FOOD & CONSCIOUSNESS MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH OUR FOOD CHOICES
RESCUING INDIA'S DANCING BEARS NEW BOOK: 'PLANT BASED NUTRITION & HEALTH' ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED ON HEALTHY VEGAN EATING
SHELLFISH THEIR SUFFERING AND THE LAW ISSN 0307−4811 03 Laser Proof
9 770307 481000
in this issue Harvest time at the Vegan Society brings you our new nutrition book by Stephen Walsh ‘Plant Based Nutrition and Health’ (due out in early September). This is the fruition of three years of research and brings you the very best up to date advice on how to live longer and healthfully on a vegan diet. For those not interested in the detailed scientific evidence, there is straightforward guidance on what to do at the end of each chapter that is all brought together in an easy to read summary at the end. We want the book read and inwardly digested by everyone, especially our readers to whom we are offering a massive 30% pre-publication discount on the price; instead of £7.95 you can buy it for only £5.50 provided that you place you order on or before 30 September (see enclosed flyer). Lots of people have been sending in completed Gift Aid declarations covering their subscriptions and donations to the Society. This enables us to reclaim the tax you have already paid on these – over £4,000 in the twelve months to July this year - and provides us with more resources for our ever-increasing work to advance veganism. It means so much to us to know that the Vegan Society has the support of compassionate people such as yourselves. If you pay tax and you haven’t yet sent in a declaration, email email@example.com for a form, write or ring in on our local rate line 0845 45 88244. For those of you who are planning to come to the National Vegan Festival at Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London on Sunday 14 September – the Society will be having a stall. So see you there. Do join in UK Vegan Week (26 October – 2 November) and World Vegan Day (1 November) see article on page 21 and visit our special website www.worldveganday.org. Take your friends for a celebratory vegan meal on Saturday 1 November. I would particularly encourage everybody to make nominations for this years Vegan Awards which we have structured around our own mission statement – people, animals and the environment. Let’s all sow the seeds of veganism – only by us all being active can the word spread. Rick Savage
The Vegan Society Road
Donald Watson House
Local rate 0845 45 88244
Editorial Support Vanessa Clarke, Stephen Walsh, Karin Ridgers Printed by Hastings Printing Company On G-print chlorine-free paper
NEWS SHOPAROUND & OFFERS
SHOPAROUND EXTRA TARTAN DRESS
FREYA DINSHAH INTERVIEW
RESCUING INDIA’S DANCING BEARS KIDS’ PAGE - VEGILANTICS
FOOD & CONSCIOUSNESS EPIC PART ll
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GROW VEGAN WORLD VEGAN DAY / WEEK RENDEZVOUS RECIPES SHELLFISH AND THE LAW
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CAROB DIET MATTERS MEGAN THE VEGAN REVIEWS POSTBAG PALEO DIET LOCAL GROUPS NEWS EVENTS & LOCAL CONTACTS NEWS LOCAL CONTACTS CLASSIFIEDS PRIZE CROSSWORD
7 Battle l
Tel. 01424 427393
Editor Rick Savage Design firstname.lastname@example.org
TN37 7AA l
Fax. 01424 717064
© The Vegan Society The views expressed in The Vegan do not necessarily reflect those of the Editor or of the Vegan Society Council. Nothing printed should be construed to be Vegan Society policy unless so stated. The Society accepts no liability for any matter in the magazine. The acceptance of advertisements (including inserts) does not imply endorsement. The inclusion of product information should not be construed as constituting official Vegan Society approval for the product, its intended use, or its manufacturer/distributor. Contributions intended for publication are welcomed, but unsolicited materials will not be returned unless accompanied by a SAE. The Vegan l Autumn 2003
News n VEGAN SETS SIGHTS ON US PRESIDENCY Dennis Kucinich, who was elected to the US Congress in 1996 and is currently Chair of the Congress Progressive Caucus, is seeking the Democratic party nomination for the 2004 presidential election. His record includes opposition to the war in Iraq and opposition to the death penalty.
n CUTTING CHOLESTEROL WITH PLANT FOODS Most vegans know that vegan diets reduce blood cholesterol as they contain no cholesterol and little saturated fat. The Independent (23rd July) reports that scientists have devised a ‘special vegetarian diet’ that has been found to lower cholesterol levels dramatically without changing cholesterol or saturated fat intakes. Human studies conducted by Professor David Jenkins at the University of Toronto replaced skimmed milk, egg white and wheat bran with soya, oat bran, almonds and a margarine containing plant sterols. This was as effective in reducing cholesterol as a statin anti-cholesterol drug. Cholesterol related heart disease is one of the UK’s biggest health problems. Full details were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association on July 23 and provide further evidence that plant foods should be at the forefront of any strategy to combat heart disease. See the Vegan Society’s new book “Plant Based Nutrition and Health” for more information on how to use plant foods to promote health.
n WORLD VEG CONGRESS 2004 The next World Veg Congress will be held in Florianopolis on the coast of Brazil from 8th to 15th November 2004, immediately after the Society’s Diamond Jubilee and a marvellous opportunity to continue celebrating veganism and to link up with the growing Latin American movement. The event is being organised by Brazilian vegans and, as at the previous three world congresses, all catering will be vegan. Further details can be found at www.ivu.org/congress/2004
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n HEALTH FREEDOM Under the 2002 EU Food Supplements Directive any food supplements not on the EU’s ‘positive list’ must be cleared from the shelves by August 2005. The only way around this ruling is for manufacturers to apply for a licence, but the licences are prohibitively expensive for all but the largest companies. This will effectively eliminate smaller firms and have a negative effect on health food stores. A similar directive is planned for traditional herbal remedies, while a proposed amendment to the Medicines Act could require all products considered to be of ‘therapeutic benefit’ to be classed as medicines requiring a full licence and animal testing. For more information see www.healthfreedommovement.com
n EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT INSISTS GMOS BE LABELLED New regulations due to come into force later this year will force producers to label oils and syrups derived from genetically modified plants even if they contain no detectable amounts of GM material. The US administration is expected to try to challenge these rules through the World Trade Organisation. Animal feed sold to farmers will also have to be labelled, but the end consumer will not be alerted to meat and milk from GM feed. According to Greenpeace, none of the top ten supermarkets could guarantee that their dairy products did not come from cows fed on GM feed. See www.greenpeace. org.uk/products/GM/index.cfm
n US JUDGE REFUSES VEGAN FOOD FOR PRISONERS A New York judge, Shira Scheindlin, recently ruled against three Jewish prisoners who sued the city for refusing to serve them vegan meals. The prison serves kosher and halal meals, but not vegetarian or vegan, which it claims would entail excessive cost. The US federal prison system has been offering vegetarian meals since 2000 after an inmate in a Pennsylvania jail sued for a vegan diet. The three are in prison for animal rights protests and have subsisting on vegetables served with regular meals plus vegan items sold in the prison shop such as potato chips and peanut butter.
n PERMACULTURE PROJECT IN SPAIN An established vegan raw food permaculture community in southern Spain is looking for skilled/experienced residents who enjoy the simple life and are committed to sustainable living. See www.ecoforest.org.
n OCEANS EMPTY OF THEIR FORMER TREASURES On 2nd August, the New Scientist reported on a survey suggesting that there were formerly ten times as many great whales as previously thought. According to Nature magazine, 90% of predatory fish such as sharks, marlin, swordfish and tuna have been destroyed in the past 50 years. A growing list of ‘fisheries’ have collapsed and many coral reefs have been severely damaged or destroyed.
n VEGAN SKIING IN FRANCE Sophie and Stephen Fenwick, Local Contacts for Reading, are organising a vegan ski trip to La Plagne in France from 20th March to 3rd April 2004. See www.hurricanehub.com/skicrueltyfree
n VITAMIN B12 STUDY The Vegan Society will be working in partnership with a UK company to test a possible natural food source of biologically active and usable vitamin B12. Please get in touch if you have been vegan for at least five years, don’t regularly take a B12 supplement or use foods fortified with B12, and would like to volunteer for the study.
n ATKINS DIET IS ‘PSEUDO-SCIENCE’ SAY EXPERTS James Meikle of The Guardian (13 Aug) reported that health experts had criticised the high protein, low carbohydrate Atkins diet as ‘pseudo-science’. Dr Susan Jebb, head of nutrition at the Medical Research Council, said: “There is nothing to persuade me it is a good way to improve your health. It is not even an experiment. Nobody is evaluating what is happening out there to millions of people who are following it.” There is particular concern that high protein diets might damage the kidneys as well as increasing calcium loss from the body, increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
n ANIMAL RIGHTS PROTEST IN BRAZIL A large demonstration (500 people) took place on July 26 in front of Santa Casa Hospital in São Paulo to protest against experiments being carried out on stray dogs. Support the growing Brazilian animal movement by signing the petition at www.petitiononline.com/vida/petition.html, entering your nationality where an ID number is requested.
n ANCIENT WOODLANDS PROJECT (near Scarborough) Volunteer Week 1st to 8th September Free camping and subsidised vegan food in exchange for help in converting the 30 acre site back to native woodland. Tasks include clearing paths, removing tree guards etc. www.woodlandproject.org.uk Tel. 01723 514525 or 07748 101117 Email: email@example.com
n IRISH VEGFEST IN DUBLIN ON 28TH SEPTEMBER See events list page 37 for details. The Vegetarian Society of Ireland will be celebrating its 25th anniversary as well as ten successful years of the annual fair. The fair will include talks by Tina Fox, VSUK, Stephen Walsh, UK Vegan Society, Ita West of CIWF and others, as well as cookery demonstrations, stalls and more. The National Local Contacts Coordinator will be running a stall for the Vegan Society. Contact Vegan Society member or write to Vegetarian Society of Ireland, PO BOX 3010, Dublin 4 www.vegetarian.ie
n VEGAN ORGANIC FARM VISIT Sunday 21st September Join a tour organised by Vegan Organic Trust (VOT) around Tolhurst Organic Products near Reading at 1pm. Pick up tips on growing your own food without animal byproducts. Three-hour tour followed by refreshments and discussion. To reserve a place, send £18 (payable to VOT) to Graham Cole, Coach House, Holywell Estate, Swanmore, Southampton SO23 2QE. Tel. 01489 896471
n HORRORS OF INDIAN VIVISECTION LABS EXPOSED Thanks to the work of Vegan Society Patron Maneka Gandhi during her time as Chair of India’s Committee for the Purpose of Control and Supervision of Experiments on Animals (CPCSEA), the appalling conditions in India’s vivisection labs have been exposed both within India and internationally. A full report is available from NAVS, 261 Goldhawk Road, London W12 9PE. firstname.lastname@example.org www.navs.org.uk There is no charge, but do send a donation if you can.
n SHRIMPS AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES A report released in July by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) highlights human rights abuses in the developing world including land seizure, rape, child labour, forced labour and murder as a result of the West’s demand for farmed shrimps. See report and petition at www.ejfoundation.org or contact EJF on 020 7359 0440.
n DIAMOND JUBILEE WALK Laurence Main invites other vegans to join him on a walk through Britain to celebrate the Society’s Diamond Jubilee in 2004. The 2,000-mile route criss-crosses the country and follows waymarked trails. Laurence plans to start from the stone circle at Callanish on the Isle of Lewis on 1st February) and will be backpacking, carrying tent and sleeping bag, with the aim of sleeping and dreaming at many such ancient sites. He aims to give as many talks as possible at places along the route and to give interviews to local TV, radio and the press. Local contacts and others can assist by booking meeting rooms and arranging local publicity. Other help such as offers of a night’s accommodation (perhaps a lawn to pitch a tent or a floor to unroll a sleeping bag) will also be welcome. Laurence will spend about two weeks per month on the walk, which will culminate at the Vegan Society’s AGM in London on Saturday 30th October, the day before World Vegan Day and the Society’s Diamond Jubilee on 1st November (Samhain). You can join for the whole walk, a fortnight’s holiday or just for a day or two. Contact Laurence Main as soon as possible at 9 Mawddwy Cottages, Minllyn, Dinas Mawddwy, Machynlleth, SY20 9LW Tel. 01650 531354 (letters are better as he is often away). Being spread over nine months, the walk has the potential to become a major demonstration of vegan strength and gain useful publicity. The route is already mapped out, but minor alterations can be made to allow for meetings to be arranged, so long as sufficient notice is given. The first section will include the ferry crossing from Stornoway to Ullapool and the sacred peak of Bennachie, with a public meeting in Aberdeen in midFebruary. In March the walk will go via Fortingall and part of the West Highland Way into Glasgow. April will bring the walkers to Hadrian’s Wall and Newcastleupon-Tyne. In May the Pennine Way will be followed to Manchester, home of the Vegan Organic Network. June will take walkers through Wales to St David’s. Gloucester should be reached in July, while Avebury will be on the route to Winchester in August. A trot along the South Downs Way will lead to Hastings in September and Plamil will be visited in Folkestone in October before heading into London for the Society’s AGM and Diamond Jubilee. Laurence will be writing quarterly reports on the walk for The Vegan.
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Shoparound Debbie Holman
n SEDLESCOMBE ORGANIC WINE
n ECOVER HAND SOAP
The Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard has been producing quality English wine since 1982. The range of wines includes something for every palate, from traditional Red to unusual fruit wines such as Golden Apple and Black Cherry. The vineyard is set in lush green Sussex countryside where you can learn about wine making as well as purchase wine. We tried a wide selection and found them all delicious with no animalderived fining agents in sight. The company also sells grape liquor, cider and fruit juices, all organic and suitable for vegans. Further details from Sedlescombe Organic Vineyard, Cripps Corner, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, TN32 5SA Tel. 0800 980 2884 website www.EnglishOrganicWine.co.uk or www.rentavine.co.uk
Ecover have always respected the environment and people, formulating their products with these aims in mind. Their hand soap, in a recyclable polyethylene and polypropylene pump container, has a gentle scent of lavender and is refreshing to use. Further information from www.ecover.com Customer careline 01635 574553.
n YAOH’S ORGANIC RAW FOOD HEMP BAR
n SIKELIA’S VOLCANIC TASTE OF ITALY Sikelia means ‘earth of abundance’. Founded by Giuseppina Patane and reflecting the genius of true Sicilian cuisine, the company believes in Fair Trade and small producers who have respect for the land. We tried some of their pesto and pâté and found them all rich and delicious. The Sicilian Pistachio Pesto was full of nuts and needed mixing before the true combination of oil and pistachio could be enjoyed. The Artichoke and Pistachio Nut Pâté was perfect on toast. The Pesto from Mount Edna was very sweet, with a perfect blend of sun dried tomatoes and black olives. The Sicilian Aubergine Pesto made a tasty sauce for pasta. All are very concentrated and full of flavour, so they are very economical.
