Lauren Harris

7 Survival Tips for Vegans on a Student Budget

As a recently graduated student (and currently unemployed), I am not unfamiliar with living on a budget. However, I am prone to spending more than I should on food. This is mainly because where I live there are so many amazing vegan eats practically on my doorstep. I am weak-willed when faced with such delights as vegan arancini and delicious vegan cakes from The Spotless Leopard. Let me emphasise that I will not be arguing that it’s easy for everyone to be a healthy vegan: Although I’m on a tight budget, I realise how incredibly privileged I am compared to...

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The Save Movement: What To Expect at a Slaughterhouse Vigil

The Save Movement is a global organisation which holds peaceful vigils outside slaughter houses. The movement was started in Toronto with the formation of the Toronto Pig Save. This group was founded by an activist named Anita Krajnc, who made headlines last year when criminal charges were brought against her for offering water to thirsty pigs at one of the Save vigils outside an abattoir. She made headlines again when the case against her was dismissed, in what was seen as a great victory for animal activism. The key objective of The Save Movement is to ‘bear witness’ to...

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Should Vegan Restaurants Serve Meat and Other Non-Vegan Options?

Last month we heard about a disgruntled customer who complained that a café specialising in vegetarian food was “too veggie” and “lacking in meat”. The customer in question aired his disappointment on TripAdvisor, where the owners of the café (the Retreat Tearoom and Bistro, Grassington) expressed their amusement at his strange complaint, pointing out that there are “six cafes” and “many pubs” in the same village that serve non-veggie food that the customer could have chosen instead. In April this year, another confused meat-eater took to TripAdvisor to express their annoyance that the vegan diner V Rev in Manchester...

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Are Vegan Parents Guilty of Forcing Their Beliefs on Their Children?

Parents who raise their kids as vegans are sometimes met with criticism from non-vegans. Usually these criticisms stem from either beliefs that a vegan diet is unhealthy, or a view that parents are “forcing their beliefs” on their child by feeding them a vegan diet. “A vegan diet is unhealthy for kids” This belief probably stems from several high-profile cases in the media where children who were fed a vegan diet have ended up hospitalised due to malnutrition. Examples include a 14-month old boy in Italy, who suffered from heart problems due to calcium deficiency, and a 7-month old...

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What Is The Liberation Pledge And Is It For You?

What is The Liberation Pledge? Those who take the The Liberation Pledge strive to meet the following three goals: Publicly refuse to eat animals (live vegan) Publicly refuse to sit where animals are being eaten Encourage others to take the pledge. The key message behind this pledge is that as someone who opposes violence towards animals, you refuse to sit at a table with people eating the bodies of the victims of violence. This could mean forgoing social events such as Birthday meals, Christmas dinners, and work parties, which understandably may put people off taking the pledge. However, the...

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5 Tips on Surviving as a Vegan on Vacation In Spain (And Everywhere Else)

With a penchant for adding chorizo or jamón to every dish going, Spain is not often a country associated with veganism (chorizo ice cream, anyone?). With this in mind, it was with some trepidation that I prepared myself for a week-long holiday in southern Spain with my family (all 100% omnivorous). Now, my family are very understanding of my veganism, however I’m not about to drag four people across a city in 40-degree heat to find an obscure café that someone reviewed online 5 years ago, which may or may not serve vegan cake. So here are five tips that,...

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FISH! Are They Our Friends or Are They Food?

Perhaps you read our article on animals’ capacity to experience pain. The examples in that piece focused mainly on mammals and birds, but what about fish? Is there evidence that fish can experience pain in a similar way to birds and mammals? FISH! Are They Our Friends or Are They Food?   UNQUANTIFIABLE FISH FATALITIES Extrapolating from data from the FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department, it is estimated that every year 970-2700 billion fishes are caught from the wild [1], and 37-120 billion are killed in fish farms [2]. The reason these figures are extrapolated is because the official...

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Do Plants Really Feel Pain? What Does Science Say?

Previously, I thought this common “argument” against veganism was a joke. A throwaway, tongue-in-cheek comment made to trivialise the concept of veganism. However, on closer inspection it appears that some people are genuinely arguing that plants and non-human animals have a similar moral standing when it comes to killing them for food. Every now and then, a newspaper or magazine article does the rounds on social media, gleefully shared by people who have a strange obsession in portraying vegans and vegetarians as hypocrites. These articles often cherry-pick findings from actual scientific studies which show certain capabilities of plants, in...

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What Vegans Really Eat and “Where Do They Get Protein?”

Many a vegan will have been asked this question at some point, in fact it’s become such a cliché that the very mention of protein to is likely to generate an eye-roll. Now, I could list various vegan foods that contain protein, but most people know what these are, and there are many such lists available online (see here, for example). Although we all know which foods are high in protein, we may not know how much we need to eat to meet the daily recommended intake. I used this handy online calculator to work out how much protein...

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What Are Major Medical Institutes Saying About Vegan Diets?

Go to the comment section of any online article about veganism (if you dare!) and you will almost certainly come across a comment along the lines of “vegan diets are unhealthy” or “humans need to eat meat”. I am happy to report that current scientific understanding of nutrition suggests otherwise. What Are Major Medical Institutes Saying About Vegan Diets? Here are some quotes from the major dietetic or medical associations of the UK, US and Australia- These institutions have access to information from the most respected research organisations in the world, and the countries they are based in also...

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Let’s Talk About Backyard Hens (A Vegan Group Admin’s Worst Nightmare…)

In a previous article, I wrote about the free-range egg industry, and how the idyllic image of happy hens scratching in the yard is not always that close to reality (see article here). I concluded that I could not buy free-range eggs with a clear conscience, knowing what goes on in the industry, so I have chosen to cut eggs from my diet altogether. However, there are many that would argue that there is a third option; keeping your own ‘backyard hens’. Backyard hens are quite a controversial topic within the vegan community, with some vegan social media groups banning...

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What’s Wrong With Free-Range Eggs?

Explaining veganism to people can be tricky. Generally, people seem to have got the hang of vegetarianism; it’s obvious that in order to make bacon, a pig has to die, there’s no getting around that fact. But when it comes to eggs, many are baffled; “surely it doesn’t hurt the chickens to take their eggs?” “as long as the chickens are treated well there’s no problem, right?”. Most egg-eating people I’ve spoken to say they only buy free-range eggs. I’m guessing my circle of friends must be poorly representative of the UK at large because recent figures from the...

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What’s The Difference Between Clean Eating and Veganism?

Recently I was sent a link to a documentary by a friend which, according to said friend, was about veganism. It turned out not to really be about veganism at all but about “clean-eating”, although after watching it I could forgive my friend’s confusion. The documentary was called “Clean Eating’s Dirty Secrets”, originally aired on BBC 3, and the basic premise was to investigate whether health claims made by proponents of clean eating (mostly bloggers) could be trusted. I’d like to make it clear from the start that I was not totally against the premise of the documentary; unqualified people...

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Do Animals Feel Pain? | Deciphering Scientific Studies on Pain in Animals

Few people would deny that animals are able, at least to some degree, to experience pain. However, in many cases farm animals routinely undergo procedures which are likely to cause pain without pain relief (often called “analgesia”). For example, the American Veterinary Medical Association reports that surgical castration of male piglets “is typically performed without anaesthesia or analgesia” 1 and a recent RSPCA report stated that “It is estimated that 80 per cent of male piglets in the EU are castrated each year (approximately 100 million piglets), many without anaesthetic/analgesic” 2. A survey of U.S. animal science faculty members...

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