The Irish Vegetarian 138

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The Irish Vegetarian Spring 2013 Issue 138 Magazine of the Vegetarian Society of Ireland


Irish-Chinese Trade Agreement WHO GETS HURT?

Vegetarian Foreign Aid HOW YOU CAN HELP Origin of Species(ism) LOVING AND HATING ANIMALS

Getting Enough Iron it’s easier than you think

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013


Vegetarian Society of Ireland Aims of the Society Our constitutional aims are to advance education, and to promote the positive aspects of vegetarianism in relation to health, animal welfare and environmental issues. We also aim to create more awareness of the organisation, and to inform the people of Ireland about vegetarianism. We aim to co-operate with other organisations which promote the fundamental ideals of vegetarianism. The VSI supports both vegetarian and vegan aims.

for food, clothing or any other purpose. In dietary terms veganism 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 dairy, livestock and poultry farming is probably the most common reason for the adoption of veganism but many people are drawn to it for other reasons including ones related to health, ecology, sustainability, and/or spirituality.

Committee The committee of the nually and volunteer monthly meetings to ian voice for Ireland

VSI are elected antheir time. We hold ensure the vegetaris being listened to.

Chairperson Maureen O’Sullivan Researcher Martin O’Reilly Treasurer & Membership Secretary Eithne Brew Secretary Sarah Allen Webmaster Martin O’Sullivan Magazine Editor-in-Chief Grace Hillis Ordinary Committee Members Juliana Pereira Martin Doyle Ciara Murphy

Volunteering We are always looking for people to help out. If you can lend a hand from time to time please email with your contact details.


The Vegetarian Society of Ireland defines a vegetarian as one who does not consume meat, fish or fowl and who aims to avoid the use and consumption of battery hen eggs and slaughterhouse by-products in food, clothing, cosmetic and household products. A vegan is one who adopts a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practical, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals

ADV ERT ISI NG 1/8 page ... €20 1/4 page ... €35 1/2 page ... €60 Full page ... €100 Small adverts of up to 20 words €10 (Small adverts are free to members) Submit queries on advertising & artwork to Views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily represent policies and/or views of the Vegetarian Society of Ireland, its committee and/or its members.

Summer 2013 Issue Deadline The theme for the summer issue of The Irish Vegetarian is “Holidays in Ireland”. Submissions are invited, including summer recipes (original recipes please), information on local farmers’ markets, vegetarian- and vegan-friendly B&Bs and hotels in Ireland, festivals in Ireland over the coming months, and destinations for the upcoming August and October long weekends. Articles can be accepted in text file, PDF, Open Office or MS-Office format. Images/photos for inclusion need to be of good quality (no resize/ crop) with a resolution of at least 300dpi and in JPEG format. Please send contributions to editor@ Deadline for advertisements and articles for inclusion is 31 May 2013.

Kerry Holiday House to Let

Self-catering 3-bedroom house to let near Sneem, Co Kerry. Available from July 1st From €50 per week Contact Maria Arnaldi 086 862 8428 2

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

Contents Vegetarian Society of Ireland Membership Information, Advertising, Submissions Information.................2 Editorial, News, Corrections, Thanks............................................................................................................................4 Vegetarian and Vegan Social and Local Groups, VSI Membership Application Form......................................5 “Vegetarianism—a Statistical Study”, Standing Order Form....................................................................................6 More Than Human Rights Abuses Behind Irish-Chinese Trade Agreement.......................................................7 The Ethics of Cultured Meat...........................................................................................................................................9 Wild About Dandelions..................................................................................................................................................10 Dandelion Recipes...........................................................................................................................................................12 Vegetarian Foreign-Aid Charities................................................................................................................................13 Meetup Reviews Ennis Meetup..............................................................................................................................................................16 Funky Seomra.............................................................................................................................................................16 Meetup Member’s Milestone...................................................................................................................................16 New Years’ Vegetarian Meetup...............................................................................................................................17 Animal Rights Film “Bold Native”..........................................................................................................................17 Cornucopia and A.R.A.N. Rally..............................................................................................................................18 Getting Enough Iron: It’s Easier Than You Think....................................................................................................19 Recipes...............................................................................................................................................................................21 Animal Loving and Animal Hating Societies............................................................................................................22 Vegetarian Society of Ireland Members’ Discount List..........................................................................................24

EXCITING RANGE OF ‘VEGETARIAN’ MERCHANDISE AVAILABLE FROM VEGETARIAN SOCIETY OF IRELAND This is a wonderfully illustrated and very practical vegan cook book by Liz Cook - a sort of a "how-to-kit" that puts into practice the foods in the nutritional wallchart for those wishing to follow an animal free diet for whatever reason. Free Wallchart with the first 5 orders! Order your copy now for just €15 incl P&P

The ever popular Liz Cook Nutritional Wallchart €5 (incl P&P)

Over 100 simple, low-cost but tantalising vegetarian recipes. Includes comprehensive and easy to understand chapters on nutrition & animal welfare. Price €6.99

Pack of 3—€6

Pack of 4—€8

Pack of 3—€6 5.7cm badges—€4.50 Mini Badges—€2


THE VEGETARIAN SOCIETY OF IRELAND, C/o. Dublin Food Co-Op, 12 Newmarket, Dublin 8 If you would like to order any of the above items please email or call us on 01 4880250 to check on the availability of the required item. All prices are inclusive of postage and packaging within Ireland. All items are available while stocks last.


A new year has brought us a fresh start, and we’re excited to bring you the Spring 2013 edition of The Irish Vegetarian. In this issue, we include your familiar favorites such as recipes, and meetup reviews. Informative articles on nutrition related to iron intake, and the benefits of dandelions are highlights in this edition. We also explore issues pertaining to the Irish-Chinese trade agreement, as well as information regarding vegetarian charities. We hope you enjoy this edition. Happy reading!

Karen News

The prominent horsemeat scandal in the news leads to many discussions regarding vegetarianism in the Guardian: Live Irish cattle exports to Libya resume, sparking concern amongst those concerned about animal rights and animal welfare in the Irish Times:


The wrong email address was provided for the Vegan Meanin’ Food workshop in the last issue of The Irish Vegetarian. The correct email address is: A number of photos were miscredited in the Winter issue. We endeavor to correctly acknowledge all contributors and we apologise for our mistakes:

• • •



The Winter 2012 cover photo should be credited to Sarah Burnham. The carrot cake photo on page 18 should be credited to Hope Kudryashova at Vegan Nyom Nom: The cookies photo on page 17 should be credited to Giselle. The chocolate brownies photo on page 18 should be credited to Sarah Burnham.

A big thank you to our volunteers & contributors! Editors: Karen Bui, Alden Mathieu Packing & Distribution (Winter ’12): Sarah Allen, Eithne Brew, Sarah Burnham, David Byrne, Suzanne Clinton, Darragh Connolly, Fred Hillis, Grace Hillis, Martin O’Reilly, Miren-Maialen Samper. Proof reading (Winter ‘12): Grace Hillis, Martin O’Reilly, Maureen O’Sullivan, Gemma Sidney Contributors: Padraig Berry, Marti Flynn, Heather Gardner, Grace Hillis, Julie Hyde, Lee Kirwan, Mia Kovacs, Lisa Lord, Martin O’Reilly, Pears, Juliana Pereira, Miren-Maialen Samper, Bronwyn Slater, Cathal Spelman, Gaby Wieland, Roger Yates A special thanks to Gemma Sidney for her work on the Winter ‘12 issue. Cover: Photograph © Silke Rabung

Photo credit: daisyfield by pentaprism via

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

vegetarian & vegan social & local groups Dublin Vegetarian Meetup Group Meets usually at least once a month in various Dublin city centre locations. A diverse and very international group. Contact Grace Hillis ( To participate in this group join (free) and then become a member of the group: Clare Vegetarian Group Meets the first Thursday of every month. Website: Email: Galway Vegetarian Group Usually meets on the first Thursday of every month in Massimo’s Pub, William Street West, Galway City at 8pm. Contact Paul Campbell on 085 687 2088. Email: Web: Kilkenny Vegetarian Group Organizes “No Meat and Greets” where vegetarians and vegans bring their favourite dishes to share with others. Omnivores welcome, but no meat please! Email: Online at and Northern Ireland Veg*n Lounge Meetup Welcome all vegetarians, vegans, raw foodists, fruitarians (and any kind of plant eater!) from Northern Ireland. Online at www. Vegan Sligo Bringing the vegan lifestyle to Sligo. Email: vegansligo@gmail. com Web: Kerry Vegans and Raw Vegans Hoping to connect vegans in Kerry and anyone else interested in the vegan lifestyle. Online at If there’s a local group not Cork Vegans Regularly meet up to socialize and mentioned here, please to discuss and promote vegan issues. let us know by emailing Email: If you’d like to create a Web: group in your area, we can help you with leaflets & publicity. Full o’ Beans - The Galway Vegan Meetup Group For vegans and aspiring vegans living in and around Galway who love to eat! Vegan Ireland Regularly sends email newsletters with details of their latest activities, including meetups and information stands. Email: Website: www.veganireland. org The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013


“Vegetarianism - a statistical study”

an entry at the 50th BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition By Mia Kovacs


My name is Mia Kovacs; I am fourteen years old and living in County Cork. I was one of the many privileged students to be accepted as a finalist in the BT Young Scientist Competition of January 2013. I submitted a project with two friends of mine, Frank and Kane Curtin. Our project was entitled “Vegetarianism - a statistical study” and our goal was to determine whether there are differences between the opinions of non-vegetarian and vegetarian males and females towards vegetarianism. The idea for our project developed from two different factors. First, this project was inspired by personal circumstances as I myself am a vegetarian. Secondly, the project arose from numerous online and newspaper articles on the subject of our rapidly increasing global population and how the rise in global population is linked to food supply including increased food prices. We began to consider how people could maintain a healthy yet inexpensive diet and the idea came to us: vegetarianism. When speaking with my project partners about this topic, the question arose about how the public would react if they were to suddenly be exposed to a vegetarian diet. After many long and interesting discussions about the benefits and disadvantages of vegetarianism with my project partners, we concluded that it would make a very suitable project for the exhibition and also that nothing similar to it had been previously entered into the competition.

