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Category: Lifestyle

  1. Animal Welfare

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    3 caged cows

    From all of us at Her-Bivore, welcome! You've made the first step in your vegan journey. Whether that ends at the end of this blog or continues for the rest of your life is up to you, but i'm here to provide you with all the information you need to make your own decision.

    As the most well known reason for veganism; animal welfare is at the forefront of many vegan campaigns. I'm not surprised you've ended up here, many of us would never hurt an animal ourselves and even class ourselves as animal lovers. Therefore questioning the morality of paying someone else to do it for us is the next natural step in the process.

    If you want a shock tactic, and have a strong stomach, click here to watch Dominion. I can promise you'll be vegan by the time it's finished, but I will give you a graphic warning. If you're wanting some written facts and statistics, that's what I'll cover in this blog. 

    Many slaughterhouse workers are paid based on the number of animals they kill, rather than an hourly basis, this causes many workers to rush, providing improper deaths to many animals.

    Cows

    cattlefarm

    Many of you have probably seen healthy looking cows in lushious green fields as you're driving through the countryside, but this is what the indistry wants you to see. It's no surprise that cows go for slaughter, it's something we all try not to think about as long as it's done humanely right? But what is a humane way of taking the life of a being that doesn't want to die. With 20% of British beef coming from intensively farmed cows who will never leave a barn until they're loaded onto a slaughter truck. You can't trust those supermarket posters of happy cows in a field titled 'We only use 100% British beef'.

    The most common slaughter method for cattle is the stun method, where they are stunned using a stun gun and then have their throat slit. The two types of stun gun used are one which penetrates the skull, causing unconsciousness due to direct brain damage, or a non penetrative stun gun which impacts the brain without entering the skull. Many abattoir reports state that animals 'will not stand still' due to ineffective stun methods. The EU Scientific Veterinary Committee estimate that around 5 to 10% of cattle are not stunned effectively with the captive bolt - or up to 230,000 animals a year. 

    Dairy cows have an even worse deal than that of meat cattle, as all dairy cows end up as beef regardless. After 4 years of being artificially inseminated (the process of a farmer using his arm and tool to impregnate the cow while she is held in a machine referred to as a 'rape rack' in the industry) she is then sent to slaughter herself, as her body is exhausted from producing 10 times more milk than she naturally would. In order to produce milk, the dairy cow needs to be pregnant or have recently given birth. Calves are taken from their mother within 48 hours of birth, and females are fed formula in seperate cages until they can take their mothers place as a dairy cow, whereas males are seen as a byproduct of the industry and are slaughtered for veal.

    Pigs

    Pig Farming

    Despite the myth of pigs being dirty creatures, they are actually highly intelligent, social creatures. Pigs are often kept indoors for their entire life, in such cramped conditions that they fight among themselves in order to try and have some space. If you've ever seen an agriculture based cruelty video on Facebook, chances are it'll have been of a pig. Pig's are often kicked and beaten in large commercial farms, simply because 'they can be'. 

    Even those pigs which live 'happy' lives on smaller family farms have the same fate as those from intensive farming when sent to the abattoir. Pigs are generally slaughtered at around 6 months old, despite having a natural age span of 10-15 years. Most pigs are electrically stunned and research has shown that the inaccurate placement of the electric tongs is a big problem within the industry. Research has shown that 36% of tong placements do not span the brain as required by law. 13.3% of pigs are stunned on the snout and jaws - a position which is not recommended because animals may fail to lose consciousness. Viva! estimates that in the UK, 125,000 pigs a year will not be stunned at all because of this.

    Chickens, Turkeys, Ducks and Geese

    Chicken Farming

    We've all seen the horrific images from battery farms, so many people take pride in shopping from local farms or buying higher welfare meat. Unfortuntly the RSPCA approved space for a chicken is the size of an A4 piece of paper. The average Sunday dinner chicken will have more space in the oven than it did during its entire life.

    An estimated 1.7 million birds die per year before they even reach the slaughterhouse. This is from heart failure, physical damage and even having their skulls crushed when the doors of transporters are closed. All birds are hung by their feet and lowered into a electric bath in order to stun them before their necks are run past a blade and their throat slit. Unfortunately for turkeys, their wings can hang lower than their head, causing painful pre-stun electric shocks. Any bird who lifts its head before as they enter the bath are supposed to then be decapitated by a slaughterhouse worker, but given the quantity of birds and the speed of the process, many continue to the blade fully concious.

    Any bird who regains conciousness (which can take as little as 22 seconds for egg hens) before they die (which can take up to 5 minutes from the point of the blade) will then be entered into the scoulding tank alive.

    All egg laying hens will only generally be kept on a farm for 1 year after they start laying eggs, after this they are considered 'spent' and sent for slaughter. In the wild, hens would generally only lay 10-15 eggs per year as it is so labouring and requires so much energy. 

