No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Monday, 27 September 2021

MY SECOND ULTRA, A VIRTUAL 50K OVER THE CHILTERNS.

Sunday 3rd October 2021

And so it begins...7.55am - just 50k to go!

Well, we did it! The three of us - GS Alfie, son Ben, and myself - set off at 7.55 yesterday morning, and arrived back at 7.25 yesterday evening. So 11 hours 30; actual walking time was 9.38. We had 3 pitstops, one in a rural cafe, one at a local shop in one of the villages we walked though, and the main one, just after the halfway point, back at my son's house, where we changed into some dry clothing.

Conditions were OK - it was a bit chilly early on, around 10C, and it was overcast - pretty good really. 

12.44 - it had been raining for over 2 hours at this point and the previously very dry trails were beginning to show puddles here and there.
 

But it didn't stay that way! The forecast said to expect rain about 11am, but it began to rain about 10 - nothing heavy, but it was steady. The forecast I had seen showed green patches of rain over the Chilterns throughout the day - with the green turning to purple, which indicated heavier rain, for most of it. And so it proved. As soon as it began to rain I donned my poncho - hoping to keep my rucksack dry, and that worked, after a fashion. The rain steadily grew heavier, in line with the forecast. It wasn't comfortable, but there was nothing for it but to plough on. I have a mantra I bring out on these occasions, gleaned from one of the Rich Roll podcasts - "Being comfortable with being uncomfortable."

One of the joys of that first couple of hours was that we had wonderful views of loads of Red Kites, soaring and swooping around us - sometimes just overhead. When the main diet here in the SW is the odd buzzard, this was a treat indeed!

I learned a few things about endurance events, and myself, yesterday. One of them was that once it had been raining steadily for a longish period - say over an hour - rain became the norm, and it no longer bothered us. We all agreed on this. Another was that once my feet were wet - and this was inevitable, since the puddles eventually became too big to avoid - some time after the squelching had gone, my feet began to feel warm and dry again. They weren't, of course, but they felt OK. This was more noticeable with my Asics road trainers than with my Inov8 trail shoes. I had started off wearing my trail shoes, went to change socks at the halfway point, but didn't want to put dry socks into wet shoes - so I rather stupidly put on my dry trainers - which became soaked within 10 minutes of getting back on track!

14.32 - by now we'd got used to the rain, and just accepted it.

15.34 - Glad to get out of these wet shorts! And, taking note of Paul Millson's advice to keep warm, I donned a pair of joggers and an extra fleece which I'd been carrying in my rucksack. So the poncho worked on my top half, at least.  

Knowing that vegan food would possibly be hard to find on the route, I had brought with me a couple of Gregg's vegan sausage rolls, and 4 pre-cooked Richmond meat-free sausages, plus, as a treat, a dozen dates stuffed with marzipan. I planned on having one of these every hour. In the event I had more than enough, and came home with 5 of the dates still uneaten. Not being a fan of hydrating with water, I took along a 1ltr flask with black coffee, and again, I still had half a mug left.

My son had the difficult task of guiding us around the route he had chosen, using a combination of his iPhone and Garmin watch. The rain was so persistent and heavy that he had trouble accessing the phone at times. But he kept us on track for the whole 50k - with about 75% trails and 25% roadwork.

I have to pay tribute to Alfie, who suffered a groin strain when he slipped early on - and he developed the odd blister  But he never complained, and just got on with it. I saw a quote from Bob Unsworth, on The Ultra Challenge Club FB page, which I've relayed to Alfie: "Doing it without the adrenaline buzz of an event makes it that much more impressive.”

We did 48k in daylight - just the final 2 in darkness where we needed our head torches. In fact, as the light dwindled, so did the rain, finally. Just as we arrived home! Bloody typical! 😃😃

19.26 - 3 smiling faces! And why wouldn't we be happy - we'd just smashed 50k in nine and a half hours in the pouring rain, and we only had hot showers, warm, dry clothing and hot or cold drinks and a takeaway in front of us!

