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 !

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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,

15% off! Offer ends Friday!

https://www.lulu.com/spotlight/violetsvegancomics

Shop now to get 15% off on all purchases from the Violet’s Vegan Comics bookshop!

Use code TREAT15 at the checkout.

Hurry! 😀

Offer ends Friday 23 October at 23:59 UTC

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vegan, vegan books, vegan children’s books, vegan books for children, vegan storybooks, books, discount books, special offer,

AudioBook – Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter three

Come back tomorrow for chapter four! ❤

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

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

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.

Bridlington online Vegan Festival!

Roll up roll up! It’s time for the annual Bridlington Vegan Festival!

Normally it’s held at Bridlington Spa – oh don’t you wish you were there right now? 😀 – but this year, for obvious reasons, it’s going to be online so that means that even if you can’t get to Bridlington on Sunday, you don’t have to miss out 😀

What’s on at the 2020 Bridlington Vegan Online Festival I hear you ask?
Well, if you pop over here you’ll find out that there’s going to be posts from and/or links to:
* delicious vegan food providers
* businesses providing vegan, ethical, eco-friendly products and holistic therapies
* Information and advice about following a vegan lifestyle
* Local and national groups campaigning to help people, animals and the environment.

But that’s not all 😀

You can also enjoy:
Inspirational speakers,
Music from Tess Fletcher, Barbara Helen and His Witch

Cookery demonstrations
& Relaxing yoga sessions

And still there’s more!

If you go to the Bridlington Vegan Festival 2020 page you can see the whole timetable.

There will be instagram posts to enjoy from 9am onwards. There’s going to be sing-alongs, and yoga [via zoom and in real life on the beach!] There’s a children’s drama workshop and lots of other things for children to join in with. There’s even a juggler!

So come on down (to your settee) and enjoy this happy event 😀

Sunday 11th October, 9am – be there!

“They can’t ignore us forever”

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er, chapter 17, continues from Friday:

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“Maybury,” said Tania, “has anyone had a reply yet?” They all shook their heads.

“No,” said Joe, “surprise surprise.”

“Well, they can’t ignore us forever,” she said, undaunted. “Did you bring the petition?”

“Of course,” said Isabel, pulling a clipboard from her bag.

“Okay then, let’s go! Outside the cinema?”

“Last time we stood there nobody was interested,” said Isabel. “Let’s stand in front of the RSPCA shop.”

Outside the charity shop, Joe held the petition while the other three tried to tempt people to sign it.

“Excuse me,” said Tania.

“No, I’m in a hurry,” replied a frowning man.

“Would you mind …” asked Isabel.

“Sorry. Bus to catch,” replied a lady pushing a bike.

“Stop Maybury Sanctuary killin’ animals!” shouted Luke.

“What?” asked a shocked passer-by, “Maybury Centre for Animal Welfare? Why would they kill animals?”

“They are!” declared Luke, “sign our petition.”

The man and his wife read the petition:

WE, THE BELOW SIGNED, DEMAND THAT MAYBURY CENTRE FOR ANIMAL WELFARE STOP HAVING ANIMALS KILLED FOR THEIR CAFE AND MAKE THE CAFE COMPLETELY VEGAN.

The couple breathed a sigh of relief.  “So they’re not actually killing animals,” said the man.

“You’re spittin’ hairs,” said Luke. “They’re payin’ for ’em to be killed and makin’ money out of it.”

The man shook his head. “You’re making it sound like they’re killing kittens. You could get into a lot of trouble spreading lies like that.”

“It’s not lies! If you paid someone to kill your wife, wun’t that be murder, even if you dint do it yourself?”

“Why would you say such horrible things about Maybury Centre? They do so much good,” the wife joined in. “We got our Maxie from them. She was starving when they found her and they nursed her back to health.”

“I’m not sayin’ they don’t do good things,” Luke clarified, “we’re just askin’ ’em to be that good to all animals. Why don’t piglets matter? Or cows?”

The wife tutted and ducked into the shop while her husband continued to set Luke straight.  “Slaughtering animals for food is not murder, it’s necessity. Think of all the wild animals that kill to eat. It’s just nature.”

“It’s nature for foxes, and cats, and lions and tigers and crocodiles, but it’s not nature for us. We’re not s’posed to eat animals, we’re s’posed to eat vegetables.”

