Julie Rosenfield

My journal

Archive for the tag ““vegan””

LONDON – A FRIGHTFULLY GOOD PLACE FOR VEGANS TO PARTY!

In London, we vegans never need an excuse to party but this weekend was pretty spectacular:  what with Friday being Hallowe’en, Saturday World Vegan Day (and not forgetting 2014 marking the 7oth Anniversary of the Vegan Society!)  and with Sunday being the Festival of the Day of the Dead for our friends overseas in Mexico, there was nothing for it but to put on three frightfully good days of vegan celebrations in the capital and party, party, party….

Always one to put in the witching hours, I took to my broomstick and spent an incredible three days sampling some of the best events that London has to offer to dedicated vegan party goers.

 

FRIDAY 31sT OCTOBER 2014 – HALLOWE’EN.

Friday saw me in full witch gear, flying down to the London Vegan Meetup Hallowe’en party, hosted by lovely Laura and held in the dungeon of popular, central London veggie restaurant, Tibits, who thoughtfully offered a spook-tacular range of delicious, all-vegan dishes on their buffet that night. After all, it’s well known that vampires often fancy a bite after dark, and vegan ones are no exception….

Fangs to all the ghouls and boys who attended, and here are just a few highlights of a scarily good night out.

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Nice spooking with you ……

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Vegan meet ups are always out of this world ….

 

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Spider Man found us on the web ….

 

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It’s always good to catch up with “old fiends” …

 

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And the last word on the Hallowe’en Party goes to poetry competition winner, Alex.

 

 

SATURDAY  – 1st NOVEMBER 2014 WORLD VEGAN DAY

Saturday saw an unseasonably warm November day and the perfect chance to enjoy the Brixton Walkabout – a regular monthly fixture of the London Vegan Meetup scene. The day was extra special being both the second anniversary of the Brixton Walkabout, run by popular hostess Jess, and World Vegan Day itself.

Brixton itself was choc-full of vegan chocolate, cakes – courtesy of Trina’s and Ms Cupcake, Ethiopian fayre, Scoff Sweets ….. Need I go on?

But the icing on the vegan cake that afternoon was a fabulous fun-filled World Vegan Day party held at local hostelry The Dog Star, which saw an amazing afternoon of  rock ‘n’ roll dancing led by Sarah-Jane, raffles, a charity auction featuring vegan goodies including Plamil chocolate and Tropic Skincare products, musical chairs, singing contest …..

And if that wasn’t enough, when all the fun and games were over, there was nothing for it but to head up north to our favourite vegan cafe,  Kabaret at Karamel in Wood Green, for a special World Vegan Day Drinks night, hosted by Fat Gay Vegan. Here we were blessed by talks from two vibrant queens of the vegan scene: Louise Wallis, co-owner of Kabaret at Karamel, who initiated World Vegan Day 20 years ago, and Joyful Vegan and Author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, who was visiting from across the pond and who was, happily, able to join us for the celebrations.

A hearty range of food was on offer from Gourmet Burgers, to Pizzas and Spicy Sausage Casserole followed by a fabulous vegan chocolate cake. Yum!

And with dancing scheduled to go on till 2.00 am, these plant-fuelled vegans clearly had no shortage of stamina ….

 

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A sweet way to start the day at Trina’s cake stall …

 

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The auction was choc-a-bloc with prizes. Thank you, Plamil!

 

 

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And yet more auction prizes. Goodie, Goodie ….

 

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Sold to the highest bidder ….

 

SUNDAY 2nd NOVEMBER 2014 –  DAY OF THE DEAD PARTY

You’d think with all the late-night shenanigans of Friday and Saturday, those vegans would be wiped out. Not a bit of it. Even if some of us were feeling half-dead afterwards,  it really didn’t matter, as Sunday saw an amazing Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) party, back at Kabaret at Karamel and hosted by the tireless Fat Gay Vegan.

In any case, we were quickly revived by the most amazing vegan Mexican buffet, lovingly prepared by two specially-imported Mexican chefs, and which included wave after Mexican wave of vegan goodies: tasty black bean soup, enchiladas, tortillas, guacamole … And those with a sweet tooth were well rewarded by delicious vegan rice pudding, sugar skulls, Scoff sweets, and chocolate to die for from Cocoa Feliz.

