In the last year there has been a giant surge of interest in the amount of exciting, innovative vegan food being produced. From the advent of aquafaba (see below), to the improvement in meat and cheese alternatives – it’s a vegan revolution! Innovation driven by compassion. Meat and dairy replacements may not be your cup of tea, but if these foods save animals then I support them.
Juliet Gellatley, Founder and Director of Viva! has been at the forefront of plant-based activism in the UK for decades. In this interview she discusses her history as a campaigner, raising Vegan children and the future of Vegan advocacy in the UK.
Why are dairy farmers looking to increase milk production in an industry that is in decline? Should we be calling a halt to subsidies which would be better-placed helping farmers move over to growing arable crops?
This week cows were taken into a supermarket by angry dairy farmers protesting against the price they are paid for milk. About 70 farmers took two dairy cows into Asda, in Queensway, Stafford outraged that milk now costs less than some bottled water. It was a desperate stunt from farmers working in a failing industry.
Dr Justine Butler, Senior Health Researcher and Writer for Viva!Health looks into the health claims made for coconut oil and finds that although not as bad as butter and lard, polyunsaturated fats from vegetable oils are still healthier.
Coconut oil is big news; featured in TV adverts, health magazines, it is all over the internet. All manner of health claims have been made for coconut oil from stopping Alzheimer’s to zits! One ‘wellness’ website lists 101 uses for it, including treating acne, allergies, arthritis, athlete’s foot, autism, cellulite, haemorrhoids, heartburn, lice, mosquito bites and sunburn! But is it a panacea for good health or is it just the best of a bad bunch?
I read the saddest thing today. Researchers once played the sound of a now deceased elephant to her family in the wild. The others immediately went looking for her – and her daughter pitifully called for her for days afterwards. The researchers never repeated the experiment.
The excerpt was from a new book by Carl Safina called ‘Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel’. I haven’t read the whole text yet, so maybe he does cover them – but farmed animals were notable in their absence in this beautiful and moving study of grief in the animal kingdom. So, the question is do farmed animals grieve in the same way as wild animals? The growing scientific consensus shows us that they do. It is an uncomfortable question for those who eat animal products, but one that needs exploring.
Long-time Viva! supporter, Joyce Moss, here guest blogs about the story of Minty - a tiny wild boar hoglet rescued from certain death. Read about Minty's progress and what you can do to help end the persecution of wild boar in Britain (Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager)
"On 14th March this year, Scott Passmore of the Forest of 'A Wildlife with Animals' was called in the evening to a driveway in the Forest. The RSPCA had received a call to say that a tiny boar hoglet was lying there in distress. He wrapped the shivering and scarcely breathing hoglet in a blanket, put the car heater on at full blast and drove as fast as he could to Vale Wildlife Hospital at Beckford near Tewkesbury. His passenger moistened the hoglet’s lips with water and she made it barely alive to the hospital.
Have you ever wondered what a cattle auction’s like? I’m guessing the answer is ‘no’- simply because they take place in secluded places, great big halls far from our ‘normal’ life and most of us don’t know anything about their existence. So I decided to pay one of them a visit…
Can meat be part of a healthy diet? Do vegans miss out? Why do some go back to eating meat? What are the environmental and ethical issues? Should we eat meat?
Twelve per cent of UK adults are vegetarian or vegan, one in eight meat-eaters would like to eat less meat1 and the meat-free food market is booming. A recent report found that people become vegetarian for different reasons and this affects their commitment.2 For current vegetarians and vegans the motivation was animal welfare, feelings of disgust about meat and concern for the environment. For ex-vegetarians the motivation was health. So why is the health argument failing? It’s a combination of confusion, conflicting advice and disinformation from the £7.5 billion3 meat industry.
Apparently it is now cheese that is responsible for the French Paradox Puzzle rather than red wine! This revelation has made the headlines in the national press and of course is doing the rounds on social media. It refers to a small-scale Danish study funded by the large farmer-owned dairy company Arla Foods and the Danish Dairy Research Foundation.
For those who don’t know, the French Paradox Puzzle refers to the relatively low incidence of heart disease French people appear to have while consuming a diet comparatively rich in saturated animal fats. In other words, they suffer fewer heart attacks than people in other countries who eat the same amount of saturated fat.
Ignore the misleading headlines about saturated fat being good for you – government guidelines are right on this one! says Viva!’s Health Researcher & Writer Dr Justine Butler
Saturated fat is back in the news again. A recent study saying UK dietary fat guidelines were based on shaky evidence was widely covered by press and social media. Sensationalist and misleading headlines included; “Butter ISN'T bad for you after all” and “Food fat warnings should not have been introduced” However, the study has been slammed by experts who point out that despite the headlines, government advice has NOT changed: