David Haye, Vegan Boxer, KO’s Taunting Opponent

david haye vegan boxer

“I think,” says David Haye, “that I’m now fitter than I’ve ever been. I punch harder than ever. I’m more determined. I’m faster…” (Read more)

David Haye at 35 is fighting better than ever since adopting a vegan diet in 2014. He recently enjoyed a first round knockout victory against Australian Mark de Mori. The victory was made all the sweeter after de Mori taunted him about his veganism at the pre-match interview (see below)

Haye chose to become vegan for ethical reasons (after watching the documentary Earthlings) and because he realised it increased his recovery times and helped him to keep physically strong. He had previously used a plant based diet to lose surplus weight before fights.

His main reason for choosing veganism however was for the animals.

5 Ways Vegans Can Save The Planet

go vegan to save the planet

Thank you to vegnews.com for their article on the ways veganism can benefit the planet. We are living at a critical time and our actions now are vital in saving our world for future generations of humans and other animals who share it with us.

Of course there are many other benefits to veganism – refusing to support animal cruelty and living a healthier lifestyle being two popular reasons for people choosing to go vegan. For companies there are financial benefits – a new report has revealed that the global plant-based milk sector will be worth $16.3 billion in 2018.

Take a look at these five benefits to veganism, taken from vegnews.com, along with earth-friendly tips on living in a sustainable way.

It Protects Our Soil

You can get almost all vital nutrients you need from eating plant-based foods (save vitamins D and B12)—and that’s because minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and amino acids are in our soil. Researchers have found that raising animals for consumption contributes to erosion and nutritional depletion of soil, plus desertification and deforestation. As a result, the US alone has lost about a third of its topsoil from factors that include livestock agriculture.

Earth-friendly tip: Chose mainly organic, non-GMO food to help keep our soil (and your body) healthy and nutrient-rich.

It Conserves Water

More than 70 percent of the earth’s fresh water is used in agriculture of plants and animals: it takes 100 to 200 times more water to produce a pound of beef than it does to grow a pound of plant foods. Plus, the United Nations has reported that the livestock sector is most likely the largest source of water pollution. So, skipping the meat may have more of a positive planetary impact than turning off the water while brushing your teeth or taking a shorter shower! Consuming seafood is also an issue, as we face problems with over-fishing, habitat damage, and species endangerment.

Earth-friendly tip: Skip the pre-rinse when using a dishwasher and only run it when full—this can save up to 7,300 gallons of water a year.

It Saves Energy

It’s no secret that we have an energy crisis on our hands—oil prices are skyrocketing and the world is scrambling to find a more peaceful method to power our homes and cars. Meanwhile, citizens are urged to conserve energy, and one of the best ways of doing so is by skipping out on meat and dairy. Case and point: a Cornell study found that producing animal-based protein requires eight times more fossil-fuel energy than creating plant-based protein.

Earth-friendly tip: Next time you buy a kitchen appliance, get one that is Energy Star-approved, and only use electronic appliances when necessary.

It Clears The Air

You can smell a factory farm from a mile away—literally, those places stink! And it’s not just an unpleasant smell—this form of air pollution is a major problem. You’ve probably heard that cows release a lot of methane in their farts and nitrous oxide in their manure, and these emissions are largely connected to climate change. That’s why a report by the UN concluded that animal agriculture is a larger contributor to greenhouse gas than all forms of transportation. And speaking of the previously mentioned issue of deforestation, when rainforests are cleared to create livestock pastures, carbon is released into the air.

Earth-friendly tip: Buy local, plant-based food to cut back on the distance it has to travel from farm to plate, thus reducing the amount of emissions created in the process.

It Combats World Hunger

Hundreds of millions of people around the world are currently suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and yet 70 percent of the grain grown in the United States is fed to livestock. Even animals in poor countries are fed cereal, as well as legumes and vegetables, in order to produce meat and dairy. All in all, more than 700 million tons of human-grade food goes into animal agriculture each year, which could instead be used to eradicate hunger.