We started working in early September 2012, and in October we received the excellent news that we had been accepted as finalists into the BT Young Scientist Competition. Over the three months that we were given to complete our project, we received constant and much-appreciated help from the Vegetarian Society of Ireland. We began our project by distributing surveys to different locations in Cork City and surrounding areas. Once all of our surveys were returned to us, we collated the data and concluded that male opinions are in fact more negative towards vegetarianism than female opinions. We received survey responses from 151 females and 98 males. Of the 151 females, 85 said that they thought there was an advantage to being a vegetarian and 66 said that they did not think there was an advantage. For the 98 males, 31 said that they thought there was an advantage to vegetarianism but 67 said otherwise. After analysing this information using a Chi Square test, we discovered that this information is 99.9% statistically significant, which means that we are positive of our results. As to whether there is an advantage to being a vegetarian, we gave people who said yes a list of possible advantages: the health aspects and benefits of vegetarianism; that if you became a vegetarian you could lose weight/maintain your ideal weight; that you do not rely only on meat as a source of protein; the possibility of saving money; other (please state). We found that the main advantage for females was the health benefits, the second related to weight, the third was the fact that they don’t have to rely only on meat as a source of protein, the fourth was the possibility of saving money, and the last was the possibility of saving animals. The males thought that the main advantage was the health benefits of vegetarianism, the second related to weight, and the third was the possibility of saving money. In relation to whether there is a disadvantage to being a vegetarian, we gave people who said yes a list of possible disadvantages: I think it would be harder to find vegetarian food in restaurants/cafes/ shops; it would be more expensive in my opinion; I think I would miss eating meat; other (please state). We perceived that the females that we surveyed thought that they would miss meat should they become a vegetarian, the second was that they thought that it would be harder to find food suitable to a vegetarian diet, the third was that they thought being a vegetarian would be more expensive and the fourth was that they thought that they would suffer from a lack of protein. The males thought that they would also miss meat should they adapt a vegetarian diet, the second was that they thought that they would have trouble finding food suitable to their diet, the third was that they thought that adapting to a vegetarian diet would cont’d on page 18 The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

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visit of the People’s Republic of China Vice President Xi Jinping to Ireland in February 2012 was followed by a return trip to China by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and a number of Ministers a month later in March 2012. In the aftermath of these two international visits and the accompanying meetings, there was a general sense of confidence from TDs and comments in the national press. Mr Xi, who was recently named the new leader, and a 150-member delegation together with five Chinese government ministers, discussed trade and investment opportunities with Mr Kenny during his stay. An agreement to develop trade and investment between the two nations was signed at a forum hosted by Enterprise Ireland. This deal aims to promote trade, especially in the area of education, agriculture, and food. In the Sunday Business Post (19 February 2012), Simon Coveney, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said “a political and commercial relationship” with China and its expanding market offered “infinite” opportunities to businesses in Ireland, in particular the agri-food sector. China’s growing middle-class population, he maintains, was showing considerable appetite for a range of Irish quality agri-food products. Commenting in the Irish Independent (20 February 2012), Thomas Molloy confidently reminds us that the “Chinese need food and we have it.” In particular they need “beef and cow hides and we are one of Europe’s great cattle producing nations.” He goes on to say that China’s “demand for animal skins to make everything from handbags to shoes is so strong these days it pushed gelatine prices to record levels.” A second Irish Independent report on the same day said: “it’s exactly for this reason that our agri-food sector is one of the most optimistic places to be right now.” More recently, in February this year, the day almost 3,000 cattle departed for Libya, the first live delivery of cattle there since it banned imports from the EU in 1996, IFA president John Bryan said live export trade was essential for the €2 billion Irish beef and livestock sector. A business deal of this magnitude, to be sure, is always going to engender criticism because of The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

China’s abysmal human rights record. Amnesty International, for instance, urged government officials to speak out against China’s abuse of human rights upon Mr Xi’s visit. There were at least two national newspaper columns criticising Ireland’s political and trade relations with China because of their human rights abuses. There is another issue, however, that hasn’t been mentioned anywhere yet: concerns for nonhuman, farm animals were not, as far I can tell, alluded to in the public debate. The growth of agribusiness resulting from the trade deal will surely increase the volume of pain and suffering inflicted upon non-human animals. As specified in the Irish Times (16 April 2012), Ireland plans to play a key role in attempts to expand China’s horse racing industry -- a deal which is estimated to make €40 million for Ireland over the next three years. China’s existing and appalling record in terms of the treatment of animals speaks for itself and we must also assume that exporting horses to China raises the distinct possibility of abuse and mistreatment of these exported animals. Furthermore, because of developing economies in such places as China and India, this is likely to increase the amount of suffering inflicted upon non-human animals as well as dramatically increasing the number of non-human animals slaughtered, particularly in comparison to figures from the beginning of the twenty-first century. On the whole, people in Western liberal societies nowadays are appalled when they learn about cases of discrimination, such as racism, sexism, and homophobia. Most people, to be fair, are also revolted when they hear about cruel treatment inflicted upon non-human animals; however, when it comes to animal flesh as a commodity especially practices carried out in factory farm conditions—we would rather ignore this reality, preferring instead to bury our heads in the sand. The moral argument against using nonhuman animals for meat, I believe, is self-evident; there is no justification for meat consumption, in developed societies at least. Yet the argument in many cases rarely convinces. This anthropocentric

By Martin O’Reilly


China’s existing and appalling record in terms of the treatment of animals speaks for itself.

viewpoint has fashioned much of western thinking throughout history: the long tradition of placing non-human animals outside the realm of significance because they don’t possess rational minds (or souls), a capacity for languages, or their perceived inability to morally reciprocate, has been the basis of depriving them of moral weight. These were the views of many Christian scholars throughout the ages, the father of modern philosophy, René Descartes, and the great thinker of the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant. Perhaps the first to challenge the capacity to reason as the definitive measurement for giving moral weight to beings was Jeremy Bentham. In the late 18th century, when considering the moral interests we give to sentient beings (non-human animals included), Bentham asks: “The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Surely Bentham’s argument is reasonable: the pain experienced by a sentient being -- apart from her level of intelligence, capacity to reason, or her ability to use language -- must be given moral weight, regardless of what species she belongs to. This viewpoint, of course, does not propose that all sentient beings deserve a full range of human rights (the right to vote, for example), but it certainly does suggest meriting non-human sentient animals a lot more consideration and compassion that what currently exists. Still, you may say that we are human beings and it is entirely natural that we are inclined to give greater weight to the interest of humans over nonhuman animals. But is this not just another form of

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discrimination—what is, in some instances, referred to as “speciesism”—namely the excessive moral weight we give to members of one species (in this case, Homo sapiens) over others? In colonial times, the racists of European nations generally did not accept that pain mattered as much when it was felt by other races as when it was felt by Europeans. Whilst not in any way comparing the suffering of non-Europeans with non-human animals, it may be possible to imagine that speciesism, at some future stage, will be held with similar contempt as are other forms of discrimination today. A politician nowadays would have to resign (or at least, publicly apologise), if he was associated with, say, racism; but what he puts on his dinner plate would never cause him to quit office or generate public scandal, regardless of the pain and suffering caused to the source of the meat, i.e. the animal. This may not always be the case. There are other reasons why an increase in meat consumption may have negative consequences. It places greater demand on the environment in terms of land, energy, and water that other kinds of farming. Vaclav Smil calculates, in Feeding the World (The MIT Press, 2001), that it is not possible for everybody in the world to eat as much meat as people in the affluent world currently consume, as to supply that amount of meat would require 67 percent more agricultural land than the planet has available. Moreover, the findings of a major recent study, carried out over 28 years and published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, suggest that eating red meat significantly adds to the risk of death from heart disease and cancer. A lucrative trade deal with China is not necessarily a bad thing in essence; rather I would like to challenge the assumption that a deal that will increase the supply of meat products is morally acceptable. In spite of the economic benefits it may bring about, we must realise that we should not only be alarmed by human rights violations in China, but also troubled by the increase of animals that will be slaughtered and mistreated as a result of the trade deal. In order to have a more socially progressive deal, perhaps Ireland and China could look to create opportunities in developing trade with quality nonmeat food commodities instead; both countries have a long history of growing and producing food from different grains, vegetables and fruit. For sure, there could be growth potential in this area. In light of our increased awareness of the cruelty that is foisted upon non-human animals for food, the impact meat consumption has on the environment, and the benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet, we have food for thought in terms of this trade deal. Furthermore, this knowledge gives us the space to seriously think about reducing our consumption of meat in society and start replacing it with possible viable substitutes.

