Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas, Peace and Creation

Christmas: A time for being with family and friends, enjoying good wine, good food, and (of course) wonderfully rubbish Christmas telly. For many of us, it’s also a time to think about the reason why we’re celebrating – the arrival of baby Jesus, Immanuel (‘God with us’). At Christmas, we remember the wonderful message of peace, hope and love that God brought to us in Jesus.

That message stays with us as we go about our festivities, and should hopefully make us think about the ways in which we can reach out to those around us, and also about how we personally can become part of this message of peace.

People are becoming increasingly aware that switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet is one of the ways in which we can have less impact on our environment and also reduce animal suffering (not to mention coming to the realisation that the food can taste pretty incredible too!). I've been a very blessed vegan of late, getting invited to a completely vegetarian Thanksgiving (my first ever Thanksgiving, being a Brit!), having a vegan christmas meal at the wonderful Warehouse Cafe in Birmingham (run by Friends of the Earth), and then another one at Mildreds in London.

The Warehouse Cafe, Birmingham.

Mildreds, London.

The food at both of these restaurants was absolutely fantastic, but I have to say that Mildreds topped it for me because they sold a good selection of organic vegan wine and beer, and being able to pick wine from a menu in the knowledge that no animals were harmed in the making of it made a nice change! Still, to The Warehouse Cafe's credit, you're allowed to bring your own wine and no corkage is charged, so it's a good place to go if you're looking to save some pennies! As I said, the food at both of these veggie restaurants was fantastic, so do take your meat-eating friends along for a change of scene (my friend said her meal was, and I quote, 'better than the steak [she] had last night)', so there's no excuse to all go to a standard restaurant...

What surprised me most is that both of these places were packed and full of all sorts of people, of all ages. It's simply lovely to overhear someone ask 'Is this vegan?' when an extra dip is put down next to them. It sounds so trvial saying that now, but it's undeniably reenergising realising that you're not alone in your attention to this issue, and gives you fuel to keep pressing forward in the knowledge that lots of other people are by your side. As the tagline of my blog says, I genuinely do feel that food is yummier when it's in sync with what we believe, and it's lovely to share this fellowship with others.

Last week I hosted a little mince pie and mulled wine night, and thought I'd share my vegan discoveries with you: I found some gorgeous vegan mince pies at Waitrose, and vegan mulled wine from Marks and Spencers. (I also got some dairy free fudge from Waitrose, and it was delicious; I would never know the difference!)

Although I know that veganism is my personal choice (and one that I'm very fortunate to be able to make, since I live in a wealthy country where a vast choice of food is readily available), something really does jar with me when I think about the fact that during a lot of people's celebrations they'll be eating animals that have suffered for all of their lives. It just seems to contradict the very thing that christmas represents: Hope, love, freedom, and compassion. I spoke to a Christian I met during a train journey on Sunday, and he mentioned how we often separate the spiritual and the physical, and I've been thinking about this since.

Why is it that we consider some things in the realm of the spiritual, but other things purely physical, and just 'the way things are'? It's of great significance that, in the birth of Jesus, God became flesh. I think that much can be gained from combining these two elements, since what we do, eat and wear can link into the spiritual, can be a testament of our faith, and can help us feel more connected to God and those around us. We can make choices in this physical world that can help us grow spiritually.

At this time of year, it can perhaps seem a little harder than usual to stick to our vegan guns when there are so many tasty non-vegan treats about, but I feel that this season of peace and good will to all men entails thinking also about God's wonderful creation, and our capacity for compassion towards it.

I for one will enjoy my Turkey-friendly christmas dinner and will raise my glass of champers (vegan, obviously!) to the hope of more peace and light coming into the world during 2010, and for me, this hope encompasses all of creation (remember, God's eye is even on the sparrows!)

Before signing off, I have to post this wonderful cartoon by Naked Pastor (Link to your right in the blogs section).

It was actually created in reference to Thanksgiving, but I thought it was equally apt for this christmas post...If I ever get the animal sanctuary farm (attached to the vegan restaurant and christian bookstore) of my dreams, then I'm definitely going to adopt a Turkey. They are so creatively ugly that they are wonderfully beautiful!

Link to this particular cartoon here:


Also, if you fancy doing some reading over christmas, I read an interesting discussion on another blog by a fellow christian vegan. The post and the discussion that follows is worth a look.


