We can accomplish great things :)

Hello everyone!

It is 100 years since women first got the vote, thanks to the long hard struggle the suffragettes went through to achieve it. I think that is wonderful motivation for activists of all kinds; even though we may face an awful lot of opposition, ridicule and hatred from people who are reluctant to change “tradition” (read: “habits”), with enough determination, we can achieve anything! In time, the habits of previous generations will seem ridiculous…

27935144_1375790165859650_983832668_n

In other [equally important?] news, I love avocado so much that I married it:

27947214_1375789499193050_985191220_o

Lastly, a couple of local new things: Zizzi has a brand new vegan pizza, which I tried some time last week, and Tesco have introduced their new range of Wicked Kitchen convenience foods, all of which are plant-based and look delish! So far, I have tried the spicy frijole wrap πŸ™‚

Ciao for now!

Advertisements

Hypocrisy: When I first realised…

Hello everyone! Today’s post will be a long, thoughtful one, which is quite rare for my blog, as I usually like to keep things cheery. I wanted to write this before I head off to stay with my dad for a couple of days. If we visit anywhere nice to eat, I will post some pics when I get back!

So here are my thoughts on a couple of matters which have been going through my mind these last few days:

Firstly, the time which may well have been when I first realised that I was being a massive hypocrite…

In 2013, I was lucky enough to be invited on a work experience trip to Italy. There were eight of us in total, and we were living together in an old house in the ancient city of Lanciano, in Abruzzo. We took part in lots of cultural experiences, one of which was a traditional meal at a local farm.

Bedroom view
View from my bedroom window, for random context πŸ™‚

Part of the meal consisted of meat skewers. We all ate quite a few of them and, at some point, someone (it might have been me, I don’t remember) asked what meat they were made from. One of the Italians replied that it was dog meat. As you can imagine, I was horrified, and couldn’t tell if he was being serious. Eventually he admitted that it was a joke, and that it was actually lamb meat. I’m now very ashamed to say that I was relieved and carried on eating.

In the back of my mind, though, I was aware of my hypocrisy. Why should I care for a dog, but not care about a lamb? They are both sentient beings, and I love both of them! The answer was simple: social conditioning and cognitive dissonance. We are brought up to see some animals as pets and others as food, even though they are, in essence, exactly the same. Most people, especially children, think lambs are just as appealing as dogs (not that that should have to be a reason for us to respect them and allow them to live).

The fact that in some other parts of the world, cows and pigs are sacred, and dogs are eaten, proves this. Animals are completely at the mercy of our social traditions.

I think I am right in saying that that was the first moment I knew I was going to end up ditching meat. I had already started cutting out a lot of red meat by that point; I had never been keen on it anyway!

*****

The second thing I wanted to talk about is the fact that it is Holocaust Memorial Day tomorrow (27th January). I want to start off by saying that I think it is very important to acknowledge this and use it as a reminder of the dreadful events of the past, and that we should never allow anything like that to happen again.

But the horrible truth is that it IS still happening. In every slaughterhouse in the world. And it is still legal.

The last time I touched upon this subject was some time last year, after I had seen some distressing footage of pigs being killed in gas chambers for food, and I had a rant about it on Facebook. Even though my post was very logical, albeit emotional, I was immediately attacked by several people, and unfortunately had to go on an “unfriending spree”…

So that you hopefully understand where I’m coming from, I just want to outline a few key points:

  • The word “holocaust” does not solely relate to the terrible events of 1933 – 1945. The dictionary definition for holocaust is “destruction or slaughter on a mass scale”. Over 56 billion animals are slaughtered every year worldwide. If that is not an example of a holocaust, I don’t know what is.
  • Hitler was actually inspired by slaughterhouses for the concentration camps, and the comparisons are hard to ignore, from the transportation to the killing methods used, to the use of body parts afterwards. Many Holocaust survivors have also pointed out the similarities!
  • I am NOT disrespecting what people went through during that time; I am pointing out the horrors of BOTH things: the Holocaust of the war, and the continued holocaust of our fellow animals. The only reason people would be offended by the comparison is if they see humans as more important, or more deserving of life, than other animals. Or they don’t want the apparent inconvenience of seeing the truth.

Here ends my thoughts for now. Until next time…

2nd Veganniversary!!

