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…

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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 🙂

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 😀

Frustration, food, and finds!

Lots to write about this time, so brace yourselves 😀

Firstly, a couple of cool things I forgot to mention earlier:

Linda McCartney pulled-pork style burgers are now vegan! This was a big victory, as the only ingredient preventing them from being vegan before was a bit of honey, and lots of people were contacting the company asking for it to be replaced/taken out. Just a few weeks later, it was!

Vegeburgers from Schwarz Bros are vegan too (and very nice), so that’s a useful option to have with chips after a night out 🙂

I’ve had a bit of a tough time this week as, on Sunday night, I happened to tune into a programme called “Oink: Man Loves Pig” which contained a lot of upsetting and frustrating moments, including slaughterhouse footage and people being massive hypocrites… Basically, I had a bit of a vent on facebook, because it was late and I had nobody to talk to in real life, and had immediate backlash from several “friends” who were getting defensive because I had the audacity to remind them that animals are killed. 😦

Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on it here because, as I’ve said in the past, I want to keep this blog a positive place. If you want to see any of my rants, they’re more likely to be on the Thoughts, FAQ & Mythbusting page!

But I saw this meme and it cheered me up immensely:

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HAHAHA 😀

Right, on to food.

This was lovely roast my mum made, using Fry’s steak-style pie:

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Sainsbury’s has had another addition to its freefrom chilled section – mac and cheese!!!!!! Which is delicious! I was never a huge fan of mac and cheese as I tended to find it a bit samey and heavy, but this was lovely with a bit of salad:

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And lastly (notice the improved quality picture, with Jacob’s phone), our favourite roast at The Green Rocket:

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One final thing: I don’t write about cosmetics as often as food BUT I have to mention Superdrug as they are fab at labelling all their own-brand products, most of which are vegan. I will also be getting a new supply of make-up when their B. range is back in my nearest store. (Their e.l.f. range is also vegan!)

This salted caramel shower and bath soak smells AMAZING! 10/10 would recommend. Unless you hate sweet things. Or showers. Or baths.

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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:

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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! 🙂

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

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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!! 🙂

Beyond The Kale supper club & more..

Hey folks!

I’ve just got back from having a late breakfast at The Green Rocket, so I’m happy! 😀

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It’s been quite a busy week-or-so with vegan food 🙂 Jacob and I saw an event on facebook at Beyond The Kale in Bath for a vegan supper club with a three-course set menu, which was last Sunday. Apparently this is going to be a regular monthly event 😀 Funnily, enough, despite this being the most vegan eatery in Bath, this was the first time we had been!

This was the menu:

  • Creamy Cashew & Sunflower Pate with Seeded Crackers & Smoked Carrot
  • Beet Wellington with Herby Roasted Vegetables, Roast Potatoes, Braised Cabbage and Red Wine Gravy
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding, Toffee Sauce and Ice Cream

Next, a couple of useful finds:

  • Swedish Glace magnums – omigosh!!! So creamy… so chocolatey… ❤
  • Cheatin’ bacon rashers – excellent in ‘bacon’ butties with brown sauce or ketchup

And lastly, yesterday at uni, we had a bake sale to raise some money for our Bargehouse exhibition in London next July. I made an Oreo cake using Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix, vanilla buttercream icing and Oreos! It was a hit and sold out quickest! 🙂

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P.S. I owned this idiot:

Cake and things :)

Literally just realised I never posted a picture of my Mum’s birthday cake, that I made a couple of weeks ago! I used Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix (with Orgran egg replacer), Soyatoo squirty cream (which I bought in bulk off the internet to reduce the cost), strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It was thoroughly enjoyed by me, Jacob and the birthday lady 😀

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Also some recipes as per usual!

Firstly, a vegetable and Fry’s chicken stir-fry, made with Sainsbury’s own sweet chilli cooking sauce:

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Secondly, spaghetti bolognese made from Sainsbury’s own vegan mince, veg and Lloyd Grossman sauce, accompanied by garlic bread slices made from Lidl’s par-baked baguettes and combined Vitalite spread, mixed Italian seasoning and garlic granules:

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Photo taken with my rubbish camera

Finally, just now in fact, I made baked mushrooms! I had seen a post somebody wrote on Facebook, saying to put Sacla freefrom pesto and grated Violife cheese on top of large field mushrooms, and bake for 15-20 mins at 200 degrees C. Tis worked brilliantly, and we had them with spice sensation couscous, avocado and tomato 🙂

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Photo taken with Jacob’s much better camera

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…

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… 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! 😀

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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.

Feeling good :)

Ciao peeps! It’s been a while again, mostly due to my having to organise our imminent house move, and rehearsing for a show I’m in this week! It’s been a very stressful time, but I finally feel like I’ve come out the other side, and I want to share some of the lovely things I’ve been eating to help me get here 😀

There was massive news last week that there are now half a million vegans in the UK, which I’m guessing is the reason why loads of food chains are introducing vegan menus and new options 🙂

One such place I have discovered is The Stable in Bath, where I went for a meal last night with my theatre group and tried a vegan version of their Hawaiian pizza. It was delicious, and the cheese tasted so realistic!

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Also, just after Jacob and I had successfully agreed our new tenancy, we went for a celebratory meal at The Green Rocket, where I tried something new: sesame noodles 🙂 Just look at the gorgeous colours!

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Also also, I made a very easy Thai-style recipe which made 4 portions and has been very handy for quick meals before work:

  • Fry a pack of Fry’s chicken-style strips in a bit of oil for about 5 mins
  • Add a jar of Sainsbury’s coconut and lime sauce and a pack of mixed oriental vegetables
  • Simmer for about 5 more mins (or whatever the instructions say!)
  • Serve with your rice of choice

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Lastly, I made a small snail very famous on Facebook:

🙂 ❤

Screenshot from 2016-05-22 14:47:28