The Ravens Watch

vegan poem

The gamekeeper walks, shotgun in hand,

A frown on his face, he litters the land

With barrels and bags of game bird feed,

With cages and wire, and bodies that bleed.

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The bodies of animals killed by his gun

Are hung on the tree, one by one.

With hardness of heart, and misery of soul,

The gamekeeper’s is a grotesque role.

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Day after day, and year after year

He does his job with no guilt and no fear.

What he doesn’t know is that someone is watching

And when the storm comes … his clock will stop ticking.

****

Land Rover won’t start, the engine’s kaput,

The storm closes in as he trudges on foot.

He strides for the castle, to find some shelter,

He’s whipped by debris as the wind rises higher.

****

It’s darker now as the rain lashes down.

The ravens watch the sinister clown.

He’s soaked and he’s angry, he yells at the sky,

And the lightening yells back “And now you must die!”

Dear Giovanni

img082

“Dear Giovanni wouldn’t eat a bird.”

“He wouldn’t eat a bird?”

“No, haven’t you heard?

Lovely Giovanni wouldn’t eat a bird,

Because he loves them dearly.”

****

“Dear Giovanni wouldn’t cook a bird.

He wouldn’t cook a bird

In his restaurant, take my word!

Kind-hearted Giovanni, beloved restauranteur,

Wouldn’t cook a bird, no sir!”

****

“Giovanni has a motto,

I don’t know if you’ve heard it,

He says ‘Don’t hurt friends,

Or friends of friends,

Because none of them deserve it.'”

****

I had fun painting this cityscape and the name for the restaurant, Giovanni’s, just popped into my head.  Then, because I wanted to make a post in keeping with this week’s theme – birds – I wrote a quirky poem to go with it.  Then I thought – wouldn’t it be great if there really was a vegan restaurant called Giovanni’s?  So I googled and, guess what – there is!  What are the chances???

Giovanni's Pizza Grill, Rock City Rd and Tinker St Woodstock, NY 12498 United States

Giovanni’s Pizza Grill, 100% Vegan Organic Restaurant, Rock City Rd and Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498, United States

The Margherita

The Margherita

The Benedetta

The Benedetta

Poppy’s Potato Croquettes

Poppy’s Potato Croquettes

"meatballs" (made with whole grains and seeds) covered in a flavourful tomato sauce with onions

“meatballs” (made with whole grains and seeds) covered in a flavourful tomato sauce with onions

Sausage with peppers and onions

Sausage with peppers and onions

Fantastic tantalising pictures pinched from The V Word.

Click here to read the full restaurant review.  Ooh, I wish I lived near Woodstock right now 😉

Thanks Rhea 🙂

STOP PRESS:

Since posting this, Rhea has been in touch (see comments below) and she, in turn, told Giovanni who also dropped us a line (see comments again).  Anyway, I thought you might be interested in Giovanni’s fascinating story about how he became a vegan chef  which is revealed in his interview with Green Door Magazine, so click here

The Folly of Expert Opinions

flat-earth-society1

There was a time, long long ago

When they thought the world was flat.

They worried if they sailed the seas

They’d fall off the end of that.

ducking (1)

In centuries past, in primitive times,

They demonized herbal healers.

They’d label such gifted folk a witch.

Fear and ignorance led to murders.

fireball_v03

1908, the Siberian tundra

Was struck by a freak fireball.

Theories abound, though no cause has been found.

Was it meteorite or black-hole?

cropcircles3

10,000 crop circles in various forms

Have appeared since ’72

Caused by UFOs, wind or rabbits or hoax?

Who knows who knows?  Do you?

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And now here we are, Twenty-Fourteen,

A much more enlightened era.

The experts tell us as the ice starts to melt,

That we should try to live more greener.

go-green

Thoughtful, conscientious, sensible types

Recycle their plastic and drive less.

They walk or take the bus to work;

Use low wattage bulbs; try to redress.

animal farming enviro imp

But in 06 The United Nations

Found that animal farming’s the trouble,

Causing land degradation and water pollution,

Gas with high global warming potential.

Thailand1

The experts gathered and consulted and planned

What to do to solve the problem

Of global warming, pollution, disease

Caused by human animal-consumption.

COP14_-_Poznan_2008_UN_Climate_Change_Conference_-_-Troika-_Press_Conference_(Rasmussen,_Tusk,_Witoelar) (1)

“Urgent action is required,” they said,

“To remedy the situation.”

