Chocolate Sunday!

(Pun very much intended)

Happy Easter folks! (If you celebrate it, or at least have some chocolate!) 😀

I have to say that I do find Easter, like most traditional celebrations, very strange if they involve animal products; for example, a lot of people eat lamb at Easter. In other words, they are celebrating the start of new life by eating a new life 😦 And of course all the dairy chocolate which meant that babies had to be separated from their mothers…

15996119_1037359409702729_882546932_n

Human hypocrisy at its finest :/

Anyway, we have been enjoying some treats today! Here are some examples of vegan Easter treats you can easily find in the shops: Asda freefrom caramel crispy squares, Poppets, Choices egg, Celtic egg, vegan sweets and freefrom cookies, all from Sainsbury’s 🙂 Omnomnom…

18009391_1118918844880118_349720630_n

Also, I wanted to mention a lovely lunch I had with my uni friends recently at Beyond the Kale. Their roasted veg wrap was absolutely delicious, accompanied by an energising juice and spiced wedges, with a strawberry cheesecake for dessert:

Cake and other things

Yo! It’s been a while again; I’ve been very busy with uni recently. I have quite a few exciting things going on at the moment: doing marketing for our summer exhibition in London, having an interview at Bristol Old Vic (fingers crossed!!), and preparing for assessments…

Anyway, it was Jacob’s 25th birthday on Tuesday, and I made him a cake:

17495474_1097143297057673_1502411482_n

I made this using Betty Crocker devil’s food cake mix, icing, and choc chips from Lidl. For the first time, I used chia seeds as an egg replacer (having suddenly realised I’d run out of Orgran). It’s very simple: for every egg, you combine 1tbsp of chia seeds and 3tbsp of water, and leave for a few minutes to form a jelly 🙂 It went down a treat with our omni friends at the birthday gathering!

Here are a couple of other things:

I finally got around to having hash browns again – fun was had! 🙂

17555145_1097143317057671_1863405770_n

I put pesto and “cheese” mushrooms ON TOP of burgers!!!!

17506403_1097143277057675_1677705558_n

I think that, as well as showing some of the yumminess we’ve been having, these photos effectively show my incompetence as a food photographer…

Anyway…

It’s nice to be able to write positive things on here. I’ve actually had a pretty frustrating morning, as last night I commented on an Earth Hour facebook post, basically saying how we should be caring for our planet all the time, not just for an hour, and that switching the lights off it like putting a plaster on a broken arm if you still eat animal products. You can imaging the ignorant backlash I received which I saw first thing this morning… :/

It was a combination of people saying that eating meat has nothing to do with climate change, and calling me a “Debbie Downer” for pointing out these facts. Generally I am a pretty positive person, but it’s sometimes difficult when you are reminded about how in denial, and how mollycoddled, most of the human race is. The frustrating thing is that most people would probably go vegan if they were to actually bother to find out some info and stop burying their heads in the sand.

But, sadly, most people are deliberately ignorant.

And lazy.

And stupid.

We just have to have hope that veganism will soon be so mainstream that people will have no choice other than to see its positive impact, and how easy it is, and how natural it is for humans! Come on 2017, do us proud!! 🙂

It’s my first veganniversary!

Today, I am celebrating my one-year veganniversary!! This time last year, I was walking from uni into town and made the decision to go fully vegan. I was feeling slightly nervous, but simultaneously very excited and relieved of the hypocrisy which had been a massive weight on my shoulders whilst I had been a meat-eater and a vegetarian 🙂

15935711_1033718303400173_776997833_n

Since that day, I have learned to cook all my favourite meals (and discovered how to cook many additional ones), eaten at loads of delicious vegan-friendly restaurants, and continued to educate myself about the benefits of veganism, and have become quite a little activist! I post about vegan matters on social media and talk about it with my friends, despite the occasional defensive backlash I receive. A few of my friends have gone vegan recently as well, and it’s such a lovely, rewarding thing to hear, especially when they contact me personally for advice 🙂

14724448_10153907724961669_8921798906905969551_n

I also have saved a huge stash of thought-provoking memes, hence the use of many of them right now! 😀

