Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Resolution 2013 : More Vegan Societies

In late 2006 I decided to be Vegetarian for my 2007 New Years Resolution.  I first tried being Vegetarian in November 2006, and it felt right.  Its good to set goals and to achieve them, to see forward progress towards an ultimate end.

For 2013, I would like to work towards seeing more Vegan Societies spread across New Zealand, for every city to be well represented by Vegan spokespersons and to feel a real sense of a Vegan Movement in New Zealand.  Local groups supported by the New Zealand Vegan Society, what could be better? :-)

Veganism is currently strongest in Auckland and Wellington in the North Island, Christchurch and Invercargill in the South Island.  I would love to see this Here Be Dragons map become tofu-ed out over the coming year, to have more local groups become strongly represented both in their area and nationally.

Websites, podcasts, monthly potlucks, Vegan cooking classes, press releases and representative Vegan press contacts, heres to Vegan Activism in 2013 :-)

Do you have an established regional Vegan Society which you'd like to add?  Please let me know, it would be great to include your logo and website :-)

I'd like to add contact details for a Dunedin Vegan Society and Motueka Vegan Society.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Episode 89 The End....of Non Veganism?

Episode 89 The End…..of Non Veganism? 

Celebrating the end of 2012, and perhaps the end of the world, according to our Mayan friends :-)  And what better way to go out than with style, several interviews and the promise of Invercargill Vegan Society potlucks to come in the afterlife…..or 2013, whichever comes first :-)

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

3m "Vegitators" all Vegan quiz team comes first again! :-)
7m The Hobbit movie review, Vegan and Vegetarian themes throughout :-)
19m "Contact", Carl Sagan book about "vega-ns" :-)
22m Sea Shepherd mentioned as VEGAN! 
25m A familiar voice….Julie Gunn of Animal Rights and Wrongs radio show
30m Venetia Sherson interview, about writing about Veganism in nationwide print
50m Rocky Shepheard interview, inventor of "The Vegg" Vegan fried egg :-)
1hr 1m Invercargill Vegan Society November potluck, Dr Luke Graduates
1hr 7m, Barts Comet, The Simpsons conclusion

Until we meet again, good luck on doomsday, have a Happy New Year :-)

Jordan Wyatt and everyone at the Invercargill Vegan Society :-)


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Riverton Visit, Robert Guyton, Homekill Slaughterhouse

A lovely trip to Riverton, Colac Bay (thanks for correction Dave!) and Cosy Nook with INVSOC members Amber and Steve, along with Matt and Cathy :-)

To get anywhere in rural New Zealand however, you have to pass massive slaughterhouses, "stock trucks" taking sheep (mainly) to their deaths (horrible to watch the trucks turn into the slaughterhouses....), rural "home kill abattoir" butcheries.....

And constant Fonterra "dairy" trucks.

Arriving in Riverton, and the South Coast Environment Centre.  Seed savers, organic food, environmental information.....second home to the Guyton family :-)

Riverton bridge, GORGEOUS water!  Teal green!

Cathy jumps off the Riverton bridge into the beautiful teal water below :-)

Harbour jetties :-)

While at the Riverton bridge, I noticed this big "yellow submarine" :-)

Its actually a modern life boat from a Greek cargo ship, which washed ashore here in New Zealand, wow!

Look where its from!  This huge boat!

A common road in rural New Zealand, as we head to Colac Bay. The metal band halfway up the power lines on the right are to stop Possums climbing up and shorting out the power!  The classic New Zealand story of an introduced species becoming a massive "pest", and the whole nation suffering forever on.  Possums were introduced to be killed for their hair, their fur.  And of course, they bred faster than we could kill them, and destroy our native forest, and supposedly spread diseases to our precious "dairy" cows, yet another introduced species.

Think about it, EVERY power pole in rural areas has to have a metal collar around it, to stop the animals climbing up to the top and messing around, bringing down the wires.  What sort of cost is involved in making.....tens of thousands.....of metal bands and installing them up there?

Colac Bay, a great place to surf.

