Stuffed Sweet Peppers

Queer Vegan

I already know what you’re thinking. BORING! Everyone always makes stuffed peppers for vegans and it’s getting really old. Well think again! This is a revamped recipe that you’re not only going to want to eat yourself, but rustle up as a great starter for a main meal. One thing this dish isn’t is pretty. I suppose if you fannied around for a little while with some rocket, you could make a meaningful display, but I don’t have time for that sort of nonsense. 😛

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Ingredients:

60 grams cous cous (2 servings)

Half a jar of sun dried tomatoes, chopped

Half a jar of artichoke hearts, chopped

1 vegetable stock cube

Wholemeal bread crumbs

Nutritional yeast

6 sweet long peppers of varying sizes

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Method:

  • Turn the oven on. Slice your peppers down the middle. Season with a little salt and pepper, then place in the oven for 10 minutes to…

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Trail’s End, a Chef TJ Experience

Vegan Disney World

If you’ve looked into eating vegan in Walt Disney World you may have seen the name Chef TJ pop up. If you don’t know who he is you will be very excited to find out. Chef TJ used to work at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian but has recently (as of fall 2014) moved to Trail’s End at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Chef TJ is known for creating elaborate multi course vegan meals for guests visiting Disney World. When we found out he had moved we made sure to set up a reservation so we could personally try his food. We picked an excellent day to do so, Melissa’s birthday!

Take Fort Wilderness boat from Magic Kingdom

Trail’s End is tucked away at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds next to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. We spent our day at the Magic Kingdom so that we could just…

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Are Anti-Cruelty Campaigns Really Effective?

UVE Archives

I wrote this article with Angel Flinn, who is Director of Outreach for Gentle World — a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition.This article was originally published August 24, 2011 on Care2.
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“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root, and it may be that he who bestows the largest amount of time and money on the needy is doing the most by his mode of life to produce that misery which he strives in vain to relieve.”

~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden, Economy (Chapter 1-E)

For many activists confronting widespread animal exploitation and related cruelty – from food, to clothing…

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When is the truth, an attack?

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

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Yet again, today I saw comments by ‘vegans’ demanding the end of ‘attacks’ on people for not being vegan. Specifically, it was stated that those who are ‘vegetarian’ or only eat some ‘animal products’ should not be ‘attacked’, but rather praised for their efforts.

Such comments still surprise me because once we understand the reality of veganism as an ethical stance and not a menu choice, once we reject the concept of regarding others as commodities and resources, we realise that it’s not incremental. That’s not being purist, it’s just a fact. We can’t be ‘partly vegan’ any more than we can be ‘a bit dead’ or ‘slightly pregnant’. We continue to cause needless harm, or we stop. We deliberately cause death or we don’t. It’s that straightforward. In particular there are no compromise positions where we can minimise our personal inconvenience and congratulate ourselves on our ethical awareness, while continuing to demand and finance the nonvegan bloodbath.

Please note as…

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Super Secret Scrambled Tofu Recipe: The Best You’ll Ever Have!!!!

Queer Vegan

I think people are a bit lost when it comes to tofu. It’s this white squishy block which doesn’t taste like anything. I saw an episode of Come Dine With Me once and a vegan guy on there served his dinner guests raw tofu and avocado. What the hell was he thinking? YUCK!

The number one rule is flavouring: herbs, spices and marinades are the best but sauces, bread crumbs and oils can also be great too.

On Facebook I’m constantly raving about how amazing Mykey’s scrambled tofu is, so I finally caught him in the act on Sunday morning and took some pictures.

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First let’s get these ingredients down:

  • A large handful of fresh baby leaf spinach (frozen is far too watery.)
  • 6 large button mushrooms
  • Tumeric
  • Black salt (not essential but will make the tofu smell and taste more like egg.)
  • Terriyaki sauce
  • 1 pack of chilled firm…

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VT Podcast Ep 4: Our Attitude to Those Who Are Vulnerable

Veganism is Nonviolence

My latest Vegan Trove podcast (listen here) Ep 4: Our Attitude to Those Who Are Vulnerable

In this podcast I take a look at the problems with single issue campaigns by discussing Sea Shepherd and their anti-whaling campaigns and the unsurprising announcement by Japan to commence whale hunting again in 2015. I speak about the problems within the abolitionist movement and some suggestions.  I speak about our fetishing of certain animals and in this case, Tasmanian Devils and a decision in Australia to introduce them on to the mainland and how our interference might not only adversely effect Devils but other animals around them. I look at insects and our behaviour toward insects. I look our violence toward insects and how our attitudes toward insects are extended to other parts of our lives. I speak about a new social media platform Tsu and my new page I’ve started on there…

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Darkness comes

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

Please take time to watch this short video. There is not a drop of blood shown.