14914952_971626896275981_1346439100_n

I can honestly say that the hardest part of being vegan is the prejudice you get from some meat-eaters (and even some veggies!). There is nothing hard about veganism itself at all, and the positive feeling you get every time you eat a meal or wear clothes which have no death or suffering in, is the best feeling ever 🙂

15078806_10154099501561188_3821655307239002943_n

I am so hopeful that 2017 will continue to make veganism mainstream, and that in a short time, being vegan will be as normal as being vegetarian is already. After all, a few years ago, veggies were receiving the same prejudice that vegans do at the moment!

15935788_1033720420066628_770258833_n

Racism, sexism and homophobia have already been eradicated in everyday life, and speciesism is the next target. What gives humans the right to deliberately take the lives of 58 BILLION animals every single year, when there is simply no need to, and it is so detrimental to our wellbeing and the environment?! At the moment, livestock animals are literally born to die. A baby animal is born because, in the near future, some human wants to eat it. This simply wrong, disrespectful and immoral.

Going vegan was the best decision I have ever made, and I am looking forward to celebrating many many more “veganniversaries” in the future 😀

15970293_1033720410066629_1741413256_n

15941907_1033720440066626_1604807375_n

14958475_971636449608359_557608144_n

 

Other festive bits :)

Hello again so soon!

I wanted to share a few more food, drinks and thoughts from the past week which were separate to Christmas day itself 🙂

This soft cheese spread and breadsticks from Sainsbury’s tastes just like nice Dairylea dunkers! 😀

15127378_986250798146924_605208082_o

Lovely hot chocolate made with Sainsbury’s hot chocolate powder (which is marked vegan on the back), plant milk of your choice, Soyatoo squirty cream and vegan marshmallows from Holland & Barrett (cute puppy mug optional):

15666230_1019772334794770_1862202618_n

Mulled cider from Lidl:

15722578_1024875280951142_122820470_n

Sainsbury’s now do a freefrom vegan vegetable lasagne! The beschamel sauce tastes exactly like one made with dairy:

15049983_983790115059659_996827430_n

A favourite snack of mine – sliced tomato and avocado on seeded bread with vegan butter and hummous or pesto 🙂

15086310_986245014814169_1263922027_n

And, finally, this was delicious – I made a stir fry using Fry’s chicken-style strips, tenderstem broccoli, peppers and a Sainsbury’s satay cooking sauce 🙂 Most of their sauces are marked vegan on the back; there’s loads of choice!

15218273_990199107752093_1597344845_n

P.S. A nice thing happened to me a couple of evenings ago. I had a message from a college friend, completely out-of-the-blue, saying that she finds my vegan posts really inspiring and that she is going vegan in the new year 🙂 This was such a nice surprise – I love it when I hear that my friends are giving veganism a try!

Chwismasss!!

Hi folks! Hope everybody has had a brilliant festive day, whatever you decided to do! Jacob, my mum and I had a lovely Christmas day – I’ll give a brief run-through of what we ate and got up to 🙂

I cooked the Christmas breakfast and lunch: ‘pizza bagels’ for breakfast (tomato pasta sauce and Violife cheese on lightly toasted bagels!) and a full roast for lunch:

  • Fry’s soy and quinoa roast (perfect size for three people)
  • Cranberry & port sauce (Lidl)
  • Roast veg – potatoes, carrots and parsnips
  • Sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and peas
  • Gravy (Sainsbury’s own vegetarian gravy)
  • Onion and herb stuffing (Lidl)

It was so delicious!! Shameless high-five to me 😀 This was my first fully vegan Christmas, although last year I did cook a vegan lunch for me and Jacob as well (when I made a tofu loaf from scratch!)

