Category: Health

Week 42 South Pacific Animal Welfare (Pacific Islands/NZ)

 

Samoans getting Zumba fit, but obesity still on the rise

Physical activity in Samoa has increased…Yet obesity and other “first world diseases” are still on the rise, with the government declaring them a “national emergency”.

Dr Walter Vermeulen, who runs weekly nutrition seminars, said he often saw people who complained they had been exercising for years and had not shed any weight.

“Exercise alone will not make you lose weight,” he said.

Instead, he prescribes exercise in combination with a “whole-foods, plant-based diet”.

“Corned beef has now been elevated to a status food, driving farmers to use their revenues from the sale of their health-promoting [vegetables] to buy pounds of tins of corned beef.”

Samoa fitness corned beef
Photo: Processed meat fills shelf after shelf in Samoan supermarkets, and is often blamed for rendering 80% of adult overweight or obese. (Supplied: Iona Salter)

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-09/exercise-and-obesity-in-samoa/7900810

 

I looked up Dr Vermeulen as I liked his message and found an article by him titled WFPB without Borders.  I thought WFPB…WTF?

Google told me it means Whole Food Plant Based. Of course!

There is a whole nutritional institute based on this principle.  Dr Vermeulen joined it after watching the documentary Forks Over Knives.  When he found personal benefits from the diet he adopted this principle professionally as well.

(If only there was Google in 1985 so I didn’t have to ask my mum what ‘wanker’ meant…)

Image result for forks over knives
Forks Over Knives movie

Image result for forks over knives

WFPB: GFP, GFA, GFTE!

( Whole foods plant based: Good for people, good for animals, good for the environment!)

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http://www.spaw.org.nz/

SPAW is a New Zealand run animal aid organisation working on Pacific Islands. We recruit industry professionals and work with local agencies to run professional veterinary care and mass spay/neuter clinics within communities on our neighbouring Pacific Islands.  SPAW is a NZ based registered charity.

Our depth of services to Pacific Islands includes Veterinary Care, Spaying and Neutering, Animal Husbandry – Livestock care, parasite and vaccine programmes, humane education, training and skills development, outreach & village field clinics, assisted companion animal export services and research.

We are a full volunteer organisation. Our volunteers contribute to our efforts by funding their own volunteer experience.

“Saving one animal won’t change the world, but it will change the world for that animal”

 

To find out more about Samoa: http://www.samoa.travel/

Image result for samoa images

 

 

 

 

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Week 37 Cowspiracy/A.U.M. Films (USA)

< Another year, another tax dollar spent unwisely on my behalf >

tax-dollars

With the health budget blown out second only to welfare, it is good timing that the AMA is questioning the benefits of unlimited funding of IVF…so am I!

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Medicare contributes about $5000 per cycle to recipient of IVF.  There is currently NO upper limit on age or recipients, or number of treatments received.  

The cost per successful IVF baby for women over 45 is about $200,000.

That is bad enough, but since there is only a 1-6% (fresh vs frozen embryo) success rate with women over 40… what are all the ultimately unsuccessful treatments costing taxpayers on top of this?

! The only eggs that are guaranteed to grow fertile are the nest eggs of IVF providers !

Henry Rollins was on The Project (5/9/16) discussing this, and his take on it was…

“It’s a lot of money, but when you see the kid’s happy, the mum’s happy…I think it’s worth it… you can’t put a price on that….”.

What?!

Yes you bloody well can!! I can think of five thousand better uses for my tax money.

Number 1/5000: The Environment, perhaps?!  How is it that something that affects us all, present and future, is the LOWEST funded of all categories?!

In the same show, following a story about dissent within the Climate Change Authority, Mr Rollins waved his environmental (black) flag…

Henry Rollins, The Project:

Last year I spent two weeks on a scientific research boat at the edge of Antarctic Peninsula.  I would listen to lectures from Bob, the geologist, and he had nothing but bad news about what we are doing to the planet, and what’s up ahead.  I asked him “What is it, as a citizen, that I am not getting?”

