The Crumby Blogger Recognition Award

In the wonderful world of blogging there exists The Blogger Recognition Award. The award is a way of spreading a friendly word about your fellow blogger. 

bloggeraward.png

The Wanderlust Vegans were lovely enough to nominate my blog! Woohoo… and thank you Wanderlust Vegans – your blog is mega!

The Blogger Recognition Award requires bloggers to tell you about how they started blogging, why they blog and to give some advice to other bloggers. So now it’s my turn. Here I go…

How I started Blogging

If you didn’t know already, I’m super passionate about animals… But that’s not how I got into blogging. Technically I was tricked into it. My Beautiful Friend Louise (also vegan) was yearning to do something to raise awareness for her passion (children’s rights). She wanted to start a blog and to help her get started, I offered to start a blog alongside her but mine would be about animals and veganism. Three weeks later, I had a blog and Louise had decided to focus on her teaching career and starting a Masters. Like that ever helped anyone?! 😉

Fortunately for me, Louise insisted I carry on… So here I am, 22 posts later. Thanks Louise 💛

Why I blog

Before starting this blog, writing had been a struggle for me. I have zero experience in writing and quite frankly lack confidence in the topic. I am fully aware that my grammar, punctuation and any sort of writing style lack charm and correctness. Ironically, you’ve probably noticed a few mistakes in that last sentence too… But this blog is for the animals, not me.

Animals are defenceless in this world. We (the human race) use animals for all we selfishly can take from them but surely it should be our responsibility to look after the defenceless, not take advantage of them. Factory farming, animal testing, clothing made from animals and deforestation burn a fire in my stomach. I want it all to stop. Like many others in the vegan/animal activism world, I feel desperately powerless for the animals. I wish I could save them all but unfortunately I am overwhelmed by the feeling that there is nothing that I can do to help them. However, since starting this blog lots of people have contacted me to tell me how they feel about eating meat, whether it be in support of veganism or not. Regardless, it gets people thinking about what they eat and that’s one step closer to helping animals. It all helps. 

Advice for my fellow bloggers

I’m still new to blogging so I’m not sure what advice I would give to other bloggers, or whether I’m qualified to… My unqualified advice would be to stay open-minded and most-definitely friendly. No one likes a mean blogger!

Lastly I’d like to nominate my current favourite bloggers to carry on the lovely sentiment of The Blogger Recognition Award. I’m very excited to hear how and why they started blogging. Those bloggers are: 

  1. Rae Likes Froot: One of my favourite vegan bloggers at the moment. I find her posts incredibly funny and always look forward to her next post.
  2. There’s an Elephant in the Room blog: A very honest and hard-hitting blog. I would definitely recommend a read.  
  3. Dig Out Your Soul: This is a beautifully written blog for the animals with incredibly strong messages. 
  4. The Bruges Vegan: A great food blog based out of Belgium that I would highly recommend.
  5. MooFreeMama: A mega, healthy vegan blog offering us an insight into how easy it is to be vegan.
  6. Susan’s Journey to Wellness: A beautiful blog written very honestly by a new vegan about her journey with depression and anxiety. 

If the above bloggers would like to keep the award going, then the rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give advice to new bloggers.
  • Select other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
  • Keep writing mega blog posts for me to read! 😀

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Crumby Tale of Rice and Broccoli

The vegan myth: Vegans don’t eat anything (except rice and broccoli, of course).

On World Vegan Day 2016 I received a message from Mega Friend Jayyyyyviss (that’s how I say his name). After making the huge commitment to be vegetarian for the day, he was getting anxious about what to eat. His message went something like this…

jayyyyyyvissmessage

To give you a bit of background, Jayyyyviss is a meat-lover. He grew up with meat, he likes meat, he wants to eat meat. So why would he know what to eat for World Vegan Day as he hasn’t had to think about it before? It did make me laugh though and I have teased him since, whenever the oppotunity arises. 

Rice and broccoli is the blandest meal that I could possibly imagine. What was Jayyyyviss trying to say about vegan food? In case you were wondering, he had vegetarian pizza for dinner.

