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5 recipes that will change the way you think about vegan food (+ WIN a cookbook!)

5 recipes that will change the way you think about vegan food (+ WIN a cookbook!)

Posted 25 March 2015   by Amy         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: vegan, vegetarian, cruelty-free, go veg, food, Bed and Broccoli, giveaway, competition, win

No seaweed salads here! Not a kale and quinoa patty to be seen. (Not that I don't love those too!) These 5 mind-blowing recipes will change how you see vegan food and prove that there ain't no thang that can't be made deliciously cruelty-free :) (Click on the pics for recipes.)

[PLUS: Win a cookbook from Bed and Broccoli! See bottom of this blog for how to enter.]

Crème brûlée
I had to start with this one because holy moley. Vegan crème brûlée -- who knew?

Caesar salad with poached 'egg' and hollandaise
Poached eggs? And again ...

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Tofish and chips
Yesssss.

Caramellos
Zomg. Yum.

Carrot caviar
This made me chuckle a little. Well played vegetables.

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All of these recipes are completely free from animal products. The proof is in the crème brûlée that not a single animal has to suffer for us to be able to make crazy good food. The choice to protect pigs, cows, chickens and fish from harm is in your hands. To find out more about the benefits of leaving animals off your plate please click here.

All of the food above was made by the amazing Nikki Medwell who runs a little sanctuary/bed and breakfast called Bed and Broccoli in rural Victoria. Aaand she's recently released a cookbook, which is also amazing. Along with more mind-blowing recipes, the book is full of beautiful pictures of the animals who share her home near Shepparton.

Nikki and friends :)

Thanks to Nikki and JoJo Publishing, I've got TWO Bed and Broccoli cookbooks to giveaway (worth $49.99 each) and I'm going to give them to two people who can make my brain explode with an amazing vegan recipe. Post a link to a recipe or photo of amazing vegan goodness in the comments below for your chance to win one of these -->

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Comp closes 30/04/15. Cant wait to see your entries :)

[Images thanks to Bed and Broccoli's Facebook page.] [Thanks to JoJo Publishing for providing the books.] 

P.S. Can't wait to get your hands on the Bed and Broccoli cookbook? Click here to buy a copy online. Would make a great Mother's Day present :)

UPDATE: This comp has now closed. Congratulations to our winners Amanda G. and MichSmith. 

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Get ready for ALL THE FEELS

Get ready for ALL THE FEELS

Posted 5 December 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: cows, cute, video, go veg, vegetarian

This little girl loves her cow so much she sneaks her into the house for a cuddle sesh and it is SO CUTE! Watch ...

I was desperately wanting to cuddle a cow after I watched this, were you? I had to make do with our office dogs Blue and Oscar. (They are excellent cuddlers.)

Not all of us are as lucky as the girl in the video and get to spend quality time with cows. But it's pretty clear that they can be just as affectionate and loving as the animals that we do share our home (or office) with, wouldn't you say?

If you reckon cows deserve to be treated with kindness there's something you can do today that will make a huge difference for them -- and all animals. By taking animals off your plate you'll be sparing the lives of around 100 animals per year! (Not to mention helping the environment as well). Like the mum in the video seems to realise, these gentle creatures deserve much more than to be killed for their meat.

Make the pledge to go veg today or click here to find out everything you never knew about cows.

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WIN THIS. And eat it. (So yum!)

WIN THIS. And eat it. (So yum!)

Posted 1 December 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: Suzy Spoons, vegetarian, vegan, go veg, cruelty-free, food win, competition, contest, giveaway

Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher is giving away a festive roast that is so delicious it will make your eyes water. Simply tell us why you're leaving animals off your plate this Christmas for your chance to win!

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This festive roast is the yummiest thing you will eat this Christmas. (And maybe ever!) I had one of Suzy Spoon's roast's for Christmas last year, and I swear I was defending my plate from green-eyed relatives the whole time. Jokes. Christmas is about sharing and my whole family tried this roast and LOVED it.

Of course the best thing about this mouth-watering roast is that no animals were killed to make it. It is completely cruelty-free. (I've put the ingredients list below.) Sadly, for millions of animals, Christmas is anything but a time of celebration. Most pigs and chickens in Australia will spend the 'holiday season' in factory farms, with no fancy feast and no love or kindness.

But by choosing to have a cruelty-free Christmas feast, you and your family can help spare animals from a life of sadness.

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Leave a comment below saying why you're leaving animals off your plate this Christmas for your chance to win the festive roast from Suzy Spoon's Vegetarian Butcher. (Or if you'd prefer, you can order one right away by clicking here.)

COMP CONDITIONS:

Comp closes: Sunday 14 December. (Roast will be posted on the 17th.)

Roasts can be delivered to the following areas ONLY:

NSW: Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, Northern Rivers, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Albury, Campbelltown, Windsor, Penrith, Berowra

QLD: Brisbane metro, Gold Coast

VIC: Melbourne metro, Wodonga

Roast ingredients: Tofu, gluten flour, onion, water, bread crumbs, mushrooms, plain flour, olive oil, dried cranberries, walnuts, soy sauce, yeast flakes, garlic, miso, parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper. 


UPDATE 15/12/2014: This competition is now closed. Congratulations to our winner - Caterina from NSW with this entry: 

Last Christmas was my first as a vegan, and this year the whole family is joining in. When we celebrate love, gratitude, family and life, we don't discriminate. What better way to live the values of Christmas, and indeed humanity, than by an active refusal to cooperate with injustice? That's why I choose a cruelty free Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who entered and to everyone celebrating a cruelty-free Christmas this year :) 

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Veg game strong amongst young adults. Cos yolo.

Veg game strong amongst young adults. Cos yolo.

Posted 9 October 2014   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: vegan, vegetarian, cruelty-free, go veg, food, Spiderman

The proof is in the cruelty-free pudding my friend! Latest stats out of the UK say 1 in 5 peeps aged 16-24 have taken animals off their plate. Yeahh ya did!

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This compares to (a still AWESOME) 1 in 8 for Brits overall. Does that mean that young adults are the kindest of aaaallll the adults? ... It's a leap but I'm going to take it :)

Either way, vegetarians and vegans in Britain are on the rise and my spidey senses tell me that they are here in Aus too. What do you reckon?

FUN FACT: Spiderman himself is vegan. (Well, Tobey Maguire that is.) He stopped eating animals back when he was a super smart, super nice 17 year old :)

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Does that mean that living cruelty-free helps you become a famous actor/give you super powers? It's a leap but I'm going to take it!

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This news excites me because it shows that more and more young people are stepping up and making their own choices about what they do and don't want to support. As kids, no one ever really asks us what we think about eating animals. It's just assumed that that's what we're going to do.

But of course as we start to get older and learn the truth about the way animals raised for food are treated we have a choice. And 1 in 5 Brits are making the choice and to take animals of their plate :)

One of my favourite quotes is "Put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car." (Harvey Diamond).

