Category: International

Week 48 Food For Life (Slovenia/International)

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This week saw the presentation of the ARIA (The Australian Recording Industry Association Music) Awards, so I thought I would come up with five Top Fives of my own, listed in no particular order…

5 Great Plant Powered Snacks

Popcorn – (cover bottom of pan in a good layer of oil, add kernels when oil is very hot – a kernel will start to spin by itself at this point, add salt now for more even coverage, leave lid askew to release moisture, keep heat up high until fury of popping subsides, immediately remove popcorn from pan before it burns.)

Eda Mame – Young soy beans. Sprinkle defrosted beans in pods with salt, or, cook beans, pod and all, in pepper and garlic.  At end stir through some veg oyster sauce and remove from heat.  In either case you don’t eat the pods but you will still be able to enjoy the seasoning as you eat the beans.

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Peanuts – Roast your own at home under the grill at high heat, or for something different, boil in salted water for about 15mins until soft.  Keeps in fridge for a few days.

Mini Spring rolls, samosas or onion rings – available in supermarket freezer. Lemon served with onion rings is a great sub for calamari.  Best way to cook all fried snacks is on a cafe style sandwich press.

Crispy Mix – Make your own assortment of nuts, pretzels, rice crackers, popcorn, biscuits, dried fruit etc and store in an airtight container for when snack attacks hit.  Middle Eastern grocers have some really great things you can put in.

5 Great Plant Powered Recipes

Mockzarella

http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2015/01/23/melty-stretchy-gooey-vegan-mozarella/

Add a sprinkle of turmeric and/or a bit of mustard for more colour/flavour.  This is great on tacos, toasties as a dip or even as a fondue. Yum.

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Pepperoni

http://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-pepperoni/

Blend in a handful of diced roasted beetroot for colour.

Roll out on bench with greaseproof paper on top and bottom.  Cook uncovered with bottom paper directly on oven racks. Keep the paper you have removed from top and use it to allow you to flip pepperoni halfway through cooking.

Have on toasted sandos with mockzarella.

Simple but pimped Dhal Tadka

No soaking required.

In pot or pressure cooker boil red split lentils, chopped onion and tomato, grated ginger, salt and turmeric to taste, in enough water to make it quite soupy.  Add some kale or broccoli at end of coking if you like for extra colour.

In a separate pan fry up any or all of peppercorns, coriander/cumin/fenugreek/mustard seeds. Add chilli flakes, sesame seeds, curry leaves – all optional.

Serve dhal, top with fried spices and some macadamia or coconut oil and optional coriander leaves.

Vegetable Manchurian – My Chinese-Indian Love Affair

http://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/veg-manchurian-veg-manchurian-gravy/

Gobi manchurian is cauliflower fried and served the same way.  Find it in restaurants that serve dosa or that have a Chinese Indian menu, or make it at home, dry or with ‘gravy’ (sauce).  Ask restaurants if they can leave out ajinomoto (MSG) if they use it.

Use a sandwich press to cook the balls, same with felafel.

Vegan Pho inspired soup

http://itdoesnttastelikechicken.com/2014/12/05/quick-vegan-pho/

I could live on clear soups with lots of yummies packed in.

Here is a link to one recipe, if you want to make your life simple you can use five spice powder in place of the dried spices.  I add in a splash of vegetarian oyster or hoisin sauce or weird and wonderful vegetarian pastes from the asian shop.  Have fun with flavours!

ps it’s pronounced ‘feu’ it comes from the French ‘pot au feu

To me soup like this would not be complete without a couple of pieces of mock meat, but some purist vegos would disagree.  Which brings me to my next list…

5 Shamefully Yummy Mock Meats

Mock mutton/beef chunks.  This one is easily yummier than the real dead thing.  It is usually based on shiitake mushroom stems. Eat it fried in fried rice or add to soups like pho, or curries like rendang.  Easily my fave faux.

mock-mutton

BBQ ‘pork’ – great in stir-fries.  Also look out for vegan char siu buns.  Steam or microwave for a total junk food treat. Usually made from wheat protein aka gluten…not for coeliacs!!

Crispy chicken/duck – this crisps up great on the sanga press.  Serve with vegies and rice and sauce of your choice. This is normally made from beancurd, the ‘skin’ off soy milk.

Pretend prawns – Yes they exist! not as tasty as the real thing, but very cute and much more sustainable.  Made from konjac, a starchy root. I love these in soups too.

‘Fish’ – This is similar in use and manufacture to the chicken/duck…it just has some nori seaweed added for ‘sea flavour’. Not for the faint hearted, some can taste a little too ‘gamey’ for comfort.

All of the above can be found at Vincent Vegetarian if you live in Melbourne.  Regular Asian grocers will often stock some of the other items. Meat eaters might sniff at the fakeness of mock meats…but it is any more unnatural than every single step of modern industrial animal farming?!

