Vegan Life Magazine: August 2019

Vegan Life is a great magazine – written by vegans for vegans 😀 and this month they put us in it!!!!!

We are so excited to show you – a feature all about Violet’s Vegan Comics!!! – two full pages of writing, plus a couple of illustrations!  If you’ve already read it you might have thought it was just one long waffle from me talking about our stuff but I was actually answering questions posed by the magazine interviewer, they just didn’t print the questions 😀

Miranda was so excited she posed for a picture with the mag as soon as she saw it, but now that we’re famous I thought it would be a good idea to give her a disguise so that she doesn’t get mobbed by fans 😀

Of course it’s not all about us 😉  There are loads of scrumptious recipes, interviews with activists and animal advocates, news about the rise of veganism in the mainstream and tons of positive vegan lifestyle inspiration.  There’s loads more on their blog too 😀

And if you like the mag – which I know you will – you’re gonna love their live event!

Vegan Life LIVE takes place on the 14th and 15th of March 2020 at Alexandra Palace in London.  There’ll be talks and cookery demonstrations and so many stalls full of yummy vegan products.  Check out some of the highlights of their event in 2017 to get an idea of what to expect 😀

14-15 of March.

Be there! ❤

😀

Luke Walker’s Privut Notebook

vegan book for children

We’re so glad you’ve been enjoying the adventures of Luke Walker, animal stick up for-er, and thought you might be interested to know that he has made a notebook.  It’s not the prettiest of notebooks as it’s just an exercise book, originally intended by Mrs Tebbut to be his maths book, which Luke felt would be much better put to another purpose.

vegan book for children

He’s setting up a secret sersiety of animal stick up for-ers and welcomes others with prince pauls like him to join.  All new outlaws should have a copy of this notebook and put their name on the list of proppa members.

vegan book for children

All member outlaws must agree to the plej …

vegan book for children

… and follow the sersiety rules.

vegan book for children

According to Luke, to be an outlaw you must think to question everything you’re told …

vegan book for children

… to consider if it’s really true.

vegan book for children

Luke has worked hard on this notebook, all by himself.  He has included lots of useful information – like people from history who had prince pauls, …

vegan book for children

… and how to make your own secret code-maker/breaker which is an essential for every secret sersiety member.

vegan book for children

Plus he has left lots of space for new members to write in.

vegan book for children

vegan book for children

vegan book for children

There is even a top secret coded message which new member outlaws will be able to decipher when they’ve made themselves a code breaker.  And there’s space for more coded messages to be added by new members.

vegan book for children

All in all, Luke is very pleased with his Privut Notebook which is available from Amazon at the very reasonable price of £2.75

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Luke-Walker-animal--er-notebook/dp/1530311284/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469185270&sr=1-1&keywords=luke+walker+animal+stick+up+for-er

You can’t say fairer than that 😉

Here are a couple of Luke’s friends with their copies:

Chatting away non-stop

Story continues from yesterday:

****

In a few short minutes Luke and Emma were crossing the meadow side by side, heading for the woods.  Luke chatted away non-stop while Emma swished her tail and listened contentedly.

“Truth is Emma,” he explained, “I’d love to take you home with me but I really don’t think me dad’d let me.  Honestly, you should ‘ave ‘eard the fuss ‘e made over a couple o’ rabbits.”

On the other side of the wood was another meadow, even more beautiful, with trees here and there and, to Luke’s delight, something else.

“Ooh quick Emma, over here!  It looks like a lake or somethin’!”

Luke rushed ahead laughing and calling her to follow.  Cautiously, she did.  It was such a lovely hot day that Luke couldn’t resist getting into the clear, cool water.

“Come on, it’s ok, it’s not deep,” he called, “come in with me, it’s fun!”

Emma tentatively dipped her trunk into the water and had a good long drink.  Luke grinned.

“Yeah, that’s it!  Now come all the way in and play with me.”

