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Issue 4, Spring 2012
From the editor
This is issue 4 of The semi-vegan. It is published as pdf. I dislike pdfs as I prefer a printed copy, but printing does cost money, so pdfs are a compromise. Buy issue 2 – it costs £2.50 including postage!
Text: Knut Caspari
he next issue will be a pdf issue, too. But I will publish a printed issue with the best articles from issue 1–5 plus any other articles that I am given. The pdfs are a good way to show readers and potential writers how the article will look in print. I prefer the articles to have a similiar layout. The printed issue will be given away at the vegan fayre in Wolverhampton in October.
Write an article!
Issue 2 was printed with a printrun of 100. It contains loads of interesting articles, including these: • My journey to abolittionism by Emma Attwell • New year by Pete Ryan • Animal rights and human wrongs by N.C.Sweeney • Healing by Julia Langley • Eco-village in Slovakia by Janne Eikeblad • The vegan guide to ironing! by Andrew Knight • The organic gardener by Sophie ChristopherBowes
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You choose what to write about or maybe you know of someone whom wouold like to write something.
If you liked this pdf, then feel free to spread it! Noone makes a profit from this magazine, the aim is to cover postage and print costs.
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Vegan way is not complicated!
When I became vegan I became quickly aware how it could come with a hefty price tag. Often people say “Is it more expensive being vegan?” and I was often forced to answer with a yes, but justify it by saying it was worth it for the sake of the animals. Still people would turn their nose up and obviously think I had more money than sense. I also got the feeling it put them off ever going vegan. A lot of people would say how worthy it was, but prices were going up while wages were going down.
Text: Rebecca Burke
hen I realised how foolish I was being. I realised that buying stuff with the vegan label on often parting with more money. It made sense, if I was going to buy vegan chocolate, companies couldn’t afford large factories and to keep their overheads down would have to charge more. Dairy milk is a mass produced product bought by many millions so could always be found on offer in the supermarket. I suddenly realised that all the specialist vegan food I was buying, i.e chocolate, ice-cream, cakes etc...were expensive and why didn’t I just buy these occasionally to have as treats? The rest of the time -what about good old fashioned store cupboard ingredients? Rice, pasta, beans, lentils, chickpeas, the list was endless! I see on Vegan sites vegans getting confused over recipes or struggling on how to replace dairy ingredients. I once saw a vegan recipe for macaroni cheese that used tofu instead of cheese? Why? Tofu does not taste like cheese! Just buy dairy free cheese! It is called veganising, simply replace the dairy ingredient with a non dairy ingredient and it doesn’t have to be a struggle. When making cakes vegans use egg replacers or faff around using flax seed, tofu, extra oil, again none of these ingredients are anything like eggs! I have made 2 birthday cakes now without using egg replacer or any of these strange ingredients, instead just opting for extra baking powder. Non–vegan friends tell me these cakes are the best they have ever had. You can buy vegan clothing quite simply. No need to go on fancy websites or travel to fancy shops that will charge you ridiculous amounts to
buy non-leather shoes. Just go on Ebay or Amazon or go to any shop and look for synthetic ingredients. I bought some faux leather boots for £20 on Ebay two years ago that have lasted me to this day. There is no such thing as “Vegan shoes” for goodness sake! You aren’t going to eat them are you? But again I see new vegans desperately posting on vegan messageboards “Where can I buy vegan shoes? Where is the best place for vegetarian jumpers?” LOL! It is the same with toiletries and cosmetics, a specialist vegan make up company may charge you the price of an expensive meal in a restaurant for a vegan lipstick! Yet many cheap shops and supermarkets have vegan stuff. Ever heard of Original Source shower gel? Vegan and around £1! I firmly believe if being vegan carries on with this elitist and specialist reputation of things being expensive, and hard to find, it will alienate anyone considering being vegan. Picture a 15 year old wanting to become vegan scared that their parents won’t allow it as they won’t know where to find vegan stuff and it will cost too much. Imagine that teenager taking their parents into some vegetarian shoe shop and asking them to fork out £80 on some shoes. On the other hand picture that same teenager cooking their family an inexpensive meal from grains and pulses, buying their own Linda Mcartney sausages in Iceland or Asda for £1 to go with their dinner, what parent would find that an inconvenience?
So I guess what I am saying is vegans! Don’t overcomplicate things! There is simply no need!!!!
I am a looker! I actually looked at “The semi-vegan!”, it is very informative. I don’t even see myself as a vegan to be honest, I keep to the diet quite strictly (I love eating my own food!), but if I am out and havent prepared food with me – then I might eat something I shouldn’t have i.e. a cheese sandwich or chips (cheap convenience food – please note this rarely happens as I hate doing it and cook in bulk and rarely go out! hehe). Sorry I am waffling, I don’t feel I have anything to offer your magazine. I am largely a vegan out of the need to be the best, and liking a challenge, I love the whole animal argument but I hate watching the footage and reading your article made me feel sick. I rather live in ignorance of not knowing how some animal is harmed in the making of car tyres. I have little money, am looking for a job and my idea of happiness is living alone in the wild creating my own vegan heaven (I want to live off the land)… its a huge dream and the expression of my real feeling towards society and the world. I would love to share some kind of optimism towards a vegan world - I am too much a cynic and not a believer in people. I just cant think of a “forward-thinking” article to write that would actually add value to your magazine. What hasn’t been said? I think we are too sophisticated and too educated, we should keep it simple. If only we could go back to villages and not be so driven by money, power and greed. Wow, I am really sorry to put all my ideas on you - this is quite a negative email and the last thing I want to do is curb your enthusiasm. Thanks for the heads up, I hope your magazine is a real success. It looks impressive, and reads well. I am sure your supporters will come flooding in! Anonymous lady Motivate yourself to better health! Assuming those wishing to be healthier are not smokers, I can only tell you about the benefits of the vegan diet. So many illnesses could be prevented without resorting to drugs - prescribed or otherwise, simply by occasionally fasting. If you can possibly publish the enclosed on this, it could heal most stress-related illnesses. (The article can be read at: cygnusbook.co.uk/magazine) It is advisable to fast when you are not busy. (Prehaps at the weekend.) You will at first nausecus/weak, so relax as much as possible during the fast. I consumed 4 large bottles of mineral water - sipped very slowly, through a straw, (nut gulped) each day for 2 days. On the third day I drank apple juice (not with sugar) and adding non-acidic fruits. Amazingly, I felt no hunger, but noticed my skin becoming clearer, my sinus problems cleared. my hearing and the clarity of vision. I felt “awake” - alive and more invigorated. It cleared my head and my breathing also improved. I am eating vegan food but more fresh fruits now. I totally omit salt, and ensure the fresh fruit is not too sweet or acidic. Avocados are excellent for vitamin E content, and I am still learning about fruit-nutrients. I intend to continue regular fasts. (Some people fast for 3 days or even 4, on water alone.) But each person will find his own pace or duration. It would be interesting to hear from other vegans who do yoga too. - It is very gentle, and is not at all strenous. Mange back-problems can be helped, as well as the hair, eyes, and facial muscles. The asanas or exerises, are slow and flowing and they regulate the heart. On another note: With lions becoming tamer (one was reared on a veggie-diet, and he attacked noone) and domestic cats on vegan or veggie diets (see vege-cat) prehaps we can all live harmoniously? If you have a mouse problem, then you can buy human traps from B&Q at only £3 each. To give my dogs coat a shine, I mix half a teaspoon of Omega 3 oil in the dog food. The shine on my dogs coat now, is incredible. Ann James Short note of hope! I hope “The semi-vegan!” is gathering an audience and helping to unity and expand the ethical, free thinking community. Reader
Living within a system with rules and beliefs that do not mirror your own can have a harrowing and conflicting affect on your life, disrupting your mental and physical well being whilst you contend with the normal struggles of life.