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https://ffl.org/

FFLG is the world’s largest food relief organisation.

We support plant-based meal distribution to the disadvantaged, malnourished and victims of disaster (natural or manmade), wherever there is a need in the world.

With a mission to address the root cause of all social issues through teaching spiritual equality in practice and precept, our projects also include health education, eco-farming, schooling, animal rescue and animal care.

Background on the Food for Life Project:

The distribution of sanctified plant-based meals has been and will continue to be an essential part of India’s Vedic culture of hospitality from which Food for Life was born. Since its inception in the early 70’s, Food for Life has tried to liberally distribute pure plant-based meals (prasadam) throughout the world with the aim of creating peace and prosperity. The project started in 1974 after yoga students of Swami Prabhupada became inspired by his plea that “No one within a ten-mile radius of a temple should go hungry!” Today Food for Life is active in over 60 countries.

Up to 2,000,000 meals daily!

With volunteers serving up to 2 million free plant-based meals daily to schools, as well as from mobile vans and to disaster areas. FOOD FOR LIFE is now the largest food relief in the world, eclipsing even the United Nations World Food Programme.

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5 Great Yoga Moves

Downward dog

Triangle poseimages

Bridge Pose

Lying single knee twist.

Helping those less fortunate than yourself, whatever their species

 

5 Great Animal Quotes

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” index2
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

“The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer, The Basis of Morality

“I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.”
― Leonardo da Vinci

“Some people say they love animals and yet harm them nonetheless; I’m glad those people don’t love me.”
― Marc Bekoff, The Animal Manifesto: Six Reasons for Expanding Our Compassion Footprint

“Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you nothing that have received–only what you have given- a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.”
― Francis of Assisi 

And of course this whole blog is a really just a list of 52 great charities 🙂

Week 45 A Well-Fed World (USA/International)

I am learning about some great initiatives out there as I follow the great bread-crumb also known as the internet.

Today I got an email about this debate, held on Monday 31 October 2016 by Intelligence Squared in London’s Royal Institute.

LET THEM EAT MEAT: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH REARING AND KILLING ANIMALS FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION

Speaker for the motion

AA Gill

The Sunday Times’s star restaurant and TV critic. He has also worked as an artist and a chef. In October 2009, Gill sparked controversy by reporting in his Sunday Times column that he had shot a baboon dead to ‘get a sense of what it might be like to kill someone’. He says he will eat anything that doesn’t have a birth certificate.

Speaker against the motion

George Monbiot

Writer best known for his environmental and political activism. He writes regularly for The Guardian and his most recent book is Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding. Having wavered for years between eating and not eating meat, he now claims to be 97% vegan (he eats roadkill and the odd egg or bit of fish).

 

Apparently ‘against’ won :-).  Nice one, George!

Looking up George Monbiot led me to the website of the Jewish Vegetarian Society

jewish-vegetarian-society

JVS is an international charity, dedicated to promoting a kinder society, without killing animals for food, where mankind is not cruel to fellow beings, both human and animal, as expressed in the Torah.

We advocate a vegetarian world which protects the environment, promotes human health and conserves natural resources. All of our events are 100% vegan.

JVS in turn led me to Planeat

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Nothing changes the planet as much as the way we eat.

PLANEAT is the story of three men’s life-long search for a diet, which is good for our health, good for the environment and good for the future of the planet. With an additional cast of pioneering chefs and some of the best cooking you have ever seen, the scientists and doctors in the film present a convincing case for the West to re-examine its love affair with meat and dairy.

 

…whose website provided a link to A Well-Fed World which immediately became this week’s feature, and an instant favourite of mine…I love multi-tasking!

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What We Do

A Well-Fed World is a hunger relief and animal protection organisation chipping away at two of the world’s most immense, unnecessary and unconscionable forms of suffering… the suffering of people hungry from lack of food, and the suffering of animals used and abused for food.

We have a positive, practical, and action-led approach that produces immediate assistance for those in need and structural change for lasting results.

In addition to our direct programs, we raise funds, partner with, and promote innovative, highly effective projects that strengthen:

  • plant-based feeding & farming programs
  • farm animal care & rescue efforts
  • vegan advocacy & community building

Thanks in part to our donated office space and internet, our combined overhead and fundraising costs are less than 5%.

The result is that more of your donation goes directly to programs. In particular cases, 100% of funds are sent directly to the projects in need.

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Along the way I found out that world number 1 tennis player Novac Djokovic recently opened a vegan restaurant called Eqvita in Monte Carlo 🙂

To all this, I say, LOVE!

Novak

 

Week 41 World Animal Day (International)

Today is the 4th of October which means it’s…..

 World Animal Day!

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THE GOAL OF WORLD ANIMAL DAY IS TO RAISE THE STATUS OF ANIMALS IN ORDER TO IMPROVE WELFARE STANDARDS AROUND THE GLOBE

To achieve this, we encourage animal welfare organisations, community groups, youth and children’s clubs, businesses and individuals to organise events in celebration of World Animal Day. Involvement is growing at an astonishing rate and it’s now widely accepted and celebrated in a variety of different ways in many countries, with no regard to nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.