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This rabbit can't even believe that that's even a question! And neither can I really. One of my other favourite quotes (I'm in a quotey mood today) is something Lyn White has said: "Since we can live healthy, happy and fulfilling lives without harming those who share this world with us, why on earth wouldn’t we?"

No matter where you are on your cruelty-free journey, I want to thank you for opening your mind and making kind choices. And no matter which age bracket you fall into, you can help Australia beat the Brits (because you know how much we like to beat the Brits) at being kind, and (more importantly) start saving the lives of animals, by making the veg pledge today.

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On that note, imma just leave this here ...

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(Yep it's vegan :) Click here for recipe.)

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Lucky Larry lobster gets to live!

Lucky Larry lobster gets to live!

Posted 3 June 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: lobsters, rescue, good news, fishing, go veg

"Let Larry live! Let Larry live!" a group of kids chanted as Larry, the 80 year old lobster, was carried to safety. And I would've been chanting right alongside them if I was there :)

Poor Larry had been dragged from his home in the sea and ended up in the The Dock Restaurant in Waterford, Connecticut ... destined to be ... *gulp* ... someone's dinner :(

BUT, lucky for Larry, Don MacKenzie came to his rescue! He said that Larry would have to be at least 80 years old to be the size he was and that he deserved to live. So he bought Larry, and released him back into the ocean.

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He picked a secret location that he thought would be almost impossible for fishermen to drag their nets, in order to give him the best chance at life.

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You know some scientist believe that Larry and other lobsters can live forever! Of course, they can die from illness and predators, but getting older doesn't increase their risk of dying. How cool is that? Imagine all the things that might still happen in Larry's lifetime ... hoverboards? Artificial meat?

Personally, I hope Larry lives on to a time where all living creatures get to live out their lives in peace, just like he will thanks to Don.

Unfortunately, commercial fishing takes billions of animals from the sea to be killed every single year. Lobsters like Larry, crabs and other crustaceans who are caught can be kept in overcrowded tanks in restaurants awaiting their death. They may have their claws bound to keep them from pinching anyone. (Well you would want to pinch people too wouldn't you?)*

What's worse, lobsters are sometimes boiled alive and have been known to thrash violently and try to escape :(

The good news is that there is a very easy way that you can save the lives of animals just like Larry (without having to spend a fortune and hire a boat!) Simply don't eat them. Pledge to take animals off your plate and start saving lives today!

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What change would you like to see in the world in your lifetime (and Larry's)? Let me know in the comments.

*Cute sidenote: Larry's rescuer Don kept the two thick rubber bands that had been wrapped around Larry's claws as a memento of setting him free.

P.S. Did you know that lobsters hold hands? More incredible lobster facts here

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What's the last thing this pig thought about?

What's the last thing this pig thought about?

Posted 21 May 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Rivalea, pigs, video, investigation, go veg

What do you think is the last thing an animal thinks about in an abattoir? We might have an answer to that question thanks to recent footage from inside Australia's 'biggest' and 'best' pig abattoir – and the answer is pretty haunting.

I'll let this infographic begin to explain the situation ...

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SHARE: fb tw

I'm not going to lie, science was never my strong point, but there's something here that just doesn't add up. Let me run this by you and see what you think.

Most of the biggest pig abattoirs in Australia gas pigs with CO2 to render them unconscious, before they are killed and turned into pork, bacon and ham. This is considered the most 'humane' way to kill pigs.

Scientists say gassing isn't too distressing for pigs if the CO2 concentration is NOT more than 20%. Any higher and pigs get stressed – and at really high concentrations they experience panic, terror and may even have violent and painful reactions to the gas.

So that's the science ... BUT what are abattoirs actually doing? Before I tell you the concentration they are using, maybe you can guess. This footage, supplied to 'Aussie Farms', is from inside the 'biggest' and 'best' pig abattoir in Australia:

WARNING: This vision is distressing to watch.

It makes me wonder, if this is the 'best' what is the 'worst'? :( Pigs screamed and thrashed in terror as they tried to get out of the gas chamber. Those who were outside and next in line desperately tried to jump over the walls and escape, only to be jabbed with an electric prod to force them inside the chamber. And this is happening to both factory farmed and free-range pigs.

So here's the most disturbing part: If an abattoir wanted to gas pigs in a way that minimised their suffering they might lose their license for not meeting the Australian Meat Industry 'standards'. These 'standards' say abattoirs MUST use CO2 concentrations of 80% or more. (Yes, you read that right.) At this concentration abattoirs can kill more pigs quicker, but most of those animals are going to their deaths highly distressed or in a state of terror.

Want to help end this cruelty? Great, because the power is in your hands to protect pigs. One simple choice will make all the difference. Make the pledge to take animals off your plate and start saving lives today!

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And to help you get off to a great start, when you take the pledge, you'll receive tips on making the switch and some killer cruelty-free recipes from yours truly :)

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What's his secret?

What's his secret?

Posted 4 March 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: Jared Leto, Oscars, vegan, go veg, food

Jared Leto cleaned up at the Oscars!

Not only did he win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in 'Dallas Buyer's Club';

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Ellen gave him the verbal award for best-looking;

"I'm not going to say who looks the most beautiful, but it's clear. It's Jared Leto. I mean, he's the prettiest. Boy is he pretty."

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US Weekly named him one of the best dressed men at the Award Ceremony;

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And MTV announced Leto the winner of the best Oscar's photobomb;

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(I reckon this has got to be the runner up);

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So what is the secret behind Leto's success, good looks, impeccable fashion sense and hilarious charm? Well, I don't know about the other three, but Leto credits his youthful beauty to sleep and a vegan diet. :)

"I'm pretty healthy so I think that helps a lot. I’ve been that way for a long time – 20 solid years of eating vegetarian/vegan and taking care of myself. That probably helps the preservation process."

There ya go, straight from the mouth of the 'sexiest 42 year old man alive.' As an added bonus, a plant based diet reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer. So you might just live longer as well! What's more, there's 100 other reasons to go veg – and they are all unique. Click here to meet the animals who's lives you'll save by making the pledge to go veg today.

P.S. Leto also has some pretty impressive vegan pancake flipping skills. Check it out:

What's your favourite cruelty free dish to cook?

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Everyone deserves a day off!

Everyone deserves a day off!

Posted 17 January 2014   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Australia Day, Everyone Deserves a Day Off, Australia, lamb, whyveg, go veg

If you haven't seen the new 'Generation Lamb' Australia Day ad yet, I recommend you give it a miss. Personally, I've had about enough of hearing that I'm un-Australian because I choose not to eat animals. Here's the thing - I know what the sting of a blue bottle feels like, I get sunburnt after 20 minutes in the shade and I know all the best ways to stay safe from drop-bears. In short, I reckon I'm just about as ocker as they come. And I'll be celebrating my Australia Day with 100% meat-free deliciousness.

Here's why:

This year you can take a stand for our furry mates by keeping them off your plate. Because if there's one thing that Aussies can't get enough of, it's a day off. And everyone deserves one. Celebrate all that's good about Australia and knock back some veggie tucker this Oz Day. (Click here for some cruelty-free Aussie classics.)