Other treats along the way were a cookery demonstration featuring a fabulous Brazilian quinoa dish, made by our dear friend Vanessa of Essential Vegan, a talk by Emma of Veganbnb Travel on vegan holidays in Spain and Guatemala, an encounter with a Mexican wrestler and his hot Kankun chilli sauce – the joint was indeed kicking. Muchas gracias to all concerned.

Anyway, here I am to spill the Mexican beans ….

 

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Fighting for the last enchilada ….

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 Some like it hot …

 

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Not mushroom in my tummy … !

 

 

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Mixing it up with Vanessa, the Quinoa Queen!

 

 

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Mmmmm. Nice buns!

 

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Thumbs up for a really great party!

 

So there we have it! Three days of vegan celebrations in the capital.

Think we’re all going to slow down now the weekend’s over? Not a bit of it. London is vegan party town and we intend to keep it that way!

 

Join us for lots of fun vegan events in London at

London Vegan Meetup http://www.meetup.com/londonvegan/

Fat Gay Vegan Events http://www.meetup.com/FatGayVegan and check out his blog at http://www.fatgayvegan.com/

London Vegans. http://www.londonvegans.org.uk

 

Find out more about veganism at the Vegan Society http://www.vegansociety.com/

 

For vegan resources in London (restaurants, events etc), check out Vegan London http://www.veganlondon.co.uk

 

Eateries

Tibits Restaurant, 12-14 Heddon Street, off Regent Street, London W1B 4DA Tel: 0207 758 4112  http://www.tibits.co.uk

Kabaret at Karamel, Chocolate Factory 2, Coburg Road, Wood Green,  London N22 6UJ 020 8829 8989  http://karamelrestaurant.com/

 

Vegan Cakes

Trina’s Delicacies http://www.trinasdelicacies.com/collections/vegan-cakes

Ms Cupcake  http://www.mscupcake.co.uk/

 

Vegan Sweets and Chocolates

Scoff Sweets http://www.scoffsweets.co.uk/

Cocoa Feliz http://cocoafeliz.com/

Plamil https://www.plamilfoods.co.uk/
Vegan Skincare

https://www.tropicskincare.co.uk/shop/shabarisaha

 

Vegan Author

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau http://www.joyfulvegan.com/

 

Brazilian Vegan Food

Essential Vegan http://essentialvegan.co.uk/
Vegan Mexican Sauce

Kankun http://kankunsauce.com/

 

Vegan Holidays to Spain and Guatemala

Veganbnbtravel: http://www.veganbnbtravel.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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THIN END OF THE VEG (ARTICLE)

Words, words, words. I have to admit it: I do like words. Even small words with only a few letters.

Here are some good words. Cake, that’s a very good word. Or how about a longer word: chocolate? Another very good word, indeed.

Some of my favourite words can even be built into charming little phrases like “vegan cake,” or, better still, “free vegan cake.”

So, it may not be too surprising to learn that two of my favourite phrases are “all-you-can-eat” and “vegan buffet.” Put these two together and they instantly become one of my very favourite phrases in the whole of the English language.

So why then, do I now find myself wanting to have words with the owners of the all-you-can-eat vegan buffet places in London?

Some years ago, a new chain of establishments, specialising in Chinese and Thai vegan cuisine, started popping up all over the London. These places, which normally had names with three letters: eg Tao, Veg and Joy, though small in name, offered a huge selection of vegan buffet delights.

Such buffets would host a mixture of hot and cold delicacies. Some, such as the much-missed Joy buffet in Percy Street, offered such a huge selection of salad items in their buffet that raw-food eaters could happily go in and chow down alongside their vegan cooked food-eating companions.

For the cooked food cabinet boasted all manner of hot vegan savouries: from spring rolls, sesame toast and vegetable dumplings, through to hearty tofu and wheat-based main dishes in a variety of flavoursome sauces.

And, even though such dishes were labelled “fish in black bean sauce” and “sweet and sour chicken,” vegan and vegetarian diners could happily eat in there, knowing that the nearest that the “fish” ever got to the sea was the small ribbon of seaweed which surrounded its wheat-filled interior and that the “sweet and sour chicken” was nothing more than a tasty amalgamation of soya pieces served in a delicious, pineapple sauce.

Once, in a rare moment of rebellion, I even ordered at one such veggie restaurant a dish with the somewhat unappetising name of “Pork Belly”. Not the ideal choice for a vegan normally, but happy in the knowledge that I was going to be pigging out on nothing more harmful than a large piece of wheat gluten and vegetables, I was more than happy to make a pig of myself.

