You may have noticed a lack of new posts here on veganmatters.org lately. I’ve been swamped with, well, life.
Instead of making a half-assed attempt to continue updating here, I’m putting the blog on an official break. It’s not a break up, just a break, until I learn to stop taking on so many projects, jobs, and other commitments.
If you’re sad, I’m sorry! But there’s good news. And here it is:
- I’m still 800% committed to veganism, so nothing there has changed.
- There are a ton of fabulous vegan blogs online, so you can still totally get your vegan fix!
But wait, there’s more! Here is the best news of all:
- I’m still going to be writing! Your Daily Vegan has invited me to be a regular contributor for Sanctuary Spotlight, which I will be starting soon. Come visit me over there, okay? I’ll be sharing news about animal adoptions, Sanctuaries, and stories that don’t have sad endings – something that I think we could all use a little more of in our life.
So, I’ll be seeing you soon! (And even sooner than that if you come and visit me at Sanctuary Spotlight. Just saying.)
You absolutely must watch this lovely video of a mama hen who is not only sitting on her own eggs to keep them warm… but sitting on a pile of wee baby kittens, too.
(Important points of interest in the video – at 0:44 when mama hen tucks baby kitten under her wing; at 0:53 when baby kitten pops her head out!)
Go veg, raise money, help monkeys!
Join the VMF Veggie / Vegan Challenge 2011, and ask for sponsorships to go veg for a month – if you’re an omnivore, go vegetarian; if you’re a vegetarian, go vegan. (If you’re vegan already, pat yourself on the back and rasise money anyway!)
All money raised will benefit the Vervet Monkey Foundation in Tzaneen, South Africa.
Details from the event page:
This group is created for all those wishing to take part in the VMF Veggie / Vegan Challenge 2011 whereby meat-eaters go veggie for one month and Veggies go vegan for one month to raise funds for a release site for the monkeys at the Vervet Monkey Foundation, Tzaneen South Africa.
To take part in the challenge, we are asking each volunteer to raise a min of R500 (£50) each, watch a video relating to why veggie / vegan and to be involved with one media source to spread awareness of the event or the VMF. Be prepared to share experiences and suggestions on this page for encouragement. We will also need feedback from each of you at the end.
In return we will send you a VMF veggie / vegan recipe book before you start. We are looking for committed people to help reduce animal cruelty worldwide. – thanks for all those who have signed up for the challenge already. If you can’t do it in November then pick another month and let us know.
If you don’t have Facebook (where the event information is based) or you need more information, email the event organizer Josie at: josie [at] vervet [dot] za [dot] org
Happy World Vegan Day, everyone!
If you’re vegan – huzzah! Continue to be awesome and vegan proud. If you’re not, go vegan for the day – and consider going vegan for life! The animals, your health, and the environment will all thank you.
However you celebrate World Vegan Day (if at all), these retailers are offering savings!
30% off with code 30OFF
Knits by Nat
15% off with code VEGANWORLDDAY15OFF
London City soap co.
15% off with code VEGANDAY11
Shop online | Expires: 2-Nov-11
Miss Muffcake’s Lost & Found
20% off with code VEGANDAYEVERYDAY
20% off for first-time buyers with rep code GOVEGAN
Shop online | Expires: never!
* Wood is finished with beeswax; in notes section at checkout let them know you’re vegan and they will use jojoba oil instead!
Rare Tee Clothing
15% off with code VEG2011
Shop online | Expires 5-Nov-11
Shop & Live
25% off with code VEGANPRIDE
The Ginger Card Company
20% off with code WORLDVEGANDAY2011
Shop online | Expires 2-Nov-11
Twig & Leaf Botanicals
25% off with code WORLDVEGANDAY
10% off with code VEGAN
25% off with code WORLDVEGANDAY
Shop online | Expires 4-Nov-11
Codes will be added as I find them!
If you’re having a sale in your online shop, leave a comment and I’ll add you to this list.
If you haven’t heard of them, Omerica Organic is a fab company that is known for their gorgeous wooden plugs (for stretched earlobes) – but they also wooden belt buckles, earrings, dog tags, and pendants. I love them because not only are their products gorgeous and high quality, but they’re an eco-conscious company, too – they use wind power and plant trees. And their plugs are custom-made… which means I can get the perfect size for my skinny earlobes.
