Chez Viscount

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from last week:

(For the story so far, click here)

Ooh – sneaky! Come back on Wednesday to find out how he gets on.

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This comic was create with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, comics, ghost story,

Always remember the flapjacks

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from Wednesday:

(For the story so far, click here)

How indeed will he get through the front door?

Find out on Monday 😀

Have a great weekend!

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This comic was create with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, comics, ghost story,

Scrapbook

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from Monday:

(For the story so far, click here)

Oh no! What are they going to do now?! 😮

Find out on Friday 😀

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This comic was create with Comic Life by Plasq

vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, comics, ghost story,

Some kind of exorcism

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from last week:

(For the story so far, click here)

Gasp! What if they can’t save her?! Oh no! Come back Wednesday to see what happens next!

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, comics, ghost story,

Bash!

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from Wednesday:

(For the story so far, click here)

Yikes! On Monday I’ll show you what happened next 😀

Have a great weekend!

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, comics, ghost story,

Selfish

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from yesterday (for the story so far click here)

Okay – so far so good. Come back on Friday for the rest of Caitriona’s story 🙂

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid, ghost story, comics,

Oh my!

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from last week (for the story so far click here)

Uh oh – I’ve got a feeling the Viscount was not under control.

Come back tomorrow to read Caitriona’s story 😀

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

That’s what that was

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from yesterday (for the story so far click here)

My goodness! Caitriona doesn’t look at all well does she?

Find out why on Monday 😮

Have a great weekend!

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

Ghost book

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from yesterday (for the story so far click here)

What was what???!

Find out tomorrow – see you then! 😉

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

In the middle of a sentence!

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from yesterday (for the story so far click here)

Ooh, let’s leave them to enjoy their beans on toast and come back tomorrow to find out what they’re going to do to help Caitriona 😀

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

Pure evil

The English Family Anderson, Chapter 4, continues from yesterday (for the story so far click here)

😮

Poor Caitriona! Can anything be done to save her?!

Come back tomorrow to find out!

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

Bread and jam

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from yesterday:

But we still don’t know where Caitriona is! 😮 – see you tomorrow. 😀

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

Bath time?

The English Family Anderson, chapter 4, continues from yesterday:

Oh no! What’s happened to Caitriona?

Story continues tomorrow, have another great day! 😀

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, vegan ghost story, animals, animal rights, self-sufficient, off-grid,

Run for it!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To read the story from the beginning, click here

Hurrah! The Flat-Capped Menace’s plans are foiled again!

I think these guys are about to have a great day. Hope you are too! 😀

For more Marvellous Mildred, go to the Marvellous Mildred page!

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

You’re welcome

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Now you’re talking! Join us tomorrow for the happy conclusion of The Perils of Percy Peardrop, or read it here now 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Gnasher!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Diversion? What diversion? Ooh, those girls are rascals! Whatever will they do next?! 😉

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

A Tricky Tangle

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from last week. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh my goodness! Not the Super Fantastic Mechanical whatchamacallits again!

Will Mildred be able to defeat them before the Flat-Capped Menace gets there? Find out tomorrow!

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Roadworks

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Well done team! But hurry up and get Percy untied Mildred, the twins won’t be able to detain Mr Bottom for long, and the Flat-Capped Menace is heading your way. Hurry!

Percy’s story will continue on Monday. Have a great weekend! 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Time is running out for Percy!

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh come on Mildred – don’t leave us hanging! What’s your plan? Is it clever enough and will it be quick enough to save Percy from the fast slow-approaching steam roller? I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. See you then! 😉

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Dastardly

The Perils of Percy Peardrop continues from yesterday. To catch up on the story so far, click here 😀

Oh my gosh! 😮 Is Percy finished? Has the Flat-Capped Menace conquered his prey? Or will Mildred and the girls get there in time to stop him? Come back tomorrow to find out! 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Oh no! Not Super Fantastic Automatic Electronic Mechanical Clutching Machines!

Story continues from yesterday. For the story so far, click here 😀

Run for it Percy! Run for your life!!!

Will Percy be able to evade the Super Fantastic Automatic Electronic Mechanical Clutching Machines? Find out tomorrow!

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Get Percy!

Story continues from last week:

Quick girls! Run run run!!!

Will they get to Percy before the Flat-Capped Menace?! Come back tomorrow to find out 😮

If you missed the beginning, you can catch up here 😀

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Hurry Mildred, Hurry!!!

Oh my goodness! Will Mildred and the girl scout twins reach Penelope in time? Will baby Percy be caught by the despicable Mr Bottom? Will the Flat-Capped Menace fall out of his balloon basket? Come back tomorrow to find out!

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Look out Penelope!

Story continues from yesterday:

Yes Mildred! Quick! Someone is in trouble!

Will Mildred and the twins get there in time? Come back tomorrow to find out!

And if you’re new to Marvellous Mildred – here’s the first episode.

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Oh no! Watch out Percy!

Story continues from yesterday:

Oh no Percy! Don’t fall for the old apple gambit!

Come back tomorrow to see what happens next! 😀

And if you’re new to Marvellous Mildred – here’s the first episode.

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vegan, vegan children, vegan comic, vegan children’s story, animals, pigs, animal rescue,

Crustaceans to colour and protect!

UPDATE: The result of Defra’s independent review of decapod sentience is due imminently, and the outcome will be crucial for moving towards legislation. Crustacean Compassion are working hard to prepare. The best thing you can do right now is make sure you’re following their social media channels, like and share their posts (Crustacean Compassion Facebook and @crab_welfare Twitter) and are subscribed to their emails (sign up via their website) so that as soon as they release their action you are ready to take part! Keep an eye out as once Defra release their outcome, they’ll need you immediately!

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Download and colour these lovely pictures of crustaceans and then scroll down to see how you can protect them in real life 😀

Crustacean Compassion is an award-winning animal welfare organisation dedicated to the humane treatment of decapod crustaceans. They are a group of animal welfare professionals who are shocked by the inhumane treatment of crabs, lobsters, prawns and crayfish, particularly in the food industry, given what is now known about their sentience. They founded the organisation when they heard that crabs were being sold alive fully immobilised in shrinkwrap in UK supermarkets, and that the RSPCA were powerless to act as the animals are not covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. It is also legal, and commonplace, in the UK for crustaceans to be boiled or dismembered/cut while still alive.

Inhumane Slaughter Methods

All of the following methods have been described as inhumane by the EU’s Animal Health and Welfare Scientific Panel:

  • Live boiling. During this process lobsters and crabs thrash, try to escape, and shed their limbs, known to be a sign of stress. Crustaceans, unlike us and other animals, are not able to go into shock and lose consciousness to protect themselves from extreme pain. A crab can take 3 minutes to die in boiling water.
  • Chilling in the freezer/ice slurry before live boiling. There is no evidence to suggest that this induces anaesthesia rather than just paralysis. Roth and Øines find that chilling is often slow and ineffective. Keeping live lobsters on ice has been banned in Switzerland and Italy. (Roth, B. and Øines, S., 2010. Stunning and killing of edible crabs (Cancer pagurus), Animal Welfare, Volume 19, Number 3, August 2010 , pp. 287-294(8). Universities Federation for Animal Welfare)
  • Live carving / dismemberment. Whilst some uses of the knife may be more humane than others (see the RSPCA’s guide), it is vital that the correct nerve chains are severed quickly. In particular, lobsters must be severed lengthways all the way down the body. All too often this is not the case, with chefs claiming splitting the head of a chilled lobster kills him instantly. This method is highly likely to cause pain – even if the animals have been previously chilled to a torpor.

*

Crustacean Compassion engage with legislators and policy makers to strengthen and enforce animal welfare law and policy. They work to persuade and enable companies to sell higher welfare products across their shellfish product ranges. And they seek to educate both the public and policy makers on the science of decapod crustacean sentience and on their humane treatment and care.

Sign Crustacean Compassion’s petition to get crustaceans included in the Animal Welfare Act 2006! This would mean that anyone farming them, storing them or slaughtering them must abide by basic animal welfare rules – providing enough food, decent water quality, protection from pain and suffering, and humane slaughter methods.

Other countries including New Zealand, Austria, Norway and Switzerland include decapod crustaceans in their animal welfare legislation in the food preparation and restaurant trade. Their decisions are based on scientific evidence of the animals’ ability to feel pain and suffer, dating as far back as the 1990s; and they have largely taken a common sense approach to prevent unnecessary suffering where doubt still exists. For example:

  • the sale of live creatures to the general public is prohibited
  • chefs or other slaughterers must have a certificate of competence and prevent unnecessary suffering
  • decapods must be appropriately housed, in good quality water
  • they must be cared for in a way which prevents injuries and disease
  • their conditions must allow for ‘species-specific behaviour’

Until decapod crustaceans are included under the definition of ‘animal’ in welfare legislation, the UK government is not obliged to draw up guidelines for their humane slaughter. This means that even where restaurants and supermarkets want to do the right thing*, it’s not easy to find guidance.

That’s why Crustacean Compassion points to guidance from RSPCA Australia who recommend electrical stunning/slaughter (using special equipment) as the quickest and most humane method. The Crustastun renders the animals unconscious in half a second, killing them in less than ten. It is available for restaurants and for larger volume shellfish processors.

Maybe you could share this information with your local restaurant or supermarket? Thank you ❤

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*the right thing is of course to go fully vegan but in the context of Crustacean Compassion‘s campaign it means ‘to kill quickly and humanely’.

Drawings for colouring are by OpenClipart-Vectors of pixabay.com

Live Transport Consultation – time’s running out!

The RSPCA has made it easy for us to contribute to the UK Government’s consultation about their proposed end to live transport. They’re asking for the opinion of a lot of farmers who will argue for its continuation so we’ve got to make sure they know how many people are desperate for it to end.

You can click here for the RSPCA’s quick response to key questions in the consultation that you can copy and paste into an email to AnimalWelfare.Consultations@defra.gov.uk

Or you can fill in the complete consultation questionnaire here on DEFRA’s website. There’s quite a few questions but many of us non-farmers will just answer N/A (not applicable) to many of them.

When I began it, I tried to follow the RSPCA suggestions but I soon found I could no longer pretend to agree that it was okay to transport animals to their deaths at all. I know this is a consultation to end live transport and not to end animal farming altogether, but I felt that surely it must be worth making the point that there is no justification for any animal farming in the first place. It might make an impression if enough of us say it. Anyway, if you want to speed up the process of answering the full DEFRA questionnaire, you’re welcome to copy my answers:

Remember – the consultation closes on the 28th of January, so don’t wait too long!

Thank you ❤

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Go vegan!

LUV4ALL: Mother Earth Warns! Wake Up Your COMPASSION

More from Love Unity Voice magazine issue 3 – by Racine Hiet:

Until we, the human collective, fully awaken–from within our hearts–to acknowledge the Absolute Truth that we are One with ALL Life, ONLY then can we ensure the survival of Mother Earth and her Universal Family.

To evolve to the inner consciousness of ONENESS means living with the full understanding that ALL Life is sacred and must be treated that way.

ONLY then can we bring our normalized violence–which separates and targets any being, human or nonhuman, deemed “NOT LIKE US” and therefore, “LESS THAN US” – to an end.

ONLY then can sustainable social change take place – in our outer world – to ensure that institutionally oppressed INDIVIDUAL lives matter. To transform systematic racism, sexism, heterosexism, speciesism, transphobia, etc., we, the human collective, must now awaken within us a new COMPASSION for ALL that will reflect an inclusive culture, honouring the interconnectedness of life.

“The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world.” Paul Farmer

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

ONLY Compassion for ALL Beings can create a culture of Peace on Earth.

Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.” The State of Being Compassionate involves allowing oneself to be moved by suffering, so that we experience the motivation to help alleviate and prevent it.

Compassion can ONLY be manifested by daily NON-VIOLENT choices and actions. And that includes standing up against ALL Injustice.

In Dr. Will Tuttle’s book, The World Peace Diet, he reveals the invisible attitudes we ingest at every meal by the relentless and routine killing of animals for food. Our inherent wisdom and compassion, he says, is brutally suppressed as our culture’s mentality of violence and disconnectedness is injected into our meal rituals of animal-derived food.

If we, the human collective, continue to live much of our daily lives by rote behaviour passed down through the ages, from parent to child, disconnected from our True Nature as we separate ourselves from the diversity of Life – which includes other human and nonhuman animals alike – and abandoning Mother Earth herself, our compartmentalized existence will NEVER sustain a world worth living in for ALL.

Until we choose to awaken our hearts to the INTENTION of Compassion for ALL who share our Home [Planet], with daily NON-VIOLENT actions aligned to that conviction, ONLY then will our chaotic, violent culture slowly begin to change our current reality.

Therefore, Veganism must be the necessary FIRST step to deprogram ourselves from centuries of archaic human conditioning that has indoctrinated us to believe in, and fully accept, the Paradigm of OPPRESSION in our culture.