P.S. If there's one more thing that Aussies just can't get enough of ... it's sticking it to the Kiwis. (The fruit, that is wink.) Click on the graphic below to take part in our Facebook campaign to help save our little Aussie mates.

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"Being young doesn't make you less important."

"Being young doesn't make you less important."

Posted 26 September 2013   by tiedyedtofu         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: vegetarian, go veg, guest blog, orangutans, fur

Age is no obstacle for Unleashed member Anastasia. At 12 years old, she's recognised that animals need a voice and she's going to do everything in her power to speak up for them. Here's her story: 

I have always loved animals. At the age of two I held a tiny dead fly in my hand and refused to put it down because it was ‘pretty’. This love of animals stuck all the way through preschool where I made friends with various bugs in the school grounds, and all the way through primary school, where I bred stick insects and drove my friends nuts with random facts about animals they had never heard of.

Then at the beginning of 2012 I learnt about palm oil and the impact it had on various animals. Did you know that in the last decade 80% of orangutan habitat has been altered or lost? A lot of the rainforest destruction is due to palm oil plantations. Orangutans have been abused and killed due to being in the way of palm oil plantations.

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That’s where my passion for animal protection started. I began to research all things about animal rights, from poaching to fur farms. I am most passionate about ending fur farms. I have no idea why I am most passionate about it but to me the thought of animals getting skinned alive all in the name of fashion is disgusting. I wish for a world where all fashion will be ethical.

After watching countless videos, such as Earthlings and Meat the Truth, I was toying with the idea of becoming vegetarian. I finally decided to participate in Meat Free Week. After Meat Free Week, I went back to eating meat but I felt uncomfortable about eating it. I finally decided that I didn’t want to eat animals so I sat down with my mum and told her I would like to be vegetarian. She agreed and all this landed me here -- a 12 year old vegetarian who wants to make a difference.

Anastasia and Rico
(Me and my bearded dragon, Rico.)

The hardest part about being vegetarian is that not everyone around you agrees with you. This is where good education can come in handy. If you know your facts, you can answer any question confidently. “Where do you get your protein and iron?, How can you live without meat?, What on earth is a broiler chicken and a bobby calf?”-- these are the types of questions I get on a daily basis, but I love answering them because I know that the information will stay in their head.

I started to blog because I had heard of adults writing blogs about animal protection but never had I heard of a teen writing about animal issues. I wanted to give young people a view from someone their own age. I also started an instagram page just for animal rights. I began to realise that there were so many young people out there who believed that they couldn’t do anything for animals. So many people can’t believe that I am only 12 and a vegetarian. Anyone can be vegetarian/vegan and anyone, no matter how old or young you are, can make a difference for animals. Maybe you are just putting a sticker on your laptop or notebook -- it gets people talking. Maybe you wear a top that has an animal rights quote on it -- anyone could read it and it might just change their thoughts. Maybe it is just one person but that person could tell another, or maybe 5 more people. I might only receive 10 veiws of my blog a day, but that still means 10 people have seen a post about animals that day. :)

Young people can help end animal abuse and if you are thinking of speaking up for animals, I encourage you to help get the message out. Being young doesn’t make you any less important. You can still save animals and change minds. Start making a difference today by taking animals off your plate, finding out more about campaigns for animals, and talking with your friends.

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TV star protects Neighbours, and the world!

TV star protects Neighbours, and the world!

Posted 24 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: vegetarian, go veg, video, environment, global warming, factory farming, Josef Brown, Neighbours

Everybody needs good neighbours. And Josef Brown (who plays Sergeant Matt Turner on Neighbours) is a real good’n. In between fighting crime in Erinsborough, he managed to produce an awesome web series about the impact our food choices make. Check it out:

Who knew Josef Brown was secretly a talented writer and producer as well as an actor?! (He can also dance, but I’ll leave that for another time so as not to explode your brain.) You can watch the full ‘At the Fork’ series here.

Josef has been meat-free for 22 years now. In that time, his choice has not only saved thousands of animals' lives, he’s significantly reduced his environmental impact. So he’s looking out for his neighbours, and his children’s neighbours and his grandchildren’s neighbours ... Ok, I might’ve taken that ‘Neighbours’ metaphor too far but the point is that he’s a top bloke.

As the boy’s Dad asks in the video, if it would help solve the world’s problems, would you go meat-free? If the answer is yes, click here now and join Josef in helping to improve the future of our planet, for both humans and animals.

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♥☼☺✽☮ Why vegan? ♡★✺☁☺

♥☼☺✽☮ Why vegan? ♡★✺☁☺

Posted 20 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: vegan, vegetarian, cruelty-free, go veg, food, pig, Edgars Mission

Proof that eating vegetables makes you happy, in 76 seconds:

Doesn’t that just make you want to dance? And eat spinach? I love being vegan for so many reasons. I love knowing that I’m helping save the planet by eating food. I love that I’m probably going to live forever. (Or for a long time at least.) I love discovering awesome new foods like quinoa. But most of all, I love that I can enjoy life without harming others.

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Animals want to enjoy life just as much as we do. Check out Hope, living it up at her home at Edgar’s Mission. Here she spends her days playing in the mud, catching up with friends and napping in the sun. Hope’s life started in a much darker place. A place with no grass -- only concrete and metal. A place that doesn’t need to exist. Hope was born into a factory farm.

You can help make sure that animals like Hope are not condemned to a life of darkness and boredom. AND be as HAPPY and HEALTHY as all the veggie-fuelled peeps in the video above! It’s simple. Click here to join the veg crusaders today. (Why not get your friends on board too by hosting a vegan dinner party? Click here for tips.)

Already doing the cruelty-free thang? Tell me what you love about it. :)

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(Bud and I posing with my 'Why vegan?' sign. Check out more exclusive pics from Unleashed HQ on our Instagram page - @aaunleashed.)

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World's Ugliest Animal

World's Ugliest Animal

Posted 16 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: blobfish, fish, fishing, oceans, extinction, go veg, vegetarian

This is Blobby -- fondly named by one of the staff here at Animals Australia. The poor darlin’ has just been crowned world's ugliest animal. Well, the whole species of blobfish have. And I’m not going to lie, they are a little frightful looking. But comedian Paul Foot says that if you could get inside the blobfish’s head, you would discover that it’s filled with kind thoughts and wise words.*

So there’s nothing frightening about Blobby. The scary thing is that the Australian blobfish is facing the threat of extinction from being caught up in fishing trawler nets. Trawling is one of the most destructive forms of commercial fishing. Sometimes more than half of the animals caught by trawlers are unwanted, including the blobfish. By the time they’re tossed back, they are either already dead or will often die soon after from their injuries and being unable to defend themselves from predators.

The good news is that the blobfish has now been named the mascot for the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, which aims to help out the ‘aesthitically-challenged’ animals who are facing extinction. President of the Society, Simon Watt, says that, “for too long the cute and fluffy animals have taken the limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who always get forgotten.”

The even better news is that you can start helping Blobby’s species right now by withdrawing your support for the fishing industry. How? Simply by not eating animals from the sea. Click here to make the pledge to go veg today and start saving the lives of blobfish and loads of other animals.