Now, many people are divided as to whether or not vegans and vegetarians should even be eating mock meat in the first place. Give up eating meat for mock meat:  isn’t that just a mockery? But, I, for one, find such places are good venues to take meat-eating friends;  those who are transitioning from meat-eating to vegetarianism/veganism and those who say “But I could never give up eating meat,” as well as being a tasty place for vegans and vegetarians to eat anyway. Surely, if there is a delicious, acceptable substitute out there, then people will have to agree that, yes, they can give up eating meat, be healthy and save many animals’ lives in the process.

I have to admit, though, that even I had to draw the line at some of the too-realistic looking prawns on offer at some of the vegan buffets. It was in vain that the owners assured me that they were made of nothing other than wheat, seaweed, spices and colouring. But still, some associations are just a bit too strong. Shellfish of me, perhaps, but still ….

In any case, the beauty of the Chinese vegan buffets was that they offered such a huge variety that even if people really didn’t want to eat mock meats, they could still more than amply compensate by tucking into a whole range of vegetable dishes such as fried aubergine slices, spicy curries, broccoli dishes, assorted salads and of course, oodles of noodles.

So then, imagine my disappointment on learning that some of these esteemed vegan buffet places have now started to introduce meat into their buffets.

Real meat and not just pieces of soya dressed up and labelled for the occasion.

Meat made from real animals. It just doesn’t bear thinking about. As if there weren’t enough buffet places offering meat all over London anyway.

And, of all the vegan buffets which have started to adopt this unfortunate practice, it was with particular sadness that I learned that the Thai buffet in Golders Green, have now also decided to go down the “Let them eat meat” route.

The Thai buffet has been located in Golders Green, with its large Jewish population, for many years and, until now, has been a safe eating venue where Jews, vegetarians and vegans alike could happily eat, safe in the knowledge that all the food on offer was pure, vegan and wholesome and compliant with any dietary and religious restrictions.

So, imagine the confusion of diners now going in there, thinking they are choosing a fake meat option and then finding out that the “sweet and sour chicken” they have chosen is actually sweet and sour chicken. Made from a real chicken.

Yes, they have put up a label saying Meat section, and say they are keeping the meat dishes well away from the dishes in the Vegetarian section but, still, if you’re in a rush, and are used to the old ways, well, you can imagine the unfortunate results that could ensue.

Certainly, the thought of meat being served in a vegan buffet just makes me lose my appetite and the owners the future custom of myself and many other like-minded people.

And then, there’s the whole issue of possible cross-contamination in the kitchen, and the fact that going in there means supporting and paying for an establishment that uses meat. Why, it all rather leaves a nasty taste in the mouth.

Guys, this is the thin end of the veg. Meat is creeping in where it shouldn’t be doing so and I, for one, am not happy about it at all.

In the meantime, though, if you would like to visit some  places  in London which offer a fully vegan buffet (as well as a la carte), then I would recommend the chain of Loving Hut* restaurants, which are located in London in Mornington Crescent, Archway and Edgware and also in Brighton and Norwich. This chain is always vegan and is also international. I myself have been fortunate enough to dine out at some of their branches in Malaga, Spain; Malaysia and Florida in the US. The food is always excellent, has a huge variety and meat is never, ever on the menu.

Other Chinese vegan buffet places In London which are still 100% vegan at the time of writing include the Qing* in Camden Town and Jai* in  Old Compton Street.

And, if Chinese and Thai buffet places are  not quite to your taste, then may I recommend the delicious healthy buffets on offer at two particular favourite vegan restaurants of mine:

222* Vegetarian Vegan restaurant in West Kensington offers a wonderful selection of dishes in their lunch-time buffet such as carrot tart and aubergine moussaka.

http://www.222veggievegan.com

Vitao* in Wardour Street serves a tasty and mainly organic vegan buffet as well as many raw options http://www.vitao.co.uk

So, as I say, I do like words. So I will be having words with the owners of the Thai buffet place in Golders Green, very polite words indeed.

For it is my belief that if we act now, we can persuade them to change back to being 100% vegan. I do hope so, otherwise I’ll just have to eat my words.

*For places offering a vegan buffet in London.