Today (yes, I definitely have the date correct this time) is my second veganniversary! In some ways, it has gone very quickly, but it already feels like I have always been vegan – maybe because, in the back of my mind, I always knew I’d get here eventually πŸ™‚

According to http://vegancalculator.com/#calculator, that means I have saved approximately 730 animals, 14,873 pounds of CO2, 21,915 square feet of forest, 32,872 pounds of grain and 803,533 gallons of water!! Certainly makes you feel accomplished when you can save that many things AND not miss out of anything πŸ˜€

Anyway, I just got back from a lovely meal at Zizzi with my mum. I had a voucher to spend which was valid for veganuary, so we used it well. Was too busy enjoying it to take pictures hehe πŸ˜€ But I had my favourite olives, ragu and then shared a chocolate praline torte and coconut ice-cream. We also were served by a fellow vegan, which was nice πŸ™‚

#full

#ohgodIjustusedahashtag

#forgiveme

#ciaofornow!

Christmas 2017

Ciao peeps! I hope you all had a lovely Xmas, if you celebrate it πŸ™‚

Weirdly, I don’t really have anything to write about this time (food-wise), as I have been under the weather with flu and a very sore throat for nearly two weeks, and haven’t had much of an appetite! 😦 I keep feeling better and then worse, but hoping I’m on the mend for good this time.

Mum did make a lovely Xmas dinner, with a loaf and all the trimmings, which I enjoyed despite the throat pain!

I also got some very nice prezzies, including some cosmetics from Buddha Beauty – a totally vegan, natural and cruelty-free company, and a beautiful pendant from Simon Says Fork Out, who makes jewellery out of recycled cutlery and is one of the most popular stalls at Bath Christmas Market.

Until next time! πŸ˜€

Bath’s two new vegan eateries!!

Within two days, Jacob and I have had the pleasure of trying out Bath’s two newest 100% vegan eateries: Chapel Arts Cafe and Nourish πŸ˜€

Chapel Arts used to be a veggie/vegan cafe, but it has recently changed its menu to be totally plant-based, and is also open during some evenings. We went along at lunchtime and were very impressed; we had a flatbread and a cake each. Mine was a garlic mushroom flatbread, and then a brownie, to which they plated up and added chocolate sauce, which was a nice touch:

The next day, we were in town late, before the midnight showing of The Last Jedi (which you must go and see in 3D if you can!), and so we decided to join a group of local vegans for a taster menu at Nourish, which is a vegan pub on London Road (formerly The Beaufort).

The food was lovely, but ended up taking a very long time to arrive (I think probably because the owners had underestimated how long everything would take, and there were a lot of us!), and we actually had to skip dessert because we had a bus to catch to the cinema. Oh well – we’ll just have to go another time πŸ˜› What we did have was very nice: mushroom and chestnut soup, jackfruit taco, falafel, pakoras, nut roast and pie with roasted veg. Thankfully it was reasonably priced, and they kindly took dessert off for us:

P.S. I have finally got around to watching the comedy Red Dwarf, and heard a good quote the other day:

To give a bit of context, the four main characters are stuck without food, and Kryten manages to rustle up some cooked “chicken”. It transpires that it is not, in fact, chicken, but human meat. Obviously the others react with disgust, and Kryten says, “It seemed to me that if humanoids eat chicken, then obviously they’d eat their own species; otherwise they’d just be picking on the chicken.”

Bristol Viva! Vegan Festival :)

Ciao peeps! I had a lovely spontaneous day out on Saturday, visiting the Viva! vegan festival in Bristol. There were two floors packed full of food, treats, gifts and informations, and it was very encouraging to see it so busy with people of all ages πŸ™‚ It was far too busy to take photos, and I spent most of my time eating and awkwardly standing around, but here is a link to the event page, in case you want to go to their future events:

https://www.viva.org.uk/festivals/Bristol-2017

I will content myself with posting a photo of a lovely Bakewell tart, which was from The Vegan Cakery and which I enjoyed with a cup of tea when I returned home πŸ™‚

25317138_1323809674391033_1238797661_o

Also, just a couple of new finds in my local Tesco: vegan cheesy dorito-like chips (which are great with salsa), and vegan Ben & Jerry’s has finally arrived too!! There were three flavours available, and I chose chocolate fudge brownie:

25317076_1323809691057698_883277112_o

THE NORTH!

Ciao peeps!

I recently returned from a few days up north near Manchester seeing family. Sadly we had a funeral, but it was nice to also catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for a long time.

