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9 amazing things you can do with aquafaba

9 amazing things you can do with aquafaba

Posted 14 October 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: aquafaba, eggs, vegan, food

When a workmate told me that you can make meringues out of the water from a can of chickpeas (called aquafaba) I looked at her like she was loopy. Then she handed me one, and I've been a convert ever since.

For all my fellow kind eaters who love experimenting with egg-free baking, this is going to blow your mind. The water that comes out of a can of chickpeas (and other beans) whips up just like egg whites and has ENDLESS uses. Here's some of the best aquafaba recipes I've discovered so far.

The simple meringue
Image and recipe thanks to SBS/China Squirrel.

It's literally just aquafaba and sugar beaten with an electric mixer. And it comes out of the oven looking like this! Trust me, just try it.

Meringue nests with coconut cream and berries
Image and recipe thanks to Why Veg.

This has always been a family favourite over Christmas time and now it's back on the table for me thanks to aquafaba :)

Mint choc chip vegan macarons
Image and recipe thanks to Crazy Vegan Kitchen.

Are you drooling yet? Get this incredible recipe here.

Chocolate mousse
Image and recipe thanks to The Vegan Cookie Fairy.

Delicious, cruelty-free chocolate mousse and it only has 3 ingredients!

Lemon meringue pie
Image and recipe thanks to The Gentle Chef.

Lemon: good; meringue: good; pie: good. This recipe is SO good.

Raspberry rose vegan macarons
Image and recipe thanks (again) to Crazy Vegan Kitchen.

Because one macaron recipe just isn't enough.

Mozzarella
Image and recipe thanks to Avocados and Ales.

Melty vegan cheese made from the leftover chickpea water -- does it get any better than this?

Tahini pear icecream with berry swirl
Image and recipe thanks to Marfigs' Munchies.

To answer my own question, yes it does get better. Between the tahini and aquafaba you could almost convince yourself that you're eating salad. (#health). But it's so not salad. It's very much icecream. Creamy, sweet, delicious icecream.

Aquafaba mayonnaise
Image and recipe thanks to Coconut Craze.

It appears aquafaba can be whipped up into a yummy egg-free mayonnaise too. Is there anything this stuff can't do?

To answer my own question again, not really. It can pretty much do everything. If you're ready to join the aquafaba cult (it's a real thing) there's a Facebook group dedicated to aquafaba successes and failures. Join in here.

The best bit about this amazing discovery is that it's tapped into a world of possibilities for vegan baking. If I asked you what the essential ingredient to a good baked treat was I reckon that with a little twist of the arm you'd give me this answer -- sweetness. And for me that sweetness not only refers to sugar and spice and all things nice but to sweetness to hens and calves and all those who share this planet with us.

For every cage egg used in baking there is a hen suffering in darkness -- confined and stressed in a grim wire cage. For every hen in any laying system (be it free range, organic or otherwise) there is a male chick who was killed in the first days of his life because he couldn't lay eggs. The story for dairy cows and their calves is just as dark. (Find out the sad truth about dairy.)

Thanks to the magic of aquafaba we have another ingredient for a super easy recipe to ending animal cruelty and celebrating sweetness -- which is what good baking is all about :)

for-the-animals-chicks.jpg

*Aquafaba pro tip: I've found the chickpeas with no added salt are the best.

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WOW! Subway to dump cage eggs too!

WOW! Subway to dump cage eggs too!

Posted 24 September 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Subway, cage eggs, factory farming, victory, good news

BOOM! Another cage bites the dust! Within days of McDonald's announcing that they're phasing out cage eggs, Subway has done the same thing!

This trend away from cage eggs is not slowing down and I couldn't be more excited! Before these epic announcements by Macca's and Subway, there was no end in sight to the suffering of the millions of hens in cages laying eggs for these fast food chains. But now, these two phase outs are underway and we are one huge step closer to the day when hens in cages is a thing of the past.

Missed the news about Macca's? Click here.

All there is to do now is to start placing bets on which big name company will be next to stand up against battery cage cruelty and announce a phase out. Hungry Jack's, I'm looking at you. (Click here to help nudge them over the line.)

But don't forget, you don't have to wait for companies to get rid of 'em. You can take the end of the battery cage into your own hands by simply pledging to never ever buy cage eggs. Or better yet, find out how eating less eggs, or going egg-free, can help save the forgotten victims of the egg industry ... male chicks.

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YOU DID IT! Macca's agrees to dump cage eggs!

YOU DID IT! Macca's agrees to dump cage eggs!

Posted 16 September 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: McDonald's, factory farming, cage eggs, Victory, good news, chickens, eggs

Oh my chickens! You did it! McDonald's has heard your call for an end to battery cage cruelty and has announced a phase out of cage eggs from all of of their 900 Australian stores.

Thank you!

