Sunday, September 30, 2012

World Vegan Day 2012 Special Episode, clips wanted!

*** Full finished episode :-)  Thank you to everyone who took part!

I'm planning another World Vegan Day (1st November) episode for this year :-)

I would love audio clips (or you could record a video and share it on YouTube, sending me the link!) to include :-) Last years WVD special had about 30 vegans from around the world featured :-)

If you could record an audio or video clip of one, two, three minutes in length, I would love to include you in this years special episode! :-)

Suggested topics :-)

*Where in the world are you?  Are there many Vegans where you live?

*How has the last year been for you as a Vegan? What are some of your favourite Vegan moments from 2012, any particular news stories, photos, videos, vegan meetings etc that have stood out?

*Do you have any plans for World Vegan Day 2012? (1st November)

*What are you looking forward to in 2013?

It would be lovely if you'd wish the Invercargill Vegan Society and all Vegans around the world best wishes for World Vegan Day 2012 :-)

Please email clips to , preferably before October 29th.

Our World Vegan Day plans for Invercargill, New Zealand are coming together, we have our first WVD 2012 posters up around the city! :-)

The episode should be out on 1st of November, World Vegan Day 2012 New Zealand time.  I'd love to include you in a special episode for a special day :-)

Heres my demo audio clip, you can do better than this, right? :-)

Thank you :-)



Rafi of the Swiss Vegan Society has also sent in a clip for World Vegan Day 2012, after featuring in last years show :-)

Dr Roger Yates has sent in an audio clip with music

And Barbara DeGrande of Animal Rights and Rescue North Texas (ARRNT) has also sent in an audio clip!

Nicole has sent in the first video clip, which I'm allowed to share! :-)

Thank you Nicole! :-)

Vegan Smyth :-)

I've also gotten a video clip sent in by Rose Cora Perry :-)

I'm not sure about "The Deep South" of the USA, but I can promise you that The Deep South of Invercargill, southernmost city in New Zealand, in the region of Southland, right by Antartica can provide 
great Tofu Burgers to anyone visiting :-)

*** Full finished episode :-)  Thank you to everyone who took part!

Friday, September 28, 2012

"WVD in Invercargill...Cant Think Of Anywhere Else I'd Rather Be"

As an immature, single (correlation?) guy, I would have assumed the best compliment a nice woman could pay me would be something about how fantastically attractive I am to heterosexual members of the opposite sex.

But then I saw this:

"I will be celebrating with real live vegans in Invercargill :-)  I can't think of anywhere else I would rather be!!" 

Our lovely friend Jenny, currently living in Queenstown, who drove down specially to attend an INVSOC potluck!  

As founder of an initially one member Vegan "society", it really brought a tear to my mixed metaphor heart.  What a lovely thing to read!

For World Vegan Day 2012 (1st November), INVSOC is holding a special dinner event, Jenny is once again driving down to be with us for this holiest of Vegan holy days (holiest by default, but damn holy none the less!)


"I think we've got the makings of crystal meth here sir!"
"It's gonna be an easter weekend to remem-ba!"

"The Surprising Adventures of Sir Digby Chicken Caesar:"

"a drunken, drug-addled psychotic tramp played by Robert Webb, who seems to be under the delusion that he is a brilliant and intrepid secret agent or adventurer, in the style of Dick Barton. He and his companion Ginger, another derelict, played by David Mitchell, who serves as his Snowy, commit various crimes (usually either theft or petty assault) whilst supposedly engaging in battle against the henchmen of their so-called "nemesis", a vague and undefined entity described simply as "some bastard who is presumably responsible". The sketch often ends with the pair being chased by somebody they've fleeced to the tune of "Devil's Galop", usually combined with the use of SnorriCam shots to humorous effect."

Eco Festival 2012 Press, INVSOC Muffin Mention!

With the 2012 Transition Towns Eco Festival coming up next-next weekend, press releases have gone out to drum up support.  Hard to believe its been a whole year since the 2011 event!

And with "....the Invercargill Vegan Society.....offering free vegan muffins", who WOULDNT be interested in attending?!?!? :-)

The Southland Times "Spring Eco Festival Promotes Sustainable Living"  Entry is $2 for adults, free for young children, towards hall rent.