*Based on no scientific evidence whatsoever.

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Green ooze taking over the world

Green ooze taking over the world

Posted 28 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: factory farming, go veg, cows

Check it out. This is in Texas. And so is this:

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I know what you’re thinking ... stock up on the canned beans because the apocalypse is coming. These satellite images look like something out of a sci-fi movie don’t they? If only. In fact, this is what humans are doing to the world.

These pictures show big factory farming operations in the US. The giant pools of multicoloured grossness in the middle -- they’re the waste pits for animal excrement.

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Now, I know nobody likes talking about poop but I just want to take a slight tangent and tell you about my day volunteering at Edgar’s Mission farm sanctuary on the weekend. I spent a good couple of hours shovelling the do-do of Hansel and Gretel (pictured right). These two are lucky enough to be able to live out the rest of their lives in the care of people who love them for who they are, not what they can produce.

So what do Hansel and Gretel eat? Grass, hay and, as a special treat Weet Bix. So, their number 2’s are ... just that. It gets used to fertilise the surrounding land, thanks to the volunteers who go home with sore muscles from scooping it up. ;) (But seriously, great day. If you live in Vic and want to be a vollie at Edgar’s click here.)

So, my point is, why on earth does the kaka of factory farmed animals turn into toxic sludge? Well for starters there's the sheer number of animals... Farm animals now produce about 130 times more waste than humans. :/

But the man who discovered these images, Mishka Henner, dug a little deeper. And he learned that these waste pits contained “elevated levels of ammonia, nitrogen and phosphorous, as well as pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptosporidium, and fecal coliform, plus antibiotics expelled in the animals' waste.”

Henner’s satellite photographs serve as a vibrant reminder of not only what factory farming is doing to animals, but to our environment as well. These images are from the US, but millions of animals are in factory farms right here in Australia as well. And this cruel industry is having a devastating global impact.

Thankfully, the solution to this global problem is very simple. And it starts with you. Click here to take the first step to changing the world.

What would Captain Planet do?

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Where is that turkey?

Where is that turkey?

Posted 7 August 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: turkeys, factory farming, rescued, video, veg, go veg

The chickens in Chicken Run ain’t got nothing on the turkeys in Alex’s imagination. Best blueprint for an escape plan I have ever seen:

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(Image: pleated-jeans.com)

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Unfortunately, most turkeys will never get the chance to run free. Turkeys born into factory farms are often crammed into sheds by the thousands, and are forced to live in their own waste. They will be slaughtered at around 10-12 weeks old. A turkey’s natural life span is around 10 years.

(Image: bigbirdsbigcruelty.org)

Thankfully, every now and then, a turkey gets a happy ending. Here’s the story of 8 very lucky ones:

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These birds were born into horrible conditions in factory farms but they will live out the rest of their lives happily at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary. There is a way that you can prevent more turkeys from living out their lives in cramped and miserable conditions, and save the lives of up to 100 other animals as well. Be a lifesaver and pledge to be veg.

P.S. Did you notice the turkey’s names? laugh Who would you like to name a turkey after?

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What do Wolverine and Jack Sparrow have in common?

What do Wolverine and Jack Sparrow have in common?

Posted 26 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: vegetarian, go veg, celebrity, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp

So, what do Wolverine and Jack Sparrow have in common?

a) They have beards
b) They carry sharp pointy objects
c) The actors who play them have taken up a vegan diet
d) All of the above

The answer is d) All of the above.

I know! Big news about the beards ;) Oh you want to know about the vegan thing? Well Hugh Jackman recently told Men’s Health magazine that he was in need of a big change after all the red meat he was made to eat to bulk up* for the new Wolverine movie (out next month). “I think after this film I need to be vegan for a while,” Jackman said, “just as my way of giving back to the animals.”

Naww. Well on behalf of the pigs, chickens, cows, sheep and fish -- thanks Hugh! Going veg is the simplest way to start saving the lives of animals. And Johnny Depp has apparently picked up on this too. Rumour has it that he has switched to a vegan diet as well, thanks to motivation from his girlfriend, Amber Heard. Johnny is yet to refuse or deny the rumours but has been raving about losing his paunch – i.e. dropping the kilos. (Just quietly, I lost a bit of paunch too when I became vegan. Then I discovered Mister Nice Guy's cupcakes :/)

So I’m thinking that eating cruelty-free is the new trend amongst superheroes and villains. Or maybe Depp and Jackman have just realised how yummy vegan food is. (Not to mention good for you.) I wonder whether they’ve tried this Mutant Mac ‘n’ Cheeze or the Aha Me Hearty Mushroom Stroganoff.

Which celeb superhero/villain would you like to see go cruelty-free next?

*What a shame Hugh didn't know that you can be fit and buff on a plant-powered diet, just like these real-life superheroes.

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200 year old fish killed for fun.

200 year old fish killed for fun.

Posted 4 July 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 10 Comments

Tags: fishing, fish, go veg, vegetarian

What would you do if you came across someone who had managed to live to the ripe old age of two hundred years?

This is Stanley. (But his mates called him Stan.) He is a bright pink 'shortraker' who lived off the coast of southern Alaska. At his age, he could have been a great, great, GREAT grandfather to goodness knows how many fish. On the day he was killed, he could have been on his way to visit an old friend to talk about last night's game, or the cold weather they’d been having. (Did you know that fish communicate using low-frequency squeaks? Some even sing.)

Whatever his story is, one thing is for sure – Stan wanted to live.

This is Henry. Henry is the guy who pulled Stanley out of the water. When fish are taken out of the water, they immediately start to suffocate. It's the exact same feeling as if you or I were pulled under water and started to drown. (Check out this video where Ewan McGregor imagines what this must be like for a fish: Desserts).

henry.jpg

Poor Stanley was a goner the minute he was pulled up. Fish that live very deep down in the ocean (approximately 275 metres in this case) have something called a "swim bladder" which is filled with gas and helps them to remain buoyant. When they are brought to the surface, the gas in the bladder expands and usually bursts, causing the fish to die. Sounds painful doesn’t it? :(

Henry is a "recreational fisher." This is what he does for fun. He plans to have Stanley mounted on his wall so that he can tell the story to friends, family and visitors in his home. I wonder if Henry knows that he can get trophies for table tennis too and no-one has to die.

Fish biologist Kristen Green said she was very sad to see a fish this old taken from the sea. However she also noted that "this is a drop in the ocean compared to what the commercial fisheries take."

She’s right. Commercial fishing kills billions of animals every year -- more than any other industry. Often, more than half of the fish pulled out of the sea by trawlers are unwanted and tossed back. Unfortunately, most will already be dead by this time and those that aren’t will probably die from their injuries or be too weak to escape from predators. :(

The good news is that there is a very easy way that you can save hundreds of fish (and other animals too). Simply don’t eat them. Pledge to take animals off your plate today and start saving lives. :) Stan would be so proud!