I recently became a rep, which means you can save! If you’re a new Omerica Organic cusomer, enter my rep code at checkout and save 20% on your order. Pretty nifty, I have to say. My rep code is GOVEGAN – naturally. Yay, savings! You can share that savings with your friends, too – all new Omerica Organic customers are eligible.
* * An important note for vegans, though – they do finish their plugs with beeswax. But don’t fret! Just leave a note with your order at checkout asking them to skip the beeswax because you’re vegan, and they’ll finish your plugs with an organic jojoba oil instead. * *
If you do decide to get yourself some goodies – do share! I love all of Omerica’s designs and I simply don’t have the funds to own them all – I’d love to live vicariously through you. ;)
This story was linked on my Facebook feed this morning, and I couldn’t be more angry. Or sick. Or disgusted.
An Ohio town was on lockdown early Wednesday after dozens of dangerous wild animals — including lions, tigers and other large carnivores — escaped from an exotic farm and were on the prowl.
Police with a shoot-to-kill order overnight hunted down about two dozen of the animals overnight in and around the town of Zanesville, Ohio, but officials said an undetermined number were still at large early Wednesday. (read more)
I’m sure the animals are better off dead (honestly – life in a zoo is no life for a wild animal) but I don’t understand why the first reaction to this escape is kill everything immediately – at the very least, could they not “shoot” these animals with tranquilizers and humanely recapture?
It wasn’t that long ago that I still loved zoos. Being vegan for me has been an ongoing learning experience – you’re exposed to the worst of it and you try to change, but it’s not after realizing how many animals are truly exploited and mistreated in all aspects of life that your really discover what other institutions and activities you need to be avoiding.
For some, avoiding zoos may have seemed obvious – but it wasn’t for me. I’ve loved animals since I was a child, and I loved to see them. I never really put two-and-two together – that loving animals means letting them have what’s best for them – and it wasn’t until my last trip to the Toronto Zoo a few years ago that this really hit me. I used to think the animals there were well-treated and happy. And I’m sure they’re well-treated in the sense they’re fed, given healthcare, etc. – but they’re not happy. I saw the large cats pacing…. back and forth, along their fences or glass walls. Anxious. Bored. Unsettled. It truly broke my heart… and I finally understood what was so wrong with zoos.
I understand that in this particular story, it’s an exotic farm (whatever that is) and not a zoo – but the sentiment is still the same.
These animals do not belong in captivity for your entertainment.
They do not belong in captivity, period.
I found this infographic today about plastic bag bans worldwide. Have a look!
(Click the image to see it much larger)
I’m so glad to see that this is something that is actually happening – and it’s truly making a difference.
It’s really not all that hard to adjust to using reusable bags. I keep a good amount of them in the trunk of my car for grocery shopping, and I have a little one that folds up easily and stays in my purse/tote all the time, just in case I need it!
Do you live somewhere where there’s a plastic bag ban?
This year’s Blog Action Day topic is food. You’d think that being a vegan, with a vegan blog, participating in this event and writing about this topic would be something of a no-brainer… but I’m not a foodie. It’s not been much of a secret, honestly, but I feel a bit out of place. Don’t get me wrong, I love a great meal – but I love it more when someone is cooking it for me and I get to just enjoy it. Nonetheless, I wanted to participate. Onward!
So why are we talking about food?
This year Blog Action Day coincides with World Food Day, a time that focuses the world’s attention on food, something we all have in common.
There is so much to say about food.
We use food to mark times of celebration and sorrow. Lack of access to food causes devastating famines, whilst too much is causing a generation of new health problems. It can cost the world, or be too cheap for farmers to make a living.
The way we companies produce food and drinks can provide important jobs for communities or be completely destructive to habitats and local food producers. Food can give us energy to get through the day or contain ingredients that gives us allergic reactions.
Food can cooked by highly skilled chefs with inventive flair, or mass produced and delivered with speed at the side of road. It can be incredibly healthy or complete junk and bad for your health. It can taste delicious or be a locals only delicacy.