To book for a group demo, one day class, or consultation, Contact 085 1254296 or


The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

which specialises in meatless products and ready meals - all of which, failed to consider the fact e of these might hold a logiuntil now, have contained eggs. Quorn took this decision after working stent and principled stance closely with Compassion Over Killing, a Washington DC-based animal e killing of animals - and protection organisation that originally approached the company about decide to live on vegetarian reducing its use of eggs as an important step in preventing cruelty to diet. On the other hand, laying hens and to meet the increasing demand for vegan options. does, at least, criticise the d production of meat in su"The team at Quorn Foods in cooperation with Compassion Over Kills, he claims to be a lover of nd regards some vegetarian ing is delighted with the results of the work to reduce egg use in our Editor’s note: This is a response to a previous Analysis by a seeds—and in their natural raw state. (After all, By Cathal Spelman undeniably delicious”. committee member of the Vegetarian Society of Ireland . The VSI says David Wilson, Quorn's General Manager. "In adproduct range," other animals don’t cook, so why would nature

the Ethics of

cultured meat

wishes to give the right of reply and encourage debate on the

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our natural food? Fruit, vegetables, nutsanimal and seeds. nonprofit advocacy organization Let’s look at another approach. The Natural What is the outcome of eating natural foods? John Carmody saidof repeatHygienists the nineteenth and twentieth based in Washington D.C. Since 1995, Health for us, no need for animal suffering, and far centuries came to the conclusion a raw vegan he wanted to use the media less damage to our earth. COK has worked to end the abuse of their approach was entirely a vehicle dietwas to openoptimal, up thebutdethrough underWhy on earth should animals we pursueintheagriculture mirage via nature. It goes like this: public outreach, e issue of animal welfare in of cultured meat when we cover have notinvestigations, even begun Let’s look at which foods are most suited for andof other to tap into the benefits of thelitigation, cornucopia fruits, advocacy programs. ary Ireland, presenters often mankind to eat. What does nature intend us to eat? nature presents to More at ow the discourse tolike goa simple far question, but then you vegetables, nuts and seeds that It seems us? So for me, the natural argument is far superior. he Rachel Allen issue. will soon realise that people eat every type of food It is better to follow nature in matters of food. If Quorn is the brand name of a line of all-natural, meat-free sun, sowhere there is no agreement as to the we just isolate ere were under somethecases out the sold ideainofthe being foods, UK vegetarian since 1985. More at mostout natural food for mankind. So the Natural or veganfrozen s did open a bit: some for the animals alone, we get to silly Hygienists set out to discover the most natural conclusions like cultured meat. And also unhealthy points were talked about, food, and they went via the animals. vegetarian and vegan foods, which may not involve e legality of hunting pheasIf you look at any animal, you can see that animal suffering, but are natural or good for us. Source: al rightseach vs.animal hunter eats arights, particular type of food according If we follow nature, we get health andquorn-launches-first-vegan-product happiness for umption, toand alternative ag- is a grass-eating animal. A ourselves and the animals and our planet. its physiology. A cow likewise. But athis lion is made to eat cow or horse methods. horse Even when or antelope. Each animal he arguments offered were has the body for the job. A cow 12 Newmarket, Dublin 8 more emotive than well has teeth for crushing grass, Tel: 01-4544258 Therefore, it is stomachs difficult for to the and extra constructive debates enzyme the digestion of grass. A lion has claws and fangs re. A Member-Owned-Co-op for tearing flesh, and strong stomach to acidhear for digesting s encouraging that Open Thurs 4 - 8 pm and Sat 9.30 - 4.30 pm flesh. er gave consideration, live Wholefoods, Organic Fruit & Vegetables, So, vegan what for about Wholegrain Bakery, Eco-friendly products, the idea of going humans? Café & Organic ready-to-eat delights. Organic / Fair ks, after Bernie Wright, AlliWell, the Natural Trade food suitable for vegetarians. Animal Rights (AFAR), chal- that Hygienists concluded Irish, as far as possible. m to do. the Let’shuman hope body he tries. is best Local growers and producers supported. adaptedoffor consumption perhaps some histhelisteners New members and visitors welcome! fruit, nuts and pted to doofso asvegetables, well. The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013


The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2012


Wild About Dandelions By Heather Gardner


new trend is emerging of late for folk to ditch the supermarket fare in favour of foraging in their local forest, searching the hedgerows and rummaging in the local park, seeking out little green gems of culinary delight. It’s not just the tree-hugging hippies but people from all walks of life; from green-smoothie-swilling divas to Michelin-starred restaurateurs. TIME To GET FRISKY IN THE FoREST! It’s time to get outdoors, put your wellies on, and get frisky in the forest! The best way to dive into this foraging frenzy is to start with what we do know instead of worrying about what we don’t. Almost everybody knows what the not-so-humble dandelion looks like and as there is no poisonous plant that looks similar it’s a safe place to start. Dandelions grow all year round and nearly anywhere—even the cracks in concrete. Chances are, if you head outside, you will find some. The noT-so-huMBle dAndelion Dandelions (Taraxacum officinale, member of the sunflower family) are cheerful little plants with off-the-chart nutritional and medicinal qualities and rather tasty too; the leaves taste slightly bitter, similar to endive. The bane of many lawn enthusiasts, they have been revered by herbalists worldwide for untold centuries, and have been used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine as well as by the Native Americans. It is still cultivated as a crop in many parts of Europe, such as France and Germany. Dandelions are a sensational superfood and fabulously free, fresh and unpackaged. • Dandelions contain 112 % of the daily recommended value of vitamin A and 4 times more vitamin A than lettuce • Higher in beta-carotene than carrots • Iron and calcium content is greater than spinach • 32% daily value of vitamin C per cup of leaves • Contain vitamins B1, B2, B5, B6, C, E and D, biotin, inositol, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc, and many other trace elements and enzymes • Contain the antioxidant lutein, which is good for healthy vision; also helenin, reputed to help with night vision


The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

• • • •

Rich in inulin, a prebiotic, which actually feeds and encourages the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the gut as well as balancing blood sugar The flowers contain lecithin, this helps the liver to break down fats and improves brain function The milky sap found in the leaves and flower stems have been used to remove warts, corns, callouses and other stubborn skin maladies When placed in a paper bag with unripe fruit, the flowers and leaves of dandelions release ethylene gas, ripening the fruit quickly

Dogs, cats, hamsters, horses and our other furry friends can also eat dandelions. It aids their digestion, and cleanses their liver and kidneys. GATHERING When picking dandelion leaves, choose small light-coloured ones. The larger the leaf, the more bitter the taste. They are better to eat freshly picked but can be stored in the fridge or even the freezer. Dandelion roots are best picked in the autumn and dandelion greens are best picked in the spring. After the first frost in autumn is another time when dandelion greens aren’t so bitter. Of course, you can pick roots and leaves all year round, as they are always available. Avoid picking leaves in the areas where chemical fertilizers or pesticides have been used or along busy roads. Dandelion leaf may be hung to dry after cleaning and should still be green and crumble when crushed. Dandelion root should be scrubbed, chopped, and dried in a warm oven or dehydrator. The outer flesh of the dry dandelion root will have a dark color when dried while the inner flesh will retain the creamy white color. It can be used in teas or stews. FURTHER INSPIRATIoN Gail, Peter A. The Dandelion Celebration: The Guide to Unexpected Cuisine. Seal, Julie Bruton. Hedgerow Medicine. Michael, Pamela. Edible Wild Plants & Herbs: A Compendium of Recipes & Remedies. Rofe, Amanda. Raw Edible Wild Plants for the British Isles (and other places too).

Photo credit: Flower meadow in spring by pixxels_at via

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013


Dandelion Mustard 1 cup mustard seeds 1/2 cup dandelion cider vinegar 1 spoon of honey 1/2 tsp. turmeric 1/2 tsp. salt Soak the mustard seeds in the dandelion vinegar overnight. Then add the rest of the ingredients and allow the mixture to sit for several days in a covered container. When ready to use, blend in your blender or grinder. Stores well in the refrigerator, and keeps for several months.