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Compassionate 3-year-old becomes YouTube star

Compassionate 3-year-old becomes YouTube star

Posted 3 June 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: go veg, vegetarian, video, cute

Luiz is only three years old but he has made up his mind that he is not going to eat anything (or rather, anyone) with a head. In the last couple of days, he's become an internet sensation, with over a million views on YouTube.

There comes a time in every child's life when they realise that meat used to be an animal. I remember the day my little sister realised that 'pig' and 'pork' were one and the same. She put down her fork and cried. I'm embarrassed to say that at the time I laughed at her and told her to eat her chops.

Now, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that she should have this reaction and I wish I could go back in time, give her a cuddle and make her a veggie burger. But at that age I had already learned to accept what society says is 'normal' and 'ok'.

Children don't just accept. Children ask questions. A lot of questions. All the time. The questions Luiz asks his mum are questions that I wish I'd asked earlier. It was only years later, that I realised, like Luiz, I wanted animals to 'stay standing up'.

When did you first make the connection between meat and the animals it came from? How did you react?

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Why it's important to watch cartoons

Why it's important to watch cartoons

Posted 27 May 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: vegetarian, go veg, video, cute, pigs, monkeys

Ok, so maybe I am getting a little bit too old for cartoons, but you have to admit that there is nothing better than an episode of Scooby Doo with your cornflakes on a Saturday morning. And the little kid in me absolutely LOVED this episode of Arthur:

How cute is Sue Ellen's new bestie Sally? You know, Sue Ellen and I have something in common – almost four years ago I made a new friend called Joey. He lives in a monkey sanctuary in Cornwall, England. (Luckily he is very hairy because it gets FREEZING there!)

250-joey.jpgFor 9 years, Joey had been kept as a pet in a cage, which was MUCH too small for a monkey, and he had become physically disabled as a result. Luckily the sanctuary rescued him and he now has plenty of space and other monkey friends. When Joey looked at me, poked his tongue out and threw an apple at my face, I knew that I could never eat animals again!


200-lisa-lamb.jpgSue Ellen and I are not the only ones who have made a friendship with an animal that has changed us for good. Lisa Simpson beat us to it when she became vegetarian in 1995 after bonding with a lamb. That means Lisa has been vegetarian for over 17 years! Strangely enough, she hasn't aged a day. Could this be the consequences of living meat-free? 

By deciding not to eat animals, Sue Ellen is going to save up to 100 cartoon lives per season! And Lisa has saved thousands and thousands of cartoon sheep, cows, pigs,chickens and fish. If you want to save real animals you can make the pledge to be veg! Start with my personal wintery favourite – minestrone soup!


And while you are warming up with a bowl of delicious cruelty-free goodness, why not tell us about your special animal friend in the comments below?

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From war soldier to animal advocate

From war soldier to animal advocate

Posted 24 May 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: IAPF, Damien Mander, poaching, hunting, Africa, conservation, vegetarian, go veg, inspiring, video

I just love seeing a big, burly bloke go all Superman to help an innocent animal, don't you? Well, Damien Mander's story is just that. And it's got buffalos and elephants and snares and rangers and special ops and ... how about I just let him tell you about it:

Wow! What a great question Mander poses to everyone at the end! Now I know, as an Unleashed member, you're brave enough to speak up for animals, so I'd like to pose a different question to you:

What are you going to do this week to make a difference for animals?

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Play game, save animals!

Play game, save animals!

Posted 20 May 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: vegetarian, game, farming, go veg

Run Cow Run is my new favourite phone game. Sorry Candy Crush Saga, I still love you, but who wouldn't want to save this little cow from being turned into steak, and help her rescue other farm animals?!


The creator of this marvellous (and FREE) app, Oren Bengigi, describes it as the game that the meat industry doesn't want you to know about. We think this game is just great and so we picked the creator's brain about where the idea came from. Turns out, it's based on a true story!

What inspired you to make Run Cow Run?

I saw a YouTube video about a cow called Maxine, who escaped from a slaughterhouse and was rescued by a farm sanctuary. I really liked the story and decided to make a game based on the idea of a cow that runs for her life. I was a vegetarian for 13 years and at that time I decided to become vegan and also started developing the game.

What do you want people to take away from the game?

In most games, players identify with the main character. The message I'm trying to pass on is that animals are not a product - they have feelings and needs. During the game the cow escapes and on the way she can rescue other farm animals (pigs, chickens, ducks and goats). They are locked in cages, just like in real life, but the players have the possibility to save them and lead them to a nearby animal shelter. (They also have the possibility to save animals in real life!)

Most people don't know what it took to produce the food they are eating. The meat and dairy industries are cruel and the only way to stop it is by not eating animal products. Nowadays it is very easy to go vegan, there are lots of tasty alternatives and the food is healthier too.

How has the response been so far?

Most of the players like it and say that the cow is very cute. Some are annoyed when the cow is caught by the farmer, but I can't make the game too easy! Our current game ratings are 4.6 out of 5.0, so there aren't many complaints.

What is the cow's name?

Her name is Maxine. And her number is 269, based on this campaign.


You can start saving farm animals NOW. Download Run Cow Run using the links below. It's FREE! (It's also free to save animals in real life. Here's how.)

Android - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bengigi.runcowrun
iPhone - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/run-cow-run/id590455866?ls=1&mt=8

Do you know of any other games with a great animal message? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Activist Challenge winner meets the PM!

Activist Challenge winner meets the PM!

Posted 26 March 2013   by Jesse         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Activist Challenge, live exports, go veg, contest, winner

If you had a chance to sit down with Prime Minister what would you talk to her about?

Unleashed member ecochick (or Leah to her mates) was faced with just that question recently, when Julia Gillard paid a visit to her school. Check out what Leah and her best buds had to say to the PM, and you'll understand soon enough why she's our latest Activist Challenge winner.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard at Aberfoyle Park High SchoolSpeaking to the PM about factory farming and live animal exports is fantastic. But the cherry on top is that Leah and her friends challenged the Prime Minister to go veg for two weeks. And she accepted!

I'll be crossing my fingers that Julia tries out my mum's vegan lasagne recipe in her two weeks of meat-free meals.

Mum's lasagne + a few vegan cupcakes to sweeten the deal, and with any luck Ms Gillard could become the next cruelty-free world leader. Bill Clinton and the ex-President of Slovenia (yup - random fact of the day - he was vegan), would be proud.

But now I'm getting off topic... We were talking about future leaders (I'm looking at you Leah). You can find out more about Leah's meeting with Julia Gillard here and show her some love for her efforts here!

Have you been getting active for animals too? Tell us your story and go in the running to be an Unleashed Activist Challenge winner, just like Leah :-)

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Meet your new favourite athlete!

Meet your new favourite athlete!

Posted 7 March 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | Be the first to comment

Tags: Sarah Stewart, athlete, go veg

How many people do you know who have won three Paralympic medals, have their own Mini-Me made out of Lego, and loved animals so much they went vegan while still in their teens? Not many? Well, prepare to meet one - the amazing Sarah Stewart!