I was slightly concerned about the food situation before I went, as none of my family are vegan. However, it turned out to be fine, as everyone was very accommodating and made sure I was well catered for πŸ™‚

I also spent a few hours in Manchester, going around the Christmas market and visiting one of my favourite places, Afflecks (a department store for quirky, alternative clothes and products). The Northern Quarter of Manchester is quite vegan-friendly (including the famous V-Rev vegan diner), and I found a little place called Go Falafel, which is just down the road from Afflecks and provided me with a very substantial lunch! Afflecks is also very vegan-friendly with, not one, but two 100% vegan cafes. I got a delicious slice of banana and caramel cake from one of them.

I also want to mention M&S: they have been well-known for being not very vegan-friendly for a while now, but they seem to have upped their game… Even in a small M&S food hall in a Birmingham service station on the way home, I managed to pick up all these goodies:

23825497_1305778412860826_597409738_o

Their new vegan sandwich, a snack pot of hummous and carrot sticks, crisps and many many sweets (letting the healthy meal down a bit there!) Jacob has always wanted fruit pastilles to be vegan, so I was pleased when I found these πŸ™‚

And now a few randoms, as per usual…

Sainsbury’s now do a ready-to-cook vegan pizza by The White Rabbit Pizza Co. – I was sorry to discover that I wasn’t keen on this, because it is also gluten free and had a bit of an odd texture and could have been more flavoursome, in my opinion. However, I am pleased that a quick and easy pizza option has been introduced for gluten free vegans! Sorry for the awful quality photo:

23828491_1305778436194157_908489182_o

I enjoyed a lovely dessert, though! This lemon cheesecake from Food Heaven is just delish, and is also from Sainsbury’s (although I’m sure it’s available in a lot of places). I just took a photo of the packaging, as we had already demolished the cheesecake by the time I remembered… expert blogger that I am.

23847050_1305778409527493_2113792727_o

Lastly, something from today: I was shopping in Bath and went into Pret for a snack. I bought their new vegan Christmas sandwich and a mint hot chocolate (which is totally vegan if you ask for it to be made with non-dairy milk, as there is no powdered milk in the hot choc powder, unlike in a lot of other coffee chains) πŸ™‚ Both these things were really yummy, and I would recommend very much.

23847943_1305778396194161_438440981_o

Bye for now πŸ˜€

My 24th Birthday!

Hello everyone! I am now back from my studio work (see my most recent art blog postΒ for what I’m up to now) and so will hopefully post more frequently again.

It was my 24th birthday on the 19th (eek!), and so I have some nice vegan-treat-related things to type about πŸ™‚

Recently, it has been big news that Wagamama has a new vegan menu, and so we went for a late night meal to check it out. It turned out that all the vegan items, except one, had actually been on their old menu all along, but were hidden within everything else. I’m glad they have made a separate vegan menu now, because apparently it has been extremely popular! The food was amazing; it was my first time ever eating at Wagamama and it lived up to the hype: we treated ourselves to some prosecco and three courses (although we shared the dessert cause we were so full!)

Apologies for the horrible-quality photos… We had vegetable dumplings with a delicious dip, and spicy cauliflower florettes for starter, then pad thai and ramen noodles for mains, with passion fruit sorbet afterwards to cleanse our palettes (ooh posh!)

Also, a lovely present I got, which is relevant to this blog, is an absolutely gorgeous bag from Thamon. Now I’m not often fussed about things like handbags, but just look at this one!! Thamon are a small company from Camden who make bags, wallets and notebooks from vegan ‘leather’ made from sustainable leaves. This results in unique items in various colours which have lovely subtle leaf patterns all over:

22790128_1281866741918660_124834349_o

Here is their website so you too can drool over their stuff: https://www.thamon.co.uk/

Lastly (from my birthday day itself) I want to mention Hotel Chocolat again. The nice thing about having a birthday in October is that you get to benefit from fun spooky Halloween items πŸ˜€ In this case, Jacob picked up a ‘Wingston The Bat’ chocolate box… as you do… which is full of vegan dark chocolate shapes:

22810262_1281072448664756_1622264206_o

I was also very amused by this packaging, which reflects my feelings pretty accurately:

22553456_1275407665897901_1356477945_o

The day after, I met up with my dad in Bristol, where we had a mosy around, visited an art exhibition, drank chai lattes and had a lovely curry from a Caribbean food stall in St Nicholas Market, to where I had never been before. There were a lot of vegan options around, and I even saw somewhere with vegan Christmas puds πŸ™‚

Lastly, one honourable mention: Pudology now does millionaires shortbread puddings. Perhaps that should be in capitals… PUDOLOGY NOW DOES MILLIONAIRES SHORTBREAD PUDDINGS!!!