he majority of people are now affected by job cuts, price and tax increases, crackdowns on democratic rights; the right to protest and voice your opinion, increased surveillance and numerous other blatant totalitarian tactics by the government all of which have been on a rapid increase since 2001 and show no sign of stopping. However a significant percentage of the public are now voicing their disdain for the evidently corrupt and immoral power structure but is it possible to sidestep the struggle and actually remove yourself from the system all together? How can you free yourself from this inequitable, capitalistic game of snakes and ladders? For this article I will presume that a revolutionary regime change and the development of a civilized and ethical infrastructure is more than a stones throw away and will therefor consider what options are available to those of us that wish to distance ourselves from this unsustainable, commercial society. “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti In recent years I have traveled to many beautiful and exotic locations like Nepal, Cambodia, Taiwan and New Zealand to name but a few. I visited many countries with the intention of seeing more of this planet but whilst sightseeing I was also doing some study in anthropology and trying to better understand the different ways of coexisting with our environment. My first port of call was India where I volunteered at an animal sanctuary/ hospital and experienced a whole new understanding to how life could be lived. So, this will be the first example, it’s not living outside of
“the system” but it can be a very positive and beneficial option which might give you the needed break from the normal, frantic rat-race existence. A typical day for me in India whilst volunteering at an animal shelter in Rajasthan would start abruptly with getting woken by the ringing of bells coupled with loud Hindu prayer recordings being projected via megaphone. The sun would have just begun to rise but light would not yet have filled my room and I would manage to doze off again for some more sleep before light finally won the battle. I would leave my hostel and walk down the dusty streets already filled with men and women setting up shop, heading to work or taking the children to school. Happy faces lit by the brightness of the day would more often than not greet me as I made my way to a bike shop down a small side road which one might struggle to locate but thanks to help from my hostel manager I had been renting their bikes daily since arriving in the city. My ride to the sanctuary would take roughly twenty minutes but gradually became more and more tiring with the steep temperature increasing as summer got into full swing. Once at the sanctuary I would check on the animals and feed the cows with extra pieces of fruit that I’d purchased during the journey. Dogs would then be walked for the majority of the morning and feeding would take place (a healthy vegetarian diet, no meat here!). After they had had their lunch I would have mine with other volunteers or workers. It would then be back to work with bathing dogs, taking them for more walks and giving personal therapy to recovering animals. The veterinarians would be doing their rounds and I would sometimes give them a hand with their duties which gave me the opportunity to pick up some of their teachings. After their evening feed the animals would be put in their respective enclosures and then I would make my way back to my hostel for a thorough clean and then out again to enjoy the night. I have now volunteered in three animal shelters/ hospitals in Asia and recommend it so highly that I am looking to take my own advice and go back out to volunteer again later this year. If you would like to volunteer abroad then there
are numerous Conservation societies and companies which offer anything from advice and guides on voluntary work to booking your entire trip in the same way a travel agent would. Green Volunteers is the world’s leading source of conservation volunteering opportunities and has an up to date list of hundreds of organizations through which volunteers can work. Some of the placements come with a fee that is paid directly to the organization and some do not however it is likely you will have to pay for your own travel and living expenses whilst at your location if you are not charged a fee. It is recommended that you make all arrangements before heading out and make sure you know what is expected of you and what is and is not included. Green Volunteers charges for their subscription with a one time payment which then entitles you to their latest book and continued access to their online database. When volunteering in foreign countries I personally make enquiries with organizations that I know of or have found online or through word of mouth. I have never paid to volunteer and have always corresponded with the actual people who own or run the organization. There are lots of places looking for volunteers to come out and help them and I have found that they will be very accommodating and happy to help which can be pretty welcoming after landing in a new environment where you don’t know your way around and don’t talk the language. Similar organizations to look at if you are interested in working/ volunteering your way around the world; WWOOF – World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (wwoof.org) where hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles and also Workaway (workaway.info), an organization set up to promote fair exchange between budget travelers, language learners or culture seekers and families, individuals or organizations who are looking for help with a range of varied and interesting activities. Again you will be offered accommodation and food in exchange for a few hours honest help per day. Alternatively if you are not one for traveling and would rather find somewhere to settle, where you have stability and can co-live with like minded people then a community, known widely as an ecovillage, may work well for you. Ecovillages are
societies of ecological sustainability, social justice and personal harmony which are not predetermined by set rules and regulations. These societies tend to be self-governed with decisions being made through moral reasoning and diplomacy in order to help the community develop in an environmentally beneficial and positive way. Small communities have always been around but in the 1960’s there was a conscious effort by free thinking, non-conformists to avoid the degenerate, menacing path the world was heading in. This attempted revival of traditional living was developed up until the 80’s when the ecovillage movement began to take shape in various countries around the world and a global network was built to connect these communities which shared the common fundamental beliefs. There are now a great number of ecovillages about and many organizations promoting them. Most of them accept guests to tryout their way of life and encourage visitors to participate in all aspects of the day to day running of the community. Global Ecovillage Network is a predominant association which promotes and supports the ecovillage concept. Their web-site at gen.ecovillage.org holds vast amounts of information beneficial to anyone looking to find out more and includes a database full of communities from around the world. They also detail upcoming projects and workshops with one example being the Global Ecovillage Network Conference 2012 held at the Eco-Valley Foundation (Hungary) on the 10th - 13th July 2012. My final solution, which some ecovillages have already incorporated into their communities, is to create your own utopian home with the already well established “earthship Biotecture”. Earthships, established by Michael Reynolds, are ecological, self-sustainable building made from natural material and recycled tyres and bottles which help to create the extremely insulated walls which allow these houses to be build in areas where temperatures drop to below freezing. This is possible without the use of a central heating system which is replaced by using the suns natural heat to penetrate the earthship through the many sunfacing windows. All power comes from solar panels and wind turbines meaning there will never be an energy bill come through the post as no mains connection is necessary. All water is obtained by