Events are organised under the World Animal Day Umbrella by being publicised on this website and advertised using the World Animal Day brand and logo. Global branding effectively ties all events together and, over the years we have found this approach to be particularly helpful to grass roots groups who struggle to attract media attention in order to raise awareness of their work and fundraise. This draws attention to animal issues and makes them front page news – a vital catalyst for change.

We currently have a team of 93 Ambassadors representing 75 countries around the globe.  (This is a great way to find out about people and organisations around the world- from Andorra to Zimbabwe- that genuinely care for animals).

Cyprus

CYPRUS – STELLA STYLIANOU
Animal Rescue & Protection Association (ARGOS)

Stella says: Animal awareness in Cyprus was non-existent before the World Animal Day events began. With each year that World Animal Day is celebrated, awareness grows and attitudes are slowly changing as people begin to see animals in a different light. 

One of the most significant statements that will forever remain imprinted in my mind was when a local village farmer visited me at the shelter following one of our World Animal Day events. A German Shepherd dog had wandered onto his farm and he brought him to our shelter.  He said that in years past, he would have shot any stray dog on his farm, dig a hole and bury it and that would be that but, he continued, “you are doing something truly wonderful and now I cannot bring myself to do such a thing.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – PAUL LUGHEMBE
Safe Environment for All (SEA)

Paul says: Our World Animal Day Campaign has increasingly reduced the abuse of animals during transportation, the killing of dogs and the mass killing of cats in the city of Goma and surrounding areas. World Animal Day is slowly swaying the attitudes of people towards respecting the rights of all animals wherever and in whatever circumstances. 

Nepal

NEPAL – KHAGESHWAAR SHARMA
Himalayan Animal Rescue Trust

Khageshwaar says: I’m delighted to tell you that World Animal Day is now being celebrated by government institutions in Nepal, such as the District Livestock Services Office, with whom we liaise to commemorate the day. 

World Animal Day events encourage people to work together to sensitise communities, making them aware of the needs of animals they live among, and also of how they can improve their lives. Creating an outlook that respects all animals is a slow process and World Animal Day acts as an annual marker to measure progress.

Australia

AUSTRALIA – PAM AHERN
Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary

Pam says: For as long as I can remember animals have shared my world and, indeed, throughout human history animals have been trotting along beside us; offering comfort, helping forge nations and a never ending source of wonder. I just love World Animal Day and the fact it is celebrated around the globe.  The day gives animal lovers an opportunity to unite, celebrate and empower much needed change for our animal friends.

To coincide with World Animal Day, the good people of Edgar’s Mission have devised

Be Kind to Animals Week.

They in turn have found a wonderful ‘lambassador’ for 2016 in Tamara Kenneally who is an animal photographer and founder of Lefty’s Place animal refuge in Benalla, Victoria.

Image result for lefty's place logo

 

I will finish with a letter I found on another Wordpress blog that seems a fitting treasure to have found on World Animal Day.

Letter to a new vegan

This was my submission for Letters to a New Vegan, a book that is being compiled by longterm vegans to welcome and support those who are just starting out. 


Dear new vegan,

Welcome. Speaking not only for myself but, boldly, for the billions of sentient beings who currently suffer at human hands, and for the straining, groaning planet, and for the people who go hungry and thirsty because we don’t know how to share: thank you for opening your eyes and acting on what you see.

I hope you will find your vegan journey to be endlessly inspiring, fulfilling and rewarding as do I and so many others I know who have chosen this path too. My motto is ‘the best things in life are cruelty-free’ and I believe this is self-evident the moment we embark on living in tune with our deepest values. There are no barriers once we have made up our minds and our hearts. Being vegan opens up possibilities while denying us nothing.

Any time you feel disconnected from people around you who still buy in to the relentless tide of mainstream thinking, remember your deep connection to those whom you have spared. Let yourself feel the lightness with which you tread and be lifted up by it. No injustice can end while we as individuals take part in it. You, for your part, are free of that now.

Of course, it is not a vegan world, and while this remains the case there is much to be done. There are countless ways to help spread the vegan consciousness, and we can fit what we do to our talents, our passions, and the time available to us. A great way to start is simply by speaking your truth. I was quiet about my veganism for the first few years, having been schooled in the art of keeping a low profile as a vegetarian growing up. I was the only one in my family and the only one of my friends bar one. I learnt to say “it’s a personal choice thing” and “I couldn’t hurt a fly”, which let people off the hook: they could attribute my choice to my sentimentality or unusual sensitivity, without looking at themselves. But about a year in to being vegan, a feeling of courage and confidence began to blossom inside me as I realised that my previous ‘live and let live’ philosophy was leaving the victims out of the equation… It wasn’t hard once this realisation dawned. I began to feel that being vegan wasn’t even about me any more. So I began to speak up, looking for bridges to build and sparks of consciousness to ignite, entirely bypassing my natural reticence and finding my true voice – for the voiceless. I hope it will be the same for you, and you find your voice at your own pace and in your own way too.