These bars are composed entirely of uncooked nuts, seeds and fruit. The coconut and pineapple bars were slightly oily, but tasty and filling. New flavours coming soon include Blueberry & Cinnamon and Apricot & Ginger. Further details from Yaoh, PO Box 333, Bristol BS99 1NF website www.yaoh.co.uk Email email@example.com
n SCHEESE FROM ISLE OF BUTE FOODS Isle of Bute Foods have extended their range of vegan cheese, which now includes Cheshire, Blue Cheese, Edam, Cheddar style with Chives, Mozzarella, Hickory Cheddar Style, Cheddar, Emmental and Gouda. These non-GM products are a blend of hydrogenated vegetable oil, soya bean concentrate, carrageenan and spirit vinegar. They can be used to make cheese sauces as well as grated in salads and sandwiches but will not melt over pizzas or lasagne. Further details from Isle of Bute Foods. Tel. 01700 505117 or www.scheese.co.uk
n UDO’S CHOICE OIL BLEND
Sikelia have 10 Aubergine Pestos to give away. Write to Vegan Offer, Sikelia Ltd, 24 William Harvey House, Whitlock Drive, London SW19 6SQ Tel. 0208 7880548. Entries to arrive by 15th September.
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This blend of organic flax, sunflower and sesame seed oil is mechanically pressed in an oxygen free environment to maximize stability, nutritional value and freshness. The oil has a pleasant nutty taste and flavour and can be used in many different ways. It should be kept refrigerated and used within eight weeks of opening. Further details from UK importer and distributor Savant, Tel. 08450 60 60 70 or see www.floraexport.com
A free 250ml bottle of Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend (RRP: £8.95) for each of the first 20 applicants drawn at random. Send name and address to Savant Distribution Ltd, FREEPOST NEA 12027, Leeds, LS16 6YY, marking the envelopes "Vegan Competition". Closing date 30th September. UK only. Winners will be announced on www.savant-health.com
All Shoparound products have been authenticated as
n SWEET TREATS FROM VEGANSTORE Organic Mixed Fruit Gummy Bears are soft and chewy, with no artificial ingredients - just unrefined cane sugar, corn syrup, apple pectin and natural flavours of lemon, orange, blackcurrant, apple and raspberry. Organic Sugar Free Apple Bears are much sharper, with a tangy taste and a firmer texture. The Organic Chocolate Granetti are composed mainly of chocolate, wholemeal flour and cane sugar with no additives or colours. All can be obtained from Veganstore Tel. 01273 302979, www.veganstore.co.uk. A new catalogue is due out in September.
Veganstore are giving away 100 bags of Fruit Bears. Send name and address to Gummy Bar Giveaway, Veganstore,15 Chichester Drive East, Saltdean, Brighton, BN2 8LD.
n RED STAR – OFFER UPDATE
n UNCLE JOE’S MINT BALLS The flavour of these mints seems to grow stronger as they dissolve. Made to a recipe handed down the generations since 1898, they contain only cane sugar, oil of peppermint and cream of tartar.
Red Star are awaiting delivery of full colour boxes for their new batches of soaps. Soap in the old red and white boxes is being sold at £2.50 per soap plus post + packing while stocks last. There is also a free 50g bag of pot pourri with all orders over £10. To order: Red Star, 1 Haddon Crescent, New Invention, Willenhall, West Midlands, WV12 5AT, Tel.01922 712691, www.redstarhandcraftedsoaps.co.uk
This delicious pesto can be enjoyed on bread or pasta or in salad dressing with oil, water and vinegar. It contains 33% extra virgin olive oil and 22% rehydrated basil. Further details from MH Foods, 4-5 Church Trading Estate, Slade Green Road, Erith, Kent, DA8 2JA.
n MEADOWSWEET’S THERAPY IN BLUE
n NATURAL ORGANIC HAND MADE SOAP
These fragrant soaps are simply packaged and suitable for vegans apart from three containing honey or goat’s milk. The company carry out their testing on themselves plus friends and family. 98% of the ingredients are certified organic, the other 2% are essential oils. The company also make shampoo and conditioning bars, including an anti-lice shampoo with Neem and Tea Tree. The soaps range from £3 to £5 in price. Further details from Organic Soaps, 23 Farquhar Road, Upper Norwood, London SE19 1SS www.organicsoap.net Email firstname.lastname@example.org
A 75 gram bag of mint balls for each of the first 20 readers to write by 12 September to: William Santus & Co. Ltd, The Toffee Works, Dorning Street, Wigan, Lancashire, WN1 1HE Tel. 01942 243464 www.uncle-joes.com Email: email@example.com
n FLORENTINO’S BASIL PESTO
Meadowsweet’s new range of face and body massage oils contain a blend of sumptuous ingredients such as Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang and Bergamot with added vitamin E, sweet almond and apricot kernel. The range includes Detox/Tone Body Massage Oil, Stress Ease Massage Oil, Rejuvenating Face Massage Oil and Nourishing Face Massage Oil.
Meadowsweet have 15 bottles of Stress Ease Body Massage Oil to give away. Write to Meadowsweet, Unit 1, Uplands Courtyard, Stowupland Road, Stowmarket, Suffolk, IP14 5AN Tel. 01449 676940 www.meadowsweet.co.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org All applicants will receive a £1.50 voucher towards the purchase of one bottle of Therapy in Blue. Offer closes 30th September.
50p off each bar until the end of September for readers. Please quote The Vegan to obtain the discount. The Vegan l Autumn 2003
Experts agree that it is vital to regularly eat foods rich in Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids such as the oils found in Udo’s Choice. Udo’s Choice was developed by Dr. Udo Eramus, one of the world’s leading experts on dietary fat. It is a carefully balanced blend of unrefined organic seed oils along with other nutrients vital for good health. And since Udo’s Choice is made only from plant sources, it is ideal for vegetarians and vegans who don’t eat fish. Because of its fresh nutty taste it enhances the flavour of most savoury dishes. It can even be used in homemade vegan ice cream.
Shoparound Extra Debbie Holman
n ORGANIC BLUE’S “LIFT’ FOOD SUPPLEMENT These large herbal capsules contain a blend of Astragalus, Guarana, Siberian Ginseng, Panax Ginseng, Long Pepper, Licorice and Cinnamon Bark, all organic, with an inviting smell of licorice and cinnamon and no after-taste. They cost £14.95 for 60 with a recommended dose of 2-3 capsules per day. Further details from Health Quest Ltd, 7 Brampton Road, London NW9 9BX Tel. 020 8206 2066 www.organicblue.com
n LIFEPLAN SUPPLEMENTS. Lifeplan have produced two new totally animal free supplements for incorporating extra anti-oxidants into the diet. The first is lutein, a carotenoid that acts as an anti-oxidant and protects cells against the damaging effect of free radicals. This nutriment is found in fruit and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables. The second is Pycnogenol, an anti-oxidant extracted from the bark of the Maritime Pine in Gascony, South West France. The first 10 applicants drawn at random on Friday 19th September will receive a free pot of lutein. Write to Vegan Offer, Lifeplan Products Ltd, Lutterworth, Leicestershire, LE17 4ND Tel. 01455 556281 www.lifeplan.co.uk
n HEALTH + PLUS SPECIAL OFFER Health + Plus offer a range of supplements and vitamins, more than 40 of which are registered with The Vegan Society. Until the end of October they have a great special offer on their vegan products: buy any Health + Plus Vegan Society registered product and receive another up to the same value FREE. See their advert in this issue or visit www.healthplus.co.uk To order: Vegan Offer, Health + Plus Ltd, Dolphin House, 30 Lushington Road, Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21 4LL. Orders can also be sent by email to email@example.com, fax 01323 737375 or Tel. 01323 737374. All orders should quote reference VS0803
n SAGE ORGANIC LTD
n LINPHARMA HERBAL PRODUCTS
Sage Organic Ltd, a subsidiary of Sage Nutritionals Ltd, produces a range of vitamins and organic herbal supplements. We tried two: the Healthy Woman and the Healthy Man packs, each made up of a multi-vitamin tablet and a herbal blend capsule. Both provide 100% of the recommended allowance of 14 essential vitamins and minerals. The women’s pack contains additional Evening Primrose Oil plus a blend of organic herbs including flax seed to boost omega 3 essential fatty acids in the diet. The men’s pack has added L-Arginine, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Acetyl L-carnitine, plus Siberian ginseng and Guarana. From Waitrose, Asda, and Safeways or online at www.sageorganic.com £8.99 per pack.
One month’s supply of Healthy Woman or Healthy Man for five readers. Write to Sage Organic Ltd, Clench Lodge, Wootton Rivers, Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 4NT, quoting VS Reader Offer and stating which product you would like. Closing date 15th September.
This range of organic tinctures are designed to help naturally with minor health problems. The three we tried were attractively packaged and contained clear and precise instructions for use. Echinacea Plus, in which Echinacea is used in combination with Nasturtium, was recommended for winter coughs and colds. The Nitebalm and Easigest tinctures also contained fresh organic herbs. For further information and stockists, telephone 01506 848649. Linpharma have 10 samples of each product in this review to give away. Write to Vegan Offer, Linpharma Herbal Products, PO Box 13511, Scotland, EH49 7YH, by 30th September, stating which product you would like to receive.
n HIGHER NATURE TRUE FOOD The vitamin C in these large tablets is intended to remain in the blood for about 8 hours to increase its antioxidant effects. For further details see www.highernature.co.uk To celebrate authentication from the Vegan Society and to introduce their range, Higher Nature are offering a £5.50 pot of True Food vitamin C tablets to 50 readers. Send name and address on a postcard (no stamp required) to: Vegan Society Reader Offer, Higher Nature, Freepost, Burwash Common, East Sussex, TN19 7BR .
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VEGAN HIGHLAND DRESS A CONTRADICTION IN TERMS? by George Rodger
Very few Scotsmen now use the kilt as everyday wear, but many still like to wear highland dress for special occasions anything from weddings to international football matches.
ighland dress (kilt, sporran, etc) is almost entirely made up of wool, leather and sometimes fur - even the buttons are commonly made of stag horn. So what does the vegan Scotsman do when he wants to strut his stuff in traditional finery? For that matter, a vegan Englishman, Welshman or Irishman has a similar problem if he wants to get married in a morning suit, or attend a formal dinner dance in a dinner jacket. These, too, would be wool based and may even contain silk. Many non-Scots now also choose to get married in the kilt.
I bought 5 metres of double width (1.5metres) p/v tartan in the "Caledonia" pattern, a non-leather belt from The Vegan Society, a fabric belt pouch or "bum bag" for a sporran and a few plain kilt pins (basically outsize safety pins). The whole lot cost me about £90 - roughly twice the cost of hiring a standard kilt outfit. I already had a pair of kilt stockings, and a suitable pair of black shoes, in synthetic materials. If I had bought shoes and stockings, they would have cost about another £70.
Help is finally at hand! Tartan fabric is now available in polyester viscose, in a wide range of patterns, with a look and feel very like the wool version, and with the added advantage that it is washable instead of "dry clean only". Moreover, the vegan option costs less than half the price of wool. Marton Mills are a leading manufacturer.
Duncan Chisholm, 47-51 Castle Street, Inverness IV2 3DU Tel. 01463 234599 Geoffrey (Tailor) Highland Crafts Ltd, 57-59 High Street, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1SR Tel. 0131 557 0256 Branches throughout Scotland.
This synthetic material has not yet found its way into kilts etc for the hire market, but it can be made up to order by a kiltmaker. You will also have to specify synthetic material such as Lorica for the straps. Otherwise, you will get leather.
Before the tailored kilt, or fillabeg, was invented - reputedly by an Englishman Scottish highlanders wore the belted plaid, or fillamore, which is now becoming fashionable once again some 300 years after being superseded by the kilt. The belted plaid is definitely the cheapest way to acquire a tartan outfit, as there is no making up required. You just buy the material, and fold it yourself each time you put it on, as I did myself at last year’s World Veg Congress in Edinburgh.
The Vegan l Autumn 2003
I checked with several of Scotland’s leading kiltmakers about making up vegan kilts. All said that they could do it if asked. The most knowledgeable retail company is Chisholm of Inverness, who have experience of making p/v kilts with non-leather straps, and also plastic belts, in quantity, for pipe bands. Geoffrey of Edinburgh can make up p/v kilts with synthetic straps and non-leather sporrans to order. McCall’s of Aberdeen are also very helpful. (I bought my 5 metres through McCall’s.)
The p/v tartan is excellent for women’s dresses, skirts, etc. It can also be had as a barathea, suitable for tailoring into a man’s dress jacket.
For a young man, a kilt is a good investment - it will last a lifetime and will adapt to a changing waistline. Most men look well in the kilt, even if they have no Scottish connection.
and it is possible to buy kilt stockings in cotton from Teviot Knitwear, but at present nobody makes a vegan version of the popular open-fronted "ghillie" style of brogues. Veganstore do a good laceup brogue, but unfortunately Ethical Wares have discontinued their "halfbrogue".
McCall’s, 15 -17 Bridge Street, Aberdeen AB11 6LJ Tel. 01224 405300. Branches throughout Scotland.
VEGAN COMPANIES Putting on the belted plaid is a time consuming process and you soon appreciate why the modern kilt took over. First you lay down the belt. Next you lay your 5 metres of cloth on top of it, folding the middle part into pleats but leaving the ends flat. Then you lie down on the whole thing, wrap the cloth around you, and fasten the belt to hold it in place. You now have something like a kilt below the waist, and a great mass of material above the waist, which you can arrange in various ways. I pinned the front and back together on the left shoulder. Properly done, it is quite comfortable. What about accessories? Freerangers can supply a vegan sporran made of Lorica
Freerangers, 9B Marquis Court, Low Prudhoe, Northumberland NE42 6PJ Tel 01661 831781 Veganstore on-line shop: www.veganstore.co.uk
TRADE SUPPLIERS Polyester-Viscose Fabric: Marton Mills Co Ltd, Pool in Wharfedale, Otley, West Yorkshire, LS21 1TA Tel. 0113 284 3364 Cotton kilt stockings: Teviot Knitwear Ltd, Units E and F, Mansfield Gardens, Hawick, Roxburghshire TD9 8AN Tel. 01450 372098
VEGAN SOCIETY PATRON Interview with Zel and Reuben Allen
Q. When and how was the American Vegan Society founded? A. My husband the late H. Jay Dinshah founded the AVS in early 1960. I arrived from England to join him later that year. Jay was 26. I was 18. Jay was raised as a lacto-vegetarian. In 1956, Geoffrey L. Rudd’s Why Kill for Food? was published by the Vegetarian Society in England. Jay imported copies, which he sold by placing classified ads. From Vegan Society literature he perceived the error of drinking milk and wearing leather and became vegan in 1957. He edited the AVS magazine, Ahimsa, from 1960 until his death in 2000. In the 1960s and 1970s he travelled extensively, rousing audiences to the plight of food animals and the complicity in using by-products of slaughter.
The people we have influenced have in turn influenced others and we are very proud of them. Q. Have you always been vegetarian? When did you become vegan? A. My sister and I were raised as ovo-lacto-vegetarians. I became vegan gradually through Jay’s influence during our correspondence in the late 1950s and 1960. My parents and sister became vegan shortly after I did. (They had become friends with Dr. Frey Ellis, who lived across the street and published research in The Lancet on the health effects of vegan diets and vegan B12 levels.) Both my sister and I brought up our children as vegans.
Q. The concept of ahimsa has been an important part of your organisation. Can you tell us its origin and what it means for us today?
Q. What differences have you noticed in veganism in the UK and USA?
A. Ahimsa is Sanskrit, meaning non-killing, non-injuring, nonharming. It is compassion in action and has a very positive influence. We do not want to cause pain by our actions and in our relationship with others. It takes discipline to make the right choices. However, ahimsa is not self-denial but affirmative action benefiting all we care for. It is the principle of kindness, helpfulness and loving one’s neighbour, taught in world religions and extended to all creatures. It is Reverence for Life.
A: In both countries vegan eating patterns are adaptations of the national food culture with the substitution of bean and lentil dishes, nuts and seeds and non-animal milks. In England, beans on toast is a quick option for a meal at any time. In the USA veggie burgers, grilled tofu and succotash (lima beans and corn) are popular. Ethnic dishes have entered both countries as our world becomes more cosmopolitan. Far from being restricted, vegans have an ever-expanding menu from which to select!
Q. What are the goals of the American Vegan Society?
Q. Have you noticed any changes in society’s reaction to veganism in recent years?
A. Abstinence from animal products. Harmlessness with reverence for life. Integrity of thought, word, and deed. Mastery over oneself. Service to humanity, nature, and creation. Advancement of understanding and truth.
A. Public reaction to veganism has changed greatly over the years. Now a well balanced vegan diet is recognised as health promoting whereas it used to be viewed as nutritionally risky. Now as then, of course, the welfare of vegans depends on sensible eating habits.
To that end, we teach the value of eating plant foods for optimal sustenance and demonstrate the variety of vegan fare. But vegan practice isn’t just diet - it extends to all the commodities that we use and our attitudes towards others. We are motivated to make positive ethical choices to end the holocaust of animal suffering. Vegan practice promotes a more equitable sharing of the earth’s resources so that people the world over may have enough to eat and so that a mantle of vegetation can be preserved to maintain habitat for creatures of land, sea and air.
Q. What personal goals have you set for yourself in the coming years?
To help people adopt a vegan lifestyle, we have organised meetings and conventions, cookery classes and fashion shows, given house guests a taste of the vegan way of life, and sold and published books covering many aspects of vegan living. My own cookbook, The Vegan Kitchen, has remained in print through several editions since 1965.
Q. Where do you think the vegan movement is heading in the next 10 years?
Q. What achievements of the American Vegan Society give you the most pride? A. AVS has awakened people’s sense of right and wrong. We have not shifted our beliefs to gain popular support. We are a voice for the animals who cannot speak and need to be heard.
A. Goals made public sometimes evaporate, so I am cautious about making statements in advance, though declaring one’s intentions can sometimes be helpful in strengthening resolve. I will continue to make new friends, especially young friends, and to treasure old friendships. I am learning to take advantage of modern communications while understanding that others are not.
A. Growing. Pushed by personal and world problems and economic forces, and pulled by its promise, more people will see that veganism offers a way forward. I see a lot of talent and dedication in young vegans who are spreading the message. American Vegan Society, 56 Dinshah Lane, PO Box 369, Malaga NJ 08328 Tel. (001) 856 694 2887 Fax 694 2288 www.americanvegan.org
The Vegan l Autumn Spring 2003 2003
INDIA’S DANCING BEARS Vanessa Clarke
It is now illegal to take bear cubs from the wild or to force captive bears to ‘dance’ in the streets of India. Thanks to the efforts of Vegan Society Patron Maneka Gandhi and others, the first sanctuary for rescued bears is now open and occupied - but there is still much to be done.
he UK charity International Animal Rescue is working with Maneka and with Wildlife SOS in India to support the Agra sanctuary for rescued sloth bears a few kilometres from the famous Taj Mahal, where generations of bears have been forced to ‘dance’ for tourists. The Agra Bear Rescue Facility is under the overall supervision of the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, who have provided land for the facility inside the Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary in Agra. On Christmas Eve last year we heard that the first twelve bears had been taken into the sanctuary. By the summer, there were already more than three times that number living safely at the rescue centre, but about 1200 others are still suffering on the streets of India and the task of rescuing all of them still lies before us. As well as providing a sickening spectacle for modern tourists, dancing bears have been a traditional form of entertainment in India since the sixteenth century. Bears are seen as protectors of children, particularly against ghosts and evil spirits. They are also used as entertainment at traditional weddings, village fairs and celebrations on the birth of a child.
As part of the rescue programme, arrangements have been made to retrain the Kalandar people, who depend on the bears to help them beg money from tourists. Until now these nomadic people had no choice but to continue the only way of life they knew, but now that they have the option of vocational training many have voluntarily handed over their bears to the sanctuary. To make the project secure in the long term, Wildlife SOS commissioned a social impact report and came up with the novel idea of offering to pay the deposit on a three-wheeler taxi so that the former keepers of the bears could be retrained and make a living from taxi driving. This would enable them to provide food for their families; it also locked them into a government mortgage, preventing them from buying another bear. If a Kalandar does get another bear, he will be arrested and could serve up to eight years in prison.
trained as ‘dancing’ bears. This, together with poaching for traditional Chinese ‘medicine’, is accelerating the decline of this highly endangered species of which no more than 8,000 remain in the wild. After capture, the fully conscious cubs are held down while a red hot iron rod is forced through their nose, followed by a piece of heavy rope to control them and make them ‘dance’. Those who survive the infected wounds produced by the rope will have their teeth brutally pulled or knocked out before they are a year old.
Although it is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, it is estimated that more than a hundred sloth bear cubs are still taken from the wild every year to be
Trained by a combination of pain and hunger, the (un)lucky ones will survive a few more years before dying of disease or malnutrition. It is unusual for a dancing bear to live more than eight years, whereas a sloth bear in the wild would live up to three times as long. The running costs of the Agra sanctuary are funded by a coalition of animal charities including Free the Bears Fund (Australia) and One Voice (France). Care for the Wild International also helped with the first year’s running costs. Earlier this year the indefatigable Maneka undertook a fundraising tour of Australia to raise money for the bears.
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When the bears first arrive, they are kept in a large acclimatisation pen to get used to their new surroundings. All have been severely beaten throughout their lives.
The road to recovery will be a long one. No one has ever tried to rehabilitate so many sloth bears at one time and the needs of the bears have to be considered very closely. These animals have been with humans all their lives, so simply removing them from human interaction may well prove damaging. The aim is to allow the bears to do as they wish: if they wish to be alone, they should be able to be alone; if they wish to interact with humans, this should also be possible. The important thing is that they will decide. Alan Knight reports, “I was very worried that the bears would be completely overwhelmed when they were set free without their nose ropes in the open spaces of the sanctuary. But I needn’t have worried. The majority ran around exploring the pre-release pens and jumping into their new pools, while a few decided to dig holes in the deep cool earth and simply chill out. Two younger bears decided that there was safety in numbers and stuck together like glue.”
IAR’s Chief Executive Alan Knight witnessed and filmed such beatings first hand earlier this year. All the bears have had their incisor and canine teeth removed and their claws either removed or cut right back to the quick. This is in addition to the rope through the nose, which allows the ‘keeper’ to hurt the bear on demand and force them to ‘dance’. Understandably, it takes time for the bears to adjust to their new surroundings and to start to trust their new keepers. When the bears first enter the sanctuary, they are given a full medical examination to confirm that they are not suffering from any diseases. They are also treated for fleas and worms. Their nose ropes are then examined and if they can be safely removed without anaesthetic this is done. Where knots have been tied in the rope inside the nose and cartilage has grown into the knots, these have to be surgically removed. The intention is to build up a detailed picture of the health of each bear and then to release them into the extensive forest on the sanctuary and allow them to return to their original natural life - to the extent that this is possible, given the traumas and injuries they have suffered since babyhood. Dens have been built and pools have been provided for them to bathe and cool off. Further environmental enrichment is planned.
“The Government of India has been very supportive and our Patron Maneka Gandhi has been instrumental in changing the laws of India to make the rehabilitation of these bears possible. Our deepest thanks go to her for taking this highly significant step towards ending the suffering of the ‘dancing’ bears on the streets of India.” The future of the sanctuary is in the hands of its supporters. There are an estimated 1200 dancing bears on the streets of India and the sanctuary can cater for around 50 of them at present. The aim is to provide a safe haven for each and every one of them. For further details, contact International Animal Rescue, Lime House, Regency Close, Uckfield, East Sussex TN22 1DS. Tel. +44 (0)1825 767688 Fax 768012 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org See also www.iar.org.uk and www.wildlifesos.org Registered charity no. 802132. If you send a donation, make it clear that it is for the bears and remember to mark it Gift Aid if you pay tax. What's on the menu? The bears are given three meals a day: Breakfast – Porridge. Lunch - Fresh fruit such as papaya, watermelon and pineapple. Dinner - A special formula of mashed grain and oats with minerals and vitamins. Quite a change from the leftover scraps of chapatti and curry they were used to subsisting on during their life on the road.
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Welcome to the Autumn 2003 Kids’ Page Bronwyn (life vegan ) is 7. Aisha her sister is 10 and has been vegan as long as Bronwyn and vegetarian since before she was born!
Aisha: Welcome to the August 2003 kids page! Bronwyn: It’s been such a great time at school because we have been doing African work. We went on a trip to visit an African village in Hertfordshire called Aklowa. The thing I liked most was the food – vegan roasted peanuts. We were allowed to mix them ourselves. When it was my turn they said, “Go Bonny, go Bonny!” Aisha: We had to go to our local zoological museum, which happens to be the largest in the country. They tried to make us handle the skeletons of frogs, weasels, moles, dodos and squirrels. They have three dodo carcases and there are only a few still around. I don’t like going there because they told us that some of the animals there didn’t just die naturally but were killed illegally. Bronwyn: I like it there because I like seeing the animals. Different people like different things for different reasons. Aisha: I am secretary of the School Council. When I asked the Chairperson if my school could take part in World Vegan Day, he said yes. I also asked the teacher there and he said he would ask the cooks. Since then, I have been looking at the World Vegan Day website and some of its links, finding information for the teacher and thinking about ways to make vegan friends and ways to make friends vegan. There’s a link on www.worldveganday.org to www.vegetarianteens.com and that has some useful articles. One said about taking interesting food to school so that your friends ask what you’re eating. Then you can tell them what it’s called, what it’s made of, and why it’s good for you. Bronwyn: At the animal rights gathering at Friend Animal Sanctuary, Alex Bourke of the Vegan Society said that to “sell” veganism you need to do your homework. People are always asking mummy where Aisha and I get our protein. I’ve been taught at school that protein comes mostly from meat, but Alex said in America they are no longer allowed to teach that, because it is wrong. Aisha: We get taught that there are “four food groups” but the doctors in America persuaded their government that that was not right. I think there are three main ways
to persuade people to become vegan – you can tell them how much healthier vegan food can be, you can wow them with how exciting vegan food can be, or my favourite – you can tell them exactly what they are eating! A boy in my class called Joshua brought in a load of sweets on his birthday. When I looked to see what the ingredients were, they had gelatine in them. So I walked over to Joshua and said breezily, “I’m sorry, but I can’t eat this because it contains pig skin, cow hide and animal blood.” About half the class plus the teacher gave their sweets back. Bronwyn: We met a lot of vegan friends at Friend Sanctuary, including the animals. It’s a lovely place to go because all of the animals wander free. At other sanctuaries there are fences, but at Friend the animals can say hello. Our friend Dominic brought
his baby rabbits with him. I spent the whole time either playing with his son, Sebastian, or with the rabbits. You can see a picture of one of the sheep at the sanctuary. Aisha: I made a few new vegan friends as well as seeing Sarah, Jack and Luke from Bournemouth, who I first met at vegan camp. I took part in several workshops: Starting a Local Group; The Law and Animal Rights; First Aid For Animals; Self Defence and Spreading the Vegan Message. Bronwyn: We went to North Wales with the mountaineering club in June. We drove there on the Friday night, then on the Saturday we did a walk which was more than ten miles and included climbing to the summit of Y Garn. You can see a photo mummy took of Aisha and me at the top. Aisha: All the other walkers were really impressed with Bronwyn and me for managing that walk and still running around afterwards. Doing things like this shows people how healthy a vegan diet can be. In the evening everyone was pitying us while
they ate their ice cream and Viennetta (we couldn’t take any Rock ‘n Roll with us because we were camping in our tent). Then we got out a bar of Tropical Source and let Daniel, one the walkers, try a piece. He said it was nicer than dairy chocolate, so we struck a deal – in exchange for half a bar of Tropical Source he says he won’t eat any dairy products for a year. Hopefully, at the end of the year he will want to continue and even go vegan. Anyway, it’s a start and it will still save lots of calves. Bronwyn: It’s harder to persuade children of my age to go vegan as people are used to eating meat most days. One of my best friends at school says she will go vegan when she is 18, and one of the teachers told mummy that she went vegetarian when she was a little girl – she told her parents she didn’t like meat, so they didn’t make her eat it. Aisha: I’m hoping to go to Friend Sanctuary again soon. Marion, who owns it, allows us to camp there, which sometimes means losing your breakfast to your friends. Bronwyn: I lost two meals to the goats last time we went. You can adopt animals there. They are part of Farmed Animal Action, which does really good leaflets for children as well as organising demonstrations against live exports. I hope you have lots of vegan friends. Please write and let us know how you persuade your friends to go vegan. See you soon. Aisha: Bye for now. Please send your stories, poems, pictures & photos to: Bronwyn & Aisha’s Vegilantics c/o The Vegan Society, Donald Watson House, 7 Battle Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7AA or Email email@example.com with “Vegilantics” in the subject line.