collecting, storing and systematically recycling rain water which is filtered and then used for drinking, bathing and cleaning, for filling the toilet and other appliances and finally for watering the plants which are a food source throughout the year and grow inside and outside the building. Earthships also incorporate recycled glass bottles into the structure creating esthetically pleasing murals as well as allowing more light to enter the home. Most of the material necessary is easy to come by and the building of the structure can be done by almost anybody who has the determination to succeed. Much of it is common sense though the installing of power generators and filter systems may be better left to those with training. The giant media corps have taken little to no interest, seeming rather to eschew from publicizing Michael Reynolds Earthships but there are plenty of opportunities for you to not only learn the concept of these buildings but to actually learn how to design and build your own. Reynolds and his team do not rest on their laurels but instead help teach the growing number of humans who are intent on living autonomously and ecologically how to plan and build their very own earthship houses. Earthship Biotecture offers three weekend seminars each year at their headquarters in Taos, New Mexico as well as running internship programs every month throughout the year at the same location. However earthship projects are being run all over the world with a European Seminar in Stockholm on June 8-10 this year led by Earthship creator Michael Reynolds. In the UK the Brighton Permaculture Trust run the “Self-building an Earthship” three-day course in partnership with Low Carbon Trust. The course teaches the fundamentals of earthship architecture and gives rudimentary lessons on how to building your own during practical workshops. More information on this course can be found on the web-site brightonpermaculture.org.uk. There is also the widely available documentary “Garbage Warrior” by Oliver Hodge, the founder of Open Eye Media, who followed Reynolds as he struggled through a maze of red-tape and restrictions enforced by the seemingly vacuous authorities in an attempt to prevent the progression of this innovative, world altering architecture. It also shows Reynolds and his team as they head out to the Bay of Bengal to help with a Tsunami Relief project on the Andaman Islands after getting a request to help the struggling survivors rebuild their
communities. It truly is an eye opening documentary which highlights the unequivocal benefits of these buildings but also the opposition coming from the people that govern the nations. There are numerous books and web-sites on earthships including earthship.com and garbagewarrior.com. Their facebook page, under the name earthship biotecture is a meeting place for fans and enthusiasts to discuss and collaberate with each other and is filled with testimonials of individuals and groups of people who are looking to start building, in the middle of building or have finished building their own earthship homes. Many videos showing the undertaking of such projects can now be seen on Youtube and other video posting web sites. In the countries I’ve visited I’ve seen many different standards of life resulted through numerous means and methods of living but what is apparent to myself (a man who grew up in the largest metropolis on this planet) is that the level of physical and mental health as well as the level of enjoyment seems greater in the “less developed” countries. There are of course negatives to living conditions in the less developed countries however from my own experiences I believe these are greatly exaggerated by the western media and that it is actually those who grow up in cultures which put an emphasis on the necessity of commercial goods and buying your way out of ill health that are evidently left feeling fractious and dispirited. With pharmaceutical drugs and the ever more available cosmetic surgery procedures now being a ubiquitous part of society, prying on the inadequacies and fears of a hounded population, it is no wonder that there are an ever increasing number of people in search of a better, more natural and humble way of living, free of modern day constraints. As we can see, the alternatives are out there and we are living in a time when information can be passed on to others with great ease and speed. The development of better, non-harmful and cheaper alternatives are readily available as are the people wanting to adopt these. Yes, it would seem the revolution has already begun but with solar panels and spades instead of guns and mass graves so it’s unlikely you’ll be seeing this story in the mainstream media any time soon. “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.”
Angels are Beings of Light from the 7th dimension. There are millions of Angels across the universe, waiting to help us but because we have free will are not allowed to unless we ask.
Text: Julia Langley
ost people can’t usually see or hear them because they are of a higher vibration, which is usually beyond our visual range. Some people can connect with them because they are psychic and can tune into their frequency, but others have to learn how to do this. Everyone has their own Guardian Angel who looks after and protects them. Our Guardian Angels are with us before we are born and stay with us all our life. They guide us and try to keep us on our spiritual path. Often, when we think we have a good idea or an inspired thought its our Guardian Angel whispering in our ear. If your soul has decided that it needs to experience an illness or accident for their spiritual growth your Guardian Angel must step aside as they cannot interfere with your free will. But if you have a near accident that wasn’t planned they can step in to help you. If such a situation does occur always remember to say Thank you! They can arrange for you to meet people that you are meant to meet. This could be a partner or a friend. It could even be someone you might not like, but will have to experience for your soul growth. Every situation we experience is for our soul growth. Your Guardian Angel can help you, but it must be for the higher good. They can also help you find something you’ve lost, a parking space, and keep you safe among other things. If you want to communicate with the Angels talk and think about them,for this helps you connect to their wavelength. Angels speak to you telepathically. With practice you will learn how to tell the difference between your own thoughts and your Angel’s messages. As people become more attuned they can often sense their Angel’s presense. Some people can see the light of their Angel. Start by believing they are with you, that way you are opening yourself up to
their energies. Then trust the thoughts that pop into your head. Your Angel will only give you loving positive thoughts. There are also Archangels. They are more powerful than Guardian Angels. The most well known is Archangel Michael. He is the Angel of protection. He can dispel negative energies. If you ask for his protection he will put his deep blue cloak of protection around you. You can also ask him to protect other people and places where there is negativity. He will also use his sword to cut the ties that bind you to other people For instance, where a relationship has ended but you are finding it hard to let go,he will cut the cords. Another well known Archangel is Raphael, the Angel of Healing and abundance. His colour is emerald green. You can ask for healing for yourself and others, including animals. There are Angels and Archangels for different situations, all you have to do is tell the Angels your problem and the appropriate Angel will help you. Or you can ask your Guardian Angel and they can find the Angel who can help you. If you do want to be in touch with the Angels meditation is a good way to go, even if its for just 10 minutes a day, or even once a week, do whatever is right for you. Always remember to ask for protection before you start, and if something comes through but you’re not sure if its from the Angels follow your instincts, they are rarely wrong.
What is your vegan ecstasy?
I have two, and probably more if we were to include food! Number one is also my dream; to own a piece of land with house somewhere hot living in solitude growing my own vegetables and writing. Number two is my flat mate who I am in love with, or awe of, or something!
