Author: feeoshea (page 2 of 22)

Cameras In Slaughterhouses – Well Done France!

I heard today that France has passed a bill that there are to be cameras in all their slaughterhouses.

Which got me remembering all the other things that France has done.  So I have made a list (as I do).

  1. They have introduced incentives to embed sustainability into French urban planning.
  2. They are encouraging  alternatives to conventional means of transportation such as self-service bike rental stations and car sharing.  They are also encouraging the use and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the necessary infrastructure to power them.
  3. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  4. France is the first country to ban plastic cups and plates and utensils –  French law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials. read more.   And on the subject of plastic, they have also banned the common plastic bag – that’s the smaller and thinner type used in supermarkets.  They will still have plastic bags, but they must be reusable ones which should cut down the numbers.
    You know those little plastic bags you put the veggies/fruit in? well they’ve been phased out as of the start of this year (2017) The law also currently plans to have domestically compostable bags which should replace plastic fruit and vegetable bags too.  Did you know:  An average plastic bag takes one second to make, is used for roughly 20 minutes and takes up to 400 years to degrade naturally.
  5. Food – The have become the world’s first country to ban supermarket waste and compel large retailers to donate unsold food.  Let’s face it – there’s heaps of places that will take donated food, not just the homeless shelters – what about schools, orphanages, old folk homes .
  6. All the new buildings in commercial zones must now comply and have green roofs – that is to say the rooftops must be partially covered in plants or solar panels by law.
  7. And now – the cameras in slaughterhouses.  Although France’s history of animal welfare is lacking compare to other countries, at least this is a real start.  It did come about by the release of hidden video as well as a fair amount of protesting.  Read more  To top this off a coalition of 26 French animal protection associations have combined to make sure that animal welfare is on the political agenda for the next presidential and legislative elections.

Our animals and our planet need us to get behind countries that are actually doing something.  Yes we need the “something” to be way more than what’s being done, and way faster, but, being the realist I am, I’m grateful for small wins.

Speaking about the environment – The EU, those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels who care for the environment, are putting all countries under pressure to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.  Wish the same could be said for here Down Under!!!

Love food, be kind to animals (including humans)
and, remember, for every $ you spend you shape our world.

Ciao
Fee

 

My Partner Is A Full On Meat Eater And I Want To Go Veg

Is this where you’re at?  Your partner is full on meat eater and you’re wanting to go veg.

Or, perhaps you know some-one who is in this situation and you’re not sure how to help them.  Well, I’ve set out a few ideas below and hopefully they’ll be of some benefit.

You see, I’ve pretty much heard all the excuses, in fact I wrote a book about it Why Be Vegetarian Debunking The Excuses  and in that book I go through the most common (and funny) ones that are asked.

But the one that I think is not necessarily an excuse per se, but is a reason and one that I do understand – my partner is a meat eater but I’d love to go veg –

1. The very first thing I tell them is that bringing in the cruelty of animal farming usually doesn’t work.  Many have tried by putting up the argument about the animal abuse within the meat industry, but, sadly, many meat-eaters have turned off the compassionate switch, in fact, putting factory farming images can actually have the opposite effect – it’s called desensitization.  The brain doesn’t compute the images with what is being eaten, because the brain is so used to believing that what is being consumed is needed by the body.  (plus it tastes good).

So the trick is to bring in health and scientific research.  There is a documentary which you may have heard of called  Forks Over Knives.   This doco was made in 2011, but it is even more relevant today.  The medical studies and research are incredible and the results amazing.

The idea is to watch this documentary TOGETHER … you can rent it from Amazon really cheap …. then when it’s finished, hopefully, it will stimulate conversation between the two of you.  That’s when you’re then able to suggest that you both could try having animal free days even just a couple of days a week and see how you go.

However, don’t be surprised if the result is even more dramatic and a full on 100% plant based diet is suggested by the meat-eater.

2. If you’re the one doing the cooking, then this can be much easier.  You can easily make veg meals and have meat as a “side dish”.  In fact it’s even easier if you have single serve pieces of meat e.g. a piece of chicken, steak, fish etc.

3. Of course you can just say …. “This is what I’m eating – if you want meat, you cook it yourself”.  Now this one is rather dramatic, but has been known to work.  You know your partner, so you’ll know just how far you can take this one.