The man laughed. “What gives you that idea? Humans are omnivores – that means they eat plants and animals,” he said with condescension.

“But we’re not meant to,” insisted Luke, “if we were we’d have sharp teeth an’ claws to kill with and we’d eat ’em raw.”

At that moment the man’s wife emerged from the shop, frowned at Luke and escorted her husband away. Luke kicked the pavement in frustration. Thankfully Isabel had been more successful with a few people leaving the shop and Tania looked like she was making headway with a passing group of foreign students. Luke composed himself and tried a gentler approach.

“Will you sign a petition to save the animals?” he asked a lady holding a little girl’s hand and pushing a pram.

“I will,” said the little girl, “I love animals!”

“I think he meant me sweetheart,” the lady laughed.

“No,” Luke smiled, “I meant everybody.” He took the clipboard from Joe, held it low enough for the little girl to reach, and gave her the pen. She signed her name in large undisciplined letters and Luke thanked her sincerely.

“Now you Mummy,” she said to the lady.

“What is it for?” asked her mother.

“It’s for the animals!” the daughter replied, hands on hips, “weren’t you listening?”

When her baby started to cry the woman was eager to get moving again so she signed the petition without reading it, took her daughter’s hand and went on her way. Luke, with spirits lifted, was about to approach another pedestrian when a tall woman, wearing a badge that labelled her the manager, came out of the shop and stood in front of them.

“Please don’t stand here,” she said to the Society, “you’re upsetting our customers.”

“I’m sorry,” said Tania, “we don’t mean to upset anyone, we just thought that people who supported the RSPCA would be interested in this. It’s a petition to make Maybury Centre go vegan.”

“I know what it is,” replied the tall woman, “and we don’t support it. Maybury Centre has done a lot of good work in this community and it’s horrible of you to tarnish their reputation. If you really cared about animals you wouldn’t be attacking an animal rescue charity.”

“We’re not attacking anybody,” said Isabel, “we’re simply asking them to stop having animals killed for their cafe.”

“It’s the way you’re saying it! You could just write ‘please stop selling meat’ or ‘please make the cafe vegan’ without using these shock tactics.”

“People think meat is normal,” said Joe quietly, “they don’t react to it because they think it’s a normal, everyday thing that everybody eats and there’s nothing wrong with it.”

“Yes,” Isabel finished his thought, “they don’t think of the animals who were killed to make the meat ….”

“You should be ashamed of yourselves,” the tall woman interrupted, shaking her head. “Move along now please or I’ll be calling the police.”

****************************************

The story continues tomorrow 😀

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here 😀

and if that doesn’t satisfy you 😉 the next eight chapters are now available in paperback:

Luke Walker and the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers

*********************************************************************

vegan, vegetarian, vegan fiction, juvenile fiction, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, animal rights, activism, veggie kids

Luke Walker chapter 17 starts here!

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er – the story continues two years later:

Chapter 17:  Cognitive Dissonance

Two years later:

“Luuuke!” Jared was angry.

Luke returned the now half empty book of stamps to Mum’s purse. “It wasn’t me!” he lied.

“Who else would put a sticker over my webcam? I want to skype and I can’t get it off!”

“I jus’ needed to borra it for a minute an’ I dint want anybody spyin’ on me.”

“No one can spy on you, idiot! You have to turn the webcam on yourself!”

“You’re the idiot if you think they can’t turn it on and watch you when you don’t know they’re watchin’ you. I saw it on that film about the man who had to escape from the government.  And it was on that programme about the lawyer whose daughter was bein’ spied on coz she didn’t close her laptop and they switched on her webcam from somewhere else not in her house!”

Jared wasn’t listening. He’d heard it all before. He referred the problem to a higher power.

“Mum,” he called downstairs, “Luke’s been messing with my computer again and I can’t get the sticker off! He’s not supposed to touch my stuff!”

Mum’s hands were immersed in hot water.  She didn’t have the energy or the inclination to referee her sons’ squabbles so she pretended she hadn’t heard.  Jared turned back to his brother.

“The next time you touch my stuff I’ll take your walkie talkies and smash them with a hammer!”

Luke, secretly thankful to Jared for reminding him, stuffed his walkie talkies into his rucksack and went downstairs. He had a bus to catch.

