Hallo September!

 To Cultivate Kindness is a valuable part of the business of Life

(quote by Samuel Johnson, English Author, 1709 -1784)

Welcome to the first Meet & Veg Witney blog post.  As we all fall back into our normal routines after the respite that our Long Summer has brought us, Meet & Veg remains a welcome place for us to come together once a month, enjoy some great conversations, find out about what new things are happening in our community, share information about local and national initiatives relating to campaigns against Animal Abuse and Cruelty, discuss ideas for our own local campaigns, and of course eat delicious home cooked Vegan/Vegetarian Food!

This evening, there was plenty to tempt our taste buds:  a delicious green couscous salad, braised figs with pomegranate, hyssop and oregano flower jelly, drizzled with pomegranate molasses, a parsnip crispy, raspberry and almond muffins, a Dorset apple cake and a variety of nibbles consisting of crisps, olives, homous and popcorn flavoured with a special homemade spice! A great way to start, not only the week, but the month as well!

It is hard to believe that, once again, we are in the ever changing month of September. A month where the evenings gradually cool down, darkness descends a little earlier with each passing day, and the earth bursts with its last beauty of the year.

Over the Summer months, much good has been happening in the world of Animal Rights and Vegan Living:

2014 is the 70th anniversary of The Vegan Society and over the past months, they have launched their new website which is Fabulous. Check it out if you haven’t already!

http://www.vegansociety.com/

Wanting to be more active on the social media platforms, they also launched their new Instagram account which posts recipies and Vegan products and they launched a campaign on Tumblr which aims to dismantle stereotypes of vegans which even social media shy yours truly submitted a photo to! To see what it’s all about, check it out at lookslikeveganism.tumblr.com.

Their Love Vegan Campaign which encourages people to download and share Vegan campaign posters far and wide has been very successful to date. Since its launch in April, it has sent ripples worldwide, attracting a lot of interest in particular from the target audience of vegetarians and meat reducers, and also from companies and manufacturers of vegan products.  The aims of the campaign have been to challenge a range of perceptions about vegan products and introduce new audiences to them.  Viewed by many as the campaign to put veganism firmly on the map, it is a great example of how an incremental approach to the abolition of animal use can be successful in creating social change.

As a campaign aiming to create a shift in consciousness, it has had its critics, as anything to do with promoting Animal Rights and changing our eating habits does always, inevitably does! It seemed to create some debate on Facebook by those concerned that the slogan could be open to misinterpretation, especially if partially quoted or quoted out of context. Unfortunately this debate escalated on Facebook and Jasmijn de Boo, CEO of The Vegan Society had to issue a statement explaining the reasoning behind the Love Vegan Campaign. It was a great Explanation about how the Vegan Society’s mission is to make Veganism mainstream and was precise and to the point, hopefully putting an end to any more argument against the campaign. Here is the link:

http://www.vegansociety.com/node/71/statement-ceo

Viva is also celebrating a birthday, 20 years, and they have also started several new campaigns.  Their poster Campaign “Are you a baby eater?” spread across Facebook “like a rash” in their words! It informs the reader in words and effective silhouette pictures, that all farmed animals are killed when they are shockingly young. It is provocative, without the brutal images, but brutal statistics to make us think instead. You can down load it here:

http://www.viva.org.uk/blog/are-you-baby-eater

Viva also launched their White Lies campaign on Mother’s Day, to highlight that Dairy Cows are the hardest working Mums in the UK. They suffer the dual burden of being milked while pregnant for 7 months of the year and produce up to an exhausting 39 Litres a day compared to the 8 – 10 Litres a day she would secrete if left to feed her calf naturally. She would produce less than 1000 litres throughout the duration of her lactation, only storing approximately 2 litres in her udder at any 1 time in natural circumstances, however, in modern dairy farming, she will be expected to produce between 6000 and 12000 litres during her lactation which means she may be carrying as much as 20 Litres at any one time, producing so much milk that it puts her body under enormous strain. Her only reward is to be sent to the slaughterhouse when her poor worn out body cannot produce enough milk to be profitable and she gets replace by her daughter who will face the same fate. If she has a son, he will probably have been regarded as a waste by product and killed within a week or 2 for baby food or for cheese and pie ingredients. Some are simply shot in the head shortly after birth and others are put in crates to be sent off to veal farms on the continent where they are reared for a few months before being slaughtered.