Loving Hut: Morning Crescent, Brighton, Norwich:  http://www.lovinghut.co.uk

Loving Hut: Archway: http://archway.lovinghut.co.uk

Loving Hut: Edgware: http://edgware.lovinghut.co.uk/

Qing 6 Kentish Town Road, Camden London NW1 9NX

Jai, 33 Old Compton Street, Soho, London W1D 5JU.

Vitao Restaurant, 74 Wardour St  London, Greater London W1F 0TE
020 0207 734 8986 http://www.vitao.co.uk

222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant
222 North End Road, West Kensington
London W14 9NU
020 7381 2322

Lunch buffet 12:00 – 15:30

http://www.222veggievegan.com/

For more vegan and vegetarian places to eat in London, visit Vegan London at  www.veganlondon.co.uk

For the book ,Vegetarian London – new edition coming out soon – and other books featuring vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the UK and abroad, please visit Vegetarian Guides at: http://www.vegetarianguides.co.uk

For more information on veganism, visit the Vegan Society at :www.vegansociety.com

ENOUGH FOOD IF – THE MISSING INGREDIENT

Now, it has to be said, I do love a mystery. You can’t beat a bit of intrigue so I was delighted to receive a mysterious invitation this week.

The invitation invited me, as a local contact for the Vegan Society, to take part in a major national campaign launch event, to be held at a central London location, at 6.00 pm on Wednesday 23rd January 2013, but was no more forthcoming with information than that. I sensed a bit of mystery, and hungry for more information, I eagerly accepted.

Now, I have to say that it is not the first time I have been sworn to secrecy this week. Why, only on Monday, I had the pleasure of being in the audience at the latest round of the Britain’s Got Talent auditions in at the London Palladium theatre. I, along with my fellow audience members, was strongly urged by the warm-up man not to reveal any identifying details of any of the new acts performing.
Fair enough, so I’ll just tell you that there were a couple of really great singers, some amazing dancers, some not-so-great singers and some less-than-amazing dancers. And no performing dogs. Other than that, my lips are sealed.

In the event, I could have done with my own warm-up man, when finally attending the mystery event. It was actually held at Somerset House, and given the freezing conditions in London this week, I was not unreasonably wondering whether their famous ice-rink might be making an appearance. Alas, it wasn’t. Just as well, as there was more than enough ice on the ground already.

Still, it was worth braving the cold conditions, and secretly warming myself with the whole cloak-and-dagger operation of the whole event, to attend the launch of  an exciting new initiative to end global hunger: The Enough Food IF campaign. http://www.enoughfoodif.org.

Now, it’s a simple enough idea. We need to end world hunger. And we can end world hunger. As they kept telling us, we have enough food to feed the world, but not everyone in the world is being fed.

It’s a sobering thought that every year, in the developing world, one billion people go to bed hungry every night and 2 million children a year die from malnutrition. This is in sharp contrast to the millions of people in the West who are suffering from an ever-expanding, obesity crisis. It is indeed a shocking and shameful thought that such polarity exists in the world today.

So the news from the Enough Food IF campaign is that we at last have a chance to do something to rectify this situation. In June 2013, the leaders of the most powerful governmentsin the world, the G8, will be attending a hunger summit in London, hosted by British prime minister, David Cameron. If we make our voices heard ahead of this summit, there is a real possibility that 2013 could see the beginning of the end of world hunger.

The Enough Food IF campaign centres round four initiatives which are detailed on the website at www.enoughfoodif.org,

According to the campaign, we could all have enough food and end global hunger IF:

1)      We give life-saving aid to stop children dying from hunger and help the poorest families feed themselves.

2)      We stop poor farmers being forced off their land, and we grow crops for food, not fuel.

3)      Governments stop big companies dodging tax in poor countries, so millions of people can free themselves from hunger.

4)      Governments and big companies are honest about their actions that stop people getting enough food.

I was impressed by the estimated thousand people who turned up to lend their support on a freezing January night. Members of the public and volunteers from 100 charitable organisations rubbed cold shoulders with celebrities such as actor Bill Nighy and Harry Potter film actress, Bonnie Wright. Bonnie spoke movingly of her experiences visiting Senegal, where she witnessed at first hand the suffering of families who were struggling with the effects of malnutrition.

I listened closely to the arguments being expounded. There were even contributions from the great and the good: everyone from Bill Gates to One Direction, whose filmed support for the campaign was projected onto the front of Somerset House.

