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,

A doctor’s response to proponents of school milk.

You might remember that back in August, Plant Based Health Professionals worked on the World Plant Milk Day Campaign and did an interview with the Times newspaper calling for a replacement of free school milk with fruit and vegetables or plant milk. Unbeknown to them, this prompted a letter to RT Hon Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, from Dr Hilary Jones (TV doctor) on behalf of The School & Nursery Milk Alliance. Who even knew about this organisation?!

‘We are a coalition of organisations from the early years, education, health and dairy sectors who are committed to promoting the benefits to children’s physical and dental health and wellbeing that arise from drinking milk in learning environments’.

So essentially a dairy funded front organisation. The UK Government are of course complicit in propping up the dairy industry using tax payers’ money even though demand for milk is steadily reducing, excess milk is being thrown away, dairy farming is contributing to environmental destruction and it’s detrimental to human health.

The following is Dr Shireen Kassam’s response to that letter.

Dear Dr Jones,
I am disappointed to learn that you continue to promote cow’s milk consumption in children and the free school milk programme. You state that milk has ‘unrivalled nutritional content’. In my view, the nutritional content of milk is only unrivalled if you are a baby cow. There is no requirement for milk consumption beyond weaning, as evidenced by the fact that 70% of the global population have lactose malabsorption, which can manifest as intolerance. Europeans have indeed adapted to digesting dairy beyond weaning but even then, up to 30% are not able to digest the main sugar lactose. For those with lactose intolerance, consuming dairy can be distressing, leading to abdominal pain, diarrhoea and nausea. The school milk programme excludes and discriminates against those with lactose intolerance, often children from ethnic minorities in the UK.


With this is mind, Health Canada has removed dairy from its most recent food guide. The healthiest hydration for children and adults is in fact water. You however state various health benefits of dairy consumption for children, such as boosting energy, aiding concentration and maintaining a healthy weight but there is no such conclusive evidence. In fact, a review paper from earlier this year summarising the current evidence for milk consumption in one of the world’s most highly respected medical journals concluded that milk was not required for optimal health in children or adults. The authors conclude that there is no convincing evidence that milk consumption promotes a healthy weight, improves bone health or reduces the risk of any chronic illness. In fact, they highlight that milk consumption has the potential for harm, including an increased risk of eczema, asthma, acne, prostate and endometrial cancers.

You claim that dairy consumption helps maintain a healthy weight in children, yet a randomised study found no benefit of dairy consumption for reducing body fat or weight. You also state that omitting dairy from the diet could lead to malnutrition, including Kwashiorkor — a form of protein malnutrition — especially when consuming a rice-based vegan diet. Yet, when meeting calorie requirements, scientific studies have shown that a healthy plant-based diet provides more protein than is required for any age group.

Neither I nor Plant-Based Health Professionals UK are recommending a rice-based vegan diet in place of free school milk. The study you cite raising concerns about the use of plant milks leading to malnutrition was conducted in children aged 4 to 14 months, when breast milk is considered the optimal source of calories and nutrients, and these data cannot be extrapolated to school-aged children. Studies have shown that the growth, health and nutritional status of vegetarian and vegan children are within normal range and comparable with non-vegetarian children. It is widely accepted that nutrients found in milk, including calcium, can be obtained from whole plant sources and fortified plant milks if preferred. Fortified soya milk, the most appropriate alternative to cow’s milk, has similar quantities of protein and calcium as cow’s milk, with benefits for heart health and breast cancer reduction. The absorption of calcium from many green vegetables is also greater than that from cow’s dairy. This information is supported and endorsed by major dietetic associations around the world including most recently the BDA in the UK.

I agree wholeheartedly with you that our children need access to high-quality nutrient rich food. The foods most associated with health promotion in children and adults are fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans. Yet only 18% of children in the UK eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day. We should be promoting the consumption of these foods in schools, which are inclusive of all communities and supported by strong scientific evidence. It is time we put children’s health before the vested interests of the dairy industry.

Yours Sincerely,

Dr Shireen Kassam,

Founder and Director of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that the mainstream media were not interested in Dr Kassam’s response to Dr Jones’ letter so she has published it online here and on social media and hopes we will all share widely.

Please do.

Thank you.

The Future is Dairy-Free!

A message from Shireen of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK:

Dear Members and Supporters,

We are delighted to be supporting World Plant Milk Day. It is today, August 22nd.

World Plant Milk Day is an international day that celebrates plant-based alternatives to dairy milk. Founded by Robbie Lockie, Co-founder of Plant Based News, in 2017 and established as a partnership with ProVeg in 2018, the campaign has attracted the attention of millions of people around the world and helped accelerate the transition from dairy milk to the rich variety of plant-based alternatives. In 2020, Switch4Good joined to reach more people and further the idea that ‘The Future Is Dairy-Free’.