We need cows that don’t fart, recyclable manure,

And more efficient irrigation!

Thumbs up on green background

“Thank goodness for experts!” the populace cries,

“What would we do without them?

When scientists develop unflatulent cows

That will solve the global warming problem.”

N-A-U-542_720x350

“Wouldn’t it be easier,” a schoolboy asked

“To solve that long list of crises

By giving up meat and dairy and leather

And planting more veggies and fruit trees?”

teacher_36724503

“The experts would tell us,” his teacher replied,

“If there was anything we could do in a hurry.

There’s no need to resort to radical extremes,

Just recycle what you can and don’t worry.”

****

Click here to look at the report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.  Be aware, you might do a double take when you read that their proposed solutions to the problem are as indicated in the poem.  See Remedies including “Improving animals’ diets to reduce enteric fermentation and consequent methane emissions”

Remember I wanted a new hat?

recycling hats

Remember I wanted to make a new hat

With the yarn from old hats I’d unravelled?

Remember I said Random Rose made a hat,

beret with ridges she cabled?

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Well I followed the pattern that Rose kindly shared,

Though the yarn had lost elasticity.

The needles I used were not quite the right size,

But I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

****

So I finished my hat and I’m pleased how it went,

Cream and purple go well together.

I admit it turned out bigger than it was meant,

For my head is decidedly smaller.

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As luck would have it, Miranda’s got a big head,

Though not the metaphorical kind.

So I decided to give it to her instead,

And I honestly really don’t mind.

recycled beret finished

recycled beret side

recycled beret back

Miranda's new beret

Look at this can

dangerous litter

Look at this can, and picture if you can

What it would do to Peter Rabbit’s paw.

It’s as sharp as a knife, it would cut like a knife,

And cause bad infection for sure.

peterrabbit_peter_1280

This is how it goes, when someone just throws

Their drink can on the ground.

Inevitably it must, succumb to the rust,

Get dangerously jagged and unsound.

dangerous litter

Now think of this, just think of this –

What if Mrs Tiggywinkle walked over?

What if she trod, right over the sod

Where this can was hidden in the clover?

Mrs Tiggywinkle

Or Tabitha Twitchit, perhaps Mrs Twitchit,

Might be walking her youngsters to school.

Moppet and Mittens, and Tom, her kittens

Could, on this can, cut their feet cruel.

Mrs Twitchit and kittens

“Oh I wish,” they would say, at the end of the day,

“That the can had never been left there.”

Their feet would sting, as infection set in,

“But humans who litter just don’t care.”

I want a new hat!

sloppy cream hat

I want a new hat,

It’s as simple as that!

But I’ve got no money to buy one.

I know what I’ll do,

I’ve got old hats – two,

I’ll unravel to make a new one.

saggy purple hat

Rose shared a pattern,

A cool beret pattern,

Which I’ll use to make my new hat.

The purple from my sloppy

And the cream from my saggy

Hats will go great together for that!

yarn to reuse

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

Dandelion Dandelion

dandelion

Oh glorious dandelion

So misunderstood.

Maligned as a weed

Don’t you wish you would

Be valued and treasured,

Encouraged to grow,

To extend your long leaves

Sun gold flowers to show?

Your leaves make good salads,

Green smoothies and juice,

Your flowers bright and yellow,

Sweet to taste; you produce

Vitamins and minerals

So many in abundance.

One day you’ll be treasured,

Recognised for your brilliance.

Sc-raw-umptious!

raw cake

A cake is a cake

That you could make

And it’s unhealthy

Make no mistake

Unless it’s a cake

That you don’t bake

Made from fruits and nuts still raw!

raw cake

My first attempt at making raw cake and it’s deeelicious if I do say so myself 😉

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Having just finished reading 12 Steps to Raw Foods by Victoria Boutenko, I couldn’t wait to have a go at making raw cake.  At the back of the book are some really useful recipes which are designed to be adapted to suit your own tastes so, using the Generic Cake Recipe, I had a go.

For the chocolate base I combined 1 cup of ground walnuts, 1 tablespoon of flax oil, 1 tablespoon of agave nectar, and half a cup of cocoa (that should have been raw carob powder but I don’t have any of that yet).