As the fast food industry's biggest egg user, this is GREAT news for hens. And a big win for people power! Here's how you did it ...

Here's how you beat Macca's:

PEOPLE POWER!

After years of talks with McDonald's getting nowhere, Animals Australia recruited the help of the public (that's you) to help speak up for hens. This is what happened:

fb.jpg

For 87 DAYS STRAIGHT, the most common theme on the McDonald's Facebook wall has been concern for hens and encouragement for the fast food giant to free them from cages.

SECRET WEAPON (ie. cute kids)

Then we told a bunch of kids that McDonald's were using cage eggs and what happened next melted hearts.

This very adorable and very srs video was reported in national media and quickly went viral. So many of our supporters were touched by the messages from these kids that they chipped in to get it on national TV for 2 whole weeks! :)

THE MEDIA

As plans to deploy our not so secret weapon on to the telly drew closer, Channel TEN's The Project aired a story about consumers moving away from cage eggs, and the growing pressure on McDonald's to do the same ...

egg-fight.jpg

That night, McDonald's announced that it would begin the process of phasing out cage eggs!

grinning.gif

BREAKING NEWS: Subway says 'no' to cage eggs too! (17th September) And the good news just keeps rolling in... After a flood of messages to Subway on social media, they have announced that they are phasing out cage eggs too!

What next?

McDonald's commitment (and now Subway's too!) shows without a doubt the impact that people can have when they speak up for animals. This news will make a HUGE difference for hens but there is still lots to be done to free all animals from cruelty! Here's four things you can do today to bring us closer to a world without animal cruelty:

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5 things the egg industry doesn't tell you

5 things the egg industry doesn't tell you

Posted 20 August 2014   by Jesse         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: eggs, chickens, chicks, hens, battery cage, factory farming

You already know cage eggs are cruel, but you'll never hear the cage egg industry admit it. So what else might they be cagey about? These five facts may ruffle some feathers.

The egg industry has been accused of planning to manipulate egg prices by killing hens.

The Australian Egg Corporation Ltd is being taken to court because they supposedly told egg producers to slaughter millions of hens and even bury their eggs, in an attempt to keep egg prices high.

Hens in the egg industry don't live to see their second birthday.

Hens can naturally live up to 10 years, but in this industry they are no longer valued the minute they can't make a profit. So from as young as 18 months, when their egg production slows down, hens are packed into crates and trucked to slaughter.

Factory farms have squeezed small family farms out of business.

Over the last 50 years, most egg production has moved from small family farming into factory operations, run by huge companies. Animals are crammed into smaller and smaller spaces, so that fewer staff are needed to keep an eye on the animals. For hens this means a lifetime of misery. For rural towns this means less jobs and profits funnelled into large corporations rather than farming communities.

Male chicks are killed on their first day of life.

Male chicks can't produce eggs, so they have no value to the egg industry. On their first day of life at hatcheries, they are dropped into grinders or gassed to death. Sadly, this happens across the whole egg industry.

You have the power to protect hens and save lives!

At every meal, you have the chance to make life-changing choices for hens. By refusing to buy cage eggs you can help free hens from cages. You can even join the growing number of people discovering delicious egg-free alternatives, and know that you'll be saving the lives of hens and chicks at every meal.

PLEDGE TO HELP HENS!

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If battery hens could rap what would they say?

If battery hens could rap what would they say?

Posted 1 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: Trillion, battery cages, chickens, chicks, eggs, factory farming, video, song, music, Make it Possible

Not only is NZ rapper, Trillion, a talented musician, he's a pretty good mind reader I reckon. His song 'Dirty Dozen' gets in the head of a caged chicken and, well, you can probably guess that it's pretty dark. BUT Trillion's track is creating a brighter world for chickens. Have a listen and then I'll tell you about how this song is helping to free chooks from cages:

What did you think? This bit in particular got me in the feels – "I want my life, let me outside, let me live in the light". Seems like such a basic request but millions of birds are denied the simple pleasure of sunlight, spending their whole lives confined to crowded cages :(

Thankfully, it doesn't have to be this way. Over 100,000 battery hens have already been freed from cages by Animals Australia supporters making kind choices this year! (Have you signed the pledge yet? You can do so here.) And Trillion is using his awesome track 'Dirty Dozen' to help make an even bigger difference for hens! Not only by spreading the word about the true cost of cage eggs through his lyrics, but by donating profits from the sale of the song to help animals :) What a good egg! (Geddit? #sorrynotsorry)

Anyone that can rhyme irreverence and benevolence is already going straight to the top of my playlist, but helping animals too? I'm in! Click here to download a copy of the track for yourself and make a donation to Animals Australia's campaign to make battery cages history!

Which is your favourite lyric from the song?