Afterwards, there was a charming choir who performed a re-worked version of that classic song made famous half a century earlier, IF I ruled the world….

But then, my inner Miss Marple, kicked in. I had uncovered a mystery. The Enough Food Campaign IF is great for starters…. but there is a missing ingredient which puzzled me and members of my group greatly. IF this campaign is as serious about tackling global hunger as it claims to be, then why was there no mention on their website or at the launch, about the role that veganism can and must play if we are to support and sustain our ever-growing planet.

The campaign stated repeatedly that we have enough food to feed people now. But what of the future? With, according to the Worldwatch Institute, the possibility of the global population increasing from today’s figure of 7 billion to 9.2 billion people by 2050*, how are we to feed these increasing numbers?

A vegan diet is the only one which is truly sustainable and offers practical means by which the world’s population can truly be fed. We need a vegan diet whereby crops are grown and eaten directly by people: not one where crops are grown, fed to livestock, and livestock are fed to people. Such a diet is wasteful, impractical and unsustainable.

A vegan diet requires one third of the land, water and energy needed for a meat-based diet. It has to be the way forward and offers us the best chance to end global hunger once and for all.

We must call on the organisers of the Enough Food IF campaign and the leaders of the governments attending the G8 summit to take veganism seriously and make it a prominent and vital part of any new policies on tackling global hunger in order for this important new initiative to succeed.

In conclusion, I applaud the Enough Food IF campaign. I encourage people to sign up to it at www.enoughfoodif.org and to spread the word widely on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms.

But, until they acknowledge the important role of veganism, I would have to award the campaign G8 out of G10!

There is no mystery how to solve the problem of global hunger. Veganism is the way. And that is no secret.

 

 

*Population figures according to the WorldWatch Institute  http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6038

 

For more information, please visit:

Enough Food IF campaign: www.enoughfoodIF.org

 

Vegan Society http://www.vegansociety.com

HORSE BURGERS? IT’S NO JOKE!

As soon as the news came out this week that people in the UK had, unknowingly, been eating burgers containing horsemeat, the jokes started.

After all, it’s not difficult to think up a joke. Here is a “crop” I managed to “whip” up myself in the space of a few minutes.

“I think these burgers are past their sell-by date… And they’re off! Certainly, they’ve been giving me the trots all evening….”

“I’ve got a really great recipe for burgers. Just add a dash of Red Rum…”

“Well, I guess we know what happened to Shergar now….After all, a spoonful of Shergar helps the hot burgers go down ….”

And so on. But, deep down, I’ve been feeling deeply uncomfortable about the whole thing.

After all, finding out that people have been eating horses is no laughing matter. And, as we’re always being told, the British love their animals, don’t they?

Now, I don’t wish to get up on my high horse here, but, thankfully, as a vegan for over 20 years, I am relieved that there is nothing more equine in my veggie burgers than horseradish.

But I was, nonetheless, curious as to just why people were treating this “horses for main courses” revelation with humour rather than, perhaps, disgust and revulsion?

I guess, after all, people have long had a personal a“filly”ation with horses. Growing up, many of us read and wept over the classic story of Black Beauty. Other fictional horsey heroes, both in books and on TV followed, with Follyfoot Farm, Flambards etc.

And, perhaps some of us were even lucky enough to have had riding lessons. I still have friends who, at the mention of horses, have a long-lost look in their eyes, as they recall favourite horse friends, past and present.

Perhaps, people have been on holiday, and have had the pleasure, as I have had, of coming face-to-face with the beautiful, wild horses in the New Forest.  Horses, which I was later saddened to be told, were often destined for the horsemeat trade in France.

At school, we used to laugh at our French neighbours who ate horsemeat. It was all so grim, and “uncivilised”. “Well, that’s the French,” we used to laugh, hiding our revulsion behind a shameful joke at our neighbours’ expense.

But now, it seems, perhaps all this was closer to home than we had ever imagined.

And then, other revelations have since come out. They are now saying that some salami contains donkey meat. Donkey? The thought sends a shiver through me as I recall memories of donkey rides on Blackpool sands. Nowadays, I even sponsor a donkey in the Donkey Sanctuary who “writes” to me twice a year. And, as for literature, well, there’s Eeyore, for heavens’ sake.

I feel that the jokes are made as an instinctive reaction. A defence mechanism to deflect from the true horror of this discovery.