“A revolution of the heart,” says Gary L. Francione, is required. “What I mean by that is that we must reject all ideologies of domination and power, whether religious or secular, that allow us to transform sentient beings—human or nonhuman—into the ‘other,’ thereby allowing us to ignore their moral value and to treat them as things. We must embrace nonviolence as a basic normative principle—a principle that we see as reflecting a moral truth.”

Compassion for ALL understands that “Thou Shall Not Killmeans ALL sentient beings, for we are all valued members of Mother Earth’s Universal Family. “FARM” ANIMALS ARE SENTIENT BEINGS. FISH ARE SENTIENT BEINGS. RATS AND MICE ARE SENTIENT BEINGS. PITBULLS and “RACE” HORSES ARE SENTIENT BEINGS. WILDLIFE ARE SENTIENT BEINGS. THE HOMELESS, HUMAN AND NONHUMAN, ARE SENTIENT BEINGS.

And YOU and YOU and YOU across the globe, no matter the body you live in, no matter the skin color, the age, the race, the nation, the culture, the economic class, no matter the sexual orientation, the gender, the physical or mental disability, the spiritual or religious belief. And no matter the species. For here is the diverse beauty of our interconnectedness.

Click here to read the rest of this piece.

Four activists charged for exposing criminal animal cruelty

I want to share with you another story from LoveUnityVoice magazine, so I will! Read on –

Bright and early on April 28, 2019, Amy Soranno and around 200 other activists stormed Excelsior Hog Farm in Abbotsford, BC, Canada. They occupied the farm, sitting with the caged pregnant pigs, for approximately 7 hours. Eventually they successfully negotiated with the farm to allow the media inside and documented the realities farmed pigs are forced to endure. This was Canada’s first Meat The Victims action.

What the activists saw will haunt them forever. The distress, the sounds, the stench, and the suffering was unlike anything they had witnessed before. The pigs, who had never experienced fresh air, grass, or sunlight, were confined in a dark, dirty, concrete dungeon, unable to move or do anything that comes naturally to them. There were dead bodies scattered throughout the farm, and dumpsters full of dead pigs and piglets outside of the barns. The psychological distress the pigs exhibited was obvious, and the physical pain was overwhelmingly apparent. Blood, cuts and open wounds were seen everywhere.

As you might expect, the Abbotsford Police Department took action. But not against Excelsior Hog Farm. Despite documented criminal animal cruelty taking place there, including footage of workers kicking pigs, using electric prods on the faces of pigs, and tail-docking & castrating distressed piglets without anaesthetic, the Abbotsford PD were only interested in going after the activists who exposed the hidden cruelty.

On November 2, 2020 – The Excelsior 4 attended their second court hearing. Amy Soranno, Nick Schafer, Roy Sasano, and Geoff Regier are facing an outrageous 21 indictable offences of Break and Enter and Mischief. They pled not guilty to all charges. If convicted, they could face years in prison, with each Break and Enter carrying the potential of 10 years in jail.

“No legal repercussions could ever compare to what farmed animals endure – including the pigs who were repeatedly hit, kicked, brutally mutilated, and so much more at Excelsior,” said Amy Soranno.

The Excelsior 4 want to use their prosecution to raise awareness. They are taking every opportunity to challenge public perception, and the legal system, surrounding farmed animals. These activists are challenging the lack of transparency and accountability within the animal agriculture industry, and hope to generate much-needed positive change for exploited animals. This is a huge opportunity to bring these issues to the forefront and they urgently need our support.

Share their story far and wide, and click here to support the four activists’ legal defence.

Thank you.

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vegan, animals, animal rights, animal farming, pigs, law, legal, activism,

You are what you eat, or something like that.

I’m thrilled to tell you that issue 3 of the LUV4All (Love Unity Voice) magazine is out now and free to read here. It’s full of wonderful articles by wonderful people and I’ve been given permission to share it with you. First up is something by Dr Will Tuttle that’s right on the money!

COVID-19: Our Banquet of Consequences, by Dr Will Tuttle.

“Everybody, soon or late, sits down to a banquet of consequences.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

The spinning fury at the core of our culture, animal agriculture, not only exploits and destroys the lives and purposes of animals, it does the same to humans as well, and we see this playing out now with this draconian lockdown of healthy people, eroding mental health, human rights, and economic independence, and destroying countless small and medium businesses (including vegan ones).

In my lectures over the years, I’ve described animal agriculture as a Trojan horse: on the surface it appears to be a helpful gift, but on closer examination, and with deeper understanding, we see clearly that it is an utterly harmful force in our individual and collective lives, incessantly damaging the health of our ecosystems and society, as well as our physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

Animal agriculture is also the hidden cause of the COVID pandemic, and of the dominant narrative that is imprisoning billions of people in fear and confusion in their homes, and eroding our capacity to speak up and defend our basic freedoms. We are reaping the harvest that we have been sowing for decades and centuries. This is our banquet of consequences. Our culture has created a vast system of animal enslavement that heartlessly condemns billions of sentient beings — whose interests are as significant to them as ours are to us — to lives of misery, terror, and pain. Their purposes are stolen and they are reduced to mere material units of production in a rapacious economic system that sells them by the pound. They are impregnated on rape racks, their offspring immediately stolen, exploited, and killed, and all are forcibly vaccinated and drugged, tracked, microchipped, mercilessly mutilated and oppressed, and brutally killed in an unnecessary, ugly, surreal prison-world devoid of meaning and respect. Animal agriculture defines our society.

Those of us who purchase the flesh and secretions of these unfortunate beings, which is most of humanity worldwide, are the causal forces propelling this system ever onward with the flood of money we spend — votes we cast — driving its ongoing and reckless devastation. Thus, as we persist in engineering and imposing a dystopian future on billions of beings, we now see the gaping maw of a dystopian future looming before our eyes. Mandatory confinement, separation of family members, loss of basic freedoms, forced vaccinations, routine microchipping, mass tracking and surveillance: all these standard factory-farm practices are now being openly discussed and planned by health officials, pharmaceutical representatives, and government agencies. What we relentlessly inflict on farmed animals we see manifesting in our human world, and, ironically, we seem powerless and strangely uninspired to stop it.

Why is this? Why are we so unable to see the obvious and respond with clarity, vitality, and solidarity to these insidious existential dangers to us and to our children? Why are we immobilized by fear and mesmerized by the voices of authority, unable to connect with either our intuitive wisdom or to think critically about our situation? Why the nearly-blind allegiance to mainstream media narratives and medical-pharmaceutical forces that we should by now have learned to question? Why do we find those relative few who dare to speak up and question the dominant COVID narrative to be so threatening?