From November, this encounter played on my mind. This could be the reason why some people don’t want to give up meat, because they simply can’t think of what they could eat if they didn’t eat meat. Vegetarianism may not appeal to someone if there isn’t variety and choice. Fortunately, there is!

Since that day several people have asked me about vegetarian and vegan alternatives. My Mega Mother-in-law suggested I make a recipe page as it could be super helpful to people that want ideas for meals. So I did it! Click here if you’d like to take a look or find it via the menu bar. Instead of adding every recipe that I come across online, I have only listed the ones that Wonderful Husband and I have enjoyed making (some recipes didn’t make the cut). I hope the page helps anyone looking for healthy, vegan or healthy vegan options 😀

Side note: Here are photos of some yummy vegan food I had whilst in New Zealand, all cooked by my Mega Mother-in-law. See… Vegans eat more than just rice and broccoli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Non-Vegan Valentine

Valentines Day is tomorrow! What a great excuse to talk about Wonderful Husband.
 
Social media forums are filled with posts about vegans unable to sustain healthy relationships with non-vegans. However, I have had a very different experience because without the support of Wonderful Husband, I would never have been able to make the transition.
 
To give you a bit of background on Wonderful Husband’s diet: Wonderful Husband was born in India but at a young age moved to New Zealand and grew up there. His diet consisted of yummy home-made curries and a frequent dose of KFC (a ritual after any sort of sporting activity). In his mid-twenties he moved to San Francisco. There his daily routine consisted of roasted chicken alongside a Wholefoods salad with a glass of almond milk (much healthier than KFC!). After we met and fell in love (Valentine’s Day post so love has to be featured somewhere) Wonderful Husband proposed. When he did this, I was a vegetarian and there was no talk of veganism so I don’t know if he (or I) realised what was to come…
 
During my transition to veganism, I would watch lots of videos and read lots of books. One of the first books I bought was Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism by Melanie Joy but before I could get round to reading it, Wonderful Husband had finished it. He wasn’t incredibly fulfilled by the book and so he bought another, more extensive, book which would give him more information: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Every night, Wonderful Husband would tell me a bit more about what happens to the animals in factory farms. At this point in time, he knew more than me.
 
It wasn’t long after reading Eating Animals that I made a full transition to veganism, which leads me to the question: Why isn’t Wonderful Husband vegan yet? I assumed that the books/videos etc. that helped me become vegan would help everyone else become vegan. However, that’s not how it works.
 
Wonderful Husband isn’t vegan because he likes the taste of meat… That reason is good enough for me. He’ll transition in his own time, if ever. Until then he has been the biggest supporter of my lifestyle to date. He will regularly find new vegan recipes for us to try, he’ll hold my hand and comfort me when I insist on watching a new animal-cruelty video, he will come to protests with me and sit out of sight to make sure I’m ok and aside from the odd can of tuna we have a 100% vegan household.
 
So in response to the keyboard warriors who claim that a vegan and a non-vegan cannot be happy together, you clearly haven’t found the right non-vegan. If someone isn’t supportive of your lifestyle choices, that isn’t anything to do with whether they eat meat or not. So I look forward to spending tomorrow with my Wonderful, non-vegan, Husband.
Happy Valentines Day everyone and thanks for reading 💛

What Did Vegans Ever Do to the Daily Mail?

Veganism is on the up but alas, for an unknown reason some newspapers, most particularly the Daily Mail, are taking umbrage with this. The most recent headline that caught my attention was 

Vegan mother is left with rolls of fatty deposits in her legs and arms that weigh almost 10 STONE after a condition causes them to swell

This article, published 20th January 2017, is about a lady with a crippling condition called lipoedema, which creates an incredibly painful fatty build up in limbs. In the article it states “The cause of the condition is unknown but there is often a family history in patients.” So nothing to do with veganism. In actual fact, aside from the headline, ‘vegan’ is mentioned only one more time in the article and it is the second word in the first sentence:

‘A vegan mother…’ Then never again. Strange?

In my opinion, this seems like newspapers want readers to link veganism with a debilitating disease. What do you think?