But why, the question has to be asked, is it any worse to eat horses than to eat cows?

After all, they are both big, strong animals, have four legs and hooves and eat grass. What’s the difference?

Is this, then, a case of people identifying with the horse on a one-to-one, individual basis? Do we just think of cows as being members of a seemingly anonymous group? As cattle? As a herd? Not to be identified with individually? Whatever would the Magic Roundabout’s Ermintrude say?

So, why don’t people identify with the cow as they do with the horse? Why are there no jokes about burgers containing meat from a cow? Why does this not disgust or surprise? Except for those of us who are vegetarians and vegans and who never stop feeling shock that people eat cows, or indeed other animals, at all.

But, I believe that, deep down, we have not lost that inherent connection with cows at all. For many people, of course, mainly in India, the cow is sacred.

But, even closer to home, we can restore that connection. For instance, at the age of eight, I stayed on a small farm in Wales. And I can still remember to this day, the names and colours of all those cows who lined up in the barn every night:

Peggy, Tina, Jane, Daisy, Ann, Gwyneth, Suzie, Sally, Mary, Matilda, and Belle.

I can still tell you that Peggy was a fierce cow, prone to charging with her horns; that Jane was a soft, gentle, Jersey cow; that Matilda was a large, placid, brown-and-white cow, that Belle was a Friesian (especially on cold nights!)

The memory still delights. I just won’t allow myself to dwell on what might have become of them subsequently.

It’s probably no wonder then that this experience perhaps set up me up for subsequently becoming a vegetarian, and later a vegan.

I remember once walking through a field of cows with a friend. I had just started to remark on how lovely the cows were looking, and what pretty faces they had, when my friend started to warn me: “Don’t say anything, just don’t say anything, because if you do, then I’m going to have to become a vegetarian.”

Guys, let’s stop horsing around. If you really like and care about animals, then don’t eat them in burgers, sausages or any other form. Horses or cows, it makes no difference.

There are some great vegan and vegetarian burgers on the market. You can still have your barbecues but with wonderful vegan burgers and sausages from companies like Fry’s, Redwoods and Goodlife, or make your own from nuts, grains, seeds and vegetables.

Go vegetarian, or better still, go vegan. You know it makes horse-sense!

For vegan and vegetarian burgers and sausages:

Fry’s:  http://www.frysvegetarian.co.uk/

Redwood: http://shop.redwoodfoods.eu/

Goodlife: http://www.goodlife.co.uk/

Or, to make your own, vegetarian and vegan burgers:

http://www.theflamingvegan.com/view-post/20-Delicious-Vegan-Burger-Recipes

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/veggieburgerrecipes/Vegetarian_Veggie_Burger_Recipes.htm

REASONS TO BE VEGAN, PART 3

(Inspired by the late Ian Dury’s song, Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3)

Why don’t you eat more beans and veg?

Why don’t you eat more beans and veg?

 Reasons to be Vegan, Part 3

Shambhu’s Cheesecake, the lemon one’s great,

Ambassador from Ms Cupcake, Maoz falafel

Mildred’s mushroom pies, sausages from Fry’s,

Razzle Dazzle ice, baked apple

*          *          *

The Vegan Pledge, organic veg

Gives you the edge.  Tofutti,

Cookies and Scream, Wild Food cuisine

Alpro Soya Cream. What a Cutie!

*          *          *

A Diet for all Reasons, talks at London Vegans

Animal Aid Fayre Xmas season, and Greenz

The Vx Shop, Plamil chocolate drops,

Give meat the chop: eat beans.

*          *          *

The Vegan Store, 42 Raw

Whole Foods for Saf and more, Vegan Soc

Loving Hut’s Supreme, Tibit’s Mango Cream

Vanilla Rice Dream, Moo Free choc

*          *          *

Itadaki Zen – Japanese if you’ve the yen

222 pancakes from Ben, boots from Bo Bo

Manna for lunch, Pogo for brunch,

Booja Booja hazelnut crunch, Bon Pom cocoa

*          *          *

Trip to Vegfest – Bristol is the best

Bless your cotton vest, and Vitao

The London Vegan Fete, Rani’s is great,

Hammersmith’s The Gate, let’s have a bite now.

*          *          *

Samuel Smith ale, Holland and Barrett’s Penny Sale

Eating curly kale, Vegan Meet-up

Vegusto’s No-Moo cheese, Trek Bars always please

Bute Island’s creamy Sheese, so let’s eat up.