It is because animal agriculture not only exploits animals, it exploits us. As we exploit and abuse, we will be exploited and abused. Each one of us, as we purchase meat, dairy, or egg products, becomes an invisible killer to the cows, pigs, hens, and fishes we are exploiting. We directly but invisibly cause terror, pain, and death, and we compound it further by eating it and feeding it to our vulnerable and innocent children, ritually indoctrinating them as we were. We are the invisible killers, but we repress this awareness, and project it outward, impulsively terrified of invisible killers, which seem to be everywhere.

We spend billions on military defense to protect ourselves from lurking terrorists, and now are even more frightened by microscopic enemies, the hordes of viruses, pathogens, and other unseen agents of death arising and projected from our unfaced violence.

This is our shadow: our repressed awareness, guilt, and shame, propelling us to give our power away to authorities in the vain hope they will protect us. At war with animals, nature, and each other, we make war on invisible viruses as well, completely failing to understand them in our fear-based materialist delusion. We see and suspect enemies and threats everywhere because we are the enemies and threats, and our fear sends us into the waiting arms of the merciless global conglomerates, who provide both the narrative and the toxic “solution.” They will profit from us more in power even than in dollars. They have purchased both media and government, and we find ourselves, the wounded and programmed dominators of animals, increasingly dominated by impersonal forces beyond our control.

There is but one way to human freedom, and to a world of health and harmony, and that is the way of ahimsa — non-harmfulness to other beings — a vegan world of respect for all. We will be worthy of understanding and appreciating ourselves and everyone on this beautiful and abundant planet when we dismantle the entrenched narrative of human superiority and entitlement. A new story is yearning to be born in our human culture. It has ancient roots, and this current emergency (emerge-and-see), if we respond appropriately, can put us on a higher path of liberation and healing.

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Click here for the conclusion of this article and links to more of Dr Tuttle’s writing.

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Despite the fact that animal farming is the cause of COVID-19 and a myriad of other preventable infectious diseases; despite the fact that animal products weaken the body’s immune system; and that deficiency in the intake of whole grains, fruits, nuts, legumes, seeds and vegetables leads to degenerative diseases, we see daily, evidence that the general public have not been told how to protect themselves against the pandemic. My jaw drops as I pass the long lines of cars – people exercising their right to shop for basic necessities during lockdown – queuing to order ‘food’ at the McDonald’s drive-thru. It’s so long it goes all the way across McDonald’s car park and that of the neighbouring superstore, out onto the road and right up to the roundabout where it causes a traffic jam. It’s like most people are in The Matrix and they don’t want to take the red pill.

SIGN PETITION to support government’s proposed BAN ON LIVE EXPORTS.

The UK government has unveiled plans to ban the export of live animals for slaughter and fattening.

The proposals form part of an eight-week consultation, launched by Defra secretary George Eustice in England and Wales on Thursday (3 December 2020), seeking views on how to better protect animal welfare during transport.

“We are committed to improving the welfare of animals at all stages of life. Today marks a major step forward in delivering on our manifesto commitment to end live exports for slaughter,” said Mr Eustice. “Now that we have left the EU, we have an opportunity to end this unnecessary practice. We want to ensure that animals are spared stress prior to slaughter.”

This is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC NEWS but we must remember that nothing is definite yet. This is just a consultation and the government is also consulting on alternative proposals to further improve welfare for all animals in transport. These include:

  • Reduced maximum journey times
  • Animals being given more space and headroom during transport
  • Stricter rules on transporting animals in extreme temperatures
  • Tighter rules for transporting live animals by sea.

That’s why it’s vital we act now!

We have to let the government know just how much support there is for an outright ban of live exports.

The National Farmers Union (NFU) are saying that live exports are an “important trade option for farmers” and wants Defra to consider its alternative plan for an assurance scheme to “ensure all animals travel in the best possible conditions and that they arrive at the approved and final destination in the best possible health”.

If we don’t shout louder and harder than those farmers, we could miss out on this amazing and unprecedented opportunity.

TELL THE GOVERNMENT THAT NOTHING SHORT OF AN OUTRIGHT BAN IS GOOD ENOUGH!

Sign Compassion in World Farming’s petition NOW!

And please PLEASE share

Thank you ❤

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vegan, animals, live transport, animal rights, animal protection, end live transport

Stop them killing sharks for vaccines!

Post from National Geographic by JUSTIN MENEGUZZI

Trawling for prey at more than a thousand feet under the surface, scalloped hammerhead sharks rely on a special oil in their livers to survive the crushing pressures of the deep.

Shark liver oil, or squalene, is a fatty substance that provides vital buoyancy for this critically endangered species and many others. But it’s also used by humans as a boosting agent in vaccines, called an adjuvant, that improves the immune system and makes vaccines more effective.

As the world’s pharmaceutical companies scramble to create a vaccine for COVID-19, at least five of the 202 vaccine candidates rely on squalene sourced from wild-caught sharks.

One candidate is a vaccine developed in Australia by University of Queensland, in partnership with the Australian biopharmaceutical company CSL and its subsidiary Seqirus. The as yet unnamed vaccine contains the squalene adjuvant MF59, which is sourced from a variety of shark species. It entered human clinical trials earlier this year and, if successful, will result in an initial production of 51 million doses.

Tens of millions of sharks are caught and traded internationally each year—both legally and illegally—the majority for their meat and fins but roughly three million or more for their squalene. It takes the livers of between 2,500 and 3,000 sharks to extract about a ton of squalene.

Conservationists fear that increased demand for squalene for vaccines, among other uses, could further imperil shark species, a third of which are vulnerable to extinction.

“This is an unsustainable demand to place on a finite natural resource like sharks,” says Stefanie Brendl, founder and executive director of Shark Allies, a California-based conservation non-profit.

Only about one percent of squalene ends up in vaccines, and most goes into cosmetics such as sunscreen, skin creams, and moisturisers. Even so, as the global population booms, the need for vaccines will only increase in coming years, Brendl notes, adding that some medical experts suggest that people will require multiple doses of vaccines against COVID-19.

“We’re not saying that vaccine trials should stop, but if we keep viewing sharks as an easy solution and don’t consider the alternatives that exist, then we’ll just continue to use [squalene] as a template for vaccines,” Brendl says.

In light of declining shark populations, some biotech companies are looking for other sources of squalene. Plants such as sugarcane, olives, amaranth seeds, and rice bran, for instance, all contain the substance. While plant-based alternatives are being tested in studies and clinical trials, regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have yet to approve them as part of a final vaccine product.