Heather is a lifelong 3rdgeneration vegetarian, raw foodist and Kundalini yoga teacher. She lives in the west of Ireland, teaching and running her business as well as running after her feisty little toddler! Illustration Credit: Lee Kirwan

Wild Dandelion Pesto (Makes 2 jam jars) 1 big handful dandelion leaves 1 handful fresh basil leaves 1 cup walnuts or hazelnuts 1 cup shelled hempseeds or pine nuts 3 tsp. lime or lemon juice 1-2 large cloves of garlic, chopped 1 small chili or half a large chili (optional), chopped 1 tsp. sea salt or pink Himalayan salt 1 tsp. kelp powder 1 tsp. seagreen granules approx. 200mL organic virgin oil (I use a mix of hemp and olive) Place everything in your food processor—in 2 batches if its a small machine. Blend until nice and smooth but with a nice crunch. Be ready to add more oil as required to make a nice smooth consistency and to help the blades turn. Use whatever ingredients you prefer or have on hand and change the quantities if you like. Pesto is pretty easy to make out of anything! Pack the pesto into glass jars leaving a little space at the top. Pour olive oil into this space to seal—this stops it from going moldy. Store in the fridge. Best used within a few days for flavour but will keep if the oil seal has been done properly. Dandelion Vinegar Supercharge your salad dressings with this dandelion enriched vinegar! You can use flowers or leaves, or both. Gather your dandelions, chop the leaves if you’re using them, and strip the stems from your flowers. You can use the root also; the starchiness lends a sweet, smoky taste. Place in a large jar and cover with organic cider vinegar. Leave it in a cupboard and shake occasionally. After 4-6 weeks or longer if you wish, strain it through a nut milk bag into clean jars. You will have a mildly flavored, healthy vinegar to use in dressings and sauces, or as a tonic beverage mixed with honey and water to stimulate the digestive system.


Dandelion Sun Tea Dandelions make a tasty tea and are reputed to be a heart tonic. They also contain pain-relieving compounds and lecithin and make a great after dinner beverage. Pick some fresh dandelion flowers and remove the bitter stalk. Put them a large glass jar or jug full of warm spring water. Leave to sit in a sunny window or outside for a few hours, longer on a cool day. The leaves can be added for a more bitter medicinal effect, using the young fresh leaves will taste better. Add any other herbs you like. In the winter you can make the tea with dried leaves and root on top of a stove. Add some honey or stevia if you prefer it sweeter. Dandelion and nettle leaves together an excellent spring tonic for rejuvenating the body after a long winter. Dandelion tea can improve appetite in children. Because children often dislike dandelion’s bitter taste, try adding dried apple pieces or orange slices to the tea. Warm Winter Dandelion Chai 1 cup dried or roasted dandelion root 1/2 cup dry organic orange peel. 1/2 cup cinnamon bark 1/2 cup dried ginger root Mix this together and any other spices you like, such as cardamom. You can grind the spices if you wish, or leave them whole, and store in an airtight jar. When you want to make chai, add 1 dessert spoon per cup and warm slowly over a stove. Serve with almond milk and honey. Dandelion Juice Makes a powerfully potent, cleansing juice. Add a handful of dandelion greens to your juicer or blender when making up your favourite juices. Seriously saves money on all those store bought greens or wheatgrass shots! Dandelion Green Smoothie Add dandelion greens to your smoothie recipes for unrivaled natural goodness, try blending a handful up with a mango, a banana, a pear, some berries and some water or coconut water for a bed head busting breakfast. The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

Vegetarian ForeignAid Charities I

rish people have always been very generous when it comes to helping charities in the developing world. However, as vegetarians and vegans we should be concerned about where our donations are going, especially if they are being used to buy animals or animal-based foods. We should not just be concerned about this from a moral point of view. Raising animals for food uses precious resources such as land, food (in the form of grain) and fuel—all of which are critical in the areas of the world where famine, drought, floods and other disasters often occur. Here are some statistics: Eating meat is a highly inefficient way of consuming protein. A kilo of chicken requires around 3.4kg of grain, and a pig must eat 8.4kg of grain to produce 1kg of meat. Academics have calculated that if the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people we could feed at least twice as many people (and possibly far more) than we do now. (John Vidal, “10 ways vegetarianism can save the environment”, The Observer, 18th July 2010). Approximately 85% of the world’s soya crop is fed to animals. ( Much of this soya and other grains that are fed to animals world-wide are imported from countries where people have been forced into extreme poverty as a consequence. ( Producing 1kg of rice requires approximately 3,500 litres of water, while 1kg of beef requires 15,000 litres. (4th UN World Water Development Report, 2012). The fragile environment of developing countries cannot support two populations humans and their food animals. Animal-derived food, especially if it is intensively produced, squanders resources and damages the earth’s fragile environment. Two charities registered in the UK are working in the developing world to ensure that none of the monies donated to them are used to buy animals. These charities are ‘HIPPO’ and ‘Vegfam’. ‘HIPPO’ – Help International Plant Protein Organisation – was set up in 1999 by Neville and Hazel Fowler. HIPPO provides famine relief The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

aid in the form of vegetable foods and assists indigenous vegetarians to develop projects to grow their own protein crops like soy. Here are some of the projects Hippo has been involved in: Kenya: Providing food for three vegetarian orphanages that now care for over 400 children between them, and helping them to be more selfsufficient by growing their own food sustainably and efficiently, for example, through water boreholes and economical trickle irrigation systems, and by providing tools, seeds and trees. They also supply some of the poorest families with locally-grown foodstuffs, encouraging and helping them to grow their own where possible, and they provide medical treatment and shoes and clothes to enable the children to attend school. Lagos, Nigeria: Support for a vegetarian street feeding programme (via the Nigerian Vegetarian Society). Ethiopia: Support for local NGO the Institute for Sustainable Development, which is addressing the problems of land degradation. They also helped to develop the sustainable, organic, non-GM production of crops, especially pulses. Malawi: Completed a project to grow soya beans, providing the finance for an irrigation reservoir and equipment, seeds and tools. Uganda: Helping a small business that produces nutritious foods from soy and corn. The business is now producing food for use by a local

By Bronwyn Slater All photos thanks to Neville Fowler of HIPPO Bronwyn Slater is the organiser of the ‘Cork Vegans’ meetup group, and is the Cork area contact for the Vegan Society, UK. Email: ‘’. Website:

If the grain fed to animals in western countries were consumed directly by people, we could feed at least twice as many people (and possibly far more) than we do now.


NGO Nutricare Uganda to provide school meals for some of the poorest children in government primary schools. The schools will also be helped to establish gardens to grow their own food and train the pupils in doing this. Tanzania: A project which will help residents to grow vegetable foods and pulses so that over a period of time they will depend less and less upon animals. Romania, Latvia and Croatia: High-protein plant-based foods were sent to orphanages and hospitals. The charity is currently concentrating its efforts in regions of Kenya. In the second half of 2011 HIPPO raised more than £8000 for its famine relief work in the northern part of the country, where the Wamba area has been suffering prolonged drought. HIPPO has been feeding over 400 of the most needy adults and children with a constant supply of maize meal, beans, cooking oil, and textured soya protein (TVP). They have organised five women’s co-operative groups in the area. Each group has its own small holding which HIPPO provides with tools, seeds, wells, water storage tanks and fencing. The first of these groups was actually established nearly three years ago and as well as producing vegetables for their own families with a surplus for other villagers they also run a successful bakery with two large ovens provided by HIPPO. The women start early in the morning, baking fresh bread to supply three schools and the community – something completely new for Wamba. A spokesperson for the charity says that encouraging those who have a tradition of animal farming and herding to change to a plant-based diet is a slow and gradual process, but when the people begin to see the benefits to their health and the environment they become convinced. The policy at HIPPO is to ensure that the aid is direct, so they do not hand over the funds they raise to other charities or agencies that are not in sympathy with their vegetarian principles. HIPPO is a small charity. All administration is done voluntarily and overheads are kept to a minimum. They pay their own travel expenses when they visit projects as well as the routine office costs at home. Cheques may be made payable to ‘HIPPO’ and sent to the following address: HIPPO, Churchfield House, Weston Under Penyard, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, HR9 7PA, England. Standing Order forms are available either by post or by email. Website: uk. Email: Vegfam was registered as a charity 14