Becoming vegan sadly involves becoming aware of some heart-breaking truths, and this can be very painful to carry with us. But amidst it all – all the despair, the disbelief, the anger – we have every reason to be joyful, because we are making a difference every day. We are taking a stand for freedom and that means something for every being who is not forcibly brought into this world to be exploited and violently destroyed as a product for us to use.

The world we dream of is a paradise indeed. Space for all species to coexist, free from anthropocentric domination, suffused by a compassionate human consciousness, free from the pathological ideology of ‘carnism’ which entails an arbitrary disregard for the most basic interests of certain species even while preaching values such as kindness and non-violence in other walks of life.

You are part of this future, which need not be a far-off fantasy: all it needs is enough people to make the connection as you have. The world is vegan if we want it!

Ahimsa,

Catherine

 

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ahimsa: a Buddhist and Hindu and especially Jainist doctrine holding that all forms of life are sacred and urging the avoidance of violenceahimsa

Week 38 Plastic Oceans Foundation (UK)

Could plastic be simultaneously the best, and worst, invention of the modern world?

Takizo Iwasaki’s 121st birthday

Unfortunately you can get too much of a good thing and its disposable ubiquity is tipping the scales from excellence …

gold-turd

 

…to excremence.

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You can even buy plastic food…but I guess plastic turds had to start somewhere! emoji

What happens when all that novelty plastic goes manky? You chuck it in the bin and it becomes landfill, cos unless it has a recycling number, it can’t be recycled, unlike Mr Number 1 himself, Pete Repeat.pete

Repeat?

I. SAID. YOU CHUCK IT IN THE BIN AND…hang on.  What is this?

In the near future new Australian technology will allow it to reprocessed into useable fuel?

Facility to convert non-recyclable plastic to fuel planned for Canberra

A facility that converts non-recyclable plastics into liquid fuel is being planned for Canberra.

The proposed facility would be built in the industrial estate of Hume and divert 200 tonnes of plastic from landfill each day.

“It breaks plastics down into a sludge and converts it into road-ready diesel and petrol,” FOY Group managing director Stuart Clark said.

“Plastics originally come from oil in the first place so it’s really just reversing it — chemically it’s not a major change.”

Australians consume more than 1.5 million tonnes of plastic each year, with much of that ending up in waterways. (That is about 62.5kg each)

Obviously not producing the plastic in the first place is the best option, but like I opined last week,  most of us can’t resist the temptations of life’s pleasures, no matter how harmful (or petroleum based) they are. Or how well meaning or aware we are.

Until we come up with a better alternative, if this turns plastic waste into a reusable resource, that is a GOOD THING.  If it keeps shale oil in the ground, that is another GOOD THING.

If it is a widespread success it may even provide a source of income to people who can collect and return waste. Let’s start them off with a container tax.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  It is still the energy intensive third best option, but at least recycling of former non-recyclables may at last be here.

Image result for barbie campervan retro

 

Barbie and her campervan might get to go on that road trip after all …

… they’ll be fuelling it!

 

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Until we do learn to treat plastic as the precious menace it is, anything we can do to keep it out of the oceans is a GOOD THING.  A lot of the city flooding throughout Asia is attributed to clogging of stormwater systems by plastic.

Thailand is considered to have the world’s highest per capita consumption of plastic bags…averaging eight per person per day, or 2,920 per year; compared to 80 per person, per year, in France.

The nation has a thriving street food culture with millions eating or buying their meals on the pavement each day. There once was a time when most of these dishes would be served wrapped in biodegradable banana leaves. But no longer.

It is a shift familiar across the region, with devastating results for the world’s oceans.

In a recent report, an American conservation group Ocean Conservancy estimated that just five countries — China, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand — were responsible for as much as 60 percent of plastic waste dumped into the ocean.

Narong Ruengsri, head of Bangkok city authority’s drainage department, said removing so much plastic from the canals and drainage system is a constant battle.

“Every day we go fish out around 2,000 tons of waste from the drainage channels,” he told AFP.

http://www.thenational.ae/world/southeast-asia/flood-threat-as-plastic-bags-clog-bangkoks-sewers

plastic
Plastic Oceans Foundation

We want to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation.

The Plastic Oceans Foundation is a UK charity which has been established to provide a powerful and effective platform that wants to change the world’s attitudes towards plastic.  Plastic Pollution has become a man-made global catastrophe. Over the last 60 years plastic has become central to our lives and as a result mankind has subjected the planet to a tsunami of plastic waste. The scale of the problem is exponential.