4. Another great way of introducing veg meals is to have food in different bowls laid out on the table so everyone can help themselves.  Along the lines of a buffet style meal.  Yes, it makes for a lot more dishes, but it’s actually quite fun, and rather than you dishing up each plate of food, everyone gets to choose.

Now this bodes well for the change.  The meat-eater can still have the meat, but can also try a little of the plant based foods as well.  Make sure you add some vegan cheese also just for fun.

5. You can use faux meats, however, I’m not a believer in this type as, at the end of the day, it’s still processed and, for health, you want to avoid processed as much as possible.

In saying that, if you come across something very tasty, then it could be a way for your meat-eater to give it a go.  Perhaps an idea for transition food.

6. Last one is that you could approach it this way …. “I respect your eating choices and we eat the way you want every day, so, please can you respect my choices and perhaps we can eat the way I would like twice a week?”  It could be a start.

One thing to remember throughout all this, is to respect the meat-eaters choices.  You may not agree, but each person has a right to make their own choice and chances are s/he is just not ready yet.  We all come at this from different angles and at different times.

Hopefully this has been of some help if your partner is a full on meat-eater and you want to go veg.

Ciao
Fee



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Melon & Curry Sauce

Oh this is simply divine – a melon and curry sauce that can be used over anything!

You will need a good food processor/blender and:

How To Make:

  • 1 cup of cashews soaked and drained. (for optimum result soak overnight).

Blend these nuts until really, really creamy then add:

  • 1 Tblsp Maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Blend these with the nut cream then add:
  • The flesh of 1/2 a Rock Melon (for a more traditional taste use a Mango).
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons Curry powder – add enough curry powder to your taste.

Blend until smooth tasting as you go so you don’t over-do the curry.   You want the flavour of the Melon to come through.

Once the sauce is blended to a creamy consistency, put it into a glass jar and refrigerate.  You can add to all sorts of dishes at the last minute to just get it heated through.

Note:
You don’t want to boil it … be gentle if heating through on its own.

Please leave a comment if you do make this and what you added it to.

Enjoy
Fee



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How To Make Vegan Boursin Cheese

As it’s one of my favourites, I thought I’d show you how to make vegan Boursin cheese.

This is something that is a cross between a soft cheese and a spread.  You need to keep it in the refrigerator to keep it firm-ish.

Ingredients

  • ½ Cup + 2 Tblsp of cashews soak overnight and rinsed thoroughly.
  • 12.3 oz box extra firm silken tofu – drain as much water out as possible.
  • 2 Tblsp fresh lemon juice.
  • ¾ teaspoon salt.
  • ½ teaspoon light miso.

Blend the above ingredients until really, really smooth.

Then add:

  • 1 – 2 medium cloves crushed garlic.
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons minced fresh chives.
  • 1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley.
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.

Blend again until smooth or pulse to have more “chopped” bits.

Scoop into 2 cup ramekins, cover and pop into the refrigerator.

Variations:

  • Use shallots instead of garlic
  • Instead of the chives use basil or dill
  • Try 2 Tblsp of chopped roasted red peppers or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Add chopped nuts.

Enjoy
Ciao
Fee





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What Is A Vegavore?

Exactly … what is a Vegavore?  Think that’s odd – try Carnesparian

These are just two of the new buzz words out there and, add to that Sustainatarian and Reducetarian and you have a miriad of words that now define the nuances from the standard Carnivore, vegetarian and vegan.

You see, vegetarians can be those who don’t consume the flesh on animals (including seafood) but do still have animal protein in the form of dairy, eggs and honey. Of course the pure vegetarian or total or 100% vegetarian eat no animal protein at all and stick with the original meaning of the word – vege (vegetables) tarian.

And this is where the nuances begin.

So the vegavore is perhaps the oddest word, because one assumes it means no animal, but in reality is is a combination of vegan and carnivore (the two most outer reachers on opposite sides of the scale). So a vegavore is someone who very rarely eats meat … perhaps once a month.

The Carnesparian is perhaps better terminology as it comes from the words – carne (animal flesh) and sparse (infrequent, sporadic). These people are mostly vegetarian, but will have some meat on some occassions. Perhaps a bit less meat than a Flexitarian who is the flip side of an Omnivore

Keep up …..

More nuances. You see vegans come in different ways –

  • The vegan who say they’re vegan because they eat a pure vegetarian diet.
  • The vegan who does the food, won’t buy new animal products but will wear recycled.
  • The vegan who does the food and doesn’t buy or wear animal products new or recycled.
  • The vegan who does the food won’t buy new animal products nor use or condone anything that is associated with animals such as zoos, acquariums even pets.
  • … and then there is also the vegan who does all of the above and is zero waste as well.

