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YEAR OF THE KEE-NWAH!

YEAR OF THE KEE-NWAH!

Posted 10 September 2013   by Amy         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: quinoa, vegetarian, health, environment

It’s the International Year of Quinoa! Quin-what? Yea I know, I’ve only just discovered this wonderful grain. And now it’s way up there on my list of favourite grains. (And trust me, that’s a competitive list.)

Quinoa has all of a sudden started popping up in salads and next to stews and even in cakes. It’s arguably the hipster cafe grain of choice. Although I’m sure hipsters were eating it long before it was cool. Which I guess makes Incas the original hipsters, since they were eating it centuries ago.

The most important thing to know about quinoa is how to pronounce it. Too many times I’ve had the guy behind the counter at the veggie place shake his head at me for asking for ‘kwin-noah’. At first I would shy away, back to the grains that are easier to pronounce, such as rice and barley. But then I downloaded the ‘How to Pronounce Quinoa’ YouTube tutorial and listened to it every day on the bus to work. Now I say quinoa like a pro. Kee-nwah. Kee-nwah.

“Morning Amy. How’s it ...”
“Kee-nwah!”

The second most important thing you should know about quinoa is that it is DELICIOUS! And good for you. It’s high in protein and has all of the essential amino acids. (No idea what an amino acid is but my mum’s always raving on about them.) AND, there are so many different things you can do with quinoa. Here’s some of my personal faves:

Since it’s the year of quinoa, I’m going to get both feet on this grain train and experiment with even more quinoa recipes. Want to take the challenge with me? Let me know your favourite new recipes in the comments below.

P.S. The picture of the cat had nothing to do with this blog whatsoever, but let’s be honest, cats are cuter than quinoa.

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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 | 2 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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The Easiest Way to Feel Great...

The Easiest Way to Feel Great...

Posted 7 April 2011   by Jane         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: health, meat, veg, environment, video, funny

Today is World Health Day.

So I thought I'd share a little something with you:

Funny, right?! And it's enough to make someone want to Pledge to be Veg, isn't it! Which would be a great way to help yourself this World Health Day -- not to mention improving the health of animals and the planet we live on!

"Just saying is all." ;)

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Athletes Batting for Fast Food :(

Athletes Batting for Fast Food :(

Posted 29 March 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 7 Comments

Tags: cricket, sport, health, fast food, vegan

Have you heard? Ricky Ponting is retiring as captain of the Aussie cricket team.

To mark the occasion the 7PM Project are running a poll asking "What will Ponting's captaincy be most remembered for?". I thought it was amusing that "a new world record for commercial endorsements" was out in front in the poll. Tbh, there's not a lot Ponting hasn't endorsed: milk, deoderant, oil, vitamins, banks, beer, sunglasses, breakfast cereal... In fact, I heard that he tried to drop the 'y' from his name to make himself more marketable!

But what really bugs me is the fact that the Australian Cricket team's official sponsor is KFC!

Even setting aside the fact they are promoting a company that confines millions of birds in factory farms, how can a team of elite atheletes sell food that is only going to add to the problems of childhood obesity, heart disease, etc? If you ask me that's just not cricket!

A few weeks ago it was reported that another cricketing great, Stuart McGill refused to promote KFC when he was on the Aussie cricket team. He said: "I don't think you can have any of us [cricketers] advertising junk food to be honest. ... It's just wrong in so many ways." What a top bloke!

Wouldn't it be nice if a few more cricketers took a leaf out of Stuart McGill's book and refused to promote unhealthy food; or better yet, followed Greg Chappell's lead and cut out cruelty by going vegan!

What do you think of athletes promoting junk food?

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Generation XL

Generation XL

Posted 1 March 2011   by Jesse         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: obesity, health, vegetarian, vegan, fast food, video

Have you heard? They're predicting that the current generation of Aussie teenagers will be the first to have a shorter life expectancy. Isn't that disturbing!

