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in this issue In January, we were deeply saddened by the death of Arthur Ling, our Patron, whose connection with the Vegan Society commenced in the 1940s. Arthur’s foresight and determination produced in 1965 the first widely distributed soya milk, a true achievement and far ahead of its time. Arthur’s life was shaped by his strong sense of direction and uncompromising views. He also enabled others to change alongside him. So, it is to Arthur that we dedicate this edition of The Vegan, as we continue his work in promoting veganism.

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As we went to press, late on Sunday February 20th the BBC called to ask for comment on a story they were about to break in which a nutritional scientist in America, funded by the meat industry, said it was unethical to feed children a vegan diet. Over the next few days The Vegan Society demolished her ludicrous claims in features in national papers including The Guardian, The Independent and the Sunday Express. Vegan Society contacts were interviewed on national Radio 4 and 5 and Irish National radio, plus many local stations. There were further regional interviews and features with vegan families and activists. Press releases were sent to hundreds of journalists and we should see plenty more coverage over the next few months as we launch our dietitian Sandra Hood’s new book on vegan infant nutrition. The Vegan Society press release was also taken up by kindred organisations across the globe. Veganism is now prime time news. The meat and dairy industry are so concerned about falling market share, and so short of anything to justify their continued subsidised existence, that they now resort to putting blatant spin on scientific papers, even misquoting their own research when it suits them. Against these half truths and worse, The Vegan Society and our network of 100 local contacts stand ready to speak out without compromise for the truth about our compassionate and healthy way of life. When someone who is paid to promote factory farming calls vegans unethical, that really is too good an opportunity to miss. Alex Bourke Chair

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© The Vegan Society Registered Charity no. 279228 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.

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News n VEGAN COMPETITOR HEADS FOR WORLD YOGA CHAMPIONSHIPS 25-year-old Naomi Reynolds, a vegan for many years, was recently crowned winner at the inaugural European Yoga Championships, held in the UK on 9th October. Former ballet dancer Naomi will compete in the World Championships in Los Angeles in February 2005. Described by Yoga Magazine as the ‘poster girl’ they have been looking for, she has already made television appearances on This Morning and Blue Peter, as well as having her October triumph featured in The Times.

n FURTHER EVIDENCE THAT RED MEAT INCREASES RISK OF SERIOUS ILLNESS A new study by the American Cancer Society has shown that high consumption of red meat can cause a higher risk of cancer. The study of 150,000 people found that those eating read meat on nine or more occasions per week increased the likelihood of developing cancer of the colon by 50%, according to Dr. Michael Thun of the American Medical Society. Commenting on the study, dietician Liz Weiss suggested vegetarian meat substitutes as a healthy alternative. A study of 25,000 people by the University of Manchester, meanwhile, found that excessive consumption of meat and of protein significantly increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. This adds to the evidence that meat is not the healthy food some would have us believe.

n VEGAN SOCIETY LIMERICK COMPETITION We’ve had a great response to our limerick competition, and have enjoyed some truly hilarious entries. Everyone who sent in a limerick was sent a Vegan Society soap as a reward, and you’ll find a selection of our favourite verses scattered throughout the pages of this edition of The Vegan. Here’s a taster to whet your appetite: There was an old fellow from Leeds, Who was happy to eat nuts and seeds. His kindness to creatures Did show in his features So nourished is he when he feeds! Lorna Graves, Cumbria The limerick competition is now closed.

n EU AGAIN IGNORES SCIENTIFIC ADVICE ON FISHING On 22nd December 2004, EU fisheries ministers rejected plans to close areas of the North Sea to cod fishing. This announcement comes despite publication earlier in the month of a report from the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution calling for a ban on fishing in almost a third of UK waters in order to protect endangered species of marine life. Instead, 23,700 tonnes of cod will be allowed to be caught, the same amount as in 2004. This move has angered conservationists, who fear that cod stocks in the North Sea may disappear altogether, as they did off Newfoundland in the 1990s. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) believes that although quotas have been cut in recent years, catches have not, meaning stocks have continued to fall. ICES claims cod catches would need to fall by half to conform to the EU’s own recovery targets. It has recommended zero catch until clear evidence that stocks are recovering.


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n URGENT SUPPORT REQUIRED FOR TSUMAMI RELIEF EFFORT IN ASIA The whole world was stunned when the strongest earthquake in 40 years set off a series of tsunamis that devastated the coastal areas of the Bay of Bengal, with Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia and Thailand being amongst the worst-hit countries. At the time of going to press, estimated casualties were approaching 300,000, with hundreds of thousands more left homeless and without shelter, food or medical care. Relief charity and International Vegetarian Union affiliate Food for Life Global has responded quickly and effectively, providing more than 30,000 hot vegetarian and vegan meals daily in Sri Lanka alone, as well as medical care, clothing and shelter for orphaned children. In addition VEGFAM, a vegan charity that provide animal-free famine relief, has provided funds for the purchase of plant-based foods, and hopes to establish a long-term vegetable growing project in either Sri Lanka or Indonesia. To make a donation to Food for Life’s tsunami appeal, visit To support Vegfam’s relief work in this area, visit or telephone 01822 820203.

British-made plant milk. It was based on soya protein and made in concentrated form, for customers to dilute with water before use. The formulation was intended to supply vitamins and minerals required by vegans, rather than to replicate cows’ milk.

n ARTHUR LING 1919 – 2005


t is with great sadness that we report the death of C Arthur Ling, one of the Hon Patrons of The Vegan Society, and formerly its President.

When he was seven years old, Arthur saw a fish being killed at the seaside. He was so shocked by this that he gave up the use of all animal products, much to his parents’ concern. He went on to be a lifelong vegan and a leading figure in the vegan movement. Professionally, Arthur was a qualified accountant. Immediately after World War Two, he was involved in setting up a company to produce biodiesel from sunflower oil. Unfortunately, they were about fifty years ahead of their time, and the project failed. He was not one of the original six founder members of The Vegan Society in 1944, but he was active in it as early as 1945. In that year, Arthur was a member of its first subcommittee, set up to try to find a plantderived alternative to milk. The subcommittee did not make much progress, and eventually disbanded. Some years later, in the mid 1950s, Arthur and Leslie Cross co-founded The Plantmilk Society as a separate organisation, one of several “spin-offs” from The Vegan Society during its 60 years of existence. In the 1960s, The Plantmilk Society set up a commercial company, Plantmilk Ltd, which later became Plamil Foods Ltd. With his professional knowledge and experience of company law, Arthur was the prime mover on this project, and the first manager of the company. After many attempts, in 1965 the company finally came up with the first

Arthur went on to run the Plamil company for many years. Under his direction, the company produced many other food products, but always 100% vegan. In fact, it was written into the Articles of the company that it should always produce only vegan products. Arthur was loyal to the independent healthfood and wholefood sectors where the company originally sold their products, and for many years Arthur refused to supply the big supermarket chains. Through the Plamil company, he also supported The Vegan Society. The company regularly advertised in The Vegan and the company were the first users of the Society’s trademark. In addition to his veganism, Arthur was a pacifist, an egalitarian, a libertarian, a naturist, a nature-lover, and a gardener. He was a proficient shorthand writer, using the system devised by vegetarian pioneer Sir Isaac Pitman for all his note-taking. He had strong individual views on many subjects and was always prepared to stand up for what he believed in, regardless of the consequences. He was most definitely NOT a ‘Pillar of the Establishment’ - even within The Vegan Society and the wider vegetarian and animal rights movement! He was a lover of sports. He played tennis and badminton for many decades and in the 1970s founded and ran a local boys’ football club. Even in his latter years, he followed the fortunes of Gillingham FC. In April 1986 he organized the Plamil Half-Marathon (exclusively for vegans and vegetarians), which was run near the Folkestone HQ of Plamil Ltd, to celebrate 21 years’ trading by the company.

Even after reaching retirement age, Arthur continued to work actively for many years. While still taking an active part in running the Plamil company, he latterly dedicated himself more and more to his true love and passion, research on the nutritional aspects of the vegan diet, particularly in relation to children. Arthur was honoured with a number of ‘lifetime achievement’ awards. He was elected President of The Vegan Society in the 1980s. In 2001 he received from the Institute of Health Food Retailing a certificate recognising ‘His life’s work in the development and production of vegan foods especially for the introduction of the first plant-derived vegan milk in the United Kingdom’. Only a few days before his death, the Young Indian Vegetarians presented him with the Mahaveer award, for his ‘pivotal role in promoting a vegan lifestyle in the UK’. When Vegan Society founder Donald Watson was recently asked who, apart from himself, had made the greatest contribution to the growth of veganism, he immediately named Arthur, along with Leslie Cross. In the spring of 2004 Arthur was struck down by a rare skin disorder, caused by the gradual breakdown of his immune system. He became more or less house-bound. In November 2004 he was admitted to hospital with a heart condition, but to the end, his mind remained clear, and he was still interested in what was going on in the vegan movement. Several members of The Vegan Society visited him in hospital, to keep him up-to-date, and he received many cards from well-wishers. He died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of 18th January 2005, at the age of 85. Arthur leaves three children, Julie, Trevor and Adrian. Plamil Foods Ltd is now run by Adrian. An informal funeral ceremony was held for Arthur, very appropriately in the open air in his own much-loved garden in Kent, with birds singing in the trees. Those present included several representatives of The Vegan Society. The following interment in a family grave was a private family occasion. The world is a poorer and a less colourful place for his passing.

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ARTHUR LING 1919-2005 TRIBUTES TO ‘MR PLAMIL’ Sandra Hood and Adrian Ling

Sandra Hood

Adrian Ling

Arthur was not only a dear friend to me but an inspiration. He always looked forward and never looked back. Veganism was his life and passion. When asked what was his religious denomination Arthur would say ‘vegan’! As the pioneer of British-made soya milk, many people knew him as Mr Plamil and I remember with relish sampling many of the Plamil goodies prior to production. At one time Arthur asked me to provide some recipes using Veeze, an alternative to dairy cheese, unfortunately no longer being produced. I loved Veeze and was very excited to be involved in such a project. A few days' later a large box, 24 packs of this cheese, arrived on my doorstep. After days of cooking with Veeze, I never wanted to taste it again!

Much has, is, and will be written about my father. Many of his other interests were overshadowed by his uncompromising dedication to veganism, which to him was his religion. We as a family have received so many kind letters it confirms that he touched so many lives, and that others gained strength that their beliefs could also be fulfilled.

I was very fortunate to be involved in a number of his projects such as the Plamil Half Marathon, the first ever half marathon for vegans and vegetarians, and his booklet of case histories on vegan infants and children showing how easy it was to bring up children on a vegan diet. Through his beliefs and hard work he made the vegan way of living easier. Arthur lived by the sea and so loved his brisk walks along the promenade and frequent early morning dips. He was a sun lover and his garden was a suntrap, where he spent many hours. Whatever the weather, throughout the year, to my amazement, Arthur took cold showers often outside in his garden, he had a cold shower specially fitted on the outside wall of his bungalow! He believed these cold showers kept him fit and well and this proved true, his physical and mental health was excellent. Arthur, you were an inspiration and it is hard to believe you will no longer be physically in our lives but you will always remain in our hearts.


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In hindsight, he commented to me, his whole life, experience and work led him to a point where he could translate his religion into practical terms. Thus, quite literally, millions of people, in particular in dietary terms, have been influenced by his work. He kept notes of a lecture given in 1938 titled ‘Health without dairy produce’, which I am sure influenced him greatly. Later he and others, such as Leslie Cross, worked tirelessly, finally creating Plantmilk Limited, and producing the first commercial soya milk in the UK. My father’s most cherished award was that presented to him in 2001, ‘The Henry James Cook Award’ for ‘his life’s work in the development and production of vegan foods especially for the introduction of the first plantderived vegan milk in the United Kingdom.’ This was especially poignant to him as Henry James Cook started the first health food shop named ‘Pitman’s’. This shop was named after Sir Isaac Pitman, the vegetarian inventor of shorthand which was my father’s second 'religion'. It was an honour to be with him at the end and my father’s legacy lives on. It is my duty to him to ensure that ‘his baby’, Plamil Foods, grows and develops successfully in providing vegan foods, thus continuing to influence people into the new millennium.

Shoparound Andy Lawson

n VEGANICITY FROM HEALTH + PLUS This fantastic new range of vegan food supplements happily includes some of those harder-to-get-hold-of vegan nutrients. The flagship piece is the Vegan Glucosamine, which doubles the number Vegan Society certified glucosamine products excellent news for those of us who are elderly or athletic. Black Cohosh is thought to provide relief for menopausal symptoms, having been used for many centuries in North American Indian medicine, while Lycopene Extra with Selenium and Vitamin E contains carotenoids, which may help protect against cancer and heart disease. This excellent new range has been designed specifically with vegans in mind, so you can be sure you’re getting a supplement tailored specifically to your diet and lifestyle. See or call 01323 872277 for details.

n A CHOCOLATEY EASTER WITH MONTEZUMA At this time of year, it’s always annoying that the vast majority of chocolate Easter treats are not suitable for vegans. However Montezuma’s – The Vegan Society’s favourite Sussex chocolatier – have just the answers for the discerning and ethical muncher of cocoa-based goodies. Large hollow eggs made from their award-winning 73% cocoa very dark organic chocolate are complemented either by chocolate-covered, crystallised stem ginger, or by a selection of fine truffles. As well as this, dark chocolate mini-eggs make the perfect between-meals snack - just don’t tell mum! The pièce de résistance is a ‘Monster Bunny’, a huge dark chocolate rabbit beautifully fashioned from organic chocolate. With Easter delights as tasty as this, you’ll be the envy of all your omnivorous friends. Tel. 01243 576589

All Shoparound products have been authenticated as

n DAIRY FREE - REAL HUMDINGERS! Humdinger Foods have come up trumps with these delicious alternatives to classic milk chocolate treats. The Rice Crackle bar is delightfully crispy and light and is a much healthier, cruelty-free alternative to its milk-based relative. The stunning Tangerine bar is something vegans have craved for years: a dairy-free version of the classic chocolate orange, which smells and tastes just like the original, but is lower in saturated fats and cholesterol. It is clear that, with these two new bars, Humdinger Foods really do live up to their name. Tel. 01482 625 790.

n HANDCRAFTED GREETINGS CARDS These beautifully made, handcrafted greetings cards make a refreshing change from dour, mass-produced, shop-bought designs. Made from entirely animal-free materials, there is a wide range available, perfect for all occasions. Visit for more details of these cards.