Earth-friendly tip: Only order or make as much food as you can eat in one sitting to prevent waste. If you happen to have leftovers, store them in a reusable glass or stainless-steel container and compost any inedible scraps.

Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies

cookies
Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 12
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
9 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup dairy free spread
  2. 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  3. 3/4 cup caster sugar
  4. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 tablespoon milled flax
  6. little cold water to mix with the flax
  7. 2 dessertspoons apple cider vinegar
  8. 1 teaspoon salt
  9. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  10. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  11. 2 1/4 cups flour
  12. 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips or vegan chocolate broken up into small pieces
  13. non-dairy milk - if needed
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius (375 degrees fahrenheit)
  2. Mix together butter, vanilla essence, caster sugar and brown sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl mix the flax with a little cold water, just enough to make a paste, and add to the mixture.
  4. Add the apple cider vinegar and beat until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together salt, baking soda, baking powder, and flour.
  6. Add the dry ingredient mixture to wet ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing all the time. Add the non-dairy milk if needed to create a dough.
  7. Once the dough reaches a uniform consistency fold in 1/2 cup (or more) chocolate chips.
  8. Roll out the dough and use a cutter to cut out the cookies, or just use a tablespoon as a measure and create the cookie shape in your hands.
  9. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Notes
  1. Add 1/2 cup desiccated coconut to the mixture for a deliciously crunchy coconut taste!
Eat Plants Not Animals http://www.eatplantsnotanimals.com/

Animal Testing In Universities

bristol uni kills animals

For World Week of Action For Animals In Laboratories, the anti-animal testing organisation, Animal Justice Project, last night held a protest in Bristol, UK against Bristol University. The university has repeatedly refused to respond to the group’s Freedom of Information requests with regards to its animal testing. Protesters stood on a footbridge over the approach to the busy M32 motorway and held illuminated signs against the night sky that read out ‘Bristol Uni Kills Animals’. Drivers responded with beeps in support.

The hidden, largely forgotten, victims of animal testing suffer behind the closed doors of Universities worldwide. Subjected to appalling, useless experiments, often abused, always neglected and starved of love, these animals include monkeys, dogs, cats, mice and rats and more.

According to the organisation, 4 million experiments take place on animals each year; half of these at universities. Their ‘Campus Without Cruelty‘ campaign aims to educate both students and staff of the animal experimentation taking place at their universities.

Animal Justice Project said of their protest “We are here specifically to focus on Bristol University for two reasons. The first reason is their complete failure to respond to freedom of information requests over several years. The second reason is because of the cruel animal experiments that we have uncovered as an organisation. Half of all animal experimentation takes place at universities and we believe this is unacceptable.”

See news coverage of the protest at: www.bristolpost.co.uk

Image source: Animal Justice Project

Dewi Sant and the little fishes

Thank you to our guest blogger Julie for her reflection of an Easter weekend spent in Wales; with wild dolphins, Saint David and vegan food:

“When conservation activists suggest that communities who’ve depended on hunting and especially fishing or whaling, should change and use their skills to promote ecotourism we’re often accused of wanting those communities to take up a source of income reliant on modern values and transient activities. Tourism however has a long history.

I spent Easter in West Wales, a seemingly remote and now sparsely populated part of Britain. I visited small coastal settlements such as Aberporth where you can compare photographs taken at the end of the 19th century with the harbour side village today. That’s the site of the lime kiln, that’s where a row of cottages once stood, that’s where the boats were hauled up onto the beach and here a modern installation shows the skeletal frame of a half built fishing vessel.

It’s good that some things have gone. People no longer heat their homes with a mixture of coal dust and clay and the typhoid epidemic that wiped out the poor remnants of a slate quarrying community nearby is a thing of the past too. But while there is no more need for the traffic of small coastal cargo boats that moved about the necessities of life a hundred years ago something else has vanished from this coast. The herring.

As with the North Sea coast of Britain, vast shoals of herring also used to travel up the Welsh coast. The fishing boats followed them and hauled up nets full of the little fish. The cry of street traders was “herring with two kinds of roe!” The fish were all caught when they arrived to spawn. Not surprisingly the fishery collapsed along with the coastal freight trade in the early years of the 20th century and the communities have never recovered.