He laughed and sloshed about and splashed her so that soon she wanted to join in.  She reached out her trunk to him and he put his hand out to her and she trod heavily, slowly, down into the lake.  She drew up a big trunk full of water and showered it all over herself, and Luke.  She splashed and she played and felt free.  And so did Luke.  It was just the best afternoon.

When they got out of the water Emma laid down on the warm grass to be dried by the sun, and Luke sat with her, leaning against her chest.  Eventually, reluctantly, he looked at his watch. 4.32.

“I have to go now,” he told her sadly, “but I will come back if I can.”

He didn’t know when that might be.

“You do like it here don’t you?”

He knew she must and was satisfied his outlawing had paid off again – she’d be much happier here than in that concrete enclosure.  She’d have freedom; she’d have space; he only wished she wouldn’t be on her own.

“There’s prob’ly rabbits here,” he told her, “rabbits make good friends.  The thing with rabbits is, you ‘ave to be patient.  They might seem a bit stand-offish at first but once they get to know you they’re very friendly.”

He stood up and said goodbye, confident she’d understood.  

He slipped back in to the zoo and locked the gate so that everything, well, almost everything, was as he’d found it.  He decided it would be a good idea to hang on to the keys – he’d need them next time he visited Emma.  

It was 4.57 when he arrived at the coach so he was in good time for Mrs Tebbut’s prompt 5pm departure, but for some reason she was crosser than he’d ever seen her.

“Luke Walker!  Do you have any idea what you’ve put us through?  You have disrupted the day for the whole class!  You are a selfish, thoughtless child and I will be sending a letter home to your parents!”

“For what?” thought Luke.

_______________________________________________

Unbeknown to Luke, seven months later, in a national newspaper:

THE DAILY NEWS

Elephant Finds Sanctuary At Last

Emma in newspaper for web page

Seven months after the 24-hour disappearance of the lonely elephant at Dillingsgate Zoo, she has been found a place at The Elephant Sanctuary.  ‘Companions for Nelly’ campaign organiser, Joanne Russell said she cannot adequately express her joy at today’s outcome.

“We can only thank God for bringing to light Nelly’s lonely existence by causing her to wander off by herself and ignite a media storm. If it hadn’t been for the zoo’s mishap of leaving her gate open, the world might never have been aware of her miserable solitary confinement.”

Seven months ago the alarm was raised at Dillingsgate zoo when keepers discovered that Nelly was missing. She was found the following day in neighbouring woodlands but not before the news was reported in local, national and international media.  This put the spotlight on conditions in which Nelly was kept.

“Elephants are very social animals,” said Ms Russell, “and it was heartbreaking to learn that Nelly had been without any companionship of her own kind for almost twenty years.”

Thanks to the overwhelming public support for Ms Russell’s campaign, Nelly has now been found a place at the award winning Elephant Sanctuary where she will be able to live out her days in natural surroundings in the company of her own kind.

*********

You can read the whole of Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er Chapter 2 here.

Chapter 3 coming to this site soon!

Want it now? No problem – just order the paperback from Amazon! (It’s got the first eight chapters) 😀

Keeping a low profile

The story continues from yesterday:

******

It didn’t take long for Luke to work out where he might find what he was looking for.

“Somebody what works here will have keys!”

It never occurred to him that he would need a particular key for the particular lock he wanted to open but, as it happened, that wasn’t going to be a problem.  When the zoo was built over thirty years earlier, it boasted the largest number of animal enclosures in the country.  It was deemed impractical to have hundreds of different keys so the same three locks were fitted to everything: one for animal enclosures; one for outer gates; and one for buildings.  Each key-holder carried the same three keys.  That was all anyone needed.  It was all Luke needed. 

zoo keys

Back in the hubbub of the zoo, Luke kept a low profile.  It felt good to be outlawing again.  He saw plenty of zoo workers but there was no way of knowing whether they had keys without asking them.  Then he heard a familiar jangle.

