Category: 8 August

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

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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…
__________________________________________________________
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

 

Week 33 Wildlife SOS (India)

Wildlife SOS rescues sloth bear baited with explosives-laced food by poachers in India

Poachers have resorted to baiting food with explosives to catch bears in southern India, an animal rescue group says.

Wildlife SOS rescued a sloth bear from a gully in Ramanagara, on the outskirts of the Bangalore city of Karnataka, after it was found in a critical condition with internal injuries.

The bear was found with huge internal injuries to its mouth, neck and head.

“Based on X-rays I can see multiple fractures in both lower and upper jaws, travelling all the way to the skull,” Wildlife SOS veterinarian director Dr Arun A Sha said in a statement provided to the ABC.

Together with the forestry department, a four-man team from Wildlife SOS tranquilised the bear, before carrying it to a waiting cage and taking it to urgent care.

The animal rescue group said “bleeding profusely and barely able to move, the bear could have passed off as dead had it not been for its agonised whimpering”.

Wildlife SOS co-founder Kartick Satyanarayan said the “crude” explosives method was often used by poachers to kill wild boars and other game, but now bears were being targeted.

“These crude, locally made bombs are concealed inside food baits and curious wild animals are tricked into biting into them,” he said.

“The result is often devastating and causes the head or mouth parts to explode, leaving the animal to die a slow and very painful death while waiting for the poachers to retrieve their prize.

“This is illegal under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and of convicted the poachers could be punished with a jail sentence of between three to seven years.”

According to Wildlife SOS, while the practice of dancing bears is less common, sloth bears are still poached for their use in Chinese medicines and gourmet cuisine in South-East Asia.

The male bears are poached for their reproductive organs and gall bladders which are key ingredients in aphrodisiacs.

Sloth bears are among four of Asia’s five bear species banned from international commercial trade under Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Bear a ‘Champ’ during surgery

Dubbed “Champ” by the Wildlife SOS team, the sloth bear is being fed intravenously after an intense five-hour surgery.

Bone fragments and maggots were removed during the surgery and the bear is moving on its own.

In a Facebook post, Wildlife SOS said the bear was “quite friendly for a wild bear” and seemed comfortable around vets and keepers.

While the bear is slowly recovering, the group said it may have suffered damage to the optic nerve, causing partial vision impairment.

The state of Karnataka in southern India is home to a large population of sloth bears.

Over the years, the natural habitat has deteriorated due to increasing human encroachment and the bears’ population in the wild is threatened due to poaching, illegal trading of bear parts and man-animal conflicts.

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teddy

Instead of buying yet more teddy bears and stuffed animals toys for kids who already have enough, a donation on their behalf to help the real bears and the really stuffed animals might be a better gift that gives many times by

  • helping animals,
  • not creating more landfill
  • promoting empathy in the next generation.

I always worry about the conditions of poor workers in factories as well, another good reason to buy less/buy second hand/buy responsibly.

Another bonus… is hard to know what to do with much loved cuddly toys once grown-up-dom is reached – op shops don’t want them, storing them is cumbersome and throwing them out is heart wrenching…like real animals, less is a lighter mental and physical load!

________________________________________________________________

http://wildlifesos.org/

Wildlife SOS was established in 1995 by a small group of individuals inspired to start a movement and make lasting change to protect and conserve India’s natural heritage, forest and wildlife wealth. Today, the organisation has evolved to actively work towards protecting Indian wildlife, conserving habitat, studying biodiversity, conducting research and creating alternative and sustainable livelihoods for erstwhile poacher communities or those communities that depend on wildlife for sustenance.

India’s wildlife is under severe threat – every animal from the majestic elephant and the tiger, to the shy sloth bear and rare pangolins have fast become “the hunted”. While time is running out for these creatures, it’s not too late to help. Wildlife SOS consistently makes a difference to give back to the planet, to give back to nature and help protect the environment and wildlife.

Kartick Satyanarayan and Geeta Seshamani with their shared enthusiasm, dedicated themselves to the mission of eradicating the abusive practice of ‘dancing’ bears in India completely.The initial days were very difficult due to lack of support and funding. Geeta’s foresight in creating Wildlife SOS as an arm of her existing rescue operation, Friendicoes, allowed the two organizations to share knowledge and resources as the team learned and made its way through the initial challenges of addressing the needs of urban wildlife suffering from habitat encroachment a result of the surging population growth in India.

 leopard_landing

“Be The Change You Wish To See In The World”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Week 32 Tapir Specialist Group (Brazil)

vego hello

I have mentioned before that people react in strange ways when they find out you are vego…it starts to wear as thin as pay outs on Collingwood supporters.  After nearly finishing this post I discovered there is a new book about it.

Richard Cornish’s book ‘My Year Without Meat’ was discussed on 774 ABC Drive today. He found that in Australia many people ‘hate vegetarians and have no respect for people who choose to sit outside the dominant paradigm‘. Is it discomfort from seeing people who choose to live by their conscience instead of feigning ignorance? Fear of change? Guilt or just mob mentality?  I am not sure but I personally got another trifecta today, so I am going back over old ground.

If people are willing to criticise those who chose not to eat meat, and defend their right to eat whatever they please, they should also be willing to watch documentaries such as Earthlings and Cowspiracy with their eyes wide open and know exactly what it is that they are supporting.  