The recent study by the Cancer Council and Heart Foundation estimates that 1 in 4 highschool students are overweight or obese - putting them at greater risk of heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses. (btw, this cartoon does a great job of illustrating the problem)

I don't get it! We know the facts and people still eat junk! I mean, we know that unhealthy meat-centric diets have been linked to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer - our country's top killers. We know that on average vegetarians and vegans are less likely to be overweight or obese, and have a longer life expectancy than meat eaters. We know that most fast food is junk, and is bad for us and the environment. Yet Australia is one of the largest countries in the world (and I'm not talking about the size of our land mass) and it seems we may only be getting larger

Speaking of fast food and junk, this recent ad takes an interesting approach to trying to combat the problem of childhood obesity:

What do you think of the ad? How do you feel about the prediction that the next gen might be the first to live a shorter life? Is this the scariest news you've heard all day? Leave a comment below!

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Ex-Prez Gives Vegan a Go!

Ex-Prez Gives Vegan a Go!

Posted 21 September 2010   by Jesse         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: Bill Clinton, vegan, health, parents, books, Chelsea Clinton, US, McDonalds

Have you ever thought "If only world leaders cared more for animals!"? Imagine how things would change for the better if those in charge saw more than just a dollar sign hanging around animals' necks.

Well, some news from the weekend is a step in the right direction. In a recent interview, former US President, Bill Clinton said that he's 'experimenting' with being vegan in the hope it'll keep him in shape long enough to be around to see his grandkids come into the world:

I 'spose he didn't want to end up like this guy:

According to an Ecorazzi source close to Clinton "He knows quite a bit and likely has a lot to say about the benefits of a vegan diet. He has read The China Study, and he knows the issues. With time, I think it's likely he could become the most outspoken proponent of a complete vegan diet." I'll be keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that he sticks with it!

Chelsea Clinton must be pretty chuffed that she's persuaded her dad to go vegan. Getting her dad to read 'The China Study' seems to have worked for her. Have you ever tried to get your parents to read a book about the health benefits of being vegan (eg. 'The China Study') or a book about animals raised for food (eg. 'Eating Animals')? How did they react?

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Mysterious Stranger Wants People To Go Veg!

Mysterious Stranger Wants People To Go Veg!

Posted 14 July 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: food, veg, restaurants, health, Buddhism, Taiwan

I just learned that in Taiwan if a person wants to thank Buddha for granting a wish, they buy a stranger a vegetarian meal. It's not unusual for people to also do this just to gain peace of mind. Pretty cool huh?

Well, one mysterious stranger on a motorbike has gone one better than this (or should that be 9,999 better?). He handed over the equivalent of $17,000 to the owner of Taipei's Lotus Heart Vegetarian Restaurant, asked him to feed the public and rode off into the sunset! His peace of mind must be through the roof!

This is enough money for 10,000 vegetarian meals! Restaurant owner, Hsu Min-long, has already given free veg meals to low-income families and children from the local orphanage, but there is still so much money left that he will cook free veg meals from 11am to 9pm for eight consecutive Sundays!

What a fabulous idea from a person who must have the most peaceful mind in all of Taiwan now. I can't think of many more effective ways to spend a lazy 17 grand, than by having people taste for themselves how amazing veg food can be and maybe sticking with it for life!

But then, you don't need 17 grand to share great veg food with friends. So why not score some good karma for yourself by cooking up a veg feast for your friends?

Oh, how I wish that compassionate biker and best pal of Buddha would ride into Adelaide and share the love between Joy Discovery, Bliss Organic or Zenhouse Yum Cha so I could eat delicious veg food for free!

What would you do with a spare $17,000? Which restaurant do you wish the anonymous giver would visit?

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Win Free Tix To See Food, Inc!

Win Free Tix To See Food, Inc!

Posted 25 May 2010   by Jane         Permalink | 18 Comments

Tags: veg, health, film, giveaway, food, factory farming, environment, cows

So I just went out and saw a great movie. I didn't feel much like eating the popcorn though (I'll tell you why in a sec). Believe me, you MUST see Food, Inc. SO it's lucky that we've got 5 double passes to give away!

I don't think I need to tell you how cruel factory farms are. In fact, I'm sure you tell other people about this all the time. And no doubt you've come across at least one person who seemed not to care. Well, maybe they'd care if they knew they might literally be eating sh!t!

I've had the misfortune of visiting a feedlot. I saw how they pile up the dung in the middle of each pen to provide - get this -"enrichment for the cows"! Many of the cows I've seen in feedlots were caked in each others faeces from nose to tail, so it's really no surprise that some of that finds its stinky way into the meat people eat. I know... YUCK! It sounds like I'm making this up, I wish I was. But this is actually a reality! In fact, Food, Inc. features a 2 year old, who died after eating a hamburger infected with E.coli from traces of cow dung in the meat.

