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Pro veggie

The Vegan New Wave

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.   

02/02/2016

Coconut oil… the best of a bad bunch?

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?

10/08/2015

Red alert – Vegans Get Less Cancer!

A new study from Oxford University, looking at how diet affects cancer risk, has revealed that people who don’t eat meat have a much lower risk of getting the disease. The 15-year study followed 60,000 British men and women of which over 18,000 were vegetarians and 2,246 vegan. They found that cancer incidence was 11 per cent lower in vegetarians, but a whopping 19 per cent lower in vegans.

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.

03/08/2015

'Enriched cages' investigation

Enriched cages

Viva! investigates: A cage is still a cage

Another side of egg production was the battery cage – a byword for cruelty for decades. 

However, they are now being replaced across Europe by – yes you guessed it – another cage. Optimistically described as ‘enriched’, hens are still packed into wire prisons – prisons with a little more space. There is some cursory ‘environmental enrichment’ but there is no escaping the fact that it is still a cage.

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