What it does convey, is the bleak despair and bewildered fear of young nonhumans in the place where all hope ends. It conveys the pitiless process and the hard human hands that they cannot evade. They are so afraid. This is what happens when beings are regarded as ‘things’ instead of the sentient individuals that science has declared them to be. This is what happens to provide those vacuum packs of bloodied flesh that we buy when we are not vegan.

These vacuum packs are the last remains of children of another species who did not want to die. When we buy their pitiful body parts, we are paying for their fear, their degradation and the complete disrespect that is our unnecessary consumption; and we are casting a vote that says ‘this is fine…

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Question everything

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

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If a business or a company that makes its revenue from the despoiled corpses and dismembered remains of sentient beings uses words like ‘high welfare’ and ‘humane’ or cites endorsement by a so-called ‘animal organisation’, our alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear.

Any business where the end ‘product’ requires the premature and unnecessary death of a sentient being is, by its very nature, uncaring about the ‘welfare’ of anyone but its stakeholders. Furthermore NO so-called ‘animal organisation’ worthy of the name EVER endorses a business that trades in deceased beings.

In business, economical advantage is ALWAYS the prime concern and any lessening of the degree of torture to which they subject the helpless victims who are regarded as commodities is purely coincidental.

See through the doublespeak and the lies. Be vegan. Spread the vegan message. http://www.WhyVeganism.com

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Am I an abolitionist? ‘Numbness’ Vs ‘Enlightenment’

I’ve been wondering recently about the debate between the abolitionist approach and the animal welfare approaches to improving the plight of animals; do I believe that morally the issue is about the way animals are treated in farms before they are slaughtered or am I opposed to ANY form use and ownership of animals by humans? I think that this essay I wrote a few weeks ago to summarise my transition to veganism answers the question;

“One of the questions asked during a recent ‘Our Hen House’ podcast

(http://www.ourhenhouse.org/2014/08/episode-239-often-it-does-seem-a-pity-that-noah-and-his-party-didnt-miss-the-boat-heaven-is-by-favor-if-it-were-by-merit-your-dog-would-go-to-heaven-and-you-would-stay-out/)  

had a profound effect on me. The question was about why people who clearly do really care about animals do not take the obvious step of becoming vegan.

This is a question I have been struggling with for a few months (most of this year in fact), principally because it applies so much to myself.

Recently I have been feeling pretty ashamed of myself but at the same time relieved to finally accept where I belong morally. To explain this mix of emotions I need to go into my story a little bit so please indulge me for a moment (hopefully others can identify..)

22 years ago (when I was 12 years old) I read some literature about the horrors of the meat industry. I quickly made the decision to become vegetarian. My mum was worried about the nutritional side of taking such a radical move but she really got into researching it and was very supportive – thanks mum!

However, apart from my mum I was completely alone with my decision and, apparently, my beliefs. I did not know of anyone who was vegetarian so I had nobody to mentor me and I found whenever I shared with other people about the horrifying things I had discovered about the treatment of animals it fell on deaf ears. Over time I developed a strong sense that what I was doing was quite strange and ultimately pointless since it was clear nobody else would ever choose to stop eating meat. As a result I stopped preaching my beliefs and pulled away from the animal rights movement that I had only just been introduced to. I avoided learning in more detail about what goes on in farms and what is happening to try to act against the practices.

When I look back now I can see that over the years I have deliberately avoided educating myself further about the treatment of animals and I managed to develop a lot of denial, telling myself that it can’t really be THAT bad – things must have improved. I adjusted the story I told people about why I was vegetarian so that I didn’t seem so weird, “I don’t object on principle to killing and eating animals – it is the life they are subjected to before they are killed that is unacceptable to me.”

