17th June 2013

Why should we love vegans?

Written by Sun, Co-Founder of Gentle World

I love vegans, first and foremost, for their heightened sense of justice and compassion, in choosing to avoid, as far as possible, products and businesses that exploit anyone’s body, in any way, for any reason.

Akin to abolitionists of human slavery who believe that it is morally wrong to force living, breathing human beings into slavery, vegans have taken that belief one step further, by including living, breathing non-human beings… and for this, I love them even more.

When I look out into our sad, mad world, in which the laws of all lands perpetuate the slavery of animals, I see the violence and cruelty such prejudice breeds. I see the terrifying plight of its victims. I see the unbearable burden it places on the collective conscience of humanity. And I am heavy-hearted.

Then, I turn my gaze to the horizon, and my heart is lifted at the sight of the rising tide of vegans… each one living proof that it’s possible for human beings to evolve their nature from that of predator to one of protector.

By rising above their desire for all products of oppression, these otherwise ordinary people have made the extraordinary decision to free their slaves, thereby striking not merely at one oppressor, but at the roots of the whole rotten business of slavery.

I ask you… How can any lover of justice not love anyone who has the integrity to stand with the tiny minority who are willing to free the lowliest of slaves, considered by the vast majority so insignificant as to be expendable?

Vegans recognize the inherent right of every animal, human or otherwise, to be the sole owner of his or her own body, and they acknowledge our ethical responsibility to treat every body with respect and even reverence for the mystery that gives them life.

Without the need for holy books, rituals, prayers, or obedience to anyone or anything beyond their understanding, simply by listening to the one voice inside them that they do understand, vegans know, as everyone with a conscience knows, that slavery is wrong… whoever be the slave and whoever be the master.

I love vegans for being the most powerful force I see for the evolution of our species, because until we, the people, are willing to free our animal slaves, our own higher nature will remain enslaved.

 

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6th February 2013

Bobby Calves

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” 
Mahatma Gandhi

I truly believe this statement to be true. And as a vegetarian, this leads me to think about the dairy industry. Of course I don’t participate in the suffering of animals that are raised for consumption, but what about the animals that produce the dairy products? Buy free range, and then you believe they have a good life whilst they produce your eggs, milk and other dairy products. But what about all the boys? I mean the males – who of course don’t produce anything to eat. So what happens to them? It’s easy to ignore thinking about this when you think of yourself as doing the right thing by not eating animals. But this too can be an area of great cruelty to animals. Like the bobby calves, for example. — the “by-products” of the dairy industry, unwanted and treated as “waste”. While dairy cows are impregnated yearly in order to produce high milk yield, the problem of ‘disposing’ of unwanted calves is routine across the entire industry. Sent to the abattoir, bawling for their mother, starving hungry as they are allowed by law to be not fed for up to thirty hours, and in some cases, treated cruelly.  Their inability as babies to comprehend what is required of them, whether during loading for transport or up the races of slaughterhouses, requires them to be treated with compassion and patience — two human traits rarely witnessed when it comes to dealing with unwanted and ‘worthless’ animals.

 If the thought of killing unwanted 5-day old calves is unacceptable to you, then  tell the dairy industry that you don’t think animals should be discarded and killed like ‘waste products’. You can take action by writing to the dairy industry, using a link on the Animals Australia website.

 
And choose your dairy products carefully. Barambah Organics for example, don’t consider the calves to be a waste product, and all their calves are kept on their farm in their care. No Barambah calves are sent to the abbatoir. Go Barambah!!


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17th June 2012

Meeting Minutes 17th June 2012

Thank you to John who kindly hosted today’s get together. We were treated to a wonderful lunch including a Tomato Soup with Avocado Salsa for starters with olives and bread, a warm Lentil and Onion dish with sides of Cucumbers dressed in mint, Roasted Capsicum and generous bowls of hummus. All this was followed by Dates with Tahini rolled in Almond Meal. Thank you John!

Minutes

1. Our first agenda item was a thank you to John for his continued efforts with restaurant review postings.
2. Then, an apology for the lack of other content going up!
3. Finally we spent some time reviewing categories each of us would post about on a more regular basis.
So far we have the following…..
John – Restaurant reviews
Jacki – Highlighting Orthodox missionary work
Melissa – Recipes
Helen – Saint feast days
Vasilios – Vege or Orthodox based art and site maintenence
Anastasia – Campaigns and other Orthodox material
Jason – Vegan and vegetarian orthodox saints

The goal is to have each of us posting at least once a month, which should see something new on the site every week. We also hope to create a balance in the content between vegan/vegetarian material and Orthodox material.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon with warming food shared amongst friends.

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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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8th July 2011

Highlighted Campaign for July 2011

Break The Cycle Africa – 3 Jul to 14 Aug 2011

I think most vegetarians (not a blanket statement) would agree that compassion for animals also equals compassion for our fellow human beings. (The shame about this is that often this is not necessarily vice versa.) I am fairly certain that within our membership we are in agreement that we love animals and people and hope for better for those of the human race who suffer.

Since I am currently in Africa, this month I’d like to continue with the African theme and highlight some Aussie cyclists who are doing their bit by riding mountain bikes 5668 km across Southern Africa. This event aims to raise money for child focused projects in Southern Africa.

You can learn more about this event and how it can be supported, follow their blog, leave messages of encouragement etc, at:

http://www.breakthecycle.org.au/africa/

Good work guys – we salute you!

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3rd July 2011

Song Noodle King

3/224 Hawken Drive, St Lucia Qld

While the vegetarian options on the menu are scanty, and the complimentary prawn crackers did not find favour with my non-vegetarian companion, who pronounced that they tested like cardboard, there is a very good reason to eat at the Song, and its name is Gado Gado. At the centre of the plate is a mixture of sprouts, cucumber and, in place of the more widely used potato, pineapple, over which has been poured a lightly curried peanut sauce; on top sit the quarters of a boiled egg, and around the side are pieces of soft diced tofu. This is a luscious dish of contrasting tastes, colours and textures which it’s hard to imagine not liking, but here it is particularly well done. We also enjoyed salt and pepper tofu, in which the pieces of bean curd sit on crispy noodles and are accompanied by finely chopped red chilli and spring onion, rice sitting to the side. If you don’t relish singing for your supper, I recommend the Song for lunch.

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26th April 2011

Fruit and Nut Bites

These little bites are raw, vegan, sugar and gluten free!  You can use different nuts, vegan choc chips or even add some cocoa to vary the recipe depending what is at hand.

Fruit and Nut Bites

1 cup raw nuts (I used 1/2 cup walnuts + 1/2 cup cashews and macadamias)

1 cup raisins

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons coconut

Extra coconut for rolling

(1) Rinse the nuts and fruit to make them moist and easier to process

(2) Food process everthing until a ball starts to form.

(3) Take teaspoons of mixture and roll into balls, then roll these in coconut.

Refridgerate

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25th April 2011

Meeting Minutes 9th April 2011

Thank you to John, who hosted our meeting today and provided a scrumptious lunch.  We shared some delicately flavoured lentils served with bread and salads, one of green beans and one of  cucumber dressed with coconut milk. Lovely, thank you John.

Topics discussed:

(1) We talked about our local Indian restaurants and all agreed that it would be good for each of us to post reviews of these.

(2) Helen raised that there was recent talk that Oprah had challenged her staff to be vegan for a week!  Helen to put up a brief post about this.

(3) Discussed the idea of a VVOC excursion to Melbourne to participate in Holy Week in English at the Good Shepard Australian Orthodox Mission which is based at Monash University. Helen to look into this and gather some info for the group.

(4) Melissa kindly offered to host the next VVOC meeting.

(5) Our August meeting will hopefully be a Skype talk or online chat to include Melissa and Jacki, who will both be working on the Mercy Ship in Africa.

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13th February 2011

Enlightened Cuisine Chinese Vegetarian Restaurant

113 Queensbridge St, Southbank, Melbourne Vic.

A statue of the Buddha, inscrutably calm as usual, presides over this restaurant. The 13 entrees on offer when we were there included spring rolls of pastry stuffed with minced soy and vegetables. There is the same number of soups, all of them offered with or without egg; the three mushroom soup, peppery with lots of lettuce, is particularly fine. (Westerners never seem to cook lettuce, but its texture and colour when cooked are lovely.)  The ten tofu dishes include the spicy Kung Po Tofu, in which tofu and a Chinese mix of vegetables (capsicum, baby corn, carrot, mushroom) are livened up by ginger and chilli, and the eleven vegetable dishes include the luscious spicy egg plant, which again incorporates a fair amount of tofu. The number of dishes is remarkable, and that’s not counting the many imitation meat offerings; one would enjoy working through more of them. The food is traditional Chinese, served in attractive surroundings by highly efficient staff; I was amazed how quickly we were in and out. But if you want to linger, a glass of dry white wine is just the thing to accompany food of this quality.

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6th February 2011

Delicous vegan sugar free snack

Visit the West End markets for a delicious sugar free vegan snack – the date roll. Made of date and coconut, they somehow manage to whip the dates into a light and fluffy sweet. Enter the markets from Jane street and you will find an organic fruit stall on your left into the shady area just before the entrance to the Leagues club. I have also found at my local fruit shop in Sunnybank Hills, a date, coconut and almond roll, but have yet to try them. They are both products of the USA.

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