The first 50 readers’ names to be drawn from the proverbial hat over the next four weeks will receive a 50% discount voucher, and everybody who applies will be sent a voucher for a free card of their choice. Choose from birthday, wedding, mother’s day, father’s day, congratulations, best wishes or good luck. Send your name and address to 07957 958 058 (24 hours) quoting ‘Vegan cards offer’ or email

n YORKSHIRE HEMP We were very excited by these delicious goodies that arrived in our offices, courtesy of those lovely folks at Yorkshire Hemp. Hemp muesli, fruity or nutty, is a tasty and healthy way to start the day, rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Hemp pasta provides a more nutritious, slightly nuttier alternative to those pastas made using wheat alone, available in both plain and multicoloured ‘Rasta Pasta’ varieties. And hemp pancake mix makes a marvellous vegan option in place of an omelette – light, fluffy and delicious. Completing the range, hemp bread mix makes tasty, seedy breads, while hemp flour is perfect for those adopting a gluten-free diet. See or call 01924 375475 for information on hemp food, body care products and more.

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Shoparound Andy Lawson

n SPLASH ENGLISH WINES From the heart of the Pennines comes this fragrant selection of titillating English fruit wines. We tried Peach, Apricot, Rhubarb, Elderflower and Elderberry an intriguing variety offering something for every mood. The Elderberry is delightfully rich and full bodied, perfect for social occasions. Peach makes for a happily sweet dessert wine, elegant yet strong, while Apricot is aromatic and dry. The most surprising wine is the Rhubarb: fruity and invigorating, with just a hint of caramel – an inspiring change from boring, run-of-the-mill tipples. To find out more about Huddersfield’s only vegan wine producer, visit or call 01484 323 814.

n RSPB ORGANIC SPANISH RICE Rice is something many of us buy regularly – it’s versatile, affordable and easy to cook. However, it is not always produced in a particularly ecological way. Bearing this in mind, Suma Wholefoods have linked up with the organic growers of the Ebro Delta, North-East Spain - an important haven for birds such as purple herons, black-winged stilts and flamingos - to produce rice that is kinder to the soil and to wildlife. Additionally, the company that grows the rice is owned by SEO/BirdLife, Spanish partner of the RSPB. This means that, from the sale of every pack of white or brown rice, the RSPB receives ten pence towards its work in securing a healthy environment for birds and wildlife. Tel. 0845 458 2290.

n BOOJA BOOJA AT EASTER What could be more luxurious and satisfying than Booja Booja’s award-winning Champagne Truffles? The same choccies, only presented in a handpainted, hand-made papier mache Easter egg, imported directly from Kashmiri artists. Every egg is unique and makes an exquisite collector’s item, as well as helping to preserve traditional artistic methods. Not quite so debonair, but still ohso-indulgent are Booja Booja’s plain chocolate, hollow eggs, which come with an 80g box of either Hazelnut Crunch Rocher or Around Midnight Espresso Truffles. Anyone who has yet to sample Boojas is in for a treat, and everyone who has tried them will be delighted to have the excuse to guzzle more. Available for a limited period at this time of year, they are perfect for the vegan chocoholic and, as with all Booja Booja products, are 100% organic. For your nearest stockist, visit or call 01508 558888.

Booja Booja have Easter eggs to give away to the first three readers to send postcards to: Ref Vegan Society Comp, Booja Booja Company Ltd, Howe Pit, Norwich Road, Brooke, Norfolk, NR15 1HJ or email


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n CLEARSPRING ORGANIC PURÉE DESSERTS These delicious new desserts from Clearspring, made solely from pure organic fruit, are excellent as a tasty and healthy snack, whether by themselves or as a cereal topping. Available in Apple & Orange with Carrot, or in Pear, they are very low in fat and make a zingy ingredient for a flavoursome fruity pudding or a quick treat between meals. The purées contain no artificial ingredients and count towards your recommended five daily portions of fruits and vegetables. For more information, see or call 01332 200 636.

All Shoparound products have been authenticated as

n DEVA NUTRITION GLUCOSAMINE HCl This much sought-after vegan glucosamine, for so long only available in America, is now at last on sale in the UK thanks to those lovely folk at (Tel. 01273 302979). Glucosamine is one of the most important components of cartilage, and as such can be a valuable aid to maintaining healthy joints. It is usually manufactured from shellfish. However, Deva Nutrition have produced a vegan formula based on corn, meaning that everyone can now enjoy the health benefits of glucosamine, especially important for athletes and the elderly. See for further information.


n SKINCARE CAFÉ These two new additions to the Skincare Café range of organic toiletries are both fragrant and sensuous, perfectly complementing their existing selection of lavish skincare products. The Orange & Vanilla Body Conditioning Lotion has an aroma of oranges and vanilla ice cream and a lovely smooth and silky texture - it will leave you feeling and smelling divine all day long. Joining this is a gentle Orange & Chamomile Body Wash, containing orange, chamomile and lavender essential oils to lift your mood, refresh your tired joints and enhance your sense of wellbeing. For more information see or call 0870 44 327 44.

These rejuvenating exfoliating and moisturising creams were a fabulous surprise when they arrived in the Vegan Society offices. Specifically formulated to remove dead skin cells and toxins without harming the skin, the unique exfoliant leaves you feeling fresh and invigorated, priming your complexion perfectly to receive the full benefits of the gentle moisturiser. Particularly beneficial when living in a changeable climate, the moisturiser cares for and nourishes the skin with natural oils, vitamins and proteins. Rich in aloe vera and antioxidants, both products are specially formulated to ensure maximum protection from the elements; with jojoba wax added for that extra touch of luxury. Tel. 01271 329930

n SEVEN WIVES NATURAL SKINCARE In addition to their excellent and extensive range of natural handmade essential oil soaps, Seven Wives are also distributing this range of natural crystal deodorants. Their clean and simple formulations, free from petroleum and alcohol-based ingredients, protect you from exposure to toxins and chemicals, while offering 24 hour protection and confidence. Our tester tried the hemp oil roll-on with mineral salts and aloe vera, which kept him feeling fresh for hours. With stick, roll-on and (non-aerosol) spray deodorants available, there’s sure to be a variety to suit you. See or call 01736 741274 for more information.

Seven Wives have a wonderful gift hamper of natural bodycare products to give away to the first five readers to write to: Vegan Society Competition, Seven Wives Natural, Bodycare, 7 Rospeath Business Park, Penzance, Cornwall, TR20 8DU.

n BEAUTY WITHOUT CRUELTY We are very pleased to confirm that the entire Beauty Without Cruelty range of cosmetics is once again completely vegan. This luxurious but affordable selection of make-up, in a variety of shades and tones, can again set your mind at rest as to the ingredients of your cosmetics, and whether they have been animal tested. The moisturisers, concealers, powders and blushers left our testers with radiant and smooth skin. Lip products include moisturising lipsticks, lip defining pencils and a sheer lip gloss, producing moist and kissable lips, the colours of which can be coordinated perfectly with Beauty Without Cruelty’s high gloss nail colour. The icing on the cake is the eye make-up, including eye shadow, mascara (waterproof or full-volume), liquid eyeliner, eye defining pencils and a soft kohl pencil. It’s never been easier to look great whilst remaining cruelty-free. Tel.01206 754970

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OUT AND ABOUT WITH OUR LOCAL VEGAN CAMPAIGNERS For complete listings of Vegan Society local contacts and local groups, see pages 36 to 39


ur network of local contacts and local groups is the lifeblood of The Vegan Society. There are over 150 people and groups throughout the UK, ranging from Inverness in the north to way down south in Cornwall, and it is thanks to these campaigning crusaders that the vegan message is being spread far and wide. Here we meet just a few of the people who really are making a difference. SHEFFIELD’S 2004 CRUELTY-FREE CHRISTMAS FAIR Kath, Sheffield Vegan Society

FESTIVALS.... THE EAST MIDLANDS VEGAN FESTIVAL Ronny Worsey, Co-organiser ‘On Saturday 11th December, Reuben John and I staged the first ever East Midlands Vegan Festival, in Nottingham’s town hall. This is the first time we have organised such an event, and we had very little idea how things would turn out, or what the response would be. We reckon it was a resounding success! About 1,000 people attended, a large proportion being local shoppers who dropped in on impulse, which is exactly what we had intended. Our approach of marketing the festival locally rather than concentrating on the national vegetarian press, extensive distribution of glossy flyers, and good clear visuals on the day really paid off. Judging by feedback from stallholders, we believe at least half the people there were not vegetarian. Stallholders enjoyed the chance to engage with the public and talk about their ethics and products, and the information stalls reported a strong interest in their books and leaflets. For the vegetarians and vegans who attended, it was great to see so many sympathetic stalls and businesses, and those who had previously felt isolated left buzzing with enthusiasm and renewed confidence. Those attending who weren’t vegan or veggie left feeling very inspired. We haven’t decided when and where our next festival will be held, but we’re all fired up with enthusiasm now, so watch this space!’ Flyers for the East Midlands Vegan Festival were widely distributed and aimed at attracting a broad range of people


A hot apple and cinnamon welcome to the Sheffield Cruelty Free Fair ‘Sheffield Vegan Society has put on a Cruelty-free Christmas Fair most years since 1988, when the group was first formed. Events have varied in scope over the years, but one thing we have always provided is a vegan café - organised in recent years by our own creative and indefatigable Debbie. A cunning way of getting people through the door is our free raffle for a cruelty-free hamper - we make tickets available in various outlets beforehand and in the town centre on the day. Another treat this year was Phillipa and Henry’s free hot apple and cinnamon punch, which they offered just outside. Some other attractions included Tanjero vegan soaps (made in Sheffield), a lovely wildlife display from Anthea of the local wildlife rescue team, Debbie and Kim’s exotic clothes and bags, a tombola for Thornberry Animal Sanctuary, Ellie’s jewellery and gemstones, the Chesterfield-based British Anti-vivisection Association, Elissa our vegan clairvoyant, our youngest member Jack with his Save the Rhino stall, and of course our own allsinging, all-dancing team with stacks of leaflets, books and merchandise. An event like this, run by volunteers and with no massive entrepreneurial investment resting upon it, can’t really lose! Advertising costs are minimal and we know that we’ll easily recoup the hire of the hall from takings and donations. And when we finally pack up and crawl home on those Saturdays just before Christmas, we certainly know that we’ve done our bit to bring an alternative Christmas message to the city centre.’

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…EXHIBITIONS AND DISP LAYS... You don’t have to organise your own festival or spend your weekends manning stalls to effectively promote veganism. One of the best ways to reach a wide variety of people is to organise a display in your local community centre, youth club, health-food shop or library. This could be as simple as pinning a leaflet to a no ticeboard, or – if you hav e a bit more time to spa – you could create a dis re play like this one, which was organised by Ellen Howard, Vegan Society Local Contact for Bath, in her local library. The display was set up to coi ncide with World Vegan Day, 1st November, and remained in place throu ghout November. It jus t shows what you can with a few leaflets, som do e vegan goodies and a good dose of creativity!

…FILM, TV, THE WEB… As all vegan activists know, it can be incredibly frustrating trying to get veganism into popular broadcast media. Television stations may be willing to do the occasional ‘quirky’ programme on alternative lifestyles, but in the main they rarely stray from the ‘meat and two veg’ mainstream. Well, inue banging her cont or this, about rather than sit around complaining k creatively. thin to ded deci ers head against a brick wall, Karin Ridg p of like-minded people, Karin Together with a multi-talented grou TV station that’s suitable for created Veggie Vision, ‘an internet all over the world can get involved everyone!’ The idea is that vegans programmes that promote the and by sending in their own mini films that Veggie Vision will have ‘a positive side of veganism. Karin says ing but educational at the same positive party atmosphere - entertain cal vegan companies to advertise, time.’ The site will also allow ethi e to the mainstream media. providing them with a stepping ston ion to promote veganism, my ‘Veggie Vision encompasses my pass my knowledge of PR and I aim experience as a TV presenter, and veganism and vegan products. that it will make a big impact for makers and editors who will film of We also have a super team .’ Karin Ridgers, Veggie Vision. make professional mini programmes , at Check out the pilot, and get involved

‘About ten years ago I tried to start a local group, but it never really took off, so I campaigned alone for a few years before I finally decided to really go for it and start a veggie group. VegSX (formerly known as Vegan Essex) has now been up and running for over five years, and now an amazing 95% of our members are vegan! Over the years we have had super sellout vegan events: World Vegan Day events, National Vegetarian Week events, socials, school-speakers training days, regular meetings, demos, stalls, fun runs... We have generated publicity, given talks and interviews, done hands-on animal work, painted the local sanctuary, and more! People have come to the group not knowing any other veggies or vegans and friendships and relationships have formed; other members have found out what they are interested in and are focusing on new areas, such as animal rights, hands-on animal work and vegan catering. The best thing I have ever done is start VegSX and I know it has made an impact on people all over the UK, and even on an international level! But it’s not all easy going, it takes a lot of time, dedication and effort; you meet people that are not on your wavelength and people will always have fallings out. But if you keep focused on the bigger picture and know that your time and effort is making a difference then it really is all worth it. I would recommend everyone to start a local group or, if you are lucky enough to have a group nearby, support it!’ Karin Ridgers, VegSX

VegSX meet on the first Tuesday of the month in Brentwood School Sports Centre. T. 01277 655460

Feeling inspired? If any of the activities or events featured here have inspired you to go out and veganise the world, please get in touch and we’ll happily provide the advice and tools you need to get you started. You can call our information department on 01424 448823 or email

The Vegan l Spring 2005


VEGAN FUN(DRAISING) Stephen and Sophie Fenwick-Paul


n the first in a regular column dedicated to the weird and wonderful ways that Vegan Society supporters find to raise money for their favourite cause, Stephen and Sophie Fenwick-Paul of Thames Valley Vegans and Vegetarians introduce Veggie Snow. We’ll let them explain... Vegan Skiing – what’s that then? What’s the best thing about vegan skiing? It’s in the gondola when you tell your French ski instructor about your weird eating habits: ’You’re vegan?!’, ’No, we’re ALL vegan!’ There’s no escape for the poor man - one Frenchman and eight vegans, hundreds of feet above the ground. The creation of Veggie Snow was totally selfish. How would we get really good vegan food halfway up a mountain in France? Half the chalet chefs can’t cook and the rest are cordon bleu. Our first thought was to hire a complete chalet and bring our own vegan chef, but the economics of it defeated us. We fell back to the tactic of weight in numbers. If the whole chalet is vegan they are really going to have to think about their menu, especially desserts and cakes. With our guidance it can’t help but be fab.