Until next time, peeps πŸ™‚

Another London outing, and new job!

Hi all! Been a little while since I’ve posted, as I am now working full-time at my new job as an artist assistant, which I’m enjoying immensely πŸ™‚

I am having to make myself lunch boxes for the first time in years! For them, I usually make a couple of sandwiches using vegan cheese or vegan meat-style slices and salad, a fruit pot, crisps, and a bit of something sweet like biscuits. Some specific items I have used and enjoyed are:

  • Tofurky slices
  • Follow Your Heart pepper jack cheese
  • Tesco freefrom choc chip cookies

Yesterday we went on a day trip to London, in which I found a vegan-friendly Indian restaurant called Govindas just off Soho Square. It is a totally veggie pace with lots of vegan options including cake! We opted for the veggie platter, which is five items and various chutneys for just under Β£7 – very reasonable:

21074447_1230477087057626_143501869_n

Afterwards, because it was very humid (as if we need that excuse!), we went to Yorica! where I got an extremely pink frozen yogurt:

21100181_1230477110390957_1521957468_n

Also, a couple of things I never posted before:

Firstly, I need to recommend Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart! Here it is in all its incredibly realistic, scrambled glory, with a lovely cooked breakfast my mum made:

20562653_1212817615490240_1150972707_n

Secondly, I eat a lot of Tesco’s vegan bean burgers; they are so tasty and quick πŸ™‚ I wanted to do something different with them, so I had the genius (?) idea of using them in wraps instead by breaking them apart and adding salad and Vegenaise:

20527440_1212817788823556_1847955118_n

Have I recommended Vegenaise before? Here is my review:

EAT ALL THE VEGENAISE IT IS AMAZING AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Okay?

I think that is all for now, folks! But if you wonder why things are a little quiet, it is because of my new job! Ciao for now πŸ˜€

My busy week in London!

Hi folks! I recently returned from my week in London, where I was part of an art exhibition at Bargehouse in London. It flew by far too quickly, but I got to make the most of my time there, which of course included going to all my favourite vegan-friendly eateries, and discovering some new ones…!

The easiest thing to do is make a list and include some pictures. Also, I will be adding some new info to the Favourite shops & eateriesΒ page:

Busaba Eathai

I used to eat here as a kid, during trips to London πŸ™‚ The lovely smell of Thai food and incense is worth it on its own, and they also had a few vegan options. The choice is limited and is quite “salad-y”, although very tasty

20622660_10155255942301348_2029614746_o

Yorica!

We went here a total of… wait for it… five times during the week! As mentioned before, everything in this ice-cream shop on Wardour Street is vegan, including waffles, crepes, ice-cream, frozen yogurt, sauces, and toppings!

The letters on the sprinkles spell “PTWZMLESS” – what does it meeeeean?!

Pret & Veggie Pret

We were lucky enough to have a Pret right next to our hotel (although, considering the amount of Prets in London, that is not much of a coincidence), and it was a great place to pick up a sandwich or wrap for lunch. They seem to have expanded their vegan range πŸ™‚

Zizzi

Always a favourite, and they do the nicest olives in the world. We were craving bolognese on the second day, and their new lentil ragu did the trick!

Vitao

A 100% vegan place we discovered by accident near Tottenham Court Road station. They have a buffet every day, a bit like Tibits, and everything tastes VERY healthy! The decor is lovely, with comfy benches, cushions, chairs made out of tree stumps, and cosy lighting.

Tibits

Again, always a favourite, we came here about five times as well! The fact that they have added a new chocolate pudding was possibly the most important moment of my week:

Temple of Hackney

We were determined to make a pilgrimage to this new vegan “fried chicken” place, and it was definitely worth getting lost on the tube when we tasted how good their “chicken” and mac ‘n’ cheese is. Problem is, you want to order everything on the menu!! I ended up having a wrap as well as the mac ‘n’ cheese (which came in a tub and was a thing of beauty). We made it with five minutes till closing time, and it was still really busy (which is all the more satisfying considering it is next door to a deserted butchers shop!) πŸ˜€

20615072_10155255940201348_118406144_o

Lola’s Cupcakes

At most tube stations, they have a selection of about six vegan cakes, which are yummy although a bit pricey! Worth is as a treat, to take away the stress of the underground πŸ˜€