importers are willing to ensure that such transports are carried out in conformity with the law. It is a trade that is being conducted illegally and we do not believe authorities are capable of enforcing the regulations. As such the trade must be stopped.”
National Wildlife Crime Unit saved by campaigners
Wildlife detectives have been saved after fears a lack of Government funding could mean the squad was given the axe. Westminster had failed to guarantee and funding for the unit after March. But environment minister Rory Stewart confirmed the unit would receive the cash. He wrote a commons statement saying: “In recognition of the important contribution the unit makes to tackling wildlife crime, both at home and abroad, I can confirm that Defra and Home Office ministers have agreed that their respective departments will each provide the unit with funding of £136,000 a year for the next four financial years. This will give the unit significant financial stability and enable their vital work to continue until at least 2020.” The National Wildlife Crime Unit is a squad of 12 which supports the police force in tackling a number of rural crimes badger baiting, poaching and the theft of rare birds’ eggs.
Police officers slammed after deliberate dog death smash
Animal rights charity Peta and the Abandoned Animal Association have criticised North Wales Police for deliberately running over a loose dog on the A55 near Llanfairfechan in Wales. Chief Inspector Darren Wareing of the roads policing unit said: “The potential for a serious collision was present throughout and in the circumstances, there was no alternative way that officers could contain the dog and minimise the risks to motorists. The only safe option was to run the dog over at sufficient speed to ensure that it was destroyed and would not suffer. Other methods of destruction were considered but were ruled out on the grounds of public safety.” But Peta’s Mimi Bekhechi said: “Law-enforcement officers are entrusted with protecting the innocent and the vulnerable, and that does not include deliberately running them over with the intent to kill.” Carol Roberts, manager of the Abandoned Animal Association, added: “I want to see a full investigation happen-this needs to start immediately. Police could have closed off the road, they could have darted the dog.” North Wales police and crime commissioner Winston Roddick, has said he is ‘looking for an explanation’ from senior officers.
RSPB Scotland welcomes Government announcement on wildlife crime penalties
Major milestone for California condors
For the first time in years more California condors-the largest birds in the United States-were born in the wild than died. These birds have a wingspan of almost three metres (10 feet) and can live for up to 60 years. Despite this, condors have become more and more rare, with some claiming they would have become extinct without the intervention of conservationists. There are currently 268 condors in the wild and 167 in captivity. Numbers have been dipping but last year, for the first time in decades, 14 condors were born in the wild, and 12 died. This has been mooted as significant as should this margin continue, the condor population will eventually be able to sustain itself without any captive breeding.
RSPB Scotland has responded to the announcement that environment minister Aileen McLeod has accepted recommendations from the wildlife crime penalties review group to introduce tougher new maximum penalties for those who commit crimes against wildlife. Stuart Housden, Director of RSPB Scotland, said: “Today’s announcement from the Scottish Government on tough new maximum penalties for those who commit crimes against wildlife is a welcome step forward. Scotland has some of the strongest wildlife legislation in the UK but, ultimately, we need wildlife crime to be seen as completely unacceptable so that gamekeepers, landowners and countryside bodies do not tolerate it or turn a blind eye when they suspect it. Sport shooting bodies that are constantly seeking to reduce the safeguards afforded to highly protected species undermine the efforts to stamp out these crimes. The Scottish Government has said it will now bring together a list of relevant offences these changes will apply to and RSPB Scotland looks forward to working with the Government to implement these measures.”
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For your chance to win please go to veganlifemag.com/nuique
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Brixton vegan fair
The first vegan fair to be held in Brixton will take place at the Dog Star on Coldharbour Lane, between 1 and 6pm. Organisers say: “Brand new event in trendy Brixton, come and grab a vegan drink, head upstairs and discover the lovely ballroom and VIP room, full of delicious vegan street food, decadent vegan cakes, raw treats and more.” veganlifestyleassoc.com
VegMichigan’s Vegan 101 Cooking Class
This cookery class will be held at Rochester Hills Wholefoods at 7pm. Attendees will learn the nutritional aspects of a plant-based diet and taste samples of the prepared food. These classes are for anyone who wants to learn how to create delicious, exciting, nutritious and easy vegan meals. vegmichigan.org
Las Vegas has a thriving vegan community, so it was only a matter of time before the area got its own VegFest. The event will take place at the Clark County Amphitheater and feature tasty food by local chefs and restaurants, inspirational talks by leading change-makers in fitness and animal protection, veg cuisine, classic Vegas entertainment, and fun activities for kids. vegasvegfest.com
Lincoln Vegan Festival
Coffee and Cake Canberra
Come and meet fellow vegans and those interested in veganism over a cuppa for a chat. The organisers say: “Despite the name we often eat more than just cake and drink more than coffee - all welcome! Please be mindful that this event is vegan-friendly. You don’t need to be vegan to attend, however we request that you order vegan food and drink at this event. meetup.com
The organisers of this event, which will take part in the heart of Lincoln, say: “We have food from around the world for you to try at Lincoln Vegan Festival, including Caribbean, and a platter of other exotic delights. If hot dogs, burgers, and kebabs are more your thing, we’ve got it covered. We will be having live music on the day and already have a couple of performers lined up too.” myvegantown.org.uk
Very Vintage Circus
This event in aid of the Soi Dog Foundation is coming to Colchester Arts Centre. The organisers say: “Get on the dance floor with Jupiter Ray, dance with circus performers and win yourself some great prizes. Cocktails, treats and lots of performances – This will be an unforgettable night.” tigertigerevents.co.uk
Northern Vegan Festival
This fair will be spread across five venues in central Manchester. There will be a number of stalls including a raw food fair, talks, films and speed dating. All main venues and rooms are fully accessible to people in wheelchairs via lifts. Admission is £3 (under-16s go for free). northernveganfestival.com
World day for Animals in Laboratories
The whole of April is Animals in Laboratories month, with a number of protests at labs, street stalls with information and media events taking place to raise awareness. The 24th is a United Nations recognized day of international commemoration of the suffering and killing of millions of innocent sentient beings in laboratories throughout the world. Local groups will be hosting their own events. veggies.org.uk
Save the Frogs Day
This global event has been described as the world’s largest day of amphibian education and conservation action. Organisers say: “Our goal is to provide people with educational materials, ideas and inspiration and empower them to educate their local communities about amphibians.” savethefrogs.com
Viva!’s Incredible Vegan Roadshow Birmingham
This event at Birmingham Council House in Victoria Square has free entry. Attendees will be able to taste a range of vegan foods from international dishes you can whiz up at home to ready-to-go convenience foods, receive one-to-one nutritional advice, and pick up free recipes and helpful factsheets. Doors open at 10.30am. viva.org.uk
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 us…
Dear FGV, I really don’t know what to do about this. I am a vegan–the only vegan in my workplace– and I take a lot of so-called ‘banter’ for my choices. While it’s annoying and boring listening to everyone’s unoriginal and rubbish jokes, I can just grit my teeth. But recently, this all took a turn for the worse when my lunch was taken out of the work fridge, and someone swapped my fake-meat sandwiches for ham sandwiches. I realised after the first bite, but by then it was too late. I am really upset about this: I hadn’t eaten meat for years, and now this. On top of that, I just don’t know how to deal with my colleagues if they continue to raise the stakes. I get nervous thinking about what they will do next. Love, Sophia.
Dear Sophia, I’ve kindly listed some situations below during which I think it is acceptable to stroll away from non-vegans and pretend that nothing has happened:
Imagine you are at a pool party somewhere on the Florida Keys and you and everyone else is having a swell time. You’ve met a cool person, shared a few drinks and the subject of vegan food comes up. Your new party pal says: “I could never live without bacon”. You ever-so-slightly roll your eyes, casually paddle away and keep the party rocking on the other side of the pool.
Another scenario might involve a family reunion where everyone from your baby brother to your great-grandmother are huddled under a tree for a picnic. No matter how many times you explain to your third cousin Donald you could eat meat if you wanted to it’s just that you choose not to for compassionate reasons, he insists on describing his foolproof BBQ lamb technique. This is where it is OK to roll up your blanket and move a few feet closer to where the children of the family are playing Junior Trivial Pursuit.
As you can see, I have NOT included ‘being tricked into eating meat’ on my list of situations that are perfectly fine to shrug off. You need to go hardcore Human Resources on these people and put your compassionate foot down firmly. Depending where you reside, you might be able to find workplace or anti-discrimination laws to support your right to not be harassed in the workplace. Your local animal rights society might be able to point you in the right direction of harassment laws relevant to your situation. When it comes down to the basics, these people are harassing you. Simple. Get some sympathetic people on side and let them have it.
Dear FGV, I haven’t been vegan for long (just since Veganuary) and while I am really enjoying the food/ethical/wellbeing aspect of it, I am having some problems with integrating with the online community. Most vegans seem really friendly and open, happy to help and very encouraging, but I have found some are really aggressive. I have stopped following some groups online because I found the long, argumentative threads too upsetting. Should I just stop following? Should I intervene? Will I ever be ‘vegan enough’ to satisfy everyone? Thanks, Ste.
Dear Ste, The first thing I like to say when someone tells me they recently started living vegan is thank–you. Your personal choice is doing more to improve outcomes for animals than you could possibly calculate. Now we have the pleasantries out of the way, I’m going to drop a truth bomb on you. The internet is full of all sorts of people, both friendly and horrible, and becoming vegan does not get you into a secret club where only the nice people hang out. There is a misconception floating around that all vegans are level-headed, well-adjusted and full of love and reason. Of course the majority of vegans, like the majority of non-vegans, are perfectly wonderful individuals but you always get the outliers who work to give us a bad name. I’ve met racist vegans, sexist vegans, ageist vegans and homophobic vegans on my plantbased travels and quite a few of these challenging individuals have crossed my path online. Just like there are non-vegans who you wouldn’t walk a city block to greet, similarly there are vegans who will rub you the wrong way or push you to your limits. So listen to your head and your heart and do what you would do in the real world. If someone is being aggressive and you have no personal connection to them and no hope of changing their views, walk away. Or as we like to say in the virtual world, know what’s best for you and log out, delete, block or unfriend. I guarantee you will not like every single vegan you encounter on the internet, so save your energy for the top-shelf people. A little less time on vegan forums also means more time to meet vegans in the real world!
vegan planet Vegan news from around the world
America: We DID spy on animal rights activists American water park SeaWorld has admitted spying on its critics with some of its employees posing as animal rights activists to do so. Animal right group PETA had accused Seaworld of espionage last year, with senior vice president Lisa Lange saying: “SeaWorld knows that the public is rejecting its cruel orca prisons and is so desperate that it created a corporate espionage campaign.” SeaWorld, whose reputation was badly damaged by documentary film Blackfish, claimed the allegationsif true-were not ‘consistent with its values’. But now the company has publicly acknowledged uncover employees were in fact used, with CEO Joel Manby saying the spy helped ‘maintain the safety and security of company employees, customers and animals in the face of credible threats’.
France: Abattoir shut after undercover filming A slaughterhouse in France has been shut down pending an enquiry following allegations of animal cruelty. Animal group L214 posted a video on its website claiming the footage was captured at an abattoir in Le Vigan in the southern Gard region. The groups says the footage shows employees at the facility, which is certified organic, hanging pigs from one leg, hurling other animals around, and tasering livestock among other abuses. The abattoir will be closed until further notice. Staff have been suspended, and the agency which manages the operation says an internal investigation will be conducted. Describing the practices as ‘intolerable’, agriculture minister Stéphane Le Foll said veterinary investigators will work with prosecutors on the case. Animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot also weighed in, describing the footage as showing ‘sadism of perverted unsupervised employees, a scandalous, unacceptable cruelty that makes you throw up’.
Germany: Vegan food sector explodes The market for veggie and vegan food in Germany is booming. This is according to a report released by the Institute for Trade Research (IFH) called ‘Vegetarian & Vegan: fad or sustainable growth momentum?’ According to the report, total sales in the sector grew to EUR 454 million, with the biggest growth seen in the meat and dairy alternative product groups over the last five years. Over 1,000 consumers were quizzed for the report. The group is thought to have contained vegans, vegetarians, ‘flexitarians’ and meat-eaters, with ‘flexitarians’ proving to be the most prolific consumers of meat-alternatives. According to the IFH this growth will continue in the coming years. The organisation found out there is an increasing number of consumers who want to cut down on their meat consumption for a number of reasons including health.
Scotland: Compassion award for Aberdeen boy Animal rights group PETA has awarded an eight year old boy a Compassionate Kid Award in recognition of his efforts to help animals. Kairhys Melvin, from Aberdeen, made his own decision to go vegetarian at the age of three. He loves all animals–especially his family’s dog, three cats and three rabbits, who are all rescues and often takes in wounded animals such as birds to help heal them and release them back into the wild. He’s also dedicated to clearing rubbish from his local beach to prevent damage to wildlife. In his efforts to raise awareness of the cruelty of factory farming, Kairhys is committed to spreading the message of where meat comes from to his friends and classmates, as well as adults. “Kairhys is an inspiring young person who is making a positive difference in the world”, says PETA associate director Elisa Allen. “His compassion for animals and his determination to create a better world for them is a wonderful example for other kids–and adults–to follow.”
Iran: Is video a turning point for animal abuse? A shocking video of a man beating a dog has gone viral in Iran prompting widespread protest. The video, which shows a man kicking and hitting a dog with a shovel while onlookers laugh, was investigated by park rangers. They were able to track the man down using his number plate. Despite the lack of animal welfare laws in the country, the man was widely condemned on social media, with one user saying he ‘deserves to receive the same treatment’. Because of the public outcry, a local prosecutor said the perpetrator will receive two months in jail, and 74 lashes. Following the incident, protestors gathered outside the Environment Department calling on changes for legislation to protect animals against abuse. The head of Iran’s Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar said that a proposal has been sent to the cabinet for protection of stray animals.
Coconut Collaborative Choc Pots
I already love their coconut yoghurts, but these little ganache-like pots of chocolate are divine-intensely chocolately in a cute little tub. coconutco.co.uk
Follow Your Heart VeganEgg
Besos de Oro
I’m partial to a tipple now and again, and this vegan liqueur tastes like Baileys-but it’s cruelty-free. Win! facebook.com/besosdeoro
This whole egg replacer is uncannily like chicken-eggs, and makes an excellent scrambled egg or omelette. On top of that, you can use it as an ingredient in baking. It has half the fat of a regular egg, but most importantly, is cruelty-free. followyourheart.com
Mirabilia Olive Leaf Tea
I’m cutting down on caffeine, and this quirky little brew is helping with its delicate flavour and a clutch of antioxidants. oleaft.com
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 Lovechock Tablets
Dark chocolate lovers will adore these bars, which have at least 84 per cent cacao content. My favourite is the sweet nibs and sea salt flavour-a perfect combination. lovechock.com
Squirrel Sisters Snack Bars
These delicious bars look as good as they taste with their kitsch retro-style packaging. Top marks go to the cacao brownie flavour. squirrelsisters.com
Soap Nuts Scrub
This organic Vanilla Coffee Body Scrub with finely ground vanilla-infused Arabica coffee beans and anti-inflammatory soapnut extract is perfect for your own home-spa ritual before a big date or for massaging tired muscles after the gym. soapnuts.co.uk
Organic Rose Geranium Facial Oil
This organic vegan facial oil is naturally packed full of vitamin E. Only a few drops are needed to fully moisturise the face, so a little goes a very long way, leaving your skin beautifully soft. heavenly-organics.com
Living Food Kitchen Flapjacks These are flavourful and very dense-just half of one of these bars goes well with a cuppa. As they used to say, this will stick to your ribs. Hearty, satisfying, and delicious. thelivingfoodkitchen.com
TO GIVE AWAY
10 goodie bags of Freedom Confectionery’s gelatine-free marshmallows Freedom mallows are the tastiest, softest, fluffiest and mallow-iest vegetarian marshmallows you will ever taste however you eat them, on their own or with ice-cream, hot chocolate or a homemade rocky road. They are gelatine-free, suitable for vegans and vegetarians, gluten free, egg and dairy free, soy free, nut free, GMO free and have no artificial colours or flavourings. Now 10 lucky readers can get their mitts on a goodie bag containing mini pink and white vanilla mallow bites, vanilla and strawberry marshmallows. freedomconfectionery.com ENTER at veganlifemag/freedom
11 online vouchers for Yours Naturally, Naturally Yours Skincare and candle company Yours Naturally, Naturally Yours is giving discount vouchers to 11 lucky winners towards their purchase of goods from the website. YNNY has an extensive range of natural skin care products and soy wax candles, which are handcrafted individually. You can pamper yourself or your loved ones with these beautiful, unique and luxury products. One winner will receive a £50 voucher and the others £10 each. ynny.co.uk
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ENTER at veganlifemag/yours
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A pair of tickets for Vegan Life Live January 7 & 8 2017 The team behind Vegan Life magazine invites you to embrace plant-based living with this two-day event. One lucky winner will win a pair of two-day tickets. Showcasing a wealth of information for both newbie vegans and veterans alike, Vegan Life Live will shine a spotlight on the current trends, best brands and most delicious food and drink for the cruelty-conscious consumer. veganlifelive.com ENTER at veganlifemag/vll
fancy Focaccia? This simple recipe yields tasty results
Focaccia with Black Olives Base • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 7g / 1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast • 250g (2 cups) plain white flour • ½ tsp sea salt flakes • 180ml (¾ cup) warm water Topping • Zest of 2 lemons • Juice of 1 lemon • 2 garlic cloves, crushed • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped rosemary • ½ tsp coarsely crushed black pepper • 1 tsp sea salt flakes • 150g (1 cup) pitted black olives • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Serves 4 1.
3. 4. 5.
Put the yeast, flour and salt in a food processor mixer bowl. In a jug, mix the olive oil with the water. Turn on the food processor (use the dough hook), then pour in the oil and water mixture. When combined, remove the dough from the bowl and, by hand, knead in a little extra flour for about 2 minutes. (If not using a food processor, knead by hand for a total of 12 minutes.) Place the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. This will take around 50 minutes. Pat down the dough, then stretch into a rectangle about 30 x 20cm. Transfer to an oiled baking sheet and prod the surface with your fingers to form dimples. In a bowl, mix the lemon zest and juice, garlic, rosemary, pepper and 1/2 tsp of the salt, then pour over the dough. Press the olives into the dimples and leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes. Brush liberally with olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C/400°F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the remaining salt.
TOP TIP Why not try some alternative toppings once you have mastered the focaccia base? We have suggested a few below, but feel free to experiment! • Balsamic red onion • Basil and cherry tomato • Roasted peppers • Sautéed mushrooms and garlic • Home-made vegan pesto
Per Serving: 408
Recipe and image from lakeland.co.uk
Tesco Thai Spiced Crackers
These tasty, crunchy little bites are perfect to eat alone as a snack (as an alternative to crisps) or to eat alongside a tasty Thai spread. The little crescents are brilliant dunked in a green, coconut-y curry. There are two different types in the pack, the darker coloured ones are spicy and crunchy, and the lighter ones are a bit softer with a milder flavour. They are served in a large bag, so great for sharing.
Mackies of Scotland Haggis Crisps
It can get a little samey always opting for ready-salted or salt and vinegar crisps – but these are a totally different flavour experience. With a generous dusting of cracked black pepper and a satisfying thick cut, these snacks pair well with beer. The haggis flavour is subtle but tasty as well as unique.
New York Bagel Company Cinnamon Pretzels
These lightly-spiced pretzel knots can be eaten straight out of the pack, or toasted. Studded with fruity cinnamon pieces, the flavour is discernible but not overwhelming. They are delicious plain, but lots of flavour combinations work–try slathering in cashew butter for a decadent treat. Individuallywrapped, they stay fresh and are easilyportable.
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 Gnocchi
Usually the fresh pasta section is a no-go for vegans. While most dried pasta is SFV, fresh usually contains eggs. But these gnocchi, which are flour and potato-based are a good, versatile option, and a change from the usual spaghetti and penne. Delicious with vegan pesto or tomato sauce, these gnocchi are a quick and easy meal option.
Have you found a brilliant accidentally vegan product? We want to know! Share it with us on Facebook (facebook.com/veganlifemagazine)
Marks and Spencer British Pudding Sweets
These unusual hard candies are delicious. There are three flavours; Eton mess, cherry bakewell and lemon meringue. Unlike traditional boiled sweets, these have a hard outside, and a cracknel centre (melted sugar formed to a sweet brittle), which is sherbet-y and tart. The flavour of the sweets is uncannily similar to the puddings that inspired them.
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Too Many People? Helena Jones looks at how population growth is affecting the planet
n October 31, 2011, the world population reached seven billionand today this figure continues to rise. As United Nation (UN) projections expect the global population to reach as high as 10 billion by 2050, are there just too many people? And can our planet cope with this massive increase in the world’s population?
“It is our lifestyle choices, as much as our lives themselves that affect the world.” By far the biggest population growth is occurring in the global south, with Asia accounting for 60 percent of global population growth, followed by Africa with 15 percent. So, with their limits to infrastructure and economic growth, will developing countries struggle to deal with the challenges and impacts of more people on the environment?
As it is, one in three people face water shortages across the globe. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates that 12 to 15 million hectares of forest are lost each year and 80 percent of the world’s energy is reliant on fossil fuels and their resultant carbon emissions. Whilst there is clearly a great strain on the earth’s resources, many argue that our lifestyle habits, as much as sheer numbers, are the real culprits. So is population growth itself really to blame for increased pressure on the natural world or is it our lifestyles? Why are so many people a worry for the earth? Concern about population growth has historically been linked to fears it will lead to mass food shortages and famine. Along with this, increased populations in areas with huge water scarcity put great pressure on the most basic of human needs. More recently, soaring populations have been blamed for increased burning of fossil fuels and deforestation that could intensify unsustainable rates of climate change.
