Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Animals in Norway

I was surprised last week to find out the area I live in is known for horse meat. Shocked and horrified...yet what is the difference between eating horse and eating lamb? There is no difference, it is just what we are culturally conditioned to. Eating horse is disgusting but so is eating any corpse of an animal, raised and killed in an oppressive and painful way. As the horse eating came as a shock to me I thought I would find out more about where I live and below are some extracts from the Norwegian Animal Welfare website. Even though these are just facts (no comment on the suffering of these creatures), they still to me make sad reading.

Fur farming

The Norwegian Fur Breeder´s Association organizes the approx. 600 fur farmers in the country. Norwegian farmers produce mainly fox and mink pelts. Saga Furs of Scandinavia does the international marketing of all Scandinavian fur. Oslo Fur Auctions is a main participant in the Norwegian fur trade.

Farm animals

Norway produces eggs, chicken and turkey for own consumption. Usual high intensive breeds are used. Battery hens is the usual production system in egg production. The Centre for Poultry Research aims at serving the poultry industry.

Geno is the Norwegian association for breeding and keeping of cattle. Geno´s cow breed, NRF, is genetically composed to serve a combined dairy and meat production.

Fish farming, fishing and marine mammals

Norway hunts both seal and whale. The Ministry of Fisheries provides information about marine mammals. In March 2004 the Norwegian government presented a Report to the Storting on whaling and sealing (White paper to the Norwegian parliament) explaining Norway’s policy on marine mammals.
Farmed fish is Norway´s second biggest export product. Salmon is the most usual fish bred in captivity. Norwegian Seafood Federation publish facts and figures about fish farming.


Angling and hunting is popular in Norway. This includes small game hunting, big game hunting, as well as freshwater and seawater angling.

Statistics Norway provides plenty of statistics on hunting in Norway.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Vegan Outreach

Just a very quick post as I have just come across this site whilst looking for more ways to spread the message of veganism. You can download leaflets, posters etc and the site is full of ideas! I feel I have a lot to do!....

Monday, 23 June 2008

Meat and Misery!

Home from the yoga holiday and feeling healthy and revitalized. However I did suffer a vegan moment during one of the nights out. It came as most of the girls ordered mixed grills and a huge array of animal parts arrived at the table. I just could not bear to see so many hacked up animal corpses. Animals who did not deserve to die, animals who did not ask to be born just so they could be killed after a short life to end up on a dining table. I felt so sick and upset at the scene that I had to leave the table and sit away from the group whilst they ate. The rest of my night and the following day was spent wondering how my refusal to engage in an inhumane and cruel lifestyle was making any difference to the animals. I was looking at a small bowl of Parmesan cheese brought with my spaghetti napolitana (even though I had asked for no cheese) and thinking how a newborn calf had been killed for the rennet in its stomach to make this and then looked up and saw everyone else in the restaurant stuffing meat in their mouths. Are my choices making any difference at all when everyone else continues to eat corpses of defenseless beings, beings which experience pain, suffering and despair at our hand? I was so deflated but now I come home with renewed vigour to stand up for what is right. I feel I must do so much more to raise awareness of animal treatment, even if it means that some people will dislike me for it. I do not mean that I will start protesting outside the local slaughterhouse (yet), only that in future, when people say to me, 'Do you mind if I eat this infront of you', I will say 'Yes, I do mind but surely it is the animal you should apologize to, for it is the animal that has been killed because you did not feel like ordering vegetarian lasagne today'. Harsh. Yes, it is harsh but I feel I must live my truth. For years I tried to fit in, desperately in need of approval and acceptance. Maybe now I have realized my love of a compassionate life stands higher than that.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Cretan Night

Hi from Crete,
The yoga holiday is going wonderfully. Everyone is relaxed and refreshed and we still have two more days. I have taken a little break from the heat to check my emails and thought I would write a little update. Last night we went to a Cretan night and were supposed to be served traditional Cretan food. What the students got was a pork chop and potatoes, it not only looked disgusting (and a have a picture to prove it and will post it later) but I think it tasted pretty bad too. My vegan food (which I hoped would be really good) consisted of a bowl of vine leaves. After a complaint I was also given a bowl of deep fried courgette which was just awful! So far it has been hot and miss with the vegan food options. I have been able to buy soya milk and vegetable margerine, baked beans and salad. Apart from that it has been limiting. In the restaurants I have had both good and bad experiences. One night I had a traditional Cretan meal of beans, potatoes and carrot ina tomato sauce which was so good and another night a no cheese pizza which was also a delight. One meal I must recreate at home is stuffed tomatoes and green peppers (a rice and veg stuffing) as I loved it! The bad choices have come when I could find nothing to adapt on the menu and the chef has just thrown a bowl of fried veg at me with no effort to even make them taste nice! It has been a little tough to see the amount of meat being eaten in restaurants, especially if people say it isn't much good (poor animal, to be killed and chopped up and then criticized) but that's what happens when your awareness is raised. All I know is that it gives me more strength to spread the message of vegetarianism and veganism.
Til next time x

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Last minute running around!

Just getting my last things organized before we leave for the yoga holiday on Saturday. Grandma arrives tonight so the kids are going to have a real treat when they wake in the morning and find her here! The owner of the villa is kindly buying some essentials for me so I can have a cup of tea with soya milk! I am trying today to leave the websites in a good state in case I cannot update whilst I am away. I started a new social network for yoga and health which is picking up nicely - but I really want some more members so if you or anyone else you know is interested in anything yoga related, please spread the word. Yoga Baby is going really well now, we have been in magazines and on the news so viewing figures are up! I will be filming a new show soon too so looking forward to that. It's all go here! Speaking of which, Mr Miller just woken from his morning nap so I'd best be off!

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Helpful vegetarian & vegans!

I have had a great deal of support since turning vegan from many places and this is so encouraging. Although most people I encounter on a daily basis have no idea why someone would choose to be vegan, I found the internet is a wonderful place to meet people who do have a similar view on compassionate living.

Just the other day I was wondering how easy it would be for me to get soya milk and basic supplies whilst on a yoga holiday next week in Crete so I thought I would search google for vegetarian+Chania (the nearest town to where we stay) and 'The Green Terrace B&B' popped up. As I could find no other information in the time I had I sent them an email (not really expecting a reply as I am sure a b&b would be busy at this time of year and I am not a guest) but the next day I received such a nice email back, with details of where I could get supplies, complete with directions and some further information which may be really useful to me. So I would like to say thank you David and Kathy for your kindness. By the way the place looks beautiful so if you are ever thinking of a trip to Crete, drop them a line - their website is

So now it is less than a week until my students and I travel and my excitement is tinged with a little nervousness. I will miss the children and my husband desperately I know but at the same time am truly looking forward to catching up on some rest, practicing yoga twice daily and enjoying the Greek culture. I will try and post whilst I am away depending on the internet access where we are staying and am hoping to get some stunning yoga pics whilst there. This will be my first holiday as a vegan so as for my vegan experience....I will let you know!

Monday, 2 June 2008

Eating only Rabbit can kill you.

I watched an episode of a UK tv programme I like called 'QI'. It's a quiz show without really being a quiz show, based on peoples general ignorance! Here I found an odd piece of information but worthy of sharing. The topic which dominated the show was 'If you eat only Rabbit you will die'. This was taken as a huge joke at first until fully explained. Rabbit contains protein. Protein = good in most people's opinion. However, rabbit does not contain anything else the body needs, no fat which the body can use and no vitamins or other nutrients useful to survival. A diet of only rabbit can lead to starvation/death. The joke during the show was to make sure you eat Rabbit with peas and carrots. Rabbit meat actually also draws vitamins out of your body so I think you would be much better off not eating Rabbit at all. Not to mention how adorable Rabbits are, and lambs, and calve, and chicks, ducklings and piglets.....

I did find some research to back up these claims and as usual found lots of other things that really got my back up. Below is one of them. So dignified. Let them sniff life, then kill them, aren't we such a humane species....

If you have to buy meat, or if you'd like to earn some extra money, think about raising rabbits. Rabbits are popular because they have lots of babies that grow quickly into big rabbits that you can eat. One healthy doe, can produce five litters of six rabbits each year. That is about 30 kilograms of meat a year. The meat, when cooked, tastes like poultry meat: rabbit curry and chicken curry taste just the same.

When your buck and your does are living in clean, dry, safe hutches, you are ready to think about breeding your rabbits. To breed the doe, put her into the cage with the buck in the early morning or evening when it is cool. Watch her carefully to make sure she mates. It should take only two or three minutes. If she does not mate, you can try again later. After she has mated, put her back in her own cage.

Thirty one days after mating, her litter will be born. Three days before the baby rabbits are due, give the mother a nest box where she can give birth. Put a little soft, dry grass in the box and the mother will mix it with her own fur. The nest is also a warm, dry place for the young rabbits. There are usually 6 to 10 babies in a litter. The baby rabbits will not open their eyes for about two weeks. Do not touch any of the baby rabbits until they are 7 days old. If you touch them, you will change the way they smell, and the mother won't feed them. If you must touch them, rub your hands over the mother first. That way, you won't change the way the babies smell. The rabbits will be ready to eat in only four months. You can wean them at 2 months of age. When the baby rabbits are weaned, it's time to breed the doe again. Feed them for 2 more months and, when they weigh 2 kilos, they're big enough to eat.

(Info from
(Rabbit image courtesy of Jeff Clow)

Visit Yoga
blog template by : header image by Vlad Studio