Save the chickens!

Partially de-feathered chicken, running free on the grass

It seems like everyone’s talking about chickens lately! If you were in Melbourne’s Bourke Street Mall a couple of weeks back, you might have seen the inaugural Melbourne Chicken Save rally. A few days later, Animals Australia launched their new campaign to raise awareness about factory farming of chickens, and finally, the chicks (do you like that?) at Our Hen House aired the first episode of their community/online TV show.

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Belated veganversary celebration

Vegan Taquitos (front) and Vegan Black Bean Tacos (rear)

About 13 months ago, H (my daughter) and I (sort of) decided to try being vegan “for a month or so, just to see how we go”.  It was pretty much the same way I went lacto-ovo vegetarian about 20 years ago, and it had the same result – we never looked back.

We can’t actually remember the date of either declaration because, at the time, we didn’t realise they were going to be the start of anything big, but we’re pretty sure we went vegan in January 2013. Unfortunately, in January 2014, H was nursing a very sore mouth after her wisdom tooth surgery, so it wasn’t until this weekend that we finally got our Veganversary celebration.

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Melanie Joy Day

Well what an exciting day it’s been! Melanie Joy is touring Australia, speaking about carnism, so H and I took the day off to go and see her.

She was speaking at the National Herbarium at around lunchtime, and I knew there was slim chance of any vegan food at the Botanic Gardens cafe, so I made the Chocolate-Chocolate Chip-Walnut Cookies from Veganomicon to keep us going. (Not a healthy lunch…but they do contain flaxseeds, walnuts…and dark chocolate!) I highly recommend them—can’t go wrong with that much chocolate in one cookie. Anyway, we made up for the bad stuff with a healthy fix later on.

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip- Walnut Cookies from Veganomicon. Continue reading

I love pigs!

Pigs are smart

I think it was Arnold Ziffel who first made me love pigs. If you’re too young to remember him (or if your parents only let you watch the ABC) Arnold was a pig on the TV show Green Acres. He was handsome and he was smart—hell, he could do crosswords!

My next favourite pig was probably Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web (read to us by Mr Forrester in grade 3) who only confirmed the idea that we shouldn’t be eating animals, because they want to live too.

pig teapot and salt shakers

I was really quite obsessed with pigs, even before Babe came along and stole our hearts. I collected pigs (not real ones, pictures and ornaments and piggy banks and that kind of thing). When I first saw pictures of Edgar Allen Pig, from Edgar’s Mission, many years ago I could absolutely understand how Pam Ahern could fall in love with him, but I still hadn’t REALLY met a pig (apart from a quick pat at the Royal Melbourne Show each year).

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Kids get it

Little girl hugging a tiny lambRemember that viral video that did the rounds a few weeks back? The one with the adorable little boy who refused to eat his octopus for dinner?  It was a scene that was probably familiar to a lot of us—the moment when the truth hit us, that our dinner was made of dead animals’ bodies chopped into bite sized portions. Here’s my experience as a 4 year old.

What made this little boy’s situation special was that the camera captured his moment of realisation—at about the 60 second mark, when he says, “Nobody eats chicken…those are animals!” Then you can see him thinking…and realising (oh, I remember that feeling!)…and then he agrees to eat just his potatoes and rice. (I was going to embed the video, but since last night it has disappeared from YouTube…what a pity. Well, I’m sure you’ve already seen it anyway.) Continue reading

We survived Hipstergeddon!

Small dog in the dark.

Our little dog hiding under the table during the blackout.

We had a lengthy blackout on Monday night. Some have called it ‘Hipstergeddon’ because we spent around 7 hours without lights, TV, heating, microwave, dishwasher, radio and most importantly… computers! (First world problems :-))

We’ve had blackouts before of course (although I can’t remember one lasting this long since I was a kid), but this is the first time I’ve really been aware of how much more we rely on electricity these days!

When the lights flickered once and then suddenly shut off, I was right in the middle of serving our lasagna for dinner. Only my daughter, H, and I were home at the time, so after (I’m ashamed to say) some girlie shrieking and squealing about zombies and monsters…H earnestly suggested, in her best Scooby Doo character voice, “I think it would be best if we split up.”

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