We have been working with Eden Green PR  to get the message out to media and the wider public that dairy is not necessary in the diet, can cause adverse health effects, is destructive to the environment and is incredibly cruel to the animals.  Its continued promotion by Government excludes communities of colour who are more likely to to be lactose intolerant.  We have had coverage in the Mirror on Sunday and Plant Based News.

The World Plant Milk Day website has some wonderful resources and articles from myself, team member Dr Leila Dehghan and our International board member Brenda Davis RD. 

You will have read the incredibly misleading stories in the media funded by the dairy industry who are trying to promote cow’s milk as more environmentally friendly than soya milk.  This is of course utter nonsense and based on flawed science.  Plant Based News have published an excellent rebuttal

Please support this excellent initiative by sharing the campaign and the 7 day dairy free challenge on social media, with friends, family and colleagues and let’s get dairy off the plate.

The future is dairy free!

Shireen

Thanks so much Shireen for this brilliant message.  We’d like to add that it’s worth bearing in mind that vegans don’t have to eat soya anyway.  We hardly ever do.  Miranda and I have completely given up any kind of milk (milk is for babies).  We drink water.  We drink fruit smoothies.  That’s it.  We get our protein from green leafies and beans and peas and lentils.  And we love those Linda McCartney pea protein sausages! 😀 And vegetable burgers made out of actual vegetables! 😀 So even when the whole world is vegan, there’s no need to worry about increased demand for soya products 😀

Have a great weekend! xx

Plastic-Free Cake

 

You know how frustrating it is when you’re doing your best to avoid plastic but even the glass bottle of organic vegetable oil has a plastic insert, plastic lid and sometimes even a plastic neck-sleeve?  Well, after spending half an hour trying to cut off this evil neck sleeve the other day I decided, I’m putting my foot down!  I am not buying bottles like this ever again!  “But what about cake?” argued my alter ego, “how will you make cake without vegetable oil?”

This is how:

All you need is

  • four very ripe bananas,
  • a mug and a half of self-raising flour,
  • and half a mug of sugar.

 

The sugar is plastic-free too if you get it from a zero-waste filling station or buy Silver Spoon British Sugar (made from home grown sugar beet) which is always wrapped in paper.

First mash the bananas with a fork

Then preheat the oven to 160° C

Then add half a mug of sugar to the bananas and mix well.  This will magically make the bananas very runny.

When the sugar and bananas are thoroughly combined, add one and a half mugs full of self raising flour and mix well.

    

(NB there’s a lot of mixture in that bowl because I doubled the ingredients to make two cakes)

Now you should have a thick, moist cake mixture, ready to put in the tin.

(If You Care parchment paper is unbleached and totally chlorine-free (TCF) greaseproof paper which can be found at most good health food shops)

Line a loaf tin with some eco-friendly greaseproof paper and fill it with your cake mixture.

Put it in the middle of the oven and bake for one and a quarter hours (75 minutes).  Carefully remove and insert a sharp knife to test.  If the knife comes out clean, it’s done, if it has wet mixture on it, put the cake back in the oven for a few more minutes.

When it’s ready, take it out of the tin and cool it on a wire rack.

Use a serrated knife to cut it as it’ll be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Absolutely scrumptious 😀

No plastic required 😉

Source:  I got this recipe years ago from a brilliant homemade book called Grime and Nourishment, (NB this book is not suitable for children).

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vegan, vegan cake, cake recipe, plastic-free, zero waste, nutrition, health, environment,

 

Educational colouring book

Here is a wonderful educational colouring book:  Colour By Nutrients.

It is at once a resource for artistic indulgence and an educational tool.  Divided into chapters of different vitamins and minerals, the book illustrates which foods contain significant amounts of each.  The authors are happy for teachers and parents to photocopy the colouring pages for use in the classroom.  All in all a delightful way to learn about nutrition.

This 120-page book is approximately 19 x 25 cm.

You can buy it here, it’s not expensive 😀

Or if you’d rather get the e-version and copy or print the pages yourself, it’s free to download here:  Colour By Nutrients pdf 


We think that learning about good nutrition to build a strong immune system is more important than ever, so we’re thrilled to be able to do this.

Stay well.  Stay clean.  Stay compassionate

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vegan, plant-based, vegan children, nutrition, school, home-education,

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.

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vegan for the animals

vegan for the planet

vegan for the humans

vegan for the farmers

Marcus Gad – Purify

Purify your body head to toe
Your thoughts inna your mind and slowly make Jah rhythm flow
Nature is the keeper of your body and your soul
Even all of that you’ll never truly own

Brothers sisters watch out what you put in your body
If you are what you eat then think about what you must be
If you still feed yourself upon their industry
They sell the whole world illusion of fertility
Robbing humans, animals and plants of their dignity
To feed the masses but to feed their greed specially
They breed the hybrid and manipulate Jah very seeds
Agro-chemistry is like a war technology
They destroyed all over the Earth the soil microbiology
To bring about a new kind of captivity
Control the food and you control the whole of humanity

Look into infinity, humble before a Tree
And Purify…

Bring a healing to a nation
Give them the seed for plantation
Sovereignty resides in the heart of the land
And what you a go do with the strength inna your hands

The seeds they took away and wiped away all diversity
Testing their madness in the soils of so-called third world countries
To force the people in labor and poverty
Dis a what ya call a modern day slavery
Referenced mostly hybrids in them legal catalog

Made all ancient seeds illegal like any drug
So you must buy their machines and their chemicals
And produce all the food according to their laws.

vegan music, nature, natural, organic, agriculture, food, vegan, health,

Get meat off hospital menus!!!