Cosy Nook, where the movie Two Little Boys was filmed.  A few tiny little shacks out by the rocky point :-)

I visited the Two Little Boys premier, and had star Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit) pose with a fan made sign, "Figwit Lives" :-)

Part of the movie involves the three main characters breaking into one of these small houses, and living there :-)

On our way back to Riverton, we stopped by the home of the legendary Guyton family.  Environmental royalty to New Zealand, NO, the entire world, it was great to finally turn up unannounced at Robert and Robyn's door :-)  The duo host a radio show "Down to Earth" which was kind enough to let me appear to talk about World Vegan Day on behalf of INVSOC.  Robert also has a popular blog which he updates most days.

Their massive garden has an actual map drawn by a guest.  The Guytons house WWOOF-ers, Willing Workers On Organic Farms :-)

What a fantastic day :-)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Published Letters To The Southland Times, Eggs

The Southland Times editor recently wrote about ending "battery cages".  Notice the number of "egg producers", meaning the 47 different farms in all of New Zealand, and NOT the actual female Hens who PRODUCE their EGGS inside their bodies! :-)  They're just "livestock" you know, thousands of birds at each farm, property of "THE Egg Producer" :-)

My friend Jenny ALSO had a letter published in the newspaper, about being Vegan for christmas:

Seizing the chance, I wrote a reply to the editor, taking issue with the mention of  "47 egg producers"

Notice also the "Meat-filled Christmas" reply to Jennys letter.   "Humane Killing", two words which cancel one another out.  Euthanasia, certainly, but killing someone healthy because we want to eat their body as part of a religious tradition?  No thank you.

I've written a reply to Annette, informing her of the wonderful Vegan meals that are possible, sharing details of and a link to our Invercargill Vegan Society potlucks as example.

My letter was abridged, my best jokes were taken out! :-)  I wished the our friends the Guyton family well, three Guyton Jr's, and each graduated top of their year, well done!

My full letter, bold text was removed from the printed selection:

"Yesterday's editorial stated there are a whopping 47 New Zealand "egg producers".  A closer figure was also stated, of over 3 million egg producers in this country, female birds.

The lions share treated as batteries, linked together in parallel fashion, wire above and below.

Hen Friends are A+, not AA.  If you confuse the two, expect a lack of electrical power for your cordless toaster, and a sharp nip to your fingers.

Eggs are the product of the female reproductive cycle.  Whether deposited internally or externally, they are equally unappetizing.  

I came home from our monthly vegan potluck last night and checked my Hen Friends were ok.  I heard a noise exactly like a kettle boiling itself dry.  Obviously the correct batteries had been been installed!  

"HSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssssssssss".  Home Hen finished laying an egg, a painful and upsetting process which involves a hard white shell filled with fatty cholesterol oils being squeezed from her ovary and out of her bottom.

It's rather easy to live without eating Hens eggs, just as we somehow manage without gulping down Thrush, Kiwi and Tuatara eggs :-)

Try the egg free recipes on our website, and support businesses who provide animal friendly Vegan options, like Waxy O'shea's, Zookeepers (the best kind of zoo, in name only), Pita Pit, Hell and Subway.  Ask your favorite restaurant what culinary delights the chefs can prepare that do not involve animals, and prepare to be delighted.

Go Vegan :-)

Jordan Wyatt
"all animals are equal"

P.S Well done Guyton family on your achievements, this letter is about respecting Hens, but Dux should be congratulated too!"

About the abridged note

""At the risk of stating the obvious, the 47 egg producers we cited were businesses, rather than individual hens - Editor"

Theres nothing "obvious" about the millions of Hens in New Zealand, 3 million being the figure stated.  These Hens are the true "producers" of eggs, the eggs entirely belong to the birds, they come from inside their ovaries, they pass through their bottoms, they are Hens eggs, not "humans eggs" :-)

I've written a second letter, trying to be fit in the ~200 maximum word limit.  Given more space, I'd mention that "Egg Farmers" are no golden goose, they produce no eggs themselves, caring only for pooping out gold, taking our money" etc.

Lets see if my second letter is included tomorrow :-)

"What animal products at the supermarket show how they are actually "made"? Cheerful cows, peaceful pigs and happy hens are shown, the last often surrounded by her chicks!

The lions share seen as batteries, Hens are linked together in parallel fashion, wire above and below.

Hen Friends are A+, not AA.

She'll never have been "allowed to keep" her eggs, and a laying hen will never see daylight, much less a male bird in her man made miserable life.

Jenny Moxham has a great suggestion for Annette Gunther - try a Vegan holiday feast :-). The religious reason for the season is to celebrate life, correct? So why horrifically kill and butcher other animals?

Do you care for Cats and Dogs? Are they possessions to fence and cage, an "it", or do you respect and recognize them as a "he" or "she"? A member of the family, or an ingredient in the feast?

The Invercargill Vegan Society is having an animal friendly celebration, similar to our monthy potlucks

Cranberry cashew loaf, pecan and pumpkin pies, lasagne, calzone...... and great friends. It'll be superb.

Jordan Wyatt

***UPDATE  Second letter published as well :-)***

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 2012 Adventist INVSOC Potluck

For our December 2012 potluck, we joined with the Adventist Cooking Class end of year potluck.  I *would* say it was an unholy aligning of the planets to create the mother of all potlucks......well actually, that would be selling it short, there were over sixty people and THREE cheesecakes!!!  When the world ends in a few days, blame this gargantuan potluck :-)

The Seventh Day Adventists explain why they are Vegan or Vegetarian, and we test to see if they can make more Marmite :-)


download audio file directly

Raspberry topped cheesecake.....

Mixed berry topped cheesecake (Raspberries, Blackberries and Blueberries)

Third raspberry cheesecake at the end of the third table! :-)

Recipe for the passionfruit cheesecakes can be found here , a step by step recipe will be added to the INVSOC website in the near future :-)  Essentially they are made from broken Nice biscuits for a base, and two cans of coconut cream, passionfruit pulp, sweetener and cornflour for filling.  The topping is made from berries, cornflour and water :-)

Thomas and Tim both explained why Seventh Day Adventists have a focus on healthy living (to be strong, fit and friendly to all who visit their weekly vegan cooking class!)

Noelle's pies :-) Pecan pie recipe at the bottom of this page


Russell's pizza :-)  In October, our potluck had THREE Vegan pizzas, a Russell made creation, Jordan's "Pepper Pita Pizzas" and The Unknown Vegan ordered a "Sinister" pizza to be delivered from Hell.  Three Cheesecakes this time, because good things come in threes.

Noelle's pies

Kerri's number cookies :-)  Adorable bowl, Jordan was secure enough in his masculinity to declare it "cute as a button", which Noelle seconded.

The biggest thanks goes to the clean up crew, who diligently worked at restoring the Adventist hall to its spotless glory.

Joel took a panorama photo show some of the potluck attendees :-)

Thank you to everyone involved with the Wicklow Street Seventh Day Adventist Church Vegan Cooking Lessons, and the Invercargill Vegan Society.  We look forward to future weekly Vegan cooking lessons starting in 2013 - if the presence of THREE cheesecakes within three metres of each other hasnt knocked out the planets soft passionfruit-y inner core! :-)

Noelle's Pecan Pie recipe

"Hi All, One of the lovely ladies at the Adventist dinner asked for the pecan pie recipe:

Pecan Pie
What you need:
1/2 cup raw sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons nondairy milk (I use soy or almond)
2 egg substitutes (I use flax eggs, see recipe below)
8 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (I use Olivani Avocado Margarine)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans
1 9" unbaked pie crust
What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Mix ingredients, except for pecans, which you layer on top. Mix comes out watery.
2. Pour into the pie shell. Place on a cookie sheet and put into the oven for 20 minutes.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 135 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes or longer.
4. Check, center should be slightly soft, but if it seems too watery, bake for 20 more minutes.
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40-60 minutes

Flax Eggs
Use this one for the pie
1 egg = 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons hot water (let stand 10 minutes)
(use: binding and moisture)
1 egg = 3 tablespoons ground flaxseed + 1/8 teaspoon baking powder + 3 tablespoons water
(let stand 10 minutes; use: leavening)"

Similar religious groups linked to Veganism/Vegetarianism: