Who killed compassion?

Charlotte's Web

You are 5 years old and you are sobbing uncontrollably baffled, devastated, horrified that something so cruel could be happening. The ground is covered in snow, the birds are singing a chirpy little tune and then all of a sudden your world is torn apart… Bambi the talking deer’s Mum has been shot dead by a hunter.

PETA provide a list of films that teach children to be compassionate towards animals. I doubt whoever compiled this list had a particularly difficult task. Family friendly films seem to almost primarily teach compassion and empathy, especially towards animals. Who can forget that heartbreaking, stomach sinking moment in Charlotte’s Web when Wibur realizes he will one day be made into bacon? Or poor little Babe’s naive faith that Farmer Hoggett would never dream of eating him. Or Chicken Run; even though they were just a bunch of talking cartoon chickens that didn’t look a whole lot like chickens I think we’d have all liked to think they were just ‘going on the holidays’ when the farmer picked them off one by one to be made into pie.

And then there’s the time Nemo gets stolen from his Dad or when Dumbo’s Mum the circus elephant gets beaten for trying to protect her baby. Then there’s Watership Down, The Fox and the Hound, 101 Dalmations, Madagascar… all seemingly demonstrating the same ethos: animals are worthy of human compassion.

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Vegan kitchen gadgets: the Nutribullet

The Nutribullet is not just a new must have gadget for dieters, it is also a seriously handy kitchen sidekick for any vegan.

David Wolfe, a raw food vegan known for his appearances in documentaries such as Food Matters, Hungry for Change and Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 days, is the official celebrity spokesman for the Nutribullet. Whatever your views on the raw vegan diet most vegans can get on board with why Wolfe and other health buffs endorse the product. The Nutribullet is sold on the premise that it is superior to juicers as it doesn’t remove the fibre packed pulp and its high powered blade means it is more effective than regular blenders at breaking down any chunks. So essentially it makes it easy to cram in a sh** tonne of plants into your diet.

The rush of omnivores trying this new diet gadget are excitedly pulverizing heaps of spinach, berries and kale as if they have discovered the Holy Grail. Meanwhile the vegan community are watching on as yet another nutrition makes that revolutionary claim… plants are really bloody good for you!

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Vegan: a lifestyle not a diet

January is drawing to a close which means its officially time to stop trying to morph into Gwyneth Paltrow. Although undertaking that obligatory, strict post festive detox is said to help kick-start a healthier lifestyle it can also result in a hunger so severe that the rest of the year is spent making up for that month of abstinence.

Will power of the sort needed to sustain those saintly new years habits is not easy. It is a widely accepted fact that denying oneself of something, whether it be food related or not, only increases desire for that forbidden thing. People often revere at my ability to stick at the vegan ‘diet’ after so many years of eating animal products. I have come to realise that this is really a manifestation of our society’s warped eating habits and perception of food. Most people choose to ‘diet’ for a reason that is important to them whether this be to down to health, appearance or ethical purposes. ThisĀ  makes it baffling that diets have become synonymous with transient phases in ones life.

Although it is good PR for veganism, its increasingly popularized use as a quick way to lose weight only to be dropped a few weeks later can be frustrating. Veganism is not a strict diet for the simple reason that most people choose to go vegan for ethical reasons. This means that instead of refusing foods because you can’t eat them you are saying no because you don’t want them. Surely this should be the reasoning behind any change in diet? That is my explanation for people that find it hard to fathom how someone can be strong enough to say no to meat, eggs dairy. After the initial transition will power just doesn’t come into it.

The Veganuary initiative has been encouraging people to try the vegan diet for the month of January. I hope that participants don’t join the hoards of other dieters ending the month with a sigh of relief and going back to old habits. Veganism is for life, not just for January.

Liebster Award



Many thanks to Charanya for the nomination. The ‘Yes! I’m Vegan’ blog is full of healthy vegan recipes, ‘The World’s Best Vegan Cauliflower Pizza Crust’ has given me a glimmer of hope that I can find healthy ways to satisfy some serious pizza cravings.

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