THIS Mother's Day, mums across the country will be enjoying the company of their children " apart from Britain's hardest working mum of all " the dairy cow.
On March 1, Europe's largest campaigning vegetarian organisation, Viva!, will be giving her a voice with their campaign Mothers Want Their Babies Back " to open people's eyes to her heartbreaking suffering.
Supporters are taking part in the day of action in towns and cities across the country.
Just like people, cows need to have babies to produce milk. But because humans want this milk, the babies are not allowed to suckle. Instead, they're snatched away within a day or two " devastating both mother and baby. Desperate mums can bellow for days in the hope of being reunited with their infant.
A female calf faces a similar fate to her mother " a gruelling life where she nurtures a growing baby inside her while simultaneously producing milk; up to 120 pints a day.
To keep this going she is forcibly impregnated every year. The crushing double burden of pregnancy and lactation takes its toll, causing excruciating mastitis, lameness, infertility and, eventually, low milk yield. Then, usually at only four or five years old, the cow herself is killed.
Males calves are the wrong breed for beef and up to 500,000 each year are shot in the head or face the horror of continental veal farms.
Viva! campaigner, Amy Mason, says: "We"Ve turned the wonder of birth and new life into a production line of death, just so we can have milk. It's easy to be dairy-free!'
There are delicious dairy alternatives almost everywhere, from soya milk in your local coffee shop, to dairy-free ice cream in the supermarket. And Viva! can provide lots of delicious dairy-free recipes " which taste great and are great for your health, too!
Call Viva! on 0117 944 1000 for a free Easy to be Dairy-Free pack or visit www.viva.org.uk
Notes to Editors
For more information about this Media Release contact Viva! campaigner Amy Mason, or press officer, Helen Rossiter by calling 0117 970 4637 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dairy-free recipes " some pictures available on request
50 minutes: 10 minutes preparation, 40 minutes cooking time.
If you love that sexy stroganoff taste, this is an excellent version " rich and creamy yet dairy-free. It might seem like a lot of mushrooms, but they do cook down " you can also make the stroganoff the day before if you're pushed for time. Nice served with a mixed bean salad and vinaigrette.
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1.6kg/3'lb mushrooms, quartered. (Try to use a variety of mushrooms if possible. Field and chestnut mushrooms are very good. Or white with chestnut)
' tsp paprika (or more to taste)
150ml/5 fl oz white wine or dry sheery
15ml/1 level tbsp cornflour
1 carton soya "cream', eg Alpro, available from large supermarkets and health food shops
15ml/1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and lots of black pepper
Boiled rice or pasta for 4
Melt margarine and saut' onion and garlic for a few minutes until softened.
Add mushrooms and simmer for up to 30 minutes until liquid has evaporated.
If serving with rice or pasta, put water on to boil now and cook. Keep rice/pasta warm when done.
Add paprika to stroganoff mixture and stir in well.
Add wine and simmer for 5 minutes.
Mix cornflour with a little water, then stir it into pan.
Bring to boil, then simmer for another 5 minutes until thickened, stirring continuously.
Add soya cream but don't boil.
Add lemon juice and seasoning.
Serve hot on a bed of rice or pasta, with an extra sprinkling of paprika for garnish.
Cheezy Sauce' with two variations
This super-quick, vegan "cheese' sauce is great with pasta (eg macaroni or penne); cauliflower; baked potatoes'
180ml/6fl oz water + extra 2 tbsp
6 tbsp tahini " sesame seed paste (used to make hummus dip) " available in large supermarkets, health food shops and ethnic grocers
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (Engevita/Marigold yeast flakes sold in good health stores)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped shallot finely chopped (1 medium shallot) or equivalent red onion
2 tbsp light miso " available long-life or fresh from health food shops
Version 1 - combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Heat gently but don't boil " and pour over foods of your choice.
Version 2 " smoked flavour. As version 1, except add a pinch of smoked paprika " available in big supermarkets, delis or health shops. Heat as Version 1.