Plastic Oceans Foundation was formed 7 years ago by Sonjia Norman (Director of Plastic Oceans, Hong Kong) and Jo Ruxton (Film Producer: World Wildlife Fund, Blue Planet, A Plastic Ocean).

plastic-oceans
http://www.plasticoceans.org/film/

 

Money is best best carrot/stick to change behaviour.

If plastic becomes either more expensive, less will be produced.

If it becomes more valuable, less will end up as waste.

Week 19 Compassion in World Farming (UK/International)

This week stares ‘I‘ in the eye.

Understandably each one of us is the centre of our own universe…so much so that in the English language we have elevated ourselves right up there alongside God by capitalising the pronoun that refers to ourselves!  Even ‘you’ and ‘they’ don’t get the same honourific treatment that ‘I‘ do!

I’m suddenly feeling mighty important, so big I command little you to read on!

week 19

 

 

 

Last week was Anzac Day and many people faced the pre dawn cold to commemorate* our service people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also last week, there was a 35 kilometre offal spill along the Northern Highway in Victoria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While coverage of one event honoured the fallen in intimate detail, the response to the other was to sweep it off the road and under the carpet as quickly as possible and pretend the fallen had never existed.

If we are to grow as a compassionate society, we need to acknowledge this insensitivity.

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I wrote a letter to the editor of The North Central Review.

I can understand why a resident expressed her relief at the recent 35km offal spill being cleaned up in time ‘so children were not confronted by this grisly scene on the way to school’.

From another perspective however, maybe it would have been beneficial for kids to see some of the reality behind meat, rather than just the sanitised, packaged myth we are all sold.

According to a UN report  ‘Animal industries are one of the most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global’ . Let alone the suffering of the individual animals who are the innocent victims in a race for profit above all other considerations.

With a better understanding of the fact that meat once belonged to a living creature, grisly bits and all, people might be inclined to consume more mindfully.

Unfortunately it wasn’t published, this was:

week19c

(What I reall want to know is how did they manage to make sausages with all that offal going missing anyway?!)

But seriously, somewhere along the way as we mourn human loss or our own discomforts, we seem to have forgotten about all the others also struggling on this planet.

 

War causes an extraordinary amount of physical and emotional trauma for feeling beings.

So does animal agriculture.

Lest We Forget.

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The leading farm animal welfare charity

Dairy Calf In Deep Straw

Compassion in World Farming was founded over 40 years ago in 1967 by a British farmer who became horrified by the development of modern, intensive factory farming.

Today we campaign peacefully to end all factory farming practices. We believe that the biggest cause of cruelty on the planet deserves a focused, specialised approach – so we only work on farm animal welfare.

We are immensely proud of what we have achieved so far

  • Our political lobbying and campaigning has resulted in the EU recognising animals as sentient beings, capable of feeling pain and suffering. We have also secured landmark agreements to outlaw the barren battery cage for egg-laying hens, narrow veal crates and sow stalls across Europe
  • Our Food Business team is working with some of the world’s biggest food companies as a key part of the drive towards a more ethical and sustainable food supply. Our Good Farm Animal Welfare Awards are already benefitting millions of animals each year.257 million animals are set to benefit each year as a result of our Good Award winners’ policies.

 

Chief Executive, Philip Lymbery, is my hero.  He has written a book called Farmageddon which EVERYBODY should read.

Farmageddon

Farmageddon

 

Animals are sentient beings. They feel pain. They can experience a sense of emotional well-being and understand the difference between comfort and sadness.

 

 

 

 

 

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*There is an interesting article on the rising popularity of Anzac Day here.

Week 18 Born Free Foundation (UK/International)

(Heart) Breaking news: Right after publishing this post I found this repulsive news on the abc news feed

 Cambodian elephant ride operator ‘regretful’ after animal dies ferrying tourists in 40-degree heat.

The female elephant, aged between 40–45, died by the roadside on Friday after carrying tourists around Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat temple complex outside Siem Reap.

Photos were widely shared on social media, prompting calls for Cambodia to reform the already controversial elephant ride industry.

Asian elephants only live to around 40 years old, so this is like saddling up your grandma and riding her on a 40 degree day, when she should be relaxing with a sherry and many years retired.

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Tourist elephant riding in Chiang Mai, Thailand

I just sent an email to some friends and family.

Hi friends and fam!

I just found this article on the ABC newsfeed and it brought back some regrets of mine and a hope we can all work toward a better future for these animals:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-04-26/tripadvisor-profiting-from-‘cruel’-animal-entertainment/7351292

If you know anyone who is planning on travelling to a destination where animals are exploited for the benefit of tourists, please encourage them not to support this industry in its many guises. 

Even when it seems like we may be helping, we are probably just perpetuating profit driven uses/abuses. (This includes many animal ‘orphanages’.)

I have been short-sighted enough to pay money to ‘feed cucumbers to an elephant’ in Bangkok, to give money to a homeless guy with puppies in Japan and to ride an elephant in India (after allowing pressure to override my misgivings).