Further south along the coast you reach the smallest city in Britain, St. Davids. The cathedral, dedicated to the local saint who gave his name to the city, is small and has a history of just getting by during the hard times of the Reformation and the Civil Wars of the 17th century. Saint David (Dewi Sant in Welsh) founded a small community of monks on the cliffs in the 6th century A.D. No-one is quite sure exactly where as they would have lived in simple beehive shaped cells made from the local stones and leaving little trace when they left.

During the 9th and 10th centuries two bishops of this community were killed during Viking raids and as a consequence the community moved to the sheltered, hidden away spot that is the site of St David’s today. In the 11th century the cathedral was rebuilt, the invading Norman kings having tried to stamp out the veneration of Saint David gave up and decided to exploit the cult instead. They lobbied the Pope who agreed that St David’s could be a place of pilgrimage and that two trips to St Davids’ equaled one trip to Rome and three trips could even equal a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Pilgrims flooded to St Davids’, they all needed accommodation, so a hall was built for them as part of the Bishop’s Palace. The rich gave money and goods, the poor gave their labour and worked for the Church to pay for their keep. The small city grew and prospered from these medieval tourists.
You may wonder why I’m writing so much about this Saint – St David is now the patron Saint of Wales, he’s all about wearing a daffodil on 1st March, or is it a leek? And anyway, isn’t he something to do with rugby?

Dewi Sant didn’t play rugby and didn’t have any special link to daffodils. There is a legend that the leek or the daffodil became symbols of Wales when a Welsh noble on the way to becoming king of England ordered his troops to wear a leek or a daffodil as a badge of identity. The daffodil may have been chosen as it flowers around 1st March, the traditional date of St David’s death, but why the leek?

Many Christian ascetics didn’t eat meat, fish or dairy. Milk was believed to be made from blood and dairy products were called “white meats” and forbidden during times of fasting such as Lent. Many people recall the ignorance of the past which classed beavers and porpoises as “fish” and the Church told the faithful it was O.K. to eat them in Lent. Fewer recall that spiritual leaders such as Dewi lived on bread, “herbs” and water. In other words St David and his followers were vegan in order to live simply and take only the minimum that they needed from the world their God had given them. Leeks were a staple of the medieval diet and especially for the followers of Saint David.

The images of St David in the cathedral show him with a bird perched on his shoulder, much like that other Christian ascetic, St Francis. The Shrine of St David has been refurbished in recent years and contains a casket within which are a few ancient bones. All sites of pilgrimage needed relics and conveniently in the 13th century the clergy found what they declared to be the bones of St David in the cathedral churchyard. Of course this will have boosted the numbers of tourists, sorry, pilgrims, to the shrine.

The modern renovations and improvements have included a restaurant, the refectory. Bearing in mind the dietary rules of St David I walked through the newly rebuilt cloisters to the refectory entrance, hoping that I’d have no trouble finding a vegan meal and a coffee with soya milk. I read the bill of fayre with horror, Welsh beef and lamb featured heavily. The sound I heard may have been diners arranging their chairs around tables groaning with carcases, or it may have been Dewi Sant turning in his grave.

Back to the Ceredigion coast and the seaside town of New Quay where you will find two businesses willing to take tourists out to watch the famous population of bottlenose dolphins. One business will also take tourists out on fishing trips, the other doesn’t. I chose the latter.
In summer the resident families of dolphins are joined by pods travelling north to follow the spawning mackerel. In the past they would have also followed the herring.

The children on the boat grinned and whooped as we saw a small family, two adults and a calf. The calf keeping so close to his/her mother they almost touched. It was wonderful as the dolphins chose to approach us, the adult first and nearest and the mother and calf more cautiously. A spray blown child next to me agreed that this was the only way to see dolphins, wild and free and that keeping them in tanks in aquaria is cruel.

The dolphins, the seals and the seabirds draw modern tourists to West Wales. The tourists all need somewhere to stay, food to eat and all the services of modern life. The wildlife can save and enrich the human communities. From the scientists recording the sightings and behaviour of the dolphins to the child who has just seen her first dolphin, they’re all changed by the experience for the better.