15750008_1024875284284475_1853228763_n

Also, I bought Jacob a bottle of Besos De Oro, which is a vegan cream liqueur very similar to Baileys. They are a brand new company, and apparently they were completely inundated with orders this year! Just shows the popularity of vegan products, and the loyalty of vegan customers – yay 🙂

Perfect accompaniment for watching a bit of Home Alone 😀

15731023_1024875274284476_1883027458_n

In the afternoon, Jacob and I went up to visit his family. His mum, although she is a meat-eater herself, is always very accommodating and thoughtful and cooks us lovely vegan food and gives us vegan treats 🙂

Obviously it was quite a long time before we were able to eat another scrap, so in the meantime we opened presents, and fell asleep in front of the Doctor Who Christmas special (which seems to be becoming a tradition, as that is what happened last year as well!).

I got some lovely Lush products, and loads of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, which I can’t wait to try! Then Jacob’s mum cooked us some bubble-and-squeak, using Linda McCartney sausages 🙂

We got home quite late, and I slept like a log! One of my favourite Christmases ever 😀

Lidl being annoying…

It’s not often that I do angry posts, but Lidl is really getting on my nerves at the moment…

Working there is a necessary evil for me at this present moment, because they are extremely accommodating of my uni needs, and pay a good wage. However, their meat adverts are blatantly stupid!

Their TV adverts are sadistic (and have apparently inadvertently turned a lot of people veggie or vegan!! 😀 ) and their posters in store are exactly the same :/ Take this one, for example, which was right next to where I was sitting on the checkout yesterday:

15226505_995124390592898_356816818_n
“This is about as natural as you’ll ever get a turkey”

Yeah, because it’s completely natural for turkeys to be bred in huge numbers, fattened up by humans on farms (whether “free range” or otherwise), slaughtered long before their natural life expectancy, wrapped in plastic, and shipped to supermarkets where they are bought by humans in exchange for money… 😦

They are obviously trying to disarm meat-eaters who care about buying “free-range” or “humanely slaughtered” animals 😦 Well, I and many other vegans realised that those concepts are nonsense a long time ago! Stop trying to cover your back, Lidl!!

London fun and rushing around!

This Thursday and Friday, Jacob and I used a pair of free coach tickets to go to London again, where we had fun sightseeing, going up The Shard, and eating yummy things 🙂

On Thursday, we went to Tibits again, as we already know it is very nice there:

15226550_995123537259650_407955243_n
The usual mixture of everything I can fit on my plate! 😀

And on Friday, we had a very simple breakfast of toast and jam, as it was provided at our hotel, then later on went to Hummus Bros, Yorica, and Zizzis (we had a voucher wooo!)

Hummus Bros and Yorica are practically next door to each other, on Wardour Street near Chinatown, and our friend was so determined to show them to us that we almost missed our View at the Shard booking, and our coach home!! I have written about both places on my Favourite shops & eateries page under the London subheading 🙂

15209109_995123517259652_1042198800_n
Pasta pomodoro at Zizzi
15228017_995123520592985_192579456_n
A tub-full of deliciousness at Yorica!

I have not included a photo of our snack from Hummus Bros, as we suddenly realised we had five minutes before we needed to leave for The Shard, bundled our food into a bag and ended up eating its (rather squashed!) contents over three hundred metres in the air!

Good memes and good meals :D

Hi folks! It’s nearly time for me to go back to uni for third year (how did that get here so quickly?!) so I will be posting when I get the chance in between writing my dissertation and creating stupidly big paintings…

I am also continuing to write my FAQ & Thoughts page, which is a work-in-progress and a great outlet for me – feel free to have a read 🙂

For now, I will leave a couple of 100% accurate memes here, which have popped up on my Facebook recently…

14508680_944042449034426_522016438_n

14459056_944042445701093_1240392755_n

… and a (not particularly healthy, but delicious) comfort-food meal of Fry’s sausages, Lidl’s mushy peas, chips, ketchup, avocado and tomatoes, which also happened to be very colour co-ordinated! 😀

14348808_936226916482646_1039210595_n

YouTube conversations :O

Sometimes – probably more often than we would like to admit – we find ourselves in the comments section of YouTube. Oh the wonders of humanity! Most of the time I avoid looking at animal videos, so as not to get aggravated, but the other day I happened to (dramatic chord!) scroll down on one of these videos and read some of the comments and, before I could help myself, I was replying to some people…

So a few days have passed, and I thought I’d share the results with you all. It seems a good example of the sort of comments which can often be found on a video of this nature. The video was “The F Word pigs go to slaughter – Gordon Ramsay”, where Janet Street Porter says goodbye to the pigs she’s raised for The F Word kitchen. I am quite pleased with how the conversations turned out, but probably won’t comment on any more (for a while at least), because YouTube is rather tiring and tends to bring out the worst of people!