Every year in the UK, tens of thousands of calves are slaughtered so that farmers can sell their mother’s milk for another species to drink.

To inform and educate people, Viva has produced 3 new guides:

“Why you don’t need Dairy”; “Everyone’s going Dairy Free” and “The Dark side of Dairy” as well as their “White Lies” Scientific Report. Find them on their Website:

http://www.viva.org.uk/what-we-do

As part of their 20th anniversary celebrations, Viva is launching a new cookbook which can be ordered on their website. It looks great & I will certainly buying it and bringing some of my newly tried out recipies to Meet & Veg! They are also launching a Photo competition and are looking for high quality photos of farmed animals, no matter what the setting, they can be images taken at home, a sanctuary, outdoors or in an intensive indoor farm – anywhere. They can be sad or uplifting but it is the Animal they are looking for. The Closing date is 30th October and again, you will find details on their Website.

The Great Animal Aid continues its tireless campaigning and educational work to try and make the world a more compassionate place in the future; More than 29,000 people have signed the Number 10 petition calling for mandatory CCTV in all slaughterhouses. They are aiming for 100,000. If you haven’t signed yet, please visit

http://www.slaughterhousecctv.org.uk/

They continue to inform about the cruelty of Vivisection in their Victims of Charity Campaign. They report that a recently disclosed breakdown of statistics on animal experiments in the UK shows that Wales saw a nearly 40% drop in 2013 compared with the previous 12 months, down to 52,539. Scotland also showed a (modest) decrease- down from 623,194 to 619,798. It was English Labs that ensured the GB figures reached their highest level in nearly 30 years – a total of 4.12 million “procedures” (up 11,600). An effective way to register your opposition to Animal Experimentation is by backing Animal Aids’s campaign against research charities that fund it. Please visit their Victims of Charity Website here:

http://www.victimsofcharity.org/

In the latest edition of Outrage, Animal Aid report on the wonderful work of Emma Billington and Louise Fields who fought through the night to save as many egg laying hens, destined for slaughter, who were on a lorry that crashed on the motorway near their home. They were woken at 4am by the sound of the chickens panicking and spent several hours transferring hens to the safety of their land. She was still carrying hens to safety at 11pm that night. She saved at least 3,000 of the 6,800 hens that were on the lorry and, in the weeks that followed continued to find and rescue survivors, 1 of these, almost 7 weeks after the crash. As well as saving thousands of lives, these incredible women spoke out in the national and regional media demanding justice for the hens, and she handed in a 5,000 signature petition to parliament. She has now started her own hen rescue organisation which you can find out about by contacting Animal Aid. What a Fantastic Story of Truly Kind and Compassionate Individuals.

Here is a recipie from this evening’s Meet & Veg. Thanks Dean!  Many more recipies and pictures to come! Stay Tuned Folks! That’s it for our 1st Post!

Parsnip Crispy

From: Vegan cooking recipes for Beginners book, by Eva Batt:

 Small carrot chopped small parsnip chopped Thick white sauce small beetroot cooked and diced handful of chopped parsley seasoning curry powder crushed oats Instructions 1. Cook carrot and parsnip lightly 2. Make white sauce and stir in beetroot and parsley carrot and seasoning 3. Put into oven proof dishes, marsh parsnip and spread on top 4. Sprinkle oats over to form the crust and bake at about 375 F or 190 C or gas mark 5

A Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated

(quote by Mahatma Gandhi 1869 – 1948)

                          

 

 

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