The Vegan l Spring 2005

The first trip went to Le Plagne, France with Ski La Source. We were surprised to find out that most of the other local chalets knew about ’the vegan group’ already - one point to us. Laura and Chris, now of Ski4U, were our hosts and chefs. We were snowballed over by their culinary enthusiasm and resourcefulness. Every meal was a treat and they even made up great little vegan picnics for the slopes. Of course there were difficulties, and dealing with these by practical suggestions rather than criticism makes friends and improves your chefs’ knowledge. But how does all this help raise funds for The Vegan Society? Well, it’s normal to get the last place free if you fill a whole chalet, so we decided to donate the money we get back to the charities we support, including The Vegan Society. This year, the money raised will help finance a One Voice For Veggies stall at the Womad Festival, which will help educate thousands of people about veganism. Great food, great company, a boost to veggie funds and great skiing - what more could you want? Admittedly, organising such a venture also involves quite a lot of hassle and a considerable financial risk, but nothing comes for free and nothing is perfect - except the first snow of the day. You can find out more at



everal years ago, The Vegan Society lost contact with Honorary Patron Serena Coles. Then, last year, Kirsten Jungsberg, of the Danish Vegan Society, managed to trace her to a rest home in Croydon. Tracey Mills, our Local Contact for Croydon, has visited Serena regularly since November 2004. Here, she looks back on Serena’s involvement with The Vegan Society and recalls some recent visits with this remarkable vegan pioneer. I have only known Serena Coles for a few months, but already I feel I know her quite well – through others who knew her before and through speaking with her since. A vegan for nearly 60 of her 94 years, she brought up her son as a vegan, too (although he is no longer so). She became vegan right at the inception of the Vegan Society, in the very year that it was formed. During the 1980s she travelled the world to tell people about the vegan way of life. She was Vice-President and President for a while, serving as the former while Kathleen Jannaway was President. I understand from conversations with others who knew her at that time that it was Kathleen’s dislike of travelling which gave Serena the opportunity to be the ambassador for veganism on the international stage. It is sad, then, that she is currently living in a home where she is not even receiving a vegetarian diet. Both my fiancé and I work full-time, but find time to visit Serena each weekend and share a vegan lunch with her. Kirsten Jungsberg came over from Denmark for ten days recently, at her own expense, and spent most of each of those days with her, feeding her a vegan lunch every day while she was there. I say ‘feeding’ her, but often Serena can feed herself – you just load up the spoon, fork or cup and she does the rest. It is a shame that she no longer has dentures, as we are sure that this would extend the range of foods that she could try and further enrich her life there. Notwithstanding the soft-food limitations on her diet, between us we have discovered what she does and

doesn’t like. When we first met her, she would communicate her preferences by facial expressions mostly, but her range of communication has come on in leaps and bounds. She now sometimes expresses complete sentences, and the range of individual words that she uses has expanded. Most recently we discovered something of her taste in music, too. We’ve set up a kind of support group of visitors and are trying to look after her broader welfare needs. I’ve sewn up holes in her dresses and other clothes, bought several new outfits (paid for by kind donations from fellow vegans at the last AGM) and supplied clothes hangers. Sewing name labels into her new clothes was something I haven’t done since my school days! We also took Serena for a ‘walk’ recently (see photo), which she thoroughly enjoyed and thanked us for. Although she has no dentures, Serena has a wonderful smile. She is definite about what she wants, especially when it comes to chocolate! She also has a sense of humour and is interested in things that we talk to her about and show her in magazines. We often read to her, talk and listen to the radio. She also responded well to a visit from my mum’s dalmatian, Archie (as did several other residents in the home). We hope to hold a 94.5th birthday party for Serena in Croydon in April (her birthday is 12th October) and are working on getting her vegan food. What began as visiting a stranger has become so much more than that. As time has gone on, I and others who visit Serena feel we have grown as much as she has from the experience. Her impact on veganism is evident in the many Christmas cards she received this year, over half from people she doesn’t know, so on Serena’s behalf I thank you.

If you have photos of or articles by Serena, or memories of her, please get in touch.

Serena Coles with Tracey Mills (left) and Kirsten Jungsberg

The Vegan l Spring 2005



n 6th February last year, Vegan Society Trustee, Laurence Main, set off on a walk from Callanish, on the Isle of Lewis, to arrive at The Vegan Society’s Annual General Meeting in London on 30th October. He undertook the walk as a personal pilgrimage and to raise national awareness of the benefits of veganism and the work of The Vegan Society. Regular readers will know that throughout the course of the walk, Laurence provided us with reports on his progress. Here, in the last of these updates, he tells us about his final steps and looks back on some of the highlights of the walk, and we showcase just a few of the articles that appeared in the press as a result of Laurence’s epic journey.


The sun shone as I entered London along the towpath of the Grand Union Canal last October. I spotted a magnificent rainbow, a feature of the Diamond Jubilee Walk throughout its length. Approaching Paddington, I was greeted by a Pearly Queen and her daughter, attired as if for a wedding. ‘Have you come far?’ they asked. So I told them and they wished me well. I felt as if the goddess herself had come out to greet me. The final total was 1400 miles from Callanish to Paddington. Later, on the day of The Vegan Society’s Annual General Meeting, I added another four miles walking via Trafalgar Square to the Conway Hall, where the meeting was held, with a group of 20 or so vegans and carrying a banner supplied by the London Vegans. The whole route took 95 days, usually carrying a heavy backpack with tent and sleeping bag. My longest day was 29 miles. Schiehallion (3555 feet) was the highest point. Deciding on a route was fun, with my aim being to link sacred sites and holy hills, to follow waymarked trails, to meet local vegans and to gain publicity. Local newspapers served us well, from the Stornoway Gazette to the Reading Evening Post. Over 30 newspapers and magazines featured the walk, including the popular Country Walking magazine.


The Vegan l Spring 2005

Having reached home in Dinas Mawddwy on 3rd June, I continued to the Centre for Alternative Technology, near Machynlleth (featuring in their Clean Slate magazine), then reached the coast at Borth. This was my first sight of the sea since Inverness and I enjoyed its company on my right hand side all the way down Ceredigion, spotting dolphins at Newquay. This waymarked coastal path is as interesting as the more famous Pembrokeshire coast path, which led me to Carn Ingli, the angelic peak overlooking Trefdraeth (Newport), for the summer solstice. A few more days in the footsteps of the pilgrims brought me to the cathedral of that great vegan, St David. I wonder how many modern tourists who read the information in the exhibition pay heed to the fact that Dewi Sant was a vegan? Measuring my route on my map, the fact was that I also reached the 1000mile mark as I entered the cathedral. Turning eastwards for my final destination of London, I reached Carmarthen in time to join local vegans at a stall in the shopping centre. The holy hill of Carn Goch embraced me after Llandeilo, while the canal towpath made life easy between Brecon and Abergavenny. People joined me for short stretches of the walk throughout Wales, usually in ones or twos. The Offa’s Dyke Path led to Monmouth and the Wye Walley Walk brought me back to England. Asked which was the most beautiful part of my route, I find that as impossible as being told to choose one favourite out of my children. There was so much splendid scenery and so many magical moments. Each place had its own special character, making it unique. The Forest of Dean ranks up there with the best, however. I suppose it was the woodland, now surviving only in rare pockets such as that on that other treasure, the eastern shore of Loch Lomond. Resorting to commercial campsites, rather than pitching in the wilderness, I can also highly recommend the campsite in the orchard of a former vicarage at Huntley, a day’s walk west of Gloucester. The Cotswold Way has been my favourite waymarked trail since I first walked its 100 miles in 1975. It was a joy to follow towards Bath. Meeting a group of American pedestrian tourists coming the

Country Walking magazine’s November 2004 feature on Laurence’s walk quoted him as saying: ‘I just want to gain publicity for the vegan message, because it is so relevant to our times and the way in which we use the land.’

In its ‘Out & About’ pages, The Great Outdoors magazine focused on The Vegan Society’s Diamond Jubilee and mentioned the benefits of a vegan diet in terms of land use.

other way along it, they admired my Vegan Society Diamond Jubilee pennant adorning my rucksack and at the speed I travelled towards them (now averaging 20 miles a day). Confirmed flesh-eaters, they considered themselves tired out after a slow five miles. ‘Expect the unexpected’ was my message from the goddess before starting the walk and that certainly proved to be true. It was two months before I was free of other, unexpected, commitments and able to resume walking from Bath at the end of September. Canal towpath to Devizes, then ancient tracks led to Avebury and a delicious meal marked as ‘vegan’ in the National Trust’s barn restaurant there.

The Carluke & Lanark Gazette: ‘Laurence is doing the walk to deliver the vegan message within the length and breadth of Britain.’

Laurence was off to a flying start with this large page 2 feature in the Stornoway Gazette.

The Cambrian News article on the walk gave Laurence the opportunity to w talk about ho nd much la would be saved if more people followed a vegan diet.

In the Scottish Highlands, The Press and Journal focussed on l Laurence’s spiritua o als t ils wh fs, lie be highlighting that the walk was a k pilgrimage to mar n ga Ve e Th d Society’s Diamon Jubilee.

The Halifax Evening Courier praised Laurence’s ‘vegan power’ calling him ‘a lion of a man’.

‘My being vegan is all about being at one with the earth’ – Laurence in the TivySide Advertiser.

A full page article in the Abergavenn y Chronicle called Laurence’s walk ‘a one-man quest to put the vegan lifestyle on the map’.

The Ridgeway was another old favourite and the production editor of Country Walking travelled from Peterborough to join me at Uffington’s famous white horse. Descending to Goring, I didn’t have any more hills to climb as the Thames Path led me sedately to Maidenhead. My last local press call was in Reading. A few roads were suffered on a Sunday morning as I passed the industrial estates of Slough to join the Grand Union Canal and take its towpath into London. That splendid Local Contact Lesley Dove provided my accommodation for the final night. Suddenly, I had no destination to walk to when I woke up in the morning.

Chester’s Evening Leader quoted Laurence saying that veganism is ‘a fantastically healthy way of life.’ The County Times, in Powys, published a picture story about the walk.

The Vegan Society would like to extend a huge thank you to Laurence Main. Through his hard work and dedication, he has helped gain publicity for veganism and The Vegan Society, giving us the opportunity to highlight the myriad benefits of the vegan diet. Congratulations, Laurence, on a magnificent achievement.

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A VEGAN IN IRAQ Helen Williams


egan Society Local Contact Helen Williams has spent the past eighteen months living and working in Iraq, helping to feed Iraqi street children and sending home reports on the political and humanitarian situation. Here, she recounts her experiences of being vegan in Iraq and introduces us to some of the children she has helped.

When the war in Iraq was before us, my partner, Kevin, and I decided to travel to Iraq to be human shields, seeing it as the most powerful thing an individual could do to try to stop what we regard as an illegal war. Obviously, the action did not prevent the war, but we fell in love with Iraq and felt compelled to return there as soon as possible. We wanted to see how the war and occupation was affecting the people and the country, and to continue helping those whose lives had been devastated by years of totalitarianism, sanctions and war. I also tried to tell people back home and around the world some of the truth of what was happening in Iraq through email bulletins and reports. Keeping people informed about the things that were unmentioned by the mainstream press became an important task during my stay in Iraq. Being Vegan in Iraq Before I left the UK, I thought I might have difficulty finding vegan food in Iraq, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually quite straightforward. There may not be ‘healthfood’ shops, veggie burgers or soya milk/mince/yoghurt/cheese, but there are fruit and veg shops everywhere, all selling plenty of extremely tasty and cheap produce. In fact, one of the compensations for the oppressive summer sun was the incredibly low price of fruit: tomatoes, melons, grapes, aubergines, bananas... all at 10 to 20 pence a kilo.

‘I was in Iraq trying to help poor families and boys and youths living on the street.’ Often in restaurants I would find a chunk of meat swimming around helplessly in the ‘marag’. Unlike in Britain, where a huge indignant fuss would be made, in Iraq my vegan interpreter would cheerfully send it back, explaining the importance of, and the reason for, our veganism. He would order something else, checking again that there would be no meaty contamination in the next dish. We were often told when ordering food “just a little meat, not much, don’t worry, you won’t taste it.” But it never caused problems for us - we never caused or took offence.

Hummus, fuul (bean paste) and my favourite, felafels, are served everywhere, and they are delicious and cheap. A felafel sandwich, with chips, aubergine, salad and ‘amber’ (curry sauce - vegan) costs 250 dinar, which is about 10 pence.