I can't begin to convey the feeling of satisfaction - along with some euphoria - that we all felt, as we finished. It had been a wonderful day, with some real highs, and one or two - very short in duration - lows, it must be said. But the opportunity to test ourselves, in our loved ones company, was something really special. A day I will savour for a long time - an occasion to remember, indeed!

A huge thanks to my supporters - the animals at Pear Tree Farm Sanctuary will also thank you. There's still time to donate - you'll find a link a little further down this blog. 

These are the reason I'm fundraising - these guys will get to live out their whole lives in peace and freedom. Surrounded by nothing but love! But it costs money for feed, vets bills, etc. So any pennies you can spare will be hugely appreciated - and put to good use!



I'll post their names, as soon as I find out from Bex at Pear Tree farm.

One last thought about my ultra adventures - and my ambition is to do 50 of these before my 100th birthday - or three a year: We can all do more than we think we can! In fact, we can all do much more than we think we can!

(As a treat for reading this far, I give you my chocolate cake recipe, down the side of this post - you'll be glad you did! An 8" cake, with only 5 ingredients and costing around 40p! What's not to like?)

Monday 27th September 2021

I've been holding off posting this update, since my son was unable to arrange childcare for the Chiltern 50 ultra and we were casting around for something to take its place. So, we've had to go to plan B. We still intend to do a 50k - but this time a Virtual one - and plumped for the Virtual Challenge Trek to Kilimanjaro - 50k exactly,  over the Chilterns - this coming weekend. And we're to be joined by my grandson, Alfie! But my fundraiser for Pear Tree Farm Sanctuary (link below)is still ongoing - I'm hoping to run it until the week ending 10th October.

My training is going well - walking about 70+km a week, ATM. And, whisper it quietly, I actually did some run/walk this morning, only for about a mile, but it's a start!

22nd August 2021

There's no doubt about it, at least in my experience, ultra marathons are addictive! My friend Alex, who also did the South West Coast 2 Coast last month - his first ultra - is now actively planning to do 10 ultras throughout 2022! And my son, Ben, who also did the ultra with me, took less than a week afterwards to start looking at his next ultra - the Chiltern 50. Then I started thinking about it, and decided - just yesterday - that I would like to do it with him.

Fundraising: When I did my 100k challenge last year, Dean Farm Sanctuary was the beneficiary; For the SWC2C challenge, Viva! benefited. I figure these two charities represent two sides of the same coin. So this time I'm going for another sanctuary - Pear Tree Farm Animal Sanctuary.

The ultra takes place on the 25th of September, so we have 5 weeks to prepare. I thought long and hard about funding it - it costs £130 to self-fund, but only £10 if I was to fund-raise for a charity. This would require me to raise £395 - over 5 weeks I thought this would be doable. But the problem with that is that half of the money has to be with the charity 3 weeks before the ultra.

So I've got 2 weeks to raise £200. 

Please donate if you are able to - but if you're a bit short this month, I would appreciate it if you would share this among your friends. :)

Here's my Facebook fundraiser.

And I'm just about to start a fundraiser with Wonderful.org, recommended by Money Saving Expert, they take no commission - every penny goes to the charity - for those not on Facebook.


Monday, 6 September 2021

FUNDRAISER 2 - A NEW CHALLENGE: An Ultra Marathon

Tuesday 27th July 2021

Well, I did it! Or at least I completed 70km out of the full 102km. I'll come on to why I had to drop out in a moment, but I want to start at the beginning. But first, I should like to thank everyone who donated to Viva! both on Just Giving, and on Facebook Donate. I finished up raising around £1700 which is absolutely amazing! Thank you, each and everyone of you!😍😍

Here's an article that I wrote an article for the Vegan Runners Newsletter, about the whole adventure - and it was an adventure, it was a complete blast!

Sunday, 5 September 2021

A WEEK'S MENU FOR A VEGAN



This was first posted in 2013 and started out as a weekly menu, but I've since added to it. I need to update this, since I try to follow Dr Greger's Daily Dozen, and my lunch routine has changed considerably.)