Prominent figures in natural history have voiced strong concerns about exponential population growth, such as Sir David Attenborough, a patron of The Population Matters Movement, who said:“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us.” Those concerned with population growth often fall into two camps over how to deal with the issue. One side focuses on reducing the numbers of people being born. For example, China famously introduced their single-child policy in the late 1970s, which limited families to only having one child, and is currently being phased into a two-child policy. Others believe improved technology can solve the crisis. So technological innovation in farming which increases productivity may ensure there is enough food for rising numbers of people. However, both these solutions have their pitfalls. Government limits to family sizes place curbs on personal liberties and technological innovation may not be affordable in developing countries and may cause a lot of damage to biodiversity through mono-cropping and the use of pesticides and fertilizers. With this in mind then, is a focus on too many people appropriate or are there other ways to address humanity’s harmful impacts on the environment? Are too many people really to blame? Rather than too many people putting pressure on the earth’s resources, we can see a clear link between environmental degradation and the world’s richest countries, where populations are stable or even in decline. Whilst China and India have the two fastest growing populations, China is only ranked 55th in the world’s highest emitters of carbon dioxide per head and India is 133rd, despite having the second largest growing population in the world. Instead the world’s top polluters correspond much more with affluence. It seems to be no coincidence that some of the top 10 polluters per head,such as Qatar, Luxembourg and the US, also figure in a list of the top 10 richest nations in the world. The assumption that developing countries have bad farming practices can also be unfounded. For instance, provocatively named slash-and-burn farming has been part of the sustainable management of woodland by subsistence farmers for centuries. Records of this technique only start to show unsustainable levels of deforestation when market demand for meat and grain from rich countries rose in the last 50 years. Furthermore, whilst an urban lifestyle in many western countries can appear to cause relatively little harm beyond its borders, in reality the city draws on an international network of food and oil production that causes huge global environmental damage. Crucially, the negative effects of meat consumption in affluent countries, particularly the dairy and beef industry, are major causes of environmental degradation. Currently 18 percent of global carbon emissions come from the farming of livestock, more than emissions from all forms of transport. Furthermore, 70 percent of grain in the US is used to feed livestock. Imagine how many people this could feed if it no longer sustained meat and dairy production. So how are we to survive sustainably? It is abundantly clear that the world must move from a focus on technical fixes e.g. innovation in farming, to attitudinal changes to our lifestyle if we want to conserve the earth’s resources. The lower energy and water consumption that supports a vegan diet is a key example of how we can drastically limit our footprint on the earth. So we must understand that it is our lifestyle choices, as much as our lives themselves that affect the world. Rather than a business as usual approach to resource management, we may be required to transform our way of life to more sustainable patterns of consumption and veganism is an excellent place to start. Resources consumed for a meat vs vegan diet (in the US)
Images: Alexandre Ramos
eat and drink-Vegan style The Black Cat Hackney, London
he Black Cat café in Hackney has become somewhat of an institution, with hungry vegans (and non-vegans) travelling from miles to sample the restaurant’s famous plant-based food. The menu, which changes daily depending on the produce available, features vegan comfort food in hearty portions, presented in a casual fashion. A number of key dishes often feature including the beef-style burger, chickpea pancake, seitan gyros and lasagne. “We connect with our customers and their feedback is really important to us, therefore we always try to keep the items which became popular,” one of the business directors Nacho (Carla is another director) tells Vegan Life. “We don’t focus in any specific type of cooking background: our head chef is influenced mostly by Mediterranean flavours but he also likes to explore other fields such Asian cooking. A good example of that is the fact that our curries or noodles soups are some of our most popular items. Although we are not an organic cafe most of the produce we use comes from a farm in Boston and is grown without the use of pesticides and we try to purchase mostly seasonal vegetables. We try to offer a balanced choice of fast/junk-style food, and healthy options.
“We are passionate about vegan food and connecting to others through food. We believe food brings people together.” “Alongside our tasty homemade vegan food, we sell grocery items such cheese, vegan meats, locally baked cakes and pastries at affordable prices. At our cafe you’ll also have access to books touching different relevant subjects such as animal liberation, human liberation, vegan cooking, etc. We also have hosted-and we intend to keep doing so-benefits and fundraisers for different causes such as Hunt Saboteurs Association, Food Not bombs, animal sanctuaries, and the Black Fish among others.” One of the café’s biggest hits is the fry up: a hearty plate with homemade baked beans, scrambled tofu, sausages, stewed mushrooms, herby potatoes, rasher and a choice of sourdough bread or homemade pancake. There is sometimes a wait for tables at the weekend, and most diners seem to be eating this. Also very popular are the beef-style burger, and the seitan gyros. Both are favourites among meat-eating customers. “Their flavour profile totally resembles their meat counterparts,” says Nacho. “Smoked paprika, dill, celery salt or fresh herbs like parsley and oregano among others are used to flavour them therefore we believe that many times people eating meat are hooked more to the flavour of the seasonings used than to the meat itself. I think we are the only place in London offering homemade versions of these foods and we believe they are good for people making their first contact with vegan foods. We have a wide variety of customers, coming from different backgrounds, from long term vegans to non-vegans, from punk and hardcore/punk kids to next door neighbours. And we love them all.” Nacho adds: “We are passionate about vegan food and connecting to others through food. We believe food brings people together. We are both vegan and wouldn’t have it done any other way. It is important to show that vegan food can be tasty and healthy and you won’t be missing on anything. Most importantly the food we provide is free of animal products and this is one of the main reasons we are behind this project: for the animals, for the environment.”
Lighter Drinks Pour a little sunshine into your glass
ight is gently returning to our lives as the sun grows a little stronger every day. The hours of daylight are slowly increasing, making it a bit easier to rise in the morning with each new day. The gentle sound of birdsong eases us into the morning rather than the startling shrill of the alarm clock. The commute home from work is now punctuated with the orange glow of spring sunsets rather than hazy streetlamps. Bulbs are pushing through the earth and peeking above the uncut grass, waiting to explode into a carpet of colour. White snowdrops, purple crocuses and yellow daffodils are a welcome sight after the monochrome of rain and mud. For each cold day that still remains we are given glimpses of what’s to come-vibrant colours, pungent floral aromas and hints of the ever-increasing warmth of the sun. We should take cues from nature when it comes to what we drink at this time of year-much like we would change our clothes according to the season or alter what we put on our plates. The heavy, warming flavours of winter months are replaced with those that are light and vivid. Imagine the effect inhaling deeply amongst a cluster of daffodils has on you: seek to replicate that in what you pour into your glass.
Dead Pony Club (3.8%) – BrewDog RRP £1.79 for 330ml (Tesco) BrewDog now has 23 of its beers accredited by the Vegan Society, with bottles starting to carry the instantly recognisable logo on the reverse of their labels. Available in both bottles and cans, Dead Pony Club had a brief time as Dead Pony Pale Ale before legions of passionate drinkers demanded the original name. Rest assured, no ponies were harmed in the making of this beer! From the tactile letterpress labels to the embossed BrewDog logo on the bottle neck, it’s obvious this is a quality product brewed with care and affection. Described as a Session Pale Ale, for the low ABV, this is a real hop bomb. Tropical aromas of gargantuan proportion surge from the bottle. Ripe mango, pink grapefruit and fresh pineapple vie for your attention. The tropical fruit notes come through in the taste with spicy undertones and some floral hop character. Monstrous caramel notes keep everything balanced. While BrewDog produces a number of vegan beers, it’s important to note there are a small handful of exceptions - beers that contain milk (such as Jet Black Heart) and those containing honey (Dogma, Electric India).
Neck Oil (4.3%) – Beavertown RRP £2.25 for 330ml (Online at beerheroes.co.uk) Each and every release from Beavertown is a work of art. The beautifully illustrated cans cry out to be hung on a wall once the contents have been emptied. Neck Oil is no exception, the golden can is adorned with an illustration of skulls, each one representing a member of the team when it was originally canned. Based on a homebrew recipe, it’s designed with enough depth of flavour to be enjoyed slowly and appreciated, or to be used to liberally lubricate the throat as the name suggests. Neck Oil pours a clear golden yellow with a soft, pillow-y white head. The nose is abundant with fruity notes from pineapple to passionfruit and peach. Some pine dankness lurks in the background. Despite the bold flavours the taste is light and crisp with a silky mouthfeel. The same citrus and tropical fruits can be found in the taste leading to a short bitter finish.
real coconut water, the coconut flavour hits you immediately the moment the cap pops off the bottle. For many this characteristic aroma will be reminiscent of a bottle of Malibu (the coconut flavoured Caribbean rum). Pouring a very pale golden yellow the distinctive nutty coconut flavour promptly strikes, then the coconut begins to mellow allowing the light and clean apple notes to surface. It leaves you with zesty lime and a long, lingering taste of coconut. Coconut & Lime English Cider is refreshing, easily drinkable, and the perfect drink to awaken your senses.
Beavertown does not use isinglass (derived from fish) as this actively makes beer non-vegan friendly for very little result. Using isinglass can also potentially draw out flavour compounds. Beavertown beers will not be as clear as many other breweries’ beer as nothing is used to replace the isinglass-a cold-conditioning process is used instead.
To complement the Coconut & Lime English Cider it seemed only appropriate to include the world’s number one coconut flavoured rum. The characteristic white bottle features a simple stylised illustration of palm trees and sunset behind. It is that which is captured inside: Caribbean sunshine in a bottle. At only 21 per cent, it’s lower in alcohol than many other spirits. Malibu is pure Caribbean rum infused with an exceptional coconut flavour. It’s smooth in taste with fresh coconut dominating throughout. The finish is sweet with only a hint of warming alcohol. Both versatile and refreshing, Malibu can be enjoyed on its own or in cocktails like the classic Piña Colada. Simply mix with coconut milk, lime juice, pineapple juice and ice to be instantly transported to an island covered with white sand and bathed in unbroken sunshine.
Landlord (4.1%) – Timothy Taylor RRP £2.00 for 500ml (Morrisons) Timothy Taylor has been brewing ale using the finest ingredients and traditional methods for over 150 years. The draught version of Landlord (which is not suitable for vegans due to the use of isinglass) gained much publicity from the Great British Beer Festival where it won a clutch of awards. This bottled version of Landlord has grabbed six national awards in recent years. The unassuming classic label will appeal to those seeking the flavours of traditional British ale rather than the exuberant ones often found in the output of some of the more modern breweries. Landlord is a well-balanced session ale pouring a pale amber. The aroma is hoppy and fruity with notes of citrus. Freshly squeezed orange and zesty grapefruit linger around the nose, while fresh grapefruit intermingles with bready malts and some caramel sweetness. The taste is sweet and fruity with a lingering hop bitterness. Timothy Taylor bottled products are filtered to produce the necessary clarity and so bottled Landlord, Boltmaker and Havercake have no animal ingredients in them.
Coconut & Lime English Cider (4%) – Brothers RRP £1.99 for 500ml (Tesco) All Brothers’ ciders are made using natural carbonation and are free from gluten, artificial sweeteners and fats. From Toffee Apple to Cloudy Lemon the range is exciting and diverse. Recently rebranded, each striking label features a watercolour illustration of the primary ingredients. Bright and attention-grabbing, even the bottle caps coordinate with the colour theme for each flavour. Made with
All of the Brothers’ cider range is suitable for vegans. Brothers do not use isinglass or any other added product to filter and instead only use a micro-filtration process.
Malibu Original (21%) – Malibu Rum Drinks RRP £20.00 for 1L (Sainsburys)
No animal products are used in the manufacturing of Malibu therefore making it suitable for vegans.
Apple & Rhubarb – Cawston Press RRP £3.74 for 6 x 330ml (Waitrose) Sparkling drinks have previously had a bad reputation, perhaps due to the association with sugar-laden brown fizz. Cawston Press is reclaiming the term with its range of natural sparkling drinks made free of concentrate, artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colourings. Its mission from the start was to ‘make beautiful soft drinks, using only the best tasting ingredients and absolutely nothing artificial’. During the apple harvest, the finest fruit packed full of flavour is selected and pressed. The sweet apple juice is expertly blended with pressed, tart rhubarb juice and sparkling water. The result is a perfectly balanced drink, not overly sweet and with soft carbonation. The addition of rhubarb keeps it light, refreshing and interesting, adding a slightly sharp note to stimulate the palate. All Cawston Press drinks are suitable for vegans.
Follow Oliver Coningham on twitter: @forkandcarrot
Jack Monroe talks about meat addiction – and becoming vegan
ook, author, campaigner, and Guardian columnist Jack Monroe shot to fame after writing a blog about creating robust meals on a tiny budget. The former Fire Service call-handler was thrust into financial hardship after struggling to find work that could accommodate the scheduling needs of a single parent. A period of job seeking and unemployment following, during which Jack’s benefits were delayed, leaving the blogger penniless. With a tiny budget, and a child to feed, Jack started experimenting with creating cheap meals, and writing about it online. The resulting blog was featured heavily in the media, and eventually led to a book deal. Food professionals were impressed with the dishes, and looking at the recipes, it’s easy to see why. Instead of using special high-gluten bread-making flour, for example, cheap plain flour with added acid (lemon juice) to strengthen the gluten is supplemented. It’s clever, inventive–and fantastically-written too. Now Jack has written several books, been featured in publications like The New York Times, and has contributed food articles and recipes, as well as political pieces, to the Guardian on a regular basis. The writer’s campaigning includes work around poverty and hunger relief, collaborating with organisations including Oxfam. Earlier this year, Jack decided to take part in Veganuary, regularly tweeting about the experience of cutting out meat, dairy and eggs. Having decided to stick with being cruelty-free, Vegan Life was
delighted to chat to them. “I have been cooking vegan recipes for a long time, long before the release of my first cookbook, as in the rubbish old days of scraping around on mismanaged, delayed and suspended benefits, meat and dairy products were often just too expensive in comparison to their kinder counterparts, “says Jack. “I cooked with beans and lentils for protein, always obsessively researching, and got my calcium and iron from bags of frozen spinach and yellow-stickered broccoli.
“Flesh has the force of violence in it, and the negative emotions of fear and hatred.” “When I was a child, I once announced to my parents that I wanted to be a vegetarian. I was a sensitive child, quirky, bookish, and was met with ‘don’t be silly and finish your roast dinner.’ So, out of respect for my parents, who worked hard to put that dinner on the table, I did.” Jack claims they tried going meat-free several times over the last few years. “Yet like a junkie, I always caved in. Packets of cooking bacon in the supermarket, cans of sardines, the odd roast chicken.” Having previously written a number of food articles praising animal products,
the new vegan says: “I look back, and try not to regret. I am, after all, the sum product of all of my decisions and experiences so far. I am not going to indulge in righteous self-flagellation for fulfilling the brief of my recipe column; I was doing my job, as it were.” As a huge follower of Indian cooking, it was reading about Ayurveda–the ancient Hindu Wisdom on Health–that influenced Jack’s decision to go vegan. The foreword to The 50 Greatest Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi discusses meat, describing how ‘flesh has the force of violence in it, and the negative emotions of fear and hatred…it has no place in the Satvic diet’. “And there, with no gory videos, no statistics, no shock-jock tactics, Panjabi quietly drew my line in the sand for me,” says Jack. “I understood myself, the discomfort, the guilt, the addiction, the naughty thrill of a packet of bacon in the fridge, the promises to myself that it would be the last time. I behaved like an addict, with no thought for those I might have been hurting, just seeking my next high, my next slow-roasted pork belly, chicken skin Caesar salad, slow bone broth. I hung out with friends who would indulge me, encourage me, and I needed to stop. And I did. “Some vegan friends, and online groups, try to stop their friends from eating animal products by sharing gory photographs and videos online. I’ve had aggressive messages on my own instagram feed for reposting a grapefruit curd recipe from before Veganuary, that had a couple of eggs in it. I made those things. I’m not going to pretend I didn’t, nor flail around deleting all of the carnivorous recipes from my blog (though I will eventually have a vegan alternative for most of them, because I cook to live and my blog reflects that.) “Unless you live under a rock, you know that geese are force-fed copious amounts of grain to fatten their livers for foie gras. You know that baby male chicks are flung alive into a mincer. You probably didn’t know that in its natural conditions a chicken should lay 12 eggs a year, yet battery hens lay 300. But I’m not going to gross you out with science. In my experience, yelling at people that they are wrong and disgusting rarely wins the argument, nor changes point of view. I’m doing my bit to encourage people to try vegan by making vegan food affordable and accessible and absolutely delicious. No hard-to-find ingredients, no complicated recipes, just doing what I’ve always done, but without the cooking bacon. I have the words First Do No Harm tattooed on my left arm, and I see veganism as an evolution of that.” People often think veganism is extremely expensive. How does this sit with someone whose name is synonymous with creating tasty and nutritious yet cheap meals? Jack says: “Scratching meat and dairy products off my shopping list gives me extra in the budget to buy luxury ingredients I haven’t cooked with for years; the odd bag of brown or even black rice, coconut cream that goes a lot further than you’d think. I manage to shop in half the time, as I can avoid most of the aisles in the supermarket, yet my cupboards have never been more varied and enticing. “I have found my cooking has taken on a whole new life, a veritable riot of colour and flavour and deliciousness. Deep fried spicy kidney beans sit alongside a mushroom rogan josh, heavy aubergine bhuna, and a black bean tarkari. Mushroom replaces lamb in my samosas, and a sweet potato rosti rolling around in a hot dhansak sauce is a beautiful thing. I am writing my third (and bits of my fourth) cookbook, and although it isn’t strictly vegan as it is half written already, it is an absolute delight. Cans of chickpeas and bags of lentils have been staples of mine for a long time, and I’m genuinely excited to use them as the building blocks for my new adventures in the kitchen.”
Spinach and Butternut Squash Samosas with Moroccan Spices Serves 12 • • • • • • • • • •
270g (9½oz) pack Jus-Rol™ Filo Pastry Sheets ½ small butternut squash (approx 200g or 1 cup), peeled and cut into 1-2cm cubes 50g (¼ cup) frozen peas 8 tbsp vegetable oil 4 spring onions, sliced 1 clove garlic, crushed 250g (1¼ cups) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained 200g (1¼ cups) can chick peas, drained 1-2 tbsp harissa paste (adjust to taste) 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
Place the butternut squash in a pan of water, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until tender add the peas to the pan for the last 2 minutes, drain, place in a large bowl and set aside. In the same pan, fry the spring onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Squeeze any excess water from the spinach and roughly chop, add to a bowl with the squash, peas, spring onions, garlic and chick peas. Stir in the harissa paste, taste for seasoning (add more if required), add the fresh coriander and stir well. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Work with one sheet of filo pastry at a time, (keep the rest covered with cling film and a damp tea towel). Brush the pastry with a little oil on one side and cut into 2 long strips. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling at the top of one strip of pastry; fold the corner of the pastry over the filling diagonally to form a small triangle. Continue folding down diagonally to alternate sides until you reach the bottom of the strip. Brush with a little oil and place the samosa on a lined baking tray. Repeat the process until you have used all the filling. (Any remaining pastry can be kept in the freezer for a later date). Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the samosas are crisp and golden.
Recipes and images from jusroll.co.uk
knead to know These easy pastry recipes are a midweek winner
Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetable Jalousie Serves 4 • • • • • • • • • •
640g (22½oz) Jus-Rol™ Puff pastry ready rolled sheet 3 medium mixed coloured peppers deseeded & cut into chunks 2 medium red onions cut into wedges 8-10 cherry tomatoes 1 courgette thickly sliced ½ butternut squash (400g or 2 cups) cut lengthways into 6 2 tbsp oil for drizzling A few rosemary sprigs Salt & black pepper to taste Soya milk to glaze
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6) Place prepared vegetables on large baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and scatter with rosemary, salt & pepper to season. Roast for 15-18 minutes or until just tender. Allow to cool. Increase oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan/425°F/Gas M7) Unroll the pastry sheets and lay one on a lined baking sheet. Place the vegetables on pastry in an even layer leaving a border of approx. 1.25cm/½” all round. Fold the second pastry sheet in half down its length and using a sharp knife make cuts down the folded side, at 90º to the edge towards the opposite side, BUT leave a border of 1.2,5cm/½” down that side and at the short ends. Brush base pastry border with soy milk, open out second pastry sheet and lay over base, press edges together, trim off with a sharp knife and knock up edges to seal well. Brush top with soy milk and scatter over a little more rosemary. Bake for 20 -25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
GOING THE DISTANCE Stephen Balfour worries about representing veganism on the sports circuit
ll vegans have heros and heroines don’t they? One of mine is a guy called Scott Jurek from the USA. If you’ve never heard of him, shame on you! For those of you in the dark, he’s arguably the world’s most successful ultra-distance runner ever. I’m tempted to say he just so happens to be vegan but there is nothing incidental about it. Jurek attributes a great deal of his success to his diet. Not only does his whole food, plant-based diet provide his body with the necessary nutrients essential for his endeavours, it also places the least amount of stress on his body that he often pushes to its limitsand beyond. Jurek’s accomplishments are truly astonishing and include once running a staggering 165 miles in 24 hours. That’s the equivalent of running the London Marathon almost seven times over in a 24-hour period. Anyone who’s ever run a marathon will appreciate just how epic this feat is. Why am I telling you about Mr Jurek? Well after a period of around a year off I’m now planning on returning to the world of exercise. Now I’m the first to admit I’m no Scott, A particular low point saw me overtaken by a runner in one of those bloody Rhino costumes whilst running
the London Marathon some years back. It got me thinking however, do I want to let others know that I am vegan? If I am awe of Jurek’s achievements and the role his diet has played in this, would others make less positive judgements when they see me huffing and puffing around a 5k course?
“A particular low point saw me overtaken by a runner in one of those bloody Rhino costumes whilst running the London Marathon some years back.” As I pondered this thought I realised this was a bigger issue for me than I had previously been aware of. In terms of embracing and advertising my vegan credentials I have often hidden these and a particular running garment under a bushel. Let me explain. A few years ago, I had run the Glasgow 10k and was sitting with some family in
one of my favourite vegan pubs, the 13th Note, enjoying a post-race refreshment. About five minutes later along walked a fellow competitor wearing a vest with the word vegan emblazoned on it. Up until this point I had never seen a vegan running vest or heard of the Vegan Runners Club. I must have been staring, as my sister’s partner started laughing at me saying that I had the look of a love struck teenager on my face. Various comments about finding a new hero soon followed.
“This is the year that I am going to have more conversations with more nonvegans and try to stimulate some interest in how great a vegan diet can be.” Not long after returning home I did a quick internet search and found the Vegan Runners Club. I posted off my cheque (how old does that make me sound!) and duly received my vest and shorts in the post a short time later. I have to say I loved my new vegan running vest. I’ll admit I was less keen on the shorts. They reminded me of the type footballers from the 70s used to wear, you know the ones that look like they are about two sizes too small for them. Today I still love my vest but I’ve actually only ever worn it once. When I thought about this it shocked me a little. Admittedly one of the reasons the vest has seen very little wear and tear is simply due to the fact I’ve not done a lot of running races in the past few years due to an ongoing issue with a serious knee injury. So with me running fewer races I have had less opportunities to wear my vest. In hindsight however that’s only part of the story. The truth is I worry that if I run a race wearing my Vegan Runners vest and I perform poorly or even worse, don’t finish, people will make critical judgements and perhaps assume that my vegan diet is at least partly responsible. Don’t be fooled for a moment that crowds at mass running events are comprised entirely of saints. I remember hearing one comedian shout: “Aye you’re not looking so motivated now Mr Motivator!” when they spotted the 80s TV fitness celebrity struggle at the London marathon. I’ve realised upon reflection that I experience the same feelings of trepidation towards wearing my ever-growing range of other vegan clothing. I have realised that in ‘safe’ environments, at events where lots of other vegans are present, I’m comfortable wearing these garments. In other environments I’m less comfortable though and end up simply not wearing them. Even I would agree that it is pretty pathetic behaviour for a 44 year old. Is this really such a problem you may ask? It is for me. I often feel frustrated that I don’t do enough to promote veganism on a daily basis. I do believe appropriate clothing can present opportunities. In my mind the more people see people wearing vegan clothing, the more difficult it is for people to dismiss it as being just a fringe movement. The fact I am a male hopefully can help to break down some of the ridiculous sexist views of the vegan community being predominantly a movement for girls. The fact I dress quite conservatively perhaps can help to making people aware that our movement is comprised of people from all walks of like and not just a radical fringe. That can only be a good thing.
When I wore the Vegan Runners running vest at the Rock n Roll half marathon in Edinburgh in 2013 I was warming up at the start line (throwing my arms and hips in random directions thinking I was looking very fit and stretchy). I was approached by a young guy in his early 20s. He was also wearing a vest emblazoned with some reference to a vegan/plant based diet. He explained to me that he had been vegan for just a few months but that he was loving it! A slight possibility exists that he had overindulged on his pre-race energy drinks but regardless his energy was palpable. Our exchange only lasted a few minutes but even thinking back now the memory of our chat still makes me smile. The guy just oozed charm, personality and vitality. I hope he’s still vegan as his positivity would make him a fabulous advocate for our cause. So where does this leave me and my running vest? I’ve decided 2016 will be the year I positively embrace the vest and those bloody matching shorts. The vest is going to play its part, and I’ve already started picking out various events where I will wear it with pride. My first could be the adventure race ‘The Mighty Deerstalker’. Yep the irony of that is not lost on me either. Wish me luck… 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 and is open to reasonable offers for his pair of nearly new, extremely tight running shorts. He can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org or via most of the usual social media channels.
Meet the chef E
arlier this year the vegan world was abuzz with the news that a new fine dining plant-based restaurant was set to open in Liverpool. The Allotment, which is the brainchild of chef Matthew Nutter, has been raking in the five-star reviews from delighted customers.
Matthew says: “I do serve quite high-end food. I like putting food on plates and trying things other people weren’t doing. We would get quite a lot of meat-eaters in our pop-ups and have always had a really good response. Vegans have a bit of a reputation for being overly passionate and that can turn people away but good food will always win the battle.”
“I’m able to be inspired without anyone telling me what to do. There are all these amazing ingredients out there, and I’m free to use all of them, which is overwhelming.” How do you create this unique type of cuisine? “It’s a funny one,” he says. “I often get ideas when I’m just walking my dogs, or running. I have a lot of influences from high end chefs like Thomas Keller but I like looking at lots of different dishes. I don’t know how or why inspiration strikes - it’s weird. “I’ve just come up with a new dish. Recently I have been reading all about Japanese cooking, and when I was planning my Mother’s Day menu, I was looking at using an Italian influence, as that culture often revolves around family. We have an amuse bouche which is a balsamic espresso served with sushi rice cooked in Italian herbs and spices. The rice is served like a lollipop. Usually you’d serve sushi rice with soy sauce, but we’re using espresso here.” Matthew’s passion for vegan food shines through. He says: “Working at the new restaurant is amazing. It’s really good fun, it’s like a dream. I’ve always had chefs telling me what to do, and now I am the head chef and it’s my dishes. I’m able to be inspired without anyone telling me what to do. There are all these amazing ingredients out there, and I’m free to use all of them, which is overwhelming. We’re trying to be completely original-not just with flavours but also in how the food looks. More than anything it’s about the colours and the picture you create on the plate. I don’t just want to go for that standard Michelin-star look. I’m trying to change things when it comes to vegan food. “I have been working in kitchens since I was 19, and there has always been a prevailing attitude of ‘f*ck vegetarians’. You would have classically trained chefs who would get extremely excited about some beautiful tomatoes, and use them on the side of some fish. You can just get excited about them as an ingredient in their own right: make the vegetables the star of the plate.” Matthew believes vegan cookery requires a slightly different approach. “If you take 10 chefs who have been trained for 10 years working with meat it’s hard to change their mind set and neural pathways,” he explains. “But really it’s so exciting. I trained a little bit in France, and in some highend restaurants in London. It’s the same thing again and again-red wine jus or pan-frying scallops. As beautiful as it is to get these techniques right, I was bored. “Moving away from that, I had to flip it all backwards. I think so hard about creating the dishes, getting the perfect textures as well as flavours. It’s not always easy but it is getting easier to impress with plant-based cooking. It’s an exciting time.”
matthew’S signature dish Succulent flavours and sophisticated techniques make this appealing plate
South Carolina Lentils, Smoked Jackfruit, Roasted Aubergine Steak, Butternut Squash and BBQ Cashew Cream Mash Potato Aubergine Steak • 1 aubergine cut into two ‘fillets’ • 1 tbsp chopped curly leaf parsley • 1 tbsp roasted walnuts (roughly blended) • Himalayan sea salt • Cracked black pepper Lentils • 100g (3½oz) cooked puy lentils • 5 large organic ripe plum tomatoes • 100ml (3 fl oz) American yellow mustard • 100ml (3 fl oz) organic cyder vinegar • 200g organic coconut sugar Cheese • 200g (7oz) soaked cashew nuts • 150ml (5 fl oz) boiling water • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar • 100ml (3 fl oz) unscented coconut oil • 1 tsp salt • 1 tsp smoke powder Mash • 2 x medium Red Cara potatoes • 100ml (3 fl oz) unscented coconut oil • 100ml (3 fl oz) smoked cashew cheese (see above) • Seasoning Butternut Squash • 1 butternut squash • Seasoning Jackfruit • 1 tin of jackfruit • 2 onions • 1 tbsp coconut sugar • Seasoning • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the butternut squash purée, simply slice the butternut squash lengthways, take out the seeds, and bake with a little olive oil and seasoning on the flesh side. Bake at 180°C until lightly browned and soft. Scrape the flesh out of the skin, and blend until smooth. Pass through a sieve and set aside for a moment. 2. To prepare the lentils, roast the tomatoes in an oven, at 200°C for 45 minutes until almost black. Blend and pass through a sieve into a pan. 3. Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the lentils. Bring to the boil, simmer for 10 minutes. Add the cooked lentils before serving to heat through. 4. To make the cheese, drain the soaked cashews and give them a good wash. Place in a blender and cover with the boiling water and the rest of the ingredients. Blend until incredibly smooth. 5. For the mash, first peel the potatoes, chop into equal size pieces and place in cold, salted water, bring to the boil and simmer until a knife can pierce the flesh easily. Once cooked drain, leave to steam for a minute and pass through a potato ricer. In a pan, using a spatula, beat in cold coconut oil to emulsify in the hot potato, and finish with the smoked cashew cream until light, fluffly and infused. Place in a piping bag and set aside to keep warm. 6. To prepare the jackfruit, slice onions in half with the skin on, and place down in a hot pan. Burn the onion and place into a hot oven for 30 minutes until they are soft. Blend with the rest of the ingredients and set aside. 7. Drain a tin of young green jackfruit, and pulse in a blender until pulled pork texture. 8. In a bowl, add equal amounts of onion puree, and cashew cream. Season to taste. 9. Finally, to prepare the aubergine, take the aubergine fillet, use a teaspoon to scrape out an inch of aubergine flesh. Season very well, and coat in olive oil. Roast the aubergine in a hot oven until crisp on the outside and a marshmallow texture on the inside. Stuff the aubergine with a few teaspoons of jackfruit, and top with the walnut crumb. 10. To plate up: scrape the butternut squash purée on the base of the plate. Pipe the mash potato on, quenelle [make into an oval shape] the cashew cream. Add two large table spoons of the lentils, and finish with the aubergine. 1.
Nearly half a century’s vegan experience led to this innovative business
ne of the biggest challenges of staying vegan can be finding tasty, quality, cruelty-free snacks. That’s according to Kelly Slade and Chrissy Leyland, founders of Vegan Tuck Box-the UK’s first vegan subscription box. “Each and every month, we scour the planet for the most exciting, unique and tasty vegan snacks and create fun and interesting vegan boxes for you to order online,” they explain. Kelly and Chrissy decide to start the business-which provides a range of both savoury and sweet treats-because they wanted to make it easier for people to go, stay and enjoy being vegan. They say: “We want to help our fellow vegans overcome the challenges of achieving a more ethical and compassionate lifestyle without having to give up tasty and fulfilling treats. Now you can save animals and have the best-tasting snacks around. Our mission is to make vegan food more widely available and easier to obtain. We’re 100 per cent vegan and always will be. Between us we have 48 years of experience of being vegan.”
As for the future, Kelly and Chrissy are feeling positive: “As the number of vegans increases all the time, we expect the demand for our service to grow and that we will find even more fantastic products to fill our boxes with! We have just launched a new website with some more great options, including our new health kick box. In the future we see ourselves offering an even bigger range of boxes to choose from including more gift options.” Find our more at vegantuckbox.co.uk or facebook.com/VeganTuckBox.
The business has quickly taken off-from its origins as a UK-only service to shipping worldwide. “We’ve got customers all over the world from Italy and Norway to the US and Australia. The online shop has really taken off too and we now stock a wide range of vegan treats that are not widely available on the high street.” And in terms of developing the brand, customer feedback is key. “We’ve started including a cooking ingredient–for example we recently had a cute three step stir fry kit which went down well,” they explain. “Over the last two years we have listened to our customers and made changes so that they get what they want. Feedback is really important to us and we always consider suggestions and comments.”
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
s ever it’s been an eventful month. I thought I had explained the basics of birds and their nests to Ruby but I may have done more harm than good. “Wait,” she said looking panicked, “if the baby birds grow out of eggs, does that mean people who eat eggs grow baby chickens in their tummies?” Her cousin eats eggs and this has caused sleepless nights, but how do you explain fertilisation to a young child? (Seriously, please get in touch if this is a particular skill you’ve mastered…) See, this is one of the (many) wonderful qualities children possess. They have a unique view on things-but this can sometimes make things more difficult. Like many parents, I had a lot of concerns about my kids going meat and dairy-free. One of the things I was most worried about with was how they’d cope outside the house. It’s easy enough for me to make sure they are eating healthy wholefoods, and avoiding any animal products. It’s when they’re not eating at home that it becomes a little harder. With two working parents, the children spend a couple of days at nursery, and worrying about them eating healthily, and not being given the wrong foods, is something that’s kept me up at night. The problem is, people can be very judgemental about parenting, and how parents choose to feed their offspring. Reading about bringing up children vegan, I see a quote from someone at the British Dietetic Association who admits she sees more nutritional deficiencies in children fed a ‘diet of burgers and chips’. Yet there is still a stigma around veggie kids, as though they are having a nutritionally dangerous lifestyle choice taken out of their hands by over-controlling parents. Because of this stigma, I’m particularly conscious of not wanting Ruby and her little brother Charlie to be singled out for any kind of uncomfortable questioning or discrimination. After all, it can sometimes be hard being an adult and navigating the choppy waters of veganism–let alone being three. For this reason, we as parents have a fairly relaxed approach. I know she has eaten the odd chocolate biscuit at a party-but I can’t dictate her dietary requirements to every person around her.
Fortunately, her nursery has been very accommodating, buying dairy free cheeses and tofu for her snack times. I think it’s an exciting sign of the times. All sorts of places are now catering-and with minimum fuss-to all kinds of dietary requirements. It’s certainly a weight off my shoulders. I may not be there to oversee every morsel that passes through their lips but knowing my children’s lifestyle and choices are not only accepted, but embraced, is something every parent wants.
i’m sorry I’m sorry that my eyes were so blind to the endless tears that you cried. I’m sorry that I made the world work in a way that caused you unthinkable hurt. I’m sorry that I cast aside your pain while I took away your pride. I’m sorry that I’ve been so cruel and let social ignorance become the rule. I’m sorry that on the day you were born from your mother’s love, I had you torn. I’m sorry that I had you enslaved, I didn’t know I was barbaric and depraved. I’m sorry that I made it normal to torture, to create life for the purpose of slaughter. I’m sorry, poor souls, I was never right to watch you die and reject your plight. I’m sorry my realisation was too late to save you from your horrific fate. I’m sorry and I will strive forever more to protect the innocent, I am reborn. We cannot let compliance be fashion, open your eyes and embrace compassion. I beg you, mankind, break your silence, end the evil, the fear, the violence.
by James Kennerley
VEGANCATION Your guide to plant-powered holidays
hen travelling it’s usually easy-at least with some researchto find the right places to eat so you can continue to dine lavishly while staying true to your vegan principles. But as the popularity of veganism continues to grow, a number of holidaymakers are now looking for more. Perhaps they want a bespoke veganonly retreat, or maybe to combine their time abroad with a good deed.
For those focused on a health-based foodie retreat, there are a number of options: Farm of Life (Finca de Vida) in Costa Rica is one example. “We grow our own food, eat salad greens from our greenhouse and tropical fruit from our trees. We create compost from our food scraps and create minimal waste-we are conscious, openminded people,” explains resort owner Josephine Calvi. This ethos is likely to appeal to many vegans.
“Many vegans with a strong interest in environmental issues may choose to consider how they move from one place to another.”
A more personalised break may be more to some people’s liking. For those looking to escape from the world, there are smaller retreats available. Heartspring Retreats in the Cotswolds offers various packages. According to founder Maddie Lynfield: “I’ve been running our retreats now for over 14 years and my ethos is very simple. I’m passionate about providing a caring, deeply nurturing, empathic heart-centred space for individuals to find their way in an often overwhelming day-to-day world. We offer deep heart retreats where you come on your own (or with a friend), have your own room, yummy veggie home-cooked food and have a fully inclusive package of one to one and small group sessions to deeply relax, connect with your heart and get supported with compassionate presence with anything that might be in the way. We also offer one-to-one retreats when you can come on your own.”
In response to this demand, a number of options have started popping up around the globe, from volunteering at animal sanctuaries to foodie breaks, and activity holidays and tours. Many have enjoyed a break away from everyday life to help animals at facilities like the Vervet Monkey Foundation in South Africa, or Jacob’s Ridge in Spain.
One option for travellers hoping to enjoy an active vacation is to book with a vegan tour operator-an increasingly viable choice. According to Zac Lovas from VegVoyages Adventures: “Some people like to spend their holiday joining a yoga retreat, some people like cruises, some people like to actually travel and see another country and learn about the culture and history. This is where an operator like us comes in. We are for those people who would like to travel, explore, learn a new culture, learn the history and try authentic cuisines, not the westernized version without compromising their vegan diets. We have a trip in north India where we focus more on volunteerism at a local animal sanctuary/refugee, and on every one of VegVoyages trips, there is an activity where we visit a local grassroots animal sanctuary to help out or help raise awareness of their works.” Another option is Vegan Surf Camp in France. “Our concept is based on only using organic, quality, seasonal and local products to minimize any environmental impact,” explains spokeswoman Inja Stopchinski. “This is a holiday for everyone-family, friends, young coupleseverybody who loves surfing, yoga, vegan food and good vibes.” Diet and activity are not the only aspect of responsible travel: your means of transport can also leave an enormous carbon footprint. For this reason, many vegans with a strong interest in environmental issues may choose to consider how they move from one place to another. There is currently some evidence to suggest you can reduce your CO2 emissions through travelling by train from London to Paris, for example [independent data commissioned by Eurostar itself found a significant difference of up to 90 per cent between the two journeys]. An even more eco-alternative is a staycation. For UK-based vegans who want to avoid travelling by plane, there are a number of options,
including Bicycle Beano in Hampshire. The organisation plans cycle group tours around rural England and Wales, using country piles as a base for the duration of the holiday. While the food provided is vegetarian, vegans are well-catered for, with produce that is often locally-grown and organic.
How to eat vegan on your way While it is often possible to book vegan meals on transport such as planes, trains and boat, the Vegan Society says: “It’s a good idea to take some food or at least snacks on your journey in case your vegan meal doesn’t materialise or isn’t very substantial.” The society also advises travellers to watch out for non-vegan extras, saying: “Sides such as non-vegan margarine or coffee creamer can appear with the ‘vegan meal’–caterers sometimes don’t realise that items like sunflower margarine are not always dairy-free.” If the worst comes to the worst, and you feel disappointed by the service you received, it’s always worth filing a complaint-you may just help improve the service for your fellow vegans. When you’re looking for vegan eateries on your journey, as ever, the internet is a valuable search tool, and a number of apps (for example Happy Cow) can also help to locate local, meatfree diners. There is a growing number of vegan travel guides available. An invaluable guide for foreign travel is the Vegan Society’s own pocket-sized ‘passport’ which describes what vegans do and don’t eat in the languages of over 95 per cent of the world’s population.
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All the vegan bits you shouldn’t leave without… 1. Vegan towel Sprawl out in style with these logo towels from Café Press. cafepress.co.uk
2. Dr Organic Optima Raw Virgin Coconut Oil Not only a highly nutritious food-this oil can be used all over the body as a lusciously nourishing and moisturising beauty treatment. drorganic.co.uk 3. Eco By Sonya Natural Deodorant This deodorant is certified organic, natural, cruelty-free, toxin-free, vegan and approved by Peta. The roll-on bottle will create a pleasant coconut scent whilst still allowing your body to release toxins. organicallyepic.uk 4. Incognito Mosquito Spray Keep pesky little mozzies at bay with this vegan repellent spray which contains no harmful chemicals and is safe even for young babies. lessmosquito.com 5. PearlBar’s eco-friendly, fully biodegradable, Charcoal Infused Toothbrush This bamboo beauty will not add to landfill sites or the toxic waste in our oceans. It lasts as long as a regular toothbrush and gives unrivalled cleaning of your pearly whites. Charcoal is a natural teeth whitener and bacteria killer. organicallyepic.uk 6. Sun Lotion SPF15 with tan accelerator This lotion provides three layers of natural sun protection: UV filters, antioxidants and sun tan accelerator, and it’s water repellent but not poreclogging - ideal for prickly heat. greenpeople.co.uk 7. The Essential Vegan Travel Guide by Caitlin Galer Unti This book helps both experienced and newbie vegans to travel compassionately-wherever they are in the world. amazon.co.uk 8. Jason Smoothing Coconut Hand & Body Lotion An ultra-moisturising daily lotion that delivers deep, long-lasting hydration-perfect for rehydrating parched skin. Jason products are cruelty free, and veganfriendly. jasonnaturalcare.co.uk 9. Natracare wipes These gentle wipes are made from 100 per cent organic cotton cloth and organic essential oils-perfect for busy holidays. natracare.com
kale, yeah! This plant is top of the greens
ale hit the big time a few years ago but its popularity shows no sign of waning yet with this cruciferous vegetable still making the cut in a number of popular dishes. It is incredibly versatileyou can bake, steam, stir-fry or boil it. Kale adds flavour, colour and texture to any dish, as well as a clutch of nutrients. Kale is a member of the cabbage family, and comes in two varietiescurly (with crinkly leaves) and standard (smooth leaves). Curly kale tends to be more common. Both types are hugely nutritious. Kale is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients: it contains useful amounts of manganese, copper and phytochemicals, which are believed to help against certain types of cancer. It’s also an excellent source of folate-the form of folic acid occurring naturally in food. Folic acid is a B vitamin and is important because it supports the growth of a mother’s tissues during pregnancy.
It’s also rich in lutein, vitamin A, vitamin C (gram for gram it contains more than oranges) and vitamin K. This green veg, which is available all year round but at its best between mid September and late February, has a strong, distinct flavour and often has a bluish or purple tinge to it. When choosing kale, it’s worth knowing that the smaller plants tend to be more tender. Leaves should be crisp, and the colour should be bright. To prep the leaves, you should remove them from the stalk before shredding or chopping. You can store kale a perforated bag in the fridge. It’s worth noting the veg becomes increasingly bitter the longer it is kept, so is best eaten within two or three days.
Only Kale Can Save Us Now Salad
Kcal 142 | Fat 5g | Carbohydrate 22g | Protein 8g | Fibre 3g (per serving)
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2 tbsp tahini 2 tbsp lemon juice 2 tbsp reducedsodium tamari 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes 1 tbsp flaxmeal 2 tsp onion granules 1 tsp garlic granules
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65ml (¼ cup) water,plus more as needed About 1 bunch torn curly kale leaves, in bite-sized pieces 40g (1/3 cup) hemp seeds or chopped raw sunflower seeds (optional)
To make the dressing, put the tahini, lemon juice, tamari, nutritional yeast, flaxmeal, onion granules, and garlic granules in a large bowl (large enough to accommodate the kale leaves). Add the water and whisk to combine, adding more water if the dressing seems too thick. (Tahini varies in consistency.) Add the kale leaves to the dressing and mix using your hands. Don’t be shy now! Rub the dressing into the kale and make sure to distribute it evenly. Sprinkle the optional hemp seeds over the top if desired. Serve immediately or store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
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Before you get started, you’ll need to clean and prepare the kale. Hold the stem of a kale leaf in one hand, and with your other hand pull the leaf up the stem. When you’ve removed all the leaves from the stems, tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces (you can compost the stems). Give the leaves a good bath in cold water, and spin them dry in a salad spinner.