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Breakfast of champions

Breakfast of champions

Posted 10 October 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: eggs, chickens, chicks, goveg, vegan, food, tofu, recipe

I’ve decided I’m going to share something with you. It’s not something that I let many people in on. It’s my tofu scramble recipe. Now I’m normally the kind of cook who burns stuff to the bottom of the pan, sets off the fire alarm and then orders in takeaway. But my tofu scramble is world-renowned (amongst the handful of people I’ve cooked it for.)

So what’s the occasion? Well, tomorrow is World Egg Day. The thing about the egg industry is that it kills about 12 million male chicks on their first day of life, simply because they can’t produce eggs and are therefore considered waste.

That’s not something I’m keen to celebrate. But there is something that’s worth making a fuss about. And that is that egg-free food is easy, delicious and lifesaving! Which brings me back to my tofu scramble recipe. Because one of my favourite ways to not eat eggs is in a scramble! Give this a go on the weekend and have a little Egg-Free Day party of your own :)

Scrambled Tofu

300-scrambledtofu.jpg

Tofu. (I find a medium tofu is best for this but soft works too. Probably about 200-250g per person.)
1 onion, diced
Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon turmeric
Soy sauce
1 avo
1 tomato
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Grumpy princess cat mug (pictured right) is optional, but recommended.

---

Dice up the avo and tomato. Put it in a bowl and dress with a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Put aside.

Stir fry onion with veg oil until a little brown. Crumble up the tofu into the frypan and stirfry until it starts to get a little brown and crispy. (Try it out with a handful of dairy-free cheese, like Vegusto or Cheezly, grated in for an extra especially delicious treat.)

Add minced garlic, turmeric and a splash of soy sauce.

Serve on toast with the avo/tomato combo on top.

---

This is my classic fave version but there’s so many ways you can serve it up. Try mixing in sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach instead of doing the avo/tomato thing. Serve that one on some toast with hummus. Yum. Now I’m hungry.

Do you have a favourite egg-free recipe?

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Woolworths is breaking free of cage eggs!!

Woolworths is breaking free of cage eggs!!

Posted 4 October 2013   by Lucy         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: factory farming, Make it Possible, eggs, chickens, battery cages, victory

How's this for a good Friday? Not only is it World Animal Day today, but one of the country's biggest supermarket chains has announced it is getting rid of ALL cage eggs from its stores!

This MASSIVE news will mean millions of Aussie hens freed from life in cages so small they can't even stretch their wings. Excuse me but I just have to hashtag this......... #winning #YES #omg

And Woolworths' plan even includes eggs used as ingredients in their home brand products! Yup, that's right: by 2018 NO hens will be suffering in cages to provide Woolies with eggs.

Go on, why not give Woolworths some love for this kind choice on their facebook page – or share this image on yours!

This decision was made thanks to the growing number of caring people (like YOU) who are taking action to help animals in factory farms.

This is seriously a historic day. But if you want to go all the way to help hens, the living conditions in egg factories are only half the story. You see, all laying hens are exactly that: hens (meaning they're female). What about the boys?

This is the super sad part.... :-(

Each year millions of day-old male chicks hatched for the egg industry are gassed to death or ground up alive -- just because they will never grow up to lay eggs.

But you can help protect them! The simplest way to stop the suffering of hens and male chicks is to go egg free. That's it! And it's EASY, too: just check out all these delicious egg free recipes.

Do you have a favourite cruelty free dish? Share it in the comments!

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A bird's eye view of a battery cage.

A bird's eye view of a battery cage.

Posted 15 November 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: Make it Possible, hens, eggs, battery cages, chickens, factory farming, cruelty

You probably already know what a battery cage looks like from the outside. But can you imagine what it must be like trapped on the INSIDE?? Find out with this interactive simulation which puts YOU in the cage. Step inside ...

What'd you think? Awful, isn't it? And yet that is what battery hens in factory farms experience for every minute of their entire lives. On average, a battery hen will spend up to two years in a cage like that - with no stimulation, no fresh air, no dirt beneath their feet. After two years, these hens produce less eggs then they used to, so they're gotten rid of - trucked to the slaughterhouse.

It doesn't seem fair, does it? It's not like people even need to eat eggs - check out the alternatives that are all readily available.

Wanna know more about hens trapped in factory farms? Then spend just two minutes watching this.

You can rage against cages with over 60,000 other Aussies who have already taken the Make it Possible pledge. Join them to make the world a kinder place for animals.

P.S. Want to know what the labels on egg cartons really mean for hens (and chicks)? Then grab this handy chart for the fridge at home.

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Gumby exposes battery cage hell.

Gumby exposes battery cage hell.

Posted 17 September 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: chickens, eggs, battery cages, hens, Gumby, celebrity

If you wanted to know the full story about where cage eggs come from - where would you go for the info? A website set up by the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd (AECL)? Or would you ask an imaginary green man named Gumby from the 1950s? If you chose the imaginary Gumby, you'd be ... CORRECT!