Breakfast:
Porridge – made with water - is probably the healthiest breakfast. Combine it with blueberries, strawberries or whatever suits your fancy.  I like mine with blackstrap molasses – although I no longer draw faces and yachts on the porridge as I did with treacle when I was younger! (Still do with the grandchildren on occasion! :-) )

My wife has hers with sultanas (soaked overnight) and banana. (Ugh!)

I only have porridge about once a week - my usual breakfast used to be spicy fruit naan, slathered with mashed banana.

However, since I'm rarely hungry in the morning, I skip breakfast these days, except for the once a week porridge when my wife and I have a Sunday lie-in.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

HEALTHY - and I mean healthy and guilt free — flapjacks:


200g chopped dates

200g banana

200g rolled oats

50g peanut butter


Turn oven on to 180C/350F


Soften the dates with the water - I microwave them for 2 minutes.

Add the banana and mix into a paste - I used a hand-held blender for this

Add the oatmeal and the peanut butter - I get mine from our zero waste shop, just pure peanuts

Mix together into a stiff, but very sticky, dough, using a table knife

Place the dough onto a baking paper lined oven tray and press down evenly to your chosen thickness - 5mm or 1/4”. Wet your knife or spoon, whatever you’re using for this.

Place in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the temp down to 150C/300F for a further 15 minutes.


TBH, I was trying to get them to crisp up a little at this stage, but they still remained a bit soggy - but with a chewy texture. 


I also did some in the frying pan over a very low heat. Place spoonfuls of the mixture around the pan, press them flat with the back of a wet spoon. Turn over after 5 minutes. Keep turning over until you think they’re done. 


Enjoy!


Think I’ll add some cocoa powder next time. And you could add sultanas/seeds to this, no problem. I reckon a pocketful of these would keep you going for a few hours, at least!


23/7/21 - for my latest version, which I took on the ultra,  I added:

1 dsp cocoa powder

125g sultanas


 


Thursday, 27 May 2021

CASUAL OUTREACH CONVERSATIONS

My new, personalised leaflets:

These came courtesy of The Everyday Activity Shop and are a great conversation starter. 
I've been giving these out to everyone I meet.

Tuesday 25th May 2021
Gave out a couple of dozen leaflets to a gang of construction workers who regularly gave me encouragement when I swing past their building site whilst doing my training. Also on offer was a piece of my chocolate cake, just to show how tasty vegan food can be:


One of the guys, who'd seen me coming, had a load of spare change to give me, so another £2.80 goes into the pot.

Wednesday 26th May 2021
Good start to the day with a phone consultation with a physio. After taking my history, and hearing about my challenge, he said he would mail me some knee strengthening exercises. I told him I attribute my physical fitness to plant-based nutrition, and he told me he was interested in veganism, but was very nervous about it. So I told him I would send him some links which would allay his fears.
Later, whilst shopping in Taunton, I came across a young guy who told me he liked my VEGAN AF beanie. So I asked him if he was vegan - which he was, as was his partner. Lovely couple, Taylor and Lily. They'd both been vegan for about 5 years. Taylor had experience of Cubes of Truth in Sydney, and had met James Aspey. So he's going to look up AV: Taunton on Facebook, and maybe join us on the streets. Turned out he was also a runner, on and off, but his brother was a serious runner who had recently done the Somerset 6 peaks challenge, which I've not heard of, and I'm unable to find anything about it. We are both fans of David Goggins, so we swapped a few stories and quotes about him. 
Later I asked a young checkout guy if he had any friends - he had three or four, he said. "Thought about it yourself?" I asked. He hadn't, but he took a leaflet and promised to check out all the links.


T


[This was written back in March, last year, just before the first lockdown. The material I use has changed, but the method - seizing every opportunity to start a conversation - hasn't. ]

3rd March 2020
Scroll down a bit for my latest outreach efforts - also known as the latest episode of, 'Never leave home without some AV cards.]