I regret these actions of mine, all of which helped entrench animal exploitation for profit.  I hope I can do better in future.

Cheers,

(Not necessary, but if you would like to sign it, there is the petition is below, I did, though I wouldn’t recommend giving them any financial support.  They only score one star on Charity Navigator.)

World Animal Protection (WAP) is the new name for the organisation previously known as WSPA.
http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/wildlife-not-entertainers

 

The world’s cruellest attractions

TripAdvisor is profiting from some of the world’s cruellest types of wildlife tourist attractions. Whether it is riding elephants, taking selfies with tigers, or performing dolphin shows, TripAdvisor is promoting and profiting from attractions that involve lifelong suffering for wild animals.

Last year Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) analysed 24 different types of wildlife attractions across the world. They rated them based on welfare and conservation criteria – we used this information and combined it with our own research to identify 10 of the world’s cruellest types of attractions.

By selling tickets through their subsidiary company Viator or promoting them with Certificates of Excellence, TripAdvisor is profiting from and promoting all of the following types of cruel wildlife tourism entertainment.

Riding elephants

In order to make elephants submit to elephant rides and other human interactions, they are taken from their mothers when babies and forced through a horrific training process known as ‘the crush’. It involves physical restraints, inflicting severe pain and withholding food and water. By the time tourists come to ride an elephant, it may look at peace, but this is because its spirit has been broken. The bullhook, used permanently, reminds the animal of human dominance.

The cruelty does not end after the crush. When not performing or used for rides most elephants are kept on chains, unable to socially interact with one another. This is hugely damaging to their physical and psychological wellbeing.

Taking tiger selfies

Tiger cubs are separated from their mothers at an early age so they can be used as photo props for hours on end. They are handled and hugged by tourists and typically kept chained or in small cages with concrete floors.

In Thailand we found 10 venues housing around 614 tigers. Although Thailand is a hub of cruel tiger tourism it is also prevalent in other parts of Asia, Australia, Mexico and Argentina.

Walking with lions

Lion cubs are bred and taken from their mothers typically within a month of birth to supply the growing lion tourism industry, mostly located in Southern Africa. Tourists handle the cubs for hours and pose with them for photos. They are also often told to hit the cubs if they display aggressive or unwelcome behaviour.

When the cubs grow too big for tourists to pick up and hug – but are still young enough to control – they are used for the relatively new walking with lions tourist experience. The lions are trained to ‘safely’ walk with tourists, sometimes on leads.

These lions face a lifetime in captivity as they cannot be released into the wild.

Holding sea turtles

The world’s last remaining sea turtle farm that acts as a tourist attraction is in The Cayman Islands. Here, tourists can hold turtles and even eat them during their visit.

Suffering from stress and disease, sea turtles live a tortured life at the Cayman Turtle Farm. They often panic when they are handled and it has been known for tourists to drop them, causing significant injuries which can kill turtles.

Performing dolphins

Millions of tourists visit dolphinaria, but they are unaware of the cruelty and abuses the dolphins endure to perform in shows.

Whilst it is banned in countries like the US, many performing dolphins around the world are still captured in the wild. They are often chased by high-speed boats before being hauled on board or caught in nets. For many, the stress is too much to take and they die during transportation to their intended destinations.

Whether wild caught or captive bred, dolphins in dolphinaria face a lifetime of suffering. They spend their entire lives in a space not much bigger than a swimming pool – completely unnatural and restrictive compared to their natural open sea environment.

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Thank you World Animal Protection for taking on this campaign, it is wonderful and very worthwhile.

However I will choose to give my money to another charity as I am not really heartened by your one star rating on Charity Navigator.

This week I hope I am choosing wisely by supportingindex

Born Free

From small beginnings, the Born Free Foundation has grown into a global force for wildlife.  But a personal passion for wild animals and desire for positive change remain at our heart.  Described by The Times as ‘Big enough to make a difference, but small enough to care,’ Born Free is not a big anonymous organisation, but a family of like-minded people who share the same goals. 

Our  major international projects are devoted to animal welfare, conservation and education, and protect lions, elephants, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, polar bears, wolves, dolphins, turtles, sharks and lots more.  Through our Global Initiatives project we respond to emergency situations worldwide, participate in international coalitions such as the Species Survival Network, run the People & Wildlife project with Oxford University’s WildCru department, and much much more.

 

Keep wildlife in the wild!!

 

Week 10 Happy Cow Compassionate Eating Guide (USA/International)

People say the darnedest things!

For a few years now, a game has been circulating on the internet for vegetarians to tick off comments as they hear them…

Defensive Omnivore Bingo

I got a quinella this week!

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1/        Q: ‘But where do you get your protein from?’

     A: From vegetables, the same place the animals you eat get theirs from.