My dad, who suffers from heart disease, was told to “eat more meat” by his GP as a response to his iron deficiency!  And when he went into hospital last year for stent operations there was not a single vegan option on the Coronary Care Unit menu.  I complained to the hospital but they ignored me.  This is madness!  Support and share Plant Based Health Professionals‘ campaign to get meat off hospital menus:  Give Bacon The Boot!

Thank you 🙂

PLANT-BASED DIETS COULD PREVENT A FUTURE PANDEMIC SAY DOCTORS

[This article is from Euro News]

A group of British doctors has backed a call for the end of factory farming to prevent future pandemics like COVID-19.

Dr Gemma Newman from the non-profit Plant-Based Health Professionals is leading a plea for the public to give up eating meat as part of the ’No Meat May’ campaign.  A record number of people are taking part this year with 33,000 sign-ups compared to 10,000 in 2019.  Of those who have signed up this year, a survey carried out by the campaign found that 38 per cent did so because of concerns surrounding the meat industry and diseases like Covid-19.

Hannah Bradshaw, one of the 23,000 new participants, says these concerns were certainly a part of her decision to give a plant-based diet a go.

”There is more information about the meat industry causing diseases than ever before,” she said, “and stronger links between the impacts on our health compared to a meat-free diet.”

The campaign has seen a big increase in sign-ups this year.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH MEAT?

Zoonotic diseases, like Covid-19, are those that can spread between animals and humans.  Worldwide they have been the cause of many historic outbreaks including H1N1 and Ebola.  There is little evidence, however, to suggest that eating less meat directly reduces the occurrence of deadly disease outbreaks.

The most important factor, according to the UN Environment Program, is instead an increased amount of close contact between humans and animals like pigs, bats or birds which allows pathogens to jump between species.  In 2016 it identified increasing encroachment of animal agriculture into natural ecosystems as a driving factor of zoonotic diseases warning that the “livestock revolution” could lead to a potential disaster.

“Some politicians and commentators blame China for Covid-19, but they do not mention that all of the recent major disease outbreaks have been caused by tampering with animals and their habitats,” says Dr Newman, “our chicken salad or pepperoni pizza could be the next big health risk.”

“Industrial-scale factory farms are like a ticking time bomb”, she adds, “and shifting our diets away from meat [and all animal products] could help move towards a safer future”.

IMPROVING OUR OVERALL HEALTH

Consultant Haematologist and Director of Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, Doctor Shireen Kassam also believes there is an urgent need to reduce our meat consumption for both human and planetary health.

“More than 90 per cent of the meat we consume is produced in industrial scale factory farms, which provide the perfect conditions for the generation of novel infections with epidemic and pandemic potential.”

“Factory farming also requires the widespread use of antibiotics,” she adds, “which has contributed to a dramatic rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant infections affecting humans.”

“We have now entered an era where it is not uncommon for doctors to find themselves treating patients with bacterial infections for which there are no effective antibiotics.”

Dr Kassam explains that it is also a matter of overall public health. “We have known for decades that a healthy plant-based diet, which minimises or eliminates meat [and animal products], is associated with some of the lowest rates of chronic disease and a longer and healthier life.”

Something unexpected that brightened my day

Recently I returned to my home town to visit family and, compared to where I live now, it’s like stepping back into the 1980s in terms of vegan options.  My dad was in the Coronary Care Unit of the local general hospital and there wasn’t a single vegan option on the hospital menu, for breakfast, lunch or dinner! The Coronary Care Unit!

Well, I’m sure you can imagine how I felt but on my way home my spirits were lifted.  I popped into the local library and look what was on the wall!

So don’t get disheartened, I said to myself – there are vegans everywhere, plugging away.

Whoever put this board up – thank you so much 😀

Healthy Eating for Life FOR CHILDREN

From the Foreword by Neal Barnard, M.D.:  The writing of this book was motivated by the observation that many parents are unclear about how best to nourish their children at different stages of development.  Well-intentioned parents like you want to do the very best for the long-term health and well-being of their children.  They need help knowing where to begin.

Our hope is that by assembling an expert panel of doctors and nutritionists and by providing well-researched, easy-to-read information on healthy eating during childhood, we can help you promote excellent health for your children throughout their lives.