Another Daily Mail article that caught my attention was published 9th January 2017. The article documents the story of a vegan activist from Brighton, Marc Gurney. Marc had spent time putting stickers on meat items in supermarkets to create awareness for veganism. For example a sticker would read: ‘By eating me you will cause another of my kind to be killed’. Personally I found his activism quite peaceful and thought-provoking… But maybe that’s because I’m also vegan. However, the headline on the Daily Mail article was

Vegan wages war on meat-eaters by plastering supermarket shelves with graphic stickers to guilt-trip shoppers out of buying sausages, eggs and even MILK ‘because it’s Veganuary’

‘Wages war’ could be a slight exaggeration. 

I understand that newspapers are in the business of making money and not saving the planet. However, it does make me wonder whether they should be held morally-accountable for their news articles. Instead of writing biased articles, should the papers have a responsibility to understand why people are vegan and then report the events with a new perspective? Nothing good comes from inciting hatred.

On the other hand, after contacting Marc, he explained to me that he was happy with what the Daily Mail had wrote. Had they not written such a biased and extreme article, he wouldn’t have received the enormous amount of publicity that he did. Instead of the article going unnoticed, it got nearly 1000 comments and shared over 3000 times. It got more people thinking about veganism than Marc could have ever imagined. It’s like Marc said

All publicity is good publicity in the vegan world!

He’s right. Although the woman’s debilitating illness had nothing to do with being plant-based it still got people thinking about veganism. Maybe I should write a letter of thanks to Daily Mail…

If Daily Mail wrote a positive article about veganism then imagine the good they could do for the animals and even the planet… Until then I’m going to agree with Marc and be grateful for the negative attention, because as long as people are thinking about veganism then we’re halfway there.

If Not For the Animals…

Studies show that most people become vegan because of their compassion towards animals. However there is a minority of vegans that consider themselves to be environmentalists first and foremost, one of those people being my friend Tony.

Tony had grown up with dogs and had always been a meat-eater. Occasionally he would dabble in vegetarianism for the animals but nothing stuck… Until one very insignificant day in Thailand when Tony decided to watch a documentary. That documentary was Cowspiracy.

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (available on Netflix) is one of the most renowned documentaries detailing the important link between veganism and the environment. It was made as an attempt to warn the public about the damaging effect that the factory farming industry is having on the planet. I would highly recommend everyone to watch this documentary. People that worry about watching graphic videos, you can feel at ease, there is no blood or gore in this, eye-opening, documentary.

It was the environmental and humanitarian message that spoke to Tony and overnight, Tony made the tremendous switch from meat-eater to vegan! He said 

“I always thought of myself as an environmentalist but I hadn’t made the connection between the environment and the agricultural industry. Once I realised, it was the last straw.”  

The following are some of the environmental and humanitarian problems that we now face as a consequence of factory farming. 

1. Over 80% of starving children live in countries where food is fed to animals, and the animals are eaten by western countries.

Problem: I will use India as an example. In 2013, UNICEF reported that India had over 61,000,000 starving children. India has a huge land mass which enables the growth of crops which could sufficiently feed the people living there. However, the farmers are paid a higher price for selling their animals and crop abroad to the Western World. This means there are insufficient crops to feed the people of India. 

To be more broad, we are currently growing enough food to feed 10 billion people (the global population is estimated at 7.4 billion) but at least 50% of grain is fed to livestock. 

Unfortunately factory farms are now being pushed into countries such as India and China (4th largest population of starving children). This means that more of their crops will be fed to the animals, which will be slaughtered and sent overseas, resulting in maybe even more starvation.

Solution: Reduce your meat, egg and dairy intake. By taking a stand against these industries you are not only doing your best to save animals but you are also saving the lives of childrena and adults in these poverty-stricken countries. 

 2. Animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of amazon destruction

Problem: The forests are cut down to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Not only does this result in a loss of habitat for millions of species (up to 137 plant, animal and insect species are lot every day!) but when trees are chopped down they release carbon into the atmosphere and significantly contribute to global warming. This is not only specific to the Amazon rainforest, unfortunately agriculture is estimated to be the cause of around 80% of deforestation worldwide.