In case you don't know, Gumby was a plasticine man (thing?) on the telly from the 1950s right through to the 1980s. Him and his mates (including a talking horse and a dinosaur that drives a car) spent each episode getting crazy and generally having a good time. Now believe it or not, but it seems Gumby is more interested in schooling people about the reality of cage eggs than the AECL are! Check out this episode of Gumby where the Blockheads kidnap his friend Tilly (who is a chicken. Yes, Gumby is friends with a chicken - legend.)

Here's what Gumby got right about cage egg production:

  • Hens will never feel the sun on their feathers.
  • They're confined to cages their entire lives, with no chance for exercise.
  • Hens suffer broken bones and lameness after spending their lives in a cramped cage.
  • If a hen stops laying eggs, she's in serious trouble

The most accurate part comes at the 1.41 minute mark though. When Tilly asks where she is, her caged neighbour replies, "This is hell". Pretty heavy stuff for a kids show!

So how does this match up against what the AECL wants you to know about battery hens? On their website about hen welfare, they've listed all the supposed advantages for chickens confined in battery cages. (Remember, the space each bird gets inside these cages is not much larger than an A4 sheet of paper, and chickens spend their ENTIRE lives in there).

1) "If a bird does become sick, cage-based housing makes it easier to identify and remove birds for treatment." That's a touching thought, but I'm not sure that the sick bird at the end of this video would consider her 'treatment' that helpful. And it's not uncommon for birds to die unnoticed in their cage, leaving their cage mates stuck in a cage with their dead body.

2) "Better protection from in-fighting and cannibalism." The reality is hens have the tips of their beaks sliced off to prevent them from pecking at each other in their cramped cage. Since when was cutting bits and pieces off animals to make them fit cruel systems ok?

3) "Protection from the elements and predators like eagles, snakes, foxes and feral cats." But I want to know who's protecting them from factory farmers! Being doomed to a life sentence in a battery cage is no life. They'll never smell fresh air, or even get to properly stretch their wings.

One fact that neither Gumby or the AECL mention, is what happens to all the male chicks in the egg industry (sadly, not just for cage eggs)...

"Hell" pretty much sums it up :(

The simplest way to make sure you aren't supporting chicken cruelty is to go egg-free (or if not, then at the very least ditch cage eggs). Your body doesn't need eggs any more than it needs plasticine and you can find egg replacers at most big supermarkets. You can do your bit to help hens by pledging to make the battery cage history.

(p.s. Want to know what all the other labels on egg cartons really mean for hens (and chicks)? Then grab this handy chart.)

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Missy Lends Her Voice to the Birds

Missy Lends Her Voice to the Birds

Posted 30 April 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Missy Higgins, chickens, eggs, battery cages, video, bands, music

Missy Higgins is the complete package -- a chart-topping musician, a budding actress, and best of all, she practically oozes compassion. As well as releasing her latest (sure-to-be) hit album, Missy has joined forces with Animals Australia to give her beautiful voice to the most abused animals on the planet -- battery hens.

So why is Missy speaking up for hens? Well, in the EU, battery cages have been completely banned. But get this -- in Australia, 12 MILLION hens are still imprisoned in battery cages! Whaaat??

These hens live their whole lives in a space no larger than an A4 piece of paper. They can't stretch or flap their wings; and as chicks they have their beaks sliced off with a hot blade! And I hate to say it, but there's so much more I could tell you.

So ... YOU know about the cruelty involved with cage eggs, and MISSY knows about it too. What about your friends though? If you think they should know, then throw the video on your facebook or share it on twitter.

P.S. There's another reason why you should give eggs a miss. The biggest difference you could make for our feathered friends is to simply not buy eggs. It's easy, makes sense and hey ... it doesn't cost anything!

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A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

A Sweet Idea for This Friday!

Posted 12 October 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: eggs, vegan, dessert, cupcakes, chickens, chicks, activism

If you ask me, Friday's are pretty sweet... after all, it's almost the weekend. But this week we've got a plan to make Friday even sweeter.

This Friday (14th October) is World Egg Day... I know, I know... you're thinking "What could be sweet about a day celebrating an industry that locks 11 million hens in cages with less space per bird than an A4 sheet of paper, that kills hens who aren't producing enough eggs (usually at around 18months of age) and that kills about 12 million male chicks on their first day of life - simply because they weren't born female, and so can't produce eggs?" ... like this:

... but hold up a sec, and I'll tell you what we have in mind.

This Friday, we'd like to invite you to join us in protesting the egg industry's cruelty to chickens in just about the tastiest way we know how... by baking a delicious egg-free cake!

I know what I'll be baking - Maple Cupcakes with Sugared Walnuts from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. But if you're not quite as maple syrup obsessed as I am, you could always go for this heavenly chocolate cupcake recipe, or make a chocolate mudcake, or apple and almond tea cake, or banana date slice... the options are endless!