If using sauce for macaroni or cauliflower cheese, pre-heat the oven to 190'C/375'F/Gas Mark 5.
Prepare and cook the other ingredients, eg pasta or cauliflower.
Meanwhile, heat sauce gently then pour over ingredients to be baked and cook in the oven until lightly browned " about 15-20 minutes
Pancakes with Maple Syrup & Ice Cream
Makes approx. 8 pancakes (7 inch in diameter)
30 minutes: 5-10 to prepare batter, rest of time to cook pancakes
These delicious pancakes are both egg and dairy-free. You can also experiment with using half and half wholemeal to white flour if you want them even healthier! If you don't want to eat wheat, try substituting the plain flour for spelt flour.
175ml/6fl oz soya milk
175ml/6fl oz water
175g/6oz plain flour, sieved
2 tbsp chickpea (gram) flour, sieved - available in large supermarkets; Asian stores; health food shops
1 tsp baking powder, sieved
1 tbsp sunflower oil
Pinch of salt
Additional oil or low-cal oil spray for frying
Maple or golden syrup
Vanilla dairy-free ice-cream (eg Swedish Glace, available from most large supermarkets or Tofutti, from health food shops)
Place all of the ingredients, except the oil for frying, in a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively, whisk by hand until there are no lumps.
Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan until piping hot. Drain off any excess.
Pour enough of the batter mixture in to the frying pan to thinly cover the bottom.
Fry on one side for about a minute. Loosen the edges with a spatula and flip.
Fry the flip side for another minute or until done.
Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven on its lowest setting.
Add more oil to the pan if and when necessary. Repeat steps 3 to 6 until all of the mixture is used up.
Serve drizzled with syrup and with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream " or any flavour of your choice.
Alternatively, these pancakes are great with a savoury filling " add a good pinch of mixed herbs, then just prior to cooking try adding a handful of sweetcorn, two cork sized pieces of defrosted frozen spinach or some cooked mushrooms and a sprinkle of black pepper to the mixture.
Fruity Tofu Cheesecake
Creamy and fruity " easy-peasy and dairy-free to boot!
200g/7oz vegan digestive biscuits (or HobNobs, or Jordan's Luxury Crunch, Quaker Harvest Crunch or similar cereal biscuit)
75g/5 level tbsp vegetable margarine
50ml/1' fl oz soya milk
350g/1 packet Nori-Nu silken tofu (firm variety if possible)
200g/7oz vegan cream cheese (ie Tofutti brand from health food shops)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
' tsp lemon or orange essence (optional)
2 tsp arrowroot
150g/generous 5oz fruit topping (eg fresh or defrosted frozen raspberries or strawberries)
Preheat the oven to 3500F/1800C/Gas Mark 4.
Grind the biscuits (which will be used as the base for the cheesecake) until there are no large lumps left.
Melt the margarine and mix in the biscuit crumbs.
Spread in a greased flat tin and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
Put all of the other ingredients, except the fruit in a liquidizer and blend thoroughly until smooth. Remove the crumb mixture from the oven and pour the filling over the base.
Bake in the oven at the same temperature for 20 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
Top with fruit topping and chill before serving.
Fruit Kebabs with Chocolate Sauce
This delicious and appealing dessert is incredibly fast and easy to make
1 wooden skewer per person
On each skewer: chunks of apple; banana; pear; mango; melon; kiwi fruit or any combination of firm, fresh fruit
3 tbsp maple or agave syrup (available from large supermarkets or health food shops)
2 tbsp cocoa powder, eg Green & Blacks (not drinking chocolate)
120ml/4fl oz water
1 tsp cornflour or arrowroot
1 tsp vanilla essence
Combine all ingredients in a small pan.
Mix well and cook over a medium heat until thickened, stirring constantly.
Arrange kebabs on a large plate
Drizzle chocolate sauce artistically over fruit and serve.