I returned to the vegetarian guest house where I was staying and to a magnificent vegan dinner including an excellent leek pie. I hope Dewi Sant would’ve approved.

As he lay dying the saint told his followers, “do as I have and take care of the little things”. From his community on the cliff tops Dewi Sant would surely have seen the dolphins and whales following the little fishes up the coast, their hunting beneath the waves shown by the seabirds gathered to take their share of the fish near the surface. “Take care of the little things.”

 

Cruel Canadian Seal Slaughter Begins Again

‘A lone baby harp seal cried on a ice floe off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The seal was only about 14 days old, and she had already witnessed a lifetime of horror. Hunters had come there. They hadn’t killed her, but they’d shot and beaten all of her friends, who were a few days older than her. Now, only their blood remained. As the baby seal crawled across the ice, crying out in confusion, her white fur soaked in their red blood.’ (The Dodo, 28 March 2017).

Each year the snow and ice off Canada’s East Coast becomes stained with the blood of thousands of baby seals, cruelly clubbed or shot to death for their fur, which is then sold to make luxury items. Often they will be skinned alive. The killings are carried out by Canadian fishermen and paid for by the Canadian government. Fishermen have emptied the oceans of fish and now blame seals and dolphins for their empty nets, therefore they are only too glad to make extra money from killing these innocent creatures.

Fortunately there is pressure on the Canadian government for the slaughters to stop from marine conservation and animal welfare organisations, along with well known celebrities; such as Brigitte Bardot, PETA Honorary Director Pamela Anderson and Sea Shepherd supporter and actress Michelle Rodriguez. This has ensured that the market for seal fur is getting smaller each year, with Switzerland being the latest country to ban seal fur.

Despite the clear and much reported evidence of the extreme cruelty of the seal hunt and the huge global public outcry against it, the Canadian government continues to pour money into the industry.

The seals have other issues threatening their survival, with the ice sheets they rely on to give birth each year disappearing at an alarming rate.

Please read more about the cruel Canadian seal hunts at: www.ifaw.org and www.seashepherd.org.

Please never ever buy fur, even if you believe it to be fake. We must remove the demand for any fur products. Then perhaps fur bearing animals will be allowed to live in peace.

US Declares Open Season On Baby Bears And Wolves

baby bear and mum

Update: Heartbreaking news from the US as the Senate have now passed S.J. RES. 18 by a vote of 51 to 47. This now allows the killing of denning wolves and pups, hibernating bears and other animals on supposed national refuge land in Alaska.

In February the US House of Representatives voted to overturn the ‘fair chase’ rule which had banned the use of hunting methods which were felt to be ‘unfair’; such as baiting, traps and snares, using airplanes for tracking and shooting Bears, Wolves and Coyotes on national preserve land in Alaska. The rule also forbade the killing of Bear cubs, mother Bears with cubs and the killing of Wolves and Coyotes during the ‘denning’ season when pups are just being born.

It could very soon be perfectly legal to go into a Bear, Wolf or Coyote’s den and kill the entire family, including the cubs.

There is a petition against this becoming law – please go to www.thepetitionsite.com and sign and share the petition with your friends.

Read more at www.onegreenplanet.org

Peanut Butter Blondies

peanut butter blondies
Peanut Butter Blondies
Yields 12
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  2. 1/3 cup vegetable or grapeseed oil
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  5. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1 cup plain flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/3 cup dairy free white or dark chocolate chips
  10. 1/3 cup peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180C). Lightly grease a metal 8" x 8" baking dish.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter, oil and sugar.
  3. Stir in the milk, vanilla essence and chocolate chips.
  4. Stir in the flour, salt and baking powder.
  5. Mix the flour in then mix the dough until soft and very thick.
  6. Transfer to the baking pan and use a spatula to press into place.
  7. Sprinkle on the peanuts and lightly press them into the top.
  8. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, the edges should be just colouring. The top should appear soft.
  9. Remove from the oven and cool completely for at least 3 hours before slicing.
Adapted from www.godairyfree.org
Eat Plants Not Animals http://www.eatplantsnotanimals.com/

Dolphin Superpod Captured In Taiji, Japan

dolphin drive hunts taiji japan

On Friday 20th January a super pod of 300+ Bottlenose dolphins, containing many babies and juveniles, was captured in Taiji, Japan in a brutal drive hunt. These drive hunts use motor boats to force the dolphins into a cove, where they are then netted and trapped. They take place every day for six months of the year, from September through to March.