in December 1963 by Chris & Janet Aldous. Although it is a vegetarian charity, the trustees have always regarded this to mean ‘vegan’. Vegfam “feeds the hungry without exploiting animals” by funding plant food projects, providing seeds and tools for vegetable growing, fruit and nut tree planting, and through irrigation projects and water wells. The charity also provides emergency feeding in times of crisis and disaster. Since 1963, Vegfam has funded overseas famine relief projects in over 40 countries, helping people who suffer from the effects of cyclones, disease, droughts, earthquakes, floods, natural and human-made disasters, poverty, war and famine. They support sustainable, environmentally-aware projects that reduce dependency on external aid. From 2008 to 2010, a total of 31 Vegfam funded projects, in 19 countries, benefited over 245,000 people. Below is just a small sample: India: In 2009 funds were provided for seeds, fencing and water supply resources to empower communities through ‘Farm Livelihood Initiatives’ in Bundelkhand. Emergency food & water was given to survivors of the drought and severe heat wave in 2010. Belize: Organic food gardens were established at 32 primary schools throughout the Toledo District. Rwanda: Growing mixed crops to ensure a supply of staple food to improve food security and nutrition. Income from the sale of surplus crops was used to cater for special needs within the community and to facilitate future investment into the project. Malawi: Improving the livelihoods of families in one of the most environmentally degraded areas of Malawi, by using sustainable environmental rehabilitation and agricultural practices (organic crop production). Colombia: 45 family vegetable gardens were established and 5 community gardens were set up. An organic seed bank provided seeds to be exchanged with other nearby women’s organisations. Food preparation using vegan recipes and food grown in the gardens encouraged the beneficiaries to consume more vegetables, herbs and other plants. Cambodia: Home gardens were set up on 390 homesteads. 17 rice growing demonstration plots facilitated sustainable systems of rice production. Crops from many varieties of locally produced organic seed helped to alleviate chronic malnutrition. Congo: The purchase of community

land, hedging, seeds, tools and training in the Mushaki area. Pakistan: Emergency food and water to survivors of the floods at the end of July, 2010. Kenya: Distribution of seeds and seedlings, fruit trees and 2 irrigation structures. Bangladesh: Organic seeds and the construction costs of bamboo, netting/ fencing and labour to make 1200 floating platforms on which to grow vegetables. Brazil: Organic seeds, tools, irrigation supplies, food storage equipment and training. Niger: 1 metric ton of emergency sorghum wheat to contribute to replenishing stocks in a grain bank to reduce the risk of food shortage. Horn of Africa: An emergency response was funded to benefit people affected by the Horn of Africa drought and famine in 2011 by providing vegan food supplies, life saving water resources (rehabilitation of water points, provision of water filter units and fuel for water pumps in emergency boreholes), and later on 203 metric tonnes of seeds were financed to be planted as part of a recovery phase of the disaster. Vegfam funded projects are carried out by other charities, NGO’s and indigenous on-the-spot organisations. In emergency situations Vegfam checks with the on-the-spot charity that their conditions for providing vegan food can be met before placing funds. They are primarily a fundraising organisation and, having raised the funds, they then have to place them either with field workers or with major charities such as Find Your Feet, Concern Universal, Save The Children, War On Want, and others. Vegfam works with and encourages such partners to carry out projects which do not exploit animals or the environment, funding only ethically sound plant-food and water projects. 90% of donations are spent directly on famine relief projects. Vegfam is one of only a few charities in the UK which is trying to prevent developing countries copying the ecologicallydisastrous Western lifestyle. They rely totally on donations from supporters and do not receive funding from any other source. You can donate securely online via the Vegfam website: www.vegfamcharity. Cheques, postal orders and international money orders should be sent to: VEGFAM, c/o Cwm Cottage, Cwmynys, Cilycwm, LLandovery, Carmarthenshire, SA20 OEU, Wales, UK. The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

“ T h e K i ng o f Veg a n C h e e s e s” - Veg Fe s t U K

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15 19/12/2011 11:01

FUNKY SEOMRA By Grace Hillis At the suggestion of a member, the group held a meetup in the Funky Seomra on Saturday, 21st July last year. This was the group’s third meetup at the Funky Seomra with the other two meetups taking place a few years ago. The Funky zyk Marcin Star Seomra is a drug- and alcohol-free, over-18s dance event. It it ed cr o phot is Meetup, Above: Enn is usually held once a month on a Saturday night in a Dublin location. Funky Seomra events are also held in Cork and Galway. ENNIS MEETUP At the request of Miren Maialen and Hana, the Funky Seomra By Julie Hyde organisers provided us with our own meetup corner where we Co-Founder Clare Veg Group enjoyed chatting and playing Jenga. There were further games available such as Connect Four, as well as other activities A lovely veggie style weekend was had in Co. Clare just including storytelling and a drawing corner (where you could before the winter set in. It was a great few days where vegetardraw a picture using colouring pencils and crayons). There were ians and vegans from all around could meet like-minded people bean bags where you could sit and relax. Food and juices were and talk food, health, and get inspired. for sale at the Happy Pear Cafe, with VSI members getting a Our first meal together was held in The Mogul Emperor small discount with their membership card. Restaurant in Ennis where we shared in a full vegan Indian Just to reiterate, this is an over 18s event! The main focus spread. Many sleepy heads crashed in the lovely Rowan Tree is on the dancing. People enjoy dancing exactly as they feel Hostel that night. here, sometimes in bare feet. The music got mixed reviews from Saturday morning gave everyone a chance to wander attendees who posted comments on the meetup site. One person around the health shops in Ennis and then check in with Mother said they loved it while another said it had no variety. Overall Nature. We hiked through the trees in Mooghaun Woods in New- I think it’s fair to say it was an enjoyable evening. We were market on Fergus and ate a fab veggie picnic in the car park. joined by a Polish couple who were visiting Ireland for a few The highlight of the weekend was the beautiful meal in Pri- weeks and at least one other meetup first-timer. Admission to mavera Restaurant, Ennis that night. There were gasps of delight the Funky Seomra costs €15 and more information can be found as each guest was handed our very own ‘Vegan Menu’! at Another alcohol-free group—A Sober Slice of This weekend was organised by both the Vegetarian So- Dublin—regularly holds meetups there. ciety of Ireland – Dublin Meetup Group and Clare Veg Group. Many thanks to everyone who took part in making this weekend a huge success.

Below: Fun

ky Seomra

Meetup Member’s Milestone

By Marti Flynn

Would you like to know how to throw a very successful last minute party in a very trendy venue, with lovely veggie food and great music—and all organised in only two days? If so, just ask Ian! Ian, on behalf of the Vegetarian Society, we thank you for the smashing evening we all had celebrating your very special milestone at the Parnell Heritage Bar and Grill last August. By the way, your guitar playing and singing were fabulous. We also enjoyed the singing of your two lady friends, what powerful voices! Well done Ian, and lots of best wishes to you!


The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

New Year’s Vegetarian Meetup By Miren-Maialen Samper

Above: Du

blin Meetu

Animal Rights film “Bold Native” By Padraig Berry

On Saturday the 4th of August, 2012, I had an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I attended a film event run by ‘ALiberation’. The film Bold Native was screened at Exchange Dublin with the delicious vegan food provided by ‘Ruuts & Shuuts’. The Vegetarian Meetup Group members who attended were Alessia, Siobhan, Grace, Heather, Beto, Rod and Seb. Now before I say anything I must declare my credentials, or lack of. I am a pescetarian (I eat fish and dairy) and a sort of eco-friendly guy who sees what we are doing to the planet and its inhabitants and knows it is wrong (I read Carl Hiaasan’s Editor’s note: Lurve was not currently trading at time of going to press. For current information on Lurve please visit books on holidays). I know that there are things going on that I should get involved in, but like most of the silent majority, I just never seem to get around to it. Well, after watching Bold Native and listening to Sharon Núñez, an animal rights activist who co-founded the group ‘Igualdad Animal,’ I am a convert. The movie (a work of fiction based on what is really happening on the ground in the US) was made for tens of thousands of dollars, not millions, and was as good as anything you will see coming out of Hollywood. It followed the journey of a father, a successful businessman, and his son, an animal rights activist; as the son becomes the leader of an animal rights activist group, and subsequently a wanted “terrorist,” the father, in parallel, is slowly forced to change his values and accept the integrity of his son’s arguments, as he attempts to save his son before he ends up in jail. The movie was subtle, understated and powerful. The characters were real. Like the father, I left the movie a convert. I now believe that T what we are doing to our fellow creaAbov op: “Bold e: AR AN r Native”, p tures is barbaric and, that I can no longer ally i n Du hoto cred blin, be an observer. Like the father, it is time i t R photo od Ch ic credi t Gra hignoud to step up and participate. See it if you can.

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

p at Lurve

ce Hi


meetup reviews

It turned out that Lurve on Mary Street was a great place for our Vegetarian Meetup, and we were the first customers to visit the restaurant. Lurve invited the Vegetarian Society of Ireland - Dublin Meetup Group to join them on Saturday the 19th of January to mark the opening of the café, and around thirty people came along on the day. Among the participants were animal rights activists and members of VSI. Lurve is the first restaurant of its kind in Dublin, offering exclusively vegan dishes. As our starters course, the options given to us were carrot and parsnip pâté served with crispy toast and spinach salad, or roasted pepper and tomato soup served with pesto on grilled ciabatta. For the main dish, we had a choice of lentil Bolognese pasta, or potato pancake with grilled vegetables in a spicy tomato sauce. The choice of desserts were very good: apple strudel with vanilla sauce, or carrot cake. I particularly enjoyed the tomato soup and the lentil Bolognese pasta. It was a very enjoyable afternoon. Thanks to Martin O’Sullivan for organising a wonderful Meetup, and thanks to everyone at Lurve. It was great to see lots of new faces, and a pleasure to chat with so many interesting and friendly people. Looking forward to the next Vegetarian Meetup!