Text: Onurie Clementine
don’t like using the expression “Vegan Heaven” as I am an atheist. Vegan Ecstasy (VE) number one is just that, a dream – however VE number two is a reality. Mr V is not like any other guy I have ever met, and if I had a wish list for everything I ever wanted in a man he would fit most of it. I don’t know how I get to be so lucky to meet the men I have, but it’s something special. When I met Mr V he left quite an impression on me, one that wouldn’t go away. A man’s man, hard and straight on the outside yet soft and vulnerable on the inside – I was intrigued. Sounds like something out of a romance novel, but this is not that kind of story. I needed somewhere to stay, and he agreed to take me in since he could help. He has a tough job, 2 kids, his running, book club activities and vegan volunteer work. I found out the other day he has the same waist size as me, it’s tiny! So he is super vegan guy to me, good looking, an amazing father and a good friend. I adore Mr V for the man he is; the things he says, his openness and this is the first time I have ever lived with vegans. It’s a liberating experience, we don’t have to justify why we eat the way we do and I don’t have to enter the kitchen to the smell of raw or burning flesh (unless I burn my hand in the oven!). The vegans educate and inspire me to be a better person. I don’t think I will necessarily become a better person, since I am more of an observational vegan and don’t think there is any way to save the animals society is hell bent on consuming. I became a vegan for a number of reasons, but I am not an animal activist and am proud of that fact (I see no point feeling guilty about not being one!). I love being a vegan but I also believe people should have the right to eat whatever they want, we have enough laws and rules to supress human behaviour. Also I cannot imagine
a world where meat is outlawed, seems to ridiculous and surreal! In another way I am a resigned vegan, Mohatma Gandhi is my justification for this - he sacrificed his life for the peace of his country, but the violence never stopped! I believe we will always live in a meat eating, smoking, and drug taking world. Is it Good? Bad? It is what it is, and the way of the world. I do not want to give my life for an animal, it seems a pointless waste and also I am hoping with time I will find a more powerful “engaging” way to entice the meat eaters of this planet. I have a flawed plan; to open a vegan (falafel, samosa, pizza, etc.) healthy-ish fast food restaurant ideally a franchise to crush McDonald’s! Obviously, this would require lots of capital and is unlikely to happen. I apologise I think I have gone off on a tangent; the point is Mr V is my VE. I look at him and my heart fills with joy and happiness, I enjoy watching him with his children playing silly little games, which such patience and grace – he is adorable. I am glad I have met the vegans, they have given me a lot (some new food ideas) and I am sure I have
enriched their lives also. The point is I am grateful for his kindness, compassion and love, and this is what I would say being a vegan is. Someone who thinks cares and wants more for the world than will ever be possible – but they try. Maybe one day I will get into action and make a mark for the vegan movement. It could be VE No. 3? Just maybe I will, but let’s face it – it seems highly unlikely. Mr V doesn’t look at me how they do in movies, we are not inseparable. Just two friends helping each other and as a cynic I do believe all good things will come to an end, at some point. The fact is I love my independence above everything, and the childhood fear I had about being a grumpy woman living alone in a cottage in Ireland is my VE No. 1. I dream of living somewhere like Bulgaria (only since I have discovered a house plus small piece of land costs as little as 6,000 pounds). Ok, I might have all my calculations and taxes wrong but I imagine it will still be cheap! I dream one day to have a small piece of land to grow my own vegetables and fruit, to watch the sun on my face every morning as I have my breakfast, and to enjoy living the “wild” life. I like the comfort of living in a European country to get the 10 kilo of lentils I might need to survive the winters (I‘ve seen “Into the wild”)… of course there might be better and easier ways to courier lentils. It’s such a lovely dream to wake up with the sun (Plan B would be Portugal) on my face, with avocados/pomegranates and oranges for breakfast, an abundance of vegetables and salad, different fruits for all seasons. A lake nearby ideally for the morning shower and occasional dip, who knows, endless possibilities based on what my bank balance can dictate as affordable comfort. Living off the land; my life my rules baby! No work, BS, corruption, capitalism, betrayals, pain, loss, suffering and finally no fast food chains! Is it possible to live the simple life? Who cares, bring on the hard work and disaster! There is something liberating in wanting to live off the land in the wild, maybe it’s the allure of being the queen of my own happy mad solitude… Oops I’d also like an internet connection also, hence my life my rules! I would love to hear what other peoples VE is? What is your VE dream? Have you accomplished it? Food recipes would greatly be appreciated! Email me: onurieclementine(@)AThotmail(.)com
Spring is here!
I have been writing about my journey with my allotment in Drayton Road Abingdon and have been working on this for at least three years. But the first year was more about observing what was on the land and site and seeing what would grow in the conditions that was their. By observing nature and social patterns I was able to use them in the design of the allotment. This relates to Bill Mollison ‘s philosophy of “work with nature not against” we have to know how nature works if we want to be able to work with it.
Text: Sophie Christopher-Bowes Good design depends on a free and harmonious relationship between nature and people in which careful observation and thoughtful interaction provide the design inspiration” David Holmgren. The allotment was to provide vegetables and soft fruit for at least 8 months of the year but with the intentions of growing food all year round and hope to attend either a course or read books and develop experience in this area. April is the month when spring kicks in. The clocks have changed, the days are getting longer and the plants are really starting to grow. The sun has more power now and the days are both lighter and longer, but cool nights can mean fluctuating temperatures, particularly in frames, green houses and polythene tunnels. Watch out for a frost as this can really cause a lot of damage. It is always wise to keep a fleece handy because a frost does occur, it tends to be just before dawn. In my polytunnel we have a huge shortage of space for all the seedlings which need more and more space. There is the temptation to grow plants outdoors but even if the air temperature gets high the soil temperature is still quite low. I have started to grow early French beans which are really easy to grow because they are ready to pick a few weeks before, if they are sown in batches throughout the spring and summer and will yield beans from early Summer to Autumn will make sure that they have a very sunny position at the allotment. Will plant both climbing bean and a
variety of the dwarf variety, will create supports for the climbing variety and also mix with other vegetables that do well with beans such as sweet corn and summer savory. Will also grow some runner beans and French beans in pots and containers. I will make sure that the beans are not sown out doors if their is a danger of frost, but can use a cloche before hand to warm up the soil. Other jobs for April are pricking out and potting on. Seedling will grow quickly in the longer warmer Summer months. With plants fighting for space in the polytunnel need to make sure that the plants do not succumb fungal rots caused by poor air circulation and overcrowding. Have also learnt through trial and error that it is best to handle very tender plants only by the seed leaves (cotyledons) and never by the stem, as even slightly bruising of the stem can result in damage. This has happen in the past handling the plant by the stem, and then the plant died, this can be caused either by crushing or bruising which can allow fungal spores to enter the stem through the damaged area. Plants that hate disturbance are courgettes, marrows pumpkins and squashes last but not least cucumbers, the slightest damage to even the smallest root often develops into root rot which can destroy the entire seedling. Happy growing!