Sarah has represented Australia over 150 times in wheelchair basketball, is studying towards a PhD at Sydney Uni and hangs out with pandas when she's in China. She's even been described as a "whirlpool of talent". As a comparison, the only natural disaster I've been compared to was a "blizzard of dandruff". (I haven't worn black t-shirts since.)

Free ThrowSarah took up wheelchair basketball in her early twenties. At first describing it as "Quidditch on wheels", she now sees it more as a game of chess. She got really good, really quick and debuted for Australia against the United States on her birthday. That's an awesome b'day present!

Sarah has gone on to win three Paralympic medals for wheelchair basketball, and is nice enough to show them to me when we're talking. I ask her if she wears them to parties instead of normal jewellery. "No - they're really heavy! After the Paralympics for a couple of months, I do tend to just carry them around with me. People really like to see them and get a kick out of them so it seems like a nice thing to do."

Sarah went vegan when she was about 18, and did so out of her love for animals. "I didn't like the idea of causing pain and suffering and taking life. I wouldn't want to cause pain to my dog, or kill and eat my dog, so the idea of doing that to another animal just because I hadnt met him or her seemed quite wrong." Her dog Chandler (who is sitting quietly through our talk) was no doubt relieved to hear that!

I was surprised (and happy!) to hear that one of Sarah's Australian team-mates is vegetarian, and one of her Sydney Uni team-mates is also vegan. (Discover more compassionate athletes here!) Sarah says that her coaches are cool with her vegan meals, and she rattles off a list of good places to get something to eat in Sydney.

Sarah Stewart Lego

Sarah's list of favourite animals is as long as her list of suggested places to eat in Sydney! "I like a LOT of different animals. I do have a bit of an obsession with cephalopods. And I also like bats. And seals . And dogs, and cows, and cats, and horses and wolves and pigs ..." She trails off laughing.

It turns out that Sarah is also a bit of a Lego nut. "Just a smidgen. I've always loved playing with Lego and building Lego ... and I just didn't stop!" She has a MASSIVE collection of awesome Lego, but definitely the coolest piece is her Lego version of herself, in her Australia uniform, name and number on the back and everything. You know you're a superstar when you've got your own Lego figurine!

So now you know Sarah Stewart - Australian Paralympian, lego addict, and vegan! You can connect with her on twitter: @SarahStewartAus and can catch her playing for the Sydney Uni Flames in the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League when the season starts in the middle of the year (June through to September - no excuses!)

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Everyone Deserves A Day Off!

Everyone Deserves A Day Off!

Posted 17 January 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: Australia Day, Everyone Deserves A Day Off, lamb, video, go veg

Two things bring us together as Australians - we're all mates and we all love a day off. This Australia Day, YOU can join the campaign to give our animal mates a day off too - a day off the menu! It'd be un-Australian not to...

Shane Warne, the cast of Home and Away, and a Bondi lifeguard. What do they all have in common? They're all Australian and they all love a day off. Every year across this great nation, Australians unite on January 26th to celebrate our shared love of having a day off. (Umm ... that's right, isn't it?) This year you can make a stand for our four legged mates, by keeping them off your plate. On Australia Day ... Everyone Deserves a Day Off.

However you choose to celebrate your day off, fight un-Australianism, and bring a plate of delicious veggie tucker. Going to a barbie? Cook up some true-blue veggie snags. Picnic? What could be more Australian then taking some lamingtons! Beach party? Wrap yourself in an Aussie flag and take some veggie wraps. The options are as wide as this dry, brown land we call home. You could even host a barbie yourself, encouraging friends to bring a cruelty-free plate.

There's heaps of other ways you can get involved but the best way to celebrate all that's good about Australia is to keep meat off the menu.

Being Australian means more than just ending all your words with the letter "O". So this Australia Day, stand up for the underdog (undersheep?), because Everyone Deserves a Day Off!!

If you're over the idea that being Australian means eating animals, then share this campaign far and wide! You know it makes sense. ;)

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An unnatural life.

An unnatural life.

Posted 16 January 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | 9 Comments

Tags: Go Veg, slaughter, pigs, cows, bobby calves, rescue, sanctuary

This one simple (non-gory) image will change the way you think about animals who are born to be slaughtered in Australia. Prepare to have your mind blown.

Nearly every animal in Australia born to be eaten or have their eggs or milk taken, will not live their full natural life. This chart shows to scale how much of their life they experience before they are killed to be eaten, or because they are no longer 'productive' enough to be kept.

An Unnatural Life Span

To give it some perspective: the average life expectancy for an Australian is almost 82 years. If you were a 'dairy cow', it would mean you shouldn't bother planning your 21st b'day. If you were a veal calf, you wouldn't even reach 2 years old.

That's a really grim way to look at it - but the sad truth is that most animals in Australia are killed as babies.

There are some lucky ones, though. They find their way to sanctuaries, rescue shelters and into the care of kind individuals and families. Pigs like Hope who ended up at Edgar's Mission, and calves like Esther at Brightside Farm Sanctuary.

Hope & Esther

You don't have to rescue a pig and have her live in your backyard to be a lifesaver for these animals. All you have to do is decide not to eat them. It's such a simple change in your life, but it will make the world of difference to animals you no longer eat. Take the pledge to be veg, now!

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Cheer on these stars on Oscar's night!

Cheer on these stars on Oscar's night!

Posted 14 January 2013   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: go veg, celebrities, Joaquin Phoenix, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Earthlings

What two things do Joaquin Phoenix, Jessica Chastain and Anne Hathaway all have in common? They've all just been nominated for Academy Awards, and ... well, you'll have to read on to find out the second thing!

These three big-time Hollywood stars are all in the running to win Oscars in February, and they're also all vegan! So for being such amazing role models and for saving lives by refusing to eat animal products, we'll be cheering for these cruelty-free candidates on Oscars night.

Joaquin Phoenix is up for a Best Actor nod for his movie, The Master. A long-time voice for animals, Joaquin's best work would have to be his narration for the doco Earthlings. This documentary is the most comprehensive film ever made about the ways people use animals for food, clothing, experimentation and entertainment. One reviewer described it by saying, "For those who watch Earthlings, the world will never be the same." Find out what other Unleashed members are saying about it, and then watch it for free online here.

Earthlings

Anne Hathaway has also been getting active for animals lately. As well as refusing to eat meat or any animal products, Anne made a stand for animals (literally) by having designer Tom Ford create her custom non-leather boots to wear to the opening of her smash hit Les Mis. You can follow in her animal-friendly footsteps by taking the pledge to avoid fur and leather, and leave animals to wear their own skin!

And third on the list of nature-loving nominees is Jessica Chastain who is up for a Best Actress gong for her movie Zero Dark Thirty. Jessica was named as one of the "100 Most influential People in the World" for 2012, so hopefully she'll be influencing plenty more people to join her in living a cruelty-free life!

Vegan Oscar Nominees: Joaquin, Jessica, Anne

It's awesome to see celebs make compassionate decisions like the three here. They can reach such a massive audience with their lifestyle choices; it's bound to help animals. But even if you're not a worldwide star (yet!) you can still make a world of difference for animals by choosing to go veg. Head here to make the best decision of your life, and get tips to help you on your journey!

Tell me - who's your fave of these three and why?

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They put WHAT in my lollies?!

They put WHAT in my lollies?!

Posted 3 September 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: Go Veg, gelatin, lollies

When I was really young I wanted to have lollies for every meal. I spent all my pocket money on them. I was jealous of Americans because they had Halloween - a whole night dedicated to scoring free lollies. That was until I found out that some lollies out there are actually made with pig skin and cow bones!

I would never have suspected that lollies would ever be made with animal ingredients! You can see for yourself on the pack though - the ingredient is called "gelatine". Gelatine is made from pig skin, cow skin, and the bones of both animals! Gross, isn't it? But look out, 'cos it gets grosser - here's a couple of pictures of the gelatin making process.

The lollies that gelatine is usually found in are the gummy/chewy types like Snakes Alive and Starburst. Animals aren't killed expressly so they can be turned into gelatine - but still, it's pretty rank to know that Gummi Bears have pig skin in them.

Fortunately, there are heaps of mouth-watering lollies out there that are totally free of animal products. You can get ones that are purpose made for people who don't want to eat gelatine. Grab them online at The Cruelty Free Shop, PAWS, and Vegan Online.

There are also plenty of gelatine-free lollies on the average supermarket shelf too. So next time you're deciding what lollies to buy, try one from the list below. And make sure you share them with your friends and fam too, making sure to mention what you know about gelatine ;) So enjoy the lollies - they'll taste good, and you'll feel good!

Fruit Tingles
Skittles
Chuppa Chups (the non-milky ones)
Pascall Jelly Beans
Natural Confectionary Co. Jelly Beans
Most liquorice
Wizz Fizz Sherbet
Sherbies
Lifesavers

(p.s. Here's a tip for American kids next Halloween: have two costumes, do two rounds ... receive double the lollies. Thank me later.)

What lollies have I missed on the list?? Let me know in the comments below.

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First humans on Mars will be vegan!

First humans on Mars will be vegan!

Posted 6 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 13 Comments

Tags: Go veg, Mars, astronauts, environment, water

Proving once and for all that people who work at NASA must be pretty brainy ... scientists there have developed over 100 different meals for future manned trips to Mars. And each and every one of those meals is vegan! Maybe it's time to rename Mars from the 'Red Planet' to the 'Green Planet'?

Mars has been seen as the most likely planet for humans to live on in the future. NASA has a whole program dedicated to researching the place, and the plan is to send astronauts up there by the year 2030. At first it might sound like a 'world's worst job' kinda thing. It'll take astronauts 6 months to get there; then they're going to spend 18 months doing 'sciencey' things; then another 6 months to return to Earth. But throw in the all-vegan menu, and pics of the pizza that'll be going with them - and all of a sudden it doesn't seem too bad! Time to start paying attention in science class...

The reason NASA has gone for cruelty-free space food is that it'd be impossible to preserve meat and dairy products on such a long journey. There's also an idea being floated that the Mars astronauts will be able to grow their own greens and eat them. It's common knowledge now that the farming of animals for human consumption is contributing to environmental destruction and wasting water here on Earth, so making the first human contact with a new planet vegan is a pretty good idea I reckon.

There's no word yet if the astronauts will be able to swing through Lord of the Fries to grab takeaway for their trip, but I'm betting that the boffins at NASA will have come up with plenty of meal ideas to keep them happy and healthy while they're up in space. If they need some more inspiration - there's plenty of delicious, cruelty-free eats here.

What food could you absolutely NOT do without if you were sent off to space for 3 years?

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Olympic stars are winning gold for animals!

Olympic stars are winning gold for animals!

Posted 1 August 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 4 Comments

Tags: Olympics, athletes, swimmers, vegetarian, vegan, go veg

It's official: I've got Olympic Fever (or rabies ... I'm waiting for the doc to call with the results)! To help get you in the spirit of the Games, I've put together an international dream team of vegan and vegetarian Olympic athletes. These athletes became stars for their sporting achievements and became heroes for their refusal to eat animals. Now let's introduce the team!

In track and field we have Carl Lewis and Edwin Moses - who have a combined 3 gold medals between them. Oh wait, did I say 3? I meant, 13!! That's right, these guys won more gold medals between the two of them then almost the entire Australian team at the 2008 Games. Moses also set the improbable record of winning 122 races in a row. He didn't lose a single race he started for 9 years, 9 months and 9 days!

Running middle distance is the Flying Finn, Paavo Nurmi who bagged 9 gold medals over three Games. Vegetarian since the age of 12, Paavo has set world records in distances ranging from 1500m all the way up to 20kms, and his 5 gold haul in one Olympics is a track record that still stands.

Over in the pool, we have an Aussie *whistle* *cheer* And not just any Aussie, but the one with the best nickname ever in international sport - Murray Rose ... the Seaweed Streak! Born and raised a vegan, Rose set an amazing 15 world records, and bagged 4 Olympic golds in his stellar career. He claimed very clearly in interviews that it was his vegan lifestyle that helped him achieve such great success.

You don't need to be an Olympian to feel the benefits of cutting meat from your meals, either. People often report fewer pimple problems and glowing skin after going veg; and those looking to shed a few excess kgs might be interested to know that vegetarians have an average body weight up to 20% lower than meat eaters! Even "armchair athletes" can reduce their chances of obesity, diabetes and strokes by being vegetarian (even more true for vegans)!

Keep your eyes open for compassionate competitors at the Games this year (Lizzie Armitstead is one, and she's already won a silver!), and enjoy the events. Check out some of the easy and tasty snacks you can make for in front of the telly here.

Are you inspired by any other amazing athletes who don't eat animals?

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Food for thought? (Gross-out warning!)

Food for thought? (Gross-out warning!)

Posted 13 July 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 12 Comments

Tags: go veg, environment, vegetarian, vegan, cruelty-free, factory farming, take action

CONTENT WARNING: If you're too young to remember when Pokemon first went nuts, or if you're squeamish, you might want to tune out now.

Here's a blog to sink your teeth in to! Umm ... or not. A Serbian chef has released a cookbook/great-conversation-starter on how to cook testicles! Which I assume someone would then actually eat.

"Waiter - there's a hair in my testicle soup! Oh ... no."

I don't want to go into the gory details (because I just ate lunch), but the recipes include a Testicle Pizza, and the book also shows the correct way to "peel a testicle", to help beginner cooks get the balls rolling. Har-har-har.

If you think that's pretty wrong, then you probably don't want to know what goes into meat pies in Australia. (I'll give you a clue - it involves rind, connective tissue, nerves and blood vessels). And don't get me started on hamburgers.

But seriously, once you know some of the things animals killed for food go through, the whole idea of eating any part of their body becomes a bit cringe-worthy.

The good news is that it's easy to avoid these mystery meats, and in the process improve your health, help the environment and save animals all at the same time! By going veg, you'll find yourself in the company of people like Leonardo da Vinci, Missy Higgins and the Incredible Hulk! Which would also make a pretty interesting dinner party. Bags sitting next to Missy!

