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?
Previously shunned for its high saturated fat content, coconut oil now differs from the trans fat-containing hydrogenated coconut oil used in junk food in the ‘80s.
Grants + Dinners to your door + veg-friendly travel + care homes that care. Viva! – in collaboration with Vegetarian for Life – can offer some amazing help and support for older vegetarians and vegans. By Amanda Woodvine, director, Vegetarian for Life
When Joyce went into care in 2007 after developing dementia, she was given meat to eat despite having been a dedicated animal rights campaigner.
For such a ubiquitous activity, it’s amazing how taboo farting is. But should it be so? And are beans – a staple of a good vegan diet – really the villains of the piece? By Juliet Gellatley, founder & director, Viva!
It’s a curiosity of British social etiquette that if you burp you say pardon but if you fart, you say nothing and walk away… probably in the hope that no one has noticed!
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.
We had lunch on the location catering bus and Martin surprised me by saying that all the food was veggie. Who, I wondered, was behind that decision? It was pretty obvious, really!
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.
Whilst all farmed animals – be they raised for meat, dairy or eggs – end up in the brutal terror of the slaughterhouse, few parent animals will see their young die.
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…
It’s a nice sunny day, birds are singing their hearts out and jolly people are making their way towards a big hall.