Oh yeah, the popcorn. I learnt today that if the massive amount of corn grown isn't used for livestock, it's used for nearly everything else. As high-fructose corn syrup, you can find it in cakes, cheese, yoghurt, Coca-Cola, bread, orange juice, even in batteries and charcoal. They grow too much corn, because of government subsidies and so they end up putting it in charcoal?!? Don't they realise there are people starving in Africa!? And here we all are wondering why people make corny puns, we can't help it - there's an excess of corn to go round!

Even if you've already made the healthy switch to being veg or vegan, there is still so much to learn about the food you consume. There are moments in this film that will have you throwing that popcorn at the screen in frustration, but it's an excellent film and well worth checking out!

If you care about animals, people, the environment or yourself, this film is a must see. And here's how you could WIN a free double pass: Leave a comment below to tell us what makes you hungry for change and you could win! The competition ends next Monday (31/05/10), so be quick if you don't want to miss out!

UPDATE: Congrats to the winners who each get a double pass to see this amazing movie. Well done to sarahwithanh27, Carly, Sammy, Sabavana and Nikkikats. Enjoy watching Food, Inc. (with or without the popcorn)!

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Milk: A Rather Sickening Story

Milk: A Rather Sickening Story

Posted 8 April 2010   by Matt-         Permalink | 23 Comments

Tags: guest blog, milk, dairy, cows, environment, health, soy milk, video, 7:30 Report

This week the 7:30 Report ran a story on the dangers of milk. According to the program, regular milk may be linked to a long list of diseases including: heart disease, diabetes, autism and even schizophrenia!

Should we really be surprised that a drink intended for baby calves isn't ideal for adult humans? As Dr. Michael Klapper said: "The human body has no more need for cows' milk than it does for dogs' milk, horses' milk or giraffes' milk."

So milk might make you sick. But what the report didn't mention is that it's also making the environment sick. It takes about 200 litres of water to produce just one glass of milk. That's almost as much water as many people use for all their household activities in a day!

But perhaps the darkest side of the dairy industry is what happens to the animals. Cows do not automatically produce milk. Just like humans, first they need to have a baby. So what happens to the calf? Every year in Australia, 1 million baby calves are slaughtered as 'waste-products' of the dairy industry. Their flesh may be sold as pink veal, their bones may be crushed-up and made into designer dog biscuits, and the lining of their stomachs may be used in the process of making cheese.

Now that's enough to make anybody sick!

Fortunately, enjoying milk without such sickening side effects is a breeze! Next time you're at the shops, why not try one of these fantastic cruelty free milks?

so-good-lite.JPGvitasoy-soy-milky-lite.JPG

Soy milk: My personal favourite. It's high in protein and fibre. My recommendation? Try out Sanitarium's So Good Lite if you like that milky taste. But then if you asked Karen, she'd tell you that Vitasoy's Soy Milky Lite is the way to go.

vitasoy-rice-milk.JPG

Rice milk: A favourite for some in cooking. If you've got a sweet tooth, this may be the option for you as it's known for its sweeter taste compared to other milks. Vic Unleashed Street Team Co-ordinator Rochelle's recommendation: go get yourself a carton of Vitasoy.

Almond milk, Oat milk, and the list goes on... If you're feeling really adventurous you can even make your own, for example this recipe for cashew milk.

The neat thing with all of these is that not all soy/rice/almond/oat milks taste alike. So there's one to suit everyone's taste. On the flip side, it might take you a little exploring to find the one that suits you. So if at first you don't succed, try another brand ;)

And don't forget to comment below and share which one's your fave?

Ps. The story doesn't stop there. You can also find delicious non-dairy cheeses, creams, cream cheeses, ice creams, and most importantly chocolates!

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Mad Cows or Just Mad Eating Habits?

Mad Cows or Just Mad Eating Habits?

Posted 1 April 2010   by Matt-         Permalink | 3 Comments

Tags: Mad Cow Disease, factory farming, health, environment, effluent, veg, cows, pigs, chickens, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, guest blog

So, you may have seen in the news that Australia is lifting its ban on beef imports from mad-cow countries. Let me tell you why this makes me mad:

Mad-cow disease is an illness affecting cattle - caused by feeding cows to cows. Nasty stuff!