Sadly the activists that fight for the survival of the Amazon are a threat to the money-makers in the factory farming industry (loggers, farmers, etc.). More than 150 environmental activists have been murdered in Brazil since 2012, most commonly by hired hitmen.

Solution: You can reduce your meat, egg and dairy intake. This will quickly decrease the demand for vast crops and livestock that factory farms currently produce and the rate of deforestation will slow down. It might even slow down so much to enable nature to recover what has been destroyed. 

3. Livestock and their byproducts account for 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gasses

Problem: Previous predictions on the greenhouse gasses contributed by animal agriculture had been grossly underestimated at 18%. Now they are estimated at a staggering 51%!

Greenhouse gasses are predominantly made up of water vapour, carbon dioxide and methane. The more of this gas that is introduced into the environment, the more the planet will slowly heat up. In a short time there will be more droughts and consequently more famine as crops do not receive the water they need to thrive. The sea level will also rise because of the warmer temperatures melting ice and snow. This will mean the land that is already just above sea-level will submerge. Not great!

At the rate we are going, emissions for agriculture are estimated to increase 80% by 2050 whereas energy related emissions are expected to increase only 20% by 2040. Unfortunately it has been reported that converting to wind and solar power will take 20+ years and £29.46 trillion dollars… We have the money but not the time. 

Solution: Eating less meat, egg and dairy would give the most rapid decrease in greenhouse gas and the consequent devestating effects to our planet. 

 4. Animal Agriculture is responsible for over a fifth of all fresh water consumption in the world

Problem: Many parts of the world have a depletion in their supply of fresh water and animal agriculture is a major cause. Did you know it takes

  • 15,415 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of beef
  • 5,988 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of pork
  • 4,325 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of chicken 
  • 2,497 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of rice
  • 1,849 litres of water to produce 1 kilo dried pasta 
  • 214 litres of water to produce 1 kilo of tomatoes
  • (link)

Globally, one in ten people lack access to safe water and 1.5 billion people are affected by water-related diseases every year, effecting the impoverished countries the most. The factory farming industry is destroying our fresh water reserves.

Solution: We reduce our meat, egg and dairy consumption. For every day one person is vegan, they save over 4000 litres of water.

5. We could see fishless oceans by 2048

Problem: The industrial fishing business is inefficient and destructive. The current situation is that three quarters of the world’s fisheries are exploited or depleted already. For every 1lb of fish caught, up to 5lbs of other marine species are caught, wounded and then discarded into the ocean where they will slowly die. Scientists estimate as many as 650,000 whales, dolphins and seals are killed every year by fishing vessels alone and 40-50 million sharks are killed in fishing lines and nets. These are worrying times as the fishing methods used presently are unsustainable.

If our oceans become void of life then we cannot sustain human life on the planet either. One of the amazing things that fish naturally do for us humans is they control algal blooms (a sudden increase in population of algae) which if left uncontrolled by nature, can have disastrous effects. Research has shown that harmful algal blooms are particularly toxic and have been known to cause abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches, blistering of the mouth and in some cases even liver damage.

Solution: Eat less fish. If we eat less fish, there will be less of a demand. Let’s not be the reason that fish become extinct.

6. A farm with 2500 dairy cows produce the same amount of waste as a city of 411,000 people

Problem: Large volumes of waste from factory farms threaten the quality of our surface water (rivers, oceans etc.) and groundwater (the water beneath the surface of the planet). Waste spills, leakage from waste storage facilities, and runoff from fields are the main source of water pollution. 

When fertilizers, manure, waste and ammonia turn into nitrate they reduce the amount of oxygen in water. Nutrient pollution in ground water as a result of agricultural waste (which millions of people use as their drinking water source)  can be harmful, even at low levels. Also the waste gives excess nitrogen to the atmosphere which can produce pollutants such as ammonia and ozone, which can impair our ability to breathe, limit visibility and genetically modify plant growth. When excess nitrogen comes back to earth from the atmosphere, it can harm the health of forests, soils and again our waters.

Solution: Reduce your meat, egg and dairy intake. Factory farms (mostly farming cows) are causing this waste issue and it needs to stop.

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. (LINK)

 

 

 

 

 

Vegan Festivities and an Upcoming Crumby 2017

Since becoming vegan I’ve read a lot about the experiences of others after they have made the same transition. Typically they got mocked, ridiculed and belittled by their friends, family (and even strangers!) for making such a change for reasons that aren’t recognised by everyone else. However, I lucked out as I have been overwhelmed by support from my family and friends and this was shown even more so this Christmas time.

In the week before Christmas, my good friend and fellow activist Jeane planned a demonstration to raise awareness for animals and veganism in Dénia. I thought this was a great idea and immediately signed up. However, due to many circumstances associated with the holidays, I was the only person to join Jeane. The die-hard activists were all away for the festive season.15776740_10158092959335352_7307727129858655567_o

We didn’t let that stop us.

On Thursday 22nd December at 11:30, we held our demonstration on the main street in Dénia. We dressed in funeral robes and masks and knelt on a mat covered in the body parts of animals and signs conveying messages such as “for you to listen” and “to satisfy your taste buds”. It wasn’t all grim though, we did have a Christmas tree.

The reaction to the demonstration was surprisingly supportive, apart from one lady who muttered ‘mmm yum’ when walking past. We had several people approach us to praise the demonstration and offered us money and coffee. The highlight of the day for me was when a child showed some interest in our demonstration. His parents brought him over and quietly explained what the demonstration meant. The boy was wonderfully receptive to the messages and both the boy and his parents thanked us and waved goodbye. This type of awareness is invaluable to the animals.

Christmas day was also a success. Wonderful Husband and I don’t have family in Spain, so like last year we planned to spend it together with Nutty Dog. But plans changed this year as we’ve become great friends with our neighbours, Andrew and Itzel. So we teamed up and decided to have a very merry Christmas together – 4 adults and 3 dogs! To my surprise, Andrew and Itzel were insistent on having a completely vegan Christmas. How awesome?! So we split the cooking down the middle.

On Christmas day, we came together to cook the most amazing vegan feast that I could have imagined. Our main dish was a beautiful seitan roast stuffed with lentils and nuts and on the side we had brussel sprouts, roasted potatoes and home-made stuffing. For dessert we had chocolate cake with coconut cream icing, mince pies and macaroons. Finally for game-playing snacks (after the serious eating had taken place) we had samosas, garlic butter sausage rolls and pizza. All cooked from scratch. 

On top of great food I got the most amazing vegan/animal-based Christmas presents from my friends and family. I couldn’t have been happier. Everyone put lots of thought into my presents, ensuring they were vegan. 

Lastly, how does your 2017 look? Mine looks pretty mega.

If I weren’t vegan, I would totally make my new years resolution to be vegan but alas, I cannot. So instead I plan to drink more water in the new year… I’m thinking 2 litres a day if possible.

More importantly I have friends making even better resolutions than me! Clever Friend Gregor is going to make more effort in his vegetarianism and look out for things like gelatine. My Mega Vegan Friend Bunch has made a resolution to take part in more activism (in particular using his clothing line) and Amazing Friend Jof is becoming vegetarian for January!

If you are wondering what to do in the new year (and you love animals)… then why not make a small change to your diet or lifestyle? You could:

  • Drink an alternative milk to cow’s milk.
  • Find alternatives to leather/wool when buying clothes in the future.
  • Take part in Meatless Mondays.
  • (If one day a week is too much of a change) try having a meatless day one day a month. Anything helps the farm animals!
  • Find alternatives to food that uses palm oil (destroying the rainforests!).
  • Try to learn more about the factory farming industry.
  • (If you’re looking to make a big difference then…) why not try being pescatarian, vegetarian or even vegan? You can find great support at Veganuary or feel free to contact me! 

These options don’t make a big difference to us… But they make a huge difference for the animals. 

I finish by thanking my very supportive family and friends for a great 2016. I hope 2017 can be as fruitful. Merry Christmas to all, I hope you have a wonderful new year and thanks for reading! happynewyear

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cruelty-Free Alternatives

If given a choice between an animal suffering or not, the general public would tend to choose the option in which the animal doesn’t suffer. However this is not reflected in our food choices as we tend to buy conveniently and cheaply.

We have a vicious circle going on: Many people have suggested to me that they would buy the cruelty-free alternatives if they were competitively priced, but unfortunately these tend to exceed what we expect to pay for an item. Consequently the price will stay high until there is more of a demand but there won’t be a demand until the price comes down. Sigh. 

So I’ve tried to find the alternatives that aren’t going to ‘break the bank’…

Alternatives to Cow’s Milk

People fear change but when it comes to finding a cow’s milk alternative, there are so many alternatives that you’re bound to find one that you like. Off the top of my head, I can think of…

milks.jpg

When I compared the prices of the different types of milks (in Tesco) I fully expected that cow’s milk would come in as the cheapest, given the demand is so high (compared to other milks) but I was very surprised to find the following results (for 1 litre):

  • SOY MILK CAME IN CHEAPEST AT 59p
  • Next was cow’s milk at 66p
  • Then almond milk and coconut milk came in as the most expensive at £1.40

Unfortunately this is not the case in all countries and soy milk is only cheapest where the demand is increasing. By speaking with friends, I have learnt that in countries like Qatar or Estonia, the price of soy milk is significantly more expensive than cow’s milk, making it unrealistic for people to make the transition.

Another cost-effective, alternative to cow’s milk is to make your own milk. Almond milk is one of the most common milks that people like to make themselves and it doesn’t involve squeezing each almond individually! If you’d like a recipe, click here.

14590313_1220206978040914_694732613788251720_n

People may worry that by switching to a cruelty-free, plant-based milk that they could be missing some of the nutrients that we get from cow’s milk. Fortunately, plant-based milks are normally fortified with those lovely vitamins and minerals. Also, by avoiding cow’s milk we also avoid the rGBH hormones (and other hormones given to the cow’s to produce more milk), steroids, blood and pus

The main thing to remember is that cow’s milk is for baby cows.

Quorn

Quorn is an incredibly yummy and healthy alternative to meat. Quorn was once a vegetarian substitute (as it contained egg) but they have recently started producing vegan Quorn too!

My favourite Quorn items are the chicken substitutes. I was never a fan of meatballs or sausages when I ate meat, so it makes sense that I’m not so keen on the imitations either. Mega friend Mark also tried the Quorn sausages for World Vegan Day and admitted he wasn’t sold on the texture. I’m sure Quorn will perfect it one day though! 

We can compare the Quorn vegan chicken pieces with one of the healthiest meats: diced chicken breast. Chicken breast is a great source of protein and very little saturated fat.

Then if we look at the Quorn chicken pieces we see that they are also a great source of protein.

Again, people will argue that vegetarian and vegan substitutes are far pricier than the real thing. However, Quorn is incredibly competitive when compared to the price of meat. For 280g we can purchase Quorn vegan chicken pieces from Ocado for £1.67 and the equivalent from Lidl for diced chicken breast is £1.49 (offer found on 19/12/2016).

Finally we should compare the most important point of all: Quorn vegan chicken pieces are 100% cruelty-free whereas diced chicken breasts are not.

My Personal Winner: Quorn vegan chicken pieces. 

So if you are ever looking for a tasty alternative to meat then I would definitely recommend the Quorn chicken items – especially the garlic and mushroom escalopes (warning: not vegan, but vegetarian 😀). 

Tofu

Tofu is another great alternative to meat and also super cheap. You can find it in most screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-20-40-26supermarkets but in my experience, I would always get the best price at a local chinese market or store. 

Not only is tofu incredibly cheap but it has an amazing calorie to protein ratio. For every 100 calorie serving, tofu contains 11g of protein. To compare, 100 calories of ground beef provides 8.9g of protein, and a 100 calorie serving of cheese contains 6.2g.