“Vegetarianism - A Statistical Survey” cont’d from page 6


be more expensive and the fourth was that they thought that they would suffer from lack of protein. The results for these two questions are only correct for the study we completed, as they were under 95% statically significant. We asked whether the recipients of our survey had family members or friends that are/ have been vegetarians. 105 out of 151 females and 55 out of 98 males said they knew people who are or had been a vegetarian. We asked in which of the following areas (if any) the promotion of vegetarianism should be improved: shops; restaurants/cafes; other (please state). The majority of the people we surveyed said that the promotion of vegetarianism should be improved in shops. These are only some of our results but I feel that they are the most interesting. On Wednesday 9 January 2013, we travelled to Dublin for the exhibition. My school, Kinsale Community, had seventeen projects accepted into the competition. Over the course of three days, we were interviewed by six judges. The judges were all incredibly patient, approachable, and encouraging. Our first judge agreed with us about the importance of our project. He was very interested to hear what we had to say and was patient enough to let us say all we had to and we really appreciated that because we were so nervous. The doors opened to the public on Thursday morning. We attracted a surprising amount of vegetarians and vegans, all of whom were incredibly talkative and friendly, and they asked us many questions about the project. We received a lot of interest from teenage vegetarians at the exhibition, all of whom were female. We did of course meet male vegetarians but they were all over 18. All of the vegetarians we met were keen to discuss our project with us. Some of the non-vegetarians we met weren’t as positive: we received the occasional stare and I was actually called “delusional” when speaking to one group of boys! It’s not that I really minded their comment: I was open to their opinions as our project was not about promoting vegetarianism but simply trying to statistically understand people’s opinions towards vegetarianism. But their comments only verified what we had already discovered in our results. Otherwise, everyone was really friendly and interested in our project. The best of my three days was on the Friday; we all gathered in the large arena in the RDS for the prize-giving ceremony. A project from my own school, Kinsale Community, won the BT Young Scientist Competition. And to top it all off, our project was highly commended by the judges. The overall experience was absolutely amazing; Kinsale Community School came home to Cork with sixteen awards. My project partners and I don’t plan on continuing the study further but I will certainly enter the BT Young Scientist Competition in fourth year. The results didn’t surprise me or change my view on vegetarianism. I’m still loving the diet and its benefits and I would recommend it to everyone!

Cornucopia and A.R.A.N. rally

By Juliana Pereira

Sunday, 26th August. That really bright Sunday started quite well with the meetup at Cornucopia Restaurant on Wicklow Street. I arrived at 12pm and the Event Host was there already to receive everyone for the meetup. I had a wonderful time there - good conversation and atmosphere. I met new members of the group and the food was simply gorgeous! It was my first time at Cornucopia and I know I will definitely come back... the possibilities of a meat free diet had surprised me once more. The day had been good enough so far, but there was much more to come. After lunch we went to the ARAN (Animal Rights Action Network) rally. And what an event! A support table was set up at the Garden of Remembrance on Parnell Square, where people were signing petitions, and, ahead of the march, everyone came together to hear a number of speeches. Some gave very passionate and emotional talks, whilst others presented very coherent and down-to-earth ones. Speeches, for example, that sought to open people’s eyes without judging anyone - I think that is the best way to approach it. Amongst the speakers was Martin O’Reilly, representing the VSI. In addition to recounting some of the projects the VSI undertake, he urged listeners to continue challenging accepted prejudices against non-human animals, which still persist in today’s world. There were also activists receiving awards: people (including many campaigning for ARAN) that have fought for animal rights their whole lives, even when others didn’t listen or care. Most of them were people whom I had never heard of before, but they have inspired me, and I feel I’ve connected with them because we think the same way. Well, everything was said, so it was time to march! I hadn’t noticed how many people there were until that moment. Hundreds of people carrying banners, marching and chanting: “There is no excuse for animal abuse!” and “It is time for animal rights!” I was a little shy at first, but then I found myself becoming more confident, shouting very passionately! It was good to be there shouting and fighting for something I believe in. Regrettably, I had to leave the march before it ended, but I left believing, more than anything, in the positive results of this work, and that it can really make a difference. What can I say … it was really uplifting! My account might not be an accurate or full description of events that happened on the day, but it is the inner description of the experience of a first-time participant that was greatly impressed. I’m looking forward to the next ARAN event and to the next vegetarian meetup as well. Thanks everyone, it was a wonderful experience!

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

Getting Enough

Iron it’s easier than you think

By Lisa Lord u.s.-credentialed registered dietitian Ask people to name a food with lots of iron and many will correctly answer meat, especially beef. And where do cows get their rich stores of iron? From plants, of course. Iron is abundant in the plant kingdom, which is great news for vegetarians. By cutting out the cow (or pig or chicken) in the middle, you dodge the saturated fat and cholesterol in meat, reduce your carbon footprint, save some animals and possibly save a few euro, too. Here’s what vegetarians need to know about getting enough iron. Iron is as critical to our bodies as the air we breathe. As part of the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules, iron helps the body carry and store oxygen. Iron also plays a role in cellular metabolism and immune function. According to the World Health Organisation, iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency in the world. Studies of American and British populations show that infants and young children, adolescent girls, premenopausal women and pregnant women are especially at risk.1,2 Certain diseases and conditions also increase risk. Iron deficiency doesn’t happen overnight. It occurs in stages, beginning with depleted iron stores and progressing to iron deficiency anemia. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, irritability and shortness of breath, and can lead to decreased physical work capacity, developmental delays and cognitive impairment in infants and children, and adverse pregnancy outcomes. It may surprise you that vegetarians are not at higher risk for iron deficiency than omnivores.3 In fact, vegetarians seem to eat as much or more iron than non-vegetarians.4 Unfortunately, in the case of many children, girls and women, it isn’t enough. Vegetarian sources of iron include: legumes (beans, peas, lentils); blackstrap molasses; baked potatoes with skin; nuts, especially cashews; seeds, especially pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sesame tahini; tofu and tempeh; dried fruits; whole grains, especially quinoa; leafy green vegetables; and some soymilks (check the label). Iron-enriched breakfast cereal, other enriched grains and breads, and vegetarian soy meats may also The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

be good sources of iron, depending on the brand. Notably missing from the list are dairy foods. Not only are they a poor source of iron, they may displace other iron-rich foods. Food contains two types of iron—haem from animal flesh and non-haem from both animal flesh and plants. Non-haem iron is not absorbed as well as haem iron, and certain dietary factors can reduce absorption even further. Phytate, found in whole grains, beans, seeds and nuts, binds iron and prevents absorption. To reduce the impact of phytate, try toasting seeds and nuts, sprouting beans and grains, or soaking beans, grains and seeds, and discarding the water. Fermentation also increases iron availability; fermented foods include yeasted or sourdough bread, tempeh and miso. Tea, one of Ireland’s favorite beverages, can be a problem. Polyphenolics in tea, coffee, cocoa and some herbal teas bind iron when taken with a meal. Drink these beverages between meals to maximize iron absorption. Calcium supplements should also be taken between meals. Finally, studies show that soy protein may inhibit iron absorption, though fermentation reduces this effect. On the positive side, the best way to boost non-haem iron absorption is by adding vitamin C (ascorbic acid) to meals and snacks. Vegetarians eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables should have no problem with this. Good sources of vitamin C include: citrus fruits and juices (orange, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine), red peppers, papaya, strawberries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, mango, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, and leafy greens (kale, collards, turnip greens, beet greens, mustard greens). Other fruit juices may be fortified with vitamin C, so check the label. Other organic acids from fruits and vegetables, such as citric acid and malic acid, may also help increase non-haem iron absorption. In addition, cooking acidic foods in cast-iron cookware releases small amounts of iron into food. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for iron varies according to age and gender. See “Resources” at the end of this article for where to find the RDA reports for Ireland, the UK and the US. Bear in mind that RDAs are meant to cover the needs 19

