I am not a silly yak!! :)

Ciao peeps! I am very happy to report that I am NOT a celiac. (Woohoo! Celebratory fireworks etc…) I got my test results back yesterday for gluten and iron and they came back totally healthy and normal.

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I am very very relieved about this as, although it is perfectly possible to be vegan and gluten-free, as lots of people are, it would have stressed me out so much and been a spanner in the works, as a lot of my favourite foods, including some meat substitutes, contain gluten. Of course, this is not to say that I might not be a bit gluten INTOLERANT. But at least I don’t have to avoid it completely for the sake of my long-term health 🙂

As well as that good news, I have another new eatery recommendation for you: The Lounges chain, who have just got a new extensive vegan menu: http://thelounges.co.uk/menus/ Alex and I went to one in Bristol a couple of days ago, where we tried their jackfruit burger and falafel & avocado wrap.

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Other adventures included Shakeaway, which has lots of vegan-friendly options if you use soya milk and an accidentally-vegan flavour, such as skittles, any fruit, jelly tots etc etc. 🙂 I tried Skittles and it was delish!

Info from Veganuary website this year:

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I will add both these places to the Shops & eateries page now too.

Until next time! 🙂

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The new “Kevin” vegan pie :D

Last night I tried the brand new Kevin vegan pie from Pieminister! I happened to visit a pub called The Raven which is in Bath city centre a couple of nights ago, to go to their Artbar event, and saw that Pieminister supplies their kitchen and they had a big notice up about the new vegan pie, which is affectionately and unusually called Kevin (maybe to attract attention, as it’s a new product?) I had also seen this advertised outside the Pieminister shop in Bristol. So the following evening – last night – I went back to try it, and it was really delicious!

It is made with British chestnut mushrooms, tomato and red wine with baby onions, red quinoa and thyme, and I had it with chunky chips and minted mushy peas 🙂

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I am finding it so encouraging that more and more places are adding and increasing their vegan options lately 🙂 I really do think that veganism is beginning to gather momentum and, although it will still take a while, that this spells the beginning-of-the-end of the animal product industries…

Here’s hoping. For the animals and for ourselves ❤

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…

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

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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 🙂

Ciao for now!

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 🙂

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 🙂

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 😀

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 😀 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 🙂

#full

#ohgodIjustusedahashtag

#forgiveme

#ciaofornow!

BRILLIANT video!

Happy 2018, people!

I have a positive way to start the new year; with probably the best short video about veganism I have seen yet 😀

I stumbled upon it yesterday on Peta’s facebook page. It gives an absolutely fantastic summary on why being vegan is such a good thing, quickly going though the health, biological, environmental and ethical facts in an enjoyable, poem-like format. It does go quite fast, so if you are not familiar with the facts and stats, you may have to pause it in places:

P.S. If you visit the original link, avoid looking at the comment section if you don’t want your faith in humanity to be destroyed all over again; it is full of determined meat-eaters making the same repetitive, predictable, tired old arguments. I don’t think most of them even watched the video… :/

But anyway, I hope you enjoy it 🙂

If aliens acted like humans…

Hello everyone, and happy new year’s eve!

I wasn’t planning to post today, but I happened to see this video from Peta this morning, and thought it was brilliant so wanted to share it with you:

It’s funny but thought-provoking at the same time, which I always think is the best way to get your point across.

Coincidentally, I myself have used the alien analogy quite a lot in the past, to try to communicate how unfairly humans treat animals, simply because lots of people see them as inferior. A lot of it comes down to the moral of treating others how you would like to be treated.

If aliens invaded Earth and started treating humans how we currently treat animals, there would be outrage. A couple of examples:

  • Because humans speak a different language which the aliens don’t understand, the aliens would assume that humans cannot feel emotion or pain.
  • Female humans would be forcibly impregnated repeatedly and have their newborn babies taken away, so that the aliens could take their breast milk instead. Most of the baby boys would be killed and eaten by the aliens, and baby girls would be raised on replacement milk and then be put to the same use as their mothers.

Sounds horrific, right? Well, that is exactly what currently happens to animals.

Food for thought to see in 2018!

My biggest wish for next year is that veganism will continue to soar in popularity and become a lot more mainstream, and that we will not have to endure stigma for much longer 🙂

Christmas 2017

Ciao peeps! I hope you all had a lovely Xmas, if you celebrate it 🙂

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! 😀

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 😀

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 😛 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.”

Hello again, finally! :D

As I predicted in my last post, due to the busy-ness of my new job (which is going very well), things have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently!

So I’m back to do a few little updates while I can 🙂

The first thing I wanted to mention is that I found a really good vegan vitamin D supplement in Holland and Barrett this week. As the weather is starting to get colder and darker, I think it is very important for everybody (particularly British people who don’t get out enough!) to make sure they get vit D. This one is derived from mushrooms, and I got two bottles on a good price deal:

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Secondly, there has been good news for people of Bath; a completely new vegan eatery has opened in the city centre, called Chapel Arts Cafe! I haven’t had the chance to eat there yet, as they are in the process of adjusting their opening hours, but I am looking forward to going there some time after 1st October, when they will be open in the evenings 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to mention something that happened on social media last week, which was a strange mixture of positive and negative for me:

A well-known Facebook page, called Vice, posted an article about the jobs that would be lost if the world went vegan overnight. The funny thing was, that the top comments (including mine – see screenshots below) were the pro-vegan ones! There were lots of people pointing out the overall importance and benefits of veganism, and the fact that change is necessary, even if some people do have to transfer their skills to cruelty-free jobs.

Somebody very intelligently pointed out that, if everybody followed that same logic as the article, no positive changes or progress would ever happen because of the jobs that would be lost or altered. For example, crime would be encouraged because otherwise police officers would be out of work, or disease would not be fought because lots of medical staff and researchers would no longer be needed. It was a very flawed and short-sighted article.

Anyway, what was positive was that my comment ended up getting over a hundred more “like” and “love” reactions than the article itself. Considering that it was not on a vegan page, I found this very encouraging and surprising. Obviously, there were plenty of hate comments and arguments that I had to debunk, as well as trolls, but overall I was very pleasantly taken-aback by the support, and I had lots of lovely replies too. My follow-up replies, where I was debunking some stuff people said, got lots of likes as well. Maybe the world is changing after all…!

Here are the screenshots of my comment (I have chopped off my profile info at the top):

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I do find social media very overwhelming, and a lot of what I see makes my very angry and upset, so I have made various steps to reduce my social media usage from now on; it is also important to look after my own mental health, as well as being an activist for positive change 🙂

I will be back when I can! Ciao for now 😀