So next time you're making a pizza at home, perhaps consider one of Ward's Easy Peasy Cheesy Vegan Pizzas, hold the testicles. Wait, that ... came out wrong.

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Puma says leather's got to go!

Puma says leather's got to go!

Posted 26 June 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: leather, cows, environment, Puma, go veg, sports, vegetarian, athletes, soccer

Sportswear giant Puma have scored some big points on the 'animal friendly' score board with news that it's considering giving leather the boot!

Usain_Bolt.jpg In an interview on the weekend, Puma's chairman, Jochen Zeitz said that given the environmental damage caused by raising cattle, "I think eventually we'll have to look at alternative materials, there's no question about it. We should eat less meat, all of us, and we should use less leather, I mean that's reality."

This move would save millions of animals from being abused and killed in the leather industry, not to mention cutting down on greenhouse gases and the toxic chemicals used to preserve dead cow's skin. Hopefully the other big shoe companies will come to the party soon too!

soccer.jpgLuckily, Puma isn't the only one in the sporting world that is kicking out cruelty. From sports companies to sports teams ... Last year, the English football team, Forest Green Rovers lived up to the 'green' in their name and went vegetarian! The club announced that "on nutritional advice, it was decided to no longer feed our team red meat for health and performance reasons". But they didn't stop there: "If red meat was not good enough to feed our players, then it wasn't good enough for our staff, fans and visitors too". And so meat pies and hot-dogs were shown the red card, substituted by mushroom pies, polenta chips and felafel wraps.

I don't know if the new menu at the club can take all the credit, but the Rovers improved from 20th in 2011 to finish 10th in the 2012 season (after meat had been cut)! Even if the new menu can't take credit for all the points on the pitch, the players and fans can take heart in knowing that vegetarians are less likely to be obese or have high levels of artery clogging cholesterol, and enjoy a range of other health benefits - simply by choosing not to eat animals.

Ever go to the footy? What do you think of the food on offer at the games? (Apart from the fact that it's overpriced, I mean). What do you think they should be serving?

ps. When you've got a sec, please send Puma a supportive message to let them know that you think getting rid of leather would be a slam dunk for animals and the environment: [email protected]

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P!nk goes crazy on baby's birthday!

P!nk goes crazy on baby's birthday!

Posted 7 June 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Pink, birthday, cake, food, health, go veg, billy simmonds, what's she gonna get for her second birthday?

I've had vegan pizza and vegan lasagne. I wear vegan shoes and a belt. I've even got some amazing vegan music in my collection! But all I want for my next birthday ... is the same vegan carrot cake that P!nk got for her baby girl's first birthday party last week.

Look at that thing! It's making my mouth water.

P!nk is famous not just for her music and live shows, but also for her willingness to speak up for animals. She's supported campaigns against mulesing, fur, bullfighting and puppy mills. With all that action, it's no surprise that little Willow's first b'day cake was cruelty-free.

While a vegan b'day cake is a pretty sweet pressie just by itself, it's actually a gift that keeps on giving. As well as being 100% kind to animals, avoiding animal products at meal-time has all kinds of positive spin-offs for you. A study just published in the Medical Journal of Australia outlines all the benefits that going veg has. There's less chance of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer. I particularly don't like the sound of that last one.

The study also found no noticeable difference in the growth of vegetarian kids compared to meat-eating kids, which doesn't surprise me one bit. Cough-Billy Simmonds-cough.

So happy birthday little Willow, hope you had a great day! And if there's any cake left over ... I'm on my way.

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Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Holy carp. A vegetarian shark!

Posted 24 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: fish, sharks, shark fin soup, go veg, vegetarian shark

End of week pop test. (Don't stress, it's easy.) Which one of the following statements is false?

a) There's a vegetarian shark in the UK.
b) Great whites like AC/DC.
c) Fish don't feel pain like us.

The false statement is ... C! Fish definitely feel pain; great whites apparently like classic Aussie metal, and a shark called Florence is eating her veggies!

Florence, a nurse shark in England, has recently joined the growing movement toward eating cruelty free, and now chooses to chow down on only vegetables. Florence must have good taste as she particularly likes celery, cucumber and lettuce, which sounds suspiciously like what I'll be having for lunch today. Maybe we could organise a lunch date?

Florence made the switch to vegetarian eating after surgery to remove a rusted hook from her jaw. Perhaps she's wised up to the dangers involved in eating meat? (ok... ok... the truth is that Florence will in fact need to start eating meat again to be healthy, but fortunately, you and I definitely don't!) After all, carp have been reported to change their behaviour after an experience with hooks, and trout can remember how to avoid fishing nets months after their first experience with one. And I thought Nemo was pretty smart because he could talk!

Fish experience a whole range of the same sensations that other animals do. A hook in the mouth hurts. Suffocating to death is as awful as it sounds for us. And when fish are brought to the surface too quickly, the change in pressure causes eyes and organs to explode. More and more people are realising the stress and pain caused to fish by recreational and commercial fishing.

The underwater world really is an amazing place. There's sharks who can bark like dogs; tiny creatures that light up whole waves; and fish using rocks to open clam shells. If you want to take a small step to protect some of our marine mates, you don't need to buy them tix to an AC/DC concert (good luck, they sell out in like 8 minutes flat). Just head here to join others in taking a stand against the sale of shark fins in Australia.

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What's going on behind closed doors?

What's going on behind closed doors?

Posted 21 May 2012   by Anthony         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: slaughter, cows, meat, investigation, pigs, NSW, go veg, Earthlings, abattoirs, some kind of nightmare

If you've ever seen Earthlings, then you'd already know that what happens in slaughterhouses is pretty horrific. Really, if most people could see what happens to the animals that end up as meat on their plates, they'd seriously reconsider whether they want to eat meat.

Here's another reason why people would rethink their dinner plans: The NSW Food Authority has just finished a review of all the domestic slaughterhouses in NSW. Guess how many of those places needed to be told to clean up their act?
a) none of them
b) some of them
c) most of them
d) ALL of them!

If you guessed "All of them" ... you were right! Animals were observed being mistreated in every domestic abattoir across the state. The review found that slaughtering staff didn't always know what they were doing (what the...??!) and that some animals were not being stunned properly before being killed. That means they may have still been conscious when their throats were cut :(

The review started after nightmarish footage was taken at Hawkesbury Valley Meat Processors by Animals Australia member society, Animal Liberation. But hey, this is hardly the first shocking footage to come out of a slaughterhouse recently ... remember the pigs being stabbed in the eyes at a Victorian slaughterhouse late last year? If you've already seen it then I'd say you probably do remember it.

The reality is that what goes on in slaughterhouses on a daily basis is ugly -- even when no laws are being broken. And it's so well hidden from public eyes that we can never really be sure how an individual animal on the supermarket shelf was treated. The only way to be certain that animals aren't suffering for our food is also the simplest way: take meat off the menu. The animals will thank you for it ;)

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