Sunday, 27 November 2011

Living Vegan - Magazine Review

There is a new Australian vegan magazine out called  Living vegan and I have to say that I loved the first issue. For once, I read a magazine from cover to cover and actually found the ads just as interesting! I don't think there was one word in this magazine that I did not read. And all the content is relevant to Australians.
In this first issue are interviews with vegans, information of vegan businesses and organizations, a related movie review, an animal rescue story, general articles, product reviews, recipes, and lots of gorgeous photography of animals, food and vegans. By far, my favourite part of this issue is the 'Vegan Cheat Sheet', which is a double sided sheet you photocopy and tuck into your wallet. It lists a whole lot of products from food to cleaning to hygiene products,  that are vegan, including a list of those dreaded 'E numbers'. My partner and i have already been using this list whilst shopping in supermarkets and it has made life a lot easier by reducing the amount of time we have to spend peering at ingredients lists and wonder what was what. Word is that this cheat sheet will be expanded upon in the next issue.

The magazine is a quarterly and if you are a member of ALV, ARA, Uproar or Vegan Society of NSW, you will get it as part of your membership. Otherwise you can subscribe directly via the magazine's webpage.

Whether you are an Australian long term or new vegan, a vegetarian or just mildly curious, I would definitely recommend this magazine! I can't wait for the next issue.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Sea Shepherd Food Donations - update

Here is an updated flyer for the Sea Shepherd Food Donations drive:
Note the new drop off information.

Yesterday, my partner, a friend and myself managed to get down to a Cash And Carry and bought bulk containers of:  Vegemite, flour, herbs, spices, rice, tinned beans, tinned fruit, tomato sauce, coconut cream and milk, and various other things. We made sure we checked all the ingredients, so that there were vegan. All those numbers can get a bit tricky, but thankfully we had a guide with us that we used to help us sort out what was what.

Yes, that is a photo of me holding a huge tin of pineapple pieces. I'm standing next to the trolley we managed to fill. Buying in bulk is seriously surreal but also a lot cheaper.

We will hopefully be dropping this food off tomorrow.

And for your viewing pleasure, have a looksey into the world of one Sea Shepherd chef:

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Recipe: Roasted Balsamic Cauliflower and Cannellini Beans

I found this recipe in the book "The vegan girl's guide to life" by Melisser Elliott. It is super easy and the results are yummy!
What you will need:
1 medium sized cauliflower, chopped into small florets
1 can of cannellini beans. Make sure to drain and rinse well.
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
1 tsp rosemary (optional)
half tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 205 degrees Celsius .
In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, rosemary and salt. Add the beans and cauliflower and mix well, so the vegetables are coated.
Spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for approx 35 minutes. The beans should be slightly crispy and the cauliflower tender and browned.
This recipe is good as a side dish or even eaten on its own.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Event recap: Human Chain across the Stirling Bridge, Fremantle

Last weekend, my partner and I headed on down to Fremantle to take part in this visually effective protest, to make people aware that the fight against live export was not over. The location was perfect, as it was a high traffic area, so we had a lot of people seeing us and our message. Also, it was right near where the disgraceful deed of loading animals onto the ships, happens.

By the time we arrived, there was already a huge crowd of participants - men, women, teens, elderly, children and even babies. Almost all were dressed in black had signs around their necks, with most indicating their professions and the fact that they opposed live animal export. I saw: students, teachers, academics, secretaries, shopkeepers, managers, librarians (I HAD to get my photo taken with them!), chefs, etc.... There were also vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters there. We were all united in our call to finally end this barbaric 'trade'.

There was a police presence, including water police below the bridge, several photographers, and media from radio, internet and TV groups.
So, for half an hour, we stood, arms linked or holding hands, being battered by the wind and making a stand.
Apart from a few negative reactions from passing motorists, we got many waves, cheers, applause, thumbs-up, and horns being honked.
The experience was very positive, well organized and peaceful.

For more photos from this event, check this set on my Flickr account.