But it gets even nastier! If humans eat this infected meat, it can cause the fatal disease, called Variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (you know with a name that long it's gotta be bad!). Sure, these countries claim to have the all clear from mad-cow disease now, but any country that used to feed cows to cows doesn't sound like a smart place to import beef from (not that killing cows sounds like a good idea to begin with). Anyway, while turning cows into cannibals before eating them sounds pretty mad, we've got some home-grown nastiness to worry about - a not-so-little thing called factory farming.

Packing animals into overcrowded sheds, where they may have to live in their own filth without fresh air, natural light or exercise is bound to make them sick. So animals in factory farms are often fed a diet of antibiotics just to keep them alive long enough to be killed. The problem with this? Viruses evolve and antibiotics don't. Factory farms are the perfect breeding ground for antibiotic-resistant super bugs. That's right; diseases not even modern medicine can cure - *cough* Bird Flu *cough* Swine Flu *cough*

And while it's gross - what goes in must come out. The major problem: The huge amount of waste produced by factory farms is not treated, like human waste is. In the case of pigs, it is channelled into massive, open-air cesspits. These "lagoons" (as the industry calls them) can pollute the soil and underground water supplies, and run-off can wreak havock on local waterways - not to mention the health risks to the local community!

But, no need to worry! Like a wizard, I have the perfect solution for you! And while you're at it, you'll be helping heaps of others in a big way. What is it, I hear you chanting? What do I have to do? What must I eat? No, no, no! It's much simpler than that! It's what you don't have to eat - animals!

Not eating animals reduces your risk of getting heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes. Don't eat animals - get a longer life expectancy - it's that easy! Your Mum's been telling you to eat your vegetables forever, so what better way to make her happy?

Sound good? Great! Then click here to take the pledge to be veg and give the cows one less reason to be mad ;)

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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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A Fact to Cripple Your Enthusiasm for Burgers

A Fact to Cripple Your Enthusiasm for Burgers

Posted 16 October 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 14 Comments

Tags: vegetarian, health, E. coli, news, video, meat

Ever heard of someone being paralyzed by their food? I hadn't. Ok, I could imagine it happening if someone slipped on a banana peel ;) But seriously, I wouldn't have thought it possible.

But then I read about Stephanie Smith, a 22 year old dance instructor who suffered such severe seizures from eating a hamburger that doctors had to put her in a coma for 9 weeks. And when she woke up, she was paralyzed!

What could Stephanie have possibly eaten to cause that? An 'Angus Beef Patty' contaminated with E. coli - a bacteria found in faecal matter (or should I say poo particles). And how would faecal matter end up in food? Take your pick: rubbed onto the meat from dirty skin, from unclean tools, or from an intestine being knicked whilst carving up the corpse.

Granted, not all E. coli is harmful to humans, and Stephanie's reaction was severe, but all the same, EEK! And while E. coli contamination may be a gamble, one thing that is a sure bet is increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and strokes. Hmm .. no thanks!

So anyway, if you've got some time to spare, the NY Times article about Stephanie and food safety is very interesting. As is this one by Jonathon Safran Foer (author of Everything is Illuminated) about his experience of becoming vegetarian. They're both long, but they're worth the read.

And if you've still got some time to burn after that, then you probably need to find yourself some friends (yes I know that includes me!). But also, you might like to check out the Larry King Live debate on the safety of eating meat in response to these articles.

Now that oughta keep you out of trouble for a while ;)

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CSIRO's (Not So) Wellbeing Diet
Posted By Ward

CSIRO's (Not So) Wellbeing Diet

Posted 4 September 2009   by         Permalink | 6 Comments

Tags: CSIRO, Perfidy, books, cancer, health, veg, environment, meat

So if you're like many Australian families, you may well have a copy of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet (as my parents do). This 240 page book could have easily been summarised in one word "meat" because that's pretty much the main ingredient in every meal.

But what you may not know is that CSIRO scientists (the good guys) discovered that high meat consumption is linked with bowel cancer and presented this to the CSIRO board (bad guys) in April 2006. Yet in October 2006 the CSIRO ran a second print of their bestselling book, despite the fact the book claimed "Studies have shown that fresh red meat (beef and lamb) is not a significant risk factor for colorectal cancer." LIES! So basically the book was reprinted and continues to be sold despite containing completely misleading information about the risks of cancer and meat. Not to mention the fact it promotes a diet that is extremely harmful to the environment!