Recipe and image from Eat Like You Give a Damn by Michelle Schwegmann & Josh Hooten, published by Book Publishing Company 2015
Deer in focus
We shine a spotlight on these majestic animals
ccording to the British Deer Society: “Deer are beautiful creatures and an important part of our natural heritage. Including our largest wild mammal, six species live wild in the UK and are an integral part of our landscape.” Red and roe deer are native to the UK, whereas fallow, Chinese water deer, muntjac and sika deer are all non-native and were introduced. Globally, there are around 100 species. These animals play an important part in woodland ecosystems, but growing numbers are thought to represent a threat to biodiversity. This means around 350,000 of the animals are being killed by humans every year. • It is generally believed the deer population is at its highest in the past 1,000 years. Their breeding season takes place between October and January and is called the ‘rut’. Gestation is around 200 days, and females generally give birth to between one and three young. According to the Deer Initiative (a group that works with the RSPCA to ‘control’ deer numbers): “At present, there may be as many as two million deer in the UK. However, accurate assessment of deer numbers is very difficult because deer are secretive animals and are free to roam the landscape. Deer occurrence is not restricted to rural areas, and they are increasingly found in suburban and urban areas.” This swell in the number of deer means the population is controlled through culling, as they have no natural predators in this country. In a natural landscape, they would be predated by lynx, wolves and bears. The 1963 Deer Act (England and Wales) and 1959 (Scotland) prevented deer from being treated like vermin. The legislation dictates who can shoot them and how.
Female deer are called doe, whilst males are known as bucks, and larger males sometimes referred to as stags, but there are other names, dependent on the species. For example, a male red deer is called a hart. Castrated male deer are called haviers. A group of deer is known as a herd.
Deer are herbivores. They eat grass, leaves, stems, shoots, berries, herbs, acorns, mushrooms, wild fruit and agriculture crops like corn and soy beans. According to Deerwork: “They are ruminants (cud chewers) and have a four-chambered stomach. Other ruminants include cattle, goats and antelope. Deer start eating in the morning. They hardly chew their food which goes into the first stomach. While they rest, the food will move to the second stomach and form little balls. Now the food is brought back to the mouth and chewed. This chewed food goes into the third and fourth stomachs.”
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Most deer are born with white spots but lose them within a year. The life expectancy of deer is 20 years. When food is scarce in the winter months, deer become less active, meaning they can survive on less. Deer will generally stay within the same area, called a home range. Related females form matriarchies, which exclude the males. Deer are strong swimmers, as well as being able to run up to 40 miles per hour, and jump 10 metres. Deer are the only animals that grow antlers. According to organisation Deerwork: “Antlers are the fastest growing living tissue on earth. Antlers are usually only found on males. In some species, like caribou, you will also find them on females. While growing, antlers are covered with a soft tissue known as velvet. This tissue contains a network of nerves and blood vessels and is very sensitive. When velvet is shed the antlers harden. Antlers are shed in winter. Antlers should not be confused with horns. Horns are never shed and continue to grow throughout the animal’s life. If they are broken, they won’t grow back.” Every year there are around 50,000 car accidents involving deer, with most crashes taking place in May and the Autumn months.
cooperman / Shutterstock.com
Two vegan runners share their marathon training stories
ore and more clubs are springing up to serve the interests and hobbies of cruelty-free living. Among them is national organisation Vegan Runners UK (VRUK), whose members range from ultra-endurance athletes to casual recreational runners. The club, founded a decade ago, has recently seen surge in membership. VRUK members are spread out all over the UK, from the Channel Islands to the Scottish Islands, and the organisation has developed a network of local groups in many parts of the country to help members get together regularly. There are currently 25 local groups in cities and rural areas, which are organised by members who volunteer to be club local contacts. About half of these groups have been started in the last few months. VRUK organises a wide range of running and social activities, and runs stalls at vegan events. Two of the club’s committee members are currently training for spring marathons, they told Vegan Life about their experiences. Steve Penny The marathon is a journey: not just the 26.2 miles but a personal journey. You make the progression to fitness and see and feel the changes in your body. Weight falls away, leg muscles build and your running watch shows your heart working more efficiently. You also find out more about yourself as you go to mental and physical places you have never been to before. You become absorbed by the rhythm and routine of training.
“The training programme is about building stamina and conditioning your body to run more efficiently.” After all, the marathon is one of the biggest challenges for us mere mortals and is not to be underestimated. The classic marathon training plan lasts 16 weeks and comprises 4-6 runs per week. These are usually a mix of short faster-paced runs, and a progressively longer run, up to around 20 miles. Training rarely involves running longer distances than this as the risk of injury is too great. The training programme is about building stamina and conditioning your body to run more efficiently and cope with the stresses that running a marathon imposes. Where I live, high in the Welsh hills, the weather is a challenge. Most of my training has been done in the dark, the rain, the wind and even snow. Often getting outside the door is a challenge but curiously the feeling of returning numb, soaking wet, and frozen can be very satisfying and exhilarating. The Llanelli marathon will be my third marathon. I started running relatively late in my late forties and have run London twice, both times vowing never to run a marathon again due to the pain and suffering. However something draws you back and even more strangely the emotions I felt as I finished my training each time were a bit like a loss, through all the pain, suffering and awful weather I’d found out something about myself. A couple of years ago when I was running the Swansea Half Marathon, a spectator shouted out in surprise as I ran past in my Vegan Runners kit. Weren’t vegans supposed to be unhealthy tired people with no energy? The truth is that the vegan diet and lifestyle is a great match for marathon running. I have no special
tweaks to my diet. A typical breakfast is porridge, which is a great source of slow release energy. There is a bit of a myth about athletes having to eat prodigious amounts of pasta but a good balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables provides all the nourishment and energy I need. The other key ingredient is good sleep. Training hard will make you tired in a nice way and tends to promote good sleep. Colds, flu or running related injuries are every marathon runners’ dread. I’ve been lucky to avoid most running injuries probably because I don’t over train. Hopefully I won’t have tempted fate and will arrive fit and well at the Llanelli marathon finish line on April 17. Kim Wright Watching the movie Earthlings inspired me to transition to veganism two years ago. It was even more disturbing than I had feared but did exactly what I expected. It reinforced why I had decided to become vegan and remind me why I should never go back. With the support of a friend I got stuck into a vegan lifestyle, and we started running together, joining VRUK soon after. I have often thought runners need rather single-minded determination and this is equally true of vegans. People who will run across frosted grass watching the mist billow around them, or in the rain on a cold wintery day are the same kind of people who can make strict food choices based on their belief system. It is therefore no surprise to me there are so many vegan runners out there. What has been a surprise to me though is how many wonderful friends I have made through the club. It is one of the most inclusive groups I have ever come across, with a hugely diverse membership. There are people of all ages from different backgrounds, cultures and countries. It is also amazingly supportive of all of its members. At the end of December I found out I had successfully gained one of the club’s London Marathon places and would be representing Vegan Runners UK at the prestigious event. My training is currently progressing well: I recently took part in a six hour challenge in Gravesend covering a respectable 18 miles, beating my previous longest run of 15.4 miles. Despite having run on and off for years (and wishing that more of them had be on!) marathon training is new to me. As such I am learning a lot about myself and the new distances I am covering. So far I have discovered I need to eat a good hearty breakfast before a long run. I can easily cover five miles on a banana but at about that distance my glycogen gives out, so I now find a bowl of porridge with fruit and a cup of coffee works best. I have learned to plan ahead and know when to take gels as if I don’t take them early enough I will start flagging before they kick in. I also tried a jelly cube (vegan of course!) as a fuel source and might try some again as it requires less effort than the gels sometimes can. I am very happy that I have another distance under my belt and I know that my training is on track for London. Now I need to work on a little speed! New members are always very welcome – running ability really doesn’t matter, though to be a member you have to be a vegan. Find out more about Vegan Runners UK at veganrunners.org.uk or check out the Facebook page facebook.com/groups/399898826709250.
cheesy does it And you thought vegans couldnâ€™t eat it...
Recipes and images from Vegan Bible by Marie Laforet. Grub Street Publishing
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150g (1 cup) raw cashew nuts 50ml (¼ cup) grain milk ¾ tsp salt 1 tsp malted yeast (nutritional yeast flakes) 3 tbsp chopped fresh chives 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander ½ tbsp chopped thyme leaves
Soak the cashew nuts in water for 6-8 hours, then drain. Whiz at length in a food processor with the grain milk until thick and creamy. Place in an airtight container, close it and leave to ferment at room temperature for 12-48 hours (on average, it takes 24 hours). Add the salt and the yeast and mix well. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours. The cheese will harden. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on a piece of cling film and put the cheese on it, in an elongated mound. Roll the cheese in the cling film to shape into a log. Close tightly, twisting the ends well, and refrigerate for 12 hours before eating. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge.
125g (4oz) firm tofu 1 pack shiro miso
Cut the block of tofu into 3 slices horizontally (to obtain thin slices). Cover them with miso and place one on top of the other in an airtight container. Close and leave to ferment for 24-48 hours at room temperature (if it is very cold, it can be left up to 72 hours). Rinse the tofu slices with water to remove the miso and keep for a few days in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Use it as it is, diced in a salad, with pasta, with bread and olive oil, in short as you would use feta.
Fermented Tofu and Miso Feta Serves 2
Soft Cashew Nut Cheese Serves 2 – 4
Almond, Shallot and Chive Crottin Serves 2
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175g (1 cup) raw cashew nuts 80ml (¼ cup) grain milk 1 tsp salt 1 tsp white miso 2 tbsp malted yeast (nutritional yeast flakes) 1 tsp tahini
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130g (1 cup) almonds, skinned 75ml (¼ cup) grain milk ½ tsp salt 1 tsp malted yeast (nutritional yeast flakes) 1 tsp chopped shallot 1 tbsp chopped chives
Soak the cashew nuts in water for 6-8 hours, then drain. Whiz at length in a food processor with the grain milk until thick and creamy. Place in an airtight container, close it and leave to ferment at room temperature for 12-48 hours (on average, it takes 24 hours). Add the other ingredients, mix well and refrigerate for 8 hours. The cheese can be stored in the airtight container or shaped with a ring mould before serving. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge in an airtight container or wrapped in cling film. Variations: After unmoulding, sprinkle with herbs de Provence, or chop some dried fruit and nuts and mix with the cheese before shaping it.
Soak the almonds in water for 8 hours. Drain and whiz the almonds in a food processor with the grain milk at length until like cream cheese in texture. Place in an airtight container, close it and leave to ferment at room temperature for 12-48 hours (on average 24 hours). Add the salt, the yeast, the shallot and chives and mix well. Line a flat-bottomed ramekin with a sheet of cling film and place the almond cheese into it, pressing down well. Cover completely. Refrigerate for 12 hours before unmoulding. Keeps for 1 week in the fridge, covered in cling film.
3. 4. 5.
Soy Mozzarella • • • • • • • •
Makes 1 large ball
200g (1 cup) silken tofu 125g (½ cup) soy yoghurt 100ml (½ cup) soy milk 1 ½ tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp arrowroot ½ tsp agar-agar powder ½ tsp salt
Whiz all the ingredients with an immersion blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for a few minutes to thicken, whisking constantly, until it is like a thick béchamel. Line a bowl with a large piece of cling film and pour in the thick cream. Pull the remaining film up and tie to close. Leave to cool and then freeze for 30 minutes. Store in the fridge. Remove the cling film before serving. Use as you would mozzarella, and it melts like the real thing.
Recipes and images from Vegan Bible by Marie Laforet. Grub Street Publishing
souper tasty Fill up with this hearty soup
Split Pea Soup
Kcal 250.6 | Fat 3.9g | Carbohydrate 34.9g | Protein 8.1g | Fibre 9.5g (per serving)
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1 to 2 tbsp olive oil (*or sauté in water) 160g (1 cup) minced onion 3 cloves garlic, minced 133g (1 cup) sweet potato chunks 89g (1 cup) chopped red cabbage 128g (1 cup) chopped carrots 156g (1 cup) potato chunks 1183ml (5 cups) water 296g (1½ cups) split peas 2 vegetable bouillon cubes 2 bay leaves 2 tsp thyme 1 tsp marjoram ½ tsp rosemary ½ tsp liquid smoke Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Stove-top method: Heat oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or soup pot and add the onion once it’s hot. Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sweet potato, cabbage, carrots and potato and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes more. 2. Add the water, split peas, bouillon, bay leaves, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 to 45 minutes over medium-low heat until the veggies are tender. Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste. 3. Slow cooker method: Heat oil over medium heat and add the onion once it’s hot. Sauté until the onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sautéed onions and everything else except for salt and pepper to your 4-quart (4-L) slow cooker and cook on low for 7 to 10 hours. Before serving, add salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
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Not in the mood to sauté onions for the slow cooker? Use ½ teaspoon onion powder in its place for a throw-and-go soup in the morning!
Recipe from Easy Vegan Cookbook, by Kathy Hester, photos by Ann Oliverio, published by Page Street Publishing
Claire Hider talks to vegans on a mission to turn Scotland green
ine years from now, we’d like 51 per cent of Scotland’s population to be vegan.” If that sounds ambitious, you haven’t met Liz Johnstone and John Rodger, founders of a new vegan hub called the Tartan Carrot. Think of Scotland and the word ‘vegan’ might not be the first to spring to mind. But Liz and John are on a mission, and they have a great base on which to build. Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, was voted the UK’s most vegan-friendly city by PETA last year. Meanwhile, Glasgow boasts at least 20 vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants and other businesses. However, it’s actually between Scotland’s capital city and its largest city that the Tartan Carrot has taken root–and is now starting to flourish all over the country. The group was set up last year in Scotland’s ‘central belt’. Its aim is to help bring education and awareness of the benefits of a plant-based diet to everyone in the country. Further aims include providing support to existing vegans and vegetarians and promoting and supporting vegan-friendly businesses. The idea has grown into an organisation that aims to be a home for all things vegan, from Gretna Green to John O’Groats. So with plans to reach well beyond the central belt, Liz and John are busy arranging events and visits over as much of Scotland as possible, recently spending a weekend in Inverness (three hours’ drive north of Edinburgh) to check out the vegan and veggie scene there. One of their meet-up events was a visit to Highland Wholefoods Workers Co-operative, run by 11 member-owners. The company supplies vegan and vegetarian products across the highlands, islands and north east. Pam Bochel–who’s responsible for marketing at the co-operative– connected with the Tartan Carrot on social media and organised a half-day tasting and sampling event. “The connection has definitely been mutually beneficial,” she says. There was a lot of interest in our products on the day. And I know that people travelled in from fairly remote communities and left having made new friends and connections.” There are of course lots of very active vegan groups in Scotland but Liz and John think they might be the first to try and reach out to the whole country both virtually and–crucially, they believe–in person. Dumfries, Aberdeen and Dundee are next on their list of visits and they are already planning a vegan Christmas fair in Stirling in December. “Feedback suggests that in some parts of Scotland–particularly some of the more rural communities–it’s still very easy to be the only vegan in the village. We hope the Tartan Carrot offers a bit of a lifeline to vegans–and vegetarians–who are feeling isolated,” says John. “Facebook is a wonderful thing and we want our website to become a credible and professional vegan resource,” he continues. “But there’s no substitute for getting out there and meeting people. And I think that might be what makes us different.” Before an event or trip, Liz or John contact local businesses to see what vegan options they offer. “In exchange we blog about them and
tell our followers on social media, so that locals and visitors know they are there, and what they can offer. As we’re getting more noticed, partnering with us is becoming more of a draw for people. People are contacting us to see how we can work together. And business people understand that if they are offering attractive vegan options they might increase their customer-base as well, so we’re very much about educating and raising awareness,” says John. “We’ve been in touch with quite a few really up-market hotels who have welcomed the chance to offer a fully vegan menu, specially for us,” explains Liz. “If we blog about that, it can only be good for their business in the future, and it hopefully gets them thinking.” One of the first businesses the Tartan Carrot connected with was Blitz Juice Bar in Falkirk (Liz’s home turf). Luda MacDonald and her husband set the bar up last year after Luda discovered she was lactose and gluten intolerant. “I couldn’t bear to think of life without cake, so I set about making raw, dairy-free cakes and healthy juices,” explains Luda. She has since hosted several meet-ups for the Tartan Carrot and says that as a direct result of meeting Liz she has now become fully vegan herself. “For me, going vegan was all about Liz’s positive attitude. the Tartan Carrot has been so helpful to me personally and to my business.” She even has a new cake in her range featuring a healthy dose of vitamin B12. All the travel and social media activity are quite an undertaking, given that Liz and John both have full-time jobs. John is a software engineer and Liz is a nurse. But they commit practically all their free time and much of their own resources, to travelling the country. “We know our goal is ambitious but what we’re doing doesn’t actually feel like work. There is an appetite for change and positive thinking here in Scotland and I think we can be part of that,” says Liz. It was that positivity that resonated with Aaron and Mitch Waldron, too. The founders of Edinburgh-based Shire Snax say the Tartan Carrot has been “so supportive and helpful” in helping to promote their range of healthy vegan snacks. “We only set up last year, and it has really helped us reach out to vegan communities across Scotland,” says Aaron. “John and Liz are down to earth, not at all intimidating and make you feel that we can make change together. And they are just great at helping make connections.” This is important for Liz and John. “We want the Tartan Carrot to be friendly, welcoming and inclusive, appealing to everyone. Ultimately we want to show people how to live a happy, healthy vegan life in Scotland, so we’re here for anyone who is interested in adopting a plant-based lifestyle, whether for ethical, health or environmental reasons. We respect the fact that everyone is on their own journey. We don’t judge, we just want to make that journey easier. “We’d love for anyone–individuals and businesses–who has an interest in promoting veganism in Scotland to get in touch with us. And, yes, we are on a mission but we definitely want to make it as fun and positive as possible.” Find out more at thetartancarrot.co.uk.
clean living Classic plates to help you live well
Recipes and images from Eat Clean Live Well by Terry Walters, published by Sterling (ÂŁ19.99, available from thegmcgroup.com)
Collard Green Sukiyaki with Buckwheat Noodles
Grilled Ramps and Spring Vegetables over Lemon Parsley Quinoa
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170g (1 cup) quinoa 380ml (1½ cups) water 1 orange bell pepper 12 ramps (or 2 leeks) 1 bunch asparagus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Place quinoa in fine-mesh strainer and rinse well. Place in pot or rice cooker with water. Bring to boil and simmer covered until water is absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly before fluffing. Preheat grill to high. Cut bell pepper lengthwise into thick strips and place on tray ready for grilling. Peel and discard root ends from ramps and place on tray. (If using leeks, trim and discard root end and dark green tops and cut leek lengthwise into sections about the same width as asparagus.) Bend asparagus near bottom of stalks to break off dried ends at natural breaking point and place stalks on tray. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over all vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt and plenty of pepper and place on grill. Sear each side of each vegetable 2–3 minutes or until just soft with dark grill lines (time will vary according to size of vegetables). Remove from heat and set aside. In small skillet over medium heat, dry-roast mustard seeds until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat and gently grind using mortar and pestle. Transfer to small bowl and add lemon zest and juice, olive oil, parsley and sea salt. Whisk to combine and season to taste with pepper. Fluff quinoa and drizzle dressing over top. Fold to incorporate and transfer to serving platter. Top with grilled vegetables and serve.
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642ml (2 ½ cups) water 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, broken into pieces 2 strips kombu 64ml (¼ cup) tamari 64ml (¼ cup) mirin 1 tbsp maple syrup 220g (8oz) 100% buckwheat noodles (soba) 2 tbsp sesame seeds ¼ tsp sea salt 8 whole collard leaves 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 75g (½ cup) red onion wedges 25g (½ cup) julienned carrot 75g (½ cup) julienned daikon 125g (¼ lb) maitake mushrooms (or variety of choice), broken up 64ml (¼ cup) water In small pot, combine water, shiitake mushrooms and kombu. Bring to boil and press down on mushrooms and kombu so they stay submerged. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Scoop out and discard solids and stir in tamari, mirin and maple syrup. Simmer 5 minutes longer, remove from heat and set aside. Cook noodles according to directions on package. Drain and set aside. In small skillet, toast sesame seeds until lightly browned and fragrant. Remove from heat, transfer to mortar and add sea salt. Grind with pestle until seeds are half broken and mixture is well blended. Set aside. Cut stems out of collard greens and stack leaves so they’re all facing the same direction. Roll from one side to the other to form a log and cut crosswise into ¼-inch ribbons. Heat large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Visually divide skillet into five pie slices and place one vegetable in each area—collard greens, onion, carrot, daikon and maitake mushrooms. Sauté 2 minutes pushing ingredients gently with a wooden spoon so that they don’t stick but stay roughly in their defined area. Add water and simmer vegetables until collards are wilted (about 1 minute longer). Push ingredients closer to edge of pan and transfer cooked noodles to centre of skillet. Reheat shiitake-kombu stock and pour over noodles and vegetables. Sprinkle with sesame blend and serve.
Dressing • 1 tsp mustard seeds • Zest of 1 lemon • 2 tbsp lemon juice • 64ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil • 15g (¼ cup) chopped fresh flatleaf parsley • ¼ tsp sea salt • Freshly ground pepper
Grilled Sweet Corn with Spicy Rub • Rub • • • • • • •
6 ears of corn
Juice of 1 lime 1 tsp chile paste ½ tsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cumin ½ tsp paprika ½ tsp mustard powder ½ tsp sea salt
Preheat grill to medium-high. Husk corn and place on tray. In small bowl, whisk together all rub ingredients. Brush ears of corn evenly with rub and place side-by-side on grates of grill. Cook 2 minutes per side or until lightly charred all around. Remove corn from grill and serve.
Recipes and images from Eat Clean Live Well by Terry Walters, published by Sterling (£19.99, available from thegmcgroup.com)
G E V on s l e e h w Jacqueline Meldrum inspires you to make the most of your weekly veg box
he daffodils are bobbing their colourful heads in my garden while my dogs chase a ball, tumbling over each other in their joy to be outside on a bright sunny day.
I love this time of year, even on rainy days. Everything seems so fresh and hopeful including this month’s new ingredients. It really is time to embrace fresher recipes as we leave winter behind and all those heavy meals. This month asparagus appears for its short, but wonderful season, as well as Jersey Royal new potatoes, rhubarb, rocket, spinach and watercress.
Asparagus The best way to serve new season asparagus is naked. Sauté it in a little olive oil or rapeseed oil until tender, finish with a squeeze of lemon and a grinding of black pepper. If you want to do something a bit fancier, why not make baked asparagus fries? Coat asparagus in flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water, mixed and left in the fridge for half an hour), then roll in panko breadcrumbs seasoned with nutritional yeast, spices and black pepper and bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Serve with vegan mayonnaise.
Jersey Royal New Potatoes I love potatoes and Jersey Royals are rather fabulous. I like to serve them lightly cooked, halved and tossed through pasta with homemade pesto and green beans. Mind you I always keep jars of Sacla or Mr Organic vegan pesto in my store cupboard for quick meals. You could also try my Creamy Pesto Potato Salad with Baby Corn.
Rhubarb Another of my favourite things at this time of year is rhubarb. Luckily I have a free supply from my parent’s neighbour Bert, who has a large patch at the bottom of his garden. He doesn’t like it himself, so I’m always happy to take some off his hands. You may not have a free supply, but it should be appearing in your veg box. Make a crumble with it. Cut it into chunks and lightly boil for a few minutes. Pop in a casserole dish and top with a crumble mixture (200g plain flour, 100g caster sugar, 100g demerara sugar and 200g dairy free spread. Rub together lightly with your fingertips until you have a crumble like texture) and bake until golden and bubbling. Serve with Alpro single cream or dairy free ice cream.
Rocket Rocket is robust and peppery. My advice is to serve it fresh. Pile it high on pizza that’s hot out of the oven, mix it through bulgur wheat with fresh herbs and lemon juice, or add to salads, sandwiches and wraps to enjoy its peppery kick.
“It really is time to embrace fresher recipes as we leave winter behind and all those heavy meals.” Spinach I like to blend spinach with apples, mint, banana, some water and ice for a healthy start to the day, but it’s really good cooked in a dhal with coconut milk and spices or whizzed up into a burger with kidney beans, puy lentils, porridge oats and spices.
Watercress Serve freshly cooked peas with watercress, mint and a drizzle of olive oil or whizz up the same ingredients with hot vegetable stock for a fresh and delicious soup. You can also mash dairy-free spread with finely chopped watercress and crushed garlic. Roll it into a sausage shape, then slice and freeze on a tray. Once frozen move to a freezer bag. Take some out when you want to make homemade garlic bread or to serve over steamed vegetables. You can find more of Jacqueline’s ideas and recipes at tinnedtomatoes.com
Creamy Pesto Potato Salad with Baby Corn Serves 4 – 6 Per serving: 165
• • • • • •
500g (17½oz) Jersey Royal new potatoes 190g (6½oz) baby corn 4 tbsp soy yoghurt (unsweetened) 3-4 tbsp dairy free pesto 1 handful of fresh basil A good grinding of salt and black pepper
Boil or steam the potatoes until tender. Pop in the baby corn a few minutes before the end of cooking time. Mix together the yoghurt, pesto, and seasoning. Drain the potatoes and corn and rinse under cold water until cool, then slice the potatoes in half or quarters. Toss the potatoes, corn and basil in the dressing. Serve as a side dish or part of a buffet. Enjoy!
2. 3. 4. 5. 6.
Recipe and image from Jacqueline Meldrum tinnedtomatoes.com
on the cover Elegant bites for a special occasion
Raspberry and Rose Tartlets with Pistachio Frangipane Makes 12 •
70g (2 ½oz) pistachio nuts, preferably activated dried (see Top Tip) • 1 tbsp milled flax seeds • 3 tbsp filtered water • 3 tbsp ground almonds (almond meal) • 30g (1oz) coconut sugar • ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt • Finely grated zest of ¼ lemon • 3½ tbsp coconut oil, plus extra for greasing • ½ tbsp raw pistachio paste, optional • 200g (7oz) basic pastry (see recipe), rolled out to about 3 mm thick • 6 tsp quick-cook raspberry jam (jelly) (see recipe), or no added sugar high fruit content raspberry jam (jelly) • 150–200g (5–7oz) fresh or frozen raspberries • ½ –1 tbsp rosewater for brushing, plus 1½ tsp for glazing • 3 tsp no added sugar high fruit content apricot jam (jelly) Basic pastry (makes 550g/1lb3oz) • 150g (5¼oz) buckwheat flour • 150g (5¼oz) ground almonds (almond meal) • 60g (2oz) coconut sugar • 2½ tbsp arrowroot • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon • 100g (3½oz) coconut oil, plus extra for greasing • 70ml (2½ fl oz) cool water Quick cook raspberry jam (makes 200g/7oz)
• To • •
200g (7oz) raspberries, fresh or frozen 100g (3½oz) no-added-sugar grape concentrate 2 tbsp date syrup decorate Fresh rose petals Chopped pistachio nuts
Recipe and images from Clean Cakes: Delicious pâtisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder (Jacqui Small, £20)
To make the pastry: Combine all the dry ingredients, including the lemon zest. A whisk is good for this as it gets rid of any lumps. Melt the coconut oil and gradually pour it into the dry ingredients, followed by the water, mixing until everything is well combined. At this point the dough can be wrapped in baking parchment and then cling film and frozen for up to one month or kept in the fridge for about five days.
To prepare the jam: Warm a small–medium sterilized jam (jelly) jar (holding 200ml/7fl oz) in an oven no hotter than 100°C/210°F. Put a saucer or small plate in the fridge. Place all the ingredients in a small–medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for about 3 minutes, then turn down to a low simmer for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this point, a lot of the liquid will have evaporated. Stir continuously for about 5 more minutes, being careful not to let it catch on the pan. By now you should have a perfectly thick and sticky jam (jelly), but still slightly runny. If it is overcooked, it will set too hard.
To check it is ready, place a teaspoon of the jam (jelly) on the chilled saucer and return to the fridge for a few minutes. It is ready when the cooled tester has formed a slight skin, which will wrinkle when pushed. If the jam (jelly) isn’t ready, cook for a few more minutes and test again. Pour into the warmed sterilized jar, cover with a circle of wax paper (or baking parchment), and seal with a lid. Lasts up to three months in the fridge.
To prepare your tartlets: Preheat the oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 12-hole tartlet tin with a little coconut oil. On a baking tray lined with baking parchment, toast the pistachio nuts for 5–7 minutes until just beginning to colour. Set aside to cool.
Mix the milled flax seeds with the measured water and leave for about 15 minutes to form a thick gel. Blitz the cooled pistachio nuts in a food processor fitted with a blade. Do not grind them down completely; some should be finely ground while the rest are in slightly larger pieces for texture.
To make the frangipane, combine the semi-ground pistachio nuts with the ground almonds (almond meal), coconut sugar, salt and lemon zest. Melt the coconut oil and add it to the dry ingredients along with the raw pistachio paste,if using. Finally fold in the flax seed gel. Set the mix aside.
Using a 6 cm (2½ inch) fluted cookie cutter, cut out 12 pastry rounds and place them in the moulds, making sure there are no air gaps. Cover the bottom of each pastry case with about ¼– ½ tsp of raspberry jam. Divide the frangipane between the 12 tartlets, covering the layer of jam. You will get about 1 tbsp of frangipane per tartlet. Top each tartlet with 2–3 raspberries, depending on their size. Some autumn raspberries are huge! Slightly push them into the frangipane. Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake for another 2–4 minutes. They are ready when the frangipane is slightly bubbling and the edges of the pastry shells are golden brown, as is the outside of the frangipane. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then, while the tartlets are still warm, brush with rosewater. I recommend using ½-1tbsp in total for all 12, brushed on with a pastry brush and left to sink in. For each tartlet, immerse the pastry brush in the rosewater and brush generously over. To make the glaze, mix the apricot jam (jelly) with 1½ tsp of rosewater. When the tartlets are completely cool, glaze them using a pastry brush. Using a small palette knife or kitchen knife, remove each tartlet from the mould and serve, finishing off with chopped pistachio nuts and fresh rose petals. Serve for afternoon tea, or for pudding. These will last well in a sealed container for at least three days.
TOP TIPS •
Tartlet tins vary in size so you may need to use a different sized cutter for the pastry, depending on the size of your tin. Leftover pastry can be baked off as cookies or frozen. Rosewaters greatly vary in strength and flavour so try to seek out a more delicate one. I love Steenbergs organic rosewater ‘Activated dried’ nuts, seeds and groats: Some recipes call for ‘activated dried’ nuts, seeds or buckwheat groats. This is for a crunchy texture and for shelf life. They will taste less bitter and be easier to digest, too. To dehydrate activated nuts, seeds and buckwheat groats, use a dehydrator set at 45°C/113°F and dry for 12–48 hours, depending on their size and the quantity. If you do not have a dehydrator, set your oven to the lowest temperature and check the nuts or seeds every few hours. I dry harder and larger nuts like almonds and walnuts for up to 48 hours and smaller seeds and buckwheat groats for about 24 hours. I recommend tasting them to test if they are ready. If they are crunchy and dry, they are ready to be stored in the fridge in sealed glass jars. Activated dried buckwheat groats can be stored in a sealed jar in a larder or cupboard.
HOW TO CAMPAIGN Earlier this year the #GourmetMurderKitchen campaign went global. Robbie Lockie explains how he galvanised a whole community
hey say all publicity is good publicity-but is this always the case? Activist Robbie Lockie doesn’t necessarily think so. While his name might not be instantly recognisable, if you saw any of the controversy around restaurant chain Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s (GBK) recent advertising campaign, you will be familiar with his work. The burger chain hit the pages of broadsheets and tabloids alike, when angry vegetarians and vegans took to the internet in their droves to condemn the eaterie’s anti-veggie posters. The posters adorned with slogans like: “They eat grass so you don’t have to,” next to an image of a cow, were the subject of much ire from meat-free consumers who felt their custom was being belittled. Social media posts all featured the same hashtag: #GourmetMurderKitchen. What made the targeting of veggies and vegans all the more surprising was the brand caters generously to the meat-free crowd, with a number of plant-based meal options and a range of vegan alcoholic drinks on offer. “I saw the advertising and I couldn’t understand why there wasn’t more outrage about it,” Robbie tells Vegan Life. “I thought either they
were planning on being so cheeky to provoke a reaction or it was just a misguided attempt at humour. Gourmet Burger Kitchen was quite easily changed to Gourmet Murder Kitchen, I thought it sounded really catchy, and when you saw it on a poster you didn’t necessarily connect straight away until you realised the word was murder and not burger, they are quite similar.” After numerous articles in the press, many complaints to the Advertising Standards Agency and social media users threatening to boycott the chain, GBK pulled the most offensive ads. An introduction to activism Robbie did a year-long course in campaigning with Campaign Bootcamp. He says: “It was an intense course that teaches you how to gather a mass movement to change something. It taught me how to approach a goal. The first thing is to set your aim: I decided the aim was to have the offensive posters removed and for the company to apologise, I think it was vital that we took a stand and generated a buzz about it.
“The next step is to find allies, these are people or organisations who will talk about, tweet or write articles about it. So I wrote an article for ecohustler.co.uk of which I am a member. I then contacted the Metro Online, as it has a big following.”
“I think it worked really well to galvanise so many people in to some form of activism, no matter how small.” The campaign hashtag was a good catalyst to galvanise people in to taking action. Robbie wrote a collection of sample tweets that people could use and adapt for twitter. “We then madly started tweeting all the vegan celebrities and prominent vegan personalities around the world to generate some buzz,” he says. “The next day I couldn’t quite believe that it was mentioned in the Telegraph, the Metro, the Independent and almost every single major paper bar the Guardian. “Many people felt we were giving GBK free publicity, but what they forgot was that the coverage was also giving veganism and more importantly Veganuary free publicity as it was mentioned in almost every single article. I also went on to BBC Radio London and talked about it, and hopefully thousands of people heard what I had to say. I stuck to the facts, avoided getting emotional and focused on the environmental impact of why we need to stop eating animal products.” Robbie describes the response as ‘overwhelming’. “I had so many people tell me how inspired they felt by how many people took to the air waves to complain about GBK. I think it worked really well to galvanise so many people in to some form of activism, no matter how small. “What most people don’t realise is just how much power we have as consumers, if you feel passionate about changing something in society, nothing is impossible. All you need is courage, determination and a lot of dedication. I really truly believe that we can reach a critical mass with veganism, because all that we need to do is galvanise people and we can change anything.” I want to launch a campaign-how should I do it? According to Robbie: •
Many campaigns start with investigating the problem and setting goals. Education, such as hosting workshops, often comes next. Early on, campaigns also engage in organization building, forming alliances with new allies, establishing a group, and recruiting members. Groups often negotiate with the target in the hope of easily reaching an agreement. Campaigns then tend to start using low-level confrontational tactics, such as speaking at city meetings. High-level confrontational tactics and resource intensive actions follow, such as rallies, lawsuits, and civil disobedience. Campaigns usually subside when a group negotiates a deal with the target, although it’s common for groups to reapply pressure to ensure the agreement is implemented.
The man behind #GourmetMurderKitchen I was born in Zimbabwe, Africa in 1979. I spent most of my life living on a farm around animals, and grew up with two very young parents. I went to a school in the mountains in a place called Mutare. When I was 16 I moved to the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, to study but ended up getting a job in web design when I was just 18. I trained in house at a technology company. After a couple of years in the big city I decided it was time to leave Zimbabwe, things were getting progressively worse, with fuel shortages, constant power cuts, and police riots. It just no longer felt safe. My parents put £200 in my pocket and sent me on a plane to the UK. I landed at Gatwick I then got a train to Reading, where I spent one year. I soon outgrew Reading and headed to London, where I have been since 1999. In the last 17 years I have worked for a variety of companies both large and small, I was Jamie Oliver’s web designer for a few years and was the person that got him set-up on Twitter and Facebook. I also worked for Getty Images as an art director. After many years working in the corporate world, I decided I wanted to setup an ethical advertising agency La Verita Studios, where I worked with a variety of organisations, such as Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, LEON Restaurants, European Movement International, European Youth Forum, Move your Money UK, Bloomberg New Energy Finance, LOVE146 Charity, Bobbi Bear South Africa, A Day without News, Getty Images, Little Angel Theatre London. I work with Action for Happiness where I helped produce a crowdfunder video (crowdfunder.co.uk/create-a-happier-world) helped them with the campaign. I am also a part owner of (positive.news) a 25 year old newspaper, now a magazine. And in my spare time I make films about amazing people and organisations in London (peopleof.london)
The bare necessities Delicious recipes for health and wellbeing
Mushroom Calamari Per Serving:
Recipes and images from Naked Vegan by Maz Valcorza (Murdoch Books, ÂŁ14.99). Photography by Ben Dearnley.
Mushroom Calamari with Tartare and Pickles Serves 4 Mushroom calamari • 10 king oyster mushrooms or oyster mushrooms (or a mix of both) • 2 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil • ½ tsp black salt • 1 tsp dulse flakes • 2 tbsp lemon juice Breading • 80g (2¾oz) golden linseed (flaxseed) meal • 1 tsp garlic granules • 1 tsp onion granules • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes • 2 tsp dried thyme • 2 tsp chopped rosemary • ½ tsp black salt • Pinch of chilli powder • 3 tbsp sliced dill pickles to serve Tartare Sauce (makes 250ml or 1 cup) • 155g (5½oz) activated cashew nuts, soaked in filtered alkaline water for 1 hour, then drained • 125ml (4 floz) filtered alkaline water • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 2 tsp lemon juice • ½ tsp garlic powder • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt • 90g (3¼oz) dill pickles, finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp of the pickle brine • 2 tbsp chopped dill 1.
To make the sauce: Blend all the ingredients, except the pickles, spring onion and dill, in a high-speed blender until smooth. Pour into a clean glass jar and stir in the remaining ingredients. Seal the jar and store in the fridge. The sauce will keep in the fridge for 5 days. If using king oyster mushrooms, slice them into circles 1 cm (½ inch) thick. Use an apple corer or small cookie cutter to cut out the hole in the centre. If using oyster mushrooms, slice them into strips. Pop the mushrooms into a mixing bowl, along with the olive oil, salt, dulse flakes and lemon juice. Mix well, then leave to marinate for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine all the breading ingredients. Coat the mushrooms with the breading and place on a mesh dehydrator tray. Dehydrate at 40°C (150°C) for 5 hours, or until the outside is crispy. (If you don’t have a dehydrator, place the breaded mushrooms on a baking tray and leave in the oven on its lowest setting, with the door slightly ajar, for 30 minutes). Serve with little bowls of the tartare sauce and sliced pickles. The mushroom calamari keeps in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, but is best served warm as it loses its crispiness in the fridge; this can be remedied by popping it in the oven or dehydrator for 15 minutes before serving.
Mexican Fiesta Salad Per 100g
Chimchurri • 250ml (9floz) cold-pressed olive oil • 2 tbsp lemon juice • 2 tbsp lime juice • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 4 garlic cloves, crushed • 45g (1½oz) finely chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley • 25g (1oz) finely chopped coriander (cilantro) • 4 tbsp finely chopped chives • 2 tsp lime zest • ½ tsp chilli flakes • ½ - 1 tsp Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt, to taste Walnut taco mince • 225g (8oz) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in filtered alkaline water for 1 hour, then drained • 1½ tbsp ground cumin • 2 tsp ground coriander (cilantro) • 1 tsp onion powder • 1 tsp garlic powder 1.
• • •
1 tomato, seeded 2 garlic cloves, peeled 2 tbsp cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil • 200g (7½oz) activated walnuts Sour cream • 310g (11oz) activated cashew nuts • 1 tsp probiotic powder • 435ml (15floz) filtered alkaline water • Juice of 1 lemon • ¼ tsp Himalayan pink salt • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast To assemble • 1kg (2lb 4oz) diced fresh tomatoes • 350g (12oz) diced cucumber • 1 red capsicum (pepper), diced • 1 small red onion, finely chopped • 2 avocados, flesh cut into thin wedges • Coriander (cilantro) sprigs, to garnish
To make the sour cream, blend the cashews, probiotic powder and water in a high-speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a glass jar, cover with muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with a rubber band. Leave to ferment in a warm place for 24 hours. Once fermented, place back into the blender jug, along with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high speed until well combined, adding small amounts of extra water at a time if the mixture is too thick, until the desired consistency is reached. Pour into a clean, airtight glass jar and seal the lid. The sour cream will keep in the fridge for 7 days, and will continue to ferment slowly. To make the chimichurri, pour the olive oil, lemon juice, lime juice and vinegar into a high-speed blender. Add the garlic and blend on high speed until combined. Pour into a large bowl and whisk in the remaining chimichurri ingredients. Mix all the walnut taco mince ingredients, except the walnuts, in a food processor on high speed until well combined. Add the walnuts and process again until you have a chunky, mince-like texture. To assemble, arrange the tomato, cucumber, capsicum (pepper) and onion in four bowls or around the platter. Add the avocado wedges and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with the walnut taco mince, drizzle with the chimichurri, garnish with coriander sprigs and serve.
Banana Crepes with Coconut Whipped Cream, Chocolate Fudge Sauce and Berries Serves 4 Banana crepes • 4 bananas, peeled and chopped • 220g (7¾oz) linseed (flaxseed) meal • 2 tbsp coconut nectar • 2 tsp ground cinnamon • 125ml (4floz) filtered alkaline water Coconut whipped cream • 80g (2¾oz) chopped young coconut flesh • 125ml (4floz) coconut water • 1 tsp vanilla powder • Stevia, to taste (add very little at a time, as it is very strong) Chocolate fudge sauce • 250ml (9floz) coconut nectar • 4 tbsp raw cacao powder • 1 tbsp carob powder • ½ tsp vanilla powder To assemble • 1 banana, peeled and sliced • 150g (5½oz) sliced strawberries • 125g (4½oz) raspberries
To make the sauce, blend all ingredients in a highspeed blender until smooth. Store in a clean, airtight glass jar or squeeze bottle for easy serving. Sauce will keep in the fridge for 5 days. To make the cream, blend all the ingredients in a highspeed blender until smooth. Transfer to a clean glass jar. Seal and leave to set in the fridge for 1 hour before serving. The cream will keep in the fridge for 3 days. To make the crepes, place all the crepe ingredients, except the water, in a high-speed blender, placing the bananas in the bottom of the jug for easy blending. Blend on high-speed until smooth, adding the water as needed to reach a smooth consistency. Spread the mixture on dehydrator trays lined with non-stick sheets. Use a butter knife to score into four equal squares. Dehydrate at 40⁰C (105⁰F) for 4 hours. Flip the crepes over and score the other side, then dehydrate for another 2 hours, or until set but still pliable. (If you don’t have a dehydrator, place the mixture on baking trays lined with non-stick sheets and leave in the oven on its lowest setting, with the door slightly ajar, for 1 hour. Flip and dehydrate for a further 30 minutes, or until set but still pliable.) To serve, take four crepes and place 2 heaped tablespoons of coconut whipped cream in the middle of each, running diagonally from one corner to the other. Pop some sliced banana on top, then fold the corners over, to seal the crepes. Top with another dollop of coconut whipped cream, the berries and a drizzle of the chocolate fudge sauce.
Per Serving: 713
Recipes and images from Naked Vegan by Maz Valcorza (Murdoch Books, £14.99). Photography by Ben Dearnley.
Bringing you more
Mango Float Cheezecake Per 100g:
Walnut coconut base • 80g (2¾oz) activated almonds • 80g (2¾oz) activated cashew nuts • 150g (5½oz) activated walnuts • 90g (3¼oz) finely desiccated coconut • 360g (12¾oz) pitted medjool dates • 4 tbsp coconut nectar Creamy mango filling • 620g (1lb 6oz) activated cashew nuts • 90g (3¼oz) finely desiccated coconut • 500ml (17floz) cold-pressed extra virgin coconut oil • 185ml (6floz) coconut nectar • 2 tsp vanilla powder • 4 tbsp non-GM soy lecithin • 4 mango cheeks, skins removed • 750ml (26floz) filtered alkaline water • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt or Celtic sea salt To serve • 4 large mangoes, flesh cut into wedges • Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)
Recipes and images from Naked Vegan by Maz Valcorza (Murdoch Books, £14.99). Photography by Ben Dearnley.
Makes 1 23cm (9 inch) round cake) 1.
Process all the walnut coconut base ingredients in a food processor until well combined. The mixture should bind itself when pressed together between your fingers. Reserve about 1 cup of the mixture, then press the rest into a 23 cm (9 inch) round spring-form cake tin. Put all the filling ingredients in a blender jug, mixing them with a spatula for easy blending. Blend on high speed until smooth, but for no more than 20 seconds at a time, so you don’t burn out the motor. Pour half the filling mixture over the base, then gently tap the cake tin on a hard surface to get rid of bubbles. Sprinkle with the reserve base mixture. Set in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Remove the cheezecake base from the freezer and pour the remaining filling mixture over the top. Leave to set in the fridge overnight, or in the freezer for at least 4 hours. If serving from the freezer, use a hot knife to ease the cheezecake out of the tin, then let the cake sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before plating. Just before serving, arrange the mango slices on top, and garnish with edible flowers if desired. Without the fresh mango topping and garnishes, the cake will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days, or can be frozen for several months.
INSIDE HELL T
Will this immersive experience stop people eating meat?
hey almost look like toys: the stunned pigs, their bodies roughly piled in stacks before they are chained up by one leg and their throats sliced. I look up and see the cold impassive faces of the slaughterhouse workers. I look down and see the endless streams of blood coating the killing-room floor. In front of me one of the chained pigs falls onto the floor, convulsing in pain as blood continues to gush out of his wounds. It’s impossible to look away-the horrors of the abattoir surround me 360 degrees, in stark, brutal, detail. Everything is dirty, devoid of humanity. These images tell the stories of lives without any joy, happiness, or compassion. I am watching this footage as part of a new initiative by Animal Equality and its power is staggering. Harnessing the most current virtual reality technology, you are taken on a seven-minute journey through a pig’s life, from birth, through miserable conditions on a filthy pig farm, to a terrifying and violent death in an abattoir, watching the film through a virtual reality headset. The footage you watch is real: all filmed in real locations around the world-including the UK. The film is narrated by actor Peter Egan (who is interviewed in this issue). “It’s important to note that nothing you see in this footage breaks any laws,” says Animal Equality director Toni Shephard. “We think the public have a right to know how animals are treated before they reach their plates,” says Toni. “And to know about how the industry deliberately hides the gore inside factory farms and slaughterhouses, denying consumers the right to make an informed choice about their food. So about 18 months ago when one of our founders realised virtual reality was going to become something that’s accessible to the general public and affordable to take out onto the street, he realised this was an opportunity we just couldn’t miss. The first time most people try virtual reality had to be animals locked inside factories and animals being killed inside slaughterhouses, because that image will then stay with them for the rest of their lives.” Animal Equality started filming inside farms and slaughterhouses.“We put the camera on a monopod which had small feet on the bottom-but even the small feet had to be airbrushed out. In one part of the film, the camera was suspended above a pen of pigs. Pigs, as we all know, are incredibly intelligent-they like exploring things and finding out what they are. If you put a camera on a monopod in a pigpen, it’s not going to last very long. Suspending it took a lot of work, because even the slightest breeze makes you feel dizzy while you’re watching it through a headset. “We had permission to film in the slaughterhouses, we told them we were making this documentary. In one part of the film, you see one of the workers smiling and waving at us as she washes down pig carcasses. They were fully aware they were being filmed. So all the practices you see, the organisations were happy to be shown. All these practises are legal in the countries we were filming in. These are not bad apples, this is the routine way animals are treated on factory farms around the world. The amount of meat we consume means there’s no other way of treating animals other than like machines. The one thing we don’t do in the UK is put pregnant sows into sow stalls. On the continent they are put into these gestation crates when they are impregnated and stay there for the four weeks of their pregnancy. In the UK that’s illegal.”
It was a conscious decision to show pigs in the film. According to Toni, broiler chickens have the worst lives, and are killed in the greatest numbers. If consumers stopped eating chicken, you would save more lives. But she says: “The story of pigs is very compelling: they are highly intelligent, and people know that now. They are highly exploratory animals. When you see wild pigs they are very active animals, running around all the time. Yet farmed pigs spend their time trapped inside a concrete bay, with sows inside stalls so small they can’t even turn around. They are deprived of all their natural behaviour, and I don’t think people know that. Around 95 per cent of pork in the UK comes from pigs who have spent their entire lives in concrete pens, seeing no sunlight whatsoever.” Toni believes people often think these things don’t happen in Britain, it is all ‘foreigners doing these horrible things to animals’, so it was really important to get footage from the UK. “I challenge anyone to point out the highest welfare standards in the world in this video,” Toni says. “Because the footage from the UK looks just as bad as all the other footage.” Toni also believes it’s very important to make people realise how much meat that’s eaten in the UK is reared abroad: around 60 per cent of the pork meat sold and consumed in Britain is imported from European countries. This means everything that takes place in this video is completely relevant to the UK. All these countries are governed by the same slaughter laws, so the way they are slaughtering these pigs in Spain is the same way pigs are slaughtered in the UK. “The footage is really hard to watch,” says Toni. “But I do encourage you to watch it to the end. Most people who put it on and say they won’t be able to last til the end get so involved with these animals they do. I cry every time I watch it, and I think that’s the normal human reaction to watching an animal suffer in this way. I have personally filmed inside many pig farms, and I still find this hard to watch because it’s filmed very much from the pigs’ eye-level and there are times, for example, in the sows’ stall where you see the bars at eye-level, so you get a much more claustrophobic feeling, you get that sense of how a pig who’s locked inside a cage for five weeks feels.” The important thing now is getting the footage out to people who may not be interested in watching it. How does the organisation plan to do this? Toni says: “It’s fascinating seeing the spectacle of people with goggles on. People want to know what’s going on. Very soon we’ll be starting on university campuses with the goggles and I think people who would normally run a mile if you ask them to watch factory farming footage are going to be queuing up to try this out because it’s new gadgets and new technology. You can’t help but wonder what the people wearing the headsets are looking at. In the summer we will head out to the high streets. We will also be available to bring this into businesses and places of work. I see this project as very, very exciting: with animals being mistreated for food, you hold the power. What happens to them is horrendous from birth to death, but simply by boycotting these products you can make a difference.” You can download the footage and watch it on your computer but if you watch it through the headset you have the totally immersive experience-you are in the slaughterhouse. To find out more visit the Animal Equality website animalequality.net.
Five Dream Eco Homes From Around the World Architect and designer Morwenna Calow looks at some unique buildings
ince venturing into the plant-based world three years ago I have enjoyed the journey immensely. I am still enjoying it. What I didn’t expect is how far this philosophy would penetrate my world. I work in architecture and design-not something that instantly shouts veganism. But how do we define veganism? My personal interpretation is one of compassion and an eagerness to change the world to one we believe to be better and kinder. This finds relevance in how we take our tea to how we build. Our homes are responsible for a large amount of greenhouse gases, toxic excess and energy wastage. According to the UK Green Building Council approximately half of the UK’s emission of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels are consumed in the construction and operation of buildings. Furthermore the UK is facing an increased housing shortage. One million new homes are supposed to be built before the end of the current Parliament according to housing minister Brandon Lewis. That’s a lot of energy. The good news is considered and ecoorientated architecture no longer lives on the fringes of the building industry. It has flourished into a lucrative and rewarding business, rapidly moving into the mainstream conscious. What I am keen to showcase here is a small slice of green architecture that transcends, breaks boundaries and inspires us all to strive towards a greener, kinder and more beautiful future on a human scale. Estate in Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain - Ábaton Architects (pictured)
The architects were approached to convert an old stable into a family home, however the stable was in such terrible condition the decision was made to start from scratch, resulting in a breath-taking piece of architecture in the hills of rural Spain.
Estate in Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain - Ábaton Architects Architecture project and building by ÁBATON (abaton.es) Interior Design Project by ÁBATON and BATAVIA (batavia.es) Photographer: ÁBATON & BelénImaz
Photographer: ÁBATON & BelénImaz
Located far from any grid this home is completely self-sufficient. Solar panels and water turbines within local streams provide electricity all year round. Large timber shutters that cover the windows act as a second skin, retaining most the diurnal heat gathered to keep the house warm at night. Thanks to the streams on site the water supply is constant with the pool acting as an irrigation tank and visual feature. >
Serie 1, Antony, France – DjuricTardio Image: Clément GUILLAUME Photographe Image: Clément GUILLAUME Photographe
Serie 1, Antony, France – DjuricTardio (above) Situated within the dense Parisian suburban fabric of Antony, Serie 1 is an investigation into reinventing the architectural language found within the compactly populated outskirts of our cities, whilst both addressing our environmental impact of building and living quality.
The key material used is structural laminated timber sourced from sustainably managed Finnish cooperatives of small private forest owners. The entire construction is pre-fabricated in the workshop and once on site takes only two weeks to assemble. Using wood gives a big advantage of highly efficient insulation and completely eliminating cold bridges. The glazing on the south-facing façade of the house is deliberately oversized, seizing the sun in winter, with the pitched pergola structure allowing shade in the summer. The pergola being a main visual feature, mimicking the urban rhythm, whilst creating an open platform that can be used as a terrace garden space, intimate and sunny, instead of a more common enclosed attic space. With its own rainwater collection system you could do nothing but start your own little Eden on the roof. The Straw Bale House, Dornbirn, Austria – Georg Bechter Architektur There were two objectives in mind when starting out on the design for this formidable home in Austria: it needed to be eco-friendly and affordable. Architect Georg Bechter came up with idea of using straw bales as the core building material, working both as highly efficient insulation and the load-bearing structure. Straw is an extremely sustainable and fast growing resource, gaining additional green credentials for not needing to be treated chemically. Piled up straw bales are finished with clay internally and lime plaster externally, making the entire construction of the house compostable. The roof
Japanese House, Edinburgh, Scotland - Konishi Gaffney Image: Alan Craigie
is a timber straw-insulated structure shaped perfectly to harness the power of the sun when needed yet shading the space during the hottest months of the year. Within the 1.2-metre thick outer walls you will find an open plan space holding four timber cubes with room-high sliding elements, thus allowing the rooms to be completely adaptable to individual needs. As an extra bonus straw structures allow unique little nooks and niches to be carved out within the walls. Definitely ticking a childhood dream box of mine. The Vegan House, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - Block Architects The concept of this house is one of sharing, travelling and cooking. Originally an old terrace next to an apartment from 1965 this building is now a striking example of socially and environmental conscious architecture on a budget. Over years the owner collected old and unwanted pieces of architecture and building materials before venturing into the project of the vegan house. These carefully gathered items are the main building material of this space: especially the old windows play a distinct role in the creation of the colourful façade. A mesmerizing combination of the original and the new, the raw concrete floor and the bamboo wattle against the recycled furniture, create a unique and inviting
space. Reduce, re-use and recycle in a beautiful architectural nutshell. Whether perched atop grass-covered slopes lost in the wilderness or clustered wall to wall with our suburban neighbours, there is always space to make a difference.
“The design favours humble eco-strategies such as passive solar techniques.” Japanese House, Edinburgh, Scotland - Konishi Gaffney (above) Nestled in a back lane of Edinburgh’s seaside suburb Portobello, lies a self-built house by the architecture duo Makiko Konishi and Kieran Gaffney. Simple crisp lines and an unwavering devotion to materiality, this home speaks of harmony and simplicity. The design favours humble eco-strategies such as passive solar techniques, which the architects have skilfully combined with local, recycled and recyclable materials. Using the sun, insulation and a clever layout this house requires no heating during spring, summer and autumn. During the winter months under floor heating and a wood-burning stove keep the space heated. A remarkable blend of Japan and Scotland coming together with a rich haptic canopy of charred timber and polished concrete.
ciao chow Italians do it better
Spinach Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Serves 5 Spinach gnocchi • 2kg (4lb 6oz) potatoes, peeled and chopped • 300g (10½oz) English spinach, chopped • 1 tsp salt • 260g (9oz) buckwheat flour • Basil leaves to serve Basil pesto • 100g (3½oz) basil • Almond oil • Olive oil • 2 garlic cloves • Zest of 1 lemon • 40g (1½oz) pine nuts • 2 tbsp cashews • 40g (1½oz) almonds
To make the gnocchi, start by steaming the potatoes until soft, around 15 minutes. Transfer them to a bowl with the spinach and mash until smooth. Add the salt and flour and, using your hands, gently work the mixture to make a dough. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and roll the dough into 2.5 × 1 cm (1 × ½ in) cylinders and chop into 2.5 cm (1 in) pieces. Gently flatten the top of each gnocchi with a fork and set aside to dry for about 20 minutes. For the pesto, combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until smooth but still chunky (or to your desired pesto consistency). To cook the gnocchi, place them in boiling hot water and when they rise to the top, remove them. Toss the gnocchi in the pesto and serve with micro basil leaves on top.
Recipes from Kenko Kitchen by Kate Bradley (Hardie Grant, £20.00) Photography: Elisa Watson.
Courgette and Mint Bruschetta
Serves 1 – 2
• 1 courgette (zucchini) • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint • ¼ tsp salt 1 • /8 tsp freshly ground black pepper • ¼ tsp kelp • Zest of 1 lemon • Juice of ½ lemon • 3 tsp olive oil • 2 slices good-quality gluten-free baguette or ciabatta • 1 garlic clove, cut in half • 2 tbsp Cashew ‘goat’s’ cheese (see recipe) Cashew Goats Cheese • 310g (11oz) raw cashews, soaked in water overnight, drained • 1 tsp salt • 2 tbsp coconut oil • 60ml (¼ cup) water • Juice of 1 lemon • 1 tsp savoury yeast flakes
‘Goats Cheese’ per 100g:
4. 5. 6.
To prepare the ‘goats’ cheese, place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz until the mixture is smooth. Roll the cheese into a log shape or ball using a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) or baking paper. Place in the refrigerator for 2–3 hours to chill and set. This will keep in a container in the refrigerator for 1–2 weeks and will keep in the freezer for 1 month. Start by peeling long ribbon pieces of the courgette. Place the courgette pieces in a bowl and add the mint, salt, pepper, kelp, lemon zest, lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Mix to combine then set aside. Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil on each slice of bread. Place under a grill (broiler) until golden, turning half-way through. Remove from the oven and rub the cut garlic clove on each slice of toasted bread. Spread each slice of bread with 1 tablespoon of the cashew ‘goat’s’ cheese and then top with the courgette salad. Serve and enjoy!
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Cashew ‘Goats’ Cheese Serves 4 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
½ cauliflower, cut into bite-sized pieces ½ large sweet potato, cut into bite-sized pieces ¼ pumpkin (winter squash), cut into bite-sized pieces 2 tsp turmeric 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp cinnamon ½ tsp cayenne pepper Pinch of salt Pinch of freshly ground black pepper 60ml (¼ cup) coconut oil, melted 2 fresh beetroots (beets), cut into bite-sized pieces ½ bunch kale Olive oil to drizzle 30g (1oz) Cashew ‘goat’s’ cheese (see previous page for recipe), or any vegan cashew cheese, crumbled 60g (2oz) sprouts of your choice 30g (1oz) chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Place the vegetables, except the beetroot and kale, in a mixing bowl and coat with the spices, seasoning and coconut oil and mix until everything is combined. Transfer the vegetables to a baking tray, but don’t clean the bowl yet. Add the beetroot to the bowl and cover with all the remaining spices and oil left in the bowl and then place on the tray with the rest of the vegetables. (We do the beetroot separately as otherwise all the vegetables end up purple!) Bake the vegetables for 20–30 minutes until soft inside but crunchy on the outside. You may need to turn them half-way through. While the vegetables are baking, chop the kale, place it in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Massage the leaves of the kale until they are covered with the olive oil. Once the vegetables are done place them in the bowl with the kale and lightly toss, being careful not to mush up the sweet potato and pumpkin. Top the salad with the crumbled cashew ‘goat’s’ cheese, sprouts and chopped walnuts and you’re ready to serve.
‘Goats Cheese’ per 100g:
Coconut, Fig and Pistachio Cheesecake Serves 5 Base • 160g (5½oz) macadamia nuts • 75g (2¾oz) pistachio nuts • 90g (3oz) pitted dates • 1 tsp coconut oil • Pinch of salt Filling • 235g (8½oz) raw cashews (soaked in water overnight) • 60ml (¼ cup) coconut oil • 125ml (½ cup) coconut cream • 125g (½ cup) coconut yoghurt • 60ml (¼ cup) rice malt syrup • 2 tbsp maple syrup • ¼ tsp vanilla powder • Couple of drops of liquid stevia Topping • 4–5 figs, chopped • 1 tbsp crushed pistachio nuts • 1 tbsp coconut flakes • 1 tbsp coconut nectar
Per Serving: 921
Recipes from Kenko Kitchen by Kate Bradley (Hardie Grant, £20.00) Photography: Elisa Watson.
First line the bottom of a 21.5 cm (8½ in) springform cake tin with baking paper. Put all the ingredients for the base in a food processor and process until you have a breadcrumb-like mixture and it begins sticking together. Press the base mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared tin and place it in the freezer. While the base is hardening in the freezer, place all the filling ingredients in a food processor and blitz until creamy and smooth. Pour the filling on top of the base in the tin and return the cake to the freezer for 2–3 hours. Remove the now frozen cheesecake from the freezer 20 minutes before you serve it, so it softens slightly. For the topping, arrange the figs on the top of the cake along with the pistachio nuts and coconut flakes. Drizzle with coconut nectar and you’re ready to serve!
TOP TIP •
You can use any seasonal fruit to top the cake. It works especially well with cherries, plums, or berries.
NATIONAL TREASURE Image: Maria Slough
Maria Slough interviews the Downton Abbey star with a paw print on his soul and a bear claw in his heart
AFTA award-winning actor Peter Egan is one of the UK’s most revered performers after starring in classic series like Downton Abbey (playing Shrimpie) and the iconic Ever Decreasing Circles. Tall and handsome, with a face full of kindness and a voice like velvet, we start the interview surrounded by his five rescue dogs. Pippa, a Staffordshire bull terrier, sits across from us at the table while Meghan, rescued from a puppy farm by charity All Dogs Matter, settles next to me on the bench. In January of this year Peter, 69, decided to go vegan. “I was invited by Kate Fowler [a vegan campaigner and lobbyist] to try Veganuary,” he says. “I had given everything else up except chocolate and cheese. Well I say given up but that sounds like I had been torturing myself when in fact I have actually moved on to things that I like better. I don’t feel a sense of giving something up. I feel a great sense of discovery. I find the vegan way of life quite wonderful and it suits me very much. I became a vegetarian six years ago after watching the film Earthlings which I found both staggering and upsetting. My one regret was that I didn’t do it all sooner. All of this is relatively new in my life and is very much related to my deeper association with how animals are treated on this planet.”
“To me it would be like seeing part of a human being on a plate.” But the treatment of farmed animals is shrouded in mystery, with lack of transparency from the meat and dairy industries. Peter has some strong ideas about how this journey from farm to table should be displayed to the consumer. “In supermarkets there is very little relation to the reality of how your food gets to your plate. I think there should be CCTV in slaughterhouses but I also think there should be CCTV from the slaughterhouse, shown in supermarkets behind the meat counters or butcher’s rack. If they think it is fine to show the carcass then they should show how it got there. I would go that far with it. “Awareness is everything. I, like the majority of the world, was taken in by the fact that food arrives on our plate in a humane way. I spent the greater part of my life not even associating meat with an animal. I used to look at a plate of meat and think of it as a gourmet delight. That is part of our problem. Food has become an entertainment. Now I am the total reverse. I see an animal so I cannot dissociate a steak from a magnificent cow, or a chicken leg from a beautiful chicken. I see a piece of an animal on the plate. To me it would be like seeing part of a human being on a plate.” Peter grew up in north London in an overcrowded house full of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and two dogs. “As kids we had a chocolate brown Labrador and a black and white collie called Bobby. We were an all-Irish family with my mother being the only English person in the household apart from us kids who were born in England and therefore known as plastic paddies! The dogs must have been in my life from when I was below the age of seven but they were just part of the great melting pot that was our family. From when I was nine, up until I was 40, animals were not specifically a part of my life.” Despite this, his journey to veganism started some 45 years ago when Peter, who was in his mid-twenties, had his first vegetarian meal in a restaurant in Hampstead. He liked it so much he returned weekly. Then 20 years ago, his wife Myra and he started rescuing dogs, which
helped him develop a deeper understanding of animal sentience. So why didn’t he become vegan at this point? “I suffered from selective compassion,” he explains. “I wasn’t connecting the relationships I was forming with dogs with other animals. I made a judgement that I was superior to animals and had superior feeling to them. They have different abilities yes, but they have the same heart and feelings that we have, just a different language or way of expressing themselves. Without hesitation I believe that any animal has as much right to its own life, as we as humans do to ours. We all have one life and we must respect that.” Peter continues to work closely with dogs, and is chairman and trustee of All Dogs Matter (ADM), a rescuing and rehoming charity. The group has played a key role in Peter’s journey into the world of animal activism, as the first charity he attached himself to 10 years ago. “I met them when they were just starting, in their first year. One of the things that I am very proud of is that we all worked together to make the construction of the team work so effectively to this day. I am hands on but it is very well run by Ira Moss and her team.” That process introduced Peter to the cruelty in the dog world. “I figured if I was going to be a responsible trustee to a dog charity that I needed to be hands on and research the responsibilities of local councils and the ticking clock syndrome that exists in a dog’s life when it is abandoned. I went and held dogs in my arms when they were being put to sleep and it totally destroyed me. It is part of the reason why I am so devoted to Staffies as the amount that I held while they were put to sleep was astounding and heart-breaking. They are the most gentle of dogs.