“I know what that means,” he thought, triumphant, “that man’s got keys on his belt!”

The man was alone.  At a grassy, low-fenced enclosure inhabited by small, furry animals Luke didn’t know the name of, he caught up with him.  The man seemed engrossed in what he was doing, or perhaps lost in his own thoughts.  Luke could see the keys dangling against his hip and crept up so close behind him he could almost reach them through the wire fence.  Just as he was about to touch them a loud voice, crackling from the man’s walkie talkie, startled his hand back.  The voice sounded impatient.

“Brinley! Can you hear me? I need you to open the Goods Entrance – the delivery’s just arrived.”

“I heard you! I’m on my way.”

The man, and the keys, hurried out of the enclosure.  Luke followed him at a discreet distance.  He went past a sign which said ‘STAFF ONLY’ and up to a big gate.  No one else was around.  The walkie talkie shouted at the man again.

“HURRY UP BRINLEY! It’s that bad tempered lorry driver!”

“I’m coming! I’m coming!” said Brinley.

In his rush he left the keys in the gate after unlocking it and rushed up the track.  He would probably only be gone for a moment or two.  But that was enough.

Luke ran as fast as he could to get back to the elephant.  It was easier to go unnoticed than it had been on the way out because there was some kind of commotion on the other side of the zebra enclosure.  He overheard something as he passed through which assured him it was nothing to concern him.  The elephant was waiting right where he’d left her.

“I got it! I got the key! Sorry it took so long.”

He unlocked the gate and led her out.

“That’s it, out you come,” he encouraged her, “I don’t know your name so if you don’t mind I think I’ll call you ……… Emma.”

Emma seemed as happy as he was about her outing and she trumpeted with joy.

“Shhh shhh,” Luke looked up into her big, dark eyes, “we’ve got to be sneaky, remember?”

He pointed to a gate behind Emma’s enclosure beyond which he could see a wide open space – a meadow bordered with woodlands.

“Let’s go this way,” he suggested, “don’t worry, no one’ll see.  They’re too busy lookin’ for a lost little boy. Hope they find ‘im.”

elephant rescue

*****

Story concludes tomorrow but if you can’t wait that long you can read the whole thing here 🙂 or buy it in paperback 😉

Might as well make the best of it.

Continues from yesterday:

*****

But, it was nice weather, and anything was better than being stuck in a classroom.  Luke decided he might as well try to make the best of it.

Mrs Tebbut pointed at two big tigers.

“What can you tell me about the tigers in this enclosure?” she asked the group.

Luke was shocked.  He put up his hand.

“Are they criminals?” he suggested.

“Don’t be silly Luke, of course they’re not criminals.”

“Well it don’t seem fair to put innocent animals in prison.”

“Can anyone give me a sensible answer?”

Simon Butler read aloud from the board on the fence.

“They’re Bengal tigers; well known for their power and strength; one of the most feared predators in nature.  In the wild they scent mark large areas of up to 100 square kilometres to keep their rivals away.”

“Very good Simon,” Mrs Tebbut smiled.

Luke didn’t think there was much to smile about.

“The wild ones live in massive places, prob’ly bigger ‘n Bournemouth, and this cage is smaller ‘n my back garden.  No wonder they look fed up,” he thought.

They moved on.  Luke lagged behind with diminishing enthusiasm.  Mrs Tebbut drew everyone’s attention to another enclosure.

“Can anyone tell me what these guys are?”

“They’re penguins,” said Anna.

“That’s right. Does anyone know what type?”

“They’re bored penguins.”  He knew the moment he said it that he’d said it too loud.

“Luke Walker!  I am tired of your attitude!  If you can’t enter into the spirit of things with a smile on your face and some genuine effort then kindly do not participate at all.”

That was fine by Luke.

“Why do teachers ask you what you think if all they really want you to tell ’em is what they think?” he grumbled to himself.