The Vegan l Autumn Spring 2003 2003
& CONSCIOUSNESS Jacqueline Wild
The food that you put into your body has the potential to calm you down, boost your mood and even give you an ecstatic experience. Food was, and still is, a central part of religious and celebratory occasions, but today our relationship with food is becoming increasingly complex. Factory farming, artificial additives, global trade and genetically modified foods mean that our choices have widened substantially, but are we sacrificing quality for quantity and causing environmental and health problems in the process?
lthough food from around the world is now widely available in supermarkets, it used to be bound by location and seasons and played a fundamental part in many religious beliefs. For Hindus, the principal of non-violence is integral to their belief system, so killing animals is not acceptable and eating meat is believed to hinder spiritual progress. The Vedas state: “Only the animal killer cannot relish the message of Absolute Truth.” Similarly, Buddhists believe in the principles of love and compassion and believe that eating meat supports violence. Animals are seen as sentient beings on a similar level to humans as the Buddha was reincarnated many times as animals in previous lives. Food also performs a central role in marking important dates. The act of sharing food brings people together and the food chosen helps to cement the symbolism of the occasion. At weddings, the whiteness of the cake was designed to mirror the purity of the bride. At the time of the Roman Empire the cake was broken over the bride’s head and guests scrambled to pick up the pieces as it was said to promote fertility. At funerals, food also forms a part of the proceedings either as an offering to the departed soul or to affirm the connection to the land and life of those left behind. The old English term “arval” meaning a funeral feast translates literally as “heir ale” and the abundance of food and drink was an affirmation of the heirs’ future health and wealth. Although many customs and rituals still prevail today, the knowledge of where food comes from is often difficult to obtain. With the global transportation of food and the use of additives and preservatives, being aware of what one is consuming is becoming increasingly difficult. Although ingredients have to be labelled, it is easy to forget the chemicals that have been injected into animals and the pesticides sprayed on fruit. Moreover, many labels are deliberately confusing, with meaningless phrases such as “wholesome goodness” and “packed with flavour”. A recent investigation by the Food Standards Agency uncovered proof that food labelling may be not just misleading but downright deceptive. More than half the halal labelled imported chicken fillets tested were found to be bulked with up to 50% water and contained DNA from pork. The tests were carried out after a survey in 2001 discovered the widespread use of water bulked chickens in the catering industry.
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Eating at restaurants can be problematic, as it is often hard to know where products have been sourced from, or what has been added. Even when products are advertised as healthy, such claims can be deceptive. McDonald’s is currently facing a lawsuit over misleading customers that its products are healthy. The lawsuit argues that McDonald’s “fillet o’ fish” was advertised as “100% cod with a pinch of salt to taste” when it contained a host of other ingredients including modified cornstarch, cellulose gum and dextrose. Consumers rely on the honesty and expertise of farmers to produce high quality products, but factory farming does not hold animals as sacred and sentient beings, regarding them merely as a source of profit. Animals thus become products, dosed with chemicals to prevent disease and subject to overcrowding and traumatic transportation. As well as being unacceptable to those who love animals, it means that chemicals are being consumed by meat eaters when the human impact is unknown. The concept of animals as mere products was all too clear in the foot and mouth disease crisis, where livestock were destroyed en masse rather than being inoculated. The result was 4 to 6 million deaths and a cost of more than £8 billion in lost trade and compensation, half of which was paid by the taxpayer. A House of Commons report in March this year criticised the government for being too slow in stopping the national movement of animals and for the mass slaughter of healthy animals. It is not surprising that many people turn to a vegetarian or vegan diet when faced with such facts. The ecological benefits of a meat free diet are also profound. Not eating meat helps to cut down on waste by-products of the animal industry, saving water and also helping to cut down on methane emissions contributing to global warming. The cultivation of crops is also not without problems. Intensive agriculture strips the soil of nutrients. Large monoculture crops rely heavily on pesticides and nitrates. Government figures show that more than 70% of nitrates originate from agricultural land. These damage valuable ecosystems and are costly to remove from water supplies for human consumption. The alternative would be to introduce more sustainable low impact methods of farming such as permaculture and organic farming which do not rely on chemicals. The Soil Association believes that organic food is safer and better than non-organic food. If meat consumption were reduced, there would be no
need for intensive farming, as worldwide between 30% and 40% of grain is grown to feed livestock. If such farming methods are better for the environment and potentially better for our health, why are they not more widely employed? The poverty and malnutrition of developing countries is often put forward as a reason to produce large amounts of food and has been a major leverage point for the biotech industry. Organisations such as Monsanto and ISAAA (the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications) argue that GM technology has a major part to play in the alleviation of poverty and famine. The World Health Organisation states that 60% of childhood deaths in developing countries result from malnutrition. More than 570 million women suffer from anaemia and children grow up with poor immune systems leaving them vulnerable to disease. Nevertheless, the Soil Association believes that there is currently enough food to feed the world and that “hunger will be alleviated when poverty is alleviated.” Huge global imbalances mean that while millions of people are ill due to lack of food, a substantial percentage of people are suffering the effects of eating too much. Obesity in the UK alone is reaching epidemic proportions and the National Audit Office warns that in a decade this could escalate to US obesity levels, where a quarter of the population is overweight. The availability and convenience of foods in Western society contributes to this situation. Prepackaged foods bypass the connection to the land that tending crops or spending time preparing a home cooked meal would produce. Without this connection, it is easy to take food for granted. Busy lifestyles also force people to eat on the move rather than taking time to appreciate fully what is being consumed. The importance of a balanced diet is often overlooked in favour of taste, which encourages people to eat more and leads to overweight and other diet related problems. To prolong the life of food and make it tastier, artificial additives and flavourings are added and people become reliant on the intense tastes available in prepackaged foods. Although the safety of additives is regulated by the FSA, the effects of different combinations of artificial additives are unknown. Certain additivies are thought to cause hyperactivity in children. At present there is no conclusive evidence, but scientists are continuing to investigate.
body the soul goes to the moon, then re-enters the earth via rain and finally lodges itself in food. By honouring what we eat, we simultaneously honour ourselves and when we look after ourselves we are able to look after others. Through the food that we buy, we have the choice either to help maintain food production systems that pollute the land and our bodies or to invest in a healthy and sustainable future for ourselves and others with whom we share the planet.
CONSCIOUS FOOD CHOICES: Buy local: support local industry and cut down on transportation which causes pollution and wastes energy. Buy organic: organic foods are produced with sustainability in mind and don’t have chemicals added. Grow your own: Even if it is just a tomato plant, this is a great way of connecting to the earth and will bring enormous satisfaction when you harvest the fruits of your own efforts. Get cooking: Making your own meals from scratch may take a little longer, but the results are well worth while. Food prepared from fresh ingredients is not only healthier, but the energy invested in preparation helps to create a sense of ritual and appreciation. Eat slowly: Savouring food is an essential part of its enjoyment and chewing food carefully helps to release nutrients. A calm state of mind when eating is also important and will aid digestion. Eat seasonally: Eating foods that are in season is beneficial and a good way of connecting with nature and becoming part of its cycles. Feel the effects: Everyone has different dietary requirements. Listen to how your body feels after eating and note what makes you feel good. Eat with friends: Eating with others is a great way of celebrating food and a great excuse to try out new recipes.
The importance of food choices is also apparent when the effects of food on the brain are considered. Studies by Dr Richard Wurtman of MIT have shown how certain nutrients in foods affect the production of neurotransmitters, which carry important sensory information such as pleasure and pain. Since food is made up of different nutrients, and since different combinations of nutrients interact with neurotransmitters in a unique way, understanding these effects can help to control mood. What you eat thus has the potential to uplift or to calm one’s mood. It is therefore essential that we eat healthily not only to maintain our physical health, but to assure balance in our mental health. The cyclical and interconnected nature of food and the human spirit can be seen in the Hindu belief that after leaving the
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AN EPIC UNDERTAKING: THE UNFOLDING STORY ACROSS EUROPE Chris Langley BSc, MA, PhD
In the Spring issue of The Vegan, readers learned something about EPIC - the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Launched in the 1990s, EPIC comprises teams of researchers in more than 20 centres across Europe, including two in the UK at Oxford and Cambridge.
he EPIC study involves countries in the North such as Norway and Denmark down to Spain and Italy in the warm South. The centres in the southern countries recorded the highest consumption of fruit and vegetables, while the lowest intakes were found in the Netherlands and Scandinavia. Citrus fruit high in vitamin C - appears to be the least 'popular' fruit in those countries low on the fruit intake scale (1). Potatoes were not 'must-have' vegetables in Italy or Greece, but the Germans, Dutch and British placed them high on the menu (2). On the whole, gender made little difference to dietary choices (3). By September 1999, EPIC had recruited 484,042 subjects who had provided questionnaire information on diet and a range of health indicators; of these, more than 387,000 also had blood samples collected and stored for analysis. Although the major thrust of the EPIC study is to understand cancer and the role played by nutrition, researchers have also obtained information on other aspects of lifestyle which may affect our health. Three to five years after they are recruited, EPIC subjects are contacted for information on particular lifestyle patterns known or strongly suspected to be related to health and cancer risk, such as tobacco smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, weight, menstruation patterns, pregnancies and menopause. In addition, a series of questions were included concerning the kinds of major illnesses from which the participants might have suffered. A detailed picture thus emerges about many of the various elements which might influence health and wellbeing.
BLOOD PRESSURE AND DIET High blood pressure or hypertension comprises a number of different conditions. Both systolic and diastolic pressure (the upper and lower figures in the reading that doctors take) were used by EPIC Oxford researchers Tim Key and colleagues. High blood pressure (hypertension) is a significant risk factor for subsequent heart disease and stroke. Other factors include weight, exercise, diet, alcohol consumption and genetic propensity. The Oxford team investigated the blood pressure of EPIC subjects divided into four dietary groups - meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans - in order to chart the specific role of diet in blood pressure maintenance. BP measurements were available for about 19,000 subjects. The investigation took careful account of the age of the subjects within the four groups as blood pressure tends to increase with age without there necessarily being any underlying disease. Self-reported hypertension was highest in meat eating men (15%) and lowest in vegan men (5.8%). The number of women meat eaters with hypertension (12.1%) was lower than males and more vegan women were hypertensive (7.7%) than male vegans. Fish eaters and vegetarians had intermediate rates between those of meat eaters and vegans. Systolic and diastolic blood pressures
measured in the four groups showed a similar variation – again, meat eaters had the highest readings and vegans the lowest. Much of the variation in blood pressure was attributable to differences in body mass index - a measure of leanness between the four groups (4). The Oxford researchers had previously found that meat eaters tend to have more body fat than matched vegan subjects (5). In the same issue of the British Medical Journal which carried this report, an editorial by Louise Smith drew attention to the fact that Britain was failing to meet UK national targets on reducing obesity. That was in 1996, and the world wide epidemic of human obesity that she wrote about shows no sign of abating – indeed, it appears to be gathering momentum.
OBESITY - AN INCREASING PROBLEM Obesity brings a variety of health problems, not only now but later in life. Those who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop diabetes in later life and hence a variety of diseases of the heart and blood vessels, as well as difficulties with breathing and diminished quality of life. As Sandra Hood pointed out in the spring issue of The Vegan, obesity can be measured by calculating body mass index (weight in kilograms divided twice by height in metres). In the 1990s, researchers at Oxford found that low body mass index (a lean body composition) appeared to be strongly linked with low consumption of animal fat, high dietary fibre intake and low alcohol consumption. The mean body mass index was lower in non-meat eaters than in meat eaters, for both genders and in all age groups. The influence of alcohol on BMI was marked among the men but not among the women in the study. The researchers found that smoking, social class, animal fat intake and dietary fibre consumption all strongly influenced body mass index (6). Margaret Thorogood and colleagues in Oxford have recently published observations showing that the maintenance of a healthy body weight through healthy eating is more important than constant dieting to lose weight (7). The researchers found that in an unusually slim group of EPIC subjects, body mass index below 18 appeared to be linked to an increased risk of death from a wide range of diseases. Those with a body mass index between 20 and 22 did not show this increase in risk. This pattern was found for all diseases of the heart, breathing and circulation, including stroke, but not for cancers, and was independent of diet – both meat eaters and non-meat eaters who were very slim showed this increased risk. Other European EPIC study centres have also looked at the prevalence of overweight and obesity in their subjects. The emerging picture again points to the importance of a plant-rich diet and of specific lifestyle characteristics of participants in securing a healthy weight and leanness (8). Ü
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AN EPIC UNDERTAKING: THE UNFOLDING STORY ACROSS EUROPE Chris Langley BSc, MA, PhD
PLANT FOODS AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE Lifestyle decisions are complex: for instance, non-smokers tend to take more exercise than smokers, and those following a vegan diet will on average drink alcohol little and infrequently. Such complex interactions make it impossible to come to simple conclusions about the single most important contribution to our health. However, the good news is that EPIC has already confirmed that diet and exercise are important, while smoking and alcohol are bad news. As part of EPIC Norfolk, Kay-Tee Khaw and her colleagues and collaborators in Cambridge have studied a range of disease risk factors and dietary intakes and have recently shown that eating fruit and vegetables confers protection against the risk of an early death. Looking at vitamin C levels in almost 20,000 EPIC participants showed that a rise in blood levels of the antioxidant vitamin (by consuming around 50g more fruit and vegetables per day) could reduce the risk of dying early from any cause by around 20%. So eating one more apple a day could lessen the risk of an early death. Kay-Tee Khaw's team also found that men and women with the highest blood levels of vitamin C were 60% to 70% less likely to die from heart attack or stroke than those with the lowest levels (9). Vegans are unlikely to have low vitamin C concentrations. Nutrition and physical activity levels are known to have important effects on the incidence of certain human disorders of sugar metabolism, including diabetes (10)(11). The role of the vegan diet in protecting against type 2 diabetes has already been discussed at length in The Vegan by Sandra Hood (12). Some have suggested that the junk food diet and sedentary lifestyle of children and adults in Western countries plays a vital role in triggering this form of diabetes. Increasingly, evidence suggests that dietary change and higher exercise levels will help many who are overweight and have problems controlling their blood glucose levels (13). The EPIC Norfolk team have found an important marker chemical - a form of the blood pigment haemoglobin - which appears to be related to diet and which can be monitored in order to identify those who might be at risk of heart disease. Very low concentrations of the marker were found in men who did not succumb to later heart disease. This relationship was found in men regardless of their body mass index, smoking history, serum cholesterol, age and blood pressure. Although not a simple relationship, the Cambridge team pointed out that the haemoglobin marker chemical was related to blood glucose levels (14), which is influenced by diet and exercise. Those with high levels of the marker may well benefit from control of their blood pressure and cholesterol concentrations. Monitoring levels of this marker might also pick up those who will go on to develop diabetes or glucose tolerance problems later in life.
BONES AND THE EPIC STUDY Osteoporosis, resulting in thinning of the bones and subsequent danger of fracture, is increasingly common in all socalled developed countries and more common in women than in men. When Stephen Walsh reviewed the influence of diet on bone health in the Spring 2002 issue of The Vegan, he stressed the importance of load-bearing exercise as well as dietary factors in protecting against early onset of this condition. More than 5,000 participants in EPIC Norfolk had their bone densities measured. Ultrasound checks of the heel bone showed that high impact physical activity was strongly and positively associated with
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denser heel bones and other bones were assumed to be similarly influenced. This relationship was found regardless of age and weight. Men who reported taking part in high impact activities for more than two hours a week had about 10% higher ultrasound attenuation levels (indicating denser bone) than men who recorded no such activity. For women, the high impact groups had ultrasound attenuation levels 3% higher than nonimpact exercisers - equivalent to an age difference of four years. Climbing stairs leads to higher bone density than watching television (15).
EPIC AND THE FUTURE The EPIC study across Europe has already shed light on some of the effects of diet in health and disease. Together with data from the human genome project, EPIC will give us clues about staying healthy and wise - the wealth, however, may still elude us!
WEBSITES OF INTEREST EPIC Norfolk - www.srl.cam.ac.uk/epic/ EPIC Oxford - www.epic-oxford.org (1) A Agudo et al.  Consumption of vegetables, fruit and other plant foods in the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) cohorts from 10 European countries, Public Health Nutrition, 5, 1179-1196. (2) N Slimani et al.  Diversity of dietary patterns observed in the European Prospective Investigations into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) project, Public Health Nutrition, 5, 1311-1328. (3) N Slimani et al.  op. cit. (4) P N Appleby et al.  Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC-Oxford, Public Health Nutrition 5, 645-654. (5) T Key and G Davey  Prevalence of obesity is low in people who do not eat meat, British Medical Journal, 313, 816-817. (6) P N Appleby et al.  Low body mass index in non-meat eaters: the possible roles of animal fat, dietary fibre and alcohol, International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders, 22, 454-460. (7) M Thorogood et al.  Relation between body mass index and mortality in an unusually slim cohort, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 57, 130-133. (8) M Haftenberger et al.  Overweight, obesity and fat distribution in 50to 64-year-old participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), Public Health Nutrition 5, 1147-1162. (9) K-T Khaw et al.  Relation between plasma ascorbic acid and mortality in men and women in EPIC-Norfolk prospective study: a prospective population study, The Lancet, 357, 657-663. (10) X R Pan et al.  Effects of diet and exercise in preventing NIDDM in people with impaired glucose tolerance, Diabetes Care, 20, 537-544. (11) G Rose  Strategy of prevention: lessons from cardiovascular disease, British Medical Journal, 282, 1847-1851. (12) S Hood  Diabetes and the vegan diet, The Vegan, Winter 2002, 29-30. (13) J Tuomilehto et al.  Prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus by changes in lifestyle among subjects with impaired glucose tolerance, New England Journal of Medicine, 344, 1343-1350. (14) K-T Khaw et al.  Glycated haemoglobin, diabetes, and mortality in men in Norfolk cohort of European Prospective Investigation of Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Norfolk), British Medical Journal, 322, 15-18 (15) R W Jakes et al.  Patterns of physical activity and untrasound attenuation by heel bone among Norfolk cohort of European Prospective Investigations of Cancer (EPIC Norfolk): population based study, British Medical Journal, 322, 140-146.
Grow Vegan Georgia Wrighton takes stock of the autumn garden.
Taking stock Well, autumn is just about here and I’ve been reflecting on the need to take stock, sort the garden out and try to tame some of the plants that have way outgrown their space in my tiny urban garden. In doing this, I’ve been asking myself a few questions. Are some of the plants really suitable for their present position in terms of soil type, climate and aspect? Do they look incongruous or do they reflect the character of my home and lifestyle? Are they providing the wildlife and food benefits that I hoped for? Autumn is a good time to cut back, move and generally get a bit rough and ready with plants. Dormancy is approaching for deciduous plants and it’s a time for slowing growth in evergreen plants. The weather isn’t yet cold enough to really harm them as a result of exposure or being moved from one place to another. It gives them a chance to settle back in before the real freeze between late November/December and late spring. This is a good time to have a really good think about any changes, large or small, that you want to make in your garden and to start to set a structure or plan for the way you want it to be. Now that the long hot summer days are drawing in, use those beautiful crisp autumn Sundays to get out there and get back to nature. There’s something about autumn, too, that brings out the reassuring woodland aromas of rotting leaves, living soil and cool humidity as moisture seems to hang in the cool air. Enjoy that childhood ‘rosy-cheeked’ feeling and fill your lungs with the renewed freshness in the atmosphere, signalling our move to the next season. Cutting back and moving on Now is a good time to cut back evergreen plants like that overgrown ivy that seems
Grow Vegan Puzzler Prizes this month: 2 matching purses and a spectacle case courtesy of Freerangers
Think about the plants you might wish to acquire, too, whether from friends and neighbours or bought. Put them in where you want them, and remember that they don’t have to be in pots when they’re in dormancy so you can buy them cheaper ‘bare rooted’ as winter sets in.
At what time of year can you buy cheaper ‘bare-rooted’ plants, as opposed to those in pots? a) Spring b) Summer
You can also collect up all those leaves you’ve been ignoring that have been mounting up around your ears and start a ‘leaf mould’ container out of an old compost bag or in a hand made structure if you have the space for it.
A good clean up SUMMER - GROW VEGAN WINNERS answer (c) in ancient woodlands 1. Mrs L Noke, Waterlooville, Hants. 2. H Beechey, Ealing, London. 3. Miss S Smith, Machynlleth, Powys.
Now’s a good time to do that clean-up you’ve been meaning to do too. Get the old stiff brush out, clean off the patio/decking and consider what you’ve got. Consider sanding off and revarnishing in the spring when the drier weather appears. If you’re feeling really keen, give the patio a good wash.
to creep up on you when you’re not looking! You can also cut back flowering plants that have flowered throughout the summer and rely on growth earlier in the growing season to produce their blooms. For added protection, you may wish to wait until the spring if they are susceptible to frost damage. Take ‘semi-ripe’ cuttings after cutting back if you want to start up fresh and vigorous new plants elsewhere.
It’s also a good time to have a really good look at the structure of your garden and consider what changes you might want to make over the winter and into the spring. How about painting that uninspiring wall with an ethically sourced paint or renewing the wood preservative on the trellis? There are good alternative products available now to suit all colour tastes.
You can move plants around too. At this time of year you can uproot shrubs or non-woody ‘perennial’ plants and move them around your own garden, or indeed to a friend’s, neighbour’s or community garden, and replant them where they will be appreciated. You can also divide up clumps of non-woody perennial plants, which has the effect both of reinvigorating the plant and of producing new vigorous growth elsewhere.
Finally, I’ve been taking stock of my own life, and my ‘garden of life’ has been evolving and changing recently. I am now privileged to be a local Councillor in the area where I live and am finding my feet as I go. I have thoroughly enjoyed writing ‘Grow Vegan’ over the past three years and I feel it’s now time for someone else to provide fresh input and inspire you all with their insights. Thank you all for reading, and Au Revoir!
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NATIONAL VEGAN WEEK & WORLD VEGAN DAY Tony Weston & James Southwood
National Vegan Week [26th October to 2nd November] World Vegan Day [Saturday 1st November]
oin us in celebrating veganism as we enter our 60th year. Request a World Vegan Day “Make A Difference” pack. Get together with other vegans. Get in touch with your nearest Local Contact or local group (see pages 36 to 39 for details). Celebrate. Make yourselves heard. Approach local businesses and media to sponsor and publicise events. Events could include tastings, talks, exhibitions, parties, dinners, cookery demonstrations, competitions, interviews. Work with shops, hospitals, schools, libraries, tourist boards, health and fitness clubs, nightclubs, pubs, universities, theatres, cinemas, restaurants, hotels, local newspapers and radio to let everyone know how tasty and enjoyable veganism is. See www.worldveganday.org and local groups’ websites for more ideas. Celebrate World Vegan Day with your friends and get a local restaurant to make something special that everyone can enjoy. Make a delicious vegan birthday cake and share it with everyone at home, at college, at work. Help us Find the World’s Best Vegan Chef
Join in Nominating People, Products and Companies for this year’s Vegan Awards
In getting more manufacturers to adopt our standards, we help to reduce the exploitation of animals.
Nominate your favourite vegan products and services for this year’s awards for Vegan Achievement, Best Fairly Traded Product, Best Cruelty Free NonFood Product, Best Vegan Catering, Best Food Product, Best Drink, Best Retailer for Animal Free Shopping, Best Environmentally Friendly Product. Use the form enclosed with this magazine, see www.worldveganday.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The criteria for the trademark are simply that all products bearing the logo must be entirely free of animal ingredients and must not have involved animal testing. The logo is appearing on more and more products, many of them stocked by supermarkets, bringing the word vegan and the idea of veganism to the attention of shoppers generally.
Help us Extend the Trademark for Vegan Products and the Sunflower Standard for Restaurants As part of the Vegan Society’s mission to promote ways of living free from animal products for the benefit of people, animals and the environment, we encourage manufacturers, retailers and restaurants to develop and use animalfree alternatives and to have them authenticated as vegan by the Society’s trademark.
Restaurants can qualify for our Sunflower Standard if the vegan food that they serve is prepared completely separately from other dishes. If you know of any suitable products, let us know about them or write to the manufacturer yourself asking them to get in touch with us so that we can send them our Trademark Pack. Explain that seeing the Society’s trademark on a product makes you more confident and likely to buy it. Let restaurant owners know that the Sunflower standard logo makes choosing and enjoying your meal easier and saves the restaurateur from endless questions. There are already thousands of products registered (see www.vegansociety.com) help us make it tens of thousands! For more details contact Trademark@vegansociety.com
In association with the organisers of Le Salon Culinaire International de Londres, Hotelympia, we are scouring the planet for a vegan chef who has the expertise to show the international catering community just how good vegan food can be. The competition will take place between 23rd and 27th February next year. If you know someone who cooks exquisite vegan food, encourage them to get in touch with us for an application form.
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RENDEZVOUS VEGETARIAN RESTAURANT
31 Pier Street Aberystwyth SY23 2LN Tel. 01970 626444 www.rendezvous.co.uk
Sunflower Standard registered
Opened in March 2003 with the goal of providing restaurant quality meals throughout the day to vegans and vegetarians in the Aberystwyth and surrounding area, Rendezvous Vegetarian Restaurant offers a smoke free, fully licensed and approved vegan oasis a stoneâ€™s throw from the pier in the heart of Aberystwyth.
ith ever changing menus covering lunch, early evening and full evening meals along with a vegan full "traditional"style Sunday lunch that boasts saffron roast potatoes, nut roast and red wine gravy, there is something for every taste and every budget. All meals are made vegan, with vegetarian being the alternative rather than the more common first approach. This extends not just to the starters and main courses but to all the home made desserts, including the mystery mocha cake - a firm favourite with regulars. The meals take their influences from around the world, with the likes of slow cooked Caribbean fruit curry, fiery chilli and sweet potato and roasted cherry tomato baskets being offered alongside hearty salads and appetising starters. A wide range of drinks are stocked, including vegan/organic red, white and fruit wines as well as vegan/organic ales, lagers and cider, plus fruit juices, smoothies, pressĂŠs and a wide selection of hot drinks.
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RED PEPPER AND BASIL SOUP 225 grams red pepper, seeded and sliced 1 sliced onion 2 crushed garlic cloves 1 chopped green chilli 600 ml chopped tomatoes 600 ml vegetable stock 2 tablespoons chopped basil In a large pan add peppers, garlic, onion, chilli, tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Blend and then return to the pan. Add basil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Simmer for a further five minutes. To serve, garnish with basil leaves or fresh parsley.
STUFFED BAKED AUBERGINE SHELLS WITH CASHEW NUTS AND WILD RICE 60 grams wild rice 1 tablespoon good quality extra virgin olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 crushed garlic clove half a red pepper, seeded and chopped 2 tablespoons water 25 grams raisins 25 grams plain cashew nuts half a teaspoon dried oregano salt and pepper Cook the rice according to the instructions on the packet. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Cut the aubergine in half lengthways. Remove the flesh, leaving about half a centimetre. Put the aubergine shells in the pan of boiling water for four minutes. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add onion, garlic, pepper and chopped aubergine flesh. Cook for for two to three minutes to combine the flavors. Add water and cook for a further three minutes. Remove the pan and add raisins, cashew nuts, oregano, rice, salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into the aubergine shells. Cover and place on a baking tray. Cook in a preheated oven at 190째C for 20 mins. Remove and serve with a fresh salad (tomato and olive goes particularly well) and garlic bread. Suitable for freezing.
PINA FRESCO Whole pineapple Toasted coconut Cointreau (or liqueur of your choice) Soya cream for dressing Fresh fruit, chopped into small pieces
Quarter a whole pineapple, removing the hard centre. Carefully cut the soft flesh away from the shell and cut into slices. Arrange the pineapple in its shell in a staggered pattern. Top with Cointreau and fresh fruit. Sprinkle with toasted coconut and drizzle with soya cream. Serve with vegan ice cream.