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Boy I wish I’d had this book when my children were little, then I wouldn’t have been misled by my GP who pleaded with me not to make my baby vegan, saying that children need dairy for at least their first five years!  I was very young, inexperienced and, since it was way before the internet, there was no one else to ask.  It was another eleven years before we had enough information to understand that he was wrong, and our transition from vegetarianism to veganism left us feeling better than ever.

But that didn’t prevent us being misjudged by another GP when I took my youngest to the doctor when she was about 11 because she was getting recurring headaches.  I’d assumed she was suffering from migraines but as soon as the GP heard we were vegan she sucked in her breath over her teeth and said with confidence

“Calcium deficiency!”

I insisted that that wasn’t it, we get enough calcium from our fruit and vegetables, but she would not be dissuaded from her conclusion and sent us away after telling us to take some multi-vitamins, without doing any tests or examination.  Some months later, thanks to a good  GP advising us to go the optician and see if the headaches were due to a need for glasses, it was discovered that there was haemorrhaging behind her eyes caused by a benign brain tumour.

The world and medical practitioners are so much more enlightened nowadays though aren’t they?  Thanks to the internet and such widely available information shared online by vegan individuals, groups and organisations.  So you’d think that no one would be in danger of getting the kind of bad advice we got back then.

I was shocked to discover a few weeks ago that that’s not true.  A friend of mine took her eleven and a half month-old baby for her ‘one year review’ by a Health Visitor at a children’s centre in Brighton and was told she should be transitioning her baby off breast milk and onto cows’ milk – for the calcium!!!!!!!

Thankfully my friend knows better but lots of people, like me all those years ago, will be swayed by this shockingly bad advice.  That’s why this book is brilliant.  Because it comes from the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, written by Amy Lanou, Ph.D. who is Nutrition Director of the Physicians’ Committee (or she was when this was first published back in 2002 – oh I wish I’d had it then!) and got her doctoral degree from Cornell University, readers can rest assured that the book can be relied upon.  And it’s got so much!  From a healthy pregnancy to healthy breast feeding to healthy nutrition for your child for the rest of his or her life, this book tells you everything you need to know 🙂

And it even provides you with a ton of healthy delicious recipes:

I bought this one for my friend, but now I’m going to get another one for me!

Author:  Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine with Amy Lanou, Ph.D.

Genre:  Non-fiction, Plant-Based Nutrition

Recommended for teens and up

Format:  Paperback (272 pages) and Kindle Edition

Published:  February 2002

ISBN-10:  0471436216

ISBN-13:  978-0471436218

Dimensions:  15.5 x 1.9 x 22.7 cm

Available from the Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine and Amazon

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nutrition, health, vegan, vegetarian, books, non-fiction, plant-based nutrition, children, raising healthy children, healthy pregnancy, nursing mothers, healthy breastfeeding, raising vegan children, food, healthy eating, healthy recipes, healthy recipe book, vegan recipe book

Love Unity Voice

Check out the new vegan online magazine LUV4All – 25 fantastic articles from vegans around the world. There’s so much fascinating and inspiring stuff to read – I’m reading one article a day. Like this one: Nation Rising by Sheanne Moskaluk, about a Canadian campaigning group who are demanding their government stop subsidising animal farming and instead spend their tax dollars helping animal farmers to transition to crop farming.  You can watch a video of highlights of the protest speeches and interviews at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada.

There’s an article by Katrina Fox about a new law in Missouri which bans the use of ‘meat’ terminology to describe any food products that haven’t come from a slaughtered animal.  It means that vegan brands could face imprisonment or a fine of up to $1,000 if they use words like ‘sausage’ or ‘hot dog’ on their packaging or describe their products as plant-based ‘meat’.  It’s absolutely crazy and of course is whole heartedly supported by the Missouri Cattlemen’s Association, because they want to ‘protect the integrity of their products’!!!!!!

Honestly, this mag has so much – you can read about activism, animal rescue, health, athletics, lifestyle, raising vegan kids, there’s even an article about Violet’s Vegan Comics 😉 It shares veganism from all walks of life, everyone playing to their strengths and being part of the solution.  This is only the second edition (the first came out in May this year) so if you don’t want to risk missing it in the future, make sure you subscribe in the top right hand corner of the Home Page 😀

 

Macka B – Cucumber

I’ve always loved cucumbers but if it’s possible, now I love them even more 😀

I even grew some of my own this year – I got a bumper crop from just 2 plants and they are absolutely scrumptious 😀 ❤ ❤ ❤

For more vegan music, pop over to the music page 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, home grown, music, vegan music, health, healthy food,

Chocolate Chip Banana Cookies: ORGANIC, FAIR TRADE, VEGAN, GLUTEN-FREE, NO ADDED SUGAR, NO ADDED FAT

Now, these cookies look very healthy, but they don’t taste it 😉

Of course there is fat and sugar in the chocolate, but the truth is there’s only a couple of specks of chocolate in each cookie, so how can that hurt really?  If you’re being ever so strict you could leave the chocolate out and I’m sure the cookies would still be lovely, but since Miranda found a bar of Moo Free in the cupboard that we didn’t know we had, we decided we wouldn’t be 😉

To make these nutritious treats, this is what you’ll need:

  • 4 very ripe medium to large fair trade organic bananas
  • about 80g of fair trade organic vegan chocolate (optional)
  • 3 ounces of organic sultanas (or other dried fruit)
  • 8 ounces of organic rolled oats
  • a little water to make the mixture the right consistency

Preheat the oven to 180°C

Mash the bananas with a fork in a mixing bowl and then add the sultanas (or raisins or other dried fruit) and the chocolate cut into little chips.  Mix it all together well.

Put the oats into a food processor and mill them into a rough flour, then add it to the mixing bowl (or you can add the oats without making them into flour) and thoroughly combine with the other ingredients.  Add a little water, if needed, a tablespoon at a time, and mix it in to make a nice, moist cookie mixture.

Then put heaped teaspoons of mixture onto a lined baking tray and flatten them with the back of a wet spoon.

Bake them for about 20 minutes or until they are as golden as you like them,

keep an eye on them and rotate the tray if necessary 🙂

And there you have it: delicious and nutritious – they tick all the right boxes!

They’re a lot yummier than they look I promise you 😀

The Circle of Life

Make your own compost 🙂

Save all your raw fruit and vegetable peelings, apple cores, tea bags, soapnut shells, etc etc

and take them outside to your compost bin (any container will do but make sure it’s got drainage holes in the bottom)

Toss your ‘green waste’ in there, (ie raw fruit & veg waste)

but also add some ‘brown waste’ (such as brown paper, black and white printed paper like newspapers or old paperback pages (no colour print), dead leaves) every so often otherwise you’ll end up with a wet soggy, stinky mess.  You want about 2 parts ‘green’ to 1 part ‘brown’ according to the science 🙂

Then eventually it will rot down to something moist and earthy, just teaming with baby earthworms (I don’t know where they came from) and ready to host your new plants.  Don’t ask me how long this took, I didn’t time it, but it was probably about a year.  We just eventually thought it looked composty and tipped it out of the bin and there you have it.  Click here if you want advice from experts 😀

Now you can pot it …

… sow some seeds in it, …

… and in a few days (this is less than 2 weeks later) your old vegetables will be providing you with new vegetables 🙂

I’d better thin these 😉

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vegan, vegetarian, recycling, home-grown, plant-food, plant-based, health, gardening, growing

She said, he said …

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So she told him, “going vegan would solve your bovine TB problem.  Leave the badgers alone and grow carrots!”

“Ooh, and what did he say?”

“Nothing yet, he can’t think of an answer.”

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vegan, vegan growing, vegan farming, cows, animals, badgers, food, health, vegan cartoon, vegan comic, vegetarian, plant food

Experimenting on animals is a Wild Goose Chase

vegan book

New from Honestly Books is Wild Goose Chase by Lavender Laine which is perfect for the teens to adults section of our Vegan Children’s Books page.

Lavender Laine, author of What’s good for the goose is not good for the panda, a rhyming story for little children, is a collage artist with a passionate opposition to vivisection.  Her latest title, the non-fiction Wild Goose Chase, is not only a feast for the eyes but also choc full of information that every anti-vivisectionist should know.  She has mined the brilliant Sacred Cows and Golden Geese by Ray and Jean Greek for all the text, which she has torn from its pages and pasted onto a backdrop of colourful images from many and various books and magazines.  The result is a stunning visual treat designed to make the historical scientific facts easier to remember.

On the first page is the classic quote from Dr Werner Hartinger: “There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientist who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money from it.”

vegan book

The acknowledgement pages follow:

vegan book

And then it begins with a statement that it will go on to prove: Trying to cure human ills by experimenting on animals is a wild goose chase.

vegan book

From thereon each page is full of information which was meticulously researched by the Greeks for Sacred Cows.  Laine has chosen excerpts from the Greeks’ book which she feels are the most important to commit to memory.  I’ve read Sacred Cows and Golden Geese several times from cover to cover and it teems with information explained in a way that is easy to make sense of for a non-scientific mind such as mine.  However, there is just so much information in there that, even after reading and re-reading, I find it hard to bring the facts to mind in conversation with others and therefore am unconvincing in my arguments.  That’s why Wild Goose Chase is so important.  Laine has included only a fraction of the text from Sacred Cows – giving us less to memorize – but those well chosen excerpts explain clearly and concisely why vivisection is scientifically flawed and why it continues in spite of that.