If you want to find out more about how to prepare raw and such as pureed or well-mashed beans, fermented foods, there are courses coming up with peas, lentils or tofu, Gaby Wieland in The Organic Centre in along with fruits, vegetables or juices Rossinver, Co. Leitrim providing vitamin C. June 22nd Saturday - Raw Food Un-“Cooking” Toddlers may with Gaby Wieland €75 including lunch continue to be at In this life enhancing course Gaby demonstrates risk, especially if how to make easy, mouth watering raw food recipes. dairy foods are used as the main protein From breakfast options like “Green Smoothie” and source. Don’t “Raw Granola” with nut milk, to lunch and dinner despair if you have a options, you will learn how to make your own raw picky eater. Children spaghetti with a range of different sauces, dehymay need 10-15 exposures to a new drated burgers and crackers, wraps, pestos, salads food before they and delicious dessert options. We will prepare our will accept it. You own raw living lunch. Recipes will be provided and can also experiment information on tools for the raw food kitchen will be with adding mashed given. or pureed fruits, vegetables, beans or tofu to sauces, “I knew very little about raw food beforehand. I feel stews, casseroles or like I learnt a lot in a relaxed atmosphere from a baked goods for a knowledgeable teacher!” nutritional boost. For example, try tofu blended in a More info and to book courses: and or phone 071 9854338. smoothie or pureed white beans mixed in a cheese sauce. of most healthy individuals, but your own Low-sugar, iron-fortified breakfast cereals unique needs will be different. are often a favorite with kids. Be sure to The US recommended iron intake serve fruit or juice with vitamin C at the for vegetarians is 1.8 times higher than for same time. non-vegetarians, since iron isn’t absorbed The US recommendation for iron is as well from plant-based diets as from 30% higher for athletes.5 However, the mixed diets.5 There is some controversy American College of Sports Medicine over this, as the recommendation was recommends that all endurance athletes, based on a test diet that many experts especially long-distance runners, increase feel might not accurately reflect how iron intake by 70%. They further suggest vegetarians eat in real life. that athletes, especially women, longAs mentioned, there are a few distance runners, adolescents and groups of people more likely to be running vegetarians, should have their iron levels low on iron. Adolescent girls and women tested periodically.6 lose iron during menstruation, and studies The body can increase or decrease show that their iron intake often falls iron absorption to a degree depending on short of recommendations. All pregnant needs. However, once iron is absorbed by women, vegetarian or not, are at risk for the body, little is excreted, so there is a risk iron deficiency because it is hard to eat of toxicity from iron overload, especially enough iron to meet the needs for the among people with certain diseases and foetus and the mother’s increased blood conditions. supply. That’s why most pregnant women Haemochromatosis is a common are advised to take a prenatal vitamin and often undiagnosed genetic disease containing iron, and some women may that causes the body to store excessive need additional iron supplements. iron, which can eventually lead to serious Iron may be a problem for older organ damage. This disorder is prevalent babies, as the iron stores they are born in people of northern European descent, with become depleted by about six including Celtic populations. The Irish months. After that, babies need other Haemochromatosis Society recommends sources of iron in addition to breast milk that people with an immediate blood or iron-fortified formula. Iron-fortified relative with haemochromatosis should baby cereal is a common first weaning talk to their doctor. It is possible to be food. Once weaning progresses, other a carrier of the disorder and pass the sources of iron can be included in the diet, 20

affected genes down to children without developing the symptoms yourself. Don’t assume that feeling tired, rundown or weak means you are iron deficient. A simple blood test from your doctor is the best way to determine whether or not you need iron supplements. Since men and post-menopausal women are rarely iron deficient, they should talk to a doctor before taking any supplements containing iron.7 Iron deficiency is usually treated with iron supplements, so there is generally no reason for iron deficient vegetarians to start eating meat. If you do take supplements containing iron, they must be stored tightly closed and well out of reach of children, since excessive iron intake can be fatal to kids. You should seek medical attention immediately if you know about or suspect accidental ingestion by a child. The bottom line for vegetarians: by skipping (most of) the junk and making your meals and snacks count, you will be well on your way to getting enough iron without even trying.


1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Recommendations to Prevent and Control Iron Deficiency in the United States.” Available at: m0051880.asp. Accessed on May 5, 2012. 2. Department of Health, Food Standards Agency. “National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Headline Results from Years 1 and 2 (combined) of Rolling Programme (2008/2009-2009/2010).” Available at: dh_digitalassets/documents/digitalasset/dh_128550. pdf. Accessed May 5, 2012. 3. Craig WJ, Mangels AR. “Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets.” J Am Diet Assoc. July 2009;109:1266-1282. 4. Mangels R, Messina V, Messina M. The Dietitian’s Guide to Vegetarian Diets, 3rd ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett; 2010. 5. Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2001. 6. Rodriguez N, DiMarco N, Langley S. “Nutrition and Athletic Performance.” Available at: http://journals. and_Athletic_Performance.27.aspx. Accessed on May 30, 2012. 7. Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. “Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Iron.” Available at: Accessed on May 5, 2012.

Recommended Dietary Allowances

Ireland: html. Use the search term “recommended dietary allowances” in the Keyword field to access the report (recommended_dietary_allowances_ireland_1999. pdf) United Kingdom: Publichealth/Nutrition/index.htm United States:

The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013


Beetroot “risotto” with sundried tomato and miso & tahini dressing


From Vegan Meanin’ Food, kindly provided by Pears: Someone once said cooking ingredients from Asia and cooking from Europe don’t mix. Well, miso comes from China and Japan, and risotto is a rice dish associated with Europe. Taste for yourself and see what you think! Risotto Ingredients (serves 4-6) 2 cups pot barley or rice, soaked for 3 hours or overnight. 1-2 medium beetroots, grated 1-2 onions, finely chopped 1 cup sundried tomatos, soaked, hydrated and chopped (reserve some water from this as stock for use in preparing this dish) 1 tsp. fresh or dried sage and/or thyme 2 TBSP rapeseed, olive or sunflower oiil

Miso and Tahini Dressing ingredients 1 tsp. miso 2 TBSP tahini juice of one lemon 2 tsp. yeast flakes 1 cup water

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl or blend until a lightly thickened dressing forms. Ladle over risotto. About miso: It is usually fermented bean paste. The water drained from miso is what makes the soy sauce we use. Miso is the body and flavour of soy sauce, containing enzymes and bacteria that promote healthy immune systems, support healing and flush the body of toxins.

Marinated Vegetables

A tasty recipe from Gaby Wieland at Neantog []: (See Gaby’s ad on facing page) Grate or dice 4 cups (1 cup = on average 140g/5oz, 4 cups = 560g/20oz) of the following: carrot, courgettes, celery, fennel bulb, radish of your choice—the long white mooli radish is especially good. You can also use celeriac, broccoli (including stems) or cauliflower. I grated it in my food processor using the medium shredding disc, but you can use any grater or dice it finely. The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

Raw Coco Truffles Recipe and photo thanks to Julie Hyde []: These will make a lovely gift for someone—just pop them in a box with some crepe paper and viola! Ingredients 180g medjool dates, stones removed and halved 180g cashew nuts 100g raisins 1 TBSP raw cacoa powder 1 TBSP of honey or melted coconut oil Large handful of desicated coconut for covering the truffles


1. Drain and rinse the barley. 2. Boil 4 cups of water. Add the barley and cook at a rolling boil for 25 minutes until swollen and soft. When barley is cooked, drain water and set aside. 3. Cook onions by adding to hot saucepan containing a half cup of water and sweat for 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring occasionally until soft and light golden colour. 4. Add barley to onions. Add beetroot, tomatoes and herbs, some of the reserved soaking water from the sundried tomatoes, and a pinch of black pepper. 5. Heat everything thoroughly, stirring and cooking for 5 minutes more until sticky and hot through. 6. Add oil and stir in well. 7. Turn off heat and serve with miso and tahini dressing.

1. Put cashew nuts into food processor and blend. 2. Add dates, raisins and cocao powder to the cashews and whizz until its finely pulsed. 3. Pour in honey/coconut oil and whizz again until all the ingredients bind together. 4. On a chopping board, sprinkle over the desicated coconut. 5. Form little balls with the mix and then roll on the chopping board until covered in coconut. 6. Try not to eat them all as you make them!