(Contains bad language)

Conversation 1

Vegan woman: These poor innocent souls will never come to understand why they are being treated in this way. If you can look at a potato and a piglet and say that they are the same, you are insane and should be locked up as you are a danger to society and those around you. People need to wake up and realize how barbaric the consumption of meat and dairy truly is. If watching these animals be killed against their will makes you uncomfortable or feel any guilt, then you damn well know eating meat is not right. Go vegan, save the animals.

Some guy: Yeah? Fuck you, meat all the way

Vegan woman: Being childish isn’t going to help anyone. just because you condone the torture, rape, and slaughter of animals does not mean you can curse at me. Come back with some facts and form your argument and next time, maybe I’ll take you seriously.

Some guy: I never said I condone that, but meat is delicious

Vegan woman: When you know animals are treated terribly day in and day out and still choose to eat meat is when this becomes a problem. By eating meat, you in fact do condone the torture, rape, and slaughter of animals who never even had a chance and “they are not as smart as us and who cares, they are yummy!” is not an excuse. They feel things like pain, anxiety, and fear just like we humans do. If we look into it, we are so much alike and people dont realize this.

Some guy: Animals are made to be eaten, and the fact that they get tortured is none of my damn business, and rape? Nobody slaps their dicks on a pigs ass, they get killed, we eat them, as simple as that, no need for rocket science, and why do you care what people eat? “Go vegan” it shows in fact that youre way too desperate, sit down.

Vegan woman: Animals in both the meat and dairy industry are indeed raped. Cows, pigs, and other animals have men with very large gloves stick semen in their vagina so they may become pregnant either to produce milk or be slaughtered. A cow can only produce milk when they are pregnant. This is all against their will. The babies are ripped from their mothers at birth. Imagine the trauma these animals go through, being raped and then having your child taken from you. These animals know that things are not going to get any better and people like you contribute to that every day.

Some guy: Not really, that’s just stupid…

Vegan woman: No, you are just to ignorant and desensitized to realize it is the same thing. this is all against their will so don’t make excuses for yourself. once an animal is involved in a disgusting place called a slaughterhouse, their children after them will meet the same fate which unfair and inhumane.

Some guy: Look, you piece of shit, food is to be eaten, like… You are an arrogant piece of shit vegan, I will stuff pork in your mouth and you will eat it for the rest of your life you vegan plant killing ignorant arrogant disgraceful piece of carrot lover, oh, I heard vegans dont drink milk, I will force drink you goat milk and piss and force feed you shit you cucumber muncher

Me (to the vegan woman): Ignore the stupid insulting trolls and people burying their heads in the sand. Eventually the world will wake up. Being ethical has always been the lonelier road, but it is a lot more rewarding, and you have a much clearer conscience. Surround yourself with like-minded people, eat loads of lovely vegan food, and hold your head high! 🙂

Some other guy: Yeah, go go ahead, Idc. But when you bring your stupid ass arguments telling people being an omnivore is bad, gtfo. You guys have no idea what you’re missing out, So much misinformation as well.

Me: Yep thanks for that polite, insult-free comment 😉 What most omnivores seem to forget is that vegans know exactly what we’re so-called “missing out on”; nearly all of us used to eat animal products! But guess what? We researched, gained dietery, health, ethical and environmental knowledge, and have decided to quit them. Because we know that they are unnecessary, and that the future of the planet, the animals and our own wellbeing is more important than if we happen to like the taste of a few strips of bacon! (And btw I tried vegan mock-bacon the other day and it was absolutely delicious. And nobody died for it 🙂 Vegans are not misinformed; we’re just not selfish. We have heard every pathetic, defensive argument against us, and still know that we’re doing the right thing. So save your breath!