Lessons in Tolerance

I even found sweets in a country devoid of vegan chocolate bars. Wafers, sticky cakes and chocolate or nutty biscuits in the bakery helped satisfy my sugar cravings. Not that I need much, as ‘shai’ (tea) is served black with lots of sugar. No need for soya milk there then.

I lived in a wonderful, friendly, mixed Muslim/Christian neighbourhood in Kerrada, Baghdad. My street had five butchers’ shops and a fishmonger - fish and kebabs were barbecued nightly just under the window of my flat and the smelly smoke would waft up through the open windows throughout the unbearable summer months.

Iraqi bread - flat or ‘samoon’, like thick pittas - is baked everywhere. We had around five bakeries close by. It is yummy when cold but especially nice when hot, and it’s completely vegan. Just like rice, nuts, tahini, dates - all were there, so I never went without. Then there were the juice bars. I had two near me serving such vegan delights as peach, melon, or banana juice - only 20 pence for a big glass. You just have to check they don’t add a ‘dash’ of milk before ordering. Iraqi vegan food is fantastic. ‘Marags’ (soups/sauces) such as tepsi (aubergine), spinach, potato or bania (okra) are wonderful. You pay very little for them in restaurants, but I soon learnt to cook them all at home. I also learnt to cook my favourites: ‘shorba’ – thick green lentil and noodle soup and ‘bargila’ beans, bread and fried onions.

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In Iraq I learnt to cope with many things that I would not tolerate at home.

The butchers in my street were my neighbours and some were my friends and, with their notoriously violent reputation throughout Iraq, they could also have been seen as my protectors. Hasan, the fishkiller on the corner, was one of the best neighbours. A kind, welcoming man who liked to discuss the current ‘situation’ in Iraq and to allow me to practice my growing Arabic daily. My interpreter would ask him just to kill the fish quicker to end their suffering - we could not bear to watch them gasping their last, waiting for that final blow to the head. Everyone in the street knew we were vegan and would ask what we ate. The shai men thought we were funny when we needed gas for the cooker and paid 3000 dinar (£1.20) extra to have it from the tractor not a donkey cart. But everyone respected our views and admired our stand.

When you live in a war-torn battered country such as Iraq you don’t lecture the people, you tell them your views and that’s it. How do I tell Hasan he’s wrong? This man lost his hearing after a bomb landed close by in the war, and in September he handled a roadside bomb before it went off injuring three of his employees. People were always interested in my veganism. I removed Abu Ali’s fly swatter after a long chat about animal rights. Families we visited always used to say how cheap we were to feed. We always made people think.

I always explained to the boys that they could have whatever they liked, but no meat or dairy, nor Coke or Nestle products for that matter. In the end Mohammed would even grin at me as he chose another brand of Iraqi soft drink. “I know,” he said, “Coca Cola is a ‘bad American company.’” Little Hayder tried it on with me once, too. Around the time of some bad kidnappings in April I took him and Bashir down Saduun Street in search of felafels for a group of boys. I was covered in my chadoor and no one would kidnap me helping little boys (not then, anyway).

Helping Street Children I was in Iraq trying to help poor families and boys and youths living on the street. People end up on the streets for many reasons - family problems, escape from the army, poverty and hardship. Many of the family problems were compounded by sanctions and the war, which obviously put extra strain on families. Many young men did not want to fight in the war and ran away before it began. Some of the boys had come to Bagdad looking for work, but things had not worked out. The desperation and loneliness some felt led them to take paint thinner and glue, which only made things worse. It was these boys and young men we tried, and succeeded in many cases, to help. The occupation has not helped their situation either. The lack of security has made them vulnerable to bombs, shootings, kidnappings and all sorts of other horrors, such as bullying and abuse from American soldiers. I have heard about and seen the results of all these things. It is no fun living on the streets anywhere in the world, but war-torn Bagdad must be one of the worst places.

We arrived at the felafel/burger shop where all the men there knew me. Hayder started going on and trying to tell the men in Arabic to give him a burger, which was the same price. I guessed what he was saying, but the men weren’t having any of it either. “The lady is buying you felafels, and that’s what you’re having,” they told him. So I never really had any problems. I just stayed strict and committed, realising that when I fed the boys they were eating far healthier and more nutritious food than if they gnawed on a kebab or burger. Leaving Iraq In the end, I had to leave Iraq, not because of bombs and shootings - I was always prepared to put up with whatever the people put up with and take my chances - but because of the kidnappings. Two of my friends were killed in an ambush where I was present, and then, amidst all the beheadings, two other friends were kidnapped from their home and office about 2 kilometres away from where I lived; this terrified me. There had been bombs outside my apartment, but somehow I could deal with this - bombs are not personal, kidnappings are. When I actually felt unsafe in my own apartment and could not sleep at night for fear of attack by some armed gang, I knew it was time to leave. However, I plan to return to Iraq to continue my work as soon as it is safe to do so. You can keep up to date with Helen’s latest movements, read her reports and view her photographs at

Helen has been helping provide food to some of Iraq’s most vulnerable children So we tried to help in a number of ways, and this often involved providing much-needed food. I would only ever buy vegan food. We would provide takeaways of ‘marag’ and rice from restaurants, or feed people in our flat. But mainly they would be fed the wonderful felafel sandwiches - tasty, filling and nutritious - and we would also buy them lots of fruit. Once, Mohammed came to the flat late, when the felafel shops were shut. “Give me money,” he said. “I’ll go to Betouine and find felafel open there.” I could trust him with the money in that he would not buy thinner to sniff, but not that he would not buy meat. Instead I found him fruit, hummus, bread and other goodies in the corner shop.

The Vegan l Spring 2005


Welcome to the Spring 2005 Kids’ Pages

Bronwyn: Welcome to the Easter 2005 Vegilantics’ page. We have some good and bad news from our travels. So far we’ve been in Europe and Africa. Aisha: The first problem we came across was in France, when we needed margarine. We looked everywhere, and even the ones that said 100% végétal (vegetable) contained milk in the flavouring or footnotes below the ingredients. After searching four large superstores, we finally found Top Budget (Margarine Allégée, which means light margarine) in one of the larger Intermarché Bronwyn: Something that I noticed was that in the meat section there was whole piglets and rabbits. Aisha: In Epernay, we came across our first Alimentation Diététique which is the French term for health food shop. According to the owner, in France only health food shops sell organic fruit and vegetables, however Mummy did find a small range of organic fruit and veg in one large supermarket in our fifth week in France! One litre of organic soya milk (we didn’t see non-organic) costs in the range of £1.50 to £2 in France!

Aisha: The chip portions in France are tiny! Even the largest portion was only a box about five centimetres by eight centimetres by five centimetres! It was also about three Euros for a box this size. Bronwyn: After Epernay, we drove to Dijon, and then went to Lyon. Lyon is beautiful. There is a big building named Palais des Beaux Arts (Palace of Beautiful Arts) and it is also the Musée des Beaux Arts (Museum of Beautiful Arts). It wasn’t very interesting until Aisha asked where the famous (they had Bacon, Monet, Picasso, Manet and Renoir) paintings were (ou se trouve les peintures célèbres, s’il vous plaît?)

Bronwyn: On Christmas Eve, Father Christmas came to the hotel and gave us vegan chocolates. They were really nice, but I gave Mummy the ones that had glace cherries on. Mummy asked reception to make sure that Father Christmas knew we were vegan.

Aisha: I liked the Monet paintings as they were beautiful. Bronwyn: For Christmas, we decided to go to Tunisia. Aisha: In Tunisia, it is really easy to get organic fruit and veg. We noticed when we were in the taxi from the airport, that when the cows are right next to the motorway, they had their front legs and head tied together, but other holidaymakers told us that in the countryside they are free to move about with a shepherd there to watch over them.

Bronwyn: On the way into Epernay, I spotted American Frites, and asked Mummy if we could go there, she said maybe. Later, at lunchtime when everywhere was closed, we bought salad baguettes, and were on our way back past to go to the campervan, I asked Mummy again if we could go, and she said that if it was vegan, we could but we had to eat the baguettes for dinner, so we had chips and a pizza with sweetcorn, onions and olives. They made the base up in front of us.

LIMERICK There once was a vegan from Cotsham, Who met a guy called Donald Watson. ‘No meat, eggs or dairy, I’ll treat animals fairly,’ Said that kind-hearted vegan from Cotsham.


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Sam McCreesh, aged 15.

Bronwyn (life vegan) is 8. Aisha her sister is 12 and has been vegan as long as Bronwyn and vegetarian since before she was born!

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 with “Vegilantics” in the subject line.

Aisha: On the Christmas Eve menu was farm turkey. There was a farm attached to the hotel, with aviaries, chickens, ducks, turkeys, horses and camels. That afternoon, other holidaymakers told us that they had seen feathers and mess all over the dining room, as the workers killed the turkeys there for dinner that night. Most people were unhappy about the turkeys, some saying to Mummy they preferred seeing it in a packet, but it didn’t stop them eating it!

Bronwyn: On Christmas Day, we did gymnastics, water aerobics, swimming, beach volleyball, basketball and darts (which in Tunisia, everyone plays) Aisha: We finally managed to sit down just before dinner, and get a photo of us on the beach on Christmas Day. Bronwyn: When we returned to Lyon, where we had left the campervan, we opened the rest of our presents; I got a Cher DVD from my Granny.

A PARADISE FOR ANIMALS AND VEGANS Sam McCreesh, aged 15, remembers a recent visit to Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk. In 1995 Wendy Valentine founded Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Frettenham, Norfolk, to rescue and campaign for animals in need, particularly those who suffer in the factory farming industry. Since it started, Hillside has homed hundreds of rescued animals, including over 100 horses, as well as sheep, cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, geese, rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, one deer and even two camels! My visit began at the Hillside Pond, where I could see many beautiful ducks and swans roaming carefree, next to the mare and foal field. I paused to take some photographs of Polly and her beautiful foal - named Storm as she had been born during a night of rain and thunder! I then moved across to the opposite field where I met William, my adopted Shire horse. The gentle giant was grazing contentedly with his friend, a striking palomino pony called Striker. It seems the two have a powerful inseparable bond and are never far apart! After watching the pair for a while, I decided to move on to the picnic area and bought some cooling animal-friendly refreshments. Everything sold at Hillside is 100% vegan. I then went on to visit the investigations centre. I can’t say I enjoyed reading about the horrors of the factory farming industry, but I did find it very interesting. Hillside carries out several undercover investigations at factory farms all over Norfolk, providing video evidence to the authorities. Many successful prosecutions have been made against offenders thanks to Hillside’s investigative footage. I felt so glad that I have nothing to do with

Aisha: I got a German dictionary, a book about Joan of Arc (whose real name would have been Jeanne Darc des Domrémy) and a book about Leonardo Da Vinci (who lived in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, yet designed a car and a plane!) Bronwyn: We then drove back to England as Mummy had a maths exam in January. In a few weeks we will be heading back out to visit Spain and Portugal. Have a fantastic Easter, everyone.

factory farming, as at that time I was a year into vegetarianism, and now at the age of 15 I am close to achieving my ultimate goal – becoming vegan. Meeting the animals and spending an afternoon at Hillside was such a very memorable, joyful and a greatly inspiring experience that I was very sorry to have to say goodbye. Hillside Animal Sanctuary reminds me that not all animals are as lucky as those living at Hillside, and that there are always needy animals out there that require much help and care to live their lives. Please support Hillside’s vital work and help them end the barbaric cruelty of factory farming and give a loving home to many more animals that are desperately in need, whose fate ultimately lies in your hands. To find out how you can help Hillside’s essential work please ask for a free information pack: Write to Hillside Animal Sanctuary, Hall Lane, Frettenham, Norwich NR12 7LT, telephone 0870 991 4530, visit or email

Sam is an active animal rights campaigner. He has been involved in a number of local activities, including creating library displays and getting articles into the local press. Sam has written a series of guides aimed at encouraging others to follow in his footsteps. The enthusiastic teenager has also launched his own website, Sam says: “All animals should be treated as equally as humans and I am determined to make a positive difference to their lives.” He plans to become vegan as soon as he leaves home to attend university.

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any of us love Chinese food, but if we were asked to name more than three or four dishes, could we really think beyond stir-fries and rice? To help us celebrate the year of the Rooster, Helen Edwards takes a look at a variety foods enjoyed at different times throughout the Chinese year and introduces us to zong zi, nian gao, yuet beng and more… 9th February 2005 saw the colours of the Chinese New Year festivities splashing on to the news headlines, reminding us all of the rainbow of cultures existing within the UK. The Chinese calendar is based on the lunar cycle, unlike the Gregorian calendar we use, which is based on the solar cycle. This February brought the beginning of year 4702 by the Chinese calendar, the year of the Rooster, and with it, celebrations of Chinese people all over the world, including those living throughout Britain. This celebration, also known as the Spring Festival, is a very important one in Chinese culture, as it marks the return of new life and fertility to the earth after the barren winter. Prior to the festival, houses and lives are prepared for the New Year: houses are cleaned from top to bottom, and decorated for the festivities; a special rice soup is eaten to purify the body; debts may be paid and hair is cut. The night before New Year, families enjoy dinners with traditional foods such as zong zi (sticky rice steamed in leaves) or nian gao (a sweet sticky rice pudding). Oranges may be given as gifts, to represent gold, prosperity and harmony.

On New Year’s Day the Buddhist dish Lo Han Jai is eaten. This is a flavoursome stew made from dried tofu and a wide range of vegetables with symbolic meaning for the coming year, such as bamboo shoots for good fortune, and black moss seaweed for prosperity. Dried tofu is eaten as it is thought to represent happiness. Fresh tofu is avoided, however, as the colour white is associated with death, and all white foods are avoided at this time of birth and regeneration. As vegans, we do not need to confine our interest in oriental foods to Chinese New Year.


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Vegetable stir-fries are a speedy culinary life-saver at the end of a long day, but if you are lucky enough to live near a Chinatown in a large British city, such as Birmingham, Newcastle, London, Manchester or Liverpool, you have a host of resources you can tap into to make your cooking more interesting. Most small towns also have an Asian grocery store where you can find many interesting and unusual ingredients you can use in vegan baking, steaming or frying. The most ubiquitous of these, of course, is bean curd, or tofu. Although tofu is available in most supermarkets and health food shops, there is a much greater range of types and textures to be found in oriental stores. In general, Chinese tofu is made by adding calcium sulphate as a coagulant to the liquid ‘milk’ extracted from soya beans. Chinese tofu has a stronger, more egg-like flavour than Japanese tofu, which uses nigari (a sea salt extract) as the coagulant. The flavour and texture of tofu is also very dependent on the exact process used during production, so experiment with different brands for different effects. Regular (firm) tofu holds its shape during cooking, and can be diced and shallow or deep-fried; marinating first will enrich the flavour. Silken tofu can be liquidised and used as a thick cream for desserts, or poured over sliced potatoes and baked for a rich, creamy savoury dish. You can also find bean curd skins (yuba) in sheets or sticks. Yuba is made by skimming off the top ‘skin’ of soya milk as it is warmed, and allowing the skins to dry: they are often added to Chinese soups or stews. Another protein ingredient available in almost every oriental grocery is seitan, or wheat glutens. This is made by isolating the protein (gluten) in wheat, and therefore is unsuitable for coeliacs. Ready-to-use fried glutens are available tinned and claim to substitute every meat you can think of: abalone, beef, chicken, duck... These glutens are usually prepared in a soy sauce, and may be more suitable than tofu for use in recipes traditionally calling for darker meat. You can use the sauce in the dish too (like in the Exotic Seitan Salad recipe), or drain and rinse the chunks if you want to use a different flavour to highlight the dish.

Chinese mushrooms are a fantastic way of getting a real depth of flavour in a recipe. The most common varieties are the black (which may not be black at all, but can be grey or brown) and wood ear mushrooms, the latter of which are less flavoursome, but have a unique texture. Chinese mushrooms are widely available dried; to use them you simply need to soak them in warm water for around half an hour, remove the stems and add to soups, stir fries or casseroles. Don’t throw the leftover water away, as it is packed full of flavour, and is great as a stock, for example, in a pasta, stew, or rich gravy. As with all mushrooms, do rinse them well to remove any sand or grit that may be present.

If you are tired of going to your local supermarket looking for noodles, just to be faced with the choice of thin egg noodles or…thicker egg noodles, then you really should explore your nearest oriental food store instead. You will find a wonderful range of wheat, rice, and bean noodles with a range of flavours and textures, and you can easily use them in soups or salads, or with sauces. Toasted sesame oil, available at any good oriental grocery store, has a wonderfully rich aroma, and an extra dimension can be given to many vegan dishes, simply by adding a little of the oil before serving. Alternatively, use it to enrich the seasoning of TVP or soya-based dishes, such as cottage pie; it’s great for marinades, too. Be sure to get pure sesame oil, not sesame oil blended with another oil, and make sure it is made from toasted seeds. Only a small amount of toasted sesame oil is needed, as the flavour is astonishingly intense.

EXOTIC SEITAN SALAD Serves 2 as a main course

Oriental grocery stores are also a great place to find alternatives to gelatine. Agar is a seaweed extract, frequently used in Chinese cooking as a setting agent. It can be used in many dishes that traditionally use gelatine, such as desserts, mousses and flans. Large bags of agar, looking a little like noodles, can be found in most Chinese supermarkets, and this is usually much more economical than buying from a supermarket or health food shop. Carrageenan is another seaweed extract, which can be used in a very similar way, although this tends to be used more for commercial food products than cooking at home. Later in the Chinese lunar year, when the new moon is bright, the Autumn Festival takes place. It is a celebration of family unity, and a time for families to come together. During this period, Autumn Festival moon cakes (yuet beng) fill the shelves of Chinese food stores. These small cakes are round in shape, to represent the full moon, and the sense of harmony that is associated with the perfect circle. Moon cakes are made from pastry and filled with sweetened red bean paste, or, lotus seed paste. Beware, as these cakes may also sometimes contain an egg, baked in the middle – check the ingredients before you buy! Lotus seed and red bean paste are also available separately, and they can be used as a filling for deliciously different homemade pancakes, tarts, cakes or sweets.




tin of glutens (seitan) in soy sauce


Drain glutens, reserving the sauce. Dry glutens on kitchen paper and slice into bite-sized pieces.


1-2 Tbsp

freshly ground black pepper

to taste

vegetable oil

2 Tbsp

Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Fry coated gluten pieces for 1-2 minutes on each side, until browned and crispy on the outside. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

red onion, finely sliced


Place together in saucepan and cook, covered, for 2-3 minutes.

reserved gluten sauce

3 Tbsp

cooked pinto beans,


Mix and use to lightly coat the gluten pieces.

. cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1.5” length

red pepper, diced


yellow pepper, diced


mango, diced


spring onion, sliced


lemon juice

1 Tbsp

pineapple or other fruit juice

1 dstsp

olive oil

1-2 tsp

garlic, crushed

1 clove

iceberg lettuce, finely shredded


Add to pan and continue to cook gently for 1 minute

Place in serving dish, with hot salad ingredients and glutens. Toss, and serve with warm crusty bread.

Note: This recipe works wonderfully with “mock duck”, but other types of seitan may be used for variety.

The foods described here are just a small taste of the enormous range waiting for you to explore. Don’t wait until next year; experiment now: with your shopping, your ingredients and your cooking! If all else fails, remember, any Chinese supermarket will have a range of bowls, spoons and chopsticks…and, of course, woks galore, if you still want to make that stir-fry!

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WORLDWIDE Vanessa Clarke, Vegan Society International Contact

The Danish Vegan Society

The Finnish Vegan Society

The Hong Kong Vegan Society

The Dutch Vegan Society The Indonesian Vegan Society

The American Vegan Society The New Zealand Vegan Society

The Spanish Vegan Society The Austrian Vegan Society

The Italian Vegan Society


e were not set up as the Vegan Society of the UK – we were the first vegan society the world had ever seen! Before us there was no such word as ‘vegan’, though there were undoubtedly many people around the world following what we would now call a vegan diet. As a result, although the V word has now spread around the globe – thanks not least to the ever-popular Vegan Passport – the world still looks to us as the brand leader and many of the growing number of vegan societies in other countries owe their origins to the fact that from the outset the movers and shakers of the original Society looked ahead not just to a vegan UK but to a vegan world.

Many people know, for instance, that the American Vegan Society was founded by the late Jay Dinshah. Fewer are aware that his wife Freya – one of our patrons and still running the AVS – was the daughter of Grace Smith, a leading member of our governing Council for many years. The Spanish Vegan Society was founded by one of our life members, the tireless campaigner against bull fighting Francisco Martín, and the Hong Kong Vegan Society by another, John Wedderburn, who has done so much for the Chinese bile bears and for animals throughout Asia. And so the tradition continues. Isolated vegans in countries where the word is barely known still join the original Society and then start local and national groups of their own. Right now we are helping to set up a group in India, where more and more of that country’s millions of vegetarians are turning to veganism as the only truly compassionate way.


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The Australian Vegan Society

A major source of inspiration for nearly 100 years has been the International Vegetarian Union, in which Vegan Society members have played a major part since the Society’s earliest days – Donald Watson addressed a World Congress as long ago as 1947 and Serena Coles spoke at several subsequent ones. Since 1999, when Francisco Martín and Vanessa Clarke organised the IVU Congress in Thailand, all world congresses have been entirely vegan and this is now enshrined in the rules for all future congresses. As well as details of veggie, vegan and animal groups around the world, the IVU website includes nearly 2,000 recipes, all vegan, searchable by country and by ingredients. Help with translating material into other languages – even just a few hundred words – is always welcome. Much of the Society’s nutrition information has already been published in other countries and posted on the internet in various languages, and educational CD-ROMs and DVDs on the vegan lifestyle are planned for the future. Another benefit of the computer age is the Society’s email discussion group, where members from a diversity of areas and backgrounds discuss topics of mutual interest. To join, just email giving name, membership number and postcode. For other lists and forums, see and

Despite the development of electronic communications, there is still nothing quite like meeting other activists face to face and international events, both large and small, still play a major part in spreading the word and strengthening the movement. A donation allowed supplies of Plant Based Nutrition and Health and Why Vegan to be sent to Brazil last year and about a dozen Vegan Society members attended the World Vegetarian Congress there (all at their own expense – the Society does not provide funds for overseas travel), giving talks, workshops and cookery demonstrations as well as networking with like-minded people. The experience of meeting hundreds of enthusiastic young South Americans clamouring for information about veganism was truly inspiring and we all wished we could have stayed longer and helped more. The Brazilian experience led to a discussion at London Vegans on how best to help promote veganism worldwide and to The Vegan Society approving a pilot project to provide material in English and other languages to vegans struggling to establish groups in their own countries as well as to different cultural groups in the UK. In the latter area we work closely with groups such as the Young Indian Vegetarians, whose founder Nitin Mehta is also a member of the Vegan Society and a regular attender of international events. A mail out is in preparation to consult Vegan Society members and supporters in several dozen countries and kindred societies abroad as to how we can best help one another to spread the word.

Future international events include one in Italy in October 2005, a World Congress in Goa in September 2006 and the IVU centenary congress in Dresden in July 2008. For information about these and other events and the world movement generally, see or contact Vanessa Clarke on or at the address shown on the Local Contacts page.

A new edition of the Vegan Passport is in progress. This Vegan Society pocket guidebook translates the basics of veganism into 37 different languages, so that when you’re off on your travels and don’t know how to request a vegan meal, the Vegan Passport will do your talking for you. In the next edition, we want to cover even more of the globe, so we’re appealing for people who can translate into different languages. Top of the shopping list are: Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada/Kanarese, Hausa, Punjabi and Quechua. If you think you can help,

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s the Atkins Diet slowly passes into the history books as just another celebrity-induced fad, the latest weight management plan screaming from the covers of glossy magazines and weighing down bookshelves all over the country is the GI diet. And there’s good news: this one might actually be beneficial to your health.

The GI Diet – in brief The GI, or glycaemic index, is basically a way of measuring how quickly carbohydrates in different foods raise blood-sugar levels. A high GI number indicates a rapid rise; a low GI number indicates a slower rise. While this index is undoubtedly useful, it doesn’t take into account the amount of food eaten, so we now have GL, glycaemic load, which is based on the glycaemic index and serving size. Again, the lower the glycaemic load, the less rapid the increase in the body’s blood-sugar levels. If you’re trying to lose weight and following a low-fat diet, eating meals with a low glycaemic load could help. Even if you don’t need to lose weight, your health could benefit from eating lower on the GL scale high glycaemic load is associated with increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Here are some recipes with low glycaemic loads to help get you started.

How some basic foods size up:

BREAKFAST SOLUTION: PORRIDGE WITH BERRIES Bring back porridge! When the 18th century English writer Dr Samuel Johnson described oats as ‘food for horses in England and for men in Scotland’, he was told: ‘Aye, sir, and where else will you find such horses or such men?’ Serves 2

Low GL

High GL




White rice




Ripe banana


White bread

To learn more about the effects of glycaemic load, see The Vegan Society’s Plant Based Nutrition and Health by Stephen Walsh PhD, Chapter 9: ‘Fat Wars’. Available from T. 01424 448832.


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Ingredients 50g – 75g (2–3 oz ) organic porridge oats 400 ml (3⁄4 pint) fortified soya or quinoa milk 1 – 2 tablespoon agarve syrup OR pinch salt 1 – 2 tablespoon high lignan flax oil 1 – 2 tablespoon flax seeds 1 punnet of strawberries, fresh/frozen or dried blueberries or raspberries. Method In a large saucepan, on a medium heat, simmer the oats in the plant milk, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon for about 10 minutes (to avoid lumps and sticking to the bottom of the pan) If it gets too thick add some more plant milk When it’s all lovely and creamy pour into bowls. If you like it salty, add a pinch of sodium-reduced salt; if you prefer it sweet, add some agarve syrup. To serve: Serve hot with a sprinkle of milled/ground flax seeds, a drizzle of flax oil and as many berries as you can fit in your bowl. If you prefer, you could add some chopped pear instead.

SNACK SOLUTION: ESSENTIAL SEED RAW ENERGY BALLS Having a jar of mixed ground seeds stashed in the fridge is an excellent first step to easily upping your protein and essential fatty acid intake. You can sprinkle them in any dish where they won’t get heated to high temperatures. Try them sprinkled on soups, salad, stews or stir-fries, in your breakfast or in smoothies. Try making these delicious raw energy balls – they’re so tasty even the kids might enjoy them!

OLIVE TOFU PATÉ Flaxseed oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for good health. Julius Caesar built the Roman Empire using a flax-fed army and in thousands of years no one has found any serious side effects (apart from them getting stuck in your teeth if you try to eat them whole). Try sneaking flax into pâté Ingredients 175 g (7 oz) tofu 50 g (2 oz) olives (or marinated mushrooms if you dislike olives) 1 garlic clove 3 dessertspoons fresh high lignan flax oil 1 dessertspoon liquid aminos (Braggs / Marigold or a good soy sauce) 1 dessertspoon of your favourite fresh herbs finely chopped. Method Put all ingredients in a jug. Blend together with a hand blender or in food processor Chill in refrigerator. Eat To serve: Perfect on oat-cakes or with carrot, cucumber, mangetout, green bean, baby corn, or celery cruditiés or stuffed into cherry tomatoes. For something more substantial, try loading into a corn tortilla with lots of bean sprouts and alfalfa.

Ingredients Makes 14 bars (for freezing) 50 g (2 oz) ground hempseeds (or hulled hempseeds) 50 g (2 oz) ground high lignan flaxseeds (try Barlean’s Fortiflax) 50 g (2 oz) ground pumpkin seeds 50 g (2 oz) ground brazil nuts 50 g (2 oz) ground pistachios 150g (6 oz) organic rolled (porridge) oats. 50 g (2 oz) ready-to-eat dried apricots, finely chopped 1 pear cored and chopped 1 slice pineapple 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 4 teaspoons of carob powder 1 tablespoon quinoa flour 1 tablespoon black strap molasses 1 tablespoon agave syrup 2 tablespoons lime juice and finely grated rind (zest) (1 lime) For decoration 25 g (1 oz) coconut, finely grated Method Grind the seeds and nuts. Pumpkin seeds and nuts can be ground in an ordinary food processor but whole hemp seeds and linseeds need something like a coffee grinder attachment to grind them. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Mash/puree or blend the pears and pineapple then add to the mix with the black strap molasses, syrup and lime juice and mix thoroughly together with the dry ingredients. Leave for an hour in the fridge to firm. Divide into palm sized lumps and roll into balls. Alternatively, roll short sausage shapes and flatten and pat into bar shapes. Decorate with grated coconut on the outside. Wrap individually in greaseproof paper and store in the freezer (or the fridge) in an airtight container or a plastic bag. To serve: Unwrap and eat for an emergency energy fix – they defrost quite quickly. Great in a lunchbox or for picnics. Dip in melted carob if the kids need an extra incentive.

LIMERICK I was veggie for years, which was slack Then gave veganism a crack I’ve experimented more It’s fun, not a chore And now I’ll never go back Karen Winchester, Plymouth

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he principle of vegan (or stockfree) organic farming has been established for decades, but until now, there has been no standard for commercial growers to follow and no recognised label to help the consumer distinguish between stockfree and other organic produce. In this special report, the Vegan-Organic Trust announces the creation of a new set of organic standards that remove all need for animal manures and herald a new era of choice for animal-free shoppers. Exciting times… As vegans, we are likely to be vigilant about our food choices, carefully inspecting labels and checking for hidden ingredients. But what about how our plant foods are actually grown? Many of us presently choose organic produce, but then a dilemma arises because this is extensively grown using animal manures, an environmentally harmful product of animal farming. This is usually ignored by vegans unless they grow their own.

GAINING PUBLICITY The next important phase is publicity. VOT is extremely fortunate to have Iain Tolhurst as its advocate; Iain is one of the most respected horticultural advisers, both in the UK and overseas. On 8th November 2004 Tolhurst Organic Produce in Berkshire became the world’s first grower to be inspected under the new Standards. The inspection was carried out by Soil Association Certification Ltd* on behalf of the Stockfree Organic Services, an independent department of VOT. Iain’s celebrated market garden is now growing to the new Standards. It is early days yet for this new initiative, but already there have been enquiries from other growers about adopting the system. Iain Tolhurst has recently spoken to many growers and said that he found nothing but positive feedback for the Stockfree Organic Standards.

Now there is good cause for celebration! A significant objective has been achieved that will give choice to us and benefit the whole ecosystem: the Stockfree Organic Standards have been published. This means that, for the first time, a method of growing food using only plant-based fertilisers is set out clearly. Vegan-Organic Trust, with its network of supporters and experts, has developed the Standards in compliance with EC regulations governing the sale of organic produce. Commercial growers who wish to adopt these standards can now do so. This represents one of the most important advances in horticulture and agriculture, opening up the real possibility of profound structural change in how food is produced.

Tolhurst Organic Produce, the world’s first certified stockfree organic grower

GAINING MOMENTUM Although primarily aimed at commercial growers, the Standards will provide guidance for all those who wish to grow food veganorganically. We will encourage existing commercial vegan-organic growers to register and use our symbol on their produce. As more new vegan farms are established, and as cattle farmers disillusioned because of the devastating effects of Foot and Mouth Disease and BSE - become stockfree, growing grains, fruit and vegetables, the symbol will spread and become recognised. As this comes about, vegans and other consumers will know that, for the first time, they will have the choice of eating food that is animal-free, not just organic. By taking animal by-products and artificial chemicals out of food production, the Stockfree Organic Standards point the way to a new solution. WHY NOT ‘VEGAN’? We are inevitably, and properly asked, why we have not called the Stockfree-Organic Standards ‘Vegan-Organic Standards’. After much debate and consultation there was a significant majority view that communicating with farmers and growers with terminology that was familiar and understood by them was critical. ‘Stockfree’ is unambiguous.

It also appears very likely that the Welsh College of Horticulture will adopt the Standards, become a Stockfree Organic demonstration centre and provide a formal qualification in Stockfree Organic food production. Everyone can play a part in this exciting development: the VeganOrganic Trust needs your support in the vital task of spreading the word about the Stockfree Organic Standards. Among other initiatives, a publicity campaign is being planned to raise awareness of these topics and everyone can help with this. VOT needs regional and local organisers, people to distribute Growing Green International magazine, and funds. It’s not every day that vegans have the opportunity to participate in a successful movement for non-violent social change that gets to the very roots of life. Don’t pass it up! To obtain a copy of the Standards and Application Pack for Growers (at £5 inc. P&P) contact Jenny Hall on 01942 621769 email: For general contact details, see Grow Vegan, page 29. * The Stockfree Organic Standards do not represent the views of the Soil Association.

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rench-Canadian-born Stéphane Groleau explores the vegan organic farms of Europe and meets the people who are proving that stockfree organic growing works.

1st March 2004, and I leave my Canadian home country to spend six months in Europe. My interest: vegan organic farming. A few years ago, while doing my organic farming studies, I realised that even the organic vegetables I was buying might have been grown using blood or bone meal, shrimp compost, or manure from a battery farm. Being vegan, I decided to look for alternatives and for like-minded people. First, I found the two vegan organic networks, the one maintained by the Vegan Organic Trust and the BioVegaN Network in Austria. Then, with many addresses and contacts in my pocket, I was about to taste real vegan organic food in England, Germany, Austria and France. My first stop was Growing with Grace, a workers’ co-operative near Lancaster. One whole hectare of glasshouses, producing different salad leaves and other vegetables as part of a 250-customer box scheme and a farm shop. Socially and environmentally responsible, they have started an impressive compost scheme, where they transform collected green wastes into great soil. Growing with Grace is just one of many places I visited on my tour. At each place I stopped, I stayed and worked on the farm, sometimes for a couple of days, sometimes for some weeks, getting to know the people, the land and the food.

Flowers at Langerhorst

At the other end of the scale, I found the Austrian Langerhorst Family, who have 30 years of vegan organic farming behind them. On their wonderful 3.5 hectares of orchards, woodland, vegetable patches, bushes and berries, all work is done by hand. These soil carers build incredible vegetable compost from branches and forest herbs. Never tilling the soil, they mulch with grass clippings. Their vegetables grow in a ‘mixed cropping’ pattern, where each vegetable family is in alternate rows. With flowers everywhere, all Harvesting flowers at senses are aroused. When delivering their Langerhorst produce, they send it out by post! Even in France, land of cheese, wine, bread and foie gras, vegan organic farming finds its way, especially in the vegan B&B at Le Guerrat, in the middle of the Pyrenees. Here, Sue and Trevor provide their guests with veganic vegetables, and also supply customers at the local farmers’ market. Rabiès is also particularly stunning. In the heart of the French Cevennes Park, this small vegan ecovillage dates back to the early 13th century. Having been refurbished, terraces and stone houses give guests a stunning view to accompany the mouthwatering vegan meals.

Harvesting leeks at Tolhurst Among my visits, I couldn’t miss the famous Iain Tolhurst in Berkshire, who regularly gives talks about vegan organics in many different countries, and manages a mechanised 8 hectare farm, producing 300 vegetable bags a week. Awarded best local box scheme by the Soil Association in 1999, Tolly stresses the importance of green manure, long rotations and biodiversity. Why feed animals to get manure, when we can feed the soil directly? Lettuces in polytunnel at Tolhurst 26

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Why have all of these people chosen to grow vegan organic produce? Many of them have started by raising sheep or producing milk. Others were in towns and wanted to rediscover nature. All this led to different kinds of farms, gardens, markets and growing techniques; but they share a common desire to grow with nature, without relying on the killing of animals.

Garden rainbow at Tolhurst I’ve also been to places focusing on particular aspects of growing, such as perennial plants (Plants for a Future in Cornwall), sustainability (Organic Growers of Durham) or spirituality (Amis de la Douceur et de l’Harmonie in the French Pyrenees).

Club99 house So vegan organic farming is not just possible, it’s much better than alternative farming methods. For the animals, the environment and for health. And it’s easy. Just as we feed ourselves with vegan food, we can feed the soil veganically, by replacing the animal inputs with plant-based ones (chipped branch wood, surface compost, kitchen waste compost, green manure…). Yep, the vegan organic movement is well on its way! If you would like to read more about my travels, find out about other fascinating worldwide vegan organic projects and how to grow vegan organically yourself, then read Growing Green International, the journal of Vegan-Organic Trust. See also the ‘Grow Vegan’ article on page 29. Want more? Choose your language! English - Vegan Organic Trust German - BioVegaN French - Agriculture végétalienne Rabiès from the road For the German author and farmer Kurt Kretschmann, the special focus was his mulching technique. Fifteen years of using just the cuttings from the meadow next to his small garden. No tilling, no compost. His favourite vegetable is Jerusalem artichoke - its high nitrogen leaf content makes it perfect as an autumnal mulch. For him, ‘a soil without cover is a sick soil.’ Ecology being widely valued at the places I visited, solar showers, compost toilets and solar ovens were all quite common, along with the use of natural materials and low impact technology. The Club99 vegan neighbourhood, part of the Sieben Linden ecovillage in Germany, has even handmade a whole two story vegan straw bale house.

LIMERICK There was a young sprinter called Mary Who said, ‘If I give up all dairy I'll still have the edge With dark green leafy veg, So the others had better be wary!’ Vanessa Clarke, Cambridge.

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Over 60 and looking for a Vegetarian/Vegan Home in East Sussex or Colwyn Bay?

We have a few fully self-contained single/double flats recently refurbished and available to rent now in our sheltered homes. Our charges include a mid-day meal (optional) and otherwise residents cook for themselves and lead an independent life within peaceful and picturesque surroundings, amongst others who share a common interest.

If you feel you would enjoy the companionship of other vegetarians and vegans please contact: Jayne Freeman (Secretary) The Vegetarian Housing Association PO Box 193 Hastings TN34 2WT 01424 757851 Mon-Thurs (inclusive) 9.30am – 12.30pm email: (You are welcome to leave a message outside of office hours and we will respond at the earliest convenience.

GROW VEGAN Graham Cole, Vegan-Organic Trust


he more we can grow veganorganic food in our gardens, allotments or any land we can acquire the use of, the better. Such food is cheaper and healthier being free from chemicals and animal manures or slaughterhouse products and we can reduce the UK’s huge food imports. So it is making the best of what we have in terms of space and resources.

Many gardens are small but it is surprising how much fresh food can be grown, even using containers where such things as lettuce, parsley, rocket, Chinese leaves, herbs, tomatoes and peppers, soft fruit and even some fruit trees on very dwarfing rootstock can be grown. The site can offer good areas for maximum sunshine and warmth for the plants that need it, the south facing aspect of a wall or fence is excellent. At the same time some plants like partial shade for some or much of the day where cooler conditions prevail; this is the best place for hanging baskets that need quite a bit of watering but will not dry out so readily and for salad leaves that prefer these conditions in high summer.

Grow Vegan Puzzler Q. Name a variety of soya bean suitable for growing in the UK Send your answer on a postcard to the Vegan Society Prize this month: A signed copy of Bob Pyle’s Apples & Oranges music CD (see reviews, page 31). Winter Grow Vegan Answer: Leeks. Liz Strange, Edinburgh wins Spade, Skirret and Parsnip: The Curious History of Vegetables by Bill Laws

A few of us around Hampshire tried a new variety of soya bean in 2004 called ‘Ustie’ which is supposed to be a better type for our climate, at the very northern limit for soya. With a few seeds started off in the greenhouse and good sized plants that went out when frost-free conditions allowed, the curiously dwarf and compact things with tiny flowers grew slowly and did produce several hairy pods as the summer progressed. Finally they ripened and dried off in the autumn, but the yields seemed low, so I shall trial them for a couple more years to get a better picture. Personally, and I shall be a little controversial here, I think we depend on soya too much when many other food crops, hemp for example, are just as versatile and healthier. The age-old fermented soya products (tofu, tempeh and miso) are preferable to the modern highly processed stuff. Vegan-Organic Trust carried out a survey on Ustie last year and those taking part found similar results to mine – they also found that slugs were partial to the young plants! (Yet soya has few other ‘pests’ or diseases.) Many people who participated in the survey said they would try it again so why not have a go? Seeds of Ustie can be found in the catalogue of Thompson and Morgan of Poplar Lane, Ipswich, Suffolk IP8 3BU, telephone (01473) 695225.

Growing season gets underway The year begins to stir now but some patience is required! Even the hardiest seeds germinate slowly in cold soil or can rot if too wet. In the south of England March is the first of several busy months of sowing and planting but farther north it will be April before a real start outside can be made. With the climate changing and seemingly more mild but wet conditions prevailing this can have its challenges, but more springs and summers like the exceptional 2003 could also become common with the high temperatures and drought with which the more exotic fruit and veg thrive! If plants can be started under glass all the better thereby getting a head start with good sized plants that will establish when the longer settled days get underway. Little and often sowings of lettuces (many different kinds are available in various shapes and colour),

UK Soya trials

Plan now for a bumper summer harvest! radish and spring onion give continuity of supply. Broad beans can be sown outside from March onwards and, by the end of the month, potatoes can be planted. Other frost-tender things such as tomatoes, peppers, sweet corn, French and runner beans will have to wait just yet until all frost is over. You can consult the comprehensive advice pages on the VOT website for details of how to grow vegan-organically.