Casual outreach - and organised animal rights activism
When shopping, I try and head for a young checkout operator, and I ask them if they have any vegan friends. Generally, the answer is "Yes." I then produce a card and ask them to pass it along to their friend(s), pointing out the AV Taunton link - "We're always looking for new people to join us." Then I ask them if they’ve thought of going vegan themselves - and often the answer is they’ve thought about it a bit. So I quickly go through a couple of links on the card, on the back of which I’ve written “The Game Changers” NETFLIX, and I tell them to watch that.
I've now started asking older checkout operators if they have any vegans in their family - same conversation ensues, although not so often.
If I see anyone pick up a vegan item in a supermarket, I'll start a conversation - often starting off by saying, "Oh, I haven't tried that, what's it like? Are you vegan yourself?" And away we go. Or I'll check out someone's items on the conveyor belt at the checkout.
I've been known to ask a group of obviously fit young lads about their fitness - then it's "Have you watched The Game Changers? It's about these elite athletes who are all going vegan and finding their performance is enhanced - not just their performance on the playing field!" Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. 😎
I'm a bit more circumspect when it comes to young women, although there was a girl on a train not long ago, carrying a hockey stick, and carrying a sports bag. I asked her if she'd heard about a plant-based diet improving sports performances. She was very interested and promised to look into it.
If you've read all this waffle, you're probably wondering where you can get hold of these AV cards I keep handing out. The best way is to join your local AV Chapter on Facebook. We're AV Taunton https://www.facebook.com/groups/1909455942700636/ - and come along to one of our Cube of Truth demonstrations, where we try to educate the public about the horrors of animal farming, asking them to go vegan. It is, without doubt, the most painless way into activism. YOU are in control of how much you want to participate. Standing there, behind a mask, supporting a TV, with a sling over your shoulders (doesn't weigh much, and you can keep your hands warm in your pockets), you're part of a static display which attracts passers-by. When you've had enough and you want a break, someone will swap you out, and you can hang around and shadow an experienced outreacher talking to someone. ONLY when you feel comfortable - and this is at your own pace - do you begin to do some outreach. Often, what happens is that you'll be standing there behind the mask, you'll hear one of the outreachers make a point, and you'll think to yourself, "I could have said that", and slowly, your confidence grows. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: Becoming active for the animals is the quickest and best way to increase your circle of vegan friends. I began my AV activism knowing perhaps half a dozen other vegans - now I have scores of ARA friends, all over the SW. People I'm proud to stand alongside and fight for the animals with and call my dear friends - my second family, in fact. And the satisfaction, and fulfilment that you feel after a Cube is immense. I spoke to about 7 people in Bath today, who all said they would check out the links on the card with a view to going vegan. I doubt this will happen straight away with all of them, but, seeds have been planted - and with one couple, who said they would support each other, I'm pretty confident that they will make the change.
As vegans, we all have the benefit of going to sleep with a clear conscience. But just being vegan is a non-action - it's like being a non-sexist, or a non-racist, it should be the default position - you're merely not contributing to the violence towards animals. As an Animal Rights Activist, you also have the benefit of knowing you're doing something good for the animals - and you're on the right side of history!💚💪💚


Thursday, 4 March 2021

ONLINE BAKING SESSION

Ciabatta-style spicy fruit soda bread

Chocolate cake - with perhaps a little too much cocoa powder


Ginger cake, sliced up ready for the freezer. My aim is to have just one chunk per day.
 
Fruit pikelets

Aims:
To bake 3 or more items online with a group of friends. The intention is to make a spicy fruit ciabatta, a chocolate or ginger cake, plus fruit pikelets - and, if time allows, battered mushrooms and banana fritters.
We'll be using an oven, a microwave and a frying pan.

Objectives: 
By the end of the session, students will have made a variety of baked goods, and, with the help of recipes, be able to recreate these items to feed their families.

Running order:
Spicy fruit ciabatta
Chocolate or ginger cake
Plain or fruit pikelets
Battered sausage and/or mushrooms and banana fritters - if time allows.

Preparation:
Before the session starts:
Read the recipes carefully - through to the end.
Gather equipment.

For the spicy fruit ciabatta:
Mixing bowl, scales, stiff palette knife or table knife, jug, spatula, prepared baking tray, oven.