“If I was going to be a trustee to a dog charity I needed to be hands on.” “That started me being anti-BSL [breed-specific legislation] but also onto raising awareness of the problem of breeding of animals in this country and the rest of the world. Our animal welfare legislation in this country is appalling. The people who give licenses to puppy farms are also the people who give licenses to betting shops and public houses so there is no real expertise or care involved. ADM has become so much a part of my life it is like it has always been there.” He also has a place in his heart for bears, which he learnt more about after being introduced to Animals Asia, an organisation working to end the bear bile trade and other abusive animal practices. “I was totally gobsmacked,” he says. “Keeping bears in cages for nearly 30 years just to extract their bile? My jaw nearly fell off. In 2013 I went to their sanctuary in Chengdu and I was completely overwhelmed. It just hit my heart being amongst those broken bears all trying to heal. It is life altering when you really get in contact with extreme controlled cruelty, completely man driven. I do think that alongside the dog meat trade, bile farming is the most disgusting plague on this planet. I have a fascination and a love for the bears and a deep pain in my heart for what they have been forced to endure. There is a claw in my heart and it is a bear claw.” It is difficult to imagine a time when Peter wasn’t standing up for the rights of animals such is his devotion to them. Has there been one animal who has left a paw print on his soul? His eyes fill with tears and >
Image: The Pawtraits Exhibition™
his voice breaks as he starts to talk about DJ, the dog he calls ‘the gatekeeper’ who died last year (pictured above). I ask him if he wants to take a break. “No it’s okay,” he pauses. “It is ridiculous that just the mention of his name” the rest of the sentence lingers in the air, unspoken. “Yes DJ was my gatekeeper from when I met him 16 years ago. We had had animals in our lives for many years and I adored them all. Yet DJ was the dog that I found under a bucket in a cattery and when I went to investigate the moving bucket a black and white bundle came out attached to my beard. I said to Myra, ‘this dog has chosen me’ and I think that maybe there was a residual link to Bobby. He was a black collie cross spaniel with a white bib. That is why we named him DJ [short for dinner jacket]. “When I looked at him, without any effort on his part just by being what he was, he made me see all animals. He was the first animal who used to put his head to one side and look at me when I was talking to him, and I thought, he is really listening to what I am saying. He was a special dog with an extraordinary personality and a wonderful spirit who could always tell how I was feeling. He was the first dog that would come up to me and put his paw on me if I was feeling stressed or fed up. He was just a magical boy. He was my gatekeeper.”
As our chat draws to an end I ask Peter for his last thoughts on how we tackle the issue of animal cruelty worldwide? “Our attitude is still set in the mid-Victorian period where people accepted it was right to see an animal killed by various royal establishments or take a beautiful animal and incarcerate it in a zoo, all so the public can see it,” he says. “Now we are in an entirely different world of hidden cameras with greater access to view animals in the wild. All you will see in a zoo is a distressed animal displaying fairly stereotypic behaviour. Everything about our relationship with animals in the world is outdated. We have to do away with all zoos, do away with the sense that we as humans have the right to possess an animal and touch it and put it in a cage in our home because it entertains us and makes us feel good. It doesn’t make the animal feel good. I am going to start giving some talks in schools about how I feel about this. There will be a change and it will come from the children of now. Education is key. None of the things that I am talking about are going to be compacted in my lifetime but we all have to fundamentally change our relationship with animals in order for there to be a peaceful and productive planet to live on.”
Peter Egan is Ambassador of CFAF, UK Ambassador of Animals Asia and Patron of APGAW.
Savoury cakes A perfect midweek supper
Recipe and image from Clean Cakes: Delicious pĂ˘tisserie made with whole, natural and nourishing ingredients and free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar by Henrietta Inman, photography by Lisa Linder (Jacqui Small, ÂŁ20)
Cauliflower chickpea curry cakes with lime and mint raita Makes 18
Cauliflower chickpea cakes • 1 small red chilli • 8 spring onions (scallions) • 2 large tomatoes • 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped • 3 tbsp fresh turmeric, roughly chopped • 3 tbsp fresh ginger, roughly chopped • ½ large cauliflower, florets only • 1 tbsp coconut oil or EVCP rapeseed oil • 1 tsp ground turmeric • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds • 300g (10½oz) cooked chickpeas • 150ml (5floz) coconut milk, plus more if necessary • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime • 20g (¾oz) coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped • 75g (2¾oz) gram flour • 25g (¾oz) milled flax seeds • Salt and black pepper Lime and mint raita • 250g (8¾oz) natural coconut yogurt • 200g (7oz) cucumber • Generous handful finely chopped mint • 1 tsp ground cumin • 4 tsp lime juice • Pinch cayenne pepper, optional • Himalayan pink salt or coarse sea salt • Black pepper 1.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
Finely chop the chilli and spring onions (scallions) and cube the tomatoes. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the garlic, turmeric and ginger to form a rough paste. Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until small pieces form resembling breadcrumbs. You need 350g (12¼oz) in total.
In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil then add the ground turmeric,mustard and fenugreek seeds. After a few minutes, add the chopped chilli, onion and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes or until beginning to colour. Add the garlic paste and continue to cook. When everything has softened and is coloured,add the cauliflower and chickpeas, stirring to coat. Add the coconut milk, lime zest and juice. Heat until the coconut milk just begins to boil and then lower the heat and add the coriander (cilantro), gram flour, milled flax seeds and seasoning. Stir everything to combine on a low heat for a further 5 minutes. If it looks a bit dry, add a little more coconut milk. Remove from the heat, leave to cool slightly and check for seasoning.
To make the raita, put the yogurt into a medium-size bowl. Peel and grate the cucumber, you should get about 160g (5½oz) grated weight, and add to the yogurt. Add all the other ingredients, stir and season to taste, adding extra chopped mint and lime if you want.
Make the cauliflower chickpea mix into 18 small cakes in your hands. The mix will feel a little wet but that’s normal. Put the cakes onto the lined baking tray and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven,turn each cake over and bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden brown. The outer chickpeas become slightly crunchy while the inside stays perfectly soft. Serve warm with the raita.
The cakes and the raita will keep for five days in a sealed container in the fridge.
Serve them with a colourful salad made from red cabbage, radish, pomegranate seeds, coriander (cilantro), grated carrot, coconut flakes, pumpkin and sesame seeds. Leftovers can always be enjoyed for breakfast.
VEGANISM IS A FEMINIST ISSUE
Kate Fowler looks at the systematic abuse of female farm animals
ccording to Veganuary, most people who try veganism do so out of concern for animals but later discover that it is better for their health, the environment and feeding the world’s hungry, too. This is exactly how it was for me. Animals first: everything I learned later affirmed that I had made a great decision. After many years, I thought I was well versed in all these arguments, and so when I heard someone say they were vegan because they were a feminist, my attention was hooked. This was something new to me. Women the world over have long fought for the right to control their own bodies and reproductive systems, and those rights, where they exist, have been hard won. It wasn’t until 1991, for example, that rape within marriage was banned in this country, and for women elsewhere–not least in the midst of wars–rape and forced pregnancy remain a terrible norm. In the UK, there is no systematic abuse, no normalisation of rape, and no theft of young. Unless you are a cow. Most dairy cows are forcibly impregnated via artificial insemination. This benign phrase disguises the invasiveness of the reality: one hand is inserted into the cow’s rectum to manipulate her cervix into place while the other introduces semen into her vagina. DIY courses offer farmers the opportunity to learn to do this themselves.
On pig farms, the device used to hold pigs down while they are inseminated is known by some as a ‘rape rack’.Semen is introduced via a catheter, which if inserted at the wrong angle can enter the bladder. The British Pig Association has a special offer for farmers breeding pedigree pigs: ‘You will receive three bottles of semen and three disposable insemination catheters. The cost is £20 plus postage and packing.’ It reassures those who may be worrying about causing harm to the sows. ‘What if I have never used AI before? The insemination technique is not hard to learn and we have prepared a leaflet explaining the procedures.’ Similarly, sheep farmers cannot leave animals to breed naturally. If they did, lambs would be born throughout spring, but farmers want plump ‘spring lamb’ already on the supermarket shelves by then, and for their own convenience they want them all birthing at the same time. And so sheep are ‘fitted’ with hormone-rich vaginal sponges to bring them into oestrous early and together. So what if forcing sheep to give birth in the dead of winter means thousands of lambs perish in the frozen conditions? The benefits outweigh the costs for the farmer, although clearly not for the ewes or their young. As for turkeys, they have been bred to have such huge breasts–as that is the preferred meat for many people–that they cannot mate
naturally, even if they wanted to. All turkeys are therefore forcibly impregnated. And yes, it is someone’s job to ‘milk’ male turkeys for use in inseminating females. So much for meat being natural!
“The production of meat, milk and eggs is absolutely predicated on the exploitation of female animals’ reproductive systems.” Looking out of my window as I write, I can see a male pigeon strutting and cooing, and trying to impress his lady friend. She, in turn, couldn’t appear less interested. In fact, I’d go as far as to say she was thoroughly bored by his presence and wouldn’t choose him if he was the last pigeon on earth. Animals, like people, prefer to choose their own mate but no farmed animal–whether they breed ‘naturally’ or are forcibly impregnated–gets that choice. But perhaps the greatest tragedy of all–or should that be the greatest outrage?–is that mothers never get to know or keep their babies, and they grieve their loss as any human mother would grieve. The phrase ‘mother hen’ describes someone who is fastidious over the care of their young, as chickens notoriously are, but hens in commercial farms never even get to hatch their own eggs. Dairy cows may get to spend a few precious hours with their newly born male calves before they are shot. Males, you see, are of no use to the dairy industry. Female calves will in all likelihood end up in the same pitiful cycle of insemination, birth and separation as their mothers. And all because people want that essence of motherhood– breast milk–to put in their tea. Some years ago I moved to Somerset and found myself living next door to a sheep farm. One morning, the bleating of the sheep was deafening, and it continued all that day, and all the next. While walking my dog, I bumped into the farmer who told me the reason. ‘They always do that when we take the lambs’, she said. They were calling for them, desperately hoping that the lambs would hear them and come home. The sadness suddenly overwhelmed me.‘They must miss them terribly,’ I said. She looked at me with amusement and simply replied, ‘how funny’. But I don’t think I can conceive of anything less funny than mothers calling in vain for their stolen young. The production of meat, milk and eggs is absolutely predicated on the exploitation of female animals’ reproductive systems, and I can see clear links with women’s fight to be free of such degradation, control and abuse. This feminist perspective is, perhaps, just an angle on the wider animal rights arguments–the males used for breeding or born into the egg or dairy industries show that it is not just females who suffer as a result of their reproductive capabilities or gender–but it has certainly given me food for thought. When human animals are systematically treated this way, it is a war crime, the United Nations steps in, and the entire world rightly condemns the abuse. When non-human animals endure such treatment–and endure it repeatedly until their bodies collapse–can we say it is a just, humane and natural way to feed ourselves? For me, a vegan and a feminist, the answer is a categorical no.
SHOCK TACTICS Heidi Mary Porter puts herself in the line of fire to promote animal rights
will always stand up for what I believe in even if it means standing alone. I don’t mind being ridiculed or hated. I want to shock people and I don’t mind being the person who’s called the ‘crazy vegan’. There are so many abuses of animals going on that people don’t know about. I aim to highlight these through my work.” Many people with an interest in animal rights will have seen the pictures of Heidi Mary Porter-evocative, striking and violent images which put animal rights firmly on the agenda. She strips downs, and takes the place of the animals, whether that’s a fish being dragged out of water or a goose being force-fed to produce foie gras.
“One of the other kid’s mothers was wearing a fur coat. At that moment, I realised all I had done was moan about the fur trade. That was on Wednesday. That Saturday, I was naked outside Harrods, protesting.” “I know most people aren’t animal lovers,” she says. “So I thought if they can’t empathise with what the animal is going through, put a human in that place–maybe they can empathise with another person.” Heidi wanted to stop eating meat at the age of 13 but after this was forbidden by her parents, she had to wait until her 18th birthday. She says: “Growing up in the Devon countryside meat was served up at every meal time. As a child I was repulsed by the taste and texture of it and it would make me urge and retch. No one ever bothered to tell me what it was I was eating and I was far too young to make the connection that the animals my parents took me to view ‘down on the farm’ were the food that ended up roasted in our oven and served at the dinner table for Sunday lunchtime.” After giving up eggs and dairy several years later, she felt enormous health benefits. “I laughed and smiled to myself when my ‘meat and two veg at every meal’ dad shook his head in disbelief at his daughter’s latest antics that made him question how he had failed so badly as a parent,” she says.
“I’ve been sworn at, spat at, shouted at. People have thrown things at me.” “I wouldn’t go back to eating meat if my life depended on it. Who needs dead, decaying and rotting flesh passing through their stomach, intestine and bowel on a daily basis? And after the recent horse meat scandal can any of you be completely confident of what you are buying and eating from your local supermarket? “Would you consider killing, roasting and eating your own treasured family pet? If not, how is that any different to eating farm animals who are bred into a life of misery, neglect, pain, abuse, violence and ultimately death just so you can have burger and chips for tea? And
also, how many people go out every day to hunt and kill animals for meat with their own bare hands? In the wild animals have the courage and expertise to do just that (without the use of man-made weapons and guns) in order to survive.” Despite abstaining from meat for a long time, Heidi was not proactive in campaigning–until a few years ago. “I had one of those momentslike something out of a film-where everything just stops. I was taking one of my children to school, and one of the other kid’s mothers, who I was friends with, was wearing a fur coat. At that moment, I realised all I had done was moan about the fur trade. That was on Wednesday. That Saturday, I was naked outside Harrods, protesting.” The creative work Heidi does-photographically and through protest-is very controversial, and as such, provokes a range of responses from people. “I get a really mixed bag,” she says. “Most of the positive feedback is via Facebook, on the posts I make there. I get the worst reactions when I’m out protesting. I’ve been sworn at, spat at, shouted at. People have thrown things at me. But I will keep doing the demos outside Harrods. I don’t believe they will stop selling fur until the law says they have to, but at least I’m out there, doing something.
“I was only in there for about 20 minutes, but when I got out I was covered in bruises. You have animals living their entire lives in these things and it only took 20 minutes for me to get bruised. It made me feel sick” “And I do get to connect with people while I’m doing it. I know some people will think again about buying fur when they find out more about it, and how the animals are skinned alive.” She demonstrates outside Harrods every weekend. “It is actually legal to be naked in public if you’re protesting. The protest generally starts at 10am, and depending on how the day goes we move around Knightsbridge onto other shops that are also still selling real fur. Anyone is welcome to join the protests either to ‘get naked’ or hand out leaflets and offer support.” Heidi maintains a good relationship with the police (‘we have a mutual respect’) though earlier in the year was cautioned. She says: “Apparently, handing out leaflets that contained the f-word is a violation of Section 5 of the Public Order Act. But honestly I’m so proud I could burst. This caution is my badge of honour. It will always be a constant reminder that my animal rights message is working its controversial magic.” Seeing the protests, it is strange to find out that Heidi is actually quite shy. “I live in Wimbledon, I’m a mother and a wife. I work as a childminder (the family I work for is aware of my campaigning work). I don’t run around the local shopping centre naked or swearing,” she explains. >
“But when I’m protesting I strip off the labels of mother and wife and become the activist. It’s the same when I’m doing the photos.”
“I feel doing the pictures gave me a greater understanding of what the animals go through.” Staging the pictures themselves, which she started doing in 2014, is a time-consuming-and expensive-undertaking. Heidi says: “I feel doing the pictures gave me a greater understanding of what the animals go through. But what I feel isn’t real fear. Doing the naked pictures makes you feel very vulnerable. But you know you’re safe. In a few hours you’ll be at home. I’ll wash all the fake blood off me. But these animals don’t get to go home, and they want to be safe as well. “One that really upset me is the image with the cage. I was only in there for about 20 minutes, but when I got out I was covered in bruises. You have animals living their entire lives in these things and it only took 20 minutes for me to get bruised. It made me feel sick.” According to the activist, it is easy to come up with the concept for the pictures, as there are so many issues to choose from. “I order all the props online. I met a great photographer when I first started, so we work together. I often work with other people, but no-one else has gone for full nudity yet. The biggest part is the make-up, because I am covered in blood and special effects, I use a professional make-up artist, and it takes a long time.”
Heidi has plans to continue-and expand-her work in the future and has been working on a series of books. She says: “The first book is an honest, warts and all educational account of the evil and horrific fur trade. Aimed at children, it tells the truth the next generation need to know. There are 25,000 schools in this country and it is my next crazy plan to donate a free copy to each and every school library.” Eventually, there will be 20 books in the series. The next books will feature foie gras, the dairy trade and the meat industry.
“I always aim for controversy, and that’s the thing that will make or break me.” “I pay all the costs of making the photos and printing the books myself with money I earn through my day job,” she says. “But at some point in the future I’d like to look at creating a registered charity. Would people donate? I don’t know. Maybe they would find me too provocative. But I always aim for controversy, and that’s the thing that will make or break me.”
What Can I Eat … To Beat Anxiety? Nutritional therapist Rose Glover examines the link between food and stress
lammy hands, tummy trembles and restlessness–we’ve all experienced those discombobulating feelings associated with anxiety at some time in our lives. Ordinarily, when we feel on edge, we may reach for the usual suspects: comfort foods such as refined carbohydrates (pasta, pizza) and sugar-laden foods (hello, chocoholics). These foods release the feel good molecule serotonin in our bodies making us feel, lets face it, fabulous. However this feeling is short-term, and is usually followed by blood sugar imbalances that in turn can make us even more moody and anxiety-ridden. The good news is that it is possible to eat yourself calm. If you suffer from anxiety, eating plenty of the foods listed below could work wonders… Eat your beans Research suggests that a low dietary intake of zinc is associated with anxiety and depression. In fact, the highest amount of zinc in the body is found in the brain, and it turns out that this trace mineral plays a crucial role in the way the brain and body respond to stress. Plant sources of zinc include tofu, lentils, beans, sunflower seeds and nuts such as almonds and walnuts. However, unfortunately these plant foods also contain a naturally occurring compound called phytates, which can actually reduce zinc absorption. Because of this, it has
been suggested that the zinc needs of vegetarians and vegans are increased by 50 per cent (the standard RDA is 11mg daily for men, 8mg daily for women). However protein increases zinc absorption, therefore foods high in both protein and zinc, such as legumes and nuts, are good choices for vegans. Be gut friendly Our gut is home to trillions of beneficial and not-so-beneficial bacteria, which in an ideal world, all live together in a harmonious ecosystem. However, this delicate balance can easily be disrupted by numerous factors, such as high sugar foods, antibiotics or even a heavy night out on the town. In recent years, research has shown strong links between bacterial imbalances in the gut and imbalances in brain chemistry, and in particular mental disorders such as anxiety. So much so, that the folk within neuroscientific research circles now refer to probiotics as psychobiotics. These super friendly bacteria have other benefits for your health too, they can help reduce bloating and other gut issues, help boost immunity and they even help your body make B-vitamins and digest your food, win-win! Fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut, kimchi and sour pickles are great sources of beneficial bacteria. However, be sure to always check
if the shop-bought sauerkraut has been pasteurized because this process will destroy probiotics (and remember to consult your GP before consuming non-pasteurized food if you are pregnant). Miso paste is also loaded with friendly bacteria to help balance your gut microbiome. The fermentation of the brown rice and soya beans is what makes this condiment a source of lactobacillus acidophilus. Miso it has a strong, salty flavour and lots of sodium, so a little will go a long way. And remember to try to add miso paste at the end of cooking so as to avoid killing off the good bacteria. Load up on greens ‘Eat your greens’ – our mums’ told us a trillion times, and with good reason. Swiss chard, kale and spinach are loaded with magnesium, which is natures ‘chill-pill’ mineral, helping to calm the nervous system and regulate the stress response. Green veg are also a good source of b-vitamins (except vitamin B12), which are also vital for the management of anxiety. Ensure you are getting at least one portion of greens daily, you can add them to soups, smoothies, juices, curries, pasta dishes or simply a good old fashioned side of steamed greens. Whole, unrefined grains like oats, buckwheat, millet and quinoa also contain both magnesium and B vitamins Magnesium is also absorbed through the skin, therefore a warm bath with a cup of Epsom salts can be a wonderfully calming way to get boost your magnesium levels. If you are feeling very stressed, you could also supplement with 300mg of magnesium citrate just before bed to promote a restful night sleep and ease anxiety. Don’t be afraid of fat Since the brain is incredibly sensitive to inflammation, it needs a constant supply of antiinflammatory omega 3 fats in order to protect it. These fats help facilitate neuron-to-neuron communication and help to build healthy brain cell membranes, staving off anxiety. Numerous studies show that plasma concentrations of this fatty acid are markedly lower in vegetarians and vegans, compared to meat-eaters. This may be due to the fact that the plant form of this nutrient is poorly converted into the anti-inflammatory form that is found in oily fish. To ensure you are getting enough omega 3 fats in your diet, eat plenty of ground chia seeds and flaxseeds, seaweed, walnuts and pumpkin seeds daily. You may also want to consider a vegan EPA/DHA supplement to boost your levels. Get outside, sunshine Ok, not technically a food – but the sun is by far the best source of Vitamin D, a deficiency of which has been associated with both anxiety and depression. According to the British Medical Journal, more than 50 per cent of us have insufficient levels of Vitamin D, as many of us have problems utilising vitamin D from food sources. For this reason, I recommend to most of my clients that they get a simple vitamin D blood test done by their GP. Plant food sources of this vital vitamin are limited, so getting out in the sunshine for 15 minutes daily is important, which can prove difficult for those living in the northern hemisphere. Fortunately however, we can store this vitamin in our bodies to get us through the dark winter months, so make the most of those hot sunny days! And lastly … sip on Camomile Tea If you have a jittery moment, then sipping on a cup of camomile tea may calm your nerves. That’s because certain compounds in this tea (e.g. Matricaria recutita) actually bind to the same brain receptors as anti-anxiety drugs such as valium. The effects of drinking camomile can actually accumulate over several days after consumption, so make this your brew of choice on a daily basis! Rose is a nutritional therapist who specialises in vegan and vegetarian health. She is passionate about showing people how to overcome their health concerns through specialized nutrition. She believes that the right foods can make you feel and look great, all day every day! Visit her website (roseglovernutrition.com) to enquire about nutritional consultations, or sign up to her free newsletter.