 I saw the reporter Jamie at INVSOC members Steve and Amber's flat, playing in his band "Concubine".  Lead vocals and guitar, Jamie had a grand time telling we crowding appreciators "I'm gonna break your eff wording necks", although in slightly different language :-)

I'm the taller guy by the white door, I think that gleam on my jacket is my INVSOC badge - all those sharp corners, I did well to stay out of the "mosh pit".  As large as I am, the frenzied (on drugs?) participants slammed themselves against every surface.  "Stay back, I've got a multi sharp sided membership badge for our local vegan organisation and you could sustain a serious eye injury!" might not have been heard over reporter Jamies howling voice.

Jamie's long hair visible in the bottom right corner.

It was lovely to be contacted through the INVSOC website about covering the Eco Festival :-)

"Hi there,Jamie from the Southland Times here. Im looking at doing a wee write up on the Spring Eco Festival and Huia pointed me your way. She said you had a stall there last year and have one again this year? Do you mind if I ask you a few questions about it? How was it? What was your favourite part? How do you think it effects the town? Do you think the turn out this year will have increased? Did you get a postivie reaction last year?
Also if you have any contact details for the event organiser that would be immensly appriciated.
Thanks very much,

Last year was great, I had a whale of a time next to the Sea Shepherd conservation society, and this year will be bigger and better! :-)

For more about the Spring Eco Festival 2012, please visit our Facebook page.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Interview With Ben James, NZ Chef Trying Veganism :-)

*** UPDATE ***

Ben says he will stay vegan :-)

This second article also mentions an Invercargill vegan family visiting him?  Ben txt me, its a family from somewhere in Southland, I hope they'll get in touch with me, new INVSOC members :-)

Ben James is a New Zealand chef trying out Veganism for a month, how fantastic!

I read about his foray into Veganism through The Malborough Express, "Chef Takes On Vegan Challenge" 

You can hear my interview with Ben here, it will be included in my next episode of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, but why keep you waiting? :-)

Notice my headcold, and wavering voice :-)

You can find Ben's blog about Veganism here, "What Is A Vegan?"  Next time you're in Blenheim, check out the Raupo Riverside Cafe :-)

Thank you very much Ben for your time :-)  I hope you enjoy being Vegan, and making Vegan recipes for your increasing number of Vegan customers :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Two Little Boys movie, Familiar Names and Locations :-)

After attending the premier redcarpet event of the movie "Two Little Boys", but not actually seeing the premier, it was time I bought a ticket and saw the film!  INVSOC member Steve, who had an extras part in the movie saw it with me, at Reading Cinema. 

Co-star Bret McKenzie who plays the character of "Nige" in "Two Little Boys".  Best known for Flight of the Conchords, he posed with my sign for his beloved Lord of the Rings character :-)  For more information, check out "my coverage" of the premier event.

"Two Little Boys" trailer:

Early in the movie, we're introduced to this scene......where main character "Nige" likes to drive his car late at night (3:08AM!) so he can you do.  He drives round this roundabout on Tay/Dee Street, and then to the Tay/Kelvin intersection, where a police officer spots his car having only one working headlight.  What can you do?  Well, we're told turn the (single) headlight off, so you could only be pulled over for forgetting to turn your lightS *on*, rather than having a broken down old car! :-)  

Photo taken during the movie, the black mountain at the bottom/middle is the chair in front of mine :-)  Car seen as a yellow blob on the right.  This scene is revisited at the very end of the movie....without spoiling the plot....the car now has TWO working headlights, showing how "Nige" has moved up in the world.  Revisiting the scene also gave me a second chance to sneakily snap a photo on my phone :-)

"The South African War Memorial at Invercargill in c1986. Designed by Newton Vane, the monument has a drinking fountain, but the clock was added later.

The debate that preceded the erection of Invercargill’s impressive two-level South African War memorial was rich with issues of identity and appropriateness."

NZ History article

A photo taken of the monument roundabout as I walked home after the movie :-)

A pretty crazy experience, we were watching the movie in cinema 5.....the top green X, and the monument roundabout is the bottom green X.....a stones throw away outside! :-)

Google Maps

The tourist 
Jurgen ("yur-ginn", gin pronounced like "begin") is hit and dies at the red X.  His body is initially dumped down a roadwork pit (complete with head banging pipe) at the black X further west.

The movie starts around the yellow X, a police car seeing "Nige" driving his old Ford, "doing the laps" to clear his mind at 3am at night.  He likes to drive his old banger of a car, one headlight working round and round from the roundabout at the bottom green X to the yellow X.....for goodness knows how long at a time!  Apparently only stopping when he hits a tourist!

I *guess* I could show you some great images of the troopers monument roundabout :-)

Photos by Layton Findlater Photography



Many fantastic other photos here, on the Layton Findlater Photography Facebook page

Tourist Yurgen is hit and dies here.

Just in front of where the car here, Google Streetview.

View Larger Map

Initial body dump site!  The garden isn't in place, replaced with the roadworks?  I initially thought it was the first streetlight with parking metres, but the metal cover faces the wrong way.  Theres a news report about the body seen (imagined?) during the movie, which shows the railway brick building in the background, so its this particular streetlight.

View Larger Map

Google Maps

Tay Street as seen in the movie trailer, in particular H&J's Outdoor World.  In 1995, I remember a man was shot dead by the police after storming the "Outdoor World" hunting store, he was killed by a bridge in the Otepuni Gardens behind, after exiting out the back.

Independent Police Conduct Authority report on the shooting. (PDF)

View Larger Map

Not only did fellow movie go-er Steve watch the movie with me, he appeared as an extra in an early scene :-)

And look here, in the ending credits, Invercargill Vegan Society member Natalie Johnston shows up for her work "Behind The Scenes Crew"-ing and also as an "Editorial Trainee".  Fantastic!    Two INVSOC members were involved with "Two Little Boys" :-)

Natalie gave us this Focaccia bread recipe for the Invercargill Vegan Society website :-)

Overall, a very good movie, an interesting plot, with a charmingly innocent character, and a psychopath.   Memorable scenes include an extreme closeup of two characters having sex in the yellow car (that lens must have been REALLY close to her flopping boobs, her head popping out the sunroof), a little boy wetting himself, a half million uses of The Eff Word, and the demonstration of oral sex upon a piece of fruit.  Um, just *a little* over the top, but the movie has a quirky character all of its own.

Other movies shot in Invercargill also include sex scenes, be they with "dirty old men" (Worlds Fastest Indian starring Sir Anthony Hannibal Lecter)

 and "I'm takin' this bloody car to Inver-carg-ill!" (Goodbye Pork Pie), also starring a yellow car which falls apart!

Please buy a ticket, and support more movies being made here in Invercargill, home of the southernmost Vegan organisation in the world :-)

With three fantastic movies filmed in this ol' city of 50,000, we're not doing too badly for ourselves! :-)
"Two Little Boys" trailer:

Also see photos taken at the premier event of "Two Little Boys" here in Invercargill.

September 20th 2012 INVSOC Potluck

Tonights Invercargill Vegan Society potluck had Katharine, Russell, Dan, Jordan, Steve, Amber and a brief Kerri Kameo :-)  Non Vegan friend Emily joined us too :-)

Whole Hen :-)

Listen to what we each brought while you look through the photos :-)

Lasagne, made using tortilla style wraps for each layer.  Alternating layers of pasta/quinoa/tvp with a little tomato paste, followed by mashed pumpkin and kumara (sweet potato).  Topped off by a couple basil leaves.

Spring rolls, bought from Pak n Save and served fried.

Korma by Katharine.  We're told she listened to "Killboy Powerhead" by Offspring while cook-ering.  It didnt *taste* angry though! :-)

Curry Puffs (Samosas) from Countdown along with spring rolls, chilli.

Kerri's Vegan meatballs, bloody fantastic!  TVP, Gluten and all other kinds of goodness.


Deserts, the "mallowpuff" looking item bottom right is an Oreo Truffle, fantastic!

Pecan Pie by Amber and Steve

Chocolate Peanut Butter brownies by Dan

After a big meal, its cleanup time!

These dishes are not going to clean themselves, but with the new Deadmau5 album resounding from my headphones, they'll be taken care of soon enough :-)  Literally came out on iTunes New Zealand just as our potluck finished up :-)

Thank you all for a lovely night :-)

See other Invercargill Vegan Society potlucks on our new website section :-)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Curious Hen Vet Trip

Curious Hen was ill this morning, when I opened the Hen House door, she was still perched up high, she hadnt flown down to the floor.  Barely moving, just standing still by herself, I gave her some of my emergency supply of antibiotics, made sure she was ok, and left for work.

Coming home, she was better, outside with the other hens, but not eating.  She wouldnt move much.  My friend Desmond gave me a ride to Vetsouth, Curious Hen in a box used for carrying bananas to supermarkets :-)

At the Vet clinic, she was very well behaved, even while sick.  Look how lovely she looks here, as shes being weighed to calculate antibiotic dose.  Tracey the vet mentioned how large she was, 2.4 kilograms :-)

She had an injection, and was sent home to recover.  I walked home from Yarrow Street with her in the box, plenty of air coming in for her, as she looked out through one of the handle holds.

The Hens like to be in the dark of a closed box, it keeps them calm being in a small, dim space.  Imagine how big the world would seem to you if you'd lived the first ~18 months of your life away from your mother and father, growing from an egg in an incubator, then kept in a cage with a few other strange Hens.

From there, after being rescued, you'd spent your whole life in the backyard of a friendly local Vegan.  Curious Hen wouldnt be used to cars, to bikes and traffic signals and people talking on their cellphones as they walk past.  She preferred to stay in a corner of the closed box, able to look out through a hole when she felt like it.

Without the antibiotics this morning, Curious Hen would have stayed on her perch, not able to move.  Presumably she would have closed her eyes, become paralyzed and died.  The antibiotics in the morning meant she stayed alert, eyes open, but she was barely moving.  When I came home today, and gave them all some oats, she hobbled towards the food along with the other Hens, but wouldnt eat when she was there.  Instinct and habit, she wanted to eat, but couldnt.

Taking her to the vet, Curious Hen wanted to stand still, and not move.   She received a direct injection (the vet told her "its just a tick", I asked, concerned if she actually had lice, and was told that the vet tells ALL nonhuman animals that "its just a big flea, its ok darling" etc to hopefully keep them calm, or their caregivers calm :-)  Curious Hen is pest free.)

Stopping on the way home so she could have a rest from being moved, I took her to the Otepuni Gardens.

Where she got to meet the Invercargill Vegan Society World Vegan Day 2011 tree! :-)

She barely moved in these photos, she walked about a metre in total.  Alert, eyes open, but she is still recovering, thanks to the antibiotics.

Curious Hen is safe at home, and she should be recovering well.

***Two Days Later, Curious Hen is fine :-) ***

Monday, September 17, 2012

Whole Hen Defends Other Hens From Cats VIDEO

Whole Hen keeps the other Hen Friends safe from cats, who've killed previous Bantam Chickens before.  One white cat in particular tries to stalk my Hen Friends, sneaking through bushes, but whenever Whole Hen spots him, which she inevitably will, she runs straight at him, no fear.

If anything, "she's got steam shooting out her nostrils", as she snaps her beak at the cats fur, tearing out clumps.  If they even remotely try to stand their ground, much less fight back, she KICKBOXES, like a Rooster would!  (Video of a Rooster jumping and kicking a womans shoes, shes not h
urt, laughing throughout it while yelling a little from surprise) 

Here we see Whole Hen has cornered Jasper the cat behind a chair inside our house, as he looked at the Hens, Whole Hen ran through the cat flap inside and pushed him back.  He wasnt touched at all by her, just frightened off.   

You can see she watches him continuously, his every small movement gets a reaction from her, until he leaps onto our washing machine, where hes (mostly) safe from her.  Its easier for a cat to jump that high than for a Chicken to fly there, but she *could* follow him if she wanted.

The cats are safe, shes never hurt them as they've hurt and killed Hens, so I guess in a way its good that she looks after Yellow Hen.  The only bruises are of the "alpha predator" cat egos being crushed by this protective bird.

Another of my Chicken Friends, Curious Hen is highest up the Hens social order, yet she never keeps cats back.  Curious Hen happily sleeps on my lap, or even rests on my shoe! :-)

"Hi Tech Route To Perfect Venison (Deer flesh) Cuts"

The Southland Times "Hi Tech Route To Perfect Venison (Deer flesh) Cuts"

""Just say we're large scale, intense farmers."

The Wilkins family run one of the largest agri-businesses in Southland, with a deer, sheep and crop farm in Wendonside, a deer and crop farm in Athol, and a dairy farm at Five Rivers.

The large fire engine sitting in the tractor shed is an indicator of the scale of the operation.

Of the deer on his farms about 10 per cent are bred for velvet and trophy, the rest for meat, he said.

And for the past decade, Mr Wilkins has sent in 100 deer for slaughter at Makarewa venison plant, near Invercargill, two or three times a year.

Usually the whole carcass gets weighed once but Mr Wilkins gets each muscle group individually measured, like the depth and width of the loin, he said.

When the euro was stronger, Europeans paid $54 per kilogram for loin and the difference between a good and a bad loin could be 1.1kg, he said.

"If an animal is yielding $50 more for a cut, then you want more of that one . . . you have to find out what they are buying most of and produce it."

The individual cuts could be traced back to the hind and sires so he can identify the genetics to breed high value animals.

The 100 deer come from about 10 different sires so the detailed yield information would mean genetic gains could be made quicker, he said."

"The daily kill at the venison plant is 185 because that has the chillers at capacity.

Meatworkers at Makarewa are paid to work from 6am to 2pm, but when they've filled the chillers they can knock off early.

But now a new piece of technology called VIAscan installed at the end of the slaughterboard in February means Mr Wilkins can bypass the bottleshop on the way to Makarewa.

VIAscan shines a beam of light across the carcass and captures its image.

The image is analysed and compared to the shape and colours of carcasses from a large database of results of boning trials to measure the meat, less the fat and bone of three areas - the leg, middle and shoulder."

"The low grass growth during Southland winters made it difficult to keep deer in good condition so farmers sometimes sent them in earlier, or later, than when they were needed for market, he said.

To get more deer, Alliance paid farmers more, but the incentive of an extra $60 to $70 per carcass was not enough to attract enough stock, he said.

Ideally there would be enough deer to warrant starting up the night shift now, but that started in October when more stock was available, he said.

Despite the cold southern conditions about 80 per cent of deer farming in New Zealand took place south of Christchurch and Alliance processed for about 300 farmers in the South Island in their Makarewa and Timaru plants.

Most of the carcasses were red deer, then wapiti/red cross and some wapiti, though the payout for the farmers was the same for each breed, he said.

Alliance Group venison production manager Marty Donnelly said the ideal deer for farmers to focus on genetically was one that grew fast, had about 26 per cent muscle confirmation with a total meat yield of about 70 per cent."

The Southland Times "Hi Tech Route To Perfect Venison (Deer flesh) Cuts"

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nice Hens with Tofu, Chocolate Soymilk

top: Home Hen (once called Hurt Hen before she healed of her wounds) middle: Whole Hen (first two Rescued Hens), bottom: Curious Hen.

To the right, mostly out of view is Geiger Hen.  The first two are orange, Home Hen a kind of marmalade, Whole Hen a blazing flame orange, Curious Hen is more coffee and soymilk mixing :-)  Geiger is a little darker overall, less light colours.

Nice Hens :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

INVSOC Quiz Team Wins! :-)

Tonight Invercargill Vegan Society members Steve, Kerri, their son Jess, Katharine and Jordan entered a quiz at the Glengarry tavern* and we cleaned up! :-)

The charity quiz was to help a Middle School girl who had had an eye operation, to help pay for her surgeries.
"Mr Baird and his wife Tina both went to the quiz night ''but we didn't do that well''.

''That last round was a killer. It was a great night out, though,'' Mr Baird said.

Ruby was adjusting to things like getting into the routine of wearing protective glasses and sunglasses well, he said.

''She's pretty robust. She just bounces around.''

Middle School assistant principal Louise Dickson said the quiz night, held at the Eastern Suburbs Tavern on Thursday night, attracted more than 200 people.

She was pleased with ''the fact that people opened their wallets with their hearts''.

It raised more than $7000 for the Baird family and more was also expected to come in through silent auctions the school was holding for Ruby, Ms Dickson said."

The Southland Times "Thanks Not Enough"

* or "Eastern Suburbs Tavern"

The name picked for out team was the "Vegitators"

It had already been a great day, on my walk home from work I found a Bumblebee on the footpath.  He or she was in the shade, unable to fly while cold.  I scooped them up and carried them home, to rest on one of the sunny flowers in our backyard.

From the second round on, the "Vegitators" shot to the top of the charts :-)

One of the questions was about the current mars rover, "whats it called?"  Well, if I messed up the answer "Curiosity", then my Hen Friend named Curious Hen would have been really let down!!! :-)

Kerri and I knew the answer though, Curiosity! :-)  Curious Hen could hold her head high in pride :-)

We were pretty sure we were safely ahead in the last round.....having stumbled on some earlier sports statistic questions.....but we should never count our Chicken Friends before they've hatched! :-)

Ms Hen and Black Chick, hours after the chicks had hatched :-)

This audio clip was recorded as the answers for the last round were announced....we had some answers least a couple were my fault, but the end result?

We won :-)  As you hear during the clip, we were given a painting by artist Daryl Smith, who's overcome being abused by religious leaders as a child, to be creative through his paintings.

It was wonderful to enter a quiz with an all Vegan team, well done Steve, Kerri, their son Jess and Katharine :-)  All throughout the quiz, raffles were won for "one of 9 lambs legs", "salmon meat", "killed Sooty Shearwater" ("Muttonbirds") and a non Vegan cheese selection.  I would have been game for the others to have run for the door, while I told everyone we were an all Vegan team, and that its great to be Vegan, to look after the birds and the bees! :-)