Brendl says the onus is on pharmaceutical companies to begin developing viable alternatives to shark squalene to present to regulators. She points out that Novavax, an American vaccine-development company, is already using an alternative squalene adjuvant, Matrix-M, in clinical trials for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Matrix-M is made from the bark of the soapbark tree, which is abundant in Chile.

Though the company has deemed the soapbark adjuvant as safe, it has not yet been evaluated as part of a final product submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

However, the Infectious Disease Research Institute found that pharmaceutical-grade squalene produced by the American biotechnology company Amyris met, and in some cases exceeded, the safety and purity profiles of shark-based squalene, according to Chris Paddon, Amyris’s lead scientist.

Amyris is banking on sugarcane as a solution to shark-based squalene, he says. In southeastern Brazil, the company is growing thousands of acres of the bamboo-like sugarcane to be processed into squalene. Just 24 acres of sugarcane could, in theory, produce enough squalene to support one billion COVID-19 vaccines.

Because growers can control the way sugarcane is grown and harvested, it’s possible to ensure the quality of the squalene, Paddon says. “When you use animal products, there are impurities that come with them because of the environment they’re raised in and the places where they’re processed.” Furthermore, Paddon says, growing sugarcane is also cheaper than catching sharks and removing their livers.

Sign this Shark Allies petition demanding that the US/FDA (Food and Drug Administration of the United States of America), the UK/MHRA (The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency of the United Kingdom), the EU/EMA (The European Medicines Agency), the National Medical Products Administration of China, and all vaccine producing companies use non-animal squalene in all vaccines.

Thank you ❤

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animals, vegan, animal rights, animal protection, fish, sharks, oceans, covid-19, flu, flu vaccine, health,

4 DAYS TO SAVE 38 TOURIST ELEPHANTS FROM HORROR!

This post from JaneUnchained

YOU CAN SAVE 38 TOURIST ELEPHANTS FROM HORROR!

COVID-19 brought tourism to a halt in Thailand and put tourist elephants in danger of a fate worse than death! Many elephants and their handlers (mahouts) were forced to walk back to their villages but, at the camps on the route home, there was no food or work. It was heartbreaking to see and even harder to imagine that these gentle elephants would probably be forced back to work in the illegal logging industry once they reached the villages. While elephant rides involve tremendous cruelty, being forced into the logging trade is a ring even lower in the hellish inferno of animal abuse.

The Pandemic Is a Once in a Lifetime Chance to Save Pachyderms!
CLICK HERE NOW!

Facing such urgency, Thailand’s elephant lovers put on their thinking caps, scrambling to come up with a way to keep these innocent elephants from being sold into the unimaginably harsh logging trade. The new non-profit Gentle Giants was born, in partnership with Save Elephant Foundation whose founder, Lek Saengduean Chailert, is a world-renowned conservationist and elephant expert.

PARENT AN ELEPHANT FOR JUST $4 A MONTH! TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

On May 3rd, 2020, after walking for 3 days, a herd of 11 elephants reached their village. The tribe welcomed their elephants with open arms and so much love. For many of the elephants, like 7-month-old Lanna, it was their first time in the village. For others, like Mae Jaa who is the eldest elephant of the group, it was returning to a home she had left long ago.

The rescue group started with 11 elephants. In three short months, it was 38. They are trying to bring another 20 elephants in so they won’t be sold to the logging industry. There are hundreds of elephants in need. Many are being sold into the illegal logging business and to Chinese businesses. We must make sure that, when the tourism borders open, none of these elephants are sent to the circus or to beg on the streets. Gentle Giants is creating a beautiful ripple effect; a chain of love. They are not only helping the elephants, but their caretakers, the villages, local farmers, farm pickers, truck drivers, contractors, supply stores, etc.

THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!

For just $4 dollars a month, or 50.00 dollars a year, you can sponsor Baby Lanna or any other of the gentle giants. By sponsoring these gentle giants, you are supporting them to remain home and out of the tourist and/or logging industry. Your sponsorship will give these gentle giants the opportunity to stay within the forest roaming free among their own. Each elephant has their own story and personality. Your sponsorship will go towards food, care, medical treatment and their mahout’s wages.

THE PRICE OF A CUP OF COFFEE A MONTH TO SAVE AN ELEPHANT!

Your sponsorship will include a Sponsorship Certificate, a photo of your sponsored elephant and a Gentle Giants personalized sponsorship badge, which you may use as your social media profile picture. Your sponsorship will keep these Gentle Giants in the forest and their natural habitat. They will be able to enjoy their lives as elephants; roaming free with their herd, their family. Their days of long hours walking under the scorching heat with tourists on their backs will have been left behind. Now, no chains will clank around their feet. You are saving these beautiful Gentle Giants and helping the community coexist and thrive with them. It also makes a great gift!

Thank you ❤ xx

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter 7 read aloud

More chapters out loud coming soon 😀

All the Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er stories are available in paperback and free to read here !

*****

vegan storybook, vegan books for children, short stories, books on tape, audiobooks, children’s books, animal rights,

Megan & Flos #6: Corruption

As soon as Megan returns home from her adventures in space in episode 5, she receives a plea for help from a friend who is a volunteer at the local animal sanctuary. Something very strange is happening that doesn’t make any sense.

Megan agrees to help with the investigation into the sanctuary’s new management which reveals something highly unexpected.

Something dodgy is going on and, if Megan and friends don’t put a stop to it, the consequences will be dire.

Megan & Flos is an old-fashioned adventure comic for kids. Recommended for children aged 8 and up. There’s also a wordsearch puzzle at the end.

Format: Paperback 33 pages, colour interior, dimensions: 8.5 x 11 in / 216 x 279 mm, vegan children’s book suitable for ages 8 and up.

£3.00 in UK. Prices may vary depending on where it’s printed.

Ships worldwide from international printer lulu.com

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Comments from the web:

“OMG!!!!!! this is one of the best stories ever!! If you have read the others, every single second of this story will keep you tied on your seat and hats off to the illustrators who really did great illustrations. if you love conspiracy packed mysteries then you will really fall in love with this story…get on and read it, it’s really excellent.!!” – cwdoesmylaundry

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vegan, vegan comic, vegan children, vegan children’s book, vegan children’s story, animals, animal rights, animal welfare,

The Two Little Pigs in hardback

I’m sure I must have told you that The Two Little Pigs is available in paperback but what’s new is that you can now get it in hardback!

This would make a beautiful vegan birthday present for a little one who likes stories about animals 😀

And with that we wish you many happy storytimes ❤

The Two Little Pigs

is available in hardback for £12.50,

*

in paperback for £3.50,

*

and can be read for free right here 😀

Have a great day! 😀

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Prices correct at time of writing.

vegan, vegan storybook, vegan books, vegan children, vegan children’s books, juvenile fiction, vegan fiction, vegan rhyming story, books, stories, vegan children’s stories, animals, animal rights,

 

The Great Escape

For the story from the beginning, click here 😀

Well done Mildred!

Mildred and friends will be back to rescue more animals in the future.

Make sure you follow the blog so that you don’t miss it 😀

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This comic was created with Comic Life by Plasq

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vegan, vegan comic, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, cow, calf, cartoon, vegan children’s story, vegan fiction, children’s comic, vegan children’s comic, vegan children

Wait!!!

Oh no!  Will Mildred get Daisy out in time? 😮

Or is the Flat-Capped Menace going to go back in and find them? 😮

Find out tomorrow!

or read the rest of the story now 😉

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This comic was created with Comic Life by Plasq

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vegan, vegan comic, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, cow, calf, cartoon, vegan children’s story, vegan fiction, children’s comic, vegan children’s comic, vegan children

Hurry Mildred!

Story continues from yesterday:

Come on Girl Scout Twins – think of something! 😮

Come back tomorrow to see what they come up with

or read the rest of the story now 😉

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This comic was created with Comic Life by Plasq

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vegan, vegan comic, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, cow, calf, cartoon, vegan children’s story, vegan fiction, children’s comic, vegan children’s comic, vegan children

The Flat-Capped Menace’s Lair

Story continues from yesterday:

Yay!  Mildred’s going in!  Join us tomorrow to find out what happens,

or if you don’t want to wait, you can read the whole story now 😀

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This comic was created with Comic Life by Plasq

***

vegan, vegan comic, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, cow, calf, cartoon, vegan children’s story, vegan fiction, children’s comic, vegan children’s comic, vegan children

Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins. Episode 1 starts here!

Oh no!  Hurry Mildred!

Will they get there in time to save Daisy?

Join us tomorrow to see what happens next,

or if you don’t want to wait, you can read the whole story now 😀

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This comic was created with Comic Life by Plasq

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vegan, vegan comic, animals, animal rights, animal rescue, cow, calf, cartoon, vegan children’s story, vegan fiction, children’s comic, vegan children’s comic, vegan children

New Penelope Pitstop-esque story starts on Monday!

We used to love the old Penelope Pitstop cartoons and Miranda thought it would be great fun to make something similar.

So she did! 😀

She made Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins!

So, instead of the Ant Hill Mob:

there’s Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins:

And instead of Penelope Pitstop being pursued by the Hooded Claw:

There’s Daisy Dewdrop:

being pursued by the Flat-Capped Menace:

This story’s got it all!

An evil villain with elaborate schemes and contraptions, the defenceless innocents on whom he preys, and the fearless protectors who outwit him in their daring rescues.

Don’t miss Marvellous Mildred and the Girl Scout Twins by Miranda Lemon.

Starts here on Monday! 😀

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vegan, vegan comic, children’s comic, cartoons, vintage cartoons, animals, animal rescue, humour, children’s story,

 

Frivolous Magic – ‘When There Were Witches’ concludes

When There Were Witches continues from yesterday:

***

The twins stayed up half the night changing the colour of everything in the house. They put different coloured floorboards in every room, with ceilings to match. They made the roof tiles blue to match the sky, and the outside walls green to match the grass. They changed the colours of their clothes and their bed sheets and both umbrellas. They tried to change their hair colours but that didn’t work. Their hair was essential to who they were. Bertha was red, Brynja was yellow. Nothing could change that.

A little after 4am they collapsed on Brynja’s bed, exhausted and happy.

“I see why you like doing it.” Bertha smiled, “It feels really nice.”

Really nice,” agreed Brynja, “but you’re right, it is a bit frivolous.” They both laughed. “Tomorrow, we should do spells from the Garden chapter!”

*

By the anniversary of their mother’s departure, the twins were not only proficient at many of the spells in the book, they had learned to make up their own. They wrote a spell to do the dishes, another to sweep the floor. They used magic to plant seeds and water them. They used magic to pick the fruit. They even used magic to cook the dinner. Whatever needed to be done when they didn’t feel like doing it, was done with magic. That left them with a lot of time on their hands.

“I’m bored,” said Brynja.

“Do some painting. It’s fun!” Bertha was painting a portrait of one of their frequent visitors, a pig called Alfred. “Alfred. Alfred, tt-tt-tt – look at me please darling, I’m trying to do your eyes.”

Brynja scrunched up her nose. “Naa. I don’t see the point. I could do it better with magic.”

“Well it doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact I think it’s nicer if …”

Circumlinisti stibio verus Alfred!”

Alfred vanished.

Bertha gasped. “Alfred! … Where did he go?”

“Here he is!” Brynja, grinning, held up a beautifully framed painting of Alfred which was faultlessly realistic.

Bertha was stunned. “That’s amaz-ing … did he just blink?” Her sister laughed. “Is that Alfred? Did you turn him into a painting?!” Bertha did not think it was funny. “Change him back! You’re frightening him!”

“He’s fine.”

“Change him back! Now!”

Brynja muttered a few more words in Latin and Alfred was back on the armchair momentarily before dropping to the floor and leaving the house.

“How could you do that?” Bertha was really angry.

“He’ll be back tomorrow, you can finish your painting then.”

“I don’t care about the painting! How could you do that to Alfred? He must have been petrified! How would you like it if …?”

“Oh will you, chill, out!”

Bertha glared.

“I didn’t hurt him. He probably doesn’t even have any memory of it. He’s fine!” Brynja left the room and slammed the door behind her.

The following morning at breakfast the atmosphere was still frosty. Both witches ate their toast in silence.

Refresh!” Bertha opened the window.

Clausa fenestrae.” Brynja closed it.

Bertha scowled. “You’re such a … witch!”

“Ha! Good one!”

Bertha took another bite of toast and tried to take the high road. But the low road beckoned. “What’s with the Latin all of a sudden? You’re such a show off!”

Brynja smiled coldly. “Just wanted a new challenge I guess, since I’ve mastered the magic.” There was a wicked glint in her eye as she slowly pushed the toast rack across the table. “You can have this, I don’t want any more,” and she left the room.

They didn’t speak to each other for the rest of the day. The next morning Brynja slept in so Bertha had breakfast on her own. Brynja had hers a couple of hours later which meant they weren’t ready for lunch at the same time, or dinner. The distance between them expanded. Eventually, almost a week after the painting incident, Alfred came back to see Bertha.