It’s a kind of CliffsNotes for Sacred Cows, but much more eye-catching.

vegan book

It begins with the history, showing that “True advances in medical knowledge has not come from animals.”  It reveals that Nobel Prizes were awarded to the wrong people – those who ‘validated’ things in animals decades after they had been discovered by other scientists in human observations.

vegan book

It explains how animal experiments have mislead scientists into thinking dangerous drugs were safe, and safe drugs were dangerous.

vegan book

It explains that animal tests continue in spite of this because they provide a legal ‘safe harbor’ for the government and drug companies who can claim due diligence when things go horribly wrong.

vegan book

It explains that, in the education system, original thinking is neither required nor welcomed; that editors and reviewers perpetuate the mass delusion; that money drives education and money drives research.

vegan book

It explains that what is needed is a ‘voluble public outcry’ to stop this scientific fraud which is killing so many humans and animals.  What is needed is for everyone to be aware of these facts so that they can no longer be deceived by the vivisectors’ PR machines.

vegan book

And then it goes on to explain what we should be doing instead of animal experiments: the scandalously underfunded human-based research methods which really could make a difference. Look – there’s Elvis! ↑

vegan book

Eg epidemiology, human autopsies, in vitro research, clinical observation, genetic research, computer modeling, diagnostic imaging, post-marketing drug surveillance.  It’s amazing what they can do now (and Sacred Cows was written sixteen years ago so think of the even more amazing advances that must have occurred since then).

“To insist that animal experiments are necessary is ludicrous.”

“Why wait in the dark ages when the Star Trek sick bay is at hand?”

vegan book

The book concludes with a call to action, inviting everyone to educate themselves and speak out against the mass delusion which is costing so many lives.

vegan book

There is nothing in this book but scientific and historical facts which are easily verified by referring to the indicated pages in Sacred Cows.  There are no disturbing images or descriptions of animal experiments – what would be the point?  If vivisection could be stopped on grounds of cruelty to animals it would have been banned a century ago.  Exposing the scientific fraud is the only way to end it.  Educating ourselves is where we start.  Buy this book and give it rave reviews!  Enable every teenager to understand that animal experiments are not necessary and never have been; that they are actually harmful to medical progress and will not save human lives.

No Milk Please!

Being diabetic myself, I was very interested many years ago when I read that, through clinical observation at a children’s hospital in Canada (in the 1980s I think it was), they had discovered that type 1 diabetes is actually caused by an immune reaction to dairy milk protein because the immune system mistakes cells of the pancreas for milk protein and attacks them.  I was surprised, since this had been discovered some years before my diagnosis, that I had never been told about it by any of my diabetic specialist doctors and nurses.  In fact, in the 1990s, my GP pleaded with me to give my baby dairy foods after I became vegan because he said “babies need dairy for at least their first five years”!  And even today the UK charity that gives advice for diabetics, Diabetes UK, does not advise avoiding dairy – it’s included in their suggested meal plans!  I actually wrote to them about that and they said, “oh, thank you for telling us,” but of course nothing changed.

Anyway, the following is a brilliant short video by a doctor who really knows what he’s talking about, and he explains really well how dairy causes diabetes.  Well worth a watch if you’ve got a spare 8 minutes 🙂

Food Wordsearch

food wordsearch

Search for the following food items and draw a line through them – they might be forwards, backwards, vertical, upside down or diagonal.  And you don’t have to print it out if you don’t want to – just click on the pic, then right click and save it to your computer, then open it in ‘paint’, or whatever picture editing program you’ve got, and you can draw the lines on there 🙂

APPLE    POMEGRANATE    DATES    FIGS    LENTILS    TOFU    BEANS

POTATOES    SPINACH    KALE    SQUASH    PORRIDGE    PEAR    OATS

CABBAGE    LETTUCE    TOMATO    PEAS    APRICOT    PLUM    LEEK

BROCCOLI    CUCUMBER    CAVOLO NERO    CHERRY    ORANGE    RAISINS

PARSNIP    TURNIP    WALNUTS    BANANA    CARROT    ONION    GARLIC

PEPPERS    CASHEWS    GRAPES

A Little Sprite

vegan poem

Last night I saw a little sprite

Who told me what to do:

“Eat only plant food,

It’s much better for you.”

****

She fluttered and she floated

And she smiled down on me,

“Plant food is meant for you,

Just try it and you’ll see.”

****

I woke up and I sat up

And I looked from floor to beam.

I saw no sprite, there was no sprite,

She must have been a dream.

****

But still I could not shake her

Which was because, I knew,

She was real inside my head

And what she said was true.

Giveaway Number 2 Winner!

Colouring book winner

The winner of a copy of the brilliant Colour By Nutrients by August Bassett and Amy Fibbitts, our second giveaway from the Honestly Books stash, is Carol of Art Is Not For Sissies. 😀

Congratulations Carol.  You can give us your address privately on our contact form (at the bottom of the About page) and we’ll get the book to you asap 😀

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

‘One farmer says to me, “You cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with;” and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the raw materials of bones; walking all the while he talks behind his oxen, which, with vegetable-made bones, jerk him and his lumbering plough along in spite of every obstacle.’

