It seems strange to think that there was a big chunk of my life when I never thought about animals dying in agonising pain to end up as a strip of brown stuff on my plate. That kind of thing seemed so normal.
Market research company Mintel reckon that the number of vegan-labelled meals and ‘meal centres’ (cafés and restaurants) in Germany have increased more than 20-fold since 2011. The increase for vegetarian foods and cafés is seven-fold.
Some seven per cent of Germans say they are vegetarian while a third say they are reducing the amount of red meat they eat, with 19 per cent incorporating more vegetarian foods into their diet.
Vegan Baileys: You either love it or hate it but BAILEY’S sickly sweet, toe-curlingly horrible, cream and whiskey ‘liqueur’ (okay, I don’t like it!) now has a vegan option. Made with almond milk, it is only available in the US as yet. Can’t wait!
Chicken farm plans scrapped: We recently objected to plans for a BIG BROILER UNIT in Northern Ireland and it received great local media coverage. We have now learned that the plans have been scrapped.
Slaughterhouses hide CCTV footage: More than 30 slaughterhouses are refusing to allow official vets to see CCTV FOOTAGE of animals being killed. Many even fail to store the footage they’ve shot so deleting the evidence. Nothing to hide there, then!
More vegan options in Sainsbury's: SAINSBURY’S are to increase their Free From and Vegan ranges to include four flavoured ice creams made from coconut milk and a vegan feta cheese.
New paintings from Philip McCulloch-Downs: Viva!’s artist in residence PHILIP MCCULLOCH-DOWNS’ pig project Face Off film, The Best of British, reached 82,000 people. Well done, Phil. All the animal art videos are viewable on viva.org.uk/pigproject.
Vegan margarine option from Flora: At last, at last! FLORA has finally bowed its knee to veganism. Its new Dairy Free Flora Freedom contains no ingredients of animal origin and claims to contain 60 per cent less fat than butter.
Pig Farming – The Inside Story contains extraordinarily detailed research of the state of pig farming in Britain. It has facts, figures, science and eyewitness accounts taken from our numerous recent undercover investigations.
This gripping report takes you through closed doors and deep inside British pig farms – monstrous institutions built on commodity and profit.
We are delighted to announce that the awesome Dr Michael Greger has accepted the appointment of Honorary Scientific Adviser to Viva!.
Michael has built an incredible global reputation with his free health advice website.
A founding member of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, author, an international speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health.
“Pope Francis, show your concern for creation by condemning the bullfight and directing that your Bishops officially proclaim your condemnation”.
The petition couldn’t be clearer and is being promoted by Virginia Bell of Catholic Action for Animals. If you wish to support it, you can send an email to the Pope via Fr Frederico Lombardi, Director of the Vatican Press Office at Lombardi@pressva.va.
Britain’s international think tank on foreign affairs, Chatham House, issued a call in 2014 for a drop in meat consumption, saying it was essential to limit the effects of climate change.
What was our government’s response? Or the governments of Europe for that matter? Silence.
Now China, on the other hand, has staggered everyone by announcing a strategy to slash its population’s meat consumption by 50 per cent by 2030. The primary reason is to reduce the growing epidemic of degenerative diseases but the ensuing climate implications are gratefully received, too.
Film director James Cameron said: “This would not only have a huge impact on public health, it is a massive leadership step towards drastically reducing carbon emissions.”
It also, of course, means millions of animals saved.
It comes around sooner and sooner every year: Earth Overshoot Day, previously known as Ecological Debt Day. It’s the day on which we’ve used up more natural resources (through deforestation, emitting more CO2 than forests can store, and overfishing) than the Earth can regenerate. It was September 8th in 2008; last year it was August 13th, this year it's August 8th. What will it be next year?
At the rate we’re going, we would currently need 1.6 Earths. Shame we only have one.
Do you know what makes a pig happy? If people really understood pigs – what they enjoy doing, who their friends are, how they like to play, would they still consider them ‘food’? Most of us would do anything to stop someone harming playful, friendly and intelligent animals such as dogs and cats. With a clearer understanding of who pigs are – how they experience joy, excitement, play, and even loss, pain and fear, and how they suffer so badly on farms, most of us would step forward to protect them.
This year, Viva! aims to change the status quo with regards to how we see pigs.
Resistance is coming and we are running out of time. We’ve seen the future and this is it: Swine (http://www.watchswine.today), our latest film, is a terrifying exposé of the global health crisis posed by an unregulated factory farming industry’s misuse and abuse of antibiotics.
We’ve already attracted some support from high profile friends: @RealMattLucas
Long-time Viva! supporter, Joyce Moss, here guest blogs about a successful day for her local wildlife hospital. Joyce has worked with Viva! to end the persecution of wild boar in Britain (Justin Kerswell, Viva! campaigns manager).
From a purely vegan perspective China is often seen as a land of contradictions. Historically – arguably due to widespread poverty – it is a country with comparatively low meat and dairy production but also has a generally terrible record on the treatment of the animals they kept for slaughter and other cultural activities
Recently, with new-found economic prosperity and the rise of a more capitalist society, the amount of meat and dairy the average Chinese citizen eats has rocketed and it now sits on the list of to
Harambe, a western lowland silverback gorilla was shot dead by Cincinnati zoo officials to ‘’rescue’’ a 3-year-old boy who fell into the gorilla’s enclosure.
They could have diverted Harambe’s attention and rescued the boy, or they could have tranquilized him, instead the park officials chose to shoot and kill.
The gorilla did nothing other than protecting the child the whole time, but was misunderstood by the authorities who had no clue about primate behaviour
Have you ever looked at pictures of tiny calves in single hutches or pens like those below and thought “That’s not Britain, it’s America. We don’t do things like this.” Well, you might not be the only one. I only recently realised how strong this perception is and that people outright refuse to believe this is a standard practice on UK farms.
A calf would naturally suckle from her mother for nine months to a year but calves born on dair
There you are backstage in a room lit by those energy sapping, curious strip lights full of dead flies. You have been sat in the back of a van for ten hours. Your only break, the occasional motorway services with their strange luminosity – and that’s just the food.
Dr Michael Greger is a physician, author and internationally recognised speaker on nutrition, food safety and public health issues. He runs the popular website NutritionFacts.org, a non-profit, science-based public service. He introduces his superb new book How Not to Die
Make no mistake, a vegan diet is the healthiest possible for infants, children, women, the elderly and men – yes, men!
There is no magic ingredient in meat or dairy that benefits men’s health. In fact, the saturated fat, growth hormones and harmful chemicals in meat and dairy are linked to a wide range of men’s health problems so here are 10 good reasons for men to go vegan.
Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells and keeps the nervous system healthy. A deficiency can lead to extreme tiredness, lack of energy, pins and needles, muscle weakness, depression and impaired memory, understanding and judgement. It can lead to raised levels of the amino acid homocysteine, which can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Everyone needs a reliable source of this important vitamin. Vegans and ALL people over 50 should take a supplement or ensure they get enough from fortified foods.