Vegan-Organic Trust (VOT) has a wide network of interactive supporters, gives advice, publishes information sheets, runs courses on vegan-organics, helps people find work experience on vegan-organic farms, holds local meetings and organises visits to vegan farms. VOT publishes Growing Green International, a magazine full of information and debate on crueltyfree growing and its ethical basis. For details contact:

General enquiries to (0161) 928 3614 website: Monthly gardening advice and much more information can be found online at Vegan News

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‘Plant late potatoes early. And early potatoes late’. Wise advice. It used to be traded around among my fellow allotment holders in Brighton thirty years ago. I’ll delay planting my First Earlies until late March. And, as I plant my tubers, I’ll be musing on how this vegetable has become the world’s third biggest crop since its beginnings in Peru 5,000 years ago. The French were slow to embrace the tuber until, in 1770, a clever courtier called Parmentier planted a field of spuds outside Versailles. The potato had once saved Parmentier from starvation. Now he wanted everyone to enjoy it. By posting guards and ordering no one to touch the crop, he made sure that the pomme de terre was stolen and circulated among the hungry peasants. Clever man.


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It was a bit of political hot potato in Britain at first, too. ‘No potatoes! No popery!’ demanded God-fearing Protestants in Lewes, Sussex in the 1765 elections while Irish Catholics named one variety The Protestant ‘because we boils the devil out!’ But there was no stopping the potato. Gilbert White was growing them in his Hampshire garden, Selborne, in 1758. Potatoes, he observed ’are much esteemed now by the poor who would scarce have ventured to From Spade, taste them in the last Skirret and reign.’ Parsnip - The Curious History of Vegetables, by Bill Laws (Sutton Publishing).

DIET MATTERS Sandra Hood, BSc (Hons), SRD

A nutritionist has advised me to give my two-year-old daughter half a sea kelp tablet per day. I’m worried this is too much. I also have a four-month-old daughter, who is currently on formula milk, and would like to know what supplements she might need. Dietary recommendations for children are extrapolated from adult values so how much an infant really needs has to be questioned. Studies have suggested that the iodine intake of vegans may be rather low. Dairy products provide about half the iodine consumption in the UK. There is iodine in vegetables and grains, but amounts vary according to the iodine content of the soil and recent studies suggest a low iodine concentrate in soil. Therefore, as a safeguard the Vegan Society recommends that vegans supplement their diet with iodine sources. Iodine is important for the development of the nervous system, so it is suggested that children need a fair amount during the developing years. In fact, they require almost as much as an adult. The amount you are giving your two-year-old daughter, half a 150mcg tablet per day, is very sensible and not too much iodine. Toxic levels have been suggested at above 1000mcg per day. If it is easier, you could always crumble the half tablet into her food. Other foods that contain iodine are sea vegetables, which are popular with children, and also Vecon yeast extract. Overdosing on iodine is rare; it is usually when people take lots of supplements containing large doses of iodine. In addition, make sure your daughter is receiving a reliable source of vitamin B12. We would recommend 1 mcg per day. With regard to your four-month-old daughter, as she is still on adequate amounts of formula milk, she does not need any other supplements at the present time. However, by six months, when she is less reliant on bottle feeds, it is prudent to start supplementing her diet with iodine, omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. For more information on iodine, see the nutrition section of The Vegan Society’s website, or call us to request an information sheet.

I suffer with sore gums and wonder if there is a deficiency in my diet? Sore gums are commonly a result of deposits of plaque or tartar on the teeth. It is usually associated with refined sugar intake or fizzy drinks, but also may be because of infections. A vegan diet is usually rich in unrefined foods, which are beneficial for healthy teeth and gums because unrefined foods have a massaging effect. If you are following a balanced vegan diet, including a regular reliable source of vitamin B12, you should not be deficient in any nutrient. In contrast, refined carbohydrates such as sugars and white flour tend to stick around the teeth and form an ideal medium for bacterial growth, causing the gums to become red and inflamed (gingivitis). Obviously it is important that you brush and floss your teeth regularly. There are many factors that can cause gum disease including poor nutrition, hormonal problems, saliva problems, diabetes and other diseases. I suggest you speak to your dentist and if necessary make an appointment to see your health carer.

I often find myself lacking physical and mental energy. I have been told my diet is poor and that it is low in magnesium, zinc and selenium. From the diet sheet that you sent me, it sounds as though you could make a great deal of improvement to your diet and I feel sure this would boost your mental and physical energy. My recommendations are: n Try to reduce your sugar intake. You seem to drink a lot of sugary tea; try replacing this with alternative drinks or just gradually wean yourself on to unsweetened tea. Refined carbohydrates such as white sugar quickly get in the blood stream and give you a rush and then your blood sugar quickly drops and can affect mood. Other refined carbohydrates to avoid or eat in moderation are white bread, pastry, cakes and biscuits. You should also avoid having tea with your meals as the tannin in tea can inhibit iron absorption. Leave at least 15 minutes between your meals and having a cuppa n Try to include plenty of nuts, seeds, pulses and wholegrains in your diet. These are all good sources of magnesium, zinc and selenium and should help boost your energy levels n Increase your selenium levels by including nuts (particularly brazils), soya, grains, bananas and seeds n Make sure you eat fresh fruit every day – this is the ideal snack, with well documented health benefits n Try to increase your omega 3 fatty acid intake – a teaspoon of flaxseed (linseed) oil or 1 tablespoon of rapeseed oil per day. Recent studies have suggested that these fatty acids are beneficial in people suffering with depression and other mood disorders n Finally, don't rely on vitamin and mineral supplements to provide your nutrients. It is well known and clinically proven that the body absorbs and uses nutrients much more efficiently and effectively in the form of food. Therefore improving your diet will mean that you do not need to rely on vitamin and mineral supplements. The only exception to this is vitamin B12. Make sure you supplement your diet with a reliable source of this vitamin. We recommend 3mcg per day.

The Vegan l Spring 2005


Reviews Andy Lawson & Catriona Toms

(available from The Vegan Society – T. 01424 448832)

Making Kind Choices is the new book from PETA President and Co-founder Ingrid Newkirk. Together with her other books, You Can Save the Animals and Kids Can Save the Animals, it offers a step-by-step guide to compassionate living, bringing together a whole range of aspects, some less obvious than others. From spotting animal ingredients in household products, to adopting the right animal companion for your home and family, all facets of cruelty-free living are addressed and linked together.

The 2005 edition of Vegetarian Visitor does exactly what it says on the tin. As a companion to places for vegetarians and vegans to stay and eat, it now stands out as the most clear and comprehensive annual guide, perfect for those vegans who frequently travel the length and breadth of the country. After over ten years of regular updates and improvements, it now contains more than 300 entries, ranging from city B&Bs to converted farmhouses. Those catering for vegans are clearly marked. AL

What sets these apart from other handbooks is the emphasis on practicality: these are steps that can very easily be factored into in everyday life, and the lists of simple measures, particularly those aimed at children, are of real benefit to anyone worried about the perceived difficulties of a change in lifestyle. For those wanting to take their activism to the next level, there are invaluable tips on starting campaigns, for example against animal dissection in schools. AL

VEGETARIAN VISITOR 2005 Edited by Annemarie Weitzel Publishers: Jon Carpenter ISBN: 1-897766-91-2 Cover price: £2.50

PETA GUIDES Making Kind Choices By Ingrid Newkirk Publishers: St. Martin’s Griffin ISBN: 0-312-32993-8 Cover Price: £11.99 You Can Save the Animals By Ingrid Newkirk Publishers: Prima ISBN: 0-7615-1673-5 Cover Price: £16.99

Kids Can Save the Animals By Ingrid Newkirk Publishers: Warner Books ISBN: 0-446-39271-5 Cover Price: £4.99 (all available from The Vegan Society T. 01424 448832)

Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover By Rynn Berry Publishers: Pythagorean Publishers ISBN: 0-9626169-6-6 Cover price: £7.50 One of the oldest slurs on the vegetarian movement, that gets trotted out again and again, is that Hitler was a vegetarian, as if that somehow undermines the whole lifestyle. Peter Singer famously responded by pointing out the fantastic irrelevance of such claims: ‘The fact that Hitler had a nose doesn’t mean we should cut off our noses.’

the reasons it has proved so enduring, as well as the circumstances that undermine it, including evidence of Hitler’s regular consumption of sausages, ham, and liver. Concise and to the point, it is an excellent answer to a question that most vegetarians have been asked at one time or another. AL

Apples & Oranges By Bob Pyle Apple Tree Records / BMI Jaunty banjo tunes made for stamping your feet to don’t immediately appear to lend themselves to the promotion of veganism, but you’d be surprised. The latest offering from award-winning banjo player and vegan activist, Bob Pyle, is a mix of bluegrass and old-time American music that is as educational as it is entertaining. While the music of Apples & Oranges offers comparisons with such old-time classics as ‘In the Big Rock Candy Mountains’, the lyrics belong very much in the tradition of the satirical protest song. Here you’ll find tales of radiation experiments gone wrong that almost create ‘a world made out of spam’, mixed with a hopeful look forward to the day ‘when they closed the golden arches.’ Petunia the Pig, who looks like Greta Garbo, stars alongside a cast of seaweed, which Pyle bravely defends as being ‘not a weed at all.’

Rynn Berry, author of Famous Vegetarians and Their Favourite Recipes, sets out to show conclusively that the suggestion that Hitler was a vegetarian is a claim that is without substance.

Some of the lyrics on Apples & Oranges are pure comedy, but, despite the humour, there’s a serious vegan message here. Pyle says: ‘I realised that the media is very powerful and it can be used to influence opinions. I wanted to get my songs played on the radio to get the vegetarian message out to a large amount of people.’ Apples & Oranges is a rare achievement: a protest album that’s also packed full of crackin’ good tunes. CT

Hitler: Neither Vegetarian Nor Animal Lover very eloquently examines the background to the claim and looks at

You can listen to some of the tracks, and read more about Bob Pyle and Apples & Oranges at

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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:.......................................................................................... 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) ** Add £7 per additional household member Memo & Articles of Association £5 Overseas: Europe +£5 / Rest of World +£7 Payment may be made by credit card, sterling International money order or sterling cheque drawn on a British bank.

Donation Total:


Cheque / PO payable to The Vegan Society Credit / Debit card (enter details below) Direct Debit (phone for details) Website: Please debit my Visa / Mastercard Access / Eurocard / Visa Delta


Connect / Switch / Solo card number

Name on card:.........................................................................Signature:.................................................................. Today’s date........./........./.......Start date:......../........Expiry date......../........Switch Issue No.:.....................

Postbag Contributions to Postbag are welcomed, but accepted on the understanding that they may be edited in the interests of brevity or clarity.

Neville Hall 1910 – 2004 Neville Hall was perhaps best known to Vegan Society members as President of the Vegetarian Housing Association, which runs residential homes for elderly vegetarians and vegans in Hastings and Colwyn Bay – a position he held for over 30 years, retiring only in his 90th year. He became a vegetarian at 23 years old and later became involved in the London Vegetarian Society by joining the Croydon Group, in which he played a leading part for more than 40 years. He was instrumental in the amalgamation of the London and Manchester Vegetarian Societies in 1969 and subsequently served as President of the united society - the Vegetarian Society of the UK as we now know it. His dedication to a compassionate philosophy always guided his dealings and he was a founder member of the Humane Research Trust. He always retained the positive belief that by taking what one believed to be the right and compassionate action problems could be contained. His positive, patient and gentle attitude earned widespread respect in all his activities and he will be missed by all who had the privilege to know him.

Compassionate Characters

The Frey Ellis Lecture

How wonderful it was to read Christina Harvey’s excellent recollections of her colleagues in the picture of the Vegan Society meeting taken in 1954! (The Vegan, Winter 2004).

Thank you for a superb lecture at King’s College. I recently took part in a vegan B12 survey at King’s which identified several weak areas in my vegan diet.

That a group of people should have such foresight and compassion during the dark post-war years is quite incredible and speaks volumes about them all. Thank you, Christina, it was so nice to read about such characters. Diane Murphy Thetford

Stephen’s lecture was balanced, well researched and eloquently argued - he just got better and better; indeed, during the questions at the end he was still expanding his argument. Well done. I’m off out now to buy a big bottle of flaxseed oil. Thank you. Greg Lucas by email Editor’s note: Greg, and other readers who attended the Frey Ellis Memorial Lecture on vegan nutrition, will be pleased to hear that a transcript of Stephen Walsh’s talk will be available from The Vegan Society in the near future. Keep an eye on our website, or check the next issue of The Vegan for details.

Great Grub! I am writing to once again congratulate The Vegan on its recipe pages. Last year’s Xmas recipes have been distributed to my vegetarian friends at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge who show distinctly favourable signs of a change of diet. Thank you.


There once was a girl called Louise, Who refused to have cow’s milk and cheese. Her mother would laugh, ‘Does she look like a calf?’

Yours faithfully, Amy Brady Cambridge

As she tucked into cous cous and peas. Danielle Collins, Tonbridge.

P.S. A good 10% of our workforce either signed petitions or marched against primate experimentation in our city so not all Cambridge University employees are the same.

The Vegan l Spring 2005


LOCAL GROUPS NEWS There is no formal Vegan Society affiliation. Any group can be listed but it must obvious from the name that it is for vegans and not just vegetarians and the contact person must be a full member of the Vegan Society. Please let the Local Contacts’ Coordinator (details on facing page) know if you wish to start a group and of any groups omitted. Those listed for the first time have ** before their name.