Some other guy: How do you know the future? How do you know what the animals feel like? You don’t. As long as it had a decent life, and was local farm raised, I’m ok. I don’t eat bacon, I’m hinting at the important amino acids and shit you’re missing out on, as other foods CANNOT give you them.

Me: ^ Oh look, more misinformed ignorant arguments that I have heard before a thousand times, what a surprise! But since you’re clearly so concerned about us, vegans get our amino acids from beans, legumes, oats, plant milks, nuts, seeds, green veg, and grains. I used to have the same opinion. But let’s face it: “humane” meat is just humans trying to justify a practice which is unnecessary, selfish mass-murder. Take this scenario: if a group of human babies were brought up in an OK environment for a few weeks or months, would it then be OK if they were suddenly shipped off to a slaughterhouse, killed (even if it was allegedly “painless” and “stress-free”), cut into pieces and sold?

(No reply)

Conversation 2

Some guy: Ignorance is bliss I think, I’m a massive meat eater but this makes me feel like a shit person cause of it

Me: No, ignorance is bad because it keeps you in denial of what you’re consuming. If you feel bad for eating meat, and yet you do it anyway, then you are being a hypocrite. I’m not having a go: I was a hypocrite for years and, when I finally went veggie then vegan, it was the best step I’ve ever taken, and a massive weight of guilt off my shoulders. We aren’t meant to consume animal products; they are not healthy for us and contribute to the needless suffering of billions of animals every day (including ourselves). Why continue when we can get all our nutrients from plant-based foods?

Some guy: I continue to eat meat because meat tastes great and me stopping won’t make any difference apart from making me feel good about myself.

Some girl: did you think it was grown in the supermarket of something? I fucking love it! I’m not eating a dog or a cat or something so yea, i can live with it.

Me (to the guy): I know meat sometimes tastes great; I used to eat it! However, when you weigh it up with the detriments of eating it, and the fact that you get plant-based alternatives which taste even better, then you decide to stop. Stopping eating animal products makes all the difference in the world: compassion, empathy, a better environment, animals returning to their natural population sizes and habitats, lower risk of disease, much fewer plants being used for consumption (yes, because it takes many many more times to feed livestock than it would to feed humans directly, even if the whole world was vegan!) etc etc etc…

Me (to the girl): How come we keep cats and dogs as beloved pets, and yet it’s considered perfectly OK to slaughter pigs and cows? They’re all our fellow animals and should be treated with equal respect and dignity. All of them are individual lives, who feel love, grief and pain just as we do; they are not commodities to be used at our leisure. Imagine if there was a more evolved species on earth than us, which decided it liked the taste of humans (even though human flesh is not healthy for them, and there are much tastier and healthier plant-based alternatives). Would you consider it OK if they still harvested human adults, children and babies to be taken to slaughterhouses, cut into little pieces and sold?

(No reply from the girl)

Some other guy: We keep cats and dogs as pets because they don’t taste good.

Me: Lots of nations eat dogs; there are even dog eating festivals! 😦 and in yet other nations, pigs and cows are seen as sacred and are never eaten. It all depends what culture you’re in. What I’m saying is, culture shouldn’t have anything to do with it; all animals should have equal rights, full stop! What gives humans the right to exploit them?

Some other guy: Fuck no ill gobble down a bacon burger without any guilt, animals were put on earth for food. Whether its eaten by us or other animals

Me: Thanks for your polite, well-informed replies on this issue…

(As you can see, this tends to be my default response if somebody is not worth responding to! 😀 )

Some other guy: It’s not an issue, start eating meat and your pale ass won’t look so much like a ghost

Me: Ah more personal insults… You’re making yourself look like a very polite, intelligent individual here… Not that I have to justify anything to you, but you do not know what I look like, and my skin tone was exactly the same when I used to eat meat anyway, so I really don’t know what point you’re trying, and failing, to make! 😀

Some guy: It’s only an issue if the animal was treated poorly or killed and not eaten

Me: I used to think that as well but, on the contrary, meat production is also the biggest negative impact on the environment. So if, like me, you care about the environment as well as animal welfare and health, then that is another reason to ditch animal products as much as possible. Besides, even IF the animals are given an apparently ‘humane’ slaughter (oxymoron?), why does that make it OK to breed them for mass murder? Why should we exploit them like that? How would you feel if somebody did that to humans?