Ever since becoming vegetarian I always assumed I would eventually turn vegan, since the cruelty in dairy farming and egg farming is as bad as the meat industry. However, this move to veganism didn’t happen. I can see now that I felt so isolated and demoralised by the whole thing that I couldn’t face even finding out what happens in dairy/egg industries – what is the point of upsetting myself further when it is clear that nobody seems to mind apart from me?

This denial was probably necessary to protect myself from becoming completely lost in despair. However, I lost something important about myself and have been searching for it ever since. I should have joined in with the animal rights/vegan communities so I could feel supported and that my values were not totally weird – but I was way too shy to get involved in any sort of organised group.

Anyway, I finally met a real life vegan when I was 22 years old! She worked at the same place as me and I had for the first time in my life someone to speak to who actually believed in animals’ rights. This was a great motivation for me and it halted my slow relaxation of my values that was leading to me to start eating meat again (I was still vegetarian but was considering going back to eating meat). I renewed my resolve to not eat meat and within a couple of years I became vegan.

Again I was back where I was when I was 12 – taking a decision that nobody seemed to understand (I no longer worked with the other vegan I had met!) and I was half convinced that the only reason I had chosen to take the step was to be different! After all, being vegetarian was really easy at this time with all the labels on food and menus and stuff so to be different from most people I would have to be more extreme.

I still didn’t educate myself enough to remove the denial I had built up about farming and again I was totally isolated with my decision and the reasons for making it seemed a bit odd, really. I was vegan for about two years before I ‘relaxed’ my strict vegan lifestyle to one where I was no longer 100% vegan but a vegetarian who aspires to be vegan (or some such crap.)

So for the last few years I have been somewhere between vegetarian and vegan. It was painful to be stuck between two ideologies and not knowing who I was.

Eventually though, I had to realise that this was not being true to my beliefs and at the start of this year I finally broke through the denial and opened my eyes to the suffering going on behind closed doors. I was reading a website about what is wrong with the egg industry. My guard must have been down because everything that was written on that page I already knew on an intellectual level but for some reason this time the horrors of it hit me emotionally – HARD! For a long time I have been in a sort of state of numbness so that I am protected from unpleasant emotions but this website broke through all that.

I think it had something to do with the videos on the site showing all the male chicks being disposed of. I had already READ about this practice but the video really made it become real – and I could no longer tell myself that its probably not THAT bad anymore really.

Over the next few weeks I researched more – finding out quickly that I have to be very careful what I choose to read or watch. I was no longer numb and all these new emotions were difficult to cope with and I became totally overwhelmed very easily. This was a real danger – I had to allow myself to slowly accept that it is true what is happening and not get lost in helpless depression about it.

I read the home page of the Evolve! campaign website and I realised Immediately that I have ALWAYS believed that animals are NOT here for us to use as we see fit – they exist and morally they have the right to thrive without serving our needs for food, entertainment, research etc. The philosophy was a long way from my own explanation that I had by now convinced myself I believed in – it had become so diluted so that I could sound less ‘weird’ to other people. But I felt like a fool – by denying that I believe in this ‘radical’ philosophy I have been hurting myself for years.

 Since that point I have been finding myself more and more motivated by the online vegan community. I no longer feel isolated and different to everybody. I am committed to the cause and everything is so different now. Like, in the past I have been embarrassed to ask staff in shops and restaurants about the vegan options. I was embarrassed to use the word ‘vegan.’ However, now I feel that I am connected to the community I can say it proudly, aware of what it means beyond the choices for diet.

This has been a revelation for me and I can now see a future where my life has meaning and I am working for a cause I am passionate about. Of course, I’m not exactly full of joy – my enlightenment has meant having to try to accept the unbelievable suffering that is going on right now by millions of sentient beings. However, I would take how I feel now over the self-imposed numbness I have had for years.

So this year has been a formative one for me; I have been getting closer and closer to my true self. The other day I was listening to the Hen House podcast I mentioned earlier while washing up and I felt a sort of epiphany. I felt more strongly than ever that veganism was my path. For years I have been searching for meaning and a direction in life, philosophically, and finally I found the obvious truth that I want to be, and have always wanted to be, involved in animal rights.

I am eager to get started in some sort of activism. I don’t want to rush into something but I also feel that I have a lot of years of being absent from activism to make up for since first becoming aware of animal rights.”