She could tell right away that he was troubled and, with a swift and gentle magic word, “Speak,” she enabled him to tell her exactly what was on his mind. He warned her that Brynja was upsetting the balance of nature. For her own amusement, she had taken possession of the forest and filled it with plants and animals who didn’t belong there, forcing out those who had always called it home. He feared for the future and told her what she already knew – that Brynja must be stopped.

Bertha finally understood why her mother had kept the spell book from them. Magic had made Brynja arrogant and selfish. She had separated herself from nature and the other beings with whom she shared the world. Magic had made her think she was better than everyone else. But what was more worrying was that Bertha had not been sent the pain when Brynja broke the law. The one law, do naught to others which, if done to thee, would cause thee pain, did not apply to witches.

Bertha rushed upstairs to find the spell book and turned straight to the last chapter: Discipline Spells. There was the spell Ermendrud had taught them, To Punish A Law Breaker, and one other – A Last Resort. The spell’s introduction explained that a witch without self-control was the most dangerous threat a world could face and must be stopped at all costs. Bertha was sickened by detailed descriptions of horrors which had happened on other worlds where errant witches had gone unchecked. Only she could protect her world from such an outcome.

With heavy heart she collected the ingredients needed for the spell: a lock of Brynja’s hair from Mother’s locket, and a black rose. Then she went to find her sister.

Brynja was in the meadow, using magic to make a herd of deer run races for her amusement.

“Please don’t do that,” Bertha tried one more time to appeal to her sister’s better nature.

Brynja turned and scowled. “I want to do it, so I will!”

Bertha was sad. “Why are you doing this? You never used to be like this. Magic’s made you mean.”

“What do you know about magic? You’ve only just dipped your toe in the water. If you embraced it like I have you’d know how small your life is.”

“My life is full. It’s balanced. Yours is dangerous. You are dangerous, and if you don’t stop now, I’ll be forced to stop you.”

“Will you?” Brynja asked with a smirk.

“Yes,” said Bertha sadly, “if you won’t stop now I’ll stop you permanently.”

Brynja threw back her head and laughed. “I’m bored of listening to you now,” and, with a flourish, “Silence!”

In the second before Brynja’s spell hit her, Bertha rubbed a handful of her own hair against the black rose behind her back and whispered the magic word, “Sacrifice!” A moment later she was nothing but a scattering of poppy seeds in the grass.

“Nooo!” Brynja’s heart-rending cry filled the sky. “Bertha! Come back! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do it!” She dropped to her knees and sobbed. “Please Bertha, please come back. I’ll be good – I promise! Pleease Bertha, please come back!” With her prayer left unanswered, she tried desperately to resurrect Bertha with magic. “Veni domum! Come back! Revive! Resurrect! Revivesco!

Bertha, unable to bring herself to take her sister’s life, had sacrificed herself in a way that she hoped would fill Brynja with such regret that she would, ever after, restrain her own excessive and frivolous use of magic. What she didn’t anticipate was just how damaging that regret would be.

Thinking that her own selfish and unnecessary abuse of magic had killed her sister, Brynja tore into her house in a violent rage against all magic. Unable to find the spell book where she’d left it, she commanded it to appear before her.

Ego legere magicae ex hoc mundo!” In that moment the spell book was banished and with it all of Brynja’s magic.

She still feels the pain every time someone breaks the law, but she can’t cast the spell to punish them.  So the world has been left to the mercy of people who no longer fear the wrath of a benevolent witch and often don’t take care to do as they would be done by.  I’m sure you know what kind of a world that is.

A sad ending 😦 I’m sorry,

but if you want a happy ending check out the other stories on the fairy tales page 😀

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vegan, vegan fairy tale, vegan story, vegan children’s story, juvenile fiction,

Making dairy farming a thing of the past, one farm at a time.

It’s easy to feel hopeless with the state of the world as it is.  Every year it gets hotter, animal suffering increases, and the powers that be do nothing to address it.  In fact they continue to subsidise it.

But then something comes along to really lift your spirits.

Refarm’d is a new plant-based drink subscription service, sourced lovingly from ex-dairy farmers.

They say:

WE HAVE THIS CRAZY IDEA

We want to turn all dairy farms into animal sanctuaries and we need you to convince these farmers to join the movement. 

We work with farmers to transition from milk production to focus on producing plant based drinks and convert their farmland into an animal sanctuary.

We believe that by uniting together with farmers and providing them with the tools they need to move away from the dairy trade, we’re offering a viable new opportunity for their businesses to be part of the growing plant based movement.

We will assist the ex-dairy farms to sustainably and locally source the ingredients to produce plant based drinks on their farms. The farmers’ land will be converted into an animal sanctuary for their cattle that are no longer being used for dairy farming.

Show your interest (no payment, no commitment) in buying fresh plant-based drinks from them and let us do the rest!

As much as the animal agriculture is terrible on multiple aspects, – [the animal suffering, the environmental destruction, the damage to human health] –  we cannot forget the farmers in these industries as well.

We believe the big majority of farmers are good people, that do care for their animals, but have just grown in an environment that normalizes animal exploitation so it has become a part of their identity, making it hard to take a step back and make changes.

The industry is in danger and most big companies have noticed it and adapt to the new market in order to survive. Small companies, family businesses however are the ones suffering the most. Lack of money, lack of time and lack of information make it hard on them to go in the right direction. The pressure, the insecurity as well as the very low buying prices (often selling for less than production costs) make for very uncomfortable living conditions.

We want to include helping the farmers in our mission to create the future of farming.

***

ANIMAL SANCTUARY

Farms are actually ideal places to become an animal sanctuary. They already have the land, the animals and the people that care for them [they wouldn’t be short of volunteers – I’d love to help look after the cows!]. No need to move animals, they can stay as a herd, nor to use more resources like land to create a new sanctuary.

Farmers joining our program have to give up any form of animal exploitation totally and to fully transition to an animal sanctuary.

Animals are put under legal protection and farmers under contract.  Regular inspections and veterinary checks are performed to make sure of the animals’ well being.

The sanctuary is not working with donations.  Instead, a part of the plant-based drinks price is dedicated to sustain these animals.

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So what Refarm’d need is enough people to tell them they’re interested so that they can go to the farmers and say – look, if you convert to plant-milk production, we’ve got the market ready and waiting for you.  It’s scary for farmers to take the plunge, they need to know they can make a living from plant milk.

They need us to tell them “If you make it, we will buy.”