Thankfully there is a good bloke out there by the name of Geoff Russell making sure that this blatant spread of misinformation does not go unheard, and he's written his own book: CSIRO Perfidy. Now I'll be honest, I didn't know the definition of 'perfidy' before I heard about this book, but when you read the definition, you'll see that there's no better word to describe the actions of the CSIRO.

Perfidy: noun, 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery: perfidy that goes unpunished.

So the good news is you can pick up a copy of CSIRO Perfidy from the Unleashed store. I recommend anyone whose parents have a copy of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet to buy a copy of this book for them, to give them the full story. As Professor Peter Singer (Philosopher, Author of Animal Liberation, Hero) said "Read this book: it may save your life. And if enough people read it, it just might save the planet.''

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What's for lunch?

What's for lunch?

Posted 18 August 2009   by Jesse         Permalink | 15 Comments

Tags: veg, tuckshop, food, school, World Cancer Research Fund, ham, cancer, health

What was in your lunch box today? How would veggie pizza with whole grain crust, rice and beans, veggie subs, and lentil sauce with pasta sound for lunch? According to the US School Nutrition Association that's the veg options that are most popular at US schools. I'll have one of each thanks!

Their recent survey found that almost 2 out of 3 US schools have regular veg options on offer. I don't know about you but my school tuckshop had mostly meat pies, sausage rolls and sweets (ok! so you won't hear me complaining about sweets :P).

It's about time we had more veg options in schools here as well! And it seems I'm not the only one who thinks so. The World Cancer Research Fund is now urging parents not to pack their kids' lunchboxes with ham and other processed meats. This follows a report by them earlier this year in which they concluded: "The scientific evidence linking processed meat [ie. ham, bacon, salami, etc] and bowel cancer shows that the best amount to eat is none at all." Go WCRF!

What's your school's veg tuckshop selection like? Might be a good time to suggest they add a few more options!

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Swine Flu Discovered in Aussie Piggery
Posted By Ward

Swine Flu Discovered in Aussie Piggery

Posted 3 August 2009   by         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: swine flu, pigs, health, factory farming, cancer, veg

It was only a matter of time raising animals for food in filthy overcrowded sheds was bound to come and bite us in the backside, but when Swine Flu broke out in Mexico we didn't expect to see it in Australia any time soon. And before we knew it, we became one of the nations with the greatest swine flu count per capita. And now it's been found on a factory farm in NSW the very place it originated (ie. a factory farm in Mexico).

Pork representatives are trying to convince us that it's still safe to eat pig products, but really, was it ever safe?!

  • If you ask the World Cancer Research Fund: "The scientific evidence linking processed meat [ie. ham, bacon, salami, etc] and bowel cancer shows that the best amount to eat is none at all."
  • Eating pigs is not only dangerous for our health, but the conditions they are raised in (confined in cages surrounded by their own waste products) is just a breeding ground for disease a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Anyway, who's the one telling us it's safe? It's the Australian Pork Industry (surprise!) the same people who make a buck off selling it. I kind of see it like a thief telling you it's safe to leave your bag with him.

Personally, I'm content to chow down on my FLT (facon, lettuce and tomato sandwich) and leave the pigs in peace.

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Choking on a Red Meat Message
Posted By Ward

Choking on a Red Meat Message

Posted 10 July 2009   by         Permalink | 16 Comments

Tags: advertising, Sam Neill, MLA, meat, veg, health, lord of the fries

Well I think I speak for everybody when I say that I'm pretty peeved off with all the deceptive advertising that goes in to promoting animal products, although Meat and Livestock Australia take the crown for their new dodgy ad with Sam Neill.

In the new ad Sam explains to his orang-utan friend Dennis the supposed importance of eating red meat to make your brain evolve. I highly doubt that Einstein, Da Vinci or Pythagoras all vegetarians would agree with Sam on this one. In fact about the most intelligent thing Sam does in the whole ad is dance like a fool.

To me, it really is showing a sign of the times that selling meat is getting tougher and tougher as people learn about the cruelty, the environmental devastation, and the health impacts of consuming it. So no wonder they stoop to new lows with every new ad they come out with.