And by sharing your cruelty-free cake with friends (I know it's hard :P), you can show them just how sweet making a difference for chickens can be!

So, what are you going to bake this Friday for World Egg-Free Day?

P.S. You can also spread the word about World Egg-Free Day by making the image below your facebook profile pic in the lead up to Friday. (Right click on the image to download and save the file ('save image as'), upload it to Facebook and make it your new profile pic. Then tag all your friends, to grab their attention!)

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The Only Voice They've Got
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The Only Voice They've Got

Posted 29 July 2011   by         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: video, factory farming, chickens, eggs, milk, pigs, bacon, sheep

Every now and then you see a clip that really makes you stop and think. This is undoubtedly one of them:

It's not every day that you'd get such a short vid that manages to get in so many shocking elements in such an effective way.

From the bacon slices to the roast chicken, the eggs, the milk and even the mayonnaise, this talented film maker has provided a voice for pigs, broiler chickens, laying hens and dairy cows in just 30 seconds. All the while flickering this important line "You may be blind to this but you're the only voice they've got".

And the final sound of an innocent sheep crying really brings home the point that we must use our voices to help end the suffering of these exploited animals.

Thanks so much to Brett Ludeman from Storybottle for creating such a haunting vid for Unleashed, and for showing others the reality of their dinner or their cup of milky coffee.

What do you think of this ultra short film? Do you know anyone who would be blind to this? You could share the video and help them open up their eyes and their ears and use their voice to help animals.

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The Bravery of an Ex-Battery Hen
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The Bravery of an Ex-Battery Hen

Posted 19 May 2011   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: chickens, cage eggs, battery cages, factory farming, video

angel_ex-battery_hen.jpg

An ex battery hen has won a Braveheart Award from a veterinary clinic in the UK! Angel was struggling to lay an extra large egg when her human companion (and rescuer) Lorraine Fox noticed she had a prolapsed vent.

I hear you asking "What's a prolapsed vent?"
Lightning fast biology lesson: Sometimes called "uterine prolapse". If a chicken is attempting to lay an egg that is larger than normal, part of her oviduct (the equivalent of a human female's uterus) can be pushed out as well. As you can imagine, having raw inflamed tissue that should be inside the body exposed outside of the body is extremely painful. (Sorry, if you're a tad squeamish!)

Fortunately, the crook chook was rushed off to the vet straight away. After some very tricky and complicated surgery (called a cloacapexy - there's your new word for the day!), Angel recovered amazingly well and was back to her old self within a day :)

Unfortunately prolapses are actually a fairly common occurrence among laying hens, both in cages and free range. The difference between hens on factory farms in battery cages and Angel, is that Angel now has a loving attentive human companion who noticed that she was sick straight away and raced her to the vet to save her.

Battery hens are almost never this lucky. Stacked in cages up to 4 levels high with up to 5 hens to a cage, it's easy for workers to not notice sick birds. Many birds with prolapsed vents die in agony from infection in their cage and are not discovered for days. If they are discovered, they are likely killed, or worse, simply thrown out live and left for dead. This may have even been Angel's fate had she not already been rescued by Lorraine.

If only every hen was lucky enough to a loving, caring home and friends to look out for them!

Do you know of an animal who deserves a bravery award?

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Chickens Aren't Bird-Brains. They're Amazing!
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Chickens Aren't Bird-Brains. They're Amazing!

Posted 22 April 2011   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: Chickens, eggs, meat, Easter

Whenever Easter is upon us I start thinking of the usual suspects: rabbits and chickens (although what a rabbit has to do with eggs I'm still trying work out!). I've not had a lot to do with bunnies but chooks hold a firm place in my heart, even though they're sometimes referred to as ...well, bird brains!

A study last year proved that chickens are in fact, incredibly clever. So much so that they have different calls for things like food, and because of this females are more likely to choose their mates based on intelligence (ie "how good is he at finding food and then telling me about it?")

I already knew that chooks are pretty special, and this was confirmed during a nutrition assignment I did two years ago at Uni. Each group had 20 day old chicks (10 boys and 10 girls) that had been bred for the meat industry (called broiler chickens). We were to feed them, weigh them, assess their health, etc every day for 6 weeks, even on weekends. I knew what their fate was at the end of the project so I offered to take ours home. I knew I could find homes for 20 chooks and probably even more. But my supervisor told me it was pointless. You see broiler chickens can't live past 7 weeks even if they aren't sent to slaughter.

investigationsbroilerchickeninvestigatio

After years of selective breeding for fast growth, these baby birds were growing at an epic rate right before our eyes. Meat chickens now grow three times faster than normal. By 6 weeks old they are the size of fully grown birds, only they are still babies, chirping and struggling to move their massive bodies using underdeveloped baby legs.