And he said “You’re not getting how bad this really is.  It’s no joke, you’re getting this soft story.  The reality is way more harsh.

henry-rollins-project
“What is it, as a citizen, that I am not getting?”

Umm…

Mr Rollins is a switched on bloke…surely he can see that adding more people at any cost to this already creaking planet via a listing public health system is not a responsible idea?

Was it oxytocin talking?

Image result for oxytocin images

And this my friends, is why were are in trouble.

We have the knowledge, but not the will to act on it. The sugar rush we get from doing things that make us feel good, but that harm the planet (and ourselves!) is just too strong.

We believe we can have it all, while giving up nothing.

And this suits the guys at the top of the perch just fine.

We are just believing what we are told to. 

We are attentive students in a system which lionises pathological consumers, while social activists are either laughed at…or treated as dissidents.

…Why? ‘Money’ buys ‘democracy’, so money wins 🙂

The Landlord's Game

Did you know that the board game we call Monopoly was first created by a lady, Elizabeth Magie as statement AGAINST monopolies?

The spy who loved me

http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/helen-steel-and-john-dines-the-spy-who-loved-me-20160318-gnltdv.html

In the early 1990s, Helen Steel was a member of a British social justice group called London Greenpeace when she began a relationship with a man she knew as John Barker. They were together for more than two years and he told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life with her. Then one day he disappeared. A letter arrived for her a few days later. “If I manage to sort my head out, I will be back,” he wrote.

Mystery male: Helen Steel with the man she knew as John Barker, a police officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace, a ...
Mystery male: Helen Steel with the man she knew as John Barker, a police officer who infiltrated London Greenpeace, a social justice group she was a part of.  

She was both devastated and concerned about her partner’s emotional state and would spend much of the next decade looking for him. That was before she made a series of shocking discoveries: his real name, John Dines, a record of his marriage, and the death certificate of a child, Philip John Barker, whose identity he had assumed. But it was not until 2010 that she got confirmation her lover had been an undercover police officer employed as part of a secret London Metropolitan Police project to infiltrate protest groups.

Helen Steel wasn’t the only woman who found herself in this situation. Essentially, this is what happened to at least seven other British women who were lured into relationships with undercover police officers over the course of 25 years.

Undercover: The True Story of Britain’s Secret Police is a book that details the infiltration of political activist groups in the U.K.  

Award winning director/writer, Franny Armstrong is working on a four part mini series about it called Undercovers.  She also made Mclibel, which was also about Helen Steel.  At the time they were unaware of the police spies in their midst.

This is another great documentary of hers>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Age_of_Stupid.

You can watch it here.

She didn’t make Cowspiracy, other people did that. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should.

 

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aum2

aum
http://aumfilms.org

Mission

A.U.M. (Animals United Movement) Films and Media’s mission is to effectively and efficiently represent a harmonious voice for all life on this planet, through all forms of media. We create, consult, and support all types of media projects, from film, journalism, online outlets, to music and stage plays, that spread a creative message for peace and compassion for all beings. We take on project submissions and ideas that will have a direct result in promoting the next stage in human evolution. We feel the best way to actualise world peace and to make our planet survive, and even thrive, is through a movement towards compassionate co-existence.

Our first major film production is titled Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret and was premiered in late 2014. This documentary uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organisations are too afraid to talk about it. You can learn more about the film at www.cowspiracy.com

We are currently working on another feature length documentary called WHAT THE HEALTHset to be released in 2016. This film uncovers the impacts of highly processed industrial animal foods on our personal health and  greater community, and explores why leading health organisations continue to promote the industry despite countless medical studies and research showing deleterious effects of these products on our health.

http://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/

 

Yes, Mr Rollins, we really are ruinous pains in the asses.

It’s only oxytocin that makes us forget it!

(We seem to forget that animals also produce oxytocin, which bonds them to their young, just  the same as us.  We forcibly impregnate them then steal their children.  How is this fair?  When people become attached to the idea of having their own children they should spare a thought for those that we treat as nothing more than baby making machines.)