This made a stiff, damp mixture which I formed into a cake shape on the plate.

Then for the topping I combined half a cup of fruit (banana in this case), half a cup of ground cashews, and half a cup of fresh coconut.  I put all these through my manual juicer (using the smooth screen) so that they were all ground and mushed, and then I mixed them together with a fork.

Then I spooned the topping onto the base and put it in the fridge to chill.  So easy.

Now I’m off to have another piece! 🙂

How about a strawberry one?

strawberry shortcake cut

For the strawberry version I just omitted the cocoa from the base and added a teaspoon of vanilla essence.

Then for the topping I combined half a cup of mushed strawberries, half a cup of ground cashews, (both of these were put through the manual juicer as above) and 1 tablespoon of agave nectar.

And voila:

raw strawberry shortcake

Answerin’ Back

Luke Walker - vegan comic for childrenShe said

“Do as you’re told

So that as you grow old-

-er, you’ll learn how to be a success.”

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I said

“What’s that to me

If there’s no bumble bee

And the world’s all polluted wiv mess?”

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She said

“Be quiet and sit still

Or you certainly will

Be punished and I’ll send home a letter!”

 ****

“Don’t answer back,

Good manners you lack,

You should know that your teacher knows better.”

****

I said

“That’s not always true,

I mean, wasn’t it you

Who told me people were s’posed to eat meat?”

****

“Now that can’t be right,

We don’t have sharp enuf bite,

To kill a animal for us to eat.”

****

“So if it’s alright wiv you,

I think I’ll just have to,

Answer back when I think of a question.”

****

“Like Tuvok I won’t

Nod my head when I don’t

Agree wiv a nillogical lesson!”

Be like Luke – think for yourself and never stop asking questions 🙂

Vegan Organic Fair-Trade

vegan organic fair trade

Today I ate a bar of chocolate,

Vegan organic fair trade.

For taste, enjoyment and ethics it

Put other bars in the shade.

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My chocolate went down so smoothly with

A piping hot cup of tea,

Vegan organic and fair trade too,

Happy indulgence for me.

***

Bananas we eat

And oranges sweet,

Are vegan organic fair trade.

***

On porridge we add

Sugar, just a tad,

That’s vegan organic fair trade.

***

The coffee and cocoa

And fruit that we can’t grow,

All vegan organic fair trade.

***

Vegan organic fair trade.

Vegan organic fair trade.

Just make up your mind

To keep purchases kind,

Buy vegan organic fair trade.

Walnut Counting Rhyme

grey squirrel

Up and down the walnut tree,

The squirrels run,

Just for fun,

Collecting nuts for free.

1, 2, 3.

The 4th they drop for me.

***

From branch to walnut branch,

The squirrels jump,

Without a bump,

Collecting nuts for free.

5, 6, 7.

The eighth they drop for me.

***

Round and round for walnuts bound,

The squirrels dance,

They skip and prance,

Collecting nuts for free.

9, 10, 11.

The 12th they drop for me.

***

Squirrels full of energy,

Go from tree to walnut tree,

Collecting nuts for free,

And dropping them for me.

When they have 30

How many will there be for me?

grey squirrel

Did you know that squirrels communicate with each other through various vocalisations and scent marking. They also use their tails as a signalling device, twitching it when uneasy to alert other squirrels of potential danger.  I have seen this and it’s fascinating to watch.

For more interesting facts about squirrels pop over here

Puddlesplashers

Wetsox Puddlesplasher,

That is my name.

My job is important

But it feels like a game.

***

We clamber through ditches,

And sink in the mud.

We jump down from earth mounds

And land with a thud.

***

Soggybottom Puddlesplasher,

My close relation,

Is my partner at work,

This mucky vocation.

***

litter picking poem

***

litter picking poem

***

But that is no matter,

There’s no turning back.

We have to keep going,

And fill our sack,

With bottles and cans,

Some broken, some shredded,

That were dropped by the stupid,

The thoughtless, wrong-headed.

***

These everyday things,

Used once and tossed out,

Are dangerous now,

To the others about

Their business as usual,

Living their lives.

They step on a shredded can,

That cuts like knives.

They eat plastic pieces

Or cigarette butts,

Which hurt them as much,

As the broken glass cuts.

***

So our job is important

And we’ll always stay

Proud Puddlesplashers,

Day after day.

