Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Vegan Day Radio Interview With The Guytons

My mother always said I had "a face for radio", and now I've gone and made a radio appearance!  Robert and Robyn Guyton are fantastic local green warriors, battling the forces of greed, non-green and the colour brown.  Their show "Get Down To Earth" broadcasts on Radio Southland, and they were gratuitous enough to let me sound off on the sixth episode.

direct audio file download

Topics included are World Vegan Day, annoying Librarians with fireworks in the Library, burying TVP to promote Rhubarb growth and Chicken Friends.  Not one but THREE songs are quickly sung around 22m40s, starting with conversation about gooseberries :-)

Monday, October 22, 2012

New Zealand Schoolchildren Reject Free Cows Milk!

New Zealands largest company, "dairy" monopoly Fonterra started giving out "free cows milk in schools" as a PR stunt.   Barely any negative coverage gets out about the New Zealand dairy industry, of how 89% of rivers in my region are "poor" or "very poor", and of the astonishing cruelty inherent to the dairy industry.
A recent report about tonnes of cows milk spilt into the already poor Mataura River.  On the Southland's History page of the Invercargill Vegan Society website, you can look through slaughterhouse industry books about how one Alliance slaughterhouse was built and currently runs dumping its blood, "effluent" and other goodies directly into the formerly gorgeous Mataura River.

"Around 150 electricity customers were without power in Mataura, Southland early today after a milk tanker hit a power pole around 3am.

Between 12,000 and 15,000 litres of milk spilled into a drain which led directly to the Mataura River, Environment Southland said.

Fortunately, from an environmental perspective, the lower reaches of the river were in flood overnight, so the milk would have been diluted immediately and was unlikely to have any lasting environmental impact."

Thank goodness the river was so full, although adding that level of cows milk is still a disaster.

As the mega company felt mounting media pressure though, they relaunched cows milk giveaways in schools, to get future customers hooked, and to look like they cared about poor school children.

Being photographed kissing babies hasn't worked out so well for them though!

As New Zealand newspapers report:

Free milk has left a sour taste in the mouths of some of Northland's schools and a large numbers of their students have dropped out of the pilot programme which was launched on March 19.

After an enthusiastic take-up, some schools have seen nearly a 90 per cent decline in the number of kids receiving milk each day, with many blaming the taste of the ultra heat treated (UHT) milk.

"The kids wrote letters to Fonterra thanking them for the milk, but fewer were drinking it because of the taste it left in their mouth," said Dave Bradley, Wellsford School principal.

The school said half the 240 children initially drinking the milk have opted out.

At Kaiwaka nearly 70 of the school's 86 children were drinking the milk. It is now down to 10.

"I am beginning to wonder if kids are so used to sugar that they don't want to drink milk anymore," said principal Barbara Bronlund."

Maybe its simply offputting to drink milk once you're old enough to talk? :-)

"Holly Walker, spokeswoman for children from the Green Party, said trying to use a 1930s era scheme for modern children was flawed, though she also acknowledged the scheme was not very popular when Labour started giving free milk to schoolchildren from 1937. The policy ended in 1967.

"There was a lot of nostalgia about the programme, but there were flaws - the milk would get warm in the sun and be awful by the time they drank it. Now we've come full circle."

My parents both remember "milk monitor" duty, each day a child would be let out of class to handle the wooden or metal boxes with the cardboard cartons of cows milk.  Apparently each day there was a cows milk delivery, and no refrigeration, it was all dumped somewhere?  "No refrigeration", sounds like we were really......not up to a nation!  And as the calf food warmed up...the smell was horrible!

"Fonterra said the decline was expected and the numbers are now stable.

"It started with a big hiss and a roar and now the numbers are naturally settling down," said Craig Irwin, Fonterra's business manager for beverages."

"Fonterra's website says the pilot will be used to test logistics, such as installing fridges in schools, arranging for the milk to be delivered and putting recycling programmes in place for the packaging, which has also unexpectedly proved a problem.

Several schools said the 250ml cartons were difficult for young children to finish and the folding and disposal of the containers was time consuming.

"My staff are busy teachers and it's not easy managing the milk if you have half-empty boxes," said Adrian Smith, principal of One Tree Point school. "It is smelly."

Those practical difficulties led Riverview Primary School to withdraw from the programme."
Also reported on by Robert Guyton, "Another Problem for Fonterra"
I for one blame Vegan activists spreading their evil message of respect for all animals in our public libraries!!!  And targeting the young with colourful children's books too!!!