Food is important to our culture, identity and daily sustenance and the team at Blog Action invite you to join us to talk about food.
Everything comes down to food: our health, our ethics, our survival. It’s something we partake in on average three times daily. We center meetings around it. We spent hours shopping for it. We buy books about new and interesting ways to cook it.
If we’re so involved with food, why are people so oblivious to it? Just because it’s there doesn’t mean we’re really thinking about it. It’s easy to forget about or ignore:
- the amount of food waste after each meal
- the number of people we share our world with that go to bed hungry – both on other continents, and in our own backyards
- where our food comes from and how it is produced – geographical location, GMOs, pesticides, contamination
- ethical concerns: animal products and human rights
That’s just the start.
As a vegan, though, I’m most concerned about the last item on that list – ethical concerns.
Unfortunately, people mistakenly believe that vegans have no interest in human rights and are betraying their own species to speak up for non-human animals. While it’s understandable how this miscommunication arises, it’s simply not the case. Yes, the direct intended effect of living a vegan lifestyle is to reduce and work toward eliminating the suffering and exploitation of non-human animals.
A common “argument” is we should be thankful to have food, and to be “choosy” about what we eat (as in, not eat animals or animal products) is inappropriate. But it comes down to simple facts – by eating only plant-based food, we’re actually allowing there to be more food available to feed the world.
It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of edible animal flesh. According to the USDA and the United Nations, using an acre of land to raise cattle for slaughter yields 20 pounds of usable protein. That same acre would yield 356 pounds of protein if soybeans were grown instead – more than 17 times as much! (read more)
The amount of grains that go into feeding an animal that is being raised for food is disproportionate to the amount of energy gained when eating that animal – we’re losing calories in the process. Why should there be a middle-man (or middle-cow/middle-pig, etc)? Shouldn’t we be feeding vegetables and grains directly to those humans in need of food, instead of feeding it to animals that only the wealthy will consume?
The answer, of course, is yes! Going vegan has seemingly limitless benefits – not only are we addressing the issue of animal exploitation and reducing their suffering, as mentioned we also have the potential to greatly reduce world hunger. Add in the environmental and personal health benefits, and there just isn’t any logical argument against veganism. So, what’s your excuse? (Hint: If your answer is “I like cheese/steak/bacon too much,” you need to reevaluate your priorities and consider being a contributing member of Earth.)
Of course, there is so much more to food than ethics. So this World Food Day, I ask you to think about food – where it comes from. How it does (or does not) nourish you. How much you waste. How it’s produced. What harm it does to the environment. Most importantly, I ask you to consider the most influential decision of all – going vegan.
Yes, you read that correctly. I found out from this post at Organic Authority that, not too surprisingly, McDonalds is finding new ways to exploit more animals.
If you’re trying to figure out why I’m so disgusted – are you asking yourself, “well, aren’t the adult bovine that are made into regular burgers as bad as the calves they’re now using for veal burgers?” – it’s because this is a new low, even for McDonalds:
After earning praise from animal rights advocates in the U.S. for a commitment earlier this year to begin buying cage-free eggs, McDonald’s has turned heads in the other direction with the news of its newest sandwich: a veal burger. (read more)
Evidently it’s currently only available in Switzerland (oh, shucks!) but even then it seems out of place…
Veal confinement crates became illegal in the European Union in 2007, but Switzerland continues to use the practice despite the idyllic looking small Swiss farms that dominate the country. (read more)
If it’s been outlawed in so many places, where is the demand coming from that prompted them to offer such a menu item? Should we be blaming McDonalds for offering (and profiting) from it, or should we blame those that form the second half of the supply and demand equation?
Read the rest of the article here. Yikes.
In principle, but not in practice, I have no objection to a high-welfare organic puppy farm. You can’t object, unless you also object to the farming of pigs. It’s an artificial construct of our society, a cultural decision, to make pets out of dogs and meat out of pigs.
I’m very much opposed to a puppy farm, but I say this as a vegan opposed to all animal farming, not as an omnivore that accepts the farming of certain animals to be okay.
What is it that makes people believe certain animals are more valuable or loveable than others? It’s a tricky topic, but I recommend the book Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows as a starting point.