A lone dolphin managed to escaped the nets but wouldn’t leave his or her family, staying as close as possible to them throughout their ordeal. The pod were kept for 5 days with no food or shelter in freezing conditions. The pod was split into 3 to make it easier for the trainers to assess their suitability for captivity.

Dolphins have incredibly strong family bonds and many dolphins became caught in nets during the process and struggled to get back to their family members, with mothers desperate to reach their babies and young. During the 5 days, 4 dolphins died from stress and 100 dolphins were selected to be sold into the captive dolphin industry – many of them babies and juveniles. They will be starved, force fed dead, medicated fish and will exist in concrete tanks – never to see the ocean or their family members again.

After 5 days the remainder of the pod were driven back out to sea, many won’t survive. They have seen 100 of their pod taken into slavery, mothers who just days ago had babies now swam alone. This has been a horrific event even by Taiji’s standards.

The only positive is the awareness the Cove Guardians have been able to raise, with many news outlets covering the story for the first time. This is the only way we will end these horrific drive hunts; by removing the demand for captive dolphins, we will stop the drive hunts for good.

Please share with your friends and never, ever swim with captive dolphins – there is no beauty in stolen freedom.

Please read more at www.facebook.com/SeaShepherdCoveGuardiansOfficialPage

Image: Sea Shepherd Cove Guardians

Death of ‘Blackfish’ Tilikum

Tilikum - Getty Images

On Friday 6th January, aged just 35 years old, the Orca Tilikum passed away from a bacterial infection caused by his captivity. In the wild Tilikum could have easily lived to 70 plus years old – a much loved wild Orca known as Granny recently died aged 105.

Tilikum was an Orca (sometimes known as Killer Whales) who was captured in Iceland in 1983 at Hafnarfjörður, near Reykjavík. He was stolen from his family unit (known as a pod) at just 2 years old. In the wild most Orcas will stay with or very near their family pod for life. After a year he was transferred to Sealand of the Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia, he was then transferred in 1992 to SeaWorld Orlando, Florida.

The effects of being held in a tiny barren concrete tank took its toll on Tilikum and he was involved in the death of three people; the first a trainer at the now closed Sealand of the Pacific, the second a man who was trespassing in Tilikum’s enclosure at SeaWorld Orlando, and the third and most well known Dawn Brancheau, a senior SeaWorld Orlando trainer in 2010.

In 2013 Tilikum was featured in the documentary Blackfish which helped enormously to educate the public about the suffering of Orcas in captivity .

Tilikum was a big Orca, the largest Orca in captivity, and he was used by SeaWorld to sire calves by being forcibly masturbated. He sired 21 calves, of whom eleven are (currently) still alive. At 22.5 feet (6.9m) long, he weighed around about 12,500 pounds (5,700kg). His pectoral fins were 7 feet (2.1m) long, his 6.5 foot tall (2.0m) dorsal fin was collapsed completely to his left side due to the effects of captivity.

Despite worldwide condemnation and repeated calls for SeaWorld to release the Orcas into an ocean sanctuary, they refuse to grant their captives freedom and continue to spout utter rubbish about caring for their welfare.

SeaWorld must now put a plan into action to release its remaining captives, including Tilikum’s offspring, the other Orcas, Dolphins, Beluga whales, Sea Lions, Penguins and Walruses – who all suffer in this artificial environment with its concrete enclosures, screaming crowds and loud music.

It’s too late for Tilikum but let his legacy be the freedom of his fellow inmates.

Swim freely and in peace now Tilikum, November 1981 – 6 January 2017.

Image source: Getty Images