Henry David Thoreau

from Walden in the chapter named ‘Economy’

Let the trees stand

And the best and most productive way to stand for trees is to adopt a plant-based diet.  These forests are being felled at an alarming rate to provide grazing land or grow fodder crops for farm animals.

If everyone ends their dependency on animal foods, the forests could be left in peace.

It’s that simple 🙂

Save The Cow, Save The World

save-the-cow-save-the-world-1

10 acres of land will support:

61 people growing soya

or

24 people growing wheat

or

10 people growing maize

or

2 people raising cattle.

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“The world’s cattle alone consume enough food to sustain nine billion people, which is what the world’s human population is projected to be by 2050.”

Mimi Bekhechi, The Guardian, 22 January 2013

The Doctor Said

doctor said

“He’ll soon be dead,”

The doctor said

As she stood at the end

Of her patient’s bed.

***

“He ignored my advice,

Never gave up his vice,

Those flesh foods will kill you’

I said more than twice.”

***

The nurse shook his head

As he straightened the bed,

“Avoidable suffering,

What a waste,” he said.

nurse said

Back down to earth

Click here for the story so far 😉

1 allotment

2 allotment

3 allotment

4 allotment

5 allotment

6 allotment

7 allotment

8 allotment

If you fancy growing your own delicious organic fruits and vegetables but you don’t have a garden, why not apply for an allotment?  Click here to find out how.

It’s true that there are sometimes long waiting lists but not always. We were very lucky that our village was just setting up new allotments and we were able to get one within a few months of moving there. And there are still a few plots available now.

So go on, find out what’s available in your area – the National Allotment Society will give you all the info you need – and do something that’ll get you out in the fresh air and sunshine for a good dose of vitamin D and some healthy exercise, while at the same time providing you with quality, organic vegetables that are good for you and the earth 😀

Touch the Earth

touch the Earth

Touch the Earth

Feel the Earth,

In contact with your skin.

It just feels good

Like soft earth would,

And soothes you from within.

*****

Earthing:  ” the practice of connecting the body with earth by touching skin to a conductive material such as grass (preferably wet), wet sand, a river, lake or sea. …… When the body loses contact with the earth it can carry a positive voltage relative to the Earth. Some people believe this is not good for health and wellbeing.  Earthing the body returns the voltage to zero “

H is for Herbivore

Cute-Rabbit-and-Girl-690x388

Herbivore    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Plant-eating animal

Our definition:  Herbivores are animals which are anatomically designed to live on plants.  Herbivorous mammals have well-developed facial musculature, fleshy lips, a relatively small opening into the oral cavity and a thickened, muscular tongue. The lips aid in the movement of food into the mouth and, along with the facial (cheek) musculature and tongue, assist in the chewing of food.  The lower jaw of plant-eating mammals has a pronounced sideways motion when eating. This lateral movement is necessary for the grinding motion of chewing.

The dentition of herbivores is quite varied depending on the kind of vegetation a particular species is adapted to eat. Although these animals differ in the types and numbers of teeth they posses, the various kinds of teeth when present, share common structural features. The incisors are broad, flattened and spade-like. Canines may be small as in horses, prominent as in hippos, pigs and some primates (these are thought to be used for defense) or absent altogether. The molars, in general, are squared and flattened on top to provide a grinding surface. The molars cannot vertically slide past one another in a shearing/slicing motion (as carnivores’ teeth do), but they do horizontally slide across one another to crush and grind. The surface features of the molars vary depending on the type of plant material the animal eats. The teeth of herbivorous animals are closely grouped so that the incisors form an efficient cropping/biting mechanism, and the upper and lower molars form extended platforms for crushing and grinding.

These animals carefully and methodically chew their food, pushing the food back and forth into the grinding teeth with the tongue and cheek muscles. This thorough process is necessary to mechanically disrupt plant cell walls in order to release the digestible intracellular contents and ensure thorough mixing of this material with their saliva. This is important because the saliva of plant-eating mammals often contains carbohydrate-digesting enzymes which begin breaking down food molecules while the food is still in the mouth.

Because of the relative difficulty with which various kinds of plant foods are broken down (due to large amounts of indigestible fibres), herbivores have significantly longer and in some cases, far more elaborate guts than carnivores. Herbivorous animals that consume plants containing a high proportion of cellulose must “ferment” (digest by bacterial enzyme action) their food to obtain the nutrient value. They are classified as either “ruminants” (foregut fermenters) or hindgut fermenters. The ruminants are the plant-eating animals with the celebrated multiple-chambered stomachs. Herbivorous animals that eat a diet of relatively soft vegetation do not need a multiple-chambered stomach. They typically have a simple stomach, and a long small intestine. These animals ferment the difficult-to-digest fibrous portions of their diets in their hindguts (colons). Many of these herbivores increase the sophistication and efficiency of their GI tracts by including carbohydrate-digesting enzymes in their saliva.