Week 36 Vegan Australia / Aquafaba 101 (Australia)

 

This week is mum’s b’day and the end of winter, and what better way to celebrate than with a post on DESSERTS!!!

It makes me sad how many animal products are called for in the making of purely indulgent foods like desserts.  A simple packet of cake mix calls for the addition of eggs, butter and milk – all totally unnecessary – and easily replaced with melted coconut oil and extra liquid such as oat milk or water.  (If you are feeling saucy add some dark spirit like spiced rum, and a maybe a bit of coffee to your chocolate cake and it will be extra amazing.)

vegan cake

Of course there is something that since going plant powered I haven’t been able to have…

vegan meringue 1

…until now!!

vegan meringue 2

But…don’t you need eggs for that…? NUP!

Thanks to some detective work by a French chef and an American couple, in Feb 2015 the alchemy that has come to be known as ‘aquafaba’ (bean water!) was unleashed onto an adoring public. It already has 50,000 fans on Facebook, but I only heard of it for the first time last week, when dad rang to tell me about an article on the ABC…it is already huge in America, I guess Australia is still playing catch-up? We should be able to get E.T on video any day now.

http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/blueprintforliving/bean-water-aquafabe-the-new-vegan-miracle/7781582

So what is it and what does it do?

It is the liquid that you find in a tin of beans or chickpeas and normally tip down the sink. You can also use your own water after cooking, so long as it is as nice and thick as the canned stuff.

Its unique mix of starches, proteins, and other soluble plant solids which have migrated from the seeds to the water during the cooking process gives aquafaba a wide spectrum of emulsifying, foaming, binding, gelatinizing and thickening properties.

According to a post on its Facebook site, aquafaba works like soap bubbles – it has no structure in itself but can provide structure to other ingredients. Adding acid like cream of tartar can help the foam stay aerated but, again, isn’t structural. To provide structure you must add starch or sugar – or both.

It even has its own URL http://aquafaba.com/ and Facebook fansite.

So what do you use it for? Click on each link for a recipe.  I haven’t tested each of these recipes yet, so if one doesn’t work for you, try another, there are hundreds of recipes available.. just google ‘aquafaba’ and whatever it is you would like to make.Vegan Meringue Cookies are made using the water that is leftover from a can of chickpeas! Tastes even better than egg white meringues, and you get to use something that would otherwise be thrown out. So cool! #vegan #eggfree

It totally replaces the egg white in meringues.

It replaces eggs and/or cream in mousse, sponge cakes and ice cream, nougat. It can even be used in marshmallows for advanced cooks!

It acts as an emulsifier and replaces eggs in mayonnaise.  If you want it to taste like more like Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise follow the tips for ‘Follow your Heart’ veganaise in the notes at the end.

vegan mayo

It works with coconut oil to create a spreadable butter.

Vegan Aquafaba Butter

It replaces egg whites in cocktails, apparently better than eggs themselves.

“If you fill two glasses, one with egg whites and the other with aquafaba, you wouldn’t even know the difference,” he said. “The only telltale sign is the smell: Egg whites smell like wet dog and chickpeas have no smell whatsoever.”

Jason Eisner, Lead Bartender – Cafe Gratitude and Gracias Madre

How do I make up my own recipes with it?

Use white coloured beans or chickpeas if a lighter colour is desired, but by all means play around with other colours, all will work.  Choose low sodium, particularly for sweet recipes.

The rule of thumb is: 1 Tbsp. for one yolk, 2 Tbsp. for one white, and 3 Tbsp. for one whole egg. That said, the consistency of your aquafaba makes a difference. If its thin, reduce watery aquafaba about 25 percent on the stove to thicken it up. If it’s already thick (as it sometimes is from canned chickpeas), you don’t have to reduce. With some trial and error, you’ll get a feel for it. (http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/ingredients/article/aquafaba-health-benefits)

For more information:

https://www.vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/13-amazing-things-you-can-do-aquafaba

Thanks dad!! I owe you a meringue…or mousse….or mayonnaise…or butter…or how about a cocktail then?!