1. The Organic Gardening Catalogue (0845 1301304) www.organiccatalogue.com 2. Kings Seeds (01376 570000) www.kingsseeds.com
Sophie Christopher-Bowes is based in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and runs EcoArchitecture and Permacultural Planning CIC and is a keen grower and gardener.
Importance of beans for maximum health
Beans, legumes, “Poor man’s meat” as it has been called in the past. The bean has to a large extent fallen out of favour in the western world with its desire for meat & dairy laden products. But, the simple bean may in fact be better than one of those expensive ‘super foods’ you have read about in certain health food magazines.
Text and photos: Pete Ryan Dip ISSA CFT SPN
or someone who exercises there is a history of bean usage. The early pioneers of physical culture enjoyed beans as part of their diet. Bob Hoffman mentions beans in glowing terms in his 1940’s book “Better Nutrition-for strength & health seeker” & how they played an important part in obtaining & creating strength i. So, beans are almost like the ‘forgotten food’ for the athlete, which is surprising as they are high in protein, low in fat, & high in phyto-nutrients that help a person achieve & maintain maximum health & performance. So, what does the science say about beans. How about we start with the big news – beans, it appears, will make you live longer! Yes, it’s true in one study when they took into account every factor they could, the common feature that allowed long life was bean intake!ii Also note that this is independent of ethnic origin, so anyone from any background can benefit from beans (see note below about G6PD deficiency). You want more than a longer life, ok then how about resistance to the harmful effects of UV rays. Another study showed the Polyphenols found in beans could help protect you from skin cancer & damage from UV raysiii Want more than that, well beans are used in many weight loss studies & help the obese population both lose weight & lower inflammation markersiv.
whole host of benefitsvii, they may also protect against various cancers, & soya can act as a form of hormonal adaptogen for oestrogen (helping as a pro-oestrogen when oestrogen is low & an antioestrogen when oestrogen is high) viii. In one huge study of the antioxidant content of fruits, vegetables & spices beans rated top of the vegetable pileix. You will probably read about phytate & oligosaccharides as being bad things. While it is true that phytates can make it harder to absorb some minerals, balance that against this list of positive effects with phytates being useful for anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, pH reduction, & even promotes DNA repairx. Oligosaccharides can produce flatulence for some people, but these products also increase your friendly bacteria, cause the production of short chain fatty acids that are vital to maximum health & can even enhance immune responses within the bodyxi. Beans are so important that in 1999 there was even an attempt to devise a food pyramid that included beans in their own categoryxii
Legumes generally have a low Glycemic Index (GI) & so do not cause a big insulin spike like some foodsv The ‘resistant starch’ found in beans is used by your friendly bacteria to create short chain fatty acids that are hard to obtain from other sourcesvi. Beans increase your fibre intake which leads to a
Lifestyle Changes on Vascular Inflammatory Markers in Obese Women. JAMA. 2003;289(14):1799-1804. doi: 10.1001/jama.289.14.1799 v Messina, MJ. Legumes and soybeans: overview of their nutritional profiles and health effects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 439S-450S, September 1999 vi Giovana Ermetice de Almeida Costa. Chemical composition, dietary fibre and resistantstarch contents of raw and cooked pea, common bean, chickpea and lentil legumes. Volume 94, Issue 3, February 2006, Pages 327–330 vii Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033 viii Messina, MJ. Legumes and soybeans: overview
An attempt at devising a vegetarian food pyramid in the late 20th Century.
There is one instance where beans may not be appropriate. This is if you have the rare condition of G6PD deficiency. This is found mainly in regions where malaria is common & is thought to offer some protection to the illnessxiii This human enzyme deficiency affects many facets of life including illness & complicates many treatments, one symptom of this condition is a need to avoid legumesxiv. Hopefully, this will make you think again about the use of beans. If you haven’t really used them before they are a great addition to your diet, whether you are an athlete or someone just looking to achieve maximum health. i Hoffman, Bob. Better Nutrition-for strength & health seeker, Strength & Health Publishing Co. 1940, P. 60 ii Darmadi-Blackberry et all. Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities. Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr 2004;13 (2):217-220 iii Farrukh Afaq. Polyphenols: Skin Photoprotection and Inhibition of Photocarcinogenesis. Mini Rev Med Chem. 2011 December 1; 11(14): 1200–1215. iv Esposito, K et al. Effect of Weight Loss and
of their nutritional profiles and health effects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 439S-450S, September 1999 ix Xianli Wu. Development of a database for total antioxidant capacity in foods: a preliminary study. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis 17 (2004) 407–422 x Vikas Kumar et al. Dietary roles of phytate and phytase in human nutrition: A review. Food Chemistry 120 (2010) 945–959 xi Francis R.J et al. Immune-stimulating and Gut Health-promoting Properties of Short-chain Fructo-oligosaccharides. xii Haddad, EH. Vegetarian food guide pyramid: a conceptual framework. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 70, No. 3, 615S-619S, September 1999 xiii Chicago center for genetic disorders. G6PD Deficiency. http://www.jewishgenetics.org/?q=content/g6pd-deficiency xiv Glucose-6-Phosphate Chan, TK. Dehydrogenase (G6PD) Deficiency: A Review. http://www.cchi.com.hk/specialtopic/case1/case1.h tm
Vegetarian diets may lower cancer risk
Last month, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) announced that cancer cases in the UK could rise by 30% by 2030. Scientists have recognised that around a third of the most common cancers could be prevented by adopting healthier lifestyles and that by doing this, over 80,000 cancer cases a year could be prevented in the UK alone. A lifestyle factor that can modify the risk of cancer is diet. The foods we eat are not only used by the body as a source of energy but they make up every cell in our bodies thus affecting how we function physiologically. As such, our diet can impact on our overall health and on our resistance and susceptibility to disease.