When he got to the bus stop the bus was already there. Joe was trying the driver’s patience by rummaging slowly in his pockets for his fare, bringing out one small coin at a time in an effort to delay the bus’s departure. When Luke stepped on behind him he found his two pound coin and put the driver out of his misery. Luke did the same and the boys ascended to the empty top deck and sat down on the front seat.

“Happy New Year,” said Joe.

Luke was frantically searching his bag. “Yeah, happy …. did you bring your notebook?”

Joe nodded.

“I forgot mine,” said Luke, annoyed. “Did you write down where we’re s’posed to be meetin’ the others?”

“No,” said Joe, “but I remember. We’re meeting them at the library.”

Luke frowned with uncertainty.

“We always meet at the library,” Joe reassured him, “the first Saturday of every month. At the library.”

Luke shook his head. “I know that’s what we normally do, but last time that woman kept watching us and Tania thought she was trying to listen to our plans so we said next time we’d meet somewhere more private. I wrote it down. Don’t you remember?”

Joe’s recollection went further.

“Yes, I remember that, but then Isabel said she didn’t think the woman was listening and Tania was just paranoid and there wasn’t anywhere else we could meet that was warm and dry and she thought we should meet at the library as usual.”

Luke still looked uncertain.

“Twelve o’clock. At the library. As usual,” Joe reiterated.

“Okay,” said Luke, finally giving up the search for his notebook, “good.” He leaned back in his seat and put his feet up on the window ledge in front of him.

The boys hadn’t seen each other since Christmas so the half hour bus ride was a good time to catch up. Luke pulled an impressive-looking, hard plastic case out of his rucksack.

“I got these from me Mum and Dad,” he told Joe, and opened the case to reveal two walkie talkies. They were green, brown and black in a camouflage pattern, with buttons under a screen and a short antenna sticking up on one side. In addition the case contained a charger, ear pieces, belt clips, and survival bracelets with built-in compass and whistle. “They work as far as three kilometres apart, so we’ll be able to talk to each other if we’re on a mission and we’re doin’ different bits of it and we have to keep watch and tell the other one if someone’s comin’.” Joe hesitantly reached for one of the bracelets. “Oh yeah, and we’ll both wear one of these – go on, try it on,” encouraged Luke, “and then if we get lost, or if the walkie talkie battery dies, we can survive with these coz there’s a whistle so we can blow it and hear where each other is and know if it’s north or south.”

“They’re brilliant,” said Joe, obviously impressed.

Luke carefully retrieved the bracelet and put it back in the case. “What did you get?” he asked.

Joe reached into his bag and pulled out a smart pair of binoculars. “I like bird watching,” he explained.

“Score!” said Luke, “these’ll be good for missions too coz we’ll be able to see if someone’s comin’ from a long way away before they see us.”

“I use ’em for looking for UFOs too,” said Joe, lifting the binoculars to his eyes and looking through the window at the skies ahead.

“Spaceships?” asked Luke, interested.

“Yeah, I saw a documentary about aliens coming to Earth and it said they were real and they’ve been coming to Earth for years and they’re watching us to make sure we don’t send bombs into space and they stopped the Americans when they did try to send some up there.”

“Really?” asked Luke, wide eyed, “so they’re good aliens?”

“Yeah, they’re good, stopping bad people with bombs. But the people who make the bombs are trying to keep the aliens secret because they want to keep making the bombs because they get a lot of money from it. So they want to make people scared of aliens by making fake alien ships to attack Earth so that the Earth people will want them to attack the aliens,” Joe took a breath. “But really it’s not the aliens because the aliens are peaceful and we shouldn’t be attacking them we should be making friends with them coz they could help us save the environment.”

“Wow,” said Luke, “sounds like a good film. D’you think it’s true?”

“Oh yeah! It’s true. They had lots of evidence and lots of people have seen them and some people have been killed to shut them up or blackmailed to change their stories. I know it sounds made up but it’s not. You should see the film.”

“Yeah. What’s it called?”

Unacknowledged.”

“Have you got it on DVD?”

“No, it’s on Netflix.”

“We haven’t got Netflix.”

“Neither have we but I signed up for a month’s free trial on Janet’s computer and there’s a week left so you can watch it at mine.”

Luke nodded.  He really wanted to see it.

“Come round after school on Tuesday.”

“You’re lucky Janet lets you borra her computer. Jared gets in a right hump when I borra his.”

“Janet won’t be there,” explained Joe.

The boys got off the bus at the radio station and walked through the pedestrianised High street to the library. It was only ten to twelve. They were going to be early for once.