As Sam Turnbull from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken says…

…with limitation comes inspiration.  

This is an exciting glimpse of the future!

We can’t afford to eat like it’s still 1959.

World population milestones in billions (USCB estimates)
Population 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Year 1804 1927 1959 1974 1987 1999 2012 2026 2042
Years elapsed –– 123 32 15 13 12 13 14 16

 

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http://www.veganaustralia.org.au/

Go to their page to find out great information about events, including Brisveganfest this weekend (Sept 4, 2016) featuring the wonderful James Aspey of Voiceless365 fame (referring to the year long vow of silence he took to ‘speak up’ for animals).

vegan australia.png

Isn’t this aquafabulous?!

Australia is now the third-fastest growing vegan market in the world, after the United Arab Emirates and China.

http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/australia-is-the-thirdfastest-growing-vegan-market-in-the-world-20160601-gp972u.html

Week 35 Anonymous for the Voiceless (Australia)

 

zeitgeist
ˈzʌɪtɡʌɪst/
noun
the defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time.
The voiceless are starting to be heard.
Thanks to modern media, both awareness and rejection of human caused animal suffering is spreading, with Millenials leading the veganism charge. (So who are the other generations to call them the selfish ones then?!)
Image result for three wise monkeys

The monkeys who want to keep pretending everything is ok, are finding it harder to block their eyes and ears to the other monkeys, whose whispering of evil truths …has turned into a roar!

Image result for old person eating meat image
Right now, animal rights advertising is front and centre in Times Square.
The Times Square campaign reminds us that animals are just like us…
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This year, a new movement began in Melbourne.
My bet is that it will be global before long.

We employ direct action with highly effective public outreach demonstrations, using local standard-practice footage of what “food” animals experience every second of every day, 360 degree virtual reality technology, succinctly informative resources and hardline discussions that close the deal.

We fully equip the public with everything they need in switching to a vegan lifestyle. We hold an abolitionist stance on animal exploitation.

anonymous2

Anyone can get involved, here is information from their facebook page on what is required:

Direct action street outreach and demonstration. We bring the information to the people in an attempt to break down unawareness and show the cruelty inherent in meat, dairy and egg production. We will also be offering the public the opportunity to experience life from a livestock animal’s perspective with virtual reality technology.

IMPORTANT: Please bring a laptop or tablet if you have one. If you do not, please come along anyway; masks and signs will be provided on the day. Please wear black clothing where possible, though a black jumper is essential (preferrably hooded).

IMPORTANT: Download VLC Player to your laptop or tablet.http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

IMPORTANT: Download the following clips to your laptop or tablet from the link below as there will be no internet connection on site.https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0qkjty9yoodoaeg/AADw5md7GoO3wOw4fdBBay6Za?dl=0

Please fully charge your laptop/tablet for the day.

All footage shown is Australian and shows standard practice for animal-based food production in this country.
anonymous

 

Roar for the voiceless … and let the ethical zeitgeist continue!

https://www.facebook.com/anonymousforthevoiceless/

http://anonymousforthevoiceless.org/

 

like 20-matter

Week 34 Vegan: Everyday Stories Movie (USA)

Quick link: Grab your popcorn! This week covers a great tv show and a movie. Enjoy 🙂

How to Stay Young – BBC 45 mins

Vegan Stories – USA 90 mins

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Most people want to know how to stay youthful, without actually being younger…ugh imagine starting out all over again…no thanks!

I just watched this BBC documentary How to Stay Young, it doesn’t offer the secrets to time travel but it does cover best practices that look after your body as you age…and guess what most of the power is in your hands!

Image result for hourglass

Spoiler alert!

Even if you read my extract below I still highly recommend watching this great doco, I have left out a lot, including a test you can do on yourself to test your likelihood of ageing well-you will just have to watch it to find out how! You can also see what a 100 year old vegan looks like.