Text: Christina Nascimento (BSc Hons, MmedSci Human Nutrition)
n general, vegetarian diets tend to promote favourable physiological and physical attributes which lower the risk of many chronic diseases such as cancer. Research published in the British Journal of Cancer in 2009 found that vegetarians are 12% less likely to develop cancer compared to omnivores. It also stated that vegetarians have a staggering 45% lower risk of blood cancers such as leukaemia, multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Although the mechanisms by which vegetarian diets may reduce the risk of cancer are unclear there is evidence available which allows us to link dietary behaviours with health outcomes. In general, when compared to omnivores, vegetarians consume more whole grains, beans, pulses, nuts, fresh and dried fruits, vegetables and soy products, all of which have been demonstrated to be beneficial to health. Meat-inclusive diets, particularly those which include red and processed meats, have been linked to colon cancer due to the presence of cancer-causing agents produced during the cooking process. The WCRF have stated that around 10% of colon cancer cases in the UK could be prevented by reducing the consumption of red and processed meats. Additionally, 12% of colon cancer cases in the UK could be prevented by increasing the consumption of fibre. Vegetarians consume greater amounts of fibre-containing foods
such as beans, pulses, fruits and vegetables which, alongside the omission of meat, could explain why colon cancer incidence amongst vegetarians is lower than in omnivores. Fruits and vegetables have also been linked to a reduced risk of a range of other cancers such as those related to the mouth and throat. This is due to their nutrient density and the presence of other biologically active compounds that may help protect the body from damage which can lead to cancer. Another prominent aspect of vegetarian diets is the consumption of isoflavonecontaining soy products such as soy milk and tofu. Studies have shown that where soy milk is consumed as a substitute for dairy beverages the risk of prostate cancer is reduced. It has also been found that a high intake of soy products is associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer in pre- and postmenopausal women. Overall, vegetarians tend to consume a diet which is lower in fat, particularly in saturated fat, and one which is usually less energy dense than omnivorous diets. As a result of dietary choices, vegetarians tend be leaner making the prevalence of obesity and its associated health consequences lower amongst vegetarian populations. Obesity, the biggest health problem in the UK, significantly increases the risk of cancer at a number of sites particularly at the kidneys, pancreas, breast, prostate and gallbladder. Although there is much work to be done in the way of elucidating the relationship between diet and disease it is clear that diet is of paramount importance in the preservation of health and the prolongation of life. Following a vegetarian diet may act as a preventative measure against cancer however, as with all diets, it is important to obtain all the nutrients we need to avoid illness and disease through adopting a balanced and nutritious diet teamed with other healthy lifestyle behaviours.
Vintage vegan views
Veganism and the hard facts of life?
James Okell’s original article on vaccination, immunisation, etc, produced a flood of letters and articles. It was clear from the replies that most people did not view vaccination, immunisation, etc, as any kind of “benefit” to mankind. It seems however, from James reply below, that there is still much scop for discussion. It is difficult to reply adequately in a limited space but I’ll attempt to deal with some of the more fundamental issues raised by the readers. As an ignorant layman, who has few of the answers, perhaps I can clarify what to me seem to be some of the more important problems.
Text: James Okell Reprinted from issue 10 of Vegan Views, 1976.
irst, a small but important point. I cannot accept Eileen Scott’s argument as to why the assertion “There is no essential difference, between the disease itself and injection against it” is false. If a comparison is being made between the reaction produced by injection, and that produced by the disease itself, when considering a given individual being given either the disease or the injection at a given time, then further questions of “timing” are irrelevant to the argument here. As to whether the quotation by Dr. Stanton gives a “false impression” that depends on what the truth about immunisation procedures actually is, and whatever the validity of Eileen Scott´s assertions it is far from easy for the layman to ascertain the “truth”. EileenScott writes: ‘’If rabies and cholera are raging in your district, commonsense may dictate that wisdom lies in accepting innoculation against, but the situation is a hypothetical one.” Eileen Scott is obviously a sincere person, but this statement seems totally inconsistent with her professed philosophy. A philosophy is only rational and consistent when it is applicable to all potential ‘ situations in one’s life - however unlikely (or “hypothetical”) they might seem. To say I believe in “the sanctity of life”, or whatever, – except in the unlikely event that things get extremely difficult, or
unpleasant, or dangerous, for me - is something of a “cop-out”. And how would the Nature Cure Clinic heal someone infected with rabies while “not violating the sanctity of life”? Stuart North’s point that “vaccinations and immunisations work against the forces of nature which dictate the survival of the fittest” may be true, but if so it is also true that the Nature Cure Clinic works against the forces of nature (assuming the Nature Cure Clinic can help those who aren´t the “fittest” survive). Presumably, taking Stuart North´s argument to its logical conclusion, all forms of medicine (orthodox and alternative), except perhaps emergency surgery for accidents, should be abandoned if one wants to give “nature” a free hand. In fact one can go further and argue that the most compassionate approach, with a view to eliminating the pain of disease in future humans, is to give “nature” a helping hand in producing disease-resistant supermen (and superwomen). This could be achieved by compulsory sterilization (on the NHS!) for all those failing to pass a “fitness test” – and newborn babies could be deliberately exposed to a battery of bugs to ensure that only the fittest survived! Obviously there is a great dilemma here (one of the “hard facts of life”?) but not being sufficiently acquainted with genetics I don’t know the facts about how enfeebled, if at all, the human race isgradually becoming. Perhaps a reader could give us the facts. Some animals may be “harmless” in the sense that they aren’t carnivorous, but no animal has “at least as much right” to live on the planet as man simply because living isn’t a matter of having Godgiven “rights”. Stuart North doesn’t seem to realise that “survival of the fittest” applies not only to individuals within a species but also to whole species. In nature a species of animals doesn’t automatically have a “right” to live - it earns its “right” by competing with other species in the “fitness” stakes. That’s why Dinosaurs disappeared. Man has reached his present privileged position as a species by becoming “fittest” animal of all (fitness not merely being a physical characteristic). Because man is now so powerful, the “fitness” of other animals, or their “right” to live, can only be defined in
terms of their relation to man. In other words, insofar as animals “compete” with man, whether for food, or the space that grows man’s food, or by spreading human disease ,or by posing a direct physical threat to man, then man has no choice but, to choose how to relate to these animals – to choose what “rights” they have in his eyes – to choose whether or not they can live. Man is fittest; by nature´s “rules” it is fitness that determines “right” to live; therefore man earns the greatest right” to live. This isn’t to say that man’s present power doesn’t give him a grave responsibility, or that he shouldn’t deeply consider the ethics of his actions. The question as to what is the optimum size of the human population is very important, and no doubt extremely complex - too complex for me! One can but admire Lizzie Thorpe’s willingness to face the consequences of her convictions but let me try to answer her question: “What right have we to assume that human life is more valuable than animals?” Well, a particular thing is only seen as “valuable” by an individual, or by a collection individuals with a similar valuation of it. My life is more valuable to me than a cow’s life. Presumably a cow’s life is more valuable to it than my life. But people have to decide what’s valuable to people which may include a concern for cows – and we can only leave cows, cockroaches, etc, to decide their “values”, for themselves. If there is a God maybe I am no more valuable to Him/Her than a cow - but that’s His/Her business, and He/She keeps it to Himself/Herself. I presume that He/She intended me to use the mind that He/She gave me to decide my own values for myself. I understand Lizzie Thorpe’s claim that we have “alienated” ourselves from nature, and agree that to a great extent we don’t fully realise and appreciate our links with the rest of nature, but in a fundamental sense everything that man does is “natural” from making H-bombs to driving cars around London. Everything that exists is “natural” – simply because it exists. All animals are natural and man is an animal. His natural creations (eg London) may be somewhat different from the natural creations of ants, say, — but no loss “natural” for that. And of course many of man’s creations (eg Hbombs) and actions need not be in some sense “good” — but that’s too complex a matter to pursue here.
