Vegan Decisions: Variety is the spice for life

Ladies, picture the scene and men, do your best:

Pre-vegan, pre-menstrual, pretty hungry and haven’t the patience and/or cannot sum up the will to knock up a plate of comforting goodness.

“Where are the crisps?”


“Hello the Fridge!”

I was deliriously happy to find out that I didn’t have to say goodbye to all of my fried potato friends – this list from PETA is very handy – because they are a source of instant mouth party when the mind is willing but the body can’t be bothered.

Forages in the fridge would often to be based around the quest for cheese and the classic snack of choice, cheese on toast with a splash of Worcestershire sauce, was dooable at a push. Of course, non-dairy cheese is delicious but I like to try and use it a little more sparingly, particularly as some of the ones I love are a bit more expensive than the dairy version used to be. On top of that, I have to drive between 20 minutes (Axminster or Bridport) to an hour (Exeter) to replace it; my favourite of the moment is Vegusto Piquant, oh my word that’s damned fine non-cheese…

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Vegan Decisions: the chicken & the eggs

If you’re looking for a straw-to-break-the-camels-back reason to go veggie or vegan, read on.

I start with a statement (NB: conscious choice of words there, it’s not a confession. History is history, guilt is futile). When it comes to meat, for many of my first 40 years on this cosmic football, I’ve eaten and enjoyed it. Life long vegans or veggies, don’t beat me up – I’ve seen the light and all that.

Since being a grown up in charge of my own shopping decisions – and to the best of my financial ability – I bought organic, locally reared and I made sure every morsel was consumed: “Something died to be on your plate”!

For a few years, I kept chickens and at the height of it I had about 43, 10 of which were ex-battery and many had been hand reared from eggs from friends/farms that I knew. However, upon wise reflection I’ve realised that some of the chicks I bought from a local market, may have come into existence as a result of commercial rearing. All I can do this side of my freshly found out facts, is sigh.

Commercial rearing generally favours female chicks over male, because of their guaranteed retail value in their egg laying capabilities. Freshly born male chicks have little or no value whether they are free range or factory farmed and they are killed almost as soon as they set foot out of their tiny shells. Chick culling is a serious business and chicken sexer salaries of around £40,000 pa, sadly reflect this.

I hadn’t realised there were so many horrific ways to despatch the unwanted gender and I thank Wikipedia for saving me the pain of having to rewrite the copy that describes the methods. There are several other reliable sources for finding this information out and I encourage you to do some research. Here are a couple of articles that back these facts up to get you started from the Telegraph and the Guardian.Continue Reading