If they still go on to tell you how much they love animals…

                                                                   …  run  …

…they are clearly a sociopath!

tumblr_lt8kd6g6DJ1r2g25po1_400tumblr_lrbb7gjqkp1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the defensive approachI absolutely love animals but I could never be vego – I tried it once but I’m a special case, my body needs MEAT!

Well, my body tells me it needs beer and chips too, but I think it just might be more a case of want, rather than need.  During exercise it is usually the mind that cops out before the body, and I think with most failed diets it is the same.

tumblr_lr6g7ufsZU1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the fatalistic approach – It’s natural, survival of the fittest, always been done that way etc etc.

Well, cannibalism (see week 30) and/or infanticide have also featured strongly in most cultures for most of human history.  Things can, and should change as our empathy and understanding evolve.

tumblr_lr3ji0f7pc1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the taste/convenience approach –  It is too hard to be vego and I don’t have enough time.  I couldn’t live without ____.

I agree it takes a bit more planning but it is getting easier and easier and yummier and yummier.  There are many pre-made vegetarian options now available – ok, many are quite processed, but at least the ingredients are listed there.  There is nothing natural about most of the meat we are sold either but all the crap that has gone into that isn’t listed on the label…imagine if your meat came with a true list of ingredients , it could look something like this:

GMO soy (from the Amazon); GMO corn (whatever is left over after making bio-diesel); ground up offal, fat and feathers; faeces; antibiotics; growth promoting hormones; vitamins; minerals; preservatives. 

tumblr_lr6buvBHG11r2g25po1_400

…there’s the frankly pathetic approach – ‘Aww, but what about poor plants, they have feelings too’.

Yes I have no doubt that they do – I feel guilty cutting off a broccoli stem, or pulling out a lettuce.  I understand the motivation of ethical fruitarians who only want to consume what falls from plant without harming the plant itself.  However for a meat eater to come out with this line is just stupid.  Most of the animals we eat have a a central nervous system like ours which we clearly know is capable of experiencing extreme pain and fear as well as concern for our offspring and ourselves.  Also the animals we eat eat plants to grow big and strong.  They eat a lot more to make the meat that we eat than we would need directly to make our own meat ourselves.  So people who care about plants REALLY should be vego.  Or fruitarian.  Or breatharian.

tumblr_lr2xuybkKO1r2g25po1_400

…there’s the logical leap of faith approach – S/he got sick=Must be because they are vegetarian.

Just ignore all the healthy vegos and the sick trenchermen out there and this theory is absolutely, very, almost, just about watertight.

trencherman

noun, plural trenchermen.
1.

a person who has a hearty appetite; a heavy eater.
2.

Archaic. a hanger-on; parasite.

tumblr_lrydn0CZUq1r2g25po1_400

…there’s also the attack is the best defence approach You smug, tofu munching hippies are killing the AMAZON!! My diet is better because I won’t eat soy!!   Oh, really?

veggie-burger-main-main

Few of us are aware how much soy we eat. A typical beef burger can contain meat raised on soy meal, margarine containing soy, mayonnaise with soy lecithin and soy additives in the bread bun.

Soy is used as an ingredient in many baked and fried products, as well as margarine, in frying fats, or bottled as cooking oil. Lecithin derived from soy is one of the most common additives in processed foods, found in anything from chocolate bars to smoothies.

Around 75% of soy worldwide is used for animal feed, especially for poultry and pigs.

19% processed for its by-products including lecithin and soy oil which is used both as a consumable and a growing source of biodiesel.  Not to mention being the base of choice for fancy scented candles

6% of soybeans are used directly as food, mainly in Asian countries such as China, Japan and Indonesia. Whole beans may be eaten as a vegetable, or crushed and incorporated into tofu, tempeh, soya milk or soy sauce.

http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/soy/soyreport/soy_and_its_uses/

The amazon is being clear felled to grow soy to feed animals and produce increasing amounts of bio-diesel.  They didn’t build the BR-163 ‘soy highway’  for the benefit of us vegos, but if you want to be double sure, make sure your soy products don’t contain beans from Brazil.
Part of the 1,700km long BR-163 ‘Soy Highway’ which runs through the heart of the Amazon basin.
People seem to spend more time worrying about what I put into my body than what they put into theirs. Weird old world, hey!

Lucky being vego rocks!

 

vegos_______________________________________________________________

From one vego to another, I want to say cheers to tapirs!  These ancient rainforest dwellers need all the help they can get.

Tapirs look something like pigs with trunks, but they are actually related to horses and rhinoceroses. This eclectic lineage is an ancient one—and so is the tapir itself. Scientists believe that these animals have changed little over tens of millions of years.

Tapirs have a short prehensile (gripping) trunk, which is really an extended nose and upper lip. They use this trunk to grab branches and clean them of leaves or to help pluck tasty fruit. All four tapir species are endangered or threatened, largely due to hunting and habitat loss.

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/tapir/

 

http://www.tapirs.org/

tapir

About Lowland Tapir Conservation Initiative – Brazil

Promoting the research and conservation of lowland tapirs and their remaining habitats in Brazil

Awards
2004 – Harry Messel Conservation Leadership Award, IUCN
2008 – Golden Ark Award, Golden Ark Foundation, Netherlands
2008 – Whitley Award, Whitley Fund for Nature, UK
2011 – DICE Research Prize, Kent University, UK

Lets fill the world with more tapirs, more love and less hate.

good samaritan

Every little bit counts…whoever did this is wonderful, the extra nice thing is that lots of people left the $10 in the envelope for someone needier than them…