That was a very tough 6 weeks for me. These birds got to know us and were friendly and funny. One girl would even run to the edge of the cage when she saw us coming, so sweet. Number 5 was her name. Isn't that cold? Number 5.

During the project, two of our birds died. One boy had a blocked crop (the part on their throat where the food gets kind of ground up and digested), possibly after he'd accidently swallowed some sawdust from the floor litter, so he kept eating as his crop became huge and his body became malnourished. He was starving and we knew he wouldn't get better without medical treatment. But that would involve putting him on different feeds, which would ruin the project data, God forbid. Eventually a uni worker 'euthanised' him by chopping his head off. Imagine if we euthanised our pets this way! The second boy flipped onto his back while I was refilling the feed one day. His wings flapped frantically, slamming the cage floor as I desperately called for help. Then he just stopped and lay still. His young overworked heart had given out under the immense weight of his mutant body. He was finally at peace, and I stroked him goodbye through tears.

investigationsbroilerchickeninvestigatio

By week 6 of the project, Number 5 didn't run to greet us anymore. She couldn't. She could hardly move at all. Not even to reach the feeders or the water trays which were actually moved up higher and higher to encourage the chicks to stand. But it was just too painful for her. It was almost like the feeder trays were mocking our hungry friend.

The final day was the worst. The girls in my group and I picked up our birds lovingly and held them to us, saying "goodbye" and "sorry" as we moved them into the trays that would be stacked on top of each other on the back of a truck. We sobbed the whole time. It was a sunny day and the birds squinted at the huge ball of fire in the sky that they'd never seen before. They wouldn't see it for long. The truck drove off to the slaughterhouse, with our beautiful clever birds on board, Number 5 wondering where she was off to on this cramped bumpy ride and wondering what kind people would be there when she arrived. Even the sickest birds were on there, weak from hunger, joints aching, some with newly blocked crops. I cried as much as I've ever cried before as white baby bird feathers flew past my face and the truck rattled down the road.

I'd already stopped eating chicken years before this happened. But I decided then and there that I couldn't eat eggs either. Even though our birds weren't layer hens, I knew I wanted absolutely nothing to do with the exploitation of an amazing species I now loved. And that certainly meant no more eggs. (I've since discovered so much horror behind eggs!)

So these new research findings are nothing new to me. Chickens are truly incredible birds full of personality and love. And they are anything but "bird brains"!

If you must decorate an egg this Easter, use papier mache and paint away! Or buy a dairy-free chocolate egg and tie a ribbon around it in tribute to the millions of intelligent chickens that suffer and die for meat and eggs in Australia each year.

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You could even symbolically adopt your own baby bird as a reminder that we need to do all we can to help these chickens. I already have. She sits on my desk and I named her Number 5.

Have you had an experience like this before?

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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!
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Carl Cages Himself for Chickens!

Posted 5 April 2011   by         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, cage, activism, battery cage, news, new zealand

There's a new legend in town! New Zealander, Carl Scott is at this very moment, sitting alone in a tiny cage next to a highway, and he plans to stay there for a whole month!

Why? To shine the spotlight on the cruel treatment of chickens kept in battery cages for their eggs (yes, sadly the situation in NZ is not much different to Australia). Now that's commitment!

The space he's living in for the next month is less than two metres across, 130cm high (he can't even stand up!) and even includes his toilet. Yet Carl would be the first to tell you that despite these cramped conditions he's still got it way better than the average chook (let's call her Betty).

To start with, Betty doesn't have her own cage; she has to share it with up to 5 other birds, with less than the space of an A4 piece of paper for each to live in . She can't even flap her wings!

Betty's cage is one of thousands of cages, stacked in rows - up to four cages high. Living in the bottom row, she is showered with waste from hens locked in cages above hers.

Betty has lost many of the feathers that would keep her warm from constantly rubbing against the wire of the cage. If Betty isn't living in chronic pain from an untreated broken bone, then stats suggest that at least one of her cagemates is. [1]

For virtually her entire life, she has been locked in this tiny cage in a windowless shed. The short time before she was put in this cage was no more pleasant. During that time the tip of her beak was sliced off with a hot iron, without any pain relief.

Even if Betty survives life in this miserable cage, her only 'reward' for producing eggs will be death. When she no longer lays enough eggs to be 'profitable', she will be trucked off to slaughter with her cage-mates (before her second birthday), without ever knowing the simple joys of dustbathing, perching or building her own nest.

There is absolutely no doubt that chickens in battery cages endure a life of hell. None of us would want to trade places with them. Which makes Carl's demonstration all the more heroic. Carl, you're a legend!

If you don't think any person or animal should be forced to live this way, have your say for chickens in New Zealand here and chickens in Australia here.

Do you think you could spend a month in a cage for the cause?

