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Tony Wardle's Blog

Associate Director

I have been with Viva! since its launch, helping Juliet with precious few resources – staff or money! My title is associate director and I can turn my hand to most things that Viva! does, and can talk on almost all the subject areas we cover. But my time is consumed mostly with words, writing for and editing our supporters magazine, Viva!life, checking, editing a large output of written material as well as conceiving and writing much of it.

Art For F---s Sake

They’re dairy cows called Ailsa and Meadow Sweet and that’s only the start of the deception being perpetrated in Bristol by an ‘artist’ called Nessie Reid.

 

Gordon is an oxymoron

There aren’t many TV series that are sufficiently compelling to make me stay home (okay, I haven’t yet come to terms with catch-up TV). But without doubt, one of them was the legal drama Judge John Deed, which ran for six series from 2001 to 2007. A High Court judge, Sir John Deed (played by Martin Shaw), tries to bring a more acute sense of justice to the cases which come up before him. They invariably involve controversial subject matter such as the MMR vaccine and radio masts and sprinkled throughout the series is a positive portrayal of animals, animal rights and veganism. Largely filmed at the partly-abandoned, red-brick masonic school at Bushey, it was there that I interviewed two of its stars, Martin Shaw and Jenny Seagrove (barrister Jo Mills, who Deed is involved with both in and out of court). Both have subsequently become Viva! patrons.

My debate on religious slaughter is in the New Internationalist

New Internationalist invited me to have a debate on religious slaughter with a Muslim spokesperson via an exchange of emails. They have now published it on their website (see a copy of their webpage below).

Doctor No

If it’s a prescription you want then Dr David Ryde is probably not your man. This vegan GP built a career out of saying no to bottles of ‘jollop’. He prefers giving advice – and it has dramatically changed people’s lives

My interview with Tony Benn

After 7 years I've just re-read the interview I did with Tony Benn and am amazed at how prescient he was.

» My interview with Tony Benn

In Bruges

I went to Bruges last week and on my first evening wandered around the side streets of this beautiful old city – doing a bit of menu spotting as I went – and got totally lost. It was then I saw a very small restaurant (seats 12 at a time) with an almost vegan menu – plus some fish. It was beautifully appointed – linen tablecloths, sparkling glasses, etc  –  and so that was it for me for dinner. The oldish lady owner served an appetizer of hot spiced aubergine in crumbly pastry. First course was a neat, round quinoa salad filled with minute dice of tangy veg and beside it, grated raw beetroot, fennel and other things I couldn’t recognise with a wonderfully zesty dressing and beside it, warm marinated  beetroot pieces on thyme skewers.