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LEGAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE WELFARE OF
Julie Roxburgh, Shellfish Network
Illustrations by Lisa McAdams
There has been much discussion concerning pain in non-human animals, and until recently it was supposed that coldblooded creatures do not experience pain. It has now been proved, however, in so far as it is possible to prove subjective experience, that fish do feel pain. There is also substantial evidence that invertebrates such as shellfish also respond to painful or adverse stimuli. Legal requirements, however, do take no account of the suffering of the shellfish but are concerned entirely with keeping them in ‘good condition’ for human consumption.
hile there are no real laws governing the welfare of shellfish, apart from lobster fishers not being allowed to catch ‘berried’ (egg-carrying) females, there is a great deal of advice from various sources on the careful handling, transport and storage of these animals. Since, unfortunately, there is an increasing demand for live lobsters, the leaflet Storage and care of live lobsters (1) explains the best methods of storing the creatures alive. It states that the main advantage of storing lobsters alive is that they can be maintained in ‘prime condition’and adds that this ‘permits flexibility of marketing and dispatch’, going into great detail about ponds, tank systems, water quality, oxygen, water temperature, and so on. The number of lobsters per tank is dictated by the weight of the animals in kilograms per square metre. The do’s and don’ts imply great care and it would be nice to think that all this concern was for the animals themselves, rather than to ensure a rich profit. Sadly, however, the arguments for keeping the lobsters in prime condition are purely to attract top market prices - there is no mention of welfare.
The lobster belongs in a class of invertebrates called Crustacea, and includes marine and freshwater types such as the crayfish. The common woodlouse is also related. The leaflet explains that the two ‘most important’ species of clawed lobster are the European lobster and the American lobster. Lobsters are mainly nocturnal and are carnivorous, eating a wide variety of marine animals. Like all crustaceans, they shed their external skeleton periodically. This is called moulting. The socalled ‘marketable size’ is reached after 26 to 30 moults (5 to 7 years).
In New South Wales, the selling of live lobsters to restaurant customers is illegal. However, a report to the RSPCA by the International Food Institute of Queensland, Killing Rock Lobsters for Human Consumption (Brian Paterson, December 1990), describes a method of killing lobsters too horrific to contemplate but apparently perfectly legal. It states: ‘To kill the lobster, a blade or a pair of forceps (‘tweezers’) can be pushed through the eye socket or through the antennal socket and then used to quickly ‘macerate’ the tissue between the eyes and immediately beneath the pointed rostrum&’ The animal will undergo nervous convulsions, stretching all its legs when the brain is destroyed, and the gill bailer will continue pumping, yet according to the researcher it is dead. The report concludes: ‘The procedure may indeed be gruesome when inadvertently viewed by other restaurant patrons but this perhaps requires an effort by the restaurant operator to consider the sensibilities of others and to forewarn patrons of the actual implications of serving seafood ‘fresh from the tank’. The sensibilities of other species, yet again, are totally ignored. It should be noted, too, that the lobster has several ‘brains’ or ganglia running along its body, any one of which may be capable of experiencing pain. Destroying one does not destroy the entire nervous system; it is thus far more likely that the nervous convulsions are an expression of extreme pain.
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There is always, in legal jargon, the term ‘unnecessary suffering’. I cannot see that the use of animals for whatever reason should include necessary suffering. It is possible that picking up a live animal such as a crab or lobster and throwing it across a room would constitute unnecessary suffering in the eyes of the law and the perpetrator could be prosecuted. Yet the same animals can be trapped, packed and transported, boiled alive, have their flesh scraped out and their brains mashed, be boiled alive and generally be treated as inanimate commodities. The only legislation that exists is designed to keep them in good condition for human consumption. Further directives on conservation are provided in the booklet General Fisheries Technical Conservation Rules (2), which discuss minimum fish sizes allowed to be caught, including all the various shellfish. Again, this is not out of any concern for the animals, but to ensure a plentiful supply by allowing young and immature animals to grow and reproduce before being caught. Lobster and crawfish, edible crab, scallops, whelks and clam are all covered by legal catch size. Interestingly, minimum catch sizes vary from region to region. Presumably the creatures grow at different rates according to sea temperature, availability etc. In a leaflet entitled ‘The Bounty of the Oceans’ (3), under the heading ‘Sustainable Management’, there is a discussion on ‘responsible fishing’, a phrase used at the UN conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The leaflet states: ‘Both scientific research and practical experience have long since taught us that if we take too large a harvest from the sea now, we will be able to harvest little or nothing in the future. The overall aim of the management of living marine resources is to ensure that we achieve the maximum sustainable yield.’ It goes on to state that there is a growing understanding of the importance of ensuring a sound scientific basis for all management decisions, but there is no mention of leaving the seas to sustain life without interference from humans. Sound science should, in practice, imply that no management is needed; nor is it necessary to eat the sea’s inhabitants. While we are told that many communities are supported by the fishing industry, this is often not so much from need as by tradition. For instance, in a letter from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Washington, D.C. I was told that the continuance of whaling was the ‘preservation of cultural heritage’. The sale of lobsters and shellfish feeds multi-billion dollar businesses, including sales over the web. This is scarcely ‘cultural heritage’. It is blatant capitalism. Moreover, the promotion of intensive prawn aquaculture in parts of the developing world has led to the destruction of mangrove forest ecosystems. The export industry encourages this kind of exploitation while the developing world remains poor and hungry. The affluent shellfish-eating public may also like to know about some of the diseases prevalent in these ‘fruits of the sea’. For instance, there is the herpes virus in oysters. Shellfish News No 10 (4) states: ‘The Pacific oyster is the most important species of bivalve mollusc reared in the world and is of particular importance for European mariculture.
Cultivation may be endangered by the occurrence of disease epizootics, especially of virus diseases’. Other diseases include paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), which causes numbness of the mouth and fingertips followed by impaired muscle co-ordination. Respiratory problems and paralysis can also occur and may be fatal. Diarrhetic shellfish poisoning (DSP) causes diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP) is not known in the UK, but amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps and loss of short-term memory, which may persist. It should also be remembered that lobsters are sea-bottom walking animals and can ingest poisons such as heavy metals. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) such as benzopyrene are potent human carcinogens. Crustaceans have also accumulated the smaller PAHs such as naphthalene, phenanthrene and alkylated derivatives in areas affected by large oil spills. To sum up the legal aspects, the only laws relating to shellfish oversee the health of the animals to ensure their market value. Even these are obviously unable to prevent disease from getting into the food chain, and when fisheries are closed due to harmful algal blooms, which are the cause of many of these diseases, the fishing industry takes great exception to such bans. In other words, it would appear that the welfare of humans figures just about as high on their agenda as the welfare of the animals. Finally we come to dredging. An article entitled ‘Impacts and efficiency of scallop dredging on different soft substrates’ (5) reports that dredging on soft mud caught 51-56% of commercial-sized scallops. On firm sandy ground only 38-44% were of commercial size and more scallops were damaged. Common bycatch included oysters and crabs, which were thrown overboard. Spider crabs had the greatest mortality, and on firm sediments approximately 20% of scallops found by divers on the seabed were dead following dredging. It is now generally recognised that dredging can do ecological damage to the seabed and to local marine life. All in all, the message is clear: leave the shellfish in the sea!
References: 1. Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF), now Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Lab. Leaflet No. 66 Directorate of Fisheries Research, Lowestoft, 1991. T.W. Beard and D. McGregor, page 5. 2. DEFRA, the Scottish Executive Environment and Rural Affairs Department., the Welsh Assembly Government, Agriculture and Rural Affairs Department and the Department for Agriculture and Rural Development, Northern Ireland, pages 14-16. 3. Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, July 1994, ISBN: 82-7177-379-8. 4. November 2000, published by the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (a section of the former MAFF), page 18. 5. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, volume 56, pages 539550, D.R. Currie and G.D. Parry 1999.
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CAROB Pauline Lloyd
If you’re one of those people who just can't resist chocolate, carob might be just the thing to help break the addiction! This delicious, healthy, chocolate alternative is made from the pods of the carob tree, which are ground to produce a powder that resembles cocoa in appearance and has a taste similar to chocolate.
he carob or locust bean tree (Ceratonia siliqua) is a leguminous, evergreen tree that is native to the eastern Mediterranean. It is cultivated primarily for its sweet and nutritious fruits. Female trees bear numerous, long, flat, dark brown pods, each containing up to 15 brown seeds embedded in pulp. The pods, seeds and pulp are edible and because they are rich in sucrose have a fairly sweet taste. Humans have been eating carob pods for over 5000 years and livestock in tropical Africa and parts of Asia also eat them. Although a carob tree does not usually bear fruit for the first 15 years of its life, thereafter a large tree can produce up to a ton of beans each harvest. Compare this with the average annual yield of a cacao tree, which is usually no more than a kilogram of dried beans. Ripe carob pods are delicious chewed raw as a sweet snack, though usually they are processed in some way before being eaten. In the Middle East they are made into a syrup known as dibs. More commonly, the pods are coarsely ground to remove the seeds, which are then roasted and ground to produce carob powder. The seeds are also processed to produce locust bean gum, which is used as a gelling agent, stabiliser or emulsifier in products such as ice cream. Chocolate is often seen as comforting and somewhat sexy, though much of its positive image is probably due to clever marketing. Chocolate is made from sugar, processed cacao and cocoa butter. Dairy products may also be added in the process. It is high in fat and sugar and contains the stimulants caffeine and theobromine. Chocolate also contains substances that may trigger migraine in susceptible people. In contrast, carob powder contains none of these stimulants, is virtually fat free and is high in calcium. Cacao trees are readily attacked by insects and fungi, so they tend to be frequently sprayed with toxic chemicals while carob trees are not. For these reasons, it is better to use carob powder (also known as carob flour) rather than chocolate or cocoa in recipes. It can be used in confectionery, cakes, hot drinks, shakes and desserts, in much the same way as cocoa powder. Carob powder can be purchased from health food shops and is also available by mail order from the Fresh Network (0870 800 7070). If you haven’t tried carob before, do try some of these sugar-free carob recipes – I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised!
HOT CAROB SAUCE In a small pan, mix together 2 tbsp cornflour, 1 heaped tbsp carob powder and 250 ml cold soya milk until smooth. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly and simmer until the sauce has thickened. Serve hot over stewed apples or other fruit. Serves two.
ICE CREAM PARLOUR SAUCE Place 125 ml water, 2 tbsp tahini, 40 gm carob powder and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract in a blender. Blend well. To make the ice cream, peel and slice some bananas, allowing one large or two small bananas per person. Freeze the banana slices overnight in a suitable container, removing them from the freezer 10 to 20 minutes before serving to allow them to soften slightly. Divide the banana slices between individual serving bowls. Alternatively they can be processed in a food processor using the S-shaped blade for a smoother ice cream. Pour on the sauce and eat immediately. Store any unused sauce in the fridge. Sauce serves three to four people.
CAROB BALLS Mix 95 gm ground almonds, 150 gm carob powder, 50 gm desiccated coconut and about 125 ml of water together in a bowl, adding just enough of the water to bind the mixture. Knead well and then divide the dough into 24 to 30 pieces, rolling each into a small ball. Roll a third of the balls in desiccated coconut, a third in carob powder and decorate each of the remainder with a whole almond, pressed into the dough. Store the carob balls in an airtight container in the fridge. These yummy sweets make an ideal treat for Christmas or Easter.
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Diet Matters Sandra Hood, BSc (Hons), SRD
I have read that soya interferes with non-haem iron absorption and thyroid function. ‘Phytoestrogens and Health’ by the Food Standards Agency (2003) concluded that “data from HUMAN studies suggest that dietary soy or isoflavones are unlikely to affect thyroid function in normal individuals with adequate iodine intake”. ‘Soya and Health’ by the British Nutrition Foundation (November 2002) concluded: “Soya is also a source of isoflavones that have oestrogenic effects which could theoretically be both beneficial and/or detrimental … the balance of evidence does not suggest unfavourable effects for healthy individuals … soya beans are a useful source of a range of nutrients and the beans themselves and foods derived from them can be useful components of a healthy diet”. Iron from plant sources is less well absorbed than that from meat, but vitamin C enhances absorption and iron status of vegans is generally good. I have had a fungal infection for years what diet advice would help? It depends what kind of fungal infection and where it is. There is no scientific evidence that this works, but anecdotal evidence suggests that a yeast (mould) free diet may sometimes help conditions such as candida and athlete’s foot. Some people say they have been helped by avoiding foods such as bakery products made with yeast, fermented foods such as yoghurt, alcohol, malted cereals, mushrooms and other fungi, all foods containing yeast, including yeast tablets and extract and vitamin B derived from yeast, condiments such as vinegars, pickles, chives, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, chillies, pepper and cinnamon. Some people have found cutting out fruits and fruit juices has helped; I wouldn’t encourage this, though perhaps avoiding overripe or dried fruit would do no harm. My two-year-old had to go to hospital with low blood platelets; is this due to a vegan diet? Also known as thrombocytopenia, this condition is not uncommon in children, particularly between the ages of 2 and 6
years. So far as I know, it is not diet related, and recovery is usually within a few weeks. Platelets (also known as thrombocytes) are essential for the clotting of blood and to prevent bleeding. Treatment depends on what has caused the condition, though in some cases there is no known cause, so it is a matter of waiting for the results of tests to discover the cause. My GP has prescribed ferrous sulphate 200mg twice daily for anaemia, but it is not vegan so I am taking 225 mg per day of Solgar Gentle Iron instead. Is this ok? I am not familiar with this particular product. However, so far as I am aware there is little difference between the various ferrous (iron) salts, such as ferrous sulphate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate etc, in terms of efficiency of absorption. Ferric salts, a different form of iron, are less well absorbed. It usually takes at least three months until stores are built up again, but as you are taking little more than half the amount recommended by your GP it may take longer to build up your iron stores. Do you know the underlying cause of the anaemia? I suggest you go back and talk things over with your GP, explaining your beliefs and the dietary changes you have already made. Most GPs nowadays are sympathetic and aware of the health benefits of a good vegan diet. I should also reassure you that iron deficiency anaemia is no more common among vegans than among the general population. My one-year-old grandson was born prematurely. Is it all right for him to be on a vegan diet? He does not seem to be putting on any weight, his teeth have not developed and he is still wearing 6-9 month clothing. Virtually all babies will thrive on a vegan diet so long as it is energy dense and sufficiently varied to provide adequate calories (energy) and nutrients. It is not unusual for full term babies to have no teeth at one year, so I would not be overly concerned that your grandson has no teeth yet. Children are all so different. Premature babies will be behind their full
term peers in terms of growth and development, but growth should still be steady, so I am concerned at your saying that he is not putting on weight. Your daughter needs to seek the support and advice of her health visitor or paediatrician. Chat things over with your daughter and make sure that she has all the support and information she needs. Are soya milk and soya products suitable for my nine-month-old vegan daughter? There is breast cancer in my family and I know there is some debate around soya products and oestrogen. I am unaware of any studies directly linking soya with breast cancer. The World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research Report 1997 stated that “the most effective dietary means of preventing breast cancer are the consumption of diets high in vegetables and fruits”. If you remain concerned, there are alternatives to soya milk such as Plamil’s White Sun which is made from peas. Plamil non-dairy milks are fortified, higher in fat than the majority of others on the market and suitable for children. After a few months on a vegan diet my skin has become dry and my periods scanty. I enclose my food diary. It seems unusual that just a few months on a vegan diet would cause these symptoms. They suggest a low calorie diet, and particularly a low fat diet. If you are consuming a varied, mixed vegan diet, you will be getting all the nutrients you need for good health. Your food diary does not mention nuts, seeds or pulses. These food groups are important and provide protein and vitamin E for skin health. Crunch bars, crisps and vegan chocolate are highly processed and should be consumed in moderation. What do you drink? Do you have a regular reliable source of vitamin B12? Try to include a regular weekly source of iodine, such as seaweed or kelp tablets. The Vegan Society has lots of recipe books and books on nutrition which I am sure you will find helpful.