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Updated diaries and events information can be viewed at,, and

n MARCH Animal Aid Veggie Month Urge your friends to ‘take the veggie pledge’ by going veggie – or, better yet, vegan – for a week during Animal Aid’s veggie month. T: 01732 364546 Saturday 16th – Sunday 24th World Week for Animals in Laboratories A week aimed at arousing concern for animals in laboratories as well as educating the public about the scientific, moral, and economic objections to animal experimentation. Thursday 17th – Friday 18th ‘From Darwin to Dawkins: The Science and Implications of Animal Sentience’ – international conference organised by Compassion in World Farming Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London. Speakers to include renowned primatologist, Dr Jane Goodall, UN Messenger of Peace. Contact CIWF Trust T: 01962 793003


Sunday 15th – Saturday 21st British Sandwich Week See The Vegan Society’s 30 Best Sandwich Ideas leaflet for inspiration. Organized by the British Sandwich Association Monday 23rd – Sunday 29th National Vegetarian Week A week dedicated to raising awareness of vegetarianism. Contact The Vegetarian Society for details of events in your area T: 0161 925 2000,

n JUNE Saturday 11th – Saturday 18th 12th Vegan Summer Gathering Discussions, talks, day trips, communal evening meals and good company. Mumbles, South Wales. For details, send SAE to: Vegan Summer Gathering, c/o Malcolm Horne, Brynderwen, Crymlyn Road, Llansamlet, Swansea. SA7 9XT.

Saturday 18th Heart of England Vegan Festival Those who attended last year’s Manchester Vegan Festival will be pleased to hear that the organizers, Realfood, are hosting a similar event this year. This time, the lucky city is Birmingham. Carling Academy, Dale End, Birmingham. 9.30am-5.00pm. Admission free. Food by Veggies. Contact Realfood T: 0845 4580146, Saturday 18th National Badger Day Organized by the National Federation of Badger Groups. T: 020 7228 6444


Monday 4th – Sunday 10th National Cruelty-Free Week Organized by the British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection to encourage people to boycott animal-tested products T: 020 7700 4888 Thursday 28th – Sunday 31st WOMAD Festival - One Voice for Veggies Stall Vegan stall at the world music festival in Reading.


Sunday 7th – Sunday 21st Vegan Camp A well-deserved break for vegans, including many active campaigners, or those willing to be vegan for two weeks, or for a day or two. To be held in Northumberland. T: 0845 330 3918


Sunday 25th London Vegan Festival After the amazing success of last year’s July festival, the London Vegan Festival returns to its usual month, but remains in the bigger venue at Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, London W8. 10am-7pm. Stalls, talks, vegan catering. Contact CALF T: 020 8670 9585



Wow – what a year 2004 turned out to be! Of course we all knew that the Diamond Jubilee was an important milestone in the history of the Society, but the rapid increase in the number of vegan festivals and cruelty-free fairs taking place throughout the country meant that the vegan message was spread to many more people than ever before. Our Local Contacts and Local Groups played a large part in helping to organize these major events. However it is at the local level that our Contacts really come into their own, and although most keep me up to date throughout the year with what they do it was only a few weeks ago when I started to read the Annual Reports that I realized the extent of the effort they put in and the success they achieved throughout the year, and I’d like to use this column to express publicly my thanks and admiration to all of them. Some of the reports will be on the website soon. Starting with the Winter 2004 issue we are now giving more prominence in the magazine to the work of our Contacts (see p.8-9 in this issue) in order that you can get a better idea of what they do. I also hope this will encourage more of you to apply to be Local Contacts and/or to set up new Groups (details available from me and from the website). If you haven’t time to do so then please consider supporting your nearest group. Even if, because of other commitments, you cannot always attend meetings the Contact would be pleased to hear from you. Occasionally, though thankfully very rarely, Group Contacts tell me they are disheartened because so few people in the area seem interested. So please let them know you are interested and that they’re not wasting their time. You may think that there isn’t a group anywhere near you, but new ones are being set up all the time and are marked ** in the list on p.36, so it’s worth checking in every magazine or on the website. For instance James has set up a new group centred on St Helens, Elizabeth has branched out from running the Veggiestudents website to start a group centred on Blackpool and, having handed over the running of Harrow Vegans to Julie, Lesley has begun a new venture on the Middlesex/Surrey border. We now list 64 groups and have 98 Local Contacts. The downside of the increase in the number of groups eligible for listing is that there is no longer room to list all their events. Those of national and regional importance will continue to feature in the Events column but you will have to contact the Group for details of local meetings, though often they’re publicized on vegansoc-talk, the e-mail discussion group for all VS members. If you’re not on it send an e-mail to with your full name, VS membership number and postcode. Events in Ireland are mentioned on the Irish discussion list, which you can join wherever you live by sending an e-mail to, and for Yorkshire and adjacent counties try List membership is recommended if you want to know what’s happening, enjoy a lively debate or simply want to collect more recipes. A final thought: the task of spreading the vegan word did not cease on the Society’s 60th birthday. The Vegan army marches on! Patricia Tricker, National Local Contacts’ Coordinator

The Vegan l Spring 2005


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


The Vegan l Spring 2005


Patrons Serena Coles Freya Dinshah Maneka Gandhi Dr. Michael Klaper Moby Cor Nouws Wendy Turner-Webster Donald Watson Benjamin Zephaniah Council Jay Ashra Alex Bourke (Chair) Cynthia Combe (Co-Vicechair) Chris Childe Vanessa Clarke Laurence Klein (Hon Treasurer) Laurence Main Ian Nicoll George Rodger (Co-Vicechair) Stephen Walsh (Deputy Treasurer) Local Contacts Co-ordinator Patricia Tricker STAFF Chief Executive Officer Kostana Azmi Bookkeeper / PA Jody Hazell Head of Promotions and PR Vacant Information and Editorial Catriona Toms Information Assistant Andrew Lawson Interim Trademark and Business Development Officer Susan Kerry-Bedell Membership & Sales Officer Sundari Poorun Membership & Sales Assistant Peter Richardson Sales Assistant John Rawden Systems Manager David Palmer Domestic Assistant Daniel Mozumdar Volunteers Michaela Altman (proofreader) Erica Wilson Roisin Howard 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.

The Vegan l Spring 2005





WALES 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

HAMPSHIRE NEW FOREST Veg*n guest house (“The Barn”) - Perfect for walking, cycling etc. B&B from £24pppn - ensuite, n/s evening meals. 023 8029 2531 or


YORKSHIRE WHITBY B&B FALCON GUESTHOUSE. Vegan/vegetarian Quiet location, seven minutes’ walk from centre and harbour. Lounge and sunny breakfast room. Teamaking facilities. No smoking throughout. Ample breakfast, with organic fare. £18 p.p.p.n. (for couple). Tel 01947 603507



ABROAD 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. Tel. 003532766146


web: or Text 353861955451


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. ARTICLES AND ADVERTISEMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED BY 7 APRIL 2005 FOR INCLUSION IN THE SUMMER 2005 ISSUE OF THE VEGAN

KERALA, SOUTH INDIA a vegan’s paradise. Tours, accommodation including selfcatering. Brochure: Tel: 01892 722440, Voice Mail/Fax: 01892 724913. E-mail: Website: SOUTH WEST FRANCE gate house to Domaine. Large gardens, forest, suit couple with child. 20 mins from Carcassonne Airport. Transport essential. Close to mountains and sea. £200 weekly. Tel/Fax 00334 68605166 Vegan owners. SPACIOUS, BEAUTIFULLY renovated, well-equipped, sleeps 3-6. Large garden, rugged landscape. Secluded locatin in village with all amenities, 35 minutes Perpignan airport. 0044 (0) 151 932 9262




Ref: FPL 005

The Vegan l Spring 2005


CLASSIFIEDS 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.

FRANCE, Brittany (56) B&B Breton stone house in beautiful countryside. Bed & full vegan breakfast 20E pp Dinner available. 1h15 St Malo Vegan Society member discount.


PUBLICATIONS ANIMALS LAMENT - The Prophet Denounces! The voice of Truth. Free 160 page booklet at : The Word, PO Box 5643, 97006 Wurzburg Germany. ISBN 1-890841-20-x THE MURDER of Animals is the Death of Humans. Free booklet: The Word, PO Box 5643, 97006 Wurzburg, Germany. VEGAN VIEWS - informal quarterly for Vegan Opinion. Sample copy £1. 4 issues £4 inc p&p. Harry Mather, Flat A15, 20 Dean Park Road, Bournemouth BH1 1JB SUNSHINE AND SHADOW. Autobiography of Wilfred Crone, well-known vegan/fruitarian. £7.50 inc P&P. Harry Mather, Flat A15, 20 Dean Park Road, Bournemouth BH1 1JB

MISCELLANEOUS VEGAN SUMMER GATHERING 11 -18th June. Mumbles, South Wales coast. 80+ usually attend, all ages. Talks, meals, outings. Single/twin/double rooms. £85/week self-catering (£55 low income). Malcolm 01792 792442. (inc photos). HOMEOPATH. Aubrey Burge LBSH. RSHom. Treating you towards good health. All remedies carried on a vegan base. Clinic in Wiltshire or reasonable distance home consultations welcome. Tel 01980 630601 for more information.

FINANCE UNSECURED LOANS. Mortgages, Remortgages, right-to-buy. Selfcertification - up to 90% - with without accounts. Buy-to-let specialists. Purchase 100% and negative equity, ccj removal, debt management.

PERSONAL KINDNESS UNLIMITED. The international network for vegan/vegetarian Christians. Those still searching may join the SEEKERS group. Membership of our correspondence and email groups is free. For details write

FEMALE, 58 outside, 30 inside, nonsmoking, seeking a caring partner. Must love dogs. Loves walking, cycling, wildlife and quiet tranquility. Must have a good sense of humour. HUMAN WRITES is a non-profit humanitarian organisation offering support to death row prisoners through letter writing. Please make someone’s life better with your letters. For details, SAE to: 343a Carlton Hill, Carlton, Nottingham, NG4 1JE. Thanks! THE SPACE Are you yearning for a warm and caring place where you can heal physically, emotionally and spiritually? Retreats in South Devon and Portugal. Dr Gina Shaw offers health and nutritional consultations, supervised fasting, iridology, courses in natural health, health books, etc.

Donald Watson House 7 Battle Road St. Leonards on Sea East Sussex TN37 7AA


The Vegan l Spring 2005

HOUSE SHARE Worcestershire village. Female only with male occupant (not for relationship), rent according. Box No. 652 VEGETARIAN FEMALE going vegan. Seeking rural accommodation on British mainland, rent or possibly buy. Have pets. Wltm new vegan friends for fresh start. Box No. 653 STRICTLY VEGETARIAN secluded flat, Fishponds, Bristol. Open aspect. Kitchen diner, bathroom, two large bedrooms, very large lounge. Non-smoker preferred. Off-street parking. Optional garden and carport. £543.10 per month. Deposit. References. Phone 0117 9650376 (answerphone). ROOM/S TO LET in London for nonsmoking employed vegan/s. Own room, shared kitchen, bathroom, etc. in Edgware. Close to buses and trains to Central London. £75 pw payable weekly/monthly + deposit. Peter 0208 931 7462

FEMALE VEGAN (29) - honest, quite shy, tattooed, SOH, loves music (mainly indie rock) seeks intelligent, compassionate, open-minded, understanding m/fs for penpals, email buddies, friends, maybe even romance. VEGAN MALE (40s), ns/nd, honest, loyal, understanding, friendly, idealistic - I don’t have contemporary values. Tired of being alone, seeks feminine childfree vegan female with similar qualities for ltr. Greater Manchester area. Take a chance!

FOR SALE FOR SALE. Ladies Black Vegan Freerangers Jess Boot, size 6.5-7. Worn twice - as new. £55 inc

To place a personal ad please send your wording (max 35 words) and £6 payment, specifying in which section you would like your ad to appear. Please add £2 if you would like a box number. Commercial advertisers should phone 01424 427393 or email for assistance and rates.


Tel: 0845 45 88244 Fax: 01424 717064



HASTINGS. B&B in quiet woodland setting but close to town centre. Exclusively vegan/vegetarian. Private bathroom, off road parking. Nonsmoking. £20 single, £35 couple per night. Tel 01424 434144




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.





3. Soya bean curd

1. Ladies' fingers

6. Tubes of pasta

2. Pod vegetables

8. 'Great chieftain o' the pudden race'

4. Item of cutlery

12. Andean grain

7. Kelp, for example, is a good source of this

14. Rich paste 15. Refreshing herb, often confectionary 16. Oriental tree mushroom 17. Spicy tomato dip or relish 18. Small, Chinese fruit

5. Cup for hot drinks

8. Cannabis fibre 9. A mexican flour wrap, or corn shell 10. Green citrus fruit 11. Use water vapour to cook 13. Topping for a cake, perhaps?

21. Pastry treat - could be sweet or savoury

16. Rice wine

23. Indian lentil dish

19. We eat chocolate ones at Easter

24. Common type of apple

20. Soya bean paste

25. Fruit of the palm tree

22. Chocolate bean

26. Dish made from potato and cabbage

23. Chopped into cubes

Send in a photocopy (or original) of the solution to this crossword, together with your name and address by the 7th April 2005 PRIZE: The first two correct entries to be drawn from a hat after 7th April will win copies of Jewel in the Lotus, an album by Vegan Society member Julian Franks, which was released on last year’s World Vegan Day, 1st November. Visit to listen to tracks and read more about Julian’s music. Solution in next issue.


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24. Could be corn, could be a nut There once was a man who would utter, ‘I love tasting cheese, milk and butter, Full of hormones and pus, But please, don’t make a fuss, ‘Cos I know I’m a stark raving nutter.’ Rebecca Zugor, Chichester

The Vegan Spring 2005  
The Vegan Spring 2005  

The magazine of The Vegan Society. Helping feed Iraqi street children, Vegan Chinese food, Stockfree organic standards. ISSN 0307-4811