Episode 87 Eco Festival 2012, Vegan Cooking Classes and Vegan Pizza!

Episode 87 Eco Festival 2012, Vegan Cooking Classes and Vegan Pizza!

2m World Vegan Day approaches, audio and video clips from listeners wanted for Special Episode!

5m October 2012 INVSOC Potluck, featuring Anna of the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre and THREE Pizzas!

15m Transition Towns Spring Eco Festival 2012, Invercargill Vegan Society Stall

16m My Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin demonstration :-)

20m The Croft "Anti Vegan" stall peace offering 

26m Forks Over Knives review by the INVSOC Medical Staff

31m Russell, Luke at Eco Festival 2012

34m Grant Meikle, Sea Shepherd, Hectors Dolphin Protection

36m Hollie Guyton, All Good Fair Trade Bananas

38m Robert Guyton, Environmentalist Second To None

39m Michael Thomas, Sustainable Building Alliance

41m Terry Guyton, Parkour

43m Rebecca Amunsden, Festival Organiser

46m Seventh Day Adventists Weekly Vegan Cooking Class!!!

53m World Vegan Day clips wanted

Listen now by downloading directly from here or, better yet, subscribe in iTunes to get each episode automagically!
Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals iTunes link

Hello and welcome to Episode 87 of Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals: Eco Festival 2012, Vegan Cooking Classes and Vegan Pizza!

Lots of lovely INVSOC activities to report on for this episode, the last regular episode before….World Vegan Day, 1st of November.  World Vegan Day, our most holy of holy Vegan ceremonies.  Try telling your boss its a public holiday, eh, its a worldwide global recession anyway!  Might as well take a day off work and be one of the cool kids!

I would love if you'd send in a clip for my World Vegan Day 2012 special episode.  Details will be in this episodes show notes, or you can find demo clips and questions at , a post from late September.

Heres an audio clip sent in from my friend Barbara as an example, of how 2012 has been for Veganism for her, how her Vegan community in her area is, and what they are looking forward to in the future:

Thank you Barbara for sharing your plans and progress with promoting Veganism :-)

If you are listening to this show, hi!  I'd love to include a clip from you, be it audio or video.  I'll include full videos on a blog post made on the 1st of November, World Vegan Day, and use the sound from the videos received in the podcast episode.

For more information, check out , or ask on our Facebook group, Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, I'd love to include you!

So whats been happening here in Invercargill?

Our October 2012 Invercargill Vegan Society potluck went down well.  We had a special guest, Anna from the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre.  Christchurch, home of the earthquake is New Zealands vegetarian epicenter.  As we're about to hear, the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre has Vegan activities running all the time!

Russell and I tend to bring the same exact thing to each of our potlucks.  He's taken to coordinating with me so it WONT happen…….but when I found out he was making Pizza, I thought I'd match him for a joke, AND even order a commercial Hell pizza to be delivered to us at a specific time!  Hell are a New Zealand Pizza chain which is taking over the world, you can buy a Hell pizza in India, Ireland, Australia………and Invercargill.  You can hear more about Hell pizza in Episode 84, Hellhounds with Hotdogs accompany Stephen King and Men in Tutus.

I ordered the pizza online a few hours before our potluck, arranging delivery for Katharines house, where our potluck was to be held.  It was set to arrive at 7:15pm, once we'd all settled down for the 7 o'clock potluck.  Heres a thrifty budget saving tip folks, for these tough global recession times.  Order your pizzas online and pay by credit or debit card, because that way you're not fumbling around with change, where you might find yourself expected to give the pizza delivery guy a tip!   Hey, its not like America here, people are not expected to "tip", service industry jobs pay a living wage here.  And what, so I'd pay with cash and have a spare dollar something in coins given to me as change, "um, thanks for delivering our pizza, here, have a couple silver coins?"  Its an insult if anything!

Russell made TWO pizzas, he had a whole bizarrely square pizza left at the end, so everyone to take slices home.  I had two Pita Pepper Pizzas left, out of the ten I brought :-)

No shortage of vegan pizza at our October 2012 potluck!

We've also had our Spring Eco Festival, likeminded groups and businesses having stalls inside a local hall, shops promoting their wares, groups promoting their whats and activists promoting their whys.

