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29th November 2011

Highlighted Campaign for December 2011

Tell UNESCO: Bullfighting isn’t culture, it’s cruelty.

Every year, about 250,000 bulls are killed in bullfights — stabbed multiple times with barbed lances and banderillas (spiked wooden sticks) before suffering slow, agonizing deaths in front of an audience, including children.

Back in July 2010, the parliament of Catalonia, a region of Spain, voted to ban the “sport” of bullfighting in their region. What a huge step forward that was, in the fight against the cruelty of the bullfight.  You may remember it was highlighted on this blog – WSPA urged the general public around the world to join their campaign to seek the voters within the Catalonian parliament to see that many people around the world regarded it in a strongly unfavourable light.

Despite the fact that attendance at bullfights is at an all-time low (a great indication that people are rejecting this as a “sport”), and that many cities and countries have in fact banned bullfighting, the French and Spanish governments are seeking to protect this cruel bloodsport by asking UNESCO to give it a “cultural heritage” listing.

By going to:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/235/701/860/?z00m=20130990

you can sign a petition asking The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) NOT to sanction this cruel activity under the banner of “cultural heritage”.

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27th November 2011

Problems when Travelling

Italy is a great country for vegetarians: there is plenty of pasta with cheese, pizzas abound, and this is the country that invented the gelato! For vegans the situation isn’t as bright. There are dishes like pasta aglio e olio, a dish very pure in taste in which olive oil and garlic are run through spaghetti, perhaps with chilli or finely chopped parsley, but this will probably replicate the nutrition you received from the white bread you had for breakfast. And the difficulties vegans experience in a country like Italy will be shared by vegetarians in areas where fish seems to come with everything, such as Scandinavia and Japan.

How to deal with this? There are sometimes vegetarian restaurants, often with an organic angle, that one can visit, but these tend to be up-market places for special occasions. Otherwise, it’s often possible to dive into a Chinese or Indian restaurant where there will probably be veggie food. Another alternative is buying dry food at a supermarket. Or one can decide to eat non-veggie food just to get by.

None of these choices strikes me as perfect. It seems somehow disrespectful to the culture of a country like Italy to be eating Asian food there.  Sitting on a hotel bed eating peanuts is no-one’s idea of a fun time. And surely the reasons that led one to adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet apply wherever one happens to be.

I’d be very interested in the opinions of readers of this posting, and it will be possible to make comments for some time after it has been posted.

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27th November 2011

Cafeteria Chef Express

Termini Railway Station, Rome

Self-service cafeterias at train stations can be sad places full of sad people, but not this one! As you enter you help yourself to a fresh bread roll, and might then turn to the right, where there is a stand with cooked vegetables, including potatoes fried in olive oil seasoned with thyme, and the oily aubergine so often a feature of Mediterranean cooking. To the left is a salad bar where the choices of include lima beans, beautiful tomatoes and greens. There are dishes of pasta with tomatoes and cheese mixed in, and a fruit salad bar where you can ladle as much fresh fruit as you can handle into a bowl. On the way out there is water and wine, while in the eating area are bottles of virgin olive oil and vinegar to splash over your meal. And just in case you think you are in a cafeteria at the train station, in one corner is a grand piano you may be lucky enough to hear played!

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24th November 2011

Purple Poppy – REMEMBER Animals of War

Not so long ago it was Remembrance Day, and as a person who is from a military family, I was delighted to see people participating. But it also reminded me about the Purple Poppy – the symbol for all the animals of war – victims, survivors and fighting helpers. How many of them are effected even now in present day wars! How many lost their lives in the past and still lose their lives in the present. “Shoulder to Shoulder” with fellow humans – battling, saving lives, so helpful, so courageous and so silent.

I remember, even now, the stories of my family which go back several generations – about the devotion of military horses to their masters. There was even (and may still be in the old Orthodox Christian prayer books) a special blessing/prayer for cavalry horses and their officer/companions – read before any upcoming battle. I’ve heard from Orthodox Christian Americans, serving in deployments, that military chaplains often bless both the serving dogs and mine specialists before they go on dangerous missions.