Three Brown Cows

vegan nursery rhyme

Three brown cows.  Three brown cows.

See how they run.  See how they run.

They all run after the human ilk,

Who kidnap their calves and then steal their milk,

The cows want their calves back, the humans can’t bilk,

The three brown cows.

vegan nursery rhyme

For more nursery rhymes and wacky verse for kids click here 😀

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vegan nursery rhymes

Onwards and Upwards!

view of the rain through the window

The rain is falling fast and wet,

I haven’t been outside as yet,

But still I’m sure, and look with awe,

The year has started well.

****

Positive minds that focus together

On positive ends whatever the weather,

Can only go forwards and onwards and upwards

As vegan numbers swell.

😀

Happy New Year!!!!

Please Please Please

polar bears 2

Please please please let me take my ease,

Let me ride on your back for a while.

My legs are short and not as strong as yours,

I’ve been walking for more than a mile.

polar bears piggy back rides

I’ll just climb on and I won’t take long

Try to stand still here for a minute.

I really appreciate you helping me out

And I promise not to fidget.

polar bears

Thank you thank you thank you Mum

This ride is good and comfy.

I can see from your reflection though,

That you enjoy it as much as me!

If animals spoke our language

Eve with Minnie the house marten

Animals speak to us in their own way,
but if they spoke with words, what would they say?
One thing I declare, without ANY doubt:
All creatures in cages would say ‘Let me out!’

‘Watch my eyes follow your every motion’
A dog would say, ‘my life speaks of devotion’.
A horse would say, ‘A fire burns deep within me
that yearns to run through the countryside, free!’

One way we can improve the human race
is to respect those of a different face.
We need to listen in a whole new way
to what animals are trying to say.

Excerpt from If animals spoke our language by the Vegan Poet

A Dog’s Love

playing with my dog

When I need to love, my dog is faithfully there.
In the sweetest way, dogs show us how much they care.

They inspire us to play, to go for walks or a run,
A dog’s love is comforting and makes life more fun.

They’re willing love objects at any time of day.
And somehow my dog understands what I say.

From a dog’s warm welcome, true love is understood.
Their eyes reveal honesty; their heart is pure and good.

Great genius made the wagging tail, the ‘happy’ indicator,
Seeing a dog’s tail wag, my own happiness grows greater!

A dog’s Love offers a calming, therapeutic feeling,
Petting a dog’s coat has a wonderful way of healing.

A dog’s love truly feels as though it comes from a higher place
than the oftentimes self-serving love shown by the human race.

This interspecies relationship helps my soul to grow.
My Love should be more Dog-like; I am only human, though.

A Dog’s Love by the Vegan Poet

Vegan Doll

vegan doll

My sister has a vegan doll who has bright orange hair.

My sister said her vegan doll is prob’ly very rare.

She said there can’t be many dolls who simply couldn’t bear

To attend a tea party if there is cow’s milk there.

****

“I have to say, I understand,” my sister said to Mum,

“Why Rosa doll won’t eat an egg out of a chicken’s bum.

‘Thou shalt not kill’ said Reverend John, not ‘thou shalt not kill people‘.

Isn’t it right to be kind when we can? Shouldn’t that be our rule of thumb?”

****

My sister smiled at Rosa, her red-haired vegan dolly,

“I’m going to do what you do, so are Mum and Dad and Molly.

And all of my dolls will be vegan now so tea parties won’t exclude you,

The tea will only have oat milk in and there’ll be vegan cake on the trolley.”

DAIRY NONSENSICAL

click here for 'bones and teef' - picture story about calcium from plant foods

DAIRY NONSENSICAL

The Dairy Council’s working hard to convince us their product is healthy.

They say they they just want to help our kids to be athletic and lively.

But think before you drink, what is their real motivation?

Research. Look stuff up. The truth is a revelation.

****

Cows’ milk contains calcium but not for humans to digest,

So triggers joint pain, arthritis, asthma, problems of the chest,

Sleeplessness, itchy rashes, diabetes, ulcers,

Migraines, ear infections, epileptic seizures.

****

Humans don’t need cows’ milk, the idea is really nonsensical.

There’s plenty of calcium after all in broccoli, collard greens and kale.

It’s the Dairy Council themselves who “milk it for all it’s worth”,

But sensible people shake their heads and pull nutrition direct from the earth.