They found:

Through DNA methylation blood tests on identical twins  that 75% of how we age is down to lifestyle and 25% is genetic.

Smoking, followed by stress and weight are three factors that will lead to fastest ageing.

You can be slim and fit but still have visceral fat around your organs which puts them under stress.   The presenter was shocked to find she had about 6 litres of it, in spite of an active lifestyle.

30 minute CHICKPEA Sweet Potato BUDDHA Bowls! A complete meal packed with protein, fiber and healthy fats with a STELLAR Tahini Lemon Maple Sauce! #vegan #glutenfree #healthy
Buddha Bowl – Minimalist Baker

The way to get rid of this hidden time bomb is to eat lots of high resistance starch called inulin…which occurs in pulses like lentils and chickpeas.  This high resistance starch enters the large intestine where it produces an acid which enters to body to reduce internal fat. (You can also find inulin in other plant products.)

In America there is a Seventh Day Adventist community that lives around ten years longer than the average American.

The residents of this highly vegetarian community are part of a global study on diet.

The global study found that amongst the respondents, the healthiest were…

vegan!

Animal protein (meat, fish, dairy, eggs) stimulates a hormone in our bodies that we need for growth, but as we get older, especially during middle age, this hormone speeds up ageing.  The more you replace meat protein with vegetables, the slower you age.

Nut consumption also lowers the risk of heart disease.   Walnuts are the best. (If you want to shell your own they are even better …use a flat screwdriver in the bottom end of the nut and twist to split the halves apart, you can then use the screwdriver to dig out the treasures within)

The presenter describes himself as a ‘committed meat eater who doesn’t know if he will be able to maintain a vegan diet’ but he decides to start off with Meatless Mondays.

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Yay for him!! Many schools in the L.A. district now follow Meatless Mondays with their school lunches too.  This is a good start to changing the entrenched Western expectation that every meal must contain meat to be complete. It took me a long time to break this mindset when I first went vego, so I get it.  Eventually that perception does disappear though and you don’t miss it at all 🙂

I have great respect for vegetarians and vegans, in the early days especially, it takes a lot of strength to follow your heart, and I don’t think they get enough credit…or even give themselves enough credit.

Other recommendations from the documentary include:

Exercise – dance is more effective than repetitive gym work.

Reduce stress – if you can take your dog into work, do! Otherwise try exercise, meditation or ‘me’ time.

Attitude – a positive one about life and ageing really help your health.

They also talk about Laron Syndrome which dramatically slows down growth and ageing by leaving affected people’s bodies unresponsive to growth hormone. They also seem to be immune to cancer and diabetes.

Modern science is using what it has learnt from studying Laron Syndrome to try and create a medicine that slows down the ageing process.

It might be a while off…so in the meantime, dance, spend time with animals and eat

vegan!

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The BBC didn’t need my cash for this but I certainly will give them credit!

There is something amazing happening in New York right now which I would be happy to contribute to, but they must have a very generous benefactor and aren’t asking for donations.  It is run by Be Fair=Be Vegan

.

be fair
They hurt-like we do

A high-profile billboard and poster campaign bringing attention to the plight of animals exploited for human gains is running in NYC’s Times Square, Javits Center, and the streets of Manhattan, from August 8th to September 4th.

More on this next week.

Once again this week I honour the power of the camera and choose to support:

Vegan Movie

http://veganmovie.org/

Vegan: Everyday Stories is a feature-length documentary that explores the lives of four remarkably different people who share a common thread – they’re all vegan. The movie traces the personal journeys of an ultramarathon runner who has overcome addiction to compete in one hundred mile races, a cattle rancher’s wife who creates the first cattle ranch turned farmed animal sanctuary in Texas, a food truck owner cooking up knee-buckling plant-based foods, and an 8-year-old girl who convinces her family of six to go vegan.

You can watch it, download it or arrange a screening of for free through the above link.  My donation goes towards getting it out there.  It is really, really good.

  • Title: Vegan: Everyday Stories
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Release Dated: June 4, 2016
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 HD