A short news report video on the event, available here.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Event recap: Sea Shepherd Fundraiser, plus Appeal

Last weekend, I attended the Perth Sea Shepherd Fundraiser. I have to admit, I am pretty new to Sea Shepherd, having only heard of them a few years ago and only now getting to know more about the amazing work that they do.

The fundraiser was held at the Astor Theatre in Mt Lawley, amongst  the chaos of the Beaufort Street Festival, so parking was a nightmare, as was dodging the crowds to get to the venue. But nothing was keeping me from getting there.

The venue was packed and the merchandise table was doing a roaring trade which was good to see. I picked up a wrist band and one of the new ladies T-shirt designs. (Pictured to the left.)
 I managed to catch up with several like minded, wonderful people I know and headed in. To our delight, every couple of seats had a LUSH gift bag full of wonderful vegan friendly goodies.

There were several speeches made during the night, and musical entertainment, and whilst they were informative and entertaining, we were there to hear Captain Watson speak. So, when he stepped up to begin, the crowd went wild. I learnt a lot from the captains speech, and felt inspired and empowered. I was surprised, given the nature of what Sea Shepherd do, by how funny the captain was. The story of how he initially names one of the ships Gojira (Japanese for Godzilla) had me chuckling. By turns, what Captain Watson had to impart had me feeling outraged, shocked, and deeply saddened. His story of his very first 'hands-on' encounter whilst in Greenpeace, trying to stop Russian whalers, was very powerful and moving. There is no doubting that this man is a great speaker.

After his address to his audience, he was then interviewed on stage which was very insightful, especially for a relative 'newcomer' as me.

Door prizes were won, raffle tickets drawn, and an auction held. My friends and I left that night, with conviction in our hearts. Sea Shepherd, as one supported has said to me, 'get shit done'. They often put themselves on the line, in environmentally hostile places and dangerous situations. And all without the backing of any governments or funding other than donations....which brings me to:

I was delighted to learn that the crew consume only vegan products.

All donations (apart from fresh food) can be dropped off at Sen. Scott Ludlam’s Office, 8 Cantonment Street, Fremantle; Manna Wholefoods; and Absolute Organic, 782 North Beach Rd, Gwelup.

If you have access to F.A.L./ Cash and Carry stores, you can buy in bulk and save $$.  Balcatta: 8 Geddes St..&  Canning Vale: 218 Bannister Rd.
ABN holders and RAC members can shop at these stores.

Items need to be dropped off by the 3rd of December at the very latest.

I plan to do a big shop very soon!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Event recap: Cruelty Free Festival, Perth 2011

Some time back, I posted about this event. Last weekend, I attended it and had such a great time! There was an amazing turn out and so much to see and do. There were cooking demos, live entertainment, heaps of stalls selling cruelty free products and of course, vegan food stalls. The 'not-dog' stand was a massive hit, with the 'not-dogs' selling out within about 2 hours! The delicious pies also sold out soon after. (I had the corn mornay and it was seriously tasty!)

My partner and I volunteered on the day, which involved handing out flyers to the event at the Subi Farmers Markets down the road, selling raffle tickets, and some general roaming around, relieving people of their duties for a while. We happily had time off to look at stalls, buy lots of things, hang out with friends, and generally have a great time.
To the left is a photo of some of my purchases for the day. I found the ARA stall to be my favourite because they had so many cool items for sale, plus lots more that were free.

I did purchase raffle tickets and drooled over the great prizes that were up for grabs, but sadly it doesn't look like I won anything. Ah well!

I managed to sample the best ever raw vegan pizza I have ever had and splashed out on this cool T-shirt.

It did rain a bit on the day but the event was most certainly not a wash-out. All in all, I just loved the general vibe of the event - being surrounded by so many vegans and vegan-curious people! It made me realize that there is a sizable vegan population in Perth and I am not alone. With so many compassionate people around, lots of happy dogs, and good food..well, it was a very special day and I cannot wait for next year's event!

If you would like to see the photos I took on the day, please go here.

