Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Break out!

We had some visitors yesterday. As we were going about our daily activities at home, Matthew told me to have a look in the garden. Upon doing so I saw four cows wandering around, enjoying the grass! The had found a gap in the fence at the back of our house and thought they would take a little trip. As our garden has nothing that the cows could have done any damage too we left them to it. Heidi and Miller had a great time stood on the balcony mooing at them and the cows mooed back each time! They hung around for most of the morning and when I looked out in the afternoon they had gone. Not back to the field. Just gone. Maybe moved to a different field, maybe dead ready to go on someone's plate. I feel such affection for cows, even more so when I get in close contact. They are beautiful animals, such gorgeous eyes and lashes and such soft skin (much preferable when still attached to the cow). I took a video which I will post when I can figure out how to do it on my new camera! One of them was very curious about our old Volvo and kept circling around it giving it a good sniff, the others were out exploring and seemed to be having a jolly good time.
I notice cows everywhere. Maybe other people do not see what I see - well I know they don't! A few days ago I drove past a field where I saw one cow with such full udders. It looked so uncomfortable and the cow could hardly walk properly. It reminded me of when I began breastfeeding Miller and how sore I was when he missed a feed or when I woke in the morning if he had slept for longer than usual. I wanted to stop and get out of the car and do something but what do I do? Do I go in the field and try and milk the poor thing, what do I do? I did nothing and I felt so bad for my inability to act. Yet this is just one animal and this is an animal in what I would could a good situation (not that there is such a thing in truth), out grazing on grass for one thing unlike the majority of dairy cows who never see a field now....
I have to stop this blog post now, it's too upsetting...

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

What about Protein!

What about it? What is the big obsession with protein? When I tell people I am vegan it is usually the first thing they say to me, followed by 'What about Calcium', usually followed by a disapproving glance or two.

I thought it would be useful to share with you foods which have a high protein value. If you are a vegan you can rest assured you are getting enough protein if you are eating a varied and healthy diet and if you are not vegan you can read this and put your minds at rest that we are not all going to waste away from protein deficiency. Infact although protein is essential to our diets, most people eat far too much which can interfere with our ability to absorb calcium. We only need protein to account for 1 of every 10 calories we consume. The average vegan male needs to be consuming around 55-70 grams each day and the average female around 45-60 grams. After each food I have listed how many grams of protein are in a typical serving.

Lentils (1 cup cooked - 18g), Soyamilk (1 cup - 7g), Brown Rice (5g), Jacket Potato (4g) Wholewheat bread (1 slice - 3g), Spinich (5g), Baked beans (12g) oatmeal (1 cup - 6g), Broccoli (4g), Peas (9g), Peanut Butter (8g), Tofu (11g), Bagel (9g), Spaghetti (8g), Almonds (4g), Cashews (5g), Soya Yogurt (6g), Sunflower seeds (6g), Black beans (1 cup - 15g), Soya beans (1 cup - 29g), Kidey Beans (1 cup cooked - 13g), Chickpeas (1 cup cooked - 12g)

So you can see that a vegan diet is not devoid of protein. If you are a vegan and still concerned just make sure you have some of the above list in you home ready to use. We usually make up a batch of hummus (chick pea dip) which we snack on regularly with pitta bread, tortilla chips or raw carrots. I also make up nut mixes to have as snacks (which Heidi, my 3 year old loves - almonds, cashews, walnuts (for omega 3) and dried fruits). If you make salads or breads, throw in some sunflower seeds and linseeds (for omega 3 also). Marinade some tofu in soy sauce and add to a veggie stir fry, add spinich to your favourite pasta recipe, have baked beans for breakfast on a saturday morning - maybe experiment making veggie sausages - I came up with some great ones last week made with cooked red lentils and soya pieces mixed with soy sauce and breadcrumbs. Just experiment!

Ok, that's today's post. It won't stop people asking the question but at least you have some facts at your disposal!

Cashews 1/4 cup 5 2.7
Almond butter 2 Tbsp 5 2.4
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 5 2.1
Spinach, cooked 1 cup 5 13.0
Broccoli, cooked 1 cup 4 6.8
Potato 1 med.
(6 oz) 4 2.7

Sources: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 18, 2005 and manufacturers' information.

The recommendation for protein for adult males vegans is around 56-70 grams per day; for adult female vegans it is around 46-58 grams per day (see text).

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Elephant Hunt

This morning I began work at the studio by researching the life of Jumbo the Elephant for an idea I have for a short film. As I was meandering around I went further into the history, wondering how Jumbo, the famous circus elephant, was captured. It seems his capture came as part of the ivory trade with his parents being killed and Jumbo being caught for export. I then had a look at the ivory trade and researched how elephants were hunted and killed. I thought, as many of you probably thought, that elephant hunting was now illegal and only practised by rogue hunters outside of the law. Um, it seems that is where I am mistaken as I found this website and have been gobsmacked for the last fifteen minutes reading articles on the site. I would really advise you visit the site and do whatever you feel needs to be done to change this horrific 'sport'.

The site tells you how great it feels to bring down a beast (nice choice of word) the size of a London bus (not that hard with a big gun, should it really make you feel strong?). It is a challenge. Go enjoy yourself! If that's not for you, you can try murdering another animal of your choice, perhaps leaving cubs without a mother, just to make you feel nice.

This has made me angry and I apologise if this blog entry is not as in depth as it could be but now I need to go and do something about the absolute horrific nature of some individuals. I will today write my short film, not about Jumbo but about the injustices being carried out today towards living, breathing, intellegent animals who deserve people standing up for them.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Well, Summer seems to be over here in the Arctic, not that we really had one in the first place! The nights are getting darker now, we have said goodbye to the Midnight Sun until next year. I am just over the flu that has knocked me out for around two weeks and to top that off I had serious toothache resulting in my having to have one of my wisdom teeth out on Monday so now I hope that is the end to illness and pain for a while!

I plan to revert back to the plan of posting up some articles and research which I feel are important to the vegan cause so this will be my last personal post for a little while as I dig up some interesting facts about the meat and dairy industry!

Life as a vegan is so wonderful, I cannot express how it makes me feel other than saying it gives me immense strength to speak out, not just for the animals but for anything I believe is injust. I feel empowered and no longer just go along with general opinion just because I am afraid to be different.

I have taken the step to gain further yoga training and am due to take my first weeks intensive course in Brighton in the UK next month. I have reserved a room at a vegetarian hotel called Paskins, the children will come over with me and stay with family and Matthew is staying put with the dogs. This will enable me to further my plans for a yoga studio here in Northern Norway. Our Yoga baby web tv show is also flourishing with plans for the new show running smoothly too.

I have also been in contact with a society for the welfare of animals in Norway who are sending me some leaflets in norwegian that I can distribute here. It does not seem to push the idea of veganism but it is a start and they are heading in the right direction. After seeing a course advertised locally for 'learing how to put up electric fences to stop livestock escaping' I am even more determined to raise awareness of animal suffering here. It's a steep hill but I am feeling fit!

Wishing you all a pleasant day,
Jill x

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Summer Flu

I am taking a little time out as I have been ill with flu for 2 weeks! Good job I know how to make great vegan soups! Back soon x

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