If “nature” didn’ t intend us to “place such a high value on life” then why did it give so many animals a fear of death? I am at the centre of my mental universe and Lizzie Thorpe is at the centre of hers - that’s not a “myth” but a basic fact of existence – a “law of nature” (as she puts it) if one likes. Human consciousness is such that each one of us inescapably has our own unique perspective on “reality”. I agree with John Score that orthodox medicine often seems to be somewhat “illogical” – but I can’t accept the whole of his argument. Even if “germs” don’t “cause” disease they seem in practice to have a major part to play in spreading infectious ones. Is John Score claiming that with his healthy “body fluids” he could expose himself to, and could resist, all the infectious bugs orthodox medicine could muster? And, if so, why doesn’t he, and others who believe in the power of a “healthy blood stream”, issue a challenge to orthodox medicine to inflict its worst on them. One of the sensation-seeking newspapers would be a good medium (if they wanted maximum publicity) for conclusively demonstrating, their case. As to symptons “automatically and in due course” disappearing when the cause is removed, let’s take my favourite example of rabies. Someone who tragically has the symptoms of rabies, whatever “causes”’ are removed (including rabid dogs), will only lose his symptoms when he dies. (As far as I´m aware only one person in history has lived through rabies - thanks to intensive medical care.) Perhaps Mark Thompson could explain how being bitten by a rabid dog (to use my familiar example again) is “only the last, final manifestation of an inbalance, a sickening that starts in the soul of man, and works its way through to the body”. Are saints impervious to the likes of rabid dogs? Where’s the evidence? Volunteer saints come forward! And perhaps Mark Thompson could tell me just what “the cosmic law of BALANCE” is - who discovered it and what is the evidence for it? Harry Mather writes: “If I had my children inmunised I know that I would be subjecting them to a known risk of death or permanent harm.” But what is the risk that his children would be subjected to by not being immunised? That is the problem, and presumably it is complicated by the fact that the greater the proportion of a population immunised
the less the risk to the remainder, while to some extent individual “risk” will vary with individual health. “Risks” are determined from surveying populations, not looking at individuals who may, in some way, be exceptional. An uninformed layman can validly object to immunisation procedures on ethical grounds, but the subject is so complex that a brief dabble in it is unlikely to lead to sound conclusions as to the general efficacy of immunisation. A perusal of the weighty volumes on immunology in a local library is sufficient to make an intelligent person realise that there is very much more to the matter than indicated by the mind-boggling antivaccination leaflets, full of carefully selected statistics and partial arguments that leave one wondering what the other side of the case is. Is there really a monstrous, world-wide conspiracy (which must reach into all the universities, medical laboratories, etc) to suppress and distort the truth, which, the anti-vaccinators claim, is that all vaccination is worse than useless, and that all vaccinators are either wicked charlatans or idiots? I find this earthshattering claim difficult to believe, without good straightforward evidence, but if it is true it’s about time that all animal (and human) welfare-groups started to shout it from the rooftops. If it could be demonstrated to the population at large it wouldn’t only be “animal lovers” that would support the antivaccinators, and an extremely immoral exploitation of animals could be stopped. Aren’t there any vegans truly and scientifically well-informed about the facts of the matter? Harry Mather makes an interesting point about long-term studies. As to the many alternative therapies – acupuncture, homoeopathy, herbs, radionics, radiasthesia, spiritual healing, Nature Cure, flower remedies, to name but a few – I would be interested to know how the layman can determine the whole truth about these, or orthodox medicine, without devoting his life to the subject. I suspect that even a whole team of scientists, dedicated for a lifetime to nothing but the “truth” would find it difficult to sift out the grains from the chaff. One thing’s for sure, many illnesses get better (and many don’t) whether one has faith in the rays emanating from little pink men in flying saucers or faith in the miraculous effects of Garlic. People tend to believe what they want to
believe – and especially if they make a living out of it. Obviously a healthy diet goes a long way to ensuring a healthy body (and mind); Dr Stanton himself has a lot to say about that. But, in particular instances exactly what a “healthy” diet is isn’t always easy to discern. No two people have identical metabolisms. Given that one has some awareness of the facts – of the options open to one – it becomes possible to make some kind of rational ethical choice. But the ethics of the matter are something that ultimately rest with one’s own conscience. I know few of the facts about vaccination, or its alternatives, but I find somewhat abhorrent the thought of defenceless laboratory animals being subjected to suffering. But there are great problems with strictly defining or measuring levels of suffering, and I can’t readily condemn those people who experiment on animals sincerely believing they are pursuing humanitarian ends. One can believe that they’re mistaken – that the end doesn’t justify the means – but one can understand them. That is not to say that the millions of “frivolous” experiments on animals are not patently immoral. And if there are alternatives to the more productive animal medical experiments then those too are clearly very wrong. But just what are the facts?
Since there has been some talk about changing the title of the magazine to suit the purposes of expansion, first of all it might be worth, defining exactly what we are really going towards in the first place. Text: Veran Van Dam Reprinted from issue 10 Vegan Views, 1976. Bar the absorption of pure energies fruitarianism is the most advanced diet we can cope with and survive upon while maintaining health, in fact facilitating health since fruit in particular is an excellent anti-toxin, especially fruits which carry a lot of oxygen, which in turn clean out the bloodstream. But if food is important - including matters of biological cause-and-effect having a say in our output as creatures, spirits, souls, personalities, etc (insofar as wrong diet is likely to hinder a balanced, dynamic, creative expression) - it’s’ surely not what we are really all about, right? We’re trying to change a world (starting with ourselves) because we recognise that the world as it is from the human angle, etc, is pretty pathetic, and that if we do not change we are likely to perish, for various reasons: overpopulation, pollution, war, psychological stress… We also know that the bulk of the change cannot come from the old system because it is too ingrained in its own ways, and because of corruption of every sort on every level, including selfinterest, ignorance, ego-projection, and so on, it has an inertia which protects it from change. So what we are really on about is wholesome but radical change (therefore Dee, Stuarts and Mia North’s title suggestions in VV9 of “Alternatives” or “Change” are spot-on in principle.) Evolution is all about change. Nature changes all the time, nothing is ever entirely the same, though there are undercurrents which change little, over fairly vast periods. Our Universe – even when you look at it from a Creator point of view - is a matter of ideas and trial and error. We go from rough to what may be considered creatively functional, tending towards perfection, yet always becoming better until we master the ability to change at will – you know stories of Adepti and Master who theoretically have transcended the limitations of their environments and bodies, yet who still live within them if such is their wish, or who may partake of a (theoretically, demonstration pending) finer universe where harmony is a realised state, where there is no discord and no hypocrisy involved. When I meet meat-eaters I think of them first of all as spirits, secondly as personalities, and finally as a dying breed! Because of conditions as they
ood is very important, and a diet omitting the exploitation of animals seems necessary if we are ever to get beyond the hypocrisy, not to mention the cruelty, of that exploitation. The Eskimos have little choice in their food cycle; because of their geographical location they would die without animal food. Similarly some Amerind tribes had little choice in winter time, and therefore had to kill buffalos and other animals to survive yet they did so with full respect for the animals, and used every single part of what they killed so that the animals involved were fully honoured as creatures of the Great Spirit the Amerinds who hunted had a great respect, for life generally, and hunted only because not to hunt meant their annihilation. We have not got such an excuse, since we can presently survive quite adequately without kilting animals. Yet we also know that plants are living things, so is it less hypocritical to eat plants than it is to eat animals? Admittedly, if we eat a vegetable(s) picked towards the culmination of its lifecycle prior to natural decay we seem to be scarcely interfering with its life, and in some respects we may be extending the essence of that life by absorbing its constituents into our own organisms (strangely enough we do know of tribes of cannibals who particularly and deliberately ate the brains of their enemies or victims in order to acquire their power, etc - so the argument has two edges at least to it, like most arguments!) Then we may reckon with a diet which uses the by-prodructs/seeds of plants, ie fruits, nuts, pulses, seeds, and grain (albeit the latter is on the borderline between seed and the plant itself.) So long as we tend to the needs and furtherance of the species of the plants involved I’m pretty sure the spirits of the plants don’t mind.