When Mrs Tebbut was distracted by Katia getting a splinter, Luke decided to take her at her word and ‘not participate at all’.  He was better off on his own anyway.  He wandered around the zoo, looking at the animals and feeling sorry for them.

“Don’t seem right to lock animals up when they ‘aven’t done nothin’.  It’s like the Sheriff of Nottin’am all over again.”

He noticed an empty bench in front of a line of trees, away from the busier zoo paths, and decided to have a sit down.

“It’s a shame about zoos,” he thought, disappointed.

While he sat there he looked around.  Over his left shoulder, behind the trees, he saw another enclosure.  It was off the beaten track and smaller than the others.  It was concrete and contained nothing of beauty or interest except its occupant.  There stood the biggest, most breath-taking, awe-inspiring individual Luke had ever encountered.  An elephant.  All on her own. 

“All on your own,” Luke sympathised, as he made his way to her, “another damson in distress.”

He climbed up on the fence so that he could talk to her over the top of it and she walked towards him to get a closer look.

“I’m on me own too,” he continued, “not stayin’ with the group if I’m not wanted!”

Then he had an idea.

“Would you like to come out an’ play with me?”

The elephant seemed interested so he went on.

“Ok, listen, we’ll have to be a bit sneaky.  You wait here while I find a key; then I’ll open this gate and you can slip out before anyone sees.”

It was a brilliant plan!

*******

Continues tomorrow, but if you can’t wait you can read the whole story here now 😀

and the first eight chapters are also available in paperback 🙂

vegan book for children

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er from the beginning again

Luke Walker: animal stick up for-er is a comic about an eight year old boy who doesn’t let a little thing like following the rules stop him from defending and liberating animals.  To put it simply he is a vegan Just William.  He means well but those who try to control him (ie parents and teachers) find him rather, well, trying.

Luke’s story begins on this site in comic-book style with episodes 1 and 2, Luke Walker and the damsons, and Luke Walker AWOL, on the ‘stories for ages 5 and up’ page.  They are also included in the bumper comic book Reflecto Girl and other stories.

However, there’s more.  I have since decided to write his stories in prose, for a change, and a book containing the first eight chapters of his adventures, called simply Luke Walker: animal stick up for-eris available from Amazon.

vegan book for children

Starting tomorrow, Chapter 1 of this book will be published here in instalments.  See you then! 😉

A look at his notebook will give you a taste of who he is 😉

Giveaway Number 3: What’s Good For The Goose Is Not Good For The Panda

children's book

Our third Honestly Books giveaway is the unique What’s Good For The Goose Is Not Good For The Panda by Lavender Laine.

You can read our review of it here, but basically it follows the classic children’s story model in which the protagonist (Patty the panda) goes on a journey to find out about herself by trial and error.

It’s told completely in rhyme which is charming and the illustrations and text are all done in collage which is so different and fun and shows children that they can make art out of anything and encourages recycling.

The moral of the story is that we are all different and that what’s good for one is not necessarily good for another. This is undoubtedly why Laine dedicates the book to the Safer Medicines Trust which campaigns for an end to animal experiments on the grounds that all species are different and therefore results from animal tests cannot be relied upon for human medicines.

So if you’d like your own copy of this book just comment on this post to enter Friday’s prize draw. We will announce the winner on Friday morning.  Good luck 😀

Miranda at Shavt

DSCN3651

Shavt “Simply Healthy And Vegan Things” is a brilliant shop which I visited while I was in Belgium.  They have a great selection of vegan foods for meals, snacks and sweets as well as other things like lip balm!

Unfortunately my camera battery died after I took this picture.  But!  I want to recommend you go and look at these other blogs which have great posts to show off the wonders of Shavt!

Click here for Sophie’s post on Sophie’s Foodie Files!  Which has lots of great pictures of inside Shavt. 😀 

Click here for the Bruges Vegan’s post about Shavt!  Where you get to see the Shavt vegan cheese, close up and ready to eat 😉 

You can also pop over to see the Shavt website!  Click Here.

Miranda at Greenway

I visited Greenway vegetarian restaurant!  I came here twice on my visit to Leuven, and it is a brilliant place. 🙂 You can eat in or take-away, so I did both!DSCN3391

I arrived just when they had opened on my first visit!  DSCN3390

I had vegan spaghetti bolognese with toasted cashews on top to take-away!  It was fantastic and delicious!

Here you can see Jermaine posing with it in a cardboard box!Take away food in paper bag from Greenway vegetarian restaurant.  Vegan Spaghetti bolognese.  In the cardboard box with a toy cat.

And here he is with it on a plate!  Take away food in paper bag from Greenway vegetarian restaurant.  Vegan Spaghetti bolognese.

DSCN3411 Take away food in paper bag from Greenway vegetarian restaurant.  Vegan Spaghetti bolognese.

It really was brilliant food.  And excellent service from very friendly people!

On my second visit I chose a “wortelburger” from the menu, which I chose because it said it was vegan!  I have since discovered that “wortel” means “carrot” 🙂 This was very tasty, in a toasted bun, with lettuce and pineapple!  Scrumptious!

DSCN3654

I highly recommend you visit this restaurant, they have a wide selection of tasty foods for all your preferences and desires!  I liked the seating too – I sat at a high table on a high stool with my feet dangling off the ground!  If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, don’t worry, there are lots of tables at conventional heights.

Click here to find out more about Greenway restaurants:

“Greenway Leuven
Parijsstraat 12
3000 Leuven
016/30.97.35
parijsstraat@greenway.be
Openingsuren: Ma tot za van 11u tot 22u.
Zondag en feestdagen gesloten”

Miranda out and about

I have been on holiday to Leuven in Belgium!  I chose to visit Leuven because I discovered that they have a Loving Hut.  After arriving I was ecstatic to find that they also have Vegaverso a vegan cafe, Greenway a vegetarian cafe, and Shavt which is a vegan food shop!

Here I am at Vegaverso, vegan cafe in Leuven, Belgium!

where it is with card

This is a wonderful cafe which serves a delicious and tasty selection of vegan sandwiches and cakes!

More interiors at Vegaverso, with books and comfy chairs

What you might have for lunch...

It took me a while to decide what to have, there is so much to choose from!

Inside Vegaverso, taarts and cupcakes

I had a peanut butter and jelly cupcake, a vanilla cupcake and a chocolate cupcake, on different visits!  They were all delicious and beautiful!

More cake selection

I also tried a chocolate coconut macaroon, and an oat cake, which were fantastic!

More cake selection!

This is what I had on my first visit to Vegaverso!  It was the most scrumptious food you will ever taste!  I had vegan cheese with vegenaise and a blueberry cupcake!  It was wonderful!

Cheese sandwich roll.  Yum!

Lunch with card Vegaverso

The menus there all have different, individually embroidered fabric covers!  They are so special and lovely 😀
Beautiful Vegaverso menu

Vegaverso menu

DSCN3650

If you live anywhere nearby, and even if you don’t, I strongly recommend you make a visit to Vegaverso.

Blueberry cupcake!

They are open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 6pm.  You could go now!

Vegaverso opening timesI had a wonderful time at this cafe, it is run by friendly people and has a relaxing, happy atmosphere.  Brilliant 🙂 Try the chocolate coconut macaroon.

New Music Page

music page

I’m so grateful to Eva Xanthopoulos for introducing me to vegan music – I had no idea there was so much out there!  So now we just have to have a music page 🙂  Click on the link in the sidebar on the right to see a whole bunch of happy vegan music videos, and/or watch this space every day this week where we will post one of them, starting with the hilarious parody of Psy’s hit “Gangnam Style” by Henya Perez and friends.

Here is Vegan Style:

F is for Falcon

F is for falcon

Falcon    noun

Oxford Dictionary definition:  Small hawk trained to hunt.

Our definition:  A falcon is any one of 37 species of raptor in the genus Falco, widely distributed on all continents of the world except Antarctica.

Adult falcons have thin tapered wings, which enable them to fly at high speed and to change direction rapidly.  Fledgling falcons, in their first year of flying, have longer flight feathers, which makes their configuration more like that of a general-purpose bird such as a broadwing.  This makes it easier to fly while learning the exceptional skills required to be effective hunters as adults.

Peregrine falcons have been recorded diving at speeds of 200 miles per hour (320 km/h), making them the fastest-moving creatures on Earth.  Other falcons include the gyrfalcon, lanner falcon, and the merlin.  Some small falcons with long narrow wings are called hobbies, and some which hover while hunting are called kestrels.

As is the case with many birds of prey, falcons have exceptional powers of vision; the visual acuity of one species has been measured at 2.6 times that of a normal human.

*****

Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

Click on the pic for the F page of our vegan dictionary, or see the link in the sidebar to your right

A Good Book and some Upcycling

Unqualified Education

When we began our home schooling adventure all those years ago we were very lucky to find this wonderful book.  Unqualified Education is full of inspiring ideas and information, advice and encouragement.  It is an absolute joy and still a great resource after the children have grown up.

contents

We decided to home school when my eldest daughter was just 12 and my youngest was 9.  It was not because they were bullied or anything, and they were not struggling with any of the work.  It was just that life is short, and childhood so short that they should be able to enjoy it all.  In school they were forced to conform to the ‘norm’, to study a set curriculum.  It was so rigid.  My eldest was so stressed.  She got detention for wearing the wrong colour socks for PE; her friend who had cut his hair into a mohican, and had assured his teacher that he would wear it flat and combed tidily for school, was told “Absolutely not!  Shave it all off!”  They simply weren’t allowed to be individuals.

At home we were free.  They could study what they wanted, how they wanted.  We went bike riding and swimming.  We grew vegetables and cooked and sewed and painted and, yes we did maths and English, but we read and read and read – really good books.  We did history and learnt Welsh (a bit).  What I knew I taught them; what I didn’t know we learnt together.  It was the best time.

This book was a wonderful support and inspiration.  Mind you, it’s a good book for anyone, whether home schooling or not.  As you can see from the Contents page, there’s a lot in there, and the recipes in the cooking section are all vegetarian and nearly all vegan!  There is the most amazing chocolate chip cookie recipe – mm mmmmm!

****

Anyway, I needed a new apron so I got out the book, looked up the apron pattern and upcycled myself one:

how to make an apron

(You can click on the pics to enlarge them by the way)

first

first pic

I didn’t have a broadsheet newspaper but luckily Miranda had an old pad of flip-chart paper which she’d rescued from the bin at work and that was just right for this job.

second

second pic

I upcycled an old duvet cover – thoroughly washed of course!  I didn’t do the little pocket because I wanted a big pocket – read on 🙂

cut out

third

fold, pin and hem

You can sew it by hand, it just takes a while.  Luckily I had use of a sewing machine – thanks Mum 🙂

After the hemming was done I attached the ties as shown in the instructions.

vintage tea towel

I decided to make a pocket out of this gorgeous vintage tea towel Miranda bought at the Raystede Christmas fayre a couple of weeks ago (she said I could!)  I cut off the bottom row of dogs and hemmed the raw edge.

fold and hem top edge of pocket

Then I put on the apron so that I could position the pocket and put in a pin to mark the position of the centre of the top of the pocket.

put on apron and mark with pin where centre top of pocket will be

Then I sewed it on.  With a pocket this size you have to sew up the middle, effectively creating two pockets.  No dogs were harmed by this procedure – I was very careful not to sew over any of them 🙂

All done!

finished

finished apron