Some guy: Now the issue is that you’re comparing animals to a human

Me: Absolutely I am. All animals have the right to live. Otherwise you are just exploiting your position. Did you know that it has been proven that pigs are more intelligent than 3-year-old humans? And all animals feel pain, grief and fear; they have a central nervous system, just as we do.

Some guy: You’re basing your opinions on a non sequitur fallacy. Simply because they have a sense that lets them feel pain doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be killed for food

Me: Vegans’ problem with animal products is not just this one (although it is a very important issue of animal welfare!). It’s the fact that we simply do not need them in our diets; they are actually detrimental to our health, and cause the suffering and slaughter of billions of animals every single day. And while people provide supply-and-demand, this will continue to happen. For these reasons, and the other things I have mentioned above, people such as myself make the decision to remove themselves from the animal product industries as much as they possibly can within their individual means and resources. Meat production is not natural any more, or humane; it is a vast industry which cares about nothing except making money. And, despite the insults and arguments that we face every day, millions of vegans are proving that you can live a cruelty-free life and be totally healthy and happy. Believe what you will, but this is the truth of the matter. I’m not spending any more of my time debating about it on here. I’m stopping my notifications now, so I won’t see any more replies.

Conversation 3

Somebody: I’m no vegan, but I also don’t eat animals that I got to know personally, and frankly I don’t know how Janet can sleep at night knowing she did

Me: How about seeing all animals as equal? It doesn’t matter if it’s a pig you raised by hand, or one you’ve never met before; neither of them deserve to be murdered. A lot of farmers find it upsetting sending their animals off to slaughter. Well if they don’t like it, then they shouldn’t do it! Especially considering that we don’t even need animal products in our diets.

Another woman (to me): Absolutely right! We have no reason for animals in our diet, so the only reason humans continue to kill and eat them is because of addiction. My taste buds are nowhere near as valuable as someone’s life. 🙂

Me: Exactly 🙂 Even if you DO like the taste of bacon or chicken or whatever, you come to realise that it is not worth the suffering of others, and you stop being selfish. The people spouting off rubbish like “but bacon” and ignorant misinformation are just burying their heads in the sand and sound like broken records! And yet they accuse US of being misinformed hahaha!

Veggie-versary!

Facebook kindly reminded me that it’s a year ago today that I went vegetarian! At the time, I was doubtful that I would make it to being vegan, but after just a few months I made the change 🙂 Here are the posts I wrote a year ago, and today:

Last year’s post:

I am finding myself rapidly going off any foods which contain meat and animal products. I’m going vegetarian, as soon as I find a nice-tasting chicken substitute, and hopefully vegan soon after 🙂 I’ve been very aware of the cruelty, and environmental impact, of the meat and dairy industries for ages and feel it would be hypocritical and lazy of me to not make any changes.

This is completely my decision; I’ve had no pressure from Jacob whatsoever. However, being his girlfriend has made me aware of the absolutely delicious vegan meat and dairy substitutes which are readily available at all the shops! I prefer them to the real thing anyway 😀

Today’s post:

It’s a year ago today that I went veggie! And just five months later I ended up going vegan despite thinking, like most people, that “I wouldn’t be able to”.

But guess what? I was able to. Because all animals are equal, and deserve life without unnecessary interference and exploitation from humans. Especially considering that animal products aren’t meant for us anyway, and that we can get all our nutrients from plant-based foods! (As millions of vegans are already proving every day, despite all the ridicule and arguing we encounter.)

Why choose meat, dairy etc. when it contributes to the needless suffering of billions of animals every day (including ourselves)? We all need to wake up and boycott the animal industries as much as possible. For the planet, for the animals, for our health i.e. for the most important elements of our existence.