Is it easy being a vegan?   Well, actually, yes it is.  It’s all in the WHY – why are you doing it and how far you wish to take it.

So welcome Vegavores and Carnesparians at least you’re doing your bit to help save your health, the health of the animals and the health of our planet.

p.s. Other new words – Climatarian, Reducetarian and Sustainatarian – pretty all self explanatory.

Which one are you?

Ciao
Fee



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The Wins Of 2016

Looking back on 2016 … it wasn’t too bad a year and we did have some wins.

There were some wonderful moments for the animals such as a group of little ducklings were saved by awesome firemen after they fell down a grate.  Mumma duck was sooooo thrilled to have her babies back.  And, firemen rescued swans from freezing on ice, not just once, but three times.

However, I want to look back on some of the “wins” that didn’t necessarily make the “headlines” but will make life a little easier on those animals who are constantly abused – that is: animals used for human purposes.  So here’s my top 12:

Let’s begin with a statistic I think shows why many people are turning to a plant based way of eating.

  1. 94% of Americans believe it’s important that animals used for food aren’t abused.  The way the industry is with factory farming, this is a good sign that people are starting to become aware.
  2. In New Zealand battery cages are to be phased out by 2022, a great “win”.  Unfortunately the egg industry managed to still have the cages by convincing the government to legalize the colony cage … still a cage, will be able to put more birds in – the campaign continues.
  3. Around the world many groceries, restaurants and even fast food outlets no longer support caged eggs.  In New Zealand, McDonalds announced its switch to only free range eggs in all outlets in 2017.  Many others committed to a particular date.
  4. In Australia the Woolworths supermarket chain went cage free and in N.Z. a campaign was launched for Countdown to do the same … Countdown is a subsidery of the above mentioned Woolworths.
  5. In North America the “Right to Farm” is a law that was brought in to deny nuisance lawsuits against farmers who use accepted and standard farming practices.  Well, the U.S. Humane Society along with other organizations set out to expose this law for what it really is : allowing farmers to use reprehensible measures like extreme confinement, mutilation with painkillers etc.  They were able to stop this Right to Farm measures from being introduced into some State legislatures.  Still a lot of work to be done.
  6. The Blackfish Bill was passed banning SeaWorld and other corporations from imprisioning Orcas for profit.  SeaWorld also announced that it would no longer have the Orca breeding program.  I believe that the movie “Blackfish” has had a huge role in getting both these “wins”.
  7. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  8. And on the subject of bees, Canada is also trying to put in place a ban however, again Bayer has their lobbying hat on tight and the pressure is on.  You can help by signing the petition: Save The Bees
  9. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus ended their elephant performances and took the elephants off the road in response to growing public concern over how the animals are treated.
  10. The number of  Tigers, Pandas and Manatees all increased quite substantially which, if this keeps going, these animals will be able to come off the endangered list
  11. On another note – the environment … 40,000 New Zealanders, who opposed the secret giveaway of community water resources, celebrated when The Ashburton District Council backed out of negotiations with NZ Pure Blue – a deal that would have allowed the corporation to extract billions of litres of waters from the aquifers beneath the town.  The message was loud and clear – the last thing the community needs is a bottled-water company sucking the town dry for profit, especially in a drought-prone region.  Mind you, this applies everywhere – as is being witnessed currently in U.S.A. with the town of Flint as well as the Dakota Pipe Line.
  12. This was a story that absolutely delighted me.
    The Australian mining company, OceanaGold, had a contract to build a massive gold mine in Cabanas, a country in El Salvador.
    Now this would have used the last remaining water source, so the country of Cabanas refused to issue permits.
    OceanaGold filed a lawsuit against El Salavdor.  However, because of worldwide people power, the lawsuit was dismissed.  But wait, there’s a bit of icing on this cake – OceanaGold had to pay El Salvador compensation and cover their court costs.

So I’ll end this post on that absolutely corker win … showing that the little guy can take on the giant.

You’ll be able to find lots of other stories on the internet, but these ones were either close to my heart, or a little different to the usual.

All my heartfelt thanks for supporting me with my journey this year.  May your 2017 be blessed for you and your family and may we have many more “wins” so we can ease the suffering of the many animals who endure so much for us.

Have wonderful wholefoods and enjoy life.