For the cake:
Mixing bowl, scales, jug, dessertspoon, whisk if you have one, spatula, microwave cake former or cake tin 20cm (8"), microwave or oven, cooling rack (or tea towel).

For fruit pikelets:
Large cereal bowl, dessertspoon, jug, frying pan, hob.

Gather ingredients.

Approximately 500g (1lb+) self raising flour, sugar, mixed spice, sultanas, water, olive oil, cocoa powder or ground ginger, salt, cooked sausage or mushroom, banana.

Online Baking


Equipment.

For the fruit soda bread (FSB):

Mixing bowl, scales, stiff palette knife, or table knife, measuring jug, spatula, baking tray lined with baking parchment, oven.


For the cake:

Mixing bowl, measuring jug, scales, dessertspoon, whisk if you have one, spatula, microwave-safe cake former or cake tin 20cm/8”, microwave or oven, cooling rack or tea towel.


For the pikelets and fritters:

Large cereal bowl, dessertspoon, jug, frying pan, hob.


Ingredients:

FSB:

200g self raising flour (or, plain flour plus 2 good teaspoons baking powder)

25g sugar

1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice

100g sultanas 

150g water

1 tablespoon veg oil (olive oil I find best)


What to expect.

First of all, let me say that this is meant to be a relaxed and enjoyable experience - in fact my first teaching aim for any session of mine is that everyone should have fun - including me!

And my objective is, that everyone who joins in will be able to bring the making of at least one of these baking products into their comfort zone - hopefully all three.

We will wait until everyone has finished each item, before we start with the next recipe. 


Running order:

Fruit soda bread; Chocolate or ginger cake; Battered sausage and/or mushrooms, banana fritters; plain or fruit pikelets.


Planning:

Oven on to 220C/425F , prepare baking tray - with baking paper (NOT greaseproof! Packet must specify baking paper or parchment), or a non-stick mat. If you have neither of these, then oil a baking tray and sprinkle flour over the oil.


Fruit bread:

200g (8oz) self raising flour (or, plain flour plus 2 good teaspoons baking powder)

25g sugar

1 heaped teaspoon mixed spice

100g sultanas 

150g (6fl oz) water

1 tablespoon veg oil (olive oil I find best)


Method:

Measure the dry ingredients, mix round couple of times to disperse the spice; add the water and add the oil directly into the water.

Mix with a stiff knife, stirring and mixing until the ingredients are mixed thoroughly. It should be a very wet, sticky dough.

Position the bowl directly above your baking tray and scrape the contents carefully out of the bowl, so that they finish up in the middle of the tray. 

Smooth the dough, if required, using a wet spatula, or pat any lumps down with wet hands.

Place directly in the oven. Set your timer for 20 minutes


This generally takes me about 10 minutes - but I’m allowing for 30 for everyone to finish. Then we’ll move on to the cake.


Chocolate or ginger cake:

200g (8oz) self raising flour

200g (8oz) sugar

30g (1oz) cocoa powder

300g (12oz) water 

1 tablespoon veg oil


Method:

Once again, dry ingredients first, a couple of seconds mixing to distribute the ingredients; then add the water and oil. It looks like a very wet mix, but it’s supposed to be wet.


Pour into your prepared 8” (20cm) cake-former/tin or whatever. For the microwave, I now use a large pasta bowl, lined with baking paper. Scrape the bowl with a soft spatula or whatever.


Place in a microwave (800W) for 8 minutes, or in the oven for 35-40. Turn the oven down to 180C/360F when you remove the ciabatta. Test with a skewer to see if it is cooked.

This generally takes me about 5-6 minutes - but I’m allowing for 20 minutes for everyone to finish. Then we’ll move on to the batters.


Battered sausage/banana fritters and plain or fruit pikelets:

First of all, put your frying pan on a low to medium heat, with a little oil if needed.

Place 4 dessertspoons self raising flour in a small bowl and add 3-4 dessertspoons water, plus a pinch of salt. Stir into a thick paste, using the back of the spoon to smooth out any lumps. Carefully add a little more water, stirring all the time, until you achieve a thickish batter - known in some circles as a tempura batter.

Turn the heat up under the frying pan to medium to hot.

Slice the pre-cooked sausage lengthways, then into halves, so you have four pieces. Place these in the bowl and cover each with batter. Lift them out, using a fork, and place them in the frying pan, turning them over when they’re brown underneath.

Or: slice a couple of button mushrooms and repeat the process. Or do both.

Once these are in the frying pan, add a dessertspoon of sugar to the batter and make the banana fritters - it’s exactly the same process.

Check the battered sausage, mushrooms and banana fitters, turning as necessary

Pikelets: thin the batter slightly and place several dessertspoons round the frying pan - these are plain pikelets; then add a small handful of sultanas or raisins to the mix and repeat to make the fruit pikelets. 


Not in the programme, but if you were to thin the batter right down, that makes a pancake batter. You don’t need egg replacement or plant milk - you just need s/r flour and water.



Sunday, 3 January 2021

HOW WIDE IS YOUR CIRCLE OF COMPASSION?



"Our task must be to free ourselves...by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty." Albert Einstein

Dear reader, 

I've no doubt you're a compassionate person, most people are. But I'd like to ask you, just how far does your circle of compassion extend?



70 billion animals are slaughtered, unnecessarily, every year. Unnecessarily, because both the British Dietetics Association, the American Dietetics Association - and the WHO - have stated that you can live healthily on a whole food, plant-based diet - at any age. And there are vegan alternatives for every food you can think of.

Could you go vegan, and leave animals off your plate, so that you no longer play any part in this suffering? 


If you don't like the word 'vegan', 


Would you go vegan to improve your health and thereby be less of a burden on the NHS?










Would you go vegan for the environment?

It's time to stand up for our planet - Chris Packham






Would you go vegan to help feed the 800 million people suffering from malnutrition in this world?


Would you go vegan out of concern for the slaughterhouse workers? 

“Most of us who do or did that job are irrevocably messed up….Ptsd is real. The nightmares are real. The drink and drug abuse that many end up with is real. Some people I know committed suicide cause of working in a slaughterhouse and if you bother to look into it you see it’s extremely common for slaughterhouse workers to take their own lives, and considering male suicide is an epidemic, buying meat doesn’t do the the workers any favours.” (My italics.)



Would you go vegan to prevent the overuse of antibiotics?





Would you go vegan to help save the Amazon - and all the other rainforests under threat?

Amazon fires: a vicious and preventable cycle | Greenpeace




Would you go vegan so you aren't contributing to climate breakdown?

Would you go vegan to help prevent future pandemics? Given that, in the view of many, Covid-19 is just a dress rehearsal.



But it's the animals that are my main concern - would you, could you, go vegan for the animal's sake?




Tell me, just how wide is your circle of compassion?








My loves,
This post is not meant to be judgemental, it's not an opportunity to debate, it's only about love and awareness 💚 Since I went public with being vegan in my stories, I experienced amazing reactions from you, who open their hearts and minds. Some of you started listening to the screaming of the voiceless and started questioning their habits which we've been taught by the industry and society. I grew up eating animals and their secretions, because my parents learned that this is how it has to be. They love me and never would harm me purposely. But that's the problem, we get taught, that it's ok to exploit animals. We get taught, that it's ok, to eat tortured, abused and killed living beings and we get taught, that it's even healthy.
It's a lie. Our bodies and souls are not even made for meat. Humanity will never live in anything near harmony on this planet as long as we eat other individuals. We must stop this injustice. Stop supporting the exploitation of other species and of mother earth. For other species and for the future generations! The strong have to protect the weak instead of harming them. They trust us and we betray them in the most cruel ways. Pigs are smarter than dogs, in fact a pig is as intelligent as a 5 year old child. A cow is pregnant for almost 9 months and she cries and is mourning when her baby is stolen from her just because we want to drink another species mother's milk. It's wrong. When you open your heart, you'll know. Please think about it and start to value life more than taste. Start to accept, that we don't have the right to do this, just because we're humans. There's no such thing as a humane way to kill a living being, who does not want to die, for your 15 minutes meal. It's 2020 and we're destroying our habitat, we're causing pain and death everyday. Millions of animals die every day, it's mass murder. They're sentient beings, it's not about "can they think like us", its about "can they suffer like us"... And they do, they are aware of their lives and they suffer greatly. We cause this cruelty by not going vegan. Please, don't ignore it, listen to the voiceless, thank you 🙏💚
(Nathalie Rieder)

For help in going vegan, there is help and support on Veganuary.com, or visit vegan22.com.

Thanks for reading.

Love and Peace, Paul

Tuesday 20/10/20
[By Ronnie George, from Facebook]
Bacon. Ham. Pork. Hot dogs. Sausages.
~
I ate the flesh of pigs from as early as I can remember. I only stopped in 2018. Shortly after stopping I decided to learn more about the pigs I'd eaten all my life up to that point. I learned that pigs aren't naturally dirty animals (colour me surprised), that they're more intelligent than dogs and that they're incredibly gentle and emotionally complex animals. I also found out that 60% of the pigs killed in the UK were killed in gas chambers. This sounded horrible, so I decided to find out what it looked like. Unfortunately it looked and sounded even worse than what I'd pictured. The industry said the animals just peacefully fall asleep, but the footage only ever shows animals thrashing and screaming in agony before passing out. It turns out that the CO2 burns and acidifies the liquids in their bodies, starting with their eyes before quickly spreading to the moisture around their brain, causing the pigs to feel as though they are burning in fire while they suffocate to death.
That was 2018. Now in 2020 the percentage of UK pigs killed in gas chambers has risen to nearly 90%. There are over 10 million pigs killed a year in this country, almost all of whom are still babies at only 5-6 months old. The industry claim to use gas for pigs as it's "humane" but the truth is it's just an efficient way to kill lots of large animals quickly. The Nazis knew this, the meat industry does too.
All this means that if you're going to be tucking into a bacon sandwich this week then you can guarantee that you're eating the flesh of a young innocent being who suffered immensely. The flesh of an animal whose mother was most likely forcibly impregnated by humans then made to spend the majority of her pregnancy trapped in a metal cage too small to turn around in, before then having to watch her babies be stolen and go through the whole process again.
If the pig whose body parts are in your frying pan was one of the few that are not gassed, perhaps he or she was electrocuted, shot, drowned in boiling water or stabbed to death instead. Those are the only options.
I'm sorry to be so upsetting but the truth isn't always pretty.
Do you want this to stop? Does doing this make no sense to you at all? All this cruelty for the things mentioned above. Bacon, ham, pork, hotdogs, sausages... but not even that, becuase you can have all those things vegan anyway! So what is it really for? Why are we so cruel?
It's not for our health, as bacon, ham, hotdogs and other processed meats are known carcinogens, and animal products are high in saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, all leading attributors to our most deadly diseases such as heart disease. Not to mention that exploiting animals causes pandemics such as bird flu, swine flu and covid-19, and the majority of antibiotics that are produced are given to farm animals, increasing the rise and prevalence of antibiotic resistant infections and diseases.
It's also not for our convenience, as raising animals for slaughter takes up huge amounts of land, water and food while also producing a massive amount of waste, so it's many times easier and more efficient to just produce plants.
So what's it for? At the end of the day is it purely just to make money for these industries? Is that really the only reason we continue to tourture and murder billions of innocent animals, so certain businesses can keep making profits?
If that doesn't sound like a good enough reason for animal abuse, you already know what to do. #GoVegan
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I want everyone who still eats meat to stop viewing animals as products and start viewing them as individuals.
Scientifically speaking we know they are our cousins. We know they experience pain and distress similarly or in some cases identically to how we do. Shouldn't that be reason enough to give all animals respect, morally speaking? Shouldn't we need tremendous justification for tremendous cruelty?
If you're against animal abuse then do what I did and look into how your lifestyle is responsible for things you don't agree with.
You can start here ⤵️
Free documentary about UK animal agriculture
22 days of free support transitioning to a plant-based diet
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