I have noticed that all the ‘nutritionally curious’ questions I get relate come from ‘ad-wareness’, revolving just around the big ticket items in meat/dairy advertising…protein, iron and calcium…just like advertising has led people to equate bananas with potassium and oranges with vitamin C (even though neither of them is the best source of them), people think that animal products have the exclusive claim to the above three.

If roles were reversed I think people might find it weird if I randomly started asking them whether they think their diet contains enough fibre (no animal products contain any…unless you eat wool!) and magnesium (which is mostly sourced from vegetables and is one of the most commonly deficient nutrients in the west).

We don’t need much protein- taking in more than is needed is like throwing bricks at a house that is already built, it is both wasteful and pointless, maybe even damaging.  Human breast milk, at a time when a baby is only eating this and growing FAST only averages 1.3g of protein per 100ml.

(http://www.infantnutritioncouncil.com/resources/breastmilk-information/)

2/ Shrugs shoulders and looks helpless:

‘But I just love the taste of meat’

So did I!  As a child I couldn’t decide whether my favourite food was pork spare ribs or Mint Slice biscuits.  Most vegetarians probably enjoyed meat and never thought they would be able to live without it… until something reached deep inside and they grew from living for their base senses, to living by their higher sensitivities. 

For me, personally, the change started as I was crying and behaving like a pork chop over something my boyfriend had said, then I looked at the real pork chop on my plate and thought ‘Hang on; I am all upset by something stupid, but there is a slice of dead animal in front of me…get some perspective!’  So,the next day I went to Animal Liberation (no www back then) and read all the pamphlets they had and decided there and then to stop just saying that I loved animals, and to actually live like I did.

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Most people think that being vego is about ‘missing out’.  I can assure you it isn’t all Dickension thin gruel, pinched guts and banishment to the social fringes.

There is heaps to be gained.

You get to try other amazing dishes that you previously would have overlooked-skip the boring butter chicken and try gobi manchurian, or dhal tadka next time you eat Indian.

You will start ripples of kindness around you.  And it has been proven that doing good often leads to feeling good, both mentally and physically.

You get to meet heaps of really cool people – it is like being in the Mickey Mouse Vlub, but even better!  Some people try to dismiss vegetarians as whingers, who ‘go on’ – well if you see a gross injustice going on that other people are studiously ignoring, wouldn’t you want to say something too? Would you just stand by silently and allow an old lady to get mugged right in front of you?  Or even would you be comfortable to stand by and allow people to hurt an animal in front of you?  Of course not.

Anyway trust me, vegos aren’t the only ones that go on – did someone pass a law insisting steaks must always be described to vegetarians as ‘big and juicy’?!

Watermelons are much bigger and juicier btw, so we win.

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If you are a straight man,  there are a lot of vegetarian girls who would love to meet you.  There is nothing ‘unmanly’ about not eating meat.  I wonder if anyone can explain just exactly what they think IS manly about eating prepackaged select animal bits from a distant factory farm.  Even hunters using a gun are not exactly heroic  when you think about it, are they?!

Is being a man about ‘not caring’…unless it’s about your own kids, own mates, own car, own pets etc…? Do real men also choose fossil fuels over renewables and throw litter out of the car window instead of using a bin? Come on!!

You get to play defensive omnivore bingo.

and

You get use Happy Cow – actually everyone does!  Even if you aren’t vego, see what’s in your local area – you may just find a new adventure in a place that can satisfy both the tongue and the heart!

 

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www.happycow.net

 

About:

Our purpose is to make healthy food easy to find and more accessible.
Staffed and run by vegans and vegetarians, HappyCow was founded in 1999 as a public service to assist travellers and people everywhere find vegan, vegetarian and healthy food.

Today, our online community has grown to include members from around the world who are passionate about the vegetarian and vegan lifestyle as a healthy, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable way of living.

More than simply a restaurant and health food store guide, HappyCow is an ever-evolving online hub that serves millions worldwide as a one-stop resource for everything VEG.

The Pitted Date

from The Pitted Date,a vegan bakery in Mexico

Bon - Taito-ku

from Bon Taito-ku, vegan Japanese, Tokyo

Veg*n eating places in Melbourne:

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Week 9 Earthrace Conservation (Argentina/International)

According to the above news article, two endangered Franciscan dolphins were swimming near an Argentinian resort last week when they were taken from the water and “manipulated by tourists to photograph.”

Footage shared by Vida Silvestre and local news sources shows a mob of tourists passing around one of the tiny dolphins, while swarming to take photos of it and with it.

“One of them ended up dying,” … “Like other dolphins, they can not stay long out of the water because its thick skin provides internal heat, quickly causing dehydration and death.” 

There isn’t much that humans won’t destroy to make their Facebook friends jealous, it seems. 

Wake up people! No animals are objects for your entertainment.

It is too late for this individual dolphin, but how best to help others? I researched and originally  planned to donate to Vida Silvestre, which was once an independent conservation organisation in Argentina, but it is now an arm of WWF.