*          *          *

Brighton on the coast, Infinity for tea and toast

Veg Shoes we love the most, And V-Bites

Scones at Food for Friends, taking lots of spends,

The George Pub at the end, always delights.

*          *          *

Better for the planet, try and go organic

Good for health if you plan it, go vegan

Save animals’ lives, Forks over Knives,

See how you thrive, so many reasons.

*          *          *

Inspiral chocolate cake, aduki bean bake

At Potluck anything you make, try Shambhu chocs

Tibits weigh your plate,  Beatroot’s always great,

Manna for a date, and bamboo socks

*          *          *

Redwood’s Vegi Deli, Just Wholefoods strawberry jelly,

Wobbling in my belly, Bessant and Drury

Cranberry Cheezly, see it’s very easy,

Soy Whip that’s squeezy, thanks Ian Dury

*          *          *

Yes, yes,

dear, dear,

vegan next year? Or maybe even now!

In which case ….

 

Reasons to be Vegan, Part 3

Reasons to be Vegan Part 3 ……………..

(Reasons to be Cheerful, Ian Dury, published in 1979 )

For details of all veggie restaurants in London mentioned, visit www.veganlondon.co.uk

For more information about veganism, visit the Vegan Society www.vegansociety.co.uk

For details of London Vegans events in London including walks, talks and restaurant trips, visit www.londonvegans.org.uk.

For details of the London Vegan Meetup events including Monthly Potluck,Vegan Drinks, regular social events and restaurant visits, visit: http://www.londonveganmeetup.co.uk/

To take the Vegan Pledge and go vegan for a  month, visit London Vegan Campaigns at http://www.vegancampaigns.org.uk/pledge.html

Vegan Love (Poem)

I could never adore

A matador

For a man who would gore a bull

Could never be adorable.

 * * *

I could never make a selection

Of a man who does vivisection

For a man who hurts rabbits

Is bound to have nasty habits.

 * * *

I could never even touch a

Man who was a butcher

For a man who handles meat all day

Could never lead me astray.

 * * *

I would look upon in anger

A man who was an angler

For a man who murders fishes

Will never fulfil my wishes.

 * * *

A man who shoots grouse

Will never enter my house

For his torture of the birds

Is too evil beyond words.

 * * *

I’m glad I’m not the daughter of

A man who is a slaughterer

And I could never be the wife

Of someone without respect for life.

 * * *

But show me the man who is kind beyond reason

I’ll embrace him with my heart, for surely he is vegan.

For only the gentlest soul could ever be my amour

As I’ll never find true love with a hungry carnivore.

(First appeared in the book Vegan Stories,

edited and compiled by Julie H. Rosenfield 2002, published by The Vegan Society).

Vegan Stories is available for £4.99 from the online shop of the Vegan Society at http://www.vegansociety.com

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REGGIE THE VEGGIE (POEM)

There was once a charming chap by the quaint name of Reggie,

Who decided one day: “I think I’ll turn Veggie.

From now on no meat, no fowl or aught aquarian,

I’ve decided to become a fully-fledged vegetarian.”

* * *

It was tough trying to explain it all to his wife,

That Reg had decided just to change his life.

“There’ll be no more roast beef for me if you please,

I’ll just have the Yorkshire Pudding along with the peas.”

* * *

   His wife Jean was going quite barmy

She tried tempting him with the finest salami,

But Reg stood tall, he was firm and proud,

“No Jean, from now, on no more meat’s allowed.”

* * *

Jean took herself off to consult with her lawyer.

She sniffed: “My husband says he will only eat soya.

Now bacon sarnies have become such a no-no,

I’m wondering if it’s time that maybe he should go-go.”

* * *

Said the lawyer: “As you know, I’m here by your side,

And I’ll always support you whatever you decide.

But it’s probably fair to warn you,” he said, a little snide,

“You’ll get twenty years if you commit Reggie-cide.”

* * *

But Reg stood firm and strong in his convictions,

Despite many of Jean’s secret predictions.

In his sarnies, from now on there was never any ham,

He now only ate the finest raspberry jam.

* * *

There was trouble eating in, there were problems eating out.

“He won’t eat my roasts,” poor Jean was heard to shout,

“All those beef casseroles, he used to find so charming,

Now he only wants beans, all very alarming.”