Yesterday, Jill Singer of the Herald Sun bit back at MLA's shoddy advertising with her scathing article Choking on a red meat message. Jill accurately points out that the intention of MLA isn't to look after your interests and promote good health, it's to sell more meat. The best line in this whole article though, is this: 'The statement that red meat is an essential part of our diet is a lie. It is a more essential part of a maggot's diet than a human's.'

Take home message for the day MLA, you got burned!

Now it's that time again to head to Lord of the Fries and grab some cruelty-free junk food that doesn't kill animals. Ward out

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One week left to raise $200!

One week left to raise $200!

Posted 19 May 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 5 Comments

Tags: veg, vegan, food, restaurants, health, donating

Have you been desperately wanting to make a difference and help animals but been too strapped for cash to donate? Well heres your chance to help!

If you havent already seen, NextStop is donating $10 to Animals Australia every time a guide is posted in "Great Spots for Vegetarians & Vegans - Australia"

This doesnt just have to be a restaurant; it can be a store, market, caf ANY place that is vegetarian/vegan friendly that you love. Surely everyone can think of 5 little places theyve been to that fit this category!?!

This is turning into such a great resource, I know Im going to be checking out a lot of the places I didnt know existed. So take 5 minutes to spread the word about hot vego spots in your town and help us kick ass for the animals!

Thanks so much to everyone who has already posted a guide, we have raised $300 so far!!! Just 20 more guides needed to reach the $500 goal!!!

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Swine Flu: Another Factory Farmed Product

Swine Flu: Another Factory Farmed Product

Posted 15 May 2009   by Angie         Permalink | 11 Comments

Tags: swine flu, pigs, factory farming, veg, health

So over the past few weeks we have been warned of the deadly outbreak of "Swine Flu" in Mexico that is now spreading around the world. There has been much debate about whether we are treating the pandemic too seriously or not seriously enough, and more importantly whether it really came from pigs and if pork is safe to eat. The name was even officially changed from Swine Flu to Influenza A (H1N1) to try and re-assure consumers that eating pig products is safe. But if you are like me and countless others who have been writing to newspapers and reading up on the situation, I bet you've been remembering the panic when bird flu broke out and thinking "when will they get it, factory farming is a recipe for disaster!"

Where the Swine Flu outbreak started, in Mexico, is just 5 miles from an "industrial pig facility" which "processes" close to a million pigs a year and is jointly owned by the world's largest pig "processor", Smithfield Foods (Isn't it ridiculous that these places are referred to as "facilities" rather than "farms", why don't they just be totally honest and call them prisons?) (you can take a tour of this 'facility' with Sharon Churcher, here). Smithfield Foods says the outbreak was not a result of its facility and that none of its pigs have the virus. But Smithfield Foods have less than a splendid track record with hygiene and honesty.

Whether or not this particular facility was responsible for this outbreak, the question has to be asked, how can factory farms NOT inevitably spread disease?

There are hundreds of millions of pigs and chickens crammed in unnatural, stressful environments in these "facilities" all over the world. They are often fed antibiotics in their food to stop them from getting sick in these breading grounds for disease called factory farms. Frequent use of anti-biotics is KNOWN to result in super-bugs that become resistant to the drugs. The huge amounts of waste they produce is not treated the way human waste is, it is instead channeled into huge open-air ses-pits, or as the "facilities" like to refer to them, "lagoons". These lagoons attract large swarms of flies that feed off the untreated waste and then may fly to local communities. And of course, the health of communities living near factory farms can also be seriously affected (as a great report called the PEW Report discusses).

With all the warning signs - the hideous animal cruelty, the previous pandemic scares and the devastating environmental toll - we have every reason to be worried of a disease outbreak. And yet people are still encouraged to chow down on their pork chops and chicken nuggets. It seems we are too scared to face the awful predicament we have gotten ourselves (and the animals) into with factory farming.

I think Raph Brous summed it up pretty well in the Sydney Morning herald,

"Swine flu is a result of the inhumanity practiced by pig farmers who prioritise profits over animal welfare. People who eat pork products ignore that the pig industry severely harms the environment and the pigs.

"How sadly ironic that as humans abuse animals, forcing thousands of pigs and poultry into squalid factory farms, their viruses combine and evolve into new strains that teach us a deadly lesson about the everyday abuse of animals to satisfy human greed."

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Saul Williams: Giving Up the Taste for Violence

Saul Williams: Giving Up the Taste for Violence

Posted 13 September 2008   by Jesse         Permalink | 2 Comments

Tags: Saul Williams, veg, environment, health, bands, rant

I have to admit, I have a real soft spot for good spoken word. There's something awe inspiring in seeing a room full of people transfixed by words. And Saul Williams takes the cake for razor sharp lyrics with a political bite (check out any of his performances on youtube and you'll see what I mean). There's an intense passion behind his genre-leaping mix of performance poetry, underground hip-hop, rock, drum and bass and anything else that takes his fancy.

Speaking out on everything from workers' rights to the environment to the war in Iraq, Saul's music and activism meld seamlessly. His poetry inspires action and his actions inspire. With lyrical gems like "Quit rhyming about being hardcore. Be heart-core. What else is life worth living for?" how can anyone not dig his music and his message? And to top it off he's vegan!

I recently stumbled across an email Saul sent to his fans and thought I'd share a few of his insights with you all. Saul talks in big ideas and, being a poet, can write like words are going out of style. But his message is worth the read.

Martin Luther King said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." If you ask me, Saul Williams is definitely alive and kicking. I hope you are too! Anyway, enough babble, here's what the man had to say:

"A story was recently recounted to me of a popular TV chef who chose to raise little piglets on his show to insure that they were fed organic food and not injected with chemicals (as is the practice on most factory farms), all for the sake of fattening them up for their slaughter and another primetime recipe. Yet, the time that this chef spent with these pigs taught him a valuable lesson (more valuable for the pigs, no doubt). What he learned was how intelligent pigs are. In fact, in recent times, it is common knowledge for most that pigs are arguably more intelligent than mans best friend and companion, the dog. For our chef, this meant switching gears and realizing that he could not consciously kill this intelligent animal, that it would constitute a murder as brutal as slicing your fluffy pets neck and watching it writhe and bleed to death, or sticking an electric prod up its ass and electrocuting it, if the fur or skin is of value

I wouldnt want to make you lose your lunch, but these are the common practices perpetuated by the factory farm industry on millions of animals a day, in the name of your breakfast lunch and dinner. And, no, Im not simply talking about pigs, but also cows, chickens, turkey, horses (thats right horses. Everyday), and fish. Everyday, our species participates in the mass genocide of other species without care or concern or even questioning whether the violence that we ingest and condone plays any role in our apathetic support of the war machine we have become. How is it that we as human beings can represent both the highest and most developed and lowest and least concerned forms of intelligence of any living species? Are we simply glued to age-old barbaric traditions that cloud our senses and render us inhumane in our dependence on comfort foods and practices?

[W]e all identify with the teachings of Gandhi, the genius of Einstein, the art of Leonardo Da Vinci, Picasso, Rembrandt and the talent and compassion of living artists like Alice Walker, Will Smith, The Mars Volta, Dead Prez, Prince and countless others. Some of us choose to emulate their styles, their fashion, their career choices, but why not their diets?

Perhaps the biggest issue at hand is not what our cars run on, but essentially what do we run on?

Basically if we shifted our compassion towards animals, the domino effect would heal the planet. Wed no longer be cutting down rain forests to create more space for cows to graze, wed stop depleting the ocean of the necessary (keyword: necessary) food chains that our eco system depends on, diseases including many cancers, heart disease, obesity, and others which find their root in the food/toxins we ingest would slowly disappear as would our taste for violence."

To fill yourself up on some more thought provoking ideas check out Saul's full letter here.

Well, you've heard what Saul thinks. What do you think? Post a comment and let us know.

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'Animal Lovers'

'Animal Lovers'

Posted 29 August 2008   by Sarah Faith         Permalink | 1 Comment

Tags: rant, veg, meat, health, animal lovers

RANT ALERT!

I find all animals beautiful, whether it's the majestic African elephant, the playful red squirrel or a lipstick red bummed Baboon, they are all exquisite to me (well, it could be suggested that in polite society baboons wear underpants). For people to announce they love animals whilst tucking into a plate of dead ones is a glaringly obvious contradiction. If you love animals, why would you eat them?

The only things you'll be missing out on a veg diet are things like cancer and heart disease. In the many years I have been vegetarian I have never suffered from the dreaded 'A' (anemia) and being veg has been too easy!

Eat animals, increase your risk of cancer, heart disease, destroy the planet OR be healthy, care for the planet and give true meaning to the phrase 'animal lover'!

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