VEGAN warriors These remarkable athletes are purely plant-powered
inja Warrior is a television phenomenon: contestants from all walks of life compete on one of the world’s toughest obstacle courses in front of a live studio audience, pyrotechnic displays and lots of cameras. It’s a test of strength, agility, and mental fortitude. Few excel: many fail. Behind the scenes of any production there will be the lesser-spotted but hugely important team members working to put the show together. On Ninja Warrior, a number of athletes work to test the courses before they are used for the programme, among them are vegans Lily Hunt, a PhD student and firefighter Ben Da Silva-Jones.
Ben became fascinated with the show after looking for a sport to fit his lifestyle. “I used to play a lot of basketball and team sports at school, then through university and beyond,” he explains. “I had watched Ninja Warrior-as a firefighter, I have a shift pattern that sometimes gives me time off during the day, so I had been watching episodes with a friend of mine. This is before the program was shown in the UK. My friend said I should try out for it, and he’d come along for the ride. “I had a really analytical approach to the training. The first thing I did was go to a beginners’ gymnastics course. We told the instructor we were training for the show. At the time it was just a small programme in Japan-I think we looked mad.”
“It’s do or die,” says Ben, who has blogged about the show for ITV. “If you fail you’re out. It is highly competitive, with thousands of people applying for a couple of hundred places. Then you get one shot at the course. The competitors are taken around the obstacles and can only watch as the testers demonstrate how to use them. The first time they actually do it is live on the show, so it’s hugely psychological as well as physical.
“You can’t tell by looking at someone whether they’ll be good at it or not.”
“A lot of people are really passionate about Ninja Warrior, a lot of people think they have a right to be on it. One of the great things about it is that you have to be athletic, but you can still be a regular person to take part, as long as you’re dedicated to a certain type of training.”
Shortly afterwards, he saw trials taking place in Malaysia advertised. “To find out more about the application process, first I did it with my wife’s details. She was not pleased when she received an email inviting her to do the course trial! I realised every applicant was being invited to go and try the course. They had a team day with people from around the world taking part, but I realised we didn’t have enough for a UK team. That’s when I decided to set up the Facebook group.”
The show, which is adapted from the original Japanese version called Sasuke, started airing in April 2015, with the second series concluding in February. As yet, no-one has managed to complete the course and scale final obstacle Mount Midoriyama, but Timothy Shieff [twotime world free-running champion and vocal vegan] was the most successful contestant in series one. And his successful stint on the show has had an impact on many others. Lily, who took part in the first series of the programme completing the course with style and speed, decided to become vegan last year. “I had often considered veganism,” she says, “but never thought I could do it and still do large amounts of sport. Then I met Timothy [Shieff]. He made me realise it isn’t extreme, it’s totally possible and very sustainable. Lots of people are so protein-obsessed, and I got sucked into that mind set myself at one point, thinking I had to get bigger to play rugby, and protein was the only way to do it. The protein idea comes from bodybuilders, where they are working towards aesthetics, rather than functionality. “For me, it was a case of finding what worked for my body, and a plant-based diet is it-it has improved my functionality hugely. The biggest change is in my energy levels. Before, I was dragging myself out of bed, now I am getting up and going out and doing things I want to do. I can eat what I want, and I definitely feel stronger. I used to have a few niggles -my knee would play up a lot-but that’s cleared up now.” It was getting into parkour-sometimes called free running-that sparked her interest in Ninja Warrior. “Once I was interested in that, I joined Ben’s Facebook group-Ninja Warrior UK Applicants. Ben is at the core of the NW scene here.”
The group-Ninja Warrior UK Applicants- has become immensely popular, with people hoping to take part in the show coming together to share training tips, videos, and inspiration. A number of well-known faces and seasoned sports professionals also contacted Ben. The community has continued to grow, with more people desperate to take part in the show. So who makes a good competitor? Lily says: “One of the things I love about the course is that it doesn’t favour anyone in particular. Some of the obstacles are easier if you’re taller, and some are easier if you’re shorter. When I took part in the first series I got to the semis. I was then asked to come back as a tester for the final course, so I’ve tried all the obstacles out. “We get a lot of guys who are very muscular taking part and when they see me [Lily is muscular, but slender] if they don’t know me, they think, ‘if she can do it, I can do it’. That’s not always the case, as it’s not just about brute force. A lot of the obstacles require lots of upper body strength, where you’re having to support your whole weight with your arms, and if you’re heavier, that can make it harder. That’s one of the things that makes it interesting, you can’t tell by looking at someone whether they’ll be good at it or not.” Ben adds: “You get a real mix of people-it’s great to see the professional sports people, but it’s also amazing to see someone who is training in their spare time. In a way, that’s more inspiring, it’s about pushing yourself and working to do your best on the course. The quote season two finished with was very poignant: ‘You haven’t failed until you quit trying’.”
ATTACK OF THE DRONES When it comes to conservation it’s all about having an eye in the sky…
ildlife crime is organised crime: and as criminals become more high tech, and more desperate than ever to evade the law, the need to counter these attacks on our global animal population becomes more urgent, the need for innovative and forward-thinking essential. A key player in this battle is Laurens De Groot, co-founder of the ShadowView Foundation. The other founder is Steve Roest. Together the men created this non-government organisation (NGO) which provides unmanned aerial systems-aka drones-and support to other groups working in the fields of conservation, environmental, and humanitarian relief operations. ShadowView is the first organisation in the world to catch poachers using drones. Laurens says: “My background is in environmental activism-in the past I worked with Dutch police fighting wildlife crime. I ended up getting tired of the bureaucracy of investigations. I decided to work with some other organisations, and eventually ended up going on a mission with [charity] Sea Shepherd. I spent three years campaigning in the Antarctic. We got into a sticky spot working on a seal culling campaign, and I started to think about how we could do this differently. I decided to try using a drone, this was around 2011, 2012. I did some experiments. I went to Namibia and obtained imagery from eight miles away using a drone. I realised this could be a big thing: this could be a really great thing. We started using them for several reasons-with the League Against Cruel Sports (LACS) to monitor illegal fox hunting, for example.”
“They are actually less intrusive than other techniques as they can be more specific in what they film.” Drones are effective surveillance for a number of reasons. Mark Randell, director of operations for LACS, told Vegan Life: “Drones are just one of many tools used to investigate illegal activity. We would use them for any of our campaigns if appropriate. They are actually less intrusive than other techniques as they can be more specific in what they film, therefore less collateral intrusion. It’s no different from standing on a hill to film rather than in a valley. It is less risky (in general terms) as human to human conflict is reduced and sadly those that take part in activities like fox hunting and dog fighting are prone to violence.” Wietse van der Werf is another major player in the conservation battle against organised fishing crime. He is founder of The Black Fish (among other organisations)-a group ‘on a mission to change attitudes towards our precious oceans and to work on protecting the unique life within them. By investigating, educating and taking non-violent direct action, the group campaigns to end illegal and destructive fishing practices and safeguard a future for the plentiful species in our seas’. Wietse says: “In terms of satellites, aerial perspective covers large areas. Monitoring how landscapes are changing when you are up in the air you can see these changes. You can analyse the data and start seeing changes so you can act. But satellites are very expensive, and the footage is not something you have access to in real time. “Drones are much more cost effective, they are cheaper. It’s about having ‘eyes in the sky’. They can cover a lot of land. Drones can also grant us access to places we couldn’t get before-for example, we
can fly over fishing ports, or slaughterhouses. Get into places you otherwise can’t. In 2013, we used drones to gather evidence against illegal driftnet fishing. We train fishing inspectors who monitor the activity, then drones can provide the evidence against the people who are pillaging the oceans.”
“We actually managed to apprehend two rhino poachers.” Laurens has also had success with drones: in many areas, but notably with rhino poaching. “One of our biggest successes is definitely in South Africa when we actually managed to apprehend two rhino poachers. We really wanted the poachers to be arrested but they were shot and killed. I would always like to see wildlife criminals brought to justice in the courts of law. I don’t want people to get killed, although it does obviously happen. It would be a very uncivilised world if everyone who committed crimes was killed as a punishment rather than brought to justice by law.” But it’s not a foolproof way to gather information. According to Mark from LACS: “The biggest problems we ran into were mainly due to the UK’s weather. Most drone technology struggles with high winds and heavy rain. The main requirements are reliably good weather conditions and enough funding. It should be stressed that there are many tools that can be used. Humans, and open sources offer information and equipment can support that. We just need to review each situation as a one off. We won’t turn into an aerial task force but we may consider a drone if it can achieve something that nothing else does.” Wietse also had issues using the drones at sea. “What we realised is the maritime side capacity is limited. You have to get five or six miles out to sea to capture anything, and there are very strong winds which affect the drones. We were not quite there with the technology. This is why I have set up the Wildlife Air Service-the first civilian air service funded by aviation. The thinking was, ‘how can we get aircraft in the sky?’ 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. “We have moved away from the use of drones, but in terms of wildlife poaching they still use them. With wildlife poaching, if there is someone is a few miles away and they’re armed, sending a drone up is helpful. When you operate a drone, there is a screen in front of you. You send the drone up with a camera, and watch the footage in real time.” But drones remain a useful tool in the arsenal for dry-land conservation. For Laurens it is about how the use of drones can be developed to make them part of a wider approach to conservation. “The methodology is evolving so quickly,” he says. “Now we’re looking at a more integrated approach of how we can use the technology.” The integrated approach sees a number of steps come together, which are described as: find, fix, finish, exploit, analyse, and dismantle. According to the Shadow View: “Drones are used by rangers as a reconnaissance tool when ground sensors are triggered. Cameras are used for detection, and to capture footage for evidence. Improved tracking methods allow rangers to follow and apprehend poachers and expanding methods of data collection lead to higher numbers of successful prosecutions.” >
This method is currently being employed as part of the group’s Tech for Tusks project in Kenya-a project aiming to ‘bring the fight against elephant poaching to a whole new level’. Rangers have been receiving training in a number of anti-poaching techniques, including patrolling in the field and intelligence gathering in the community. It is the combination of these techniques with the drone technology that should build more effective protection for animals against poachers.
“What we want is to film criminals in the act of breaking the law.” Despite this, there are opponents to the use of this unmanned aerial surveillance. In the UK, that opposition has come from the likes of the blood sports fraternity, with the pro-hunting Countryside Alliance raising the back in 2013 when the League Against Cruel Sports was using the technology to monitor hunting. At the time, the Alliance’s chief executive Tim Bonner said: “We think this is completely impractical and the League Against Cruel Sports has spent the last three years talking about the investment in what it calls ‘surveillance’.” He also claimed there are civil liberty issues when you fly above private land filming. He said: “They are some really quite profound arguments going on about whether a non-governmental organisation should be able to carry out these sort of activities without proper scrutiny.” But according to Mark from LACS: “The changing law is a challenge and all organisations struggle with this–as an organisation that stays within the law we always need to make sure we’re on top of that changing legislation. We abide with the law on all of our surveillance operations and there are tight regulations concerning the use of
drones. All surveillance is a potential infringement. That is why everything we do is assessed for justification, proportionality and necessity. For example, we ask: ‘Is there another way, do we have predisposition of the offending based on sound intelligence systems and is the technique proportionate to what needs to be achieved?’. Laurens adds: “There has to be strict regulation, especially in urban areas. Privacy is less of an issue these days, as there is so much CCTV. There’s an issue around how you protect data the drone is collecting. Most commercial companies out there know that and they don’t want to break the law. “If people are using personal drones there is a privacy issue. What we want is to film criminals in the act of breaking the law. You want to get footage you can use in court. And in fact we have been asked by the police to help them. We are quite open in how we work, we want to have a dialogue with these organisations-we want to work together. We will not break any laws. I believe we’ll see separate legislation for professional use in the future-the more ‘toy’ drones there are in the sky, the stricter the laws will become.” Now the drones are capable of being in the air for longer and the technology keeps improving. So what does the future hold for drones in conservation? “In the right conditions, if we have the funds available we would certainly consider using them again,” says Mark from LACS. “Technology changes and we have to do that too. Hunters use radios and mobile phones for a ‘traditional’ activity. The world is very different and we may use drones, or anything else that hasn’t been invented yet. Telescopes, binoculars, better cameras, smart phones, internet research are all developments over the last century.”
HOLIDAY CZECH LIST Rachel Kerry eats her way around Prague
hen my meat-eating friend suggested we go on a trip to Prague, I was excited as I knew it was a great city after a visit three years ago. But I was a vegetarian then-and at times that was a challenge. Vegan, though, was that going to be possible? I will admit here that I had considered demoting myself to vegetarian on the trip just for simplicity for me and my friend, Julie. However, through reading other travel articles in Vegan Life magazine and posts in vegan groups on social media, I got the feeling that the Czech Republic and other Eastern European countries are quite vegan friendly. So the decision was made to make the trip to Prague my first vegan adventure. To make it even easier, Julie said I could choose where we eat. So armed with my research from trip advisor and vegannomnoms.net, plus my vegan passport, Julie and I flew to Prague five days before Christmas. Prague had a welcome chill to it which instantly made the place seem more Christmassy than the unusually warm UK. I had eaten well at the airport so wasn’t too hungry when we arrived but I soon faced my first challenge. Trdelník, a fabulous sweet pastry that I enjoyed when I visited last, and Julie was devouring in front of me. I decided to find out if it was vegan by asking some unsuspecting Christmas market stall holders, using my vegan passport if I could enjoy one too. Sadly, they said no. On the plus side that saved me several hundred calories that I could enjoy on vegan treats, that I knew I’d find. The bag of fresh hot crispy potato chips that I ate after didn’t count but the raspberry sorbet from Café Praha, doors down from the sex museum did.
“In truth there was so much great produce that I wished I could’ve took home with me.” The next day, Julie promised me we could have lunch at Country Life vegan buffet café/restaurant (Melantrichova, 15 Prague 1), which we’d found the previous night while exploring the charming cobbled streets of this city. Following a visit to the Klemintinium library and a walk to the Jewish quarter, we went for Julie’s first vegan meal. As a buffet place, we filled our plates with the dishes we fancied – from cold salad, soup and hot dishes – and then took our plates to the till to be weighed before paying. For about 200Kc (£6) I had a blackcurrant drink, a salad bowl filled with tofu Greek salad and slices of vegan frankfurters plus a plate of stewed vegetables with olives in tomato sauce plus crispy potato wedges. Delicious and my omni friend was happy too. I couldn’t leave it there though and had two desserts including a raw cinnamon cheesecake and a homemade chocolate and custard creation that I can only describe as yummy. Full was an understatement. Later that night, after a Christmas concert in a local monastery, I had a cheeseless pizza at a local Italian and then paprika Pringles after lots of drinks, as a bed time snack.
After a disappointing breakfast at the hotel, despite them getting soya milk especially for me, I decided to fill up again at Country Life. I headed for the cold buffet this time and wasn’t disappointed. Green beans and broccoli in a tasty dressing, fresh rocket, olives, tomatoes, buckwheat burgers, one of which was covered in an incredible cashew cheese, all served with soya salad dressing. Sat reading my book and eating the delicious food I was one very happy vegan. Readers, you don’t want to know what my travel companion was eating elsewhere. I was really pleased to discover in my last minute research that there was a branch of Loving Hut on Na Porcini, which was really close to where we had tickets to watch the ballet that night. I had explained to Julie that the Loving Hut was a unique company that had a very bohemian philosophy. She was expecting wind chimes and other hippy paraphernalia, but we found a modern, clean restaurant and equally lovely shop downstairs. I was ready for a feast and was pleased to see traditional Czech dishes that had been veganised. I started with fresh summer rolls (not the Czech option) thinking they’d be light. I knew I had a comfort food coming my way but I ate every delicious tofu filled summer roll. The main did not disappoint. Creamy potato dumplings with tasty seitan and red cabbage. The only problem was I had no room for it but I certainly tried. Julie tried her first faux-meat in the form of tofu shrimp in a Thai noodle soup. She was expecting a small bowl, but she got a lot more than she bargained for and she too was disappointed to find she couldn’t finish it. The shop downstairs was calling me and so I bought two bars of strawberry white chocolate to bring home and cakes to eat later. In truth there was so much great produce that I wished I could’ve took home with me. As for the ballet, let’s just say the Czechs do vegan food better. I perhaps saved the best vegan eatery until last, well according to vegannomnoms.net anyway. Beans on toast for breakfast at the hotel gave me the energy needed to walk up to the beautiful Prague castle and around the grounds before heading to LoVeg ( Nerudova,36) which is also on the same side of the river as the castle. I ate the LoVeg burger which was garnished with delightful cashew cheese, and served with rosemary potatoes while Julie enjoyed a tasty lasagne. My meal was washed down with a very fresh raspberry lemonade. Despite being almost full, I had to use the opportunity to enjoy my last fully vegan dessert and I made it Czech-style with fruity dumplings. The bohemian trip was finished with a visit to John Lennon wall where I wished I had a can of paint to write ‘Go Vegan!’ on it but sadly I could only imagine. Excuse the pun. On the way back to the hotel I decide I had to take some food home and opted for tofu nuggets, tofu lunch meat and paprika Pom-bears home. The Pom-bears didn’t make it further than the airport because my options there were dire. Shame. Prague you had done so well. And it did. I don’t think I have ever eaten so well when I’ve been abroad and it was truly a pleasure to write in the visitors books of these places to tell them about this article. It also wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t had such an open minded omnivore friend, who said she enjoyed her vegan experience. Cheers Jules. I’ll be back Prague, and next time I’ll learn to say thank you in Czech.
all vegans end up stranded on desert islands We take some of the biggest lies and misconceptions around veganism, and tackle them head on
urely the most terrifying proposition facing a wannabe vegan is the overwhelming danger of becoming somehow stranded on a desert island. The more militant omnivores will race to convince you this danger is very, very real.
“The question itself is moot: why base your entire code of everyday ethics on a life or death situation?” And when you are stuck on this island, what are you going to eat? Are you going to have to rip apart a gentle pig with your own bare, bloodstained hands just to survive? In which case – what kind of a rubbish, murderous vegan are you? And if you choose slow starvation over slaughter, well of course that means you are (as previously assumed by said omnivore) a fanatic. The question is tactical, designed to shine a spotlight on the vegan’s moral conviction. Is it strong enough? And if not, does that undermine purpose of the vegan movement as a whole? A vegan who would kill an animal must be morally imperfect, and doesn’t even fully believe their own argument about animal rights in the first place, right? While most plant-based eaters find themselves faced with the hypothetical desert island dilemma, it may come as a relief to find out this scenario is unlikely to happen. The question itself is moot: why
base your entire code of everyday ethics on a life or death situation? Many people have done things, and will do things they otherwise wouldn’t when their life is in the balance.
On a desert island? What about here? •
The better question to ask would be this: If you lived in a country, where food was in abundance, where you could follow a lifestyle where you enjoy a huge range of delicious and healthy food, which was cruelty-free and environmentally friendly, why would you choose a lifestyle which causes mass deforestation, is a huge factor in climate change, massively affects habitat loss and species extinction, and sees the violent death of billions of sentient animals every year – why wouldn’t you? According to Rutgers University professor and vegan author Gary Francione: “If you believe–as most people believe–that animals matter morally, because animals matter morally, we cannot justify imposing ‘unnecessary’ suffering on them; and pleasure, amusement, or convenience cannot suffice as ‘necessity,’ then you are already committed to stop eating, wearing, or using animals in any situation in which there is not compulsion or real necessity, such as being on the desert island or the lifeboat with no access to plant foods.”
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This vegan sanctuary gave an injured sheep a new lease of life
t was touch and go during Flossie’s first night at Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary in Northants. The sanctuary takes in any animal in need of help, and rehabilitates them for release back into the wild, or rehoming. Some stay at Brook Farm for life. “We didn’t think Flossie would make it, she was very weak, and had a serious injury and infection,” says Rosie Richardson, owner and manager of the vegan facility.
“Flossie is starting to enjoy her new life at Brook Farm more and more.” Flossie arrived at Brook Farm after she was attacked by a dog, then left in a field for days-making her serious injuries worse. A member of the public had seen the sick sheep, but the farmer refused to call a vet. “His excuse was that he thought she had a prolapse,” explains Rosie, “but that still would have required treatment.” After convincing the farmer to let the sheep go, the good Samaritan called the sanctuary who came and collected Flossie. “She was in a terrible state when she arrived,” says Rosie. “One of her back legs was seriously damaged-the nerve had been completely chewed through. It took most of the night to clean and dress the wound, as well as administer medication.”
After the vet examined Flossie he said the leg would have to be amputated but he was concerned she was too weak to live through the operation. She was undernourished and seriously neglected as well as pregnant. After her first shaky night Flossie got to the point where she could sit up. And she continued to improve. “The vet thinks she may not need to have the leg amputated now,” says Rosie. “But it’s impossible to know for sure. Her lambs could be born at any time but the severe stress means she may have a stillbirth. “We have also noticed a problem she has with one of her front legs too, so Flossie is not completely out of the woods yet, and we are currently collecting money to try and fund the operations she will need.” Despite this, Flossie-who Rosie describes as ‘shy’-is starting to enjoy her new life at Brook Farm more and more, developing a taste for sheep cubes and hand-feeding. Rosie says: “Flossie is going from strength to strength. She has been moved into our back barn where she can be next to our flock of sheep for comfort.” Find out more about Flossie and the other animals at brook-farm.org.uk.