The January meeting of the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers commenced thirteen minutes later.

****************************************************

The story continues on Monday 😀

but if you don’t want to wait you can read the whole chapter here 😀

and if that doesn’t satisfy you 😉 the next eight chapters are now available in paperback:

Luke Walker and the Secret Society of animal stick up for-ers

*********************************************************************

vegan, vegetarian, vegan fiction, juvenile fiction, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan children’s book, animal rights, activism

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 😀

Look at our apple trees now!

Remember we planted some sprouted apple seeds nearly five and a half years ago? I can’t believe it’s been over five years!  Anyway, look at them now!  In our last update, three years ago, they were still in pots, but not long after that we planted them in the chickens’ area of the garden where my husband works.  We thought they’d make the chickens’ patch more interesting and give them some shade in the summer.  They grew at different rates, maybe because they’re different types of apples but also because a couple of them have been plagued with ants farming aphids on them.  The little one at the back of the photo (above) was in a really bad way last year because it was smothered in greenfly so I soaked some soapnuts in a bottle of water and doused them liberally with it and this year it’s really bounced back.  Doesn’t seem a very vegan thing to do though does it?  But I want to protect the trees.  This year the ants are still there and the greenfly are back, though not in such great numbers yet.  I was hoping some ladybirds might help out if I left things alone but so far I’ve only seen one so I’m not really sure the best course of action.

Any natural suggestions would be greatly appreciated 🙂

This one is the strongest this year – isn’t it marvellous?  A nice bit of shade for the chicks and, five years in, we’re half way to getting some apples.  Greenfly permitting 😉

Growing your own trees – it’s a rollercoaster of joy and apprehension! ❤

But first, chocolate macaroons

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p11S&G2 p12

Want to read more Sherman and Geynes stories?  Go to the Sherman and Geynes page!

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veggie kids, vegetarian children, vegan children, animal-friendly stories for children, vegan children’s stories, vegan children’s books, vegetarian children’s books, detective stories for children, mystery, imagination, library, pretend detectives, fantasy, vegan cafe, herbivore’s palace, chocolate macaroons.

Are they railway bandits?

Sherman and Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p9S&G2 p10

Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Wild speculation

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p7S&G2 p8

Story continues on Monday 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story, detective story, mystery, suspicious plotters plotting their schemes, In the library with the elastic band, looking for clues, trust no one, you might get a look at their dastardly plans, imaginary, funny, a shoe, a pen, and an elastic band, impossible, steal a train and take it to Scotland, convert it into a space rocket, that’s why they need maps, that’s why the woman in yellow keeps shaking her head,

Let’s look around and ask a few questions

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

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Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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Cunning criminal masterminds

Sherman & Geynes episode 2 continues:

S&G2 p3S&G2 p4

Story continues tomorrow 😀

Or if you can’t wait, click here to read the whole story right now.

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children’s story, vegan children, comic, vegan comic, humour, imagination, vegan children’s story, eccentric story

Basking Sharks

Photo by David Mark of Pixabay

Basking Sharks are so named because they’re often seen feeding at the surface of the water where they look like they’re basking in the sun!  They are enormous and often spotted in UK waters during summer months.
APPEARANCE:
Apart from their large size, Basking Sharks have:

  • a very large mouth – this can be well over 1m wide!
  • 5 huge gills which almost encircle the head
  • and a powerful crescent-shaped tail

COLOUR:
They tend to be greyish-brown with a lighter underbelly. Often they have irregular patches, patterns and streaks on their flanks and fins. Using photo-ID we can use these distinct markings to identify individual Basking Sharks.

SIZE:
The largest reported Basking Shark was 12m long. But most don’t get bigger than 9.8m.

WEIGHT:
The average Basking Shark weighs 4.5 tonnes. Yet, they can weigh up to 7 tonnes!

DIET:
Basking Sharks eat zooplankton. This includes small copepods, barnacles, decapod larvae, fish eggs and shrimp.  They’re one of 3 filter-feeding sharks but are the only species that feeds entirely passively. They swim through the water with their mouth wide open, rather than actively sucking water in. Only closing their mouths to swallow their food. Long comb-like structures on their gills (known as gill-rakers) trap and filter zooplankton. These can strain up to 2000 tonnes of water per hour!