Vintage vegan views
exist upon the Earth there is almost no chance of meat-eaters being able to survive without change towards veganism/fruitarianism without calling into expression farms or factories where meat would be manufactured entirely synthetically, without involving animals at all. Considering the progress of technology that is not even a very farfetched idea. Whether it is desirable is something else. One of the most important, things about food is not just the chemical content but the VITALITY (“life-charge” or “Prana” in Sanskrit) which it holds. In some respects it may be the other way around: it would be the vitality of the stuff which gives it its chemical definition, or else an interaction between standard form-composition type and pranic vitality which makes it what it is. Fresh fruit is very high in prana, dried fruit less so, and extracts of fruit taken in capsule form (eg vitamins) even less - and likewise with all other substances. Synthetic meat manufactured in factories would in all likelihood contain very nearly no prana at all - in which case those who ate this synthetic meat, would increasingly lack bodily vitality themselves, fall prey to just about any type of disease, and eventually die off. Since the only way to increase meat production at this point would be to raise cattle on ever greater portions of land it is improbable that animal-meat will be in circulation in any great quantity in the near future - unless the population of human-beings is vastly reduced (“strategically destroyed” as an army general might put it although Nature might enter in on the act long before someone goes and depresses a number of deadly buttons). What most people do not want to realise is that we are already well into a survival crisis which as yet is still veiled by the dubious comforts of modern civilisation, apathy and ignorance. Those who are survival-conscious need to be most informed about the general state of the planet. So we need more information, more communication, and more radical pilot projects. Like it’s no good trying to change the life-courses of others until you can propose a viable alternative which you can prove is practical, creative, and likely to survive pressure. If things are bad now, they will be far worse in ten years time -irrespective of technological progress and all that. In twenty years time either a significant number of people will be living a wholesome, viable alternative lifestyle, or else
we’ll ‘be running like suicidal lemmings towards the edge of nowhere. Our only chance is to change FAST. The faster we change, the better our chances of survival. If we fail we’ll be leaving little for future potential generations to go on, let alone ourselves. The somewhat altered picture is that in the next few years humanity may be drastically reduced in numbers by natural terrestrial movements (relatively catastrophical from our point of view, but perhaps entirely necessary from the planet’s need to keep in balance), in which case the hypothetical survivors will have more room to breathe in (if the algae in the oceans hasn’t been hopelessly poisoned by pollution, and if the great tree areas haven’t been destroyed by the greed of man for wood materials, thereby removing all possibilities for the creation of new oxygen supplies), and conceivably will be wiser in their construction of a new world and civilisation in or as influenced by the energies of Aquarius. So to sum all that up, yes, it might be as well to change the magazines name to something like CHANGE, and endeavour to portray the Aquarian civilization of the future both fantastically and factually. Change in consciousness, change in lifestyle, change in technology… and daring to be radical enough rather than bowing down to pressure from those who are travelling either slower, or riding the demon of their strict self-interest without thought for the planet as a whole, and all that which it contains.
Vintage vegan views
Surviving as a vegan abroad
We have found that it is surprisingly easy to survive as a vegan abroad so long as you are prepared to accept a frugal diet. In both Greece and Israel we lived on a basic diet of cucumber and tomato salad with onion and green pepper. We ate plenty of plain peanuts, for protein, and of course the fresh seasonal fruit. Text: Richard Komble & Carol Marples Reprinted from issue 10 Vegan Views, 1976. visited both specialised in dairy produce and fish. We visited the “vegetarian village” Amirim and thought it a beautiful place but found communication very difficult as we do not speak Hebrew. We took a jar of Barmene to Israel with us for B12 and as a welcome savoury taste. We found we did not need any tablets and remained very healthy although the heat seemed to sap our strength. A word of warning about the fruit in Israel. It should be thoroughly washed as the Israelis use dubious insectisides.
n Greece we ate mainly in the restaurants as they are reasonably cheap and were pleasant social places. We always explored the kitchen to inspect the food before ordering, which is quite acceptable in Greece. However, conveying the word, “vegetarian”’(or “vegan”) is offten difficult as the Greeks do not have a translatory word. We were able to eat tomatoes stuffed with white rice and spaghetti napolitana and vegetables such as courgettes, aubergines, various beans and potatoes. We found to our cost that it was better to ignore the soups, altogether as they usually had fish oil added to them. The bread in Greece is always, white but we were able to find some german rye bread in some of the larger towns. We found that if we wanted our food served warm then we had to eat early, at lunchtime or evening, otherwise the food was invariably cold. A small stove would have been very useful in Greece as all the stores sold corn and grain which was not served in the restaurants. The kibbutzisms we visited provided us with the very same basic diet given above but with good vegetable soups. The lunch-time vegetarian meals were always egg or cheese based but we were quite happy to have the supporting vegetables which were usually rice and potato with cabbage or green beans. Occasionally sweetcorn or chick-peas would be given as an alternative. Plums or stewed pears were the customary desserts. Bread on the kibbutz is grey coloured. We were only able to obtain wholemeal loaf in Jerusalem (and at Amirin). There are vegetarian restaurants and health reform shops in Israel but the two restaurants we
Vintage vegan views
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