One more photo to leave you with:

These were all the freebies that I got on the day. Vegan chocolate samples were included, but they got eaten before they could be photographed. *grin*

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Olive The Rabbit Pet Portraits

At the Wet Nose Day event at the Cat Haven, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting to  local Perth artist Roseline Lau who was there, selling raffle tickets for one very lucky person to win a free custom portrait of their animal companion/s. I was blown away with the quality of her work, so thought I'd blog about it here. (And besides, someone who donates $, time and effort to an animal shelter deserves support! I do hope she managed to sell lots of tickets and raise some much needed funds for the Cat Haven. I bet she did!)

Check out her website for examples of her work and costings. My fave, without a doubt, is of the cat  Tochi, though the one of Max the dog is also a winner! And special mention goes to the painting of Hamish, the Scottish terrier who is sporting a rather nifty tartan - talk about attention to detail in that piece!

I talked to the artist and found that she works from photos of her subjects but also likes to hear about their personality traits, quirks, activities, etc. This helps her come up with ideas on how to best represent them, that captures their essence. However, if the client has a definite idea on how they want their animal companions represented, that works for her too!

Sadly, I didn't win the raffle but that just means I will have to save my pennies and commission a piece for my two cats. I'll look forward to that!

Event recap: Wet Nose Day at the Cat Haven

A little while ago, I posted about this event. Well, it has come and gone for another year, now. The difference this year, however, was that I decided to volunteer. Being someone who has worked in libraries for years, I thought it would make sense to help out with the book stall. This ended up involving a friend, my partner and myself, and  numerous other volunteers having to sort items into genres and boxes, and pricing them.

There were SO MANY books (and dvds, cds, magazines, etc) and there were some really amusing ones in the mix, as you can see from these photos.

On the day, a few more friends stepped up to help with manning the counter, which meant that my partner and I could go off and look around. Unfortunately, we were not able to get down to the Dog's Refuge Home Wet Nose Day event down the road. Still, we placed bids on two items at the silent auction (didn't win), bought raffles rickets (didn't win), and DID win on two bids at the auction! We managed to get the exotic cat bed and the huuuge cat tree. Our cats spoiled? Nahhhh... ;)

My partner baked some vegan and gluten free goodies for the bake stall and was very chuffed to find out all had sold. Yay!

All up, we think the book stall made over $2000 which broke last year's record - what we were aiming for!

Best news of all was that 29 cats and kittens were adopted that day.

All in all a very rewarding experience. I highly recommend volunteering for not-for-profit, charity organizations. I hope to be able to help out at the Wet Nose day again next year.

If you would like to see photos I took during this event, please go here.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Event: Human Chain across the Stirling Bridge, Fremantle

I shall be participating in this and highly recommend you and your friends and family do too.

Please, if you can, also bring flowers to toss into the water, as a memorial for all the animals who have already suffered and lost their lives through this cruel trade.

The fight to ban live animal export is not over!

Vegan MOFO is over for the year

 This was my first time, participating in Vegan MOnth of FOod. I found it to be quite a challenge- especially after about half way through. The idea was to blog for at least 20 days during the month October, about vegan food. I took it up a notch at decided I would blog EVERY day - ie 31 days. I found the difficulty kicked in around day 20. My biggest problem was that the blog posts had to be about vegan FOOD. If it had included other vegan related topics, I would have been fine. I am by no means a foodie, with mad cookery skills.

Despite this, I am so glad I participated! The biggest positive I got from this challenge was that it forced me into trying new recipes, trying new products and trying new ingredients - and that can't be a bad thing. One thing I noticed about being a non-vegan, was how limited my diet was. I am by far more adventurous now and my interest in cooking as increased. So has my knowledge in nutrition.

So, all up, I am very happy and dare I say PROUD to have successfully participated in Vegan MoFo 2011. I will look forward to doing so again next year.
Thanks to all who read my posts, tried the products I recommended and had a go at the recipes I shared. Big thank you to those who also left comments on this blog. <3