REPRODUCTION:
It’s thought that Basking Sharks live for at least 50 years. Males reach maturity at 12–16 years. And females at 20 years (around 4.6-6.1m in length).
Females produce eggs, which develop and hatch inside their body. They then give birth to fully developed young, which are around 1–1.7m long. This makes Basking Shark pups larger at birth than many species of shark are fully grown!

There’s little data on Basking Shark reproduction. But pregnancy is thought to last around 14 months. There’s only ever been one reported catch of a pregnant female (1943), who was carrying 6 pups. This suggests that Basking Sharks give birth in areas of low, or no fishing pressure.

BEHAVIOUR:
Basking Sharks are quite social. They can be seen on their own, in small groups, or, schools of hundreds. There are many reports of same size and sex groups. Suggesting a strong sexual and age segregation within the species.

Despite their size, Basking Sharks are capable of leaping clear out of the water. A behaviour known as breaching. They seem to breach most when in large groups and during courtship, so this may act as a social or sexual function. It could also help to dislodge external parasites.
Info from sharktrust.org/about-basking-sharks

Basking Sharks are long lived, slow growing and produce few young. This makes them extremely vulnerable to human impacts.  Although Basking Sharks are now one of the most heavily protected sharks in UK and EU waters, they continue to face threats from human activities:

ENTANGLEMENT
Basking Sharks easily become entangled in fishing nets and ropes. Unless fishermen are on hand to quickly release them, they often die. Although some do manage to disentangle themselves. You can sometimes see scarring and abrasions caused by nets on their dorsal fin.

BOAT-STRIKE
Propeller and boat strikes remain a serious danger for Basking Sharks. Particularly in summer months when they’re feeding at the surface. Basking Sharks rarely evade approaching boats. So it’s common for them to have scarring and sometimes horrific injuries from collisions.

HARASSMENT
Basking Sharks are very sensitive to disturbance and harassment by people. In all the excitement of seeing Basking Sharks, boats and jet-ski’s often end up striking them. As well as causing physical harm, water-users can also disrupt their natural behaviour. Such as feeding, courting and mating.

FISHERIES
Basking Shark fisheries worldwide have all but collapsed. Although in some parts of the world they continue, driven by demand for shark fins. Basking Sharks are also still caught as bycatch in nets intended for other species.

Info from sharktrust.org/basking-shark-threats

To learn how you can help basking sharks go to sharktrust.org/how-can-you-help-basking-sharks

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Homemade Raw Bars

After giving up refined sugar I got hooked on these things.  They are an absolutely delicious, feel-good treat (Pulsin is on the ethical chocolate list) which is almost guilt-free.  Almost.  Unfortunately they’re wrapped in plastic.  So, to avoid that, I decided to make my own – and they are equally yummy, if I do say so myself 😀

I ordered my supplies from the Zero Waste Club – a wonderful new company from whom you can order all sorts of healthy staples without plastic wrapping.  The following is my first attempt and it made a lot of bars.  In future I’ll halve these measurements 🙂

Ingredients:

  • Almost 3 mugs full (500g) of organic pitted dates
  • About 2 mugs full (about 350g) of organic cashews
  • About 1 mug full of organic raisins
  • About half a mug full of organic cocoa powder (to be truly raw, substitute raw cacao)
  • About a mug full of organic cacao nibs
  • Some organic oats (to be truly raw, omit these)

First soak the dates and the cashews in water (separately) in the fridge for a couple of hours to soften.  Afterwards, drain and rinse the cashews in a colander.

I don’t have a food processor (I used to have one but it broke and I refuse to buy another one which will also break at some point and add more plastic to landfill) so I used my beloved manual juicer to process these ingredients.  This is a simple, hand-crank machine made of stainless steel which I believe will last me a life time.  I highly recommend it 😀 (BL-30 Manual Stainless Steel Wheat Grass and Vegetable Juicer)

  1.  Process the softened dates into mush and put them in a large mixing bowl.2.  Process the softened cashews into mush and add them to the bowl with the dates.3.  Mix the stiff mixture of dates and cashews until thoroughly combined.4.  Process the raisins into mush and mix them into the mixture.5.  Add the cocoa and the cacao nibs and mix until everything is fully combined into a lovely chocolatey mixture.6.  If you don’t want to add the oats, you’re finished so you can spread the mixture into a tin or onto a plate or container.  It is delicious now but you won’t be able to pick it up with your fingers to eat it, like a shop-bought bar.  You’ll need a plate and a fork coz it’s mushy.  So, I added a few oats to stiffen it up.  Just add a few at a time and mix them in until you’ve got the consistency you want.7.  When the mixture is the right consistency, spread it onto a lined cookie sheet (I lined it with eco-friendly grease proof paper from If You Care)  Flatten it with  the back of  a wet spoon.8.  Then cut it into bars and chill in the fridge.  Easy 😀 Yum 😀

 

Freedom

Story continues from yesterday:

Yay Venus! She saved the day again!