One of the best things about tofu is that it is super adaptable and can take on any flavour. It’s a staple in oriental cooking but can be applied to most cuisines. I personally love to remove all the moisture from the tofu, fry it and season with tamari. The result is a lovely flavour, crispy shell but beautifully soft inside. Yum!

Nutritional Yeast

Nutritional yeast is an inactive yeast which gives a beautiful, nutty and cheesy flavour to anything you add it to. I personally like to use it instead of vegan cheese alternatives. 

Not only does nutritional yeast taste great, but it is also fortified with vitamin B12 (and some other vitamins) which is the one thing that us pescatarians/vegetarians/vegans are lacking (as B12 gets fed directly to the animals before slaughter). What a wonderful and cruelty-free way of gaining our daily dose of B12. (Marmite is also a great source of B12!) If you’d like to buy nutritional yeast and you can’t find it in the shops, then you can easily order it from Amazon using this link.

Cruelty-Free Chocolate

The perfect substitute for any vegan’s chocolate craving is plain chocolate. Plain chocolate normally has a higher content of cacao (making the taste sometimes more bitter) than milk chocolate and also doesn’t contain milk (although this can differ by brand). Not only is it widely available but it is also priced within the same range as the other types of chocolate.

Another good reason to rid milk chocolate from your diet is health motivated. A study was conducted where they compared people who ate white chocolate to people who ate plain chocolate. They found that the people who ate plain chocolate had lower blood sugar level, improved LDL or “bad” cholesterol and improved HDL or “good” cholesterol. For more info on the study please click here.

Chocolate mixed with alternatives to cow’s milk, such as rice milk or soy milk, are now slowly becoming available and will most definitely be stocked in your local health food shop. These types of chocolate are much more smoother and sweeter than plain chocolate. 

Oreos are another very-reasonably priced (and surprisingly vegan!) sweet treat. It can be argued that they are not because they contain sugar which has been whitened using bone char (animal bones which have been charred), but this is not true for most sugars in the UK.

Alternatives to Honey

Maple syrup and agave nectar are great alternatives to honey. Honey and agave nectar offer no health benefits whereas Canadian Maple Syrup is in abundance of them. Canadian maple syrup is not only one of the most delicious things on the planet, but it is an incredibly good source of manganese, riboflavin (vitamin b2) and zinc. It is also a source of magnesium, calcium and potassium.

If vitamins are important to you then please make sure you get the genuine Canadian maple syrup and not an alternative. Maple syrup is definitely more expensive, but absolutely worth it when it comes to taste!

Non-Dairy Ice Cream

There are now a wide variety of alternative ice creams, normally made from rice milk or soy milk. I can report that both alternative ice creams are similarly priced to dairy ice cream and as yummy.

To compare the nutritional data of both dairy and non-dairy ice cream, I found two ice creams which were similar in price per 100ml: 

I was hoping that non-dairy ice cream would outshine dairy ice cream with it’s amazing health benefits but alas, they are both unhealthy. So as there is little difference in taste, price and nutrition… why not choose the one in which an animal doesn’t suffer?

Replacing Eggs with Bananas

And finally a wonderful, cruelty-free and healthy way to bake etc…. With bananas! 

Eggs are surprisingly one of the cruelest products to come out of the factory farming industry, please see my previous articlefor more details. So when you can avoid them, why not? Bananas offer a great alternative to eggs when baking and they are also super healthy! I’ve not known anyone that claims to eat cake because they would be getting protein from the egg, however I have known several people to complain about the calories in a cake. You’ll be happy to know that a cup of mashed bananas contains just over half veganfrenchtoastthe calories than a cup of eggs would. 

Also for you banana haters, you’ll be happy to know that there is not a strong flavour of banana when using them in replacement of eggs, just a lovely texture! My favourite replace-an-egg-with-a-banana recipe has to be Vegan Banana French Toast. It is super yummy and if I can make it, any one can!

One of the most amazing things about humans is that we have a choice… And when the cruelty-free alternative is as tasty, same price and sometimes even healthier, why not choose that one?

Thanks for reading and please feel free to get in touch if you’d like to know about other alternatives.