* * *

Reg wouldn’t give in and neither would his Jean.

Reg was determined he would only eat green.

“No more animals are going in my tummy.”

“Just you wait, Reg, I’m going to tell your mummy.”

* * *

But Reg stood strong, despite an inward squirm,

It surely was time that the worm did turn,

“I’ll do it my way,” yelled Reg, shouting aloud his new truth.

“Either let me be veggie or I’ll jump off the roof.”

* * *

Now this brave action gathered rather a crowd.

They’d heard the commotion – it was terribly loud.

“I want to be a veggie,” defiantly cried Reg,

And then he missed his footing and landed head-first – splat – in a hedge.

* * *

“Oh, ok, I give in,” sighed poor, long-suffering Jean.

“Perhaps I have been just a little bit mean.

If veggie’s the way you really want to go,

Then tuck in all you want, and I won’t say no.”

* * *

And so Reggie began his grand veggie feast,

Lots of nuts, fruit and veg – even some from the East.

And no matter if he found himself in a hurry,

There was always time to rustle up a quick, veggie curry.

* * *

With chilli on the menu and roasted veg too,

Reggie felt his life now begin anew.

Supermarket shopping was no longer a chore.

Now he could eat what he wanted, he just wanted more.

* * *

A few months later, it would be Christmas it was true,

And this was when Jean really wondered what to do.

“He won’t eat turkey,” she told her sister with scorn.

“Looks like our festive meal will be rather forlorn.”

* * *

“Never mind,” said her sister, jumping with glee,

“I’ve seen something on a website,” she chuckled merrily.

“There’s a special place you can go where you can both be together,

They do delicious vegan meals and long walks among the heather.”

* * *

It’s a place in Somerset, they call it Croydon Hall,

And the food there’s so good, they can cater for all.

You won’t miss turkey with chef Nigel’s awesome fare,

You’ll be dining far better than you would anywhere.

* * *

And so it was decided, they would seek out adventures,

So they packed up their bags to head for Vegiventures.*

They cancelled the milk and boarded the cat,

They were off to enjoy themselves, that simply was that.

* * *

They arrived at Rodhuish in no time at all,

They met so many kind people, not scary at all.

And before they knew it, it was time to dine,

“You’re guaranteed a treat here, the food is sublime.”

* * *

And thanks to the workers and helpers a-plenty,

A feast was laid out there for twice times twenty,

Tasty dips, soups, a crudite or two,

Succulent seitan slices, tasty through and through.

* * *

And, as if that wasn’t enough, there were festive desserts galore,

Brandy Xmas puddings, all the trimmings and much more,

The wine was flowing, everything looked good,

Until Jean suddenly said, “Hang on, why hasn’t Reggie eaten his pud?”

* * *

She’d been so busy talking to the new friends she’d just made,

Saying how tasty the food was, how long she could have stayed,

Telling of Reggie and his dietary conversion

And how he’d sprang on her his recent meat aversion.

* * *

“But do you know I’m beginning to come round,

It’s not really so hard, if you just shop around,

And it does make more sense, from a practical point of view,

If you care about your health and the animals too.”

* * *

So imagine her surprise seeing Reg’s dishes all untouched,

Not a bite eaten, it was really too much.

“Don’t say you’re missing your turkey,” she hissed, “This holiday’s not cheapish.”

But Reg just sat there looking quite sheepish.

* * *

“Is everything ok?” queried Nigel with alarm.

“I hope my dishes haven’t caused you too much harm,

They’re all prepared with much love and heaps of devotion,

You can even go wheat-free if you have such a notion.”

* * *

“It’s not the food,” said Reg, with a sigh of contrition.

“It’s just that I’m in an embarrassing position,

I’ve booked a trip here to stay at Vegiventures,

And, in all the rush, I’ve forgotten my dentures.”

* * *

Taking sympathy then on poor old Reg,

Nigel swiftly liquidised some fresh seasonal veg.

He added some holly for charming decoration,

A caring thought which brought just a little consolation.

* * *

So here, at last, is the moral of this tale,

If you want to eat well at Xmas and never, ever fail,

Always book up early in time for Vegiventures,

And if you do come across them, please post on Reggie’s dentures.

* * *

*Vegiventures: Vegetarian and Vegan Holidays run by chef Nigel Walker www.vegiventures.com

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