Animals don’t have a voice but we do! Support the Purple Poppy today. Remember the animals who gave their lives in human battles.

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24th November 2011

London Vegan Festival 2011

It was truly magnificent to be a part of the London Vegan festival this past summer. So much inspiration. So many great people from all over the world. Workshops, tasty food, talks and great company – what can be better? It becomes better when it’s all vegan! And in that place, in that time, it was definitely so. Discussions were challenging. Recepies affordable. Cruelty free alternatives soothing to the soul. All in all a wonderful day in a life of an Orthodox Christian Vegan person.

P.S. Yeah, I know… One of the Christian groups’ talks was awfully boring and a huge disappointment for the people who attended. Let’s hope, that it works out better for them next year as I don’t think that a 45 minute monologue of Bible quotations will be welcomed again. I’d also like to hope that VVOC.org’s voice will one day be present at the London Vegan Festival – the voice of vegan and vegetarian Orthodox Christians needs to be heard much more.

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24th November 2011

A New VVOC Contributor – Anastasija Lewis

As you know, VVOC.org is a resource for vegan and vegetarian Orthodox Christians. The site’s contributors form a loose network of vegan and vegetarian Orthodox Christians who also try to get together (in their localities) for a meal as often as they can.

Up until recently, the network was primarily made up of the founding members who were based in Brisbane – Australia. Thanks to other vegetarian and vegan websites, VVOC.org has been widely promoted and its existence has been brought to the attention of a much larger number of vegan and vegetarian Orthodox Christians – both within Australia and overseas.

To broaden the scope of the site’s material, VVOC.org is happy to announce that Anastasija Lewis is joining the contributor’s team as a content provider. She is a vegan Orthodox Christian based in London – U.K. and will be focusing on animal rights issues. Anastasija is also hoping to give a talk on Orthodox Christianity and Veganism at the annual Oriental Churches meet up in London as well as bring together vegan and vegetarian Orthodox Christians in her locality for regular meals. All VVOC.org’s original contributors welcome Anastasija and look forward to her postings from the U.K.

Anastasija is a psychologist by profession. She describes her journey to veganism on our updated testimonials page – please check it out.

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6th November 2011

Neal’s Yard Salad Bar

8-10 Neal’s Yard, London WC2

Funky is the style at this smart place that opened in 1982 and may have seemed a little retro in its ambience even then; now it almost suggests self-parody. But it’s a great  place to sit in the open air and admire the local scenery. For starters we enjoyed a vegan soup (pumpkin with coriander) and bruschetta on a kind of crisp bread made of rice flour. My companion ordered a quiche of spinach and ricotta that she pronounced ‘perfectly pleasant’, while I went for a large salad of tomato, celery, leek, beetroot, grated carrot and cucumber, its beautiful colours  echoing the psychedelic get-up of the neighbourhood.  For drinks you can’t go past the ABC (apple, beetroot and carrot)…so many vitamins in the heart of London! The food here is seriously good for you, and for some people this Salad Bar offers a trip down memory lane, although not necessarily the kind of trip people often took in those groovy days.

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4th November 2011

Highlighted Campaign for November 2011

Kattens vern (cat conservation)

When in Norway recently, I visited a store that sold all things cat.  It was really lovely and had everything from clothing, jewelry, handbags and clothing, to items to make your cat’s life as happy as it could be.  I discovered it was actually an organisation raising money to look after the homeless cats of Norway!  Check out their website www.kattensvern.no (Google translate comes in very handy…)

As a cat lover, it’s so great to see that there are people in other countries just as concerned for their welfare.  If you read the story on the website about a Norwegian woman trying to help the cats in Libyan markets, you will be very sad, but it’s encouraging that she is making such an effort.

I like that they have used Ghandi’s quote on their website:

“A nation’s greatness and its ethical progress can be judged by how it treats animals …
I believe that the more helpless an animal is, the more it is eligible for human protection from human cruelty.”

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1st November 2011

World Vegan Day – 1st November

World Vegan Day Banners for your site!

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