Marinade 3 TBSP chopped coriander with stems 1 tsp. chopped garlic 1 TBSP chopped fresh ginger root 2 TBSP olive or rapeseed oil 1 TBSP tamari sauce (wheat-free soy sauce) 2 TBSP lemon juice 1/4 tsp. or good pinch of salt 1/8 tsp. or dash of cayenne pepper


Puree all of the marinade ingredients with a blender on high or stick blender. Pour over grated vegetables and stir well. Marinate for at least one hour. It keeps well for a couple of days. 21

Animal Loving and Animal Hating Societies By Roger Yates


s social animals, human beings are free and un-free at the same time. As John and Yoko rightly stated in the 1970s, we are born in a prison, raised in a prison, and go to a prison called school.1 They also suggest that we cry, love and dream in a prison. More sociologically, perhaps, we may say that human agency is constantly constrained by various social forces. The book cover of Berger and Berger’s “biographical approach” to sociology2 depicts a cage in which sits a man reading a newspaper, TV and cooker close by. Lennon and Ono speak of prisons, the Bergers of being caged and controlled. Of course, we might not like to think of ourselves like this. “Oh no, not me, I’m original, I’m free, I’m unique.” Sociologically, that is wishful thinking: to some degree or other we are all shaped by society’s norms and values. This is the main reason, or one of the main reasons, why animal welfarism is so prevalent in society and in the animal protection movement. To some degree or other, then, society makes and shapes us. In terms of human/non-human relations, philosophy, theology, daily social practices, underlying ideology, and on-going social discourse, effectively constructs “sufficient differences” which, in turn, provides meaningful moral distance between human beings and other animals. Indeed, over time, human beings have sought to mark virtually any difference, whether capacity for rationality,3 language, use of tools, etc.—declaring all to be both morally relevant and significant— in order to override the interests and status of billions of individual non-human sentients, and effectively undermine the evolutionary kinship between human animals and non-human ones. Jasper4 correctly suggests that modern humans hold on to two exploitative orientations towards other animals. The first orientation involves the qualified acceptance of the instrumental use of other animals as resources,5 while the other mode of utilisation is mainly sentimental, such as in the keeping of pets, although this second category seems also to contain a good deal of its own instrumental intent when, for example, non-human animals are entered into “pet shows” and even “talent competitions.” Added to dominant non-rights positions with regard to non-human 22

animals and human beings, the selfserving and largely economically-driven “pro-use” arguments seek to maintain profitable orientations toward the moral status quo. Groups such as the National Animal Interest Alliance,6 the National Farmers’ Union and the Research Defence Society clearly have their own financial and ideological justifications for the continuation of the human exploitation of non-human animals. Sociologists will often emphasise the vital “maintenance” role played by the lifelong socialisation processes in the preservation of present attitudes about the ethical status of both human and nonhuman beings. While on-going and dayto-day experience bolster society-wide orientations toward other animals, the professional socialisation of those whose livelihoods and identities are bound up with various forms of “using” other animals provides individuals with further incentives to support current welfarist conceptualisations of human/non-human relations. In the light of factors such as these, any sociological analysis cannot ignore overarching consequences of individuals—the vast majority in most modern societies—being socialised as practising speciesists. Moreover, in cultures that routinely exploit other animals, the phrase “they know not what they do” can be properly applied to the children. Daily they experience other sentient beings as meat; and know others as playthings, and as personal or family possessions. In a great many aspects of their foundational social learning, children are socialised from their earliest years within an overarching and deeply speciesist ideology to accept the human use of other animals in all its forms: non-humans as meat, as toys, as tools, as entertainment. Human beings internalise these social values, breaking free of them is hard and costly, and that means they take such values inside themselves as constituent parts of their being a human being. This is why no vegan should be surprised if their presence or very existence often seems resented by others and can be socially disruptive. The significance of this for animal advocates is clear, because the simplest thing most people do with regard to core social values is abide by them. Since this is exactly what the

irreflexive majority does with regard to dominant social values about human/ non-human relations, supporters of animal rights must understand that their own personal transcendence of orthodox attitudes are exceptions to a widely kept rule. Most people, quite simply, “go with the flow.” Perhaps the degree to which animal advocates are thought to have “broken away” from prevailing ideology about human/non-human relations can be seen reflected in the extent to which animal welfarism remains central to the animal protection movement’s claims about the treatment of other animals by human beings. These attitudes are built on and plug into firm social understandings of human supremacy claims, the significance of the “species barrier,” and the harmful uses which the notion of this barrier accommodates. To the extent that exploitative relations among human beings are facilitated by dehumanisation processes, opponents of such exploitation and advocates of human rights need to acknowledge central speciesist conceptualisations when humans exploit, harm, and kill each other as well as exploit, harm and kill other “others.” Human societies systematically objectify other animals, they commodify them, they make them items of various types of consumption, retain them as items of property and as “legal things” by law. If a human “damages” a non-human animal, including killing her, they may find themselves accused and subsequently charged with causing “criminal damage”; that is, causing damage to the animal property of another human being. As with once legal forms of human slavery, such social forces maintain exploitative relations. These are further aspects of a speciesist world into which the young are routinely socialised and, therefore, children learn the norms and values of animal hating and animal loving societies. We are socialised as animal harming animal lovers in societies that continually underline the ideology that “Man” is king. A world that remains characterised by racism and sexism declares over and over again that everything that exists in the world exists for human beings: each and everything other than (but in practice, including) fellow humans are “resources for the use of.” Language reveals how humans hate and love other animals and animal life, as they continue to use traditional human/ non-human orientations to maintain unequal human relations. It has been shown that to call someone an “animal” is to confer upon them a truly negative label: human serial killers are not human according to the popular press: they cannot be allowed the glory of the label “human,” so they are named “animal” or The Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

“beast” instead. Such people, after all, “behave like animals.” Societies reserve this tag for the cruellest people they can think of. Of course, none of the above contradicts any of the premises of orthodox animal welfarism. Indeed, the foregone would merely affirm for many people the absolute need for the normative regulatory role of animal welfare practice and enforcement. Ideological animal welfarism reinforces the idea that theologians and philosophers were— and are—correct to construct a “ladder of being” as a perfectly “natural order” because no substantial bad should result from it. Indeed, orthodox animal welfarism suggests that much good is afforded for both human and non-human animals in present relations. A product of on-going and thoroughly institutionalised social processes, integral to humanity’s “agriculture”,7 is the apparent difficulty that animal rights positions have had in their ability to challenge the settled orthodox views about the relations between humans and other animals. At the present time, and despite (or, more likely, because of) decades of rhetorical “animal rights” advocacy, the conventional orthodoxy of animal welfarism continues to provide for the majority a secure, multi-purpose, and apparently ever adaptable ideological framework supporting the prevailing

industrialised systems of animal exploitation and other modes of animal ownership. Animal welfarism helps to preserve rather than expose or seriously question the exploitative rationality that sediments both conventional instrumental and sentimental attitudes about non-human animals. It seems to be clear that rights views are presently engaged in a discursive relationship with orthodox positions both inside and outside the animal advocacy movement. Yet animal welfarism is so firmly entrenched, so widespread and so customary, that it appears that many present day animal advocates have some difficulty articulating a full animal rights— or, actually, any largely non-welfarist— agenda for change. As far as the latter point goes, of course, reluctance to advocate the whole “rights agenda” has been traditionally seen in the animal movement as the result of “strategic” and “tactical” choices and issues of “framing”.8 However, this reluctance can also be seen as a reflection of the way animal welfarism succeeds in presenting rights views as views that go beyond those that are necessary for the well-being of non-human animals. A central difficulty for rights views stems from the fact that the resilient orthodox outlook has preserved its authoritative ability to present its own position as entirely “normal,” “rational,” and the self-

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evidently “correct” perspective by which any reasonable person ought to evaluate human/non-human relations. For this reason alone, orthodox animal welfarist positions remain the easy, confident, “non-extreme” means by which journalists, commentators, the majority of animal advocates, pro-use advocates, and politicians, can talk about the treatment and use of non-human animals by human ones. In a thoroughly frustrating way, animal welfarism seems to amount to a barrier or some form of filter which effectively prevents, or serves to mediate, the public rendition of a genuine animal rights philosophy. Animal welfarism appears as a fog in which rights discourse regularly becomes lost, misrepresented, distorted, and redirected. Animal rights advocates who wish to test the societal reception of their own views on human/nonhuman relations are hindered at every turn by a deeply internalised welfarist consciousness in most of the audiences they seek to influence. We must hope that more and more people will be able to move away from the ideological un-freedom embedded within animal welfarism.


1. ‘Born In a Prison’, from Sometime in New York City, by John Lennon and Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band with Elephant’s Memory and Invisible Strings. (Apple Records, 1972). 2. Berger, P.L. & Berger, B. (1976) Sociology: A Biographical Approach. Harmondsworth: Penguin. 3. J.M. Coetzee’s discussion on rationality is interesting (in The Lives of Animals, Profile Books, 2000). Through his protagonist Elizabeth Costello, Coetzee examines Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels in which the Houyhnhmns, using a form of Aristotelian differentiation of gods, men and beasts, expel Gulliver apparently because he does not meet the required standards of rationality: in reality they do so because he is not a horse. 4. Jasper, J.M. (1999) “Recruiting intimates, recruiting strangers: building the contemporary animal rights movement”, in J. Freeman & V. Johnson (eds.) Waves of Protest: Social Movements Since the Sixties. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield. 5. qualified, of course, by the principles of animal welfarism. 6. Yates, R. (2007) “Debating ‘Animal Rights’ Online: The Movement-Countermovement Dialectic Revisited”, in P. Beirne & N. South (eds.) Issues in Green Criminology, Cullompton, Devon: Willan. 7. Mason, J. (1993) An Unnatural Order: Uncovering the Roots of Our Domination of Nature and Each Other. New York: Simon & Schuster. 8. Yates, R. (1998) A Sociology of Compromise. Unpublished MA dissertation, University of Wales, Bangor.

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The12 Irish Vegetarian - Spring 2013

Receive your FREE copy of Simply Vegetarian when you sign up to pay your Vegetarian Society of Ireland membership by standing order. See page 6. Offer valid from 01/06/13 to 31/07/13. 23

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