In herbivorous animals, the large intestine tends to be a highly specialized organ involved in water and electrolyte absorption, vitamin production and absorption, and/or fermentation of fibrous plant materials. The colons of herbivores are usually wider than their small intestine and are relatively long.

“Thus, from comparing the gastrointestinal tract of humans to that of carnivores, herbivores and omnivores we must conclude that humankind’s GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.”

Read the rest of the in-depth article by Dr Milton Mills, which includes comparisons with carnivore and omnivore anatomy and physiology, from which this definition was taken.

For the rest of the redefined words beginning with H, click on this pic (or go to the dictionary in the sidebar)

For the rest of the redefined words beginning with H, click on this pic (or go to the dictionary in the sidebar)

Babs on a bike

1

 bike rides

 bike rides

 bike rides

 bike rides

 bike rides

 bike rides

The Sustrans website will tell you all about the National Cycle Network in the UK which “is a series of traffic-free paths and quiet, on-road cycling and walking routes, that connect to every major town and city.  The Network passes within a mile of half of all UK homes and stretches over 14,000 miles across the UK.”

They also have a shop where you can buy maps, books, clothes and accessories etc, although you might have a good cycle shop in your own neighbourhood where you can get everything you need; or, even better, check out the second hand shops and the shops of animal-friendly charities and re-use something someone else doesn’t need any more (for a fraction of the price).

bike riding

Live Right, Shine Bright

We are not fully raw; we still enjoy cooked potatoes, and lentils; we have rolled oats for breakfast; we eat tofu.  But we do include as much raw as we can in our diet and it makes us feel great.  Energised. I love juicing fruits and greens and making them into ice pops.  I love frozen bananas instead of shop-bought ice cream.  I love raw, and semi-raw cakes and treats which contain no sugar or added sweetener, and no gluten, are actually good for me, and yet make me feel indulgent as they are superior in taste and feel-good factor to traditional sugar-laden sweets.  I am excited about all the new things I have learned this year about raw foods and how good they make me feel and I am grateful to so many people who have shared their experiences so that I can learn more.

One of these people is Kristina Carrillo-Bucaram, better known as FullyRawKristina

This lady is a positive inspiration, and though many of us may not be in a position to live as she does – such large quantities organic fresh produce are very expensive – we can each do as much as we can within our own means and feel better for it.  For example, I have found that when I tried to be fully raw I got too skinny and simply wasn’t eating enough.  Now that I compromise by adding cooked potatoes and lentils, for example, to my raw fruit and veggies, I feel great, am back to my normal weight and still getting a very nutritious diet.  I love this video because Kristina encourages us to look at her example, and take from it what works for us.  It’s all about experimenting until we get it right and being our own best, our own happiest, in our own way.

A Walk With Alfred

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walk for health

walk for fun

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

walk for health and enjoyment

20

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If you’d like to go for walks in your area, the following are some sites that could point you in the right direction:

Walk Unlimited

The Ramblers Association

and here you’ll find more information about why walking is good for your health:

The Benefits of Walking pdf

and here is detailed information about getting enough vitamin D

The Vitamin D Council

When I was a young child …

Meat_2_veg

When I was a young child

An omnivore diet I ate.

I wasn’t very adventurous,

The same few things appeared on my plate.

egg chips and beans

I liked to eat egg, chips and beans,

Or sometimes sausage and mash.

Occasionally I’d have fish fingers and peas,

Or maybe corned beef hash.

***

I didn’t like many vegetables,

Only peas, baked beans and carrots.

No one could make me eat my greens,

I’d never even heard of shallots.

***

My range of fruit went as far as apples,

Bananas, an orange at Christmas.

I preferred to eat biscuits and cakes and bread,

Peanuts and crisps, not citrus.

***

When I went veggie I ate lots more eggs

And cheese instead of the flesh foods.

Fat and more fat, cholesterol and fat,

But rarely increased the plant foods.

***

Now that I’m vegan, when they say to me,

“My goodness, what do you eat?”

I take a deep breath as I smile to myself

And happily repeat:

fresh-fruits-and-vegetables1

“I eat lettuce and spinach and onions and leeks,

Mushrooms and cabbage and beetroot;

Tomatoes and chard and purslane and sprouts,

Alfalfa and clover and bean shoots.”

fruits and vegetables

“I eat mangos and apricots, pineapples and pears,

Almonds, sultanas and cashews;

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries,

Dates, prunes, avocados.”

My GM Diet Experience - Day 3 - Fruit and Vegetable Diet

My diet today is the most varied it’s been

Ever before in my lifetime.

High nutrition I get from my living food,

Not to mention the taste which is sublime!

nuts-and-seeds

fruits-vegetables-mental-health-550x550

 

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake

Raw vegan chocolate cake with ganache frosting

Raw vegan chocolate cake with ganache frosting

 

raw-vegan-pizza-recipe skinnylimitsdotcom

Raw vegan pizza from skinnylimits.com

Raw vegan lasagne

Raw vegan lasagne