So go on, get over to Refarm’d and tell them you’re interested (there’s a button to click if you scroll down the homepage).  Then you fill in a short questionnaire.  It asks you what country and town you live in, and how much milk you would want to buy per week, and whether you would want it delivered, or whether you’d pick it up from the farm.  Added bonus: it comes in refillable glass bottles!  NB VERY IMPORTANT:  when filling in the questionnaire you have to click NEXT and it takes you to what looks like a blank page, but it isn’t blank.  You have to scroll up to find a couple more questions including name and email address and you can leave a comment or ask a question.  Make sure you finish it otherwise they won’t be able to get back to you 😀

This is truly awesome!  Please share far and wide!

Save the cows,

the gentle, beautiful cows.

***

vegan for the animals

vegan for the planet

vegan for the humans

vegan for the farmers

It’s too hot! God help the animals!

EU must help animal farmers transition to plant-crop farming to benefit from plant-based boom, experts tell MEPs

(An article from the Humane Society International/Europe, 6 March 2019)

Brussels – European Union policy makers are being urged to help farmers transition away from animal agriculture and towards plant-crop farming in order to capitalise on the growing trend in plant-based eating.  Speaking at an event this week at the European Parliament organised by Humane Society International/Europe, farmers, ecologists and academics agreed there is an urgent need for the EU to support transition farming to help farmers adapt and seize the economic opportunity of consumer diets shifting away from meat, dairy and eggs.

A major report from the Rise Foundation recently warned that Europe’s meat and dairy production must be halved by 2050 in recognition of its significant contribution to environmental degradation such as greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. The EU currently raises 9 billion farm animals for food each year – with more than 360 million of these animals spending all or part of their lives in intensive cage systems – and globally the figure is an estimated 82 billion animals.

Oxford University’s Dr Marco Springmann, and Harvard University’s Dr Helen Harwatt were joined at the Brussels symposium event by ecologist and rewilding expert Alan Watson Featherstone, and Swedish farmer Adam Arnesson who is transitioning his pig farm to grow oats for a plant-milk company.  Policy makers were also treated to Europe’s first public screening of BAFTA 2019 award winning short film 73 Cows about British cattle farmers Jay and Katja Wilde who sent their herd to a sanctuary and switched to crop cultivation instead.

Alexandra Clark, HSI/Europe’s food policy consultant, said

“European consumers are more aware than ever of the animal welfare and environmental impacts of meat, dairy and egg production.  The current level of animal production is simply unsustainable, and the continued growth of plant-based alternatives is inevitable.  This presents Europe’s farmers with an exciting opportunity to meet this changing demand by transitioning away from industrial animal agriculture to plant-crop production.  With the current reform of the EU’s agricultural policy, MEPs have a clear chance to assist farmers in those transition efforts by shifting subsidies away from propping up industrial animal production, and instead supporting farmers switch to fruit, vegetables, fungi, grains and leguminous crops that are growing in demand from an increasingly plant-based public.”

The EU is currently reforming its Common Agricultural Policy, with a crucial vote planned in the Agriculture Committee in early April. Dr Helen Harwatt from Harvard University believes this is a major opportunity for EU policymakers to take leadership in animal to plant protein agricultural shifts.

Dr Harwatt said:

“Repurposing portions of agricultural land to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will be crucial for limiting warming to 1.5°C.  In turn, restoring this land to its natural habitat opens the door for reintroducing animal species, which would help toward tackling the wildlife crisis.  Animal to plant protein shifts are essential and policy makers must ensure that policies and support are put in place to help farmers make this transition”

Swedish farmer Adam Arnesson has shifted his farm production from solely animal-based to the cultivation of multiple crops for human consumption including oats for oat milk production.  In doing so he has doubled the number of people his output feeds annually and halved the climate impact per calorie.

Farmers Jay and Katja Wilde, who star in Alex Lockwood’s 73 Cows short film, were keen for MEPs to understand that the pressure and fear for the future that many animal farmers feel, could be alleviated if support existed to help them ‘plant for the planet’.

Speaking at the EU Parliament screening of 73 Cows, Jay Wilde said:

“We are thrilled that our film has come to the European Parliament where we hope it inspires politicians to vote for a better future for both farmers and animals. Giving our cows to a sanctuary to live out their years in a safe haven was the best decision of our lives, it became the only decision when sending them to the abattoir was no longer something I could live with.  But it’s been a very scary journey too because you’re stepping into the unknown.  This shift in farming isn’t just a personal choice, its necessary to protect the environment, so if there was financial and practical support to help farmers like me plant for the planet, it would make life so much easier.”

Spanish MEP Florent Marcellesi said

“We need to leave behind our unsustainable farming model and animal-based diets. Instead, we should turn as soon as possible to ecologic plant-based ones and build a farming model which is sustainable, healthy and respectful to animal welfare.”

Italian MEP Eleonora Evi said

“Climate change is here, it’s already happening.  For our sake but also for the sake of every other species on this planet, we need to take action to mitigate its effects by adopting an ‘all hands on deck’ approach.  This means opening up the dialogue to different stakeholders.  The agriculture sector has one of the highest levels of emissions, and therefore must become part of the solution.  The transition to sustainable production methods and re-naturalization of agricultural areas must inevitably be considered.”

Finnish MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen said

“If everyone would shift their diets towards plant-based, it would be beneficial for public health, animal welfare, biodiversity and climate.”

Facts:

  • Up to 20 percent (€ 32.6 billion) of the EU’s entire annual budget is spent on animal agriculture (including feed)
  • Around 71 percent of EU farmland is used to grow animal feed
  • According to Euromonitor, in 2017 plant-based milks represented 12 percent of the global fluid milk market, and dairy alternatives are predicted to grow to a market value of €19bn by 2022
  • Europe is currently the largest market for meat substitutes, having a 39 percent global market share and, with an eight percent annual growth rate, they are predicted to reach a global net worth of €4.2bn by 2020
  • A 2017 report by Rabobank suggests that alternative proteins could represent a third of total EU protein demand growth in the next five years
  • The EAT-Lancet Commission found that a transformation to healthy diets from sustainable food systems is necessary to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement
  • The EAT-Lancet Commission also found that transformation to healthy diets by 2050 will require substantial dietary shifts, including a greater than 50 percent reduction in global consumption of foods such as red meat and sugar, and a greater than 100 percent increase in consumption of healthy foods, such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, and legumes
  • Humane Society International’s Forward Food program is one of the largest plant-based culinary training programs globally.  Aimed at encouraging universities, caterers, and other institutions to provide more vegan options, Forward Food helps to facilitate diet shifts at scale.  HSI believes that by making animal-free food options tastier, more satisfying and widely available, more and more people will opt for meat-free meals which is good news for animals, people and the planet.