I have just read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything and am quite sus on larger conservation organisations as it seems they are very often having a threesome in which conservation is the minor partner, kicked down amongst the foot sweat at the bottom of the bed, while corporate industry  (that members of the board often have a history with) gets the Fairtrade chocolates on the pillow.

It seems that 75% of WWF spending goes on sometimes good, sometimes questionable projects, while 25% is blown on fundraising and admin expenses.  This ratio is considered acceptable by charity industry standards (make no mistake, charity IS an industry), but I think I could make better use of my wasted 25% or $13, thank you very much!…maybe I could ‘save the enviroment’ by buying a cask of wine instead?!…

-3L SlimCasks are equal to 4x750mL glass bottles, so there is less material used.
-Reducing environmental footprint – It takes 11 trucks to carry the same number of empty bottles as 1 truck of flattened 3L SlimCasks to our winery.
-That represents an 11-fold reduction in fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions to ship the 3L SlimCasks.
-There is less potential for breakage both in-store and at home.
-Less energy is used to produce the cardboard and oxygen-proof inner bag than with the production of glass.

I’ll drink to that! Emoji Just ignore the unrecyclable plastic bag and voila!! I’m an eco-warrior without having to sacrifice anything!!  See how good it feels to be greenwashed 😉 (Pats self on back and drives to distant shop where casks are $1 cheaper)

Sorry! Just like poor sea creatures are being dazed and confused by the increasing man-made noise in the oceans, I’ve also veered off from the most important subject of this whole sad story.

I am sorry little dolphin, may your death in the name of vanity not have been in vain.

Emoji

 

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Earthrace Conservation: Argentina

I can’t believe I feel I need a disclaimer before making a donation…but I am finding the deeper I look at many charities, the deeper the quagmire of questions…arrghhhhhh!!! 

Disclaimer: Earthrace is a frontline activist organisation run by former Sea Shepherd volunteer and captain, Paul Bethune. Paul Bethune was the captain of the Ady Gil, the beautiful black trimaran used by Sea Shepherd at the time of its much covered 2010 collision with a Japanese whaling boat.

I remember my response at the time was horror at their allowing such a generous donation to be destroyed so quickly. It felt even worse than the time I left my tricycle in the driveway and dad ran over it and said ‘that’ll learn ya to be more careful with your things’.  It did learn me good too, but I am not so sure that Sea Shepherd took home the same message…

A recent court finding, following a case brought by their cheesed off benefactor, Mr Ady Gil, has revealed some terrible behaviour was perpetrated by Sea Shepherd: the deliberate sinking of the damaged vessel after the accident.  That is even worse than wasting a cask of wine or a tricycle.

Disclamation of Disclaimer: However. In spite of such apparent news-coverage hungry insanity, Sea Shepherd and Earthrace do a lot of good on the frontline that most organisations are unable or unwilling to do. 

So with my goon glass half full, this week I am choosing to support the Argentinian chapter of Earthrace. 

Earthrace Argentina

Protecting the oceans and their species.

Killing the captive industry
There are two remaining aquariums in South America that will be targeted with campaigns to encourage the public not to pay to visit them.

Mundo Marino in Buenos Aires holds 13 dolphins as well as lonely killer whale, Kshamenk, who has been held in this tiny pool, since being ‘rescued’ from a stranding in 1992.

Shocking shark fin record
While Argentina banned the removal of shark fins at sea in 2009, it still manages to hold a shocking 5th position in the world ranking for exporting shark fin.

That’s not good and our Argentina crew plan on doing plenty in the next year to get this country off the list of those dealing in shark fin altogether.

Beach clean up in San Isidro
Fernando and the crew have also been busy cleaning up local beaches in San Isidro.

Buenos Aires Zoo ’embrace’
In December 2014, Earthrace Argentina joined a huge protest at the Buenos Aires Zoo after an employee revealed the terrible treatment of animals there including neglect, starvation and hidden deaths.

Earthrace has international chapters and features in its own TV show, the Operatives.

Thank you Earthrace for helping animals and raising people’s consciousness.

Please be good.

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P.s.

If someone asks you why whaling is so bad compared to all the other mass slaughter on earth, agree with them that they are all awful. A particularly terrible thing about whaling is the fact that unlike most creatures whales cannot go unconscious once pain gets too extreme; these social animals are aware throughout the whole slow and tortuous process.  Their pod members sometimes try to hold them afloat when they have been harpooned, to save them from drowning. Emoji

… and another thing, why, when a fisherperson is lost to the sea, do they receive tearful media coverage and costly search and rescue deployment, but noone ever spares a thought for all the sea creatures that had, and would have, suffered a similar horrible end (in a reverse direction) at their hands? Emoji

 

 

References:

Charity Navigator – WWF

Way Beyond Greenwashing: Have Corporations Captured Big Conservation?

Sea Shepherd/Paul Bethune

Trimaran Ady Gil