If you want to know what she did next, go to episode 4

If you want to know what she did before this, go to the Venus Aqueous page 😀

Have a great day, see you tomorrow ❤

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Art Attack

Story continues from yesterday

Phew! Thank goodness for that.  Find out tomorrow whether Venus can save the basking shark😀

or read the whole story now 😉

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan comic, children’s comic, animals, marine animals, veggie kids, basking sharks, jet skis

Butt-faced miscreants!

Story continues from yesterday 🙂

Oh no! Find out tomorrow how Venus and her dad cope with these idiots 😀 (or read the whole story now 😉 )

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vegan, vegan children, vegan children’s story, vegan comic, children’s comic, animals, marine animals, veggie kids, basking sharks,

Greta Thunberg: action is the only thing to bring hope

Watch this.  Nothing could be more important.

Yesterday I heard a woman complaining at the checkout about how much she had to pay for plastic bags.  She complained but she didn’t act.  She didn’t make the effort to bring re-usable bags with her.  She was clueless.  I am daily flabbergasted at the cluelessness of so many people who blindly continue with their destructive habits in spite of the devastation they cause to the planet.  Do they think it’s not their problem?  Do they think the government will solve it?

This problem can only be solved by everybody.

Aftermath

Now we continue with episode 3 (for the story so far, click here 😀 )

What’s Dad got?  Find out on Monday 😉

Have a great weekend 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, veggie kids, vegan children, vegan superhero, vegan comic, vegan children’s story,

Beauty and the plastic ring

Story continues from yesterday:

For all the Venus Aqueous stories click here 😀

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Staying in front

Story continues from yesterday:

Nevermind the dinghy Venus, somebody needs your help!  Story continues tomorrow, but click here if you want to read it now 😀

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Vegan Crossword Puzzle: Stuff With Protein In

 Click on the puzzle for a pdf you can download and print

or ‘print screen’ and paste into Paint so you don’t have to print it 😀

Stuff_with_protein_in

The answers are here 😀

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Created at wordmint.com

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We are Vegan Nation!

We are happy to announce our new partners: Vegan Nation – the strongest cruelty-free marketplace & platform every Vegan needs to know!

You’ll soon find us, among thousands of other vegan businesses, on their upcoming app📱@vegannationofficial – #iamvegannation

Wanna join?  I don’t blame you!  Click here to join the fastest growing vegan ecosystem now! 😀

What exactly happened today?

For this whole story (episode 2) and all the other Megan & Flos stories, click here 🙂

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Press Conference

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair continues (For the story so far, click here 🙂 )

Phew!  That’s a relief 🙂 New story starts tomorrow 😀

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Aftershock

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair continues (For the story so far, click here 🙂 )

Story concludes on tomorrow 🙂

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Breaking News

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair continues (For the story so far, click here 🙂 )

Story continues on Monday.  Have a great weekend 🙂

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Where did everybody go?

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair continues (For the story so far, click here 🙂 )

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, animal rights, children’s story, comics, children’s comics, vegan comics, vegan children’s story, animals, badgers, cows

Whaddaya mean?

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair continues (For the story so far, click here 🙂 )

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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Do as you would be done by, Government Man

For earlier episodes of Reflecto Girl, click here 🙂

Story continues tomorrow 🙂

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vegan, vegetarian, animal rights, children’s story, comics, children’s comics, vegan comics, vegan children’s story, animals, badgers, cows

 

“Distracto Boy – we’re needed!”

For earlier episodes of Reflecto Girl, click here 🙂

Story continues on Monday.

Have a great weekend 😀

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vegan, vegetarian, animal rights, children’s story, comics, children’s comics, vegan comics, vegan children’s story, animals, badgers, cows

Reflecto Girl: Harsh But Fair, begins here

For earlier episodes of Reflecto Girl, click here 🙂

Story continues tomorrow

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