Ref [1] Parkinson G (1993), "Osteoporosis and bone fractures in the laying hen", Progress report of work at the Victorian Institute of Animal Science, Attwood

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Let's Give Animals a Happy New Year!

Let's Give Animals a Happy New Year!

Posted 29 December 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 22 Comments

Tags: New Year, veg, dairy, eggs, activism, earthlings

The new year is the perfect time to turn over a new leaf. So we hope that the animals have made it onto your resolution list! If not, then we've got a few suggestions for how you could make a world of difference for animals and the planet in the new year:

  1. Pledge to take animals off your plate. All animals - cats, dogs, pigs, lambs and even fish! - are individuals with feelings and their own desires and as the actor James Cromwell said, "I don't eat anyone who would run, swim, or fly away if he could."

    If you think animals rock, but need a little added incentive to take that next step, then this film should give you the extra motivation you're looking for:


  2. Already meat-free and lovin' it? Great! Then how about taking the next step and giving dairy and eggs the flick?

    Sadly, the milk and egg industries aren't without their body count - and it's the babies of these industries who are the first casualties. About 12 million day old male chicks and a million unwanted baby calves from the dairy industry are discarded and killed as 'waste products' each year. And even dairy cows and egg laying hens don't get to live a full life. When they are no longer productive enough to be profitable, they too find themselves on the way to be slaughtered.


  3. So you're meat-free, don't do dairy and set a good eggsample by not eating eggs? Awesome! Then next year make your voice heard, even louder, for the animals!

So that's our tips for the new year. Now... what are your new year's resolutions?

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Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?
Posted By Jane

Throwing Animals in Bins is Wrong, Right?

Posted 25 August 2010   by         Permalink | 38 Comments

Tags: news, cats, chickens, eggs, vegan

This is making headline news around the world: After 4 year old tabby cat, Lola, greeted Mary Bale in the street for a quick pat, Mary grabbed her by the scruff of the neck and shoved her into a wheelie bin before walking away. Lola was trapped inside the bin for 15 hours. Luckily, this was all caught on film, otherwise Lola may never have been found!

After the footage was posted on Facebook, people worldwide have been outraged that anyone could do such a thing to a defenceless animal.

Surely throwing an animal into a wheelie bin, any bin, and leaving him or her to die is illegal ... well ... it depends on the animal ...

We know that eggs come from hens and that hens are female. So when one hen stops laying eggs, she gets replaced with another ...female. All the egg industry needs are female birds to keep clucking along.

What happens to a chick if he's born a male? Unfortunately, he ends up in the bin. But the difference here is that when male chicks are thrown into bins at hatcheries across the globe, there are no security cameras filming the people responsible, no one will come to their rescue. Every year in Australia alone, an estimated 12 million day old baby birds are either ground up alive or tossed into a bin on top of their brothers to be gassed to death... and this is legal!

See for yourself what happens inside the world's largest hatchery (the same thing happens here):

No animal (furry or feathered) deserves to be tossed into a bin and left for dead. Fortunately, we can all take a stand against this cruelty by giving eggs the flick. No yolk, it's easy as vegan pie!

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Dead Man Walking, Goes Vegan, Saves Own Life
Posted By Ward

Dead Man Walking, Goes Vegan, Saves Own Life

Posted 13 March 2010   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: vegan, vegetarian, health, meat, eggs, dairy

It reads like a news headline doesn't it? No doubt when people realise that the animal products they consume are literally killing them, it will be a headline. Anyway, this is the story of Rocco a meat-lovin' cowboy from Arizona who was literally eating himself into a grave.

Rocco's 53 years old, but had the heart of an 85 year old. He's overweight and severely diabetic.

Rocco appeared on the TV show The Dr. Oz Show with the wish to change his life. After some clinical assessments, Dr. Oz recommended that Rocco should go vegan for 28 days to see how dramatically his health improves.



When The Dr. Oz Show checked in with Rocco after 28 days, it's clear that his health improved dramatically after going vegan. He dropped his waist size by more than 15cm, his glucose count went from 172 to 99, and his good cholesterol (HDL) increased. Just by looking at Rocco, you can see the difference in his life since going vegan.

But this isn't just one instance. There are stories everywhere of people who have gone vegan and experienced improved health (including myself, a reformed McDonaldsCruelty lover). So the proof really is in the (vegan) pudding folks. Next time you see Sam Neill misleading orang-utans on TV about how great meat is, throw a pickle at the screen for me.

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New US Laws Put Australia to Shame
Posted By Ward

New US Laws Put Australia to Shame

Posted 18 October 2009   by         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: factory farming, pigs, chickens, dairy, bobby calves, gestation crates, battery cages, eggs, US, Australia

Wow! There was some great news for animals coming out of the US last week. I just wish I could say the same for Australia :(

Last Monday (12 October) Michigan passed a bill that will see the phase out some of the cruelest confinement methods used in the farming industry.