Last year, I literally found out about the festival being on the day before!  I saw an article about it in a local newspaper, rang organizer Rebecca Amunsden and asked if I could be involved.  INVSOC had a tiny formica table, staffed by one single vegan! :-)  It went well, I made new friends, gave away vegan baking, took lots of photos, showed lots of photos to interested people from my iPad, and had a great time.

And this year, the 2012 Eco Festival?  Well, I wheedled my way into a position of power, I managed to get onto the organizing committee. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Curious Hen Deathly Ill, "Older Farm Hen" Problems.

A couple of days ago I found Curious Hen near dead.  Now that she is two or three years old, her "farm Hen" body is having reproductive issues, due to how we've harmed these Hens to make them produce such an unnatural number of eggs.  No animal in nature naturally lays eggs the way we make "laying hens" perform, one after the other, all the time, shocking their bodies into laying cycle after laying cycle.  Their genetics are winnowed down so only the "highest producers" pass on their genes, Genetically Engineered monsters.

You have to give the devil his due, and in this case, of farm animals, they simply can't live forever in this state.  "Broiler" Chickens, killed for their flesh grow exceedingly quickly, by the time they are around a month old, these babies are adult sized, BIGGER than what adult Chickens should ever look like.

In the case of "Laying" Hens, by the time she is 18 months or so old, her female reproductive system will start to crap out, producing less eggs, and with more difficulty.  They risk becoming Eggbound, an egg stuck inside their bodies, causing lethal infection.

I found Curious Hen sitting still by herself, very weak.  I recognised that she must have had egg issues, from a broken egg inside her.  Every now and then, my Rescued Hen friends pass "soft eggs", hard, rubbery yellow things, like a fried egg or omlette, smelling like hell.  They nearly kill them, from the infection and trouble caused.  The cause is simply age, their bodies can no longer continue making so many eggs, an unnatural number of eggs, as we've bred into our "laying" breeds.

Hens naturally do not sit very often, they actually sleep standing up in nature.  Rescued Hens will often sleep nested, sitting, because they've always been in a cage or confined space, its habit for them.

Finding Curious Hen like this outside is a dangerous sign.

I took her inside, and gave her antibiotics orally, by needle-less syringe.  I ran our shower, to get the air humid, easier for her body to perhaps pass the obstructed egg, and kept her warm.  Here shes seen with heatlamps above her in our bathroom.  She refused to eat or drink, her body was shutting down.  

You can see her left eye, she's actually watching me!  In this condition though, even keeping her eyes open is difficult, they default to closing their eyes and breathing heavily.  They can barely stand.  When they have an infection like this, its as though they are entering a coma, without help they would drop unconscious and die in spasms.
Curious Hen has even laid a "lash" or two, which are essentially egg like lumps that look like a freaking testicle or something, kinda a rubbery yellow hard lump.........which has freaking "meat" inside....... Apparently they are caused due to damage to her reproductive system, and part of the lining comes away, to coil up and be crapped out in this hard "egg" like form. The flesh inside a "lash" is part of her reproductive tract.

Extremely Unpleasant to look at, imagine an "egg filled with meat"

Cracked open a little
Cut open

I kept her warm and dry, some online help websites recommend standing Hens in this condition in a bath of warm water, the steam is said to help their bodies pass the blockage.......but getting Chickens wet is almost always a bad idea, they catch chills very easily in this state.  I didnt want to get her wet at all.  I used the shower method, running our shower with her in the bath room with me, keeping her warm, the air humid.

Hard to believe this beautiful Hen was on deaths door, but she was.  Unable to eat or drink for a couple of days by the time this photo was taken.  She simply had no interest, and even stepping up to this garden was difficult for her.

Earlier tonight, three days into her problems, I found this large segment of passed egg.  This is what a "shell less egg" or "soft egg" can look like, basically her body has produced an egg without a shell, or with a thin shell, and its rotted inside of her.  The obstruction stops her going to the toilet as usual, and can be lethal within just 48 hours.

Looks like a non Vegan "omelet", right?  Do you feel like eating a Chicken's egg now? :-)

After three days of feeding her water by needle-less syringe down her beak, forcing her to drink against her will, and trying to encourage her to eat rolled oats, she seems to be getting better.  Tonight I actually found she'd flown up to her usual perch, instead of sitting lumped in a nesting box, barely able to keep her eyes open.  I'd kept her wrapped in a towel at night, for warmth, going in several times each night to check on her.

I hope she will fully recover.  I love my friend Curious Hen.

Please, Go Vegan and help all Other Animals.  We've done this to Curious Hen and her brothers and sisters because we have a tradition of eating Chickens eggs.  They were never "meant" to make so many eggs, no animal is.  The industry kills them when they are around 18 months old because their bodies simply start to give up.

I hope that Curious Hen, Geiger Hen, Whole Hen and Home Hen will live out their natural lives with me, safe and well.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Dairy" Dung Beetle Release Delayed

The Southland Times "Fear Of Disease Puts Off Beetle Release"

"A programme set up to release dung beetles on Southland farms so they can eat livestock dung has suffered a setback after concerns were raised about the spread of disease.

An application was approved last year for the Dung Beetle Release Strategy Group to release up to 11 species of beetle to manage livestock dung.

Strategy group spokesman Andrew Barber said the beetles were set to be released last summer but objections were raised shortly after they were given approval.

Concerns were raised about the beetles' ability to spread bovine tuberculosis (TB) and Johne's disease as well as other public health issues, he said."

"Dung beetles removed livestock dung and improved soil drainage and nutrients. They also helped reduce runoff and water quality, he said.

It would be a long time before we could expect to see dung beetles making an impact, Mr Barber said.

"It'll take a while. It'll take about 15 years plus.""

Its our own Environment Southland FOR this crazy scheme!  You'd expect our environmental guardians would be AGAINST it!

So we're going to set loose "up to 11 species of [dung] beetle"......hoping they'll bury and eat up all the cow....poop........and we're told "It'll take a while", over FIFTEEN YEARS???

Absolutely insane!  In fifteen years time, who the hell knows what our "dairy" industry will look like, presumably cows indoors, with crazy robots cleaning up after them.

 No more immigrant workers being exploited for as long as possible before they're sent back to their home countries.  We currently grab as many Filipino workers as we can get here in Southland, working their fingers to the bone, and then we boot them off again, not allowing them to stay as citizens.

As we see here, the Waituna lagoon area in particular is under threat by our uncontrolled "dairy" explosion.  According to the video, in 1992 there were 50,000 cows used as "dairy" machines here in Southland.  By 2000, there were 170,000.  And by 2010, there were over 458,000.

Now tell me, what kind of numbers are we going to be looking at in 15 years time from NOW, from whenever these freaky beetles are finally introduced to our unsuspecting land?  Millions?

Ah, but dont worry, the introduced species of crap eating beetles will have kicked in by then, they'll be "dealing" with ~2013 pollution levels......thats a start.....right?

Hasn't anyone from Dairy NZ seen "Bart vs Australia", where The Simpsons accidentally introduce Cane Toads to Australia, causing a plague?

Absolute lunacy.

Go Vegan! :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventist Weekly Vegan Cooking Class!

Today I visited a new Vegan friendly cooking class, run by Seventh Day Adventists.  Their religion often promotes and encourages Vegetarianism and Veganism.  In fact, Sanitarium, one of the largest New Zealand food companies is owned by Adventists!

While Atheist myself, I'm always interested to meet with religious believers who promote Veganism.  In March I met a local Hare Krishna group, and found out what they are about.

I was interested to see what the Adventists would be like, and to see if the promise of a WEEKLY VEGAN COOKING CLASS was too good to be true! :-)

INVSOC members Dan and Luke let me know about the class, which was just about to begin.  Dan was working today, but Luke, Russell and myself joined the inaugural Adventist "Choose Life" cooking class.

Two of the recipes today were Non Vegan, using insects honey.  The group seemed quite open to trying Vegan versions in future, which was fantastic to hear.  Russell suggested Rice Syrup could be used as a substitute.  Other Vegan sweetners include Agave Nectar and Maple Syrup.

One of the group leaders, Thomas is a doctor at Southland Hospital, he knows Luke and Dan :-)  Thomas gave an interesting slideshow presentation about New Zealand health statistics, linking our increasing poor health to our diet.  It was really fascinating to be there and to see a presenter "make real" what we as Vegans feel, that we can be fit and healthy without animal products.  Its always great being in a room where Veganism feels like the norm!

About twenty guests attended, it was really well done.  Some were vegetarian, many were there for health reasons, they wanted to have a healthier diet.  I hope to meet everyone at future classes, and who knows, perhaps Invercargill Vegan Society numbers will swell :-)

Also a member of the church group was Suzanne, who Dan met at the hospital.  Dan had found out Suzanne was Vegan, which is fantastic!  I hadnt met her in person until today, but now she has a card, and an invitation to join us for future potlucks, I hope Suzanne will frequent our events :-)

Here are some of Suzannes books about Vegan cooking.

Kidney Bean burger patties with salad

A "Jack Cheese" was demonstrated, a quick soft Vegan cheese, as seen in the top left corner below.

Future classes will hopefully be fully Vegan - Vegan cooking classes every week here in Invercargill?!?!  It sounds too good to be true!

The class is held in Clifton, South Invercargill in the Adventists Church Hall.  109 Wicklow Street, a little further south than the Hospital.

View Larger Map

Thank you to all the nice people at the Adventist "Choose Life" cooking class, I hope to see you again next week!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 2012 INVSOC Potluck

Our Invercargill Vegan Society October 2012 potluck was held at Katharines house for a change!  Special guest Anna from the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre was down for two nights only. Katharine had to be home tonight, dogsitting, so would have missed out!  We couldnt have that, so if the Katharine cant come to the potluck, then the potluck must come to the Katharine :-)

Katharine, Russell, Dan, Jordan, Kerri, Steve, Jess, Luke for his first INVSOC potluck, and guest Anna :-)

Audio recorded at the potluck.  Feel free to click play and look at the photos while you hear what we all brought :-)

We were told to follow the path of balloons inside :-)

"Icing On The Quake" is a fundraising cookbook for the Christchurch Vegetarian Centre, to help with damage caused by the Canterbury Earthquakes.  Anna kindly signed a couple copies for INVSOC :-)

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom mini pies

Russell's pizza :-)

Russell told me in advance (twice!) that he was making Pizza for this months potluck.  We tend to bring the same exact thing, some kind of Aleisha-Sophie like twin connection.  Go figure!  As my idea of a joke, I decided to not only make Pepper Pita Pizzas, but also to order a Hell pizza, the "Sinister" which is proudly vegan.

I ordered online, and set the delivery time for 15 minutes into the potluck, sent to Katharines house :-)  We saw the delivery guy with big insulated Pizza bag going to the wrong door of Katharines house, with a wave, I sent him the right way.  "Hey, who ordered a stripper-gram?"

The result: a three entrant Battle Pizz-all!

Hell "Sinister" commercial Vegan pizza, my Pepper Pita Pizzas, Russell's Pizza

Luke made the breads, well done!  Anna brought the good ol' Kiwi Vegan Potluck backup option: a packet of Oreos.

Katharine cares for two Greyhounds.  Because of their long, lean bodies, they greatly prefer having their water bowls raised off the ground, like this!!! :-)

What a great potluck, thank you for being a terrific host Katharine!

World Vegan Day 2012, 1st of November rapidly approaches...

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hens Dont Like Wet Feet! VIDEO

Hen Friends like to keep their feet dry :-)  Whole Hen is the first to move out across the water, she takes a drink :-)  Yellow Hen shoots past, as she is "broody", wanting to sit in her nest, even though its entirely empty of eggs.  Her hormones are going nuts, and will take Hens like to keep their feet dry :-)  

Curious Hen goes last :-)

Worth watching in higher quality, click the Cog icon to see at a higher bitrate.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Curious Hen Drinking in Pecks! VIDEO

Curious Hen seems to be unique amongst my Hen Friends in that she drinks in "pecks". The other Chickens put their beaks down and suck up water, before tilting their heads back so it flows down their long necks.

Curious Hen "pecks" at the water, stab, stab, stab, stab! with her beak :-) My theory is that shes watching the ripples and reflections of the water, and touching them as fast as she can, while still drinking in :-) She tends to drink from the edge of the tray too, which would make the water bounce off the sides for her better. Its like she's play squash then, deliberately bouncing the water off the sides to catch the rebound! :-)

Remember, Chickens have their eyes on the side of their head.  They can see well with either eye, looking with their heads "side on" as you see here in this video as Curious Hen clearly looks up to see what I'm doing.  But their eyesight is particularly keen looking "straight on", both eyes looking towards the end of their beak, for eating, judging distance etc.

With their keen eyesight, they have great precision using their beaks, able to pick up exactly what they want from a pile.  Hens would make great surgeons, or dentists!  Having your eyes on your actual hand (beak) would be useful for precision! :-)

Its certainly possible shes paying attention to the water as shes touching it.

Blackbirds start singing at the end, and the Hen Friends pay attention.  Geiger Hen is by my feet during this recording, you can hear her "
whirring" at the start :-)  Curious Hen is "brown", Whole Hen is "orange".  Interesting to see the difference between my Rescued Hen Friends, the darker brown hens tend to be larger.

As a comparison to how Curious Hen "peck drinks" in her unique fashion, here is a video of the other three Rescued Hens drinking at the same time, in usual Chicken fashion.  Recorded today, as I checked they were all ok :-)

Curious Hen eating my version of lasagne, as seen at our September 2012 INVSOC potluck.

I feel we can have a real impact for the animals by sharing gentle videos.  We do not need to use violent, upsetting videos to promote Veganism, which is respect for others.
"I always get a smile when I see you have posted a new video of your hens. They sure have recovered well from their previous life and look just beautiful. Thank you for sharing."  ~ Piscesbobbie

Go Vegan :-)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

INVSOC at Eco Festival 2012

Transition Towns Spring Eco Festival 2012 has arrived!

Unlike last year, where I literally found out the day before the festival was going ahead (seriously!), txting Rebecca to ask if "maybe I could come to next years Festival?", and being allowed to join last minute with a borrowed table.....this year I planned ahead! :-)

I searched high and low for the perfect tablecloth, no more exposed formica this year!

INVSOC Green, matching our badges, and it was a steal at 13 NZ dollars from The Warehouse (NZ "Walmart") :-)

I decided to do it legit this year, getting official permits to give away food, swearing that I'd obey health and safety guidelines for food preparation.

Technically, I could have used a thing called a "laser printer" to print off a copy of the forms, then write on them with a thing called an "inked pen", and then walked to a thing called a "postal mail system box".  After fixing a "stamp" to the "envelope", all Invercargill mail is sorted in Dunedin, 200KM north......where it would then be sent back to the ICC building a few blocks from my house :-)

No, easier to physically walk to the ICC building, wait in line at the help desk, get an official visitors badge, be let in past the security cameras and doors, walk up four flights of stairs, to meet the person I'd been speaking to over the "telephone" after I left a message on the "automated voicemail system" and they "rang me back"........ pop back down the four flights of stairs, to fill out the form in the lobby's waiting area.

On completion, using a "pen" which I found somewhere, I handed my forms to the helpdesk, thanked them, and left with a smile of triumph firmly stapled on my face - sort of like this  :-D

Of course, I later found out through festival organiser Rebecca that we were all sort of automatically covered under the festivals "we promise to not spit in the food" agreement, and all my stair stepping was for nothing........but at least I got some cool bits of paper to place under my baking for this next photo! :-)

In total, I had five containers of muffins, Banana Chocolate Chip, Chocolate (with Cinnamon) and Lemon.  Over fifty in total, including those I actually baked during the festival as part of a "Vegan Muffin Baking" demonstration :-)

The Eco Festival has been held at the Stadium Southland Badminton Hall for the last two years.  Stadium Southland, as in the thing which collapsed in 2010 when a bit of snow landed on the roof!  See this terrific interview with Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt standing outside the wreck in bitter rain, host John Campbell has a great time laughing along :-)

Quimby: "its not the May-yors faultttttt.... that the stay-di-yum collapsed!"

Vastly overbudget (as in, at least twice the initial rebuild cost?) and constantly delayed, heres how Stadium Southlands main building stands:

Exposed seating bit on the diagonal has got to be good for the stadium, imagine all the birds flying in and nesting inside, the weather getting in!  

Not only is the very second letter of the sign slanted, "Southland" is missing an 'l'!  You'd think that would be one of the first things to fix, to nail the sign in place, make it look as nice as possible from the outside, while the inside is consistently delayed by woes such as "oh no, the steel beams which crapped out last time are being replaced with new ones which are too short, lets just weld a bit more in to make up the difference!"

The Velodrome (indoor cycle track) stands, just to the west of the closed Stadium.  Carpet for the badminton hall was apparently inside, I was told to walk in through the cyclists tunnel entrance, a curving concrete corridor, with those huge heavy plastic flaps you see in walk in freezers.  Though in that case, they keep the freeze in the freezer, in this case, they keep the heat inside the building.

I eventually popped out inside the actual wooden sloping track, with people in the seats all around looking down at me!  "Umm, am I in the right place?" :-)  

Yes, the terrific Terry Guyton was in the middle of the venue with his Parkour army, watching as a forklift loaded the rolls of carpet onto a trailer.  After cautiously stumbling through the plastic flapped tunnel, and emerging on the other side, I got to do it all in reverse, this time following a slow moving fork lift pulling a trailer topped in carpet!

Rolling out the (blue) carpet, over the Badminton courts.

The fantastic, and rather dated card scanning computer system for booking the badminton courts.  "If its broke, dont fix it", it has a wired mouse in a cubby hole below to click around the interface, no touch screens here!

Although, when the thing DOES break.....

The two computers on the other side of the wall

....and a shuttlecock box stuffed full of tarnished trophies!  "yeah, you done good kid, here, pick a trophy outta mah box"

Carpet rolled out, and unlike the 2011 Eco Festival, THIS time I was prepared:  the Invercargill Vegan Society had the first booked spot, and the first setup table :-)

Right by the entrance too :-) (bottom left corner)

Our table!  Russell (seen on the left, grey top) had a stall for SAFE next to the Invercargill Vegan Society table.  He focused on Veganism, it was great having a like minded table beside ours.  He let me use a pinboard he had for our INVSOC posters, on the end so people coming in would notice them.

One of our first visitors, in bright colourful clothing!

Posters, "Veganism: it's* doubleplusgood" and "World Vegan Day" draft design.  I like having the second line all lowercase, skipping the " ' " apostrophe.  One contracted word without mid punctuation deserves another, I always say!  The other INVSOC members?  Not so much.  We'll probably go with an apostrophe'd version.

Hellhound Hotdogs, a vegan streetcart in Australia.  Justin visited Invercargill earlier this year! :-)  We all had a great time, from seeing a male ballet, visiting Bluff at the very bottom of the South Island, to having a fantastic potluck, where he showed us how a REAL hotdog is made :-)

"It's Easy To Be Vegan!" by Emmy James :-)

Russell's table had great books, such as "The Pornography of Meat" by feminist Vegan author Carol Adams.

Russell at the SAFE stall (promoting Veganism), myself at the INVSOC stall (promoting Veganism)  Photo taken by Dan, first Vegan I ever met, on my Galaxy Nexus.  Apparently I was having a bad redeye day :-)

Russell's perfect iced cupcakes, vs my giant muffins:

As Mr Joseph S said, "Quantity has a quality all of its own" :-)

Wifi iPad tethered to my phone's data connection.  I showed the INVSOC website, photos and video of my Hen Friends.

A new Invercargill Vegan Society member, Luke!  I met Luke at the last Green Drinks meeting, after he saw a poster Dan put up at the hospital.  He's training to be a doctor, and plans to focus on nutrition.

Great to meet another Vegan living in Invercargill, and someone else who appreciates the virtuosity of mr Michael Jackson :-)

Audio of INVSOC members Russell and Luke about Eco Festival 2012 :-)

Michael Thomas of the Sustainable Building Alliance, one of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet :-)

Audio of Michael Thomas about the Sustainable Building Alliance and Eco Festival 2012

The Hall was packed with fantastic stalls, from political parties, energy saving ideas, gardening, unusual bicycles, caring for native animals.....and a couple about Non Veganism, such as The Croft, who follow the teachings of Weston Price.  The stall was about drinking raw cows milk, and there are also beliefs about "bone broth", boiling bones for vitamins and nutrients inside.

I visited and "extended the olive branch" on behalf of the Invercargill Vegan Society, offering some of our muffins :-)  I knew that they disagreed with eating flour, with a laugh, I was offered a huge glass bottle of cows milk, which looked like pure fat.  We "agreed to disagree", and swapped pamphlets.

Dan "voila"-ing our cupcakes and muffins :-)

The terrific Grant Meikle of Sea Shepherd and a Hectors Dolphin protection group.  Pictured at our INVSOC stall, complete with Hectors Dolphins!

Audio of Grant Meikle talking about Eco Festival 2012

At 12 oclock, I gave a "Vegan baking demonstration".  Rather odd mixing ingredients out of a kitchen, with an audience of 8 or so people who'd followed the speaker systems directions to attend "my class" :-)

PA System audio

"How To Bake Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins" class audio, ha!  I dont expect you to listen to my awkward fumblings and stumblings for 17 minutes, its good for a laugh, but not quite 17 minutes of laugh(ter) :-)  Lots of dramatic folly sounds for the recording :-)   This fun recipe can be found on our website, the photos are more interesting than listening to my droning voice.

Highlights of the audio clip include explaining how Sanitarium is run by vegetarian-ish religious people, and answering a question "I thought baking usually didnt need as much mixing" with "True, I like a strong banana flavour so I've used a lot of potato masher-ed Banana, if you used less, it would be (quote) more spongy" :-)

30 minutes in the oven, ta-da!  Hot, steaming muffins, which were irresistible.  Almost literally "gone in 60 seconds", like the ~2 hour movie :-)  I took a photo with the piping hot muffins at our stall, then gave them to people who'd attended my workshop.

Greyhounds Down South, who rescue and take care of Greyhounds wrongfully used in the "racing" industry, rehoming them, almost like Rescued Hens.  I followed the parade of ~8 dogs to their workshop, and actually had to help one climb up the few stairs.  Being so neglected by their former "owners", they'd never really see stairs before, "didnt know how to walk up them"!  Seriously!  Similar to "farm" Hens who cannot actually walk when first saved, treated as a someone instead of a something.

Hollie Guyton, for All Good Bananas.  A quality fair trade product, which I used in our Banana Chocolate Chip muffins, and am proud to support on the INVSOC website :-)  Available from Pak n Save supermarket, while in stock! :-)

Audio of Hollie Guyton about All Good Bananas, and Eco Festival 2012

Hollie gave me a bag of popcorn, informing me that the bags with icing sugar were best.  Thanks Hollie :-)

Mention of patriarch Robert Guyton, friend of the Invercargill Vegan Society, although somewhat elusive.  


2012 Jordan at stall with 2011 Jordan at stall :-)  

The elusive Robert Guyton left a comment on last years blogpost......have our paths finally crossed, by the time of this 2012 Eco Festival??? :-)


I do indeed know Mr Terry Guyton, in fact, I interviewed him today about the 2012 Parkour display! :-)

Terry Guyton, on his mob of crazy athletes running about and jumping off every vertical surface they could find, they call it "parkour"

And Behold: the infamous Robert Guyton himself!

"And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!"

Robert caught mid "burble" :-)   Beside stands local Green Party candidate Dave Kennedy, vorpal blade hidden out of sight!

(Jabberwocky mention from Robert's account of attending an INVSOC potluck :-)   Our account of the historical occasion can be found here, INVSOC Potluck April 2012 )

Dave Kennedy has a surname destined to rule, he wouldnt go wrong with a Deputy Prime Minister R Guyton at his side!  

Mind you, best "beware the Second in Command JabberGuyton, Dave,
The Jaws that bite, the claws that catch!...".

Kennedy's tend not to stay in power for long, with or without treacherous deputy PM's eyeing the top job! :-)

Audio of Robert Guyton on Eco Festival 2012, and his fruit tree grafting workshop which involved sharp vorpal blades.

Robert Guyton has also written a blogpost about Eco Festival 2012 :-) 

Rachel at the Green Party stall :-)

I believe the right poster has a couple kids killing fish with a rod, tastefully covered using A3 posters?  Well played Green Party, cover your shame!  

I had a lovely time at the Transition Towns Spring Eco Festival 2012  :-)   Our bigger and better table looked nice, and seemed to go down well.  I received an email tonight from Lisa, who found our website after being given a (non profit organisation) card :-)

"Kia ora Jordan,
I met you at the Festival today. I just wanted to say that the website looks
great and the recipes very yummy. You have photographed them really well and
they are very easy to follow.
I am certainly going to try a few.

Thanks also for your kindness today with your muffin giveaways- most
Great that there is a Vegan Society in Invercargill- keep up the good work.



Thank you to Transition Towns Eco Festival organiser Rebecca Amunsden!  We'd been joking about people getting her name wrong, hence my stumble at the start of this clip

Rebecca Amunsden on Eco Festival 2012

Four vegans at the INVSOC table this year, Dan, Russell, Jordan and Luke.  A bold green table cloth, and Russells pinboard with attached posters, Vegan t shirts.  We truly outdid last years effort of one guy at a borrowed formica table!  Well done team! :-)

I look forward to the Spring Eco Festival 2013! :-)