Ciao
Fee



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Back In Town

Hello world!

The Story About A Sheep

Once upon a time there was a sheep who was all alone.

Well, the story goes like this.  While I was in the country (yes, I’m back in the city now), I would take a morning perambulation to survey the countryside around me and take in the beautiful refreshing air.

In the paddock that ran alongside the road, the sheep meandered, munching on grass, heads down as sheep do, until I walked past.  Then it was heads jerked up, ears attuned and when I got too close it was off with a race to put a bit more distance between us.

But, at the top of the road where there were no sheep, there, on his/her lonesome was a single sheep just sitting, doing nothing, almost like he (we’ll call it he – saves on me having to type the letter “s”), was waiting for something – or maybe someone?

The first couple of mornings he bleated when he saw me and actually wandered over to the fence.  However, I couldn’t get to him as there was a double fence line with quite a gap between, so I have no idea if I could have pat him as I would have liked to have done.

He was there every morning for a couple of weeks.  Then just as quickly as he’d appeared – he was gone.

Now, I’m going to make up the story that he had been feeling a little depressed and had wanted some “time out”.  Then, on feeling back to his old self again (maybe my visits helped), he’d gone back to join his mates in the flock.  That is a far better image than him having been singled out to fatten up for the Christmas table.

Oh, and just so you know that I really was in the country …. I photo bombed the sheep and the chooks where I was staying.

At time of writing I had, in fact, left the country and was already ensconced in the first of the house-sits for 2017 … actually had Christmas here.  Read about it in the next post.

Ciao
Fee



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Harbourmaster Uses Council Boat To Free Orca – Stood Down

A Coromandel (N.Z.) Harbourmaster has been stood down because he used a Council boat to go and free an Orca.

A breeding female orca was trapped in a cray pot line for 16 hours – Yup 16 HOURS!!!! and the DOC (Department of Conservation) peeps were “too busy” to go and free her.  So, in the end the Harbourmaster along with a volunteer who had training in Dolphin and Whale rescue went out to her aid.

She was being held up by other members of her pod – if that’s not distress I don’t know what is!

Read More Here

They did get her free and she swam away.

But now the Waikato Regional Council is “checking whether any regulations were breached or operational procedures not followed during the rescue” and the Harbourmaster has been stood down.

This is P.C. gone afoul – as usual.  Who gives a toss if regulations have been breached – the Harbourmaster knew what he was doing, didn’t put anyone at risk and saved the Orca.  He should be commended not reprimanded!

I’ll get off my soapbox now.

Ciao
Fee



How To Make A Chestnut Wellington (Vegan)

This Chestnut Wellington is wonderful for any celebration.

Adapted from a recipe by Rose Elliot in her Fast, Fresh and Fabulous vegetarian cookbook.

I have broken this into parts to make it easier

Set the oven to 200°C – 400°F

Ingredients:

2 sheets Vegetarian Pastry – or make your own.

Group 1.

  1. 1 Tblsp olive oil.
  2. 1 onion finely chopped.
  3. 4 baby leeks finely chopped.
  4. 50gm mushrooms finely chopped.
  5. 1 clove garlic finely chopped.

Group 2:

  1. 50ml Red wine.
  2. 1 teaspoon Marmite.

Group 3:

  1. 200gm roasted (or jar) chestnuts chopped.
  2. Zest of one orange (organic and unwaxed).
  3. 1 teaspoon dried sage.
  4. 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.
  5. Sea salt to taste.

Method:

  • Saute the ingredients in Group 1 until the onions are soft.
  • Lower the heat.
  • Add in Group 2, wine and Marmite and keep stirring until the wine has reduced.
  • Add in Group 3 and cook for a further 5 minutes stirring frequently.
  • The mixture should thicken.
  • Take off the heat and allow to cool.

(Make your cuts a bit more even than this drawing!)

Put the two sheets of pastry together to create a large rectangle.  Roll a little to flatten out the join.

  • Cut strips on the sides – as in image.
  • Put filling in the middle.
  • Pull up each corresponding strip from each side and cross or plait.
  • By the time you’ve finished it should be all covered (or close to).
  • Brush with a little nut milk.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, if getting golden you can turn the oven down to a medium heat and cook a further 15 minutes.

Notes:

  1. In the oven, you are cooking the pastry as the loaf is already cooked, so cook the pastry until a beautiful golden colour.
  2. Have all your ingredients ready … makes it easier.




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