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Believe in the Beyond Burger

I’ve not tried this yet, because I’ve not found it anywhere I have gone. When I do, I’m ordering it. For now, I consider Iceland’s No Bull burgers to be as near to beef texture and taste as I’ve encountered so far since going vegan nearly 6 years ago. I do not miss the flavour of cooked animal flesh one little bit.

Adrain on Society

I decided the other day to share my experience with the Beyond Burger – the famous vegan burger that famously tastes like beef. I say “famous” twice, to highlight how strange my next experience was.

Two of my meat-eating Facebook friends appeared and immediately questioned my judgement that the Beyond Burger does, indeed, taste like beef. They did not do so having tried it themselves.

Imagine if you were eating a sandwich with tomato, and said “This is a good tomato sandwich. It tastes very tomatoey,” and your friend – who isn’t currently eating your sandwich, so can’t comment on its tomatoiness one way or the other – leaned over and asked, “Are you sure it’s tomato?”

I think you’d say: “Yes, I’m sure it’s tomato. You must think I’m an absolute nincompoop who doesn’t know a tomato when he eats one.”

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We’re not isolating ourselves; we’re being alienated

A blog from my youngest son. Of whom I am very proud and with whom I am well pleased.

Adrain on Society

For all the years I’ve been vegan, I’ve always accepted dinner invitations to dine with omnivores. I’ve always accepted that the world I see isn’t the same one as the one everyone else sees, and while I patiently wait for it to change, I should not impoverish my social life by refusing dinner invites from friends or colleagues who are not ready to meet me where I’m at.

I used to think that there was Another Kind of Vegan, that purposefully separated themselves off, by refusing – wherever possible – to be in the company of others while they eat meat. My mother is one of them. The emotional heft of her decision to be vegan far outstrips my own. I can accept, grudgingly, that it’s not in my power to alter how others around me behave, and that you can risk alienating them if you make a strong stand…

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A Mass Hypnotic Trance

Wake up, people.Join with those who are working to make this world kinder to all kind.

Mercy for all Animals

see hear speak no evil

When reflecting on how genuinely and sincerely kind and loving human beings often completely dismiss or choose to ignore the suffering of other creatures for the food on their plates, I am reminded of the power of socialization, upbringing, and the deeply ingrained conditioning that told us that eating animals is “necessary and normal.”

In short, most of us are under a kind of mass hypnotic trance, which began when we were very young and caused us to disassociate from any “bad” feelings about eating the products of animal suffering and brutal, gory slaughter.

To be sure there are some people who have no problem with animal slaughter: they would be the workers at slaughter plants (obviously) hunters and farmers. Others are just simply not concerned in the least about animal cruelty and killing.

But those who don’t object to the brutality shown to other creatures by man are in…

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Translations of common expressions: ‘Grass-fed lamb, half price!’

We didn’t even need to do it. This is the most heart-wrenching truth of all.

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

This was a promotion by a supermarket, heard recently in a TV ad break. With a great deal encapsulated in very few words, it’s a cynical bit of mind-bending although there was a time I wouldn’t have realised; that’s the art of the media advertisers whose brainwashing expertise is relied upon to normalise practices that, by rights, should make us retch. Let’s take a closer look.

‘Grass-fed’

Well what else would we expect? Any phrase that seeks to make a virtue out of what we all – and particularly those who actively promote harming other animals – would regard as ‘normal’ and ‘natural’, tends to make me curious. We see it used about so many different species; ‘grass fed beef’, ‘corn fed chicken’, ‘pasture raised’ this, and ‘free range’ that. The cynic in me decided to look further, quite frankly not because I have the slightest interest in how this affects…

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If Love is Truly the Law

I resonate totally with this. Not written by me but expresses my exact intuition about Jesus. I am completely and utterly at a loss to understand the Christian reluctance to see the truth that veganism is the only truly compassionate, loving way to live on this earth – the only way to practise good stewardship of God’s creation.

Mercy for all Animals

When I was a young girl I was only taken to my mother’s Greek Orthodox Church a few times a year, mostly at Easter.

The intoxicating smell of incense and the hushed, mysterious environment of the church was interesting to me, but what really intrigued me was the story of Jesus, which, since the service was in Greek and I didn’t understand the language, was not found in my occasional visits there.

The story of Jesus was really taught to me through the 1961 movie, “King of Kings”.

This man-god, this Holy and loving Being who healed the sick and challenged the status quo on their cruel and arrogant ways was of great interest to me and I always felt a sense of awe in watching his mission unfold on the screen, “Hollywood” though it might have been.

Although I don’t go to church I do consider Jesus to be…

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Speciesism

I think all human beings are naturally speciesist. When we feed our pets bits of other animals we are making a speciesist choice. As vegans we could, instead, make the choice that animals who need feeding with the flesh of other animals are not the right pets for us. In a majorly vegan world where animal slaughter would be legal no more, we will have to give up carnivorous pets or find a way to produce meat without killing, or make the decision that keeping pets is, itself, the action of a speciesist who thinks it’s ok to confine and control the lives of other creatures for the pleasure of being around them.

There's an Elephant in the Room blog

bulldog-2403903_960_720Originally posted 6 August 2014, revised and links updated 22 January 2018

Speciesism is a pervasive form of prejudice, taught to us all in our earliest years, that blinkers members of our species into the unfounded belief that we are so much more important than, or so superior to all other beings on the planet that we may harm and kill them for whatever trivial reasons we devise, without conscience and without any moral justification whatsoever.  A form of oppression directed at other living individuals, speciesism is the practice of according or withholding the rights that belong to others by virtue of their birth, based solely upon their species. Much is written about the term, however we may easily gain awareness of it by examining our own attitudes and looking at the world about us.

How do we see speciesism in action?

Speciesism is happening when we needlessly slaughter and…

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Fish and Chips

Yesterday for the first time in 4 years I had to sit at table in a pub with someone who was eating fish and chips. I had no control over what she chose, and despite having asked me why I was vegan and chatted with me about it, she still ordered that. Apparently it never crossed her mind that this was an insensitive thing to do – much less a wrong thing. This person is a Christian too, so clearly ‘stewardship of the creation’ does not include withdrawing support from being part of damaging the marine environment, in her philosophy.

I can’t understand any of this. People treat veganism like it is some weird choice for the few. It never enters most people’s heads that they should be doing it too. The most that happens is they shift about looking uncomfortable when you go into it, but just stay depressingly the same.

I get sick of this. It’s so easy to be vegan now, there are loads of alternatives to eating animals, countless recipes on line and in books, help from The Vegan Society, Animal Aid and Viva, so many pubs, cafes and restaurants  now offering vegan dishes. What is wrong with most people? I feel like I walk among a load of blind savages. Willingly blind. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Even my own extended family – all unthinkingly helping to wreck the earth with their eating habits, all caring nothing, it seems, for animal life except the favoured dogs, cats and other creatures arbitrarily considered ‘honorary’ humans – family pets.

If you stab a cow, does she not feel pain like a dog would? If you kick a lamb, is it not the same cruelty as kicking a puppy? If you slam a kitten against a brick wall, is this not outrageous brutality? Then why is it ignored when done to piglets ( as it is in too many slaughterhouses, if people would only take their heads out of their complaisance and look). If all animals feel pain like we do – and they do – why do people willingly carry on paying money into industries that dish out violence and suffering to them?

‘Normal’  milk and ‘real’ cream come from industries that mercilessly exploit cows. The eggs that go into so many cakes come from hens whose lives are miserable and confined, hens who are worn out before they reach their prime and are then ‘trashed’ for petfood. Hens who have been genetically modified to keep on laying eggs until they are weak from the exhaustion of it. In the wild, they would have a maximum of 3 clutches a year. In the wild, little chicks would hatch to the comfort of a mother’s clucking to them, and be sheltered beneath her wing. In the Industry they hatch in huge incubators amongst thousands, no mother in sight or sound, and the males are plucked out and killed. Some are gassed, others fed alive into a macerator (industrial mincer). This is how we treat sensitive, intelligent, fragile creatures – are we not monsters? And who pays for this? People like my friend who sat and ate fish and chips in my presence and ‘dear’ old ladies who love cats and ‘wouldn’t harm a fly’ – except they do – they harm many animals and won’t listen when you try to talk to them about it.

I’m sick of people normalising all of this, refusing to have the conversations that might change them, refusing to watch any documentaries that might influence them, refusing to be better people. I am sick of people who think it’s ok to eat fish and chips when in the company of vegans – why should we put up with their horrible food choices, when, for one meal, they could have some consideration and kindness? Why are we made to feel unreasonable for objecting to their savage meal decisions? Why are they so attached to certain foods that they appear to be worshipping them? Why is imagining doing without them for even one meal, such a terrible thing to contemplate? I know the answer of course – it’s nothing more than being stuck in a mindset that has been built up in them from infancy, an indoctrination no less, a relentless drip, drip from everywhere, putting lies into their minds as truths, conditioning them to commit atrocities whilst not understanding that they are doing so:  but it is possible, with an open mind and a good heart, to break out of that conditioning. Why are most people so weak they can’t do it? Why so stubborn they won’t do it? Why so selfish they can think of nothing more important than their appetites?

It’s not food, its savagery, violence and damage to the whole ecosystem of earth.

Fish is the very worst thing anyone could eat. We are killing our seas, depriving marine creatures like dolphins, seals and whales,  and all the birds, of their only food sources.  We are feeding small ‘bycatch’  to factory farmed animals – small fish and crustaceans that would be food for larger fish,  who would be food for other creatures dependent on the sea for survival. We do not need to eat anything from the sea. We can survive and thrive on plant-based eating, and so, because we can do this, we absolutely should. It’s a moral imperative given the sorry state of this planet now and the abundance of plant foods available to us.

We are a selfish and greedy species that deserves, if God exists, to be punished for all the crimes we commit against the other creatures who are unfortunate enough to share this planet with us. I am sick of people eating the earth to death and not caring.

Peace in this world begins with teaching children to eat kindly.