 Within 3 years, dairy calves in Michigan will no longer be confined in tiny veal crates and starved of iron to make their flesh pale and soft. Battery cages , used to confine egg-laying hens, and gestation crates used to confine mother pigs, will also be phased out. With these significant improvements for animals Michigan has become the 7th state to ban gestation crates, the 5th to ban veal crates and the 2nd to ban battery cages.

And the good news just keeps coming! California - who have already banned veal crates, gestation crates and battery cages have added to their list of no-nos tail docking of dairy cows. A good sign from one of the US's largest dairy states, and very good news for the 1.8million dairy cows in California!

While we're on the topic of changes for animals, the city council of Santa Monica (also in California) has voted in favour of drafting new legislation that will restrict animal 'declawing' ie. the practice of painfully removing animals claws.

Meanwhile, over the other side of the world in a little place often known as 'the lucky country', farm animals aren't so lucky. Recently The Greens in ACT (and Tas for that matter) put forward a Bill that would ban battery cages from ACT (meaning only one business would be affected) and the Liberals and Labour teamed up to shoot it down (same story in Tasmania).  With the many other parts of the world making huge advances for animals, it is disappointing that Australia is still dragging its feet.    

Well, the Aussie government may be stuck in the dark ages, but the good news is none of us need to be.

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If Eggs Came From Vending Machines...

If Eggs Came From Vending Machines...

Posted 12 October 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, posters, Donn Pattendon

You may remember a couple of months ago I posted an illustration by Donn Pattendon of a dairy cow drinking Australia dry. This last week Donn sent through yet another stellar illustration and I just had to share. This time he's set his sights on battery eggs. And well it really speaks for itself...

Once again, Donn's illustration is spot on. With less than the area of an A4 piece of paper to live in battery hens really are treated like little more than vending machines. You may notice there are even a few dead male chicks swept under the machine.

I can't wait to see what Donn comes up with next!

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Exposing the Egg Industry's Dirty Secret...

Exposing the Egg Industry's Dirty Secret...

Posted 4 September 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 20 Comments

Tags: eggs, chickens, take action, veg

There are around 14 million egg-laying hens in Australia. That's a lot of birds! ... and all of them are female. So have you ever wondered what happened to all the males?

Male chicks can't produce eggs ... so the egg industry doesn't want them. They don't grow fast or large enough to be profitable to be raised for meat, so ... what then?

Well a new investigation by US based group, Mercy for Animals exposes the dirty little secret the egg industry doesn't want you to know. Brace yourself, cause the answer isn't pretty...

You might hope that Australian standards would be better. But sadly that's not the case. Every year, the Australian egg industry grinds up alive or gasses to death an estimated 10 million male chicks. For these animals their first day in the world is also their last. They are picked up roughly by their fragile wings, tossed into disposal chutes and hauled off to their death.

Sounds more like a horror movie than reality, doesn't it. But sadly this is not only a reality, it's legal and is standard practice in Australia across all egg laying systems.

So what can you do about it? Well for starters you can cast your vote with your plate, simply don't eat eggs! And please join me in letting the Australian Egg Corporation know that you won't support their appalling disregard for animal welfare.

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Be Sweet to Animals - Bake Vegan Cupcakes!

Be Sweet to Animals - Bake Vegan Cupcakes!

Posted 3 April 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: vegan, vegan cupcakes, recipe, food, eggs, dairy, tabling, volunteers, Bad Day Down, Propagandhi, gigs

Alright, here's a treat you'll be jumping up and down about. A recipe for vegan cupcakes!

A couple of weeks ago we ran a stall at the Petacular pet expo in Brisbane. The wonderful volunteer, Kate, offered to bake vegan cupcakes for the day... So of course we said yes yes yes!

The cupcakes looked and tasted amazing! Not surprisingly, they went down a treat and many a cupcake muncher marvelled at the fact that no animals were harmed in the making of these delectible treats.

When highlighting the cruelty of the egg and dairy industries, nothing promotes cruelty free living quite like cupcake goodness. So it's time, as Kate would say, to "share the cupcake love"!

This cupcake concoction was even given the thumbs up by punk heroes Propagandhi. Kate's hubby plays in the Brissie band Bad Day Down, who supported Propagandhi on their recent visit to Australia. On tour, Kate soon assumed the role of official cupcake cooker. But she isn't just a superstar in the kitchen. Check out this photo of her singing on stage with Propagandhi at their Melbourne show. (btw, keep your eyes out for more from us on Propagandhi soon)

Anyway, back to the important business of cupcakes. Here for your pleasure, is the undisputed best cupcake recipe in the world (or at least so claims Kate): Click here for the cupcake-a-licious recipe.

Now don't be greedy! Make sure you share your amazing cruelty free creations with all your friends and family to spread the word about how easy it is to be sweet to animals.

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