And here's another (recent) Christmas cartoon on Naked Pastor that you might like:


So many of us are frustrated with the fact that this issue is off the radar for most christians...How do we best go about raising awareness of this in the christian community? Get thinking whilst you're supping you're mulled wine!

Anyway, MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all. I hope Santa brings you vegan treats and that many a vegan glass of champagne finds its way to you.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Making the Compassionate Choice

Veganism is all about choice. Far too often, veganism is painted as some sort of self-sacrificing stance that turns even the most reasonable of people into activists who spend all day standing outside fashion houses with buckets of red paint (whilst secretly growing resentful of the fact that they haven’t had ice cream for 10 years).

Yet the fact is, in many places in the world, the things that vegans choose to give up (like cheese, ‘oh I could NEVER give up cheese!’) are things that would seem trivial to most people, and no sacrifice to make at all. Having an evening meal consisting of no more than rice and beans is considered a great blessing in many parts of the world. We have been seduced into thinking that it's our right to have the amount of consumer choice that we do, and the idea of sacrificing any sort of pleasure (strangely enough, particularly when food related), is not one that most people are comfortable with. Veganism is seen by many as a threat to their way of life, and even proximity to a vegan has seen many a meat-eater cling to their chicken burger that much more tightly.

But sacrifice, however small, is a necessary part of change, and it is also a big part of the Christian faith. So much suffering in the world is hidden from our eyes (whether that be by large-scale cover-ups or by glossy food packaging) and we can go on acting as we were before we knew about it, with an ‘ignorance is bliss’ mentality, or we can try and be part of the movement that changes it. Being a vegan does not mean that you can’t do certain things, it means that you choose not to, and there is a great significance in that distinction. One does not become a vegan and then have that choice taken away; rather, it is a conscious effort every day to attempt to live compassionately, with a consideration for the rest of creation.

Being a vegan is one of the most joyful things in my life, and when given the opportunity to make a compassionate choice, I hope that I continue to take it. God's creation is such an incredible, wonderful, awe-inspiring thing, and I believe we should tread as lightly (and thoughtfully) on this earth as we possibly can.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Animal Testing...What Would Jesus Do?

I’ve been a vegan for about half a year now, and I must say, I’ve really settled into it! I can’t believe how enjoyable I’m finding it, food wise, and how much healthier I feel.

I also feel pretty sorted with where I stand on most issues, and am on top of things with regards to vegan cosmetics, household products, and food, and am lot happier about how I relate to God’s creation.

However, the one issue that still troubles me, particularly as a Christian, is that of animal experimentation. It’s something that I’ve thought about so much, and yet I’m still grappling with the complexities of the ethical dilemmas involved. For me, the debate isn’t about who are more important, human beings or animals, but is rather focused on the question of whether or not we even have the right to make that decision.

It’s such a difficult topic, and the more I delve into the literature and research surrounding it the more confused I become. Animal Rights advocates argue that animal research is often rendered completely useless by the vast genetic differences between human beings and other animals, and that often laboratories conduct cruel and unnecessary experiments to prove the obvious (experiments which are, of course, heavily funded). Conversely, charities such as Cancer Research UK claim that ‘Many life-saving medical advances in previous decades would have been impossible without this type of research. In cancer research, the involvement of animals has led to huge progress in our understanding of the disease, and the development of effective anti-cancer treatments.’ (This was the response I received after emailing my concerns as a supporter of the charity.)

In theory, I don’t think that we have the right to inflict intense and prolonged suffering on animals for our own gain. However, if this research genuinely has and does save lives – or, on a more personal level, has the capability to save the life of someone I love – the waters become an awful lot muddier. But then, I would probably do a lot of horrible things to save someone I loved, but that wouldn’t justify my actions or make them in some way morally sound.

In the UK, especially, there are lots of regulations in place that claim to guarantee that all animal testing adheres to strict animal welfare laws, and that animal testing can only be done if scientists prove that every other avenue has been investigated first. Perhaps, for vegans and animal lovers, it’s easier just to take a stand totally against animal testing rather than to constantly follow updates in law and regulations; trusting huge corporate institutions to act ethically is obviously something most people struggle with, but the more politically and ‘ethically aware’ person even more so.

I’m still thinking this one through. I guess compassion is always the answer, but in this case I’m not sure what that means practically in an area of life that seems like a moral minefield.
We are called to be instruments of peace, to stand up against injustice, and to defend those who cannot defend themselves. We are called to bring God’s kingdom to earth, acting with love and mercy.

What is the Christ-like thing to do in response to animal research in the field of medicine?

Answers on a postcard/in my blog’s comments box please…

Vegan Christian love to you all.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

All Dogs Go To Heaven...Don't they?

I’m not actually going to talk about the brilliant but dark Don Bluth animation All Dogs Go To Heaven (which possibly emotionally scarred me as a child), but just the concept that animals have worth and value to God, and indeed, that He loves and cares for them individually.

Last Sunday’s The Big Questions, a BBC One morning discussion programme hosted by Nicky Campbell, featured the rather childishly phrased question: ‘Do Animals Go to Heaven?’ The question was started by referencing the auction at Christie’s for a poem allegedly written by Bob Dylan (but which actually turned out to be a song written by the late country singer Hank Snow), which contained the lyrics ‘I’ll meet my precious buddy up in the sky.’

In the audience there was a curate, Helen, who ran an animal prayer group at Gloucester Cathedral. In response to panellist James O’Brien commenting that the animals he’d eaten were going to have words with him in heaven, she responded ‘well, I mean, I choose not to eat them.’ YES! She was a vegetarian. She wasn’t just praying for people’s pets, she had compassion for all of God’s creatures. It was pretty exciting to hear a Christian talking about this issue, and so calmly and peacefully (Angry vegan? Me? Never...)

Talking about the foundation for her beliefs, she said ‘I believe in a loving, compassionate, and an involved God, who continues to have a relationship with His world. The Christian scriptures, the Psalms, for instance, talk about God and animals relating one with the other. St. Paul talks about the renewal of the whole creation and a place for animals in eternity.’

Interestingly, Nicky Campbell then asked a question which pretty much sums up the problem with our attitude to God’s creatures, the idea that some are valuable and some are not, a belief lived out by many and illustrated by their devotion to their pets and then their consumption of inhumanely treated farm animals. He said: ‘Where do we draw the line? Species wise, what’s the cut off point? Scorpions? Snakes? Spiders? I mean a lot of people say ‘oh, I’m not going to heaven if they’re, you know...’

Helen replied: ‘I’m afraid I believe that even wasps make it. God renews the whole of creation and the whole of creation has a place within his renewed kingdom. I don’t claim that I understand the logistics of that, and I don’t think Christians claim that they understand the detail of exactly what heaven will be like.’

Nicky responded: ‘Now Wasps in heaven truly does surpasseth all understanding.’

In the discussion that followed many issues came up, including issues about morality and the notion of heaven and hell (which was being dealt with rather naively, as a few people pointed out). Colm O'Gorman, the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland and founder of the charity One in Four which represents victims of child abuse, described how he used to live on a farm and that ‘there is a deeply spiritual component of being in nature, of being surrounded by life.’ Lucy Bryson, who earlier on the show discussed the life of prostitution and drugs that she had escaped, works as part of a therapeutic animal project that helps to rebuild the lives of people broken by their involvement in prostitution, alcohol and drug addiction. She said: ‘God used an animal to reach me, because I couldn’t trust anybody, I wouldn’t let anybody me near me. Sometimes we can’t reach people, but the animals can.’

I don’t necessarily think that a discussion about whether or not animals go to heaven is actually that fruitful in itself, but the idea that animals are loved by God, since He loves His creation, is fundamental in changing our attitudes towards what He has created and called good. Another interesting aspect that unfortunately didn’t receive any attention in the discussion is the importance of God’s justice. It is, in my opinion, the fact that animals suffer, both mentally and physically, that suggests that this must be made right by God in some way. Maybe it is just that I cannot bear the idea that the poor pig in the factory farm - that never gets to run or see the sky - is just forgotten by God. If I do believe that God will make all things new, that creation will be restored, then surely I can depend on his justice for anything in His creation that has suffered unfairly. And I firmly believe that the injustice of factory farming is one of the greatest injustices going on in our world today. As Colleen Patrick-Goudreau writes: ‘Lions don't breed gazelles in order to eat them. We artificially create life only to destroy it. That's not nature. That's not the natural cycle of life and death. We manipulate nature for our end and then say it's natural. Not so.’