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Membership / Renewal
I wish to become a member and support the work of the Vegan Society. I wish to renew my membership. Membership No. (if known)......................................................................
Name:................................................................................Address:.......................................................................................... Postcode:........................................Tel:..........................................................email:.................................................................. Date of Birth: (for security purposes)........../.........../..........Occupation:..................................................................................... Please tick this box if you are a dietary Vegan. This entitles you to voting rights in the Society’s elections if aged 18+. Please treat my membership subscription as Gift Aid. I have paid UK income or capital gains tax equal to the amount the Society reclaims. My income is less than £8000 per year and I qualify for the low income discount of 33%.*
A copy of the Society’s rules (Memo & Articles of Association) can be viewed on our website or at our office. Alternatively you may buy
I wish to enrol other members of my household for an additional £7 each.**
a copy for £5.
Please give full names of additional members and specify if dietary vegan and / or under 18. (If more than four additional members please attach separate sheet.)
How to pay Individual £21
* Less £7 low-income deduction (if applicable) Payment must be made by credit card, sterling International money order or sterling cheque drawn on a British bank.
** Add £7 per additional household member Life £350
Cheque / PO payable to The Vegan Society Credit / Debit card (phone for details) Direct Debit (phone for details) Website: www.vegansociety.com
Memo & Articles of Association £5 For office use only
Overseas: Europe +£5 / Rest of World +£7 MEM. No.: ...............................................Membership: .........................................
Donation Total: 30
The Vegan l Autumn 2003
Renewal Date: ..........................................Sponsorship: ............................................. Sent:
Reviews Plant Based Nutrition and Health Stephen Walsh PhD Published by The Vegan Society. 250 pages ISBN 0-907337-27-9 (Hardback) £12.95 ISBN 0-907337-26-0 (Paperback) £7.95 Special Offer till 30th September 2003: £5.50 (30% discount) for the paperback. Available from the Vegan Society. This is the one we’ve all been waiting for - all you need to know about healthy vegan eating, based on the most up to date scientific studies and researched and written by the Chair of the Vegan Society. The result of many months of study and discussion, both within the UK and internationally [the author is also Science Coordinator of the International Vegetarian Union], this is the book no vegan should be without – not just for our own health, but to challenge myths about veganism put about by the ignorant, the uninformed and those with vested interests in the exploitation of animals. Studies show that vegetarians live years longer than the general population. With the right choices, vegans could live even longer than vegetarians. We all know we should eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and make sure we get our B12, but after that it gets confusing: n Which foods help us to achieve and maintain an ideal weight? n How can we reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer? n We've all heard of cholesterol, but what about homocysteine? n Where should we get our omega-3 fatty acids? n Which foods protect our bones and which guard against dementia? n Why do the Japanese live so much longer?
n What about the Mediterranean diet? n Do we need a host of expensive pills and potions to achieve a balanced diet? Acclaimed by The Sunday Times as an “accomplished databuster” in debunking spurious claims by the dairy industry, Stephen Walsh has analysed the results of thousands of scientific studies to produce straightforward recommendations for optimal health at all stages of life. "I am not interested in research for the sake of fine debating points," he says, "but to help people improve their lives." Throughout the book, the emphasis is on support for individual choice rather than any uniform prescription. For those who want a balanced, healthy and enjoyable diet, there are simple guidelines indicating the best approach. For those who want all the details, there are full explanations and a wealth of scientific references. No expensive supplements or exotic foodstuffs are required and everything recommended can be easily and cheaply obtained. All the recommendations are based on human studies, often involving many thousands of people. None of the recommendations is based on information obtained from experiments on animals. Don't Worry [It's safe to eat] Andrew Rowell ISBN 1-853839-32-9 Published by Earthscan Price £16.99 Andrew Rowell highlights the usual Government cycle of conceit and complacency, followed by cockup, followed by cover-up and more conceit. This highly readable book takes us through the full cycle with BSE and Foot and Mouth Disease, and shows how we are at the beginning of the cycle with Genetically Modified foods. Those governing us and supposedly ensuring our safety have cosied up with the biotech industries and anyone stepping out of line is rubbished as being antiscience - or if it is a scientist, an incompetent one.
Yet the science of GM has not been proved 'safe' and the experiments on which licences are being granted are inadequate. The precautionary route is not being followed and disaster looms as the general public are yet again led to believe that absence of evidence is evidence of absence. One No, Many Yeses: A Journey to the Heart of the Global Resistance Movement Paul Kingsnorth ISBN 0-743220-26-9 Published by Free Press Price £10 An introduction to the new politics of resistance, showing that there is more to the antiglobalisation movement than just trashing the multinationals. The ‘anti-capitalist’ street protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organisation, for instance, are only the tip of the iceberg. The movement aims to shake the foundations of the global economy and change the course of history. But what exactly is this movement? Who is involved? What do they want? And how do they aim to get it? To find out, Paul Kingsnorth travelled across four continents to visit some of the epicentres of the movement. Along the way, he found a new political movement and a new political idea. Not socialism, not capitalism, not any 'ism' at all, but a movement united in what it opposes but deliberately diverse in what it wants instead - a politics of 'one no, many yeses'. This book tells its story. Food for Free Richard Mabey ISBN 0-007151-72-1 Published by Collins Price: £4.99 A pocket guide to more than 100 edible plants, berries, mushrooms, seaweed and regrettably – shellfish, but still useful for the penniless backpacker.
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Postbag Contributions to Postbag are welcomed, but accepted on the understanding that they may be edited in the interests of brevity or clarity.
James Dixon does not understand why vegans shopping in supermarkets help to promote veganism. It has nothing to do with changing things from the inside. It is about putting vegan products directly in front of people who wouldn’t otherwise come across them, people who wouldn’t go anywhere near a health food shop. This has two advantages. First, non-vegans have the opportunity to try a whole range of different vegan products and perhaps like them enough to buy them regularly, thereby creating less demand for animal based products. Secondly, many people think that being vegan is too difficult; if the supermarkets were full of good quality vegan products they would realise how easy it can be. The most likely way Mr Dixon’s fantasy of a vegan supermaket chain could come about is for the demand for meat and dairy products to slump so that existing supermarkets would no longer wish to supply these items. The way to achieve this is by influencing people to change their shopping lists by providing good quality readily available vegan alternatives. Chris Sutoris Newport, Wales
I doubt whether those who disregard health or ‘animal ethics’ arguments are likely to be persuaded to go vegan in order to alleviate famine. Equally, given their dependence on dogma and tradition, I am not optimistic that Christian or other religious groups who consume animal products are likely to be impressed by the vegan message. In my view the greatest scope for promoting a vegan lifestyle lies within the national education system, both directly through curriculum areas such as Food Technology, Child Development and Personal, Social and Health Education, and indirectly by establishing plant-based dishes as a substantial part of school meals menus. Just as multicultural education is now the expectation and the norm, veganism should be integral and not incidental to what is taught in schools. Undoubtedly this would be a formidable undertaking, but as a starting point the Vegan Society might consider approaching the Department for Education and Skills and/or local education authorities. In my experience, the majority of children are open-minded and receptive - all that is lacking are opportunities to enhance their learning, which should include first-hand contributions from classmates who are themselves vegan.
I agree with David Mc Kelvey that the Vegan Society should do more to emphasise the link between meat eating and famine. This should be promoted to all people of all faiths, including Christians. Vegans can play their part in this by joining one of the many Christian and other faith organisations promoting, directly or indirectly, this connection. The section on religion at the back of the Animal Free Shopper gives details of some of these. Famine is caused by a multiplicity of factors and it behoves all vegans actively to support at least one of these organisations: the Vegan Organic Network, the Movement for Compassionate Living, Help International Plant Protein Organisation (HIPPO), Vegfam, the Fair Trade Foundation, the Trade Justice Movement, and so on. Barbara Marshall Birmingham
Many people will listen to animal rights reasons for being vegan, but even when they know the facts they will still carry on eating meat and dairy. Many will listen to the health arguments, but even when they know the facts will continue to play Russian roulette with their own health. David McKelvey’s idea of car stickers and other merchandise highlighting the link between world hunger and meat and dairy consumption is a good one. As for the question, what is the Christian church doing about famine? I don’t know. Len Arrowsmith London N16
As a Catholic Christian and non-dairy vegetarian I feel very frustrated at the Christian church’s attitude towards vegetarianism and towards cruelty to animals in general. The Christian Vegetarian Association (many members of which are vegan) seeks to do exactly as Mr McKelvey advocates and take the vegetarian/vegan message into the churches. The response so far has been disappointing, but we must keep trying. Contact the CVA at Foresta, Pines Road, Liphook, Surrey GU30 7PL. Sue Hodson Stamford, Lincolnshire
I believe that an approach of this sort would be infinitely more productive than attempts to convert die-hard animal eaters of any denomination.
On 7th June we entered the West Bletchley carnival and wore a chicken suit. Taking a bucket around and distributing the Society’s egg leaflet, we raised a sum of £15.67
Anna Reeves Kings Lynn, Norfolk
Peter Simpson Milton Keynes Vegetarians and Vegans
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FOR AN UNCARING MINORITY Stephen Walsh
“The Paleo Diet” by Loren Cordain claims that the most natural and healthy diet for humans includes more than half of all calories from lean meat and fish. This claim is based on research indicating a high level of animal consumption by many twentieth century hunter gatherers and by our late-Palaeolithic ancestors. Cordain contends that grains, starchy root vegetables and legumes promote obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis and many other diseases.
ordain is not so foolish as to claim that all meat is healthy or all plant foods dangerous. He advocates that a third of calories should come from fruit and vegetables and that nuts and plant oils high in omega-3 and monounsaturated fats should be used. He correctly attacks many other “low carbohydrate” diets (most notoriously the Atkins diet) as dangerously high in saturated fat, low in fibre and lacking in other important nutrients. Nor is he so foolish as to ignore the impracticality of his recommendations as a recipe for all the world’s six billion people. Indeed, he admits that “without agriculture’s cheap starchy staples, it is no exaggeration to say that billions of people worldwide would starve”. This is seen as due to their having insufficient income to afford the diet rather than the fact that animals are a fundamentally inefficient source of food for humans in terms of land, energy and water use. Cordain’s proposed diet is far more wasteful of resources even than a conventional Western omnivorous diet. To get more than half one’s calories from meat and fish without a grossly excessive saturated fat intake means being choosy to the point of absurdity. The book recommends eating chicken breasts and sirloin steak but avoiding chicken thighs, legs and skin, T-bone steak and ground beef. The issue of whether the rejected parts are waste or food for the poor or unconverted is conveniently ignored. When one looks beyond humans to other animals, the Paleo diet is sheer
nightmare. A person following a diet centred on poultry and fish is responsible for the death of thousands of animals, usually following a painful and unnatural life, as well as the squandering of scarce resources to the detriment of the rest of the world’s inhabitants, human and otherwise - truly a diet for an uncaring minority. There is no reason to believe that the socalled Paleo diet would benefit anyone compared with an appropriate plant-based diet. Eating small amounts of meat has been part of human evolutionary heritage for a long time and from about two million years ago human ancestors started showing signs of adaptation to a lower fibre diet than that of their great ape cousins. Eating more starchy roots, soft fruit and meat and using tools and fire to process food may all have contributed to this shift. However, high levels of meat consumption appear to have been a relatively recent and inconsistent part of our heritage. Moreover, evolution selects for reproductive success rather than for good health over the four generations lifespan to which we now aspire. The variety of our evolutionary heritage and the weakness of evolutionary influence on health in old age therefore make arguments that some particular part of our heritage must be our optimal diet unconvincing. Cordain makes much of the observation that consumption of most starchy foods gives rise to surges in blood glucose due to high glycaemic load, and suggests that such diets promote insulin resistance, diabetes
and heart disease, and increase levels of cancer-promoting hormones such as IGF-1. While some population studies do support an adverse effect of high glycaemic load on risk of diabetes and heart disease, the observed adverse associations are mainly limited to inactive or overweight individuals and those with a low fibre intake. Cordain’s claim regarding IGF-1 and starchy foods is bizarre since studies have shown that it is high protein diets that increase IGF-1 levels. Cordain acknowledges that protein intakes above about 200 grams per day exceed human capacity to process protein, yet his recommendations push disturbingly close to this limit. He acknowledges that such high protein intakes will cause substantial calcium losses from the body, but claims that high fruit and vegetable intake will decrease calcium losses sufficiently to protect against this. Fruit and vegetables will certainly reduce calcium losses, but a detailed analysis of Cordain’s recommended diet predicts that it will promote bone loss just as surely as typical Western diets. Extrapolation from the generally healthy bones of hunter gatherers is unwarranted since few humans in industrialised societies can be expected to match their bone protecting exercise levels. Animal-based diets offer no health advantage over appropriate plantbased diets. The successful vegan example testifies to the ability of plant-based diets to provide sustainable good health for all. The same cannot be said for Cordain’s uncaring and misguided prescription.
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LOCAL GROUPS NEWS There is no formal Vegan Society affiliation â€“ so long as it is obvious from the name that a group is for vegans and not just vegetarians, and a Vegan Society member is willing to be named contact, it can be listed. Please let the Local Contactsâ€™ Coordinator know of any omitted. Check first that the contact person is a full member of the Vegan Society. If not, you could offer to be the contact yourself and get publicity for the group.
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For a full list of events and meetings, see www.veggies.org.uk, www.veganvillage.co.uk, www.veganlondon.freeserve.co.uk , the forum at www.worldveganday.org and local groups’ websites. Post missing events up at www.worldveganday.org
n AUGUST Saturday 30th – Saturday 6th September 10th Vegan Summer Gathering, Gower Peninsula near Swansea. Tel. 01792 792442
n SEPTEMBER Sunday 14th 6th National Vegan Festival, London. Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, 10 am -5 pm. Tel. 020 8670 9585 www.veganfestival.freeserve.co.uk Friday 19th - Sunday 21st Vegetarian Society Annual General Meeting. An event for Vegetarian Society members only, in Cardiff. Tel. 0161 925 2000 www.vegsoc.org/community/agm.html Saturday 20th Day of Action – Diaries of Despair – Uncaged. Tel. 0114 272 2220 email@example.com http://www.xenodiaries.org Sunday 28th Tenth Annual VegFest, Dublin St Andrew's Resource Centre, Pearse Street, Dublin 2. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday 1st World Vegetarian Day Thursday 2nd World Farm Animals Day – Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. Farmed Animal Action Tel. 0845 4560284 email@example.com www.farmedanimalaction.co.uk Sunday 4th World Animal Day To acknowledge humankind’s relationship with the animal kingdom firstname.lastname@example.org www.worldanimalday.org.uk Saturday 11th Stop Primate Experiments at Cambridge (SPEAC) National march and rally in Cambridge against proposed primate research laboratory. Tel. 07957 588 253 www.primateprison.org Thursday 16th United Nations World Food Day Global day of action organised by McLibel Support Campaign Tel. 020 7713 1269 email@example.com www.mcspotlight.org
Saturday 25th Make A Difference Day – Community Service Volunteers National day for volunteering - make a difference to people, animals and the environment. Volunteer to help www.csv.org.uk Sunday 26th – Sunday 2nd November UK Vegan Week Celebrating food that everybody can enjoy. Tel. 01424 448828 Fax 01424 717064 firstname.lastname@example.org www.worldveganday.org
n NOVEMBER Saturday 1st World Vegan Day 2003 The Vegan Society enters its 60th year and with your help will be celebrating throughout the year right up to the Diamond Jubilee on 1st November 2003. How are you going to celebrate? See www.worldveganday.org for ideas. Saturday 15th Vegan Society Annual General Meeting The Guildhall, Watergate Street, Chester CH1 2LA. Doors open at noon, AGM starts at 2pm. Sunday 16th Vegan Society Local Contacts and Activists Training Day Altrincham, Cheshire – see Local Contacts News for details. Sunday 23rd Christmas Without Cruelty Fayre Kensington Town Hall, London, 10am to 5pm www.animalaid.org.uk Tel. 01732 364546 Vegan Society stall will be there.
n DECEMBER All Month – Christmas Without Cruelty Campaign. Try to encourage the saving of life rather than the taking of life this season. Friday 26th Boxing Day Anti-Hunt Demos Contact your local group via: Hunt Saboteurs Association Tel. 0845 450 0727 email@example.com www.huntsabs.org.uk League Against Cruel Sports Tel. 020 7403 6155 firstname.lastname@example.org www.league.uk.com
n JANUARY 2004 Sunday 25th Burns Night
LOCAL CONTACTS NEWS Some Local Contacts tell me that hardly anyone gets in touch with them, so they assume there are no members in their area. Why not give your nearest LC a quick ring or send a short e-mail to let them know that the area is not populated entirely by weirdos who eat animals. Local Contacts are also entitled to a free mailing to members in their area, which is how most new groups are set up. In the past three months alone, six new groups have been formed, bringing the list to 45. Let’s make it 50 by the next issue, as we enter our 60th year, and 60 by the Diamond Jubilee on 1st November next year. In the meantime, do check whether there’s a group near you and consider going to the next event – it’s a great way to meet other vegans. If the events offered do not appeal, let the contact know what events you would like – better still, offer to help organize one. Local Contacts need to have been full members of the Society for at least a year, but this does not apply to group contacts, who just need to be full members. If there’s no group in your area and you’d like to start one, get in touch with me for information and advice. The promised Local Contacts days in Birmingham and Nottingham will be arranged as soon as possible. Meanwhile, there will be one on Sunday 16 November (the day after the AGM in Chester) 11 am – 5 pm. Efforts to find a suitable venue in Chester were in vain, so we are most grateful to Chief Executive Tina Fox for allowing us to hold the event at VegSoc HQ in nearby Altrincham at very preferential rates. For those unable to get home between the AGM and the Sunday meeting, bed and breakfast (vegan, of course) will be available for a small number of people at very reasonable cost. As usual, this event will be not just for existing and potential Local Contacts but for anyone wishing to become more active. Help from members living in the area will be very welcome. Numbers have to be limited, so get in touch as soon as possible for more details and to register. Several Council members will be there, including Stephen Walsh, whose new book on nutrition is the best weapon we have in the fight against prejudice and ignorance about the vegan diet – so do take advantage of the special pre-launch offer and order your copy now. Get your local library to order one, too! I hope to see lots of you at the Vegan Festival at Conway Hall in London on Sunday 14 September. There will be an informal meeting for existing and aspiring Local Contacts and activists in the early afternoon – details from the Society’s stall on the day. I may even bump into some of you at the 10th annual VegFest in Dublin on Sunday 28 September [see Events column]. Stephen Walsh will be giving a talk on nutrition and I hope to run a Vegan Society stall there, work and personal finance permitting. With good wishes to all, Patricia Tricker National Local Contacts’ Coordinator
Celebrate the birthday of 'Rabbie' Burns (1759-1796) by treating yourself and friends to an evening of vegan haggis with neeps and tatties.
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VEGAN SOCIETY LOCAL CONTACTS Note: Local Contacts are Vegan Society members who have offered to act, on a voluntary basis, as a point of contact for those interested in the Society's work. They are not official representatives of the Society. Their levels of activity and knowledge may vary according to their individual circumstances. When writing to a Contact please remember to enclose a SAE. Local Contacts' Coordinator: Patricia Tricker - see under Yorkshire (North)
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LISTINGS Founder Donald Watson Hon Patrons Serena Coles Freya Dinshah Maneka Gandhi Dr. Michael Klaper Arthur Ling Moby Cor Nouws Wendy Turner Donald Watson Benjamin Zephaniah Council Alex Bourke (Vice Chair) Chris Childe Vanessa Clarke Laurence Klein (Hon Treasurer) Laurence Main Caroline Malkinson Marc Palmer (Co-opted) Karin Ridgers George Rodger Patricia Tricker Stephen Walsh (Chair) National Local Contacts Co-ordinator Patricia M. Tricker STAFF Chief Executive Officer Rick Savage Administration/Finance Officer Janet Pender Head of Promotions/PR Tony Weston Information Officer Catriona Toms Information Assistant Debbie Holman Fundraising/Marketing Officer James Southwood Sales & Membership Officer Dave Palmer Sales & Membership Assistants Sundari Poorun Philip de Rivaz Sales Assistant John Rawden Volunteers Wendy Crathern Joyce Sandground Erica Wilson Dietary Consultant Sandra Hood
VEGANISM may be defined as a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. In dietary terms it refers to the practice of dispensing with all animal produce — including meat, fish, poultry, eggs, animal milks, honey, and their derivatives. Abhorrence of the cruel practices inherent in an agricultural system based on the abuse of animals is probably the single most common reason for the adoption of veganism, but many people are drawn to it for health, ecological, resource, spiritual and other reasons. If you would like more information on veganism a free Information Pack is available from the Vegan Society in exchange for two first class stamps. THE VEGAN SOCIETY was formed in England in November 1944 by a group of vegetarians who had recognised the ethical compromises implicit in lacto-vegetarianism (ie dairy dependent). Today, the Society continues to highlight the breaking of the strong maternal bond between the cow and her new-born calf within just four days; the dairy cow’s proneness to lameness and mastitis; her subjection to an intensive cycle of pregnancy and lactation; our unnatural and unhealthy taste for cow’s milk; and the de-oxygenation of river water through contamination with cattle slurry. If you are already a vegan or vegan sympathiser, please support the Society and help increase its influence by joining. Increased membership means more resources to educate and inform.
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CLASSIFIEDS (UK) HOLIDAY
MY HOME IS YOUR HOME Bed and Breakfast. Country cottage bedroom. Plenty of scrumptious veggie/vegan food. Food lovers and cat lovers especially welcome! Cockermouth Town Centre, Cumbria 01900 824045 £35 per couple £20 per person
ST IVES Cornwall. Vegan guest house. Close to beaches and picturesque harbour. En-suite rooms. Self-catering apartment also available. Tel. 01736 795255
DEVON (Lydford) S/C for N/S visitors at VEGFAM’s HQ. SAE to ‘The Sanctuary’, nr Lydford, Okehampton EX20 4AL. Tel/Fax 01822 820203
ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY B&B and RETREATS Magical Victorian country house, natural carpets and paints, vegan organic meals, overlooking stunning coastal conservation area. Easy for public transport. South West Wales. 01267 241999 www.heartspring.co.uk
SOMERSET ISLE OF WIGHT
PEMBROKESHIRE. A warm welcome & good food (exclusively Veg/Vegan) in modern bungalow. Close to Newgale beach. Coastal paths to explore. Green Haven B&B - Tel. 01437 710756
SOMERSET BADGER’S END women’s bed and breakfast. Vegan/vegetarian £20 pppn. Non-smoking. Walking, birdwatching nr Glastonbury. For booking phone 01963 351240 email
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MACHYNLLETH MARKET TOWN. Bungalow - double ensuite, overlooking the panoramic Dyfi valley. Organic vegan/veg breakfasts and bread. Spectacular scenery, walking, cycling, touring - coast nearby. Secure parking. Lock-up garage. WTB 4-star. 01654 702562
SNOWDONIA restored railway station overlooking vale of Ffestiniog. Selfcatering, sleeps up to 6. Children, pet and wheelchair friendly.
DISCOUNT CARD ✂
This card entitles the bearer to discounts at a range of outlets, restaurants and hotels. A full list of discounts is available from The Vegan Society.
NORTH YORKSHIRE Comfortable, homely, exclusively vegetarian/vegan B&B from £17 p.p./p.n. at Prospect Cottage situated in Ingleton village. Wonderful walking country.
THE VEGAN VALID FROM
August 2003 UNTIL
ABROAD KERALA, SOUTH INDIA a vegan’s paradise. Tours, accommodation including selfcatering. Brochure:
Website:www.keralconnect.co.uk WEST CORK self catering apartments for singles,couples and families in peaceful wooded surroundings.Organic vegetables,bread &vegan wholefoods available.Reasonable rates.Green Lodge, Trawnamadree,Ballylickey,Bantry,Co Cork, Ireland. om web:http://homepage.eircom.net/~green lodge
TEMPEH KITS – it’s so easy and cheap to make this PERFECT protein food for vegans at home. Kits comprise enough starter for 10.5kg finished tempeh PLUS a colour instruction/recipe book - £15. Call Polly at PHYTOFOODS –
VEGAN GUEST HOUSE SW Ireland, http://homepage.eircom.net/~cussenscottage All major credit cards accepted.
ALPUJARRAS -ANDALUCIA Attractive townhouse.Garage,roof terrace. Excellent views,birds,walks.Wholefood shops and restaurants serving veggie food in town.Sleeps 2 -6.From £230 pw. Available all year.Tel:01736 753555.
PYRENEES:Vegan B+B,dble room w/shower and organic brek:40 euros per couple per night ,incl breakfast.
When replying to a box number address your envelope as follows:
Box no. _____ The Vegan Society, Donald Watson House, 7 Battle Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 7AA
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CLASSIFIEDS DISCOUNT CARD
Donald Watson House 7 Battle Road St. Leonards on Sea East Sussex TN37 7AA
Tel: 0845 45 88244 Fax: 01424 717064 email@example.com www.vegansociety.com
THE VEGAN DISCOUNT CARD ✂
ARTICLES AND ADVERTISEMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED BY 9 OCTOBER 2003 FOR INCLUSION IN WINTER 2003 ISSUE OF THE VEGAN
CONDITIONS OF ACCEPTANCE: Advertisements are accepted subject to their satisfying the condition that the products advertised are entirely free from ingredients derived from animals; that neither products nor ingredients have been tested on animals; and that the content of such ads does not promote, or appear to promote, the use of non-vegan commodities. Books, records, tapes, etc. mentioned in advertisements should not contain any material contrary to vegan principles. Advertisements may be accepted from catering establishments that are not run on exclusively vegan lines, provided that vegan meals are available and that the wording of such ads reflects this.
CLASSIFIED ORDER FORM Want to meet new vegan friends? Looking for romance? After a roommate? Why not advertise in The Vegan classifieds, and reach a large audience of like-minded people. It costs just £6 for 35 word max (commercial rates also available) - simply return this form to us in time for the next issue.
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PRIZE CROSSWORD Send in a photocopy (or original) of the solution to this crossword, together with your name and address by the 9th October 2003 PRIZE: the prize in Spring was so successful at motivating entries we felt we had to give you all another chance to win a personally signed picture of Moby. Solution in the next issue.
Name....................................................................................... Address.................................................................................... ................................................................................................ Postcode
ACROSS 1 6 9 10 14 16 20 21 23
Gourd with thick rind and edible yellow flesh that matures in the autumn (6,6) Preserve by chilling (11) Looked like a potato? (4) Long slender flat strips of pasta (8) Cook, restuarant, barbecue (5) Small pieces of fruit or chocolate used to decorate a dish (8) Remedy (4) Wine-coloured salad crops (3, 8) Cold weather vegetable plot, for example (6,6)
DOWN 1 2
15 17 18 19 22
Pungent paste prepared from ground seeds (5,7) Glasshouse or greenhouse for the cultivation of seedlings (7) Countryfied, rustic (5) Employ as a tool (3) Shop selling ready-to-eat food products (12) Strong liquor flavoured with juniper berries (3) _ _ _ seed (3) Frosting (5) Swallow hurriedly (4) Sweet juicy hybrid between tangerine and grapefruit with a wrinkled skin (4) Damaged (soft fruit tissue) (7) Seedcase (3) Brazil, bread or tiger (3) Irritated by a nettle, perhaps (5) Consume (3)
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3 4 5 7 8 11 12 13
Solution to The Vegan Prize Crossword
32 CONGRATULATIONS to the Winner Mrs P Pascoe, Redruth, Cornwall