    Sheep

    Sheep Farming

    Sheep can suffer from a great deal of illness and an estimated 15% of lambs will die from one of these before they reach slaughter age. Tail docking of lambs is perfomed to make shearing and handling easier, and often happens without any anaesthetic.

    Sheep suffer from a wide range of diseases such as lameness, mastitis, foot and mouth disease and copper poisoning. Pneumonia and hypothermia, from harsh weather conditions, are prevalent in sheep in the winter. Indoor housing has increased disease problems with infectious diseases accounting for 60% of lamb deaths.

    Wool shearing is often done based on the number of sheep, rather than an hourly rate, therefore it is more financially beneficial for shearers to work as quickly as possible, often causing them to be impatient and frustrated with any sheep that won't cooperate as well as leading to common shearing accidents.

    Veganism

    Now that you've got some of the main facts, I hope this is enough to convince you to try vegnaism. If it isn't, scroll back up to the top and watch Dominion. If you need any help with your transition to a vegan lifestyle, don't hesitate to get in touch! Make sure you sign up for Challenge 22+ and check out all our recipes too!

    Written by Amy Northwood
    Her-Bivore
    My passion for food and conservation has led me to where I am now! My aim is to show people that veganism can be diverse, tasty and adapted to fit every lifestyle and budget!
    You can find me on Instagram

    Amy Northwood - Her-Bivore

  2. Environmental Veganism

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    Beautiful Trees

    It's no secret that our planet is dying, and many of us try to do what we can to help reduce the negative impact we are having on speeding that up, but one of the easiest ways you can help the planet is by going vegan. 

    Here's the facts:

    But what does this all mean?

    Water

    water

    A lot of people believe water is an abundant resource on this planet, after all it does make up 71% of the entire planet right? While this is true, only 3% of the Earth's water is freshwater, and only 1% is suitable for drinking. With growing populations and so many extra thirsty mouths to quench, is it fair that we use all that water for a burger?

    Many people believe our water source is infinite (limitless), but unfortunately, this isnt true. Saving water falls as a personal responsibiliy for every single one of us on this planet. While you may be thinking 'but Amy, what about all that extra water that will be needed to grow all the extra fruits and vegetables if everyone goes vegan?' and that's a very fair question! Cows are especially responsible for having a large water footprint (or should I say hoof print?), one cow will drink 30 gallons of water per day, and this can double in hot weather. Then you need to take into acount the water that is required to grow the 27lbs of food they eat on a daily basis, and it soon adds up to far more than would be required to feed a human (or even an entire family!) for the same period of time.

    Greenhouse Gasses

    greenhouse gasses

    Livestock and their byproducts produce at least 32,000 million tons of CO2 per year, or 51% of all greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the entire transport sector combined is only responsible for 13%. I would also imagine you've heard about all the methane cows produce at some point in your life, but did you know that methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 and with emissions predicted to increase by 80% by 2050, we really need to act now. 

    Someone once told me that we have a responsiblity to the next generation to leave the planet in a better state than we found it, and I believe this kind of mindset is the only way we can save the planet before it's too late.

    Deforestation

    deforestation

    Every second, 1-2 acres of rainforest are cleared for grazing livestock, with 'slash and burn' being a commonly used practise of clearing rainforest quickly. We lose up to 137 animal, plant and insect species every day due to the destruction of these bio-diverse regions of our planet. These amazing rainforests once covered 14% of our entire planet, and are now only covering a mere 6%, and experts estimate that within 40 years this number could reach 0 if drastic action isn't taken to restore them. With more than half of the world's 10 million species living in tropical rainforests, we are on the verge of the sixth extinction, which will likely be mankind's final act.

    Oceans

    Ocean Damage

    One of the biggest consequences of industrial fishing is extinction. The atlantic cod was once so abundanct you could near enough walk across the oceans on their back (not that this would be a very vegan thing to do, but you get what I mean) but they were fished to near extinction, to the point where Canada had to put a ban on the fishing of them to try to save them from completely dissapearing from the oceans.

    Fishing is also one of the biggest destroyers of habitats under the ocean. Many types of net trawl across the bottom of the ocean, destorying everything in their path and reducing water quality, this threat to bio-diversity has resulted in humanity driving the oceans towards unprecidented species extinction. 

    One popular type of fishing in tropical waters is blast fishing, in which sticks of dynamite are thrown into the water. These stun the fish, and often cause them to float to the surface making for easy capture, but is one of the largest destroyers of coral reef, not to mention all the bycatch (fish caught that are unfit or unintended for consumption) that are killed.

    Bycatch in other areas of fising, such as those using large nets spanning many kilometers can include anything from dolphins and turtles to even sea birds who become caught up and quickly drown. 

    Veganism

    Veganism is about far more than instagram followers, fancy meals, diet trends or health, it could be our final chance to preserve and restore the planet which sustains life for billions of creatures every day. 

    If you're ready to give it a go, check out some of our recipes, sign yourself up for Challenge 22+ and make the best decision of your life. If you still need a little convincing, check our our Health and Animals sections, and next time you see a vegan option in a cafe of restaurant, give it a go! You might just like it!

    If you have any questions about anything to do with veganism, or need guidance or advice, dont hesitate to get in touch.

    Written by Amy Northwood
    Her-Bivore
    My passion for food and conservation has led me to where I am now! My aim is to show people that veganism can be diverse, tasty and adapted to fit every lifestyle and budget!
    You can find me on Instagram

    Amy Northwood - Her-Bivore

  3. Iceland 2018 Christmas Advert 'BANNED' For Being Too Political

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    Iceland Shop Front

    Banned Iceland Christmas Advert

    Supermarket giant Iceland have had their christmas advert banned from being aired on TV for being 'too political' by the advertising body Clearcast. 

    The kids cartoon-style advert begins with a little girl finding an orangutan in her room. The advert narrated by Emma Thompson quickly takes a darker turn when the child asks why the orangutan is in her room in the first place, which is when he reveals the impact humans are having on his rainforest for the uses of palm oil in food and other products.

    Distressing scenes include cartoons of machines tearing down trees, harvesting the forest and at one point it appears that the oangutans mother will be killed.

    Was it staged?

    While the advert is banned from airing on TV, there are no regulations for social media. Iceland have decided to continue to share their not-so-festive £500,000 commercial on all their social media platforms instead. It's unlikely that such a substantiual company would be unaware of the restrictions of advertising, so some are questioning whether the rejection from TV itself is a part of the marketing campaign.

    While many may argue that the advert has no link to christmas whatsoever, the importance behind the story cannot be ignored. Palm oil is the number one risk to the survivial of the organutan, and at the end of the advert, it is dedicated to the 25 oranguatans that we lose every day. They have also vouched to remove palm oil from all of their own brand products, despite palm oil being a cheap ingredient in everything from chocolate to soap. It is estimated to be in around 50% of all supermarket products.

    What do you think about the advert? Please, share your thoughts in the comments below.

    More

    If you are looking for more ways to reduce your impact on the environment this Christmas, why not check out our 5 tips for a green Christmas post.

    Santa hearts

    On to 5 Tips For A Green Christmas >>

    << Back To Lifestyle

    Written by Amy Northwood
    Her-Bivore
    My passion for food and conservation has led me to where I am now! My aim is to show people that veganism can be diverse, tasty and adapted to fit every lifestyle and budget!
    You can find me on Instagram

    Amy Northwood - Her-Bivore

  4. The BEST Christmas Gifts For Vegans (As Voted By Vegans)

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    561841573602

    Vegan Christmas Gift Ideas

    Christmas is a great time of year for bringing people together, and while we try and keep the focus around spending time together, everyone loves presents.

    Some people love giving them, some love receiving them, and some love both! Regardless of which category you fit into, there is sure to be times when you find yourself wondering what to get someone. If you’re an omnivore wanting to buy something nice and thoughtful for a vegan this Christmas, I have put together this list with the help of over 100 fellow vegans to work out just what it is we really want!

    I’ve included specific examples where I can, as these are all brands I know and trust, so you can be sure you’re getting something 100% vegan that they are sure to love.

    Chocolate

    This may seem like an obvious one, who doesn’t love chocolate? Many of the supermarket options around Christmas time aren’t vegan, but if you’re pushed for time, many of the dark chocolates in shops are vegan (just make sure you check the back, and don’t worry if you see cocoa butter as an ingredient, it is both dairy-free and vegan!). If you’ve got a bit more time to order online, here are some of the tastiest dairy-free chocolate options this year:

    • Cocoalibre  – They make delicious rice milk alternatives to milk chocolate, and have great options for kids in the form of shaped festive chocolates and adults as specialty flavoured milk and dark chocolates. These are sure to go down well!

    • Alternatively, if you’re looking for the gift that keeps on giving, The Chocolate Shop offer a subscription service where they deliver a variety of vegan chocolates directly to the recipients door every month!

    Vegan Makeup

    This can be a little bit more of a difficult one, and is only a good idea for someone you know really well. While you’ll need to do some detective work to establish their favourite colours and shades, treating a makeup lover to some high-end vegan products could make their Christmas! I’ve only included FULLY vegan brands in my list, and they are all voted ‘most loved’ by my vegan audience so you can rest assured you’ll be choosing cruelty free great quality products.

    • Kat Von D is one of the most popular vegan makeup brands, and for good reason! I’m yet to hear of anyone who doesn’t love her products.

    • Milk is another great vegan brand, who pride themselves on being paraben-free, cruelty-free and only using the best ingredients!

    Eco-Friendly Gifts

    This one may seem a bit vague, but that’s because there is no real wrong answer. Anything from notebooks made from 100% recycled materials to bamboo kitchen cooking utensils. Make sure you always read the small print though and be sure that the products are actually eco-friendly! There are a lot of companies out there who will package their goods up in lovely natural looking packaging to make you think you’re doing good, but are actually lying to you. There are some great products over at Protect The Planet but double check the product is vegan before you buy!

    Vegan Cookbooks

    Possibly one of the easier ideas on the list, but nearly half of all the vegans we asked said they would love to receive a cookbook for Christmas. Not all cookbooks are created equal, but lucky for you I’ve read my fair share. The best include:

     

    Vegan Toiletries

    I know I speak for a vast number of women when I say we LOVE our Christmas smellies! It can be easy to assume that all bath bombs and shower gels are vegan, but the truth is that most are not. Many do contain animal products or are tested on animals. One great brand to trust is LUSH, and while some of their products do contain honey, they clearly mark which products are vegan. If you have a LUSH store near you, I reccomend popping in, the staff are always happy to help and the smells are amazing!

    For the men in your life, Bulldog skincare products are all suitable for vegans!

    Charitable Donation In Their Name

    This option was popular with about 10% of our vegans, but I can’t imagine many people would be upset at the idea. Choosing a charity they’re passionate about will show that you’ve put some real thought into the gift, as well as all the good you’ll be doing by supporting the charity. You could even set up a monthly donation in their name and get all the info sent to them.

    Acceptance Of Veganism

    This was one of the most popular options this year, with a staggering 50% of people saying they would like to see their friends and family be more accepting of veganism over the Christmas period.

    For many, Christmas is a time where food is at the centre of attention, so it’s no wonder that conversation often sways towards veganism. Don’t get me wrong, many vegans are happy to (and will encourage) the discussion of veganism this festive period but avoiding being ganged up on or mocked would be top of anyone’s Wishlist. Spare us a thought, pass us the sprouts and let's have a good one!

    What are you wrapping your presents in?

    As a side note, every year we use 50,000 trees worth of wrapping paper at christmas time, to learn more about how you can make your christmas as eco friendly as possily, check out this post from House Beautiful!

    Do you have any additional ideas to these that you think people might love? Let us know in the comments below!

    Written by Amy Northwood
    Her-Bivore
    My passion for food and conservation has led me to where I am now! My aim is to show people that veganism can be diverse, tasty and adapted to fit every lifestyle and budget!
    You can find me on Instagram

    Amy Northwood - Her-Bivore

  5. Tesco's Doubles Vegan Wicked Food Range

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    Wicked Range

    The Wicked Food Range

    After all the excitment earlier in the year when Tescos launched their own vegan food brand Wicked, vegan options have been constantly on the rise. It's no wonder that the superstore has increased the range, as they say that the demand for plant-based foods is the biggest food trend of 2018.

    The new range consists of 26 products, including 'sausage' rolls, pies, sourdough pizzas, chilled desserts, deli foods and more! The new range goes on sale from 15th October, so make sure you check your local tescos store! 

    The complete new Wicked Kitchen range consists of the following :

    • Charred Pineapple Dream Cake
    • Red Velvet Brownie
    • Smoked Carrot Celebration Sandwich
    • Bubble and Squeak Sandwich
    • Cali Roll Cold Cuts Sub
    • Mac Attack Salad Bowl
    • Citrus Noodle Salad Bowl
    • Tex-Mex Salad Bowl
    • Turmeric Cauliflower and Coconut Bites
    • Curried Protein Pot
    • Toasted Three Onion Dip
    • Hella’ Cold Cracked Corn Dip
    • Hipster Salad
    • Street Market Rainbow Slaw
    • Almighty Green
    • Painted Potato Salad
    • Packed Puff Pie
    • Pesto Lasagne
    • Big Bros Enchilada
    • Fiery Filthy Fries
    • Stir Fried Black Pepper Tofu
    • Chinese BBQ Shreds and Greens
    • Margarita Sourdough Pizza
    • Spicy Mushroom and Veg Sourdough Pizza
    • All The Rage Rolls
    • Curried Cauli Pasty

    Have you tried Wicked?

    Chef Derek Sarno who partnered with Tescos to create the range has said:  “This is a dream come true for us. When we launched Wicked Kitchen back in January, the response was just phenomenal. We’re excited to be able to announce the expansion of the range today."

    Have you tried any of the new range? What did you think? Let us know your favourites in the comments!

    << Related Vegan Updates and Articles

    Written by Amy Northwood
    Her-Bivore
    My passion for food and conservation has led me to where I am now! My aim is to show people that veganism can be diverse, tasty and adapted to fit every lifestyle and budget!
    You can find me on Instagram

    Amy Northwood - Her-Bivore