Regardless of whether or not we believe that animals have a place in God’s kingdom, we are called to act lovingly and with justice. Colm O’Gorman said: ‘I really do feel that we spend so much time focusing on what’s going to happen in the next life that we forget about this one. Frankly, if we could put as much energy into treating each other with love and with compassion and with respect, we’d probably all be living in a much greater heaven right now.’ And he wisely concluded the discussion saying: ‘If we were meant to know, we’d know. We don’t. Let’s focus on this, let’s live with as much life and dignity and love as we possibly can. We’ll find out that bit when we get there.’

For me, part of living with as much life, dignity and love as I possibly can entails adopting a vegan diet and lifestyle, even if that means feeling awkward at dinner parties. Being vegan (when living in a consumerist, Western country) is part of the fight against a world which sees people and animals – life itself – as expendable, profit making factory parts.

Being vegan is just one step we can take towards living compassionately, but I feel it is ultimately a very important one. Our attitude to the weak and helpless impacts our attitude to others in our lives. Once we start regarding all life as precious and God-given, we can really begin to appreciate the miraculous nature of the gift of community and stewardship that God has bestowed upon us. We can truly wonder at God’s creation when we treasure it.

And the vegan cupcakes aren't bad, either.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Baking is activism you can eat!

I just baked my first vegan apple pie! (Okay, it was my first ever apple pie, but that’s really not the point...)

I suppose it is just a pie that happens to be vegan, as the pastry margarine used is vegetable oil based rather than animal derived. And you can’t go wrong with flour and apples! Treats that are ‘accidentally vegan’ are great as they don't require you to go out in search of specialised ingredients, and they usually go down well with vegans and non-vegans alike.

So, for an easy treat for a vegan friend, or in an attempt to convert the butter loving sceptics, here’s the recipe for an apple pie that you can happily eat with a clear conscience whilst watching Disney films featuring cute talking animals:

100g dairy free butter/margarine substitute (I used Stork block margarine (block, not tub) – but have since been informed that the Vitamin D in this may be animal derived, so perhaps 'Pure' or Marks and Spencers dairy free sunflower spread would be an option here – get reading those packet labels like the good vegan you know you are!)

200g flour

Apple slices/blueberries/anything you fancy for the filling.

Soya milk and sugar for the glaze. Because what’s a pie without glazing?

Now to get those nature loving hands dirty...Rub the flour into the butter and then add about 8 tbsp of water to make a nice dough. Roll out half of it for the base. Lay it in the pie dish, whack in your filling, and roll out the other half of the pastry and lay it on top, pinching the edges to keep the filling in nice and snug. Make a pretty design out of leftover bits of pastry to lay on top of your pie (I did an apple and leaves – I never said I was innovative), glaze it with a bit of sugar and soya milk, make a little slit to let steam out, and there you go! Pop into a pre-heated oven at 180°C, and in about 25 minutes you’ll don your mits, take it out, and feel like Brie from Desperate Housewives. You could even dye your hair red in preparation for the moment if you so wish.

This recipe comes courtesy of my friend’s mum, Bev, who made vegan vegetable chilli with rice and apple and blueberry pie for when I visited - just in case I stayed for dinner. She even had soya milk in the fridge, on the odd chance I’d fancy a cuppa. If I had had in my possession a ‘Loved By A Vegan’ medal, it would definitely have been awarded that day. Alas, no such medal exists. Why not? And more importantly, why did I decide to make apple pie at 11.30 at night?

There are some questions that will always remain a mystery. But Should you go vegan? Well, that one's got an easy answer.

Friday, 3 April 2009

It's all in the job description...

I still can’t quite figure out why the issue of factory farming and its effects - on animals, the environment, and on people - is something most Christians tend not to talk about, let alone make a stand on. Whilst I can find a lot of online communities of Christians who feel the same way about this issue as I do (look to your right for a couple of websites and blogs), I have yet to hear it discussed in church. (But yeah, okay, I haven’t been in a while...)

So, the opportunity to discuss this with other Christians is always brilliant. Thank you to Jon Birch for doing this cartoon, winding me up a bit, and generally giving me a chance to talk through my stance on this with other Christians. The cartoon and the discussion about it can be seen at this link:

Get involved!

Also, here's a great blog post by Greg Boyd about why he felt it was God's will for him to be a vegetarian:

How fantastic it would be if Christians were associated with caring for the environment and those in it, rather than just people belonging to an institution with a set of rules. Our faith in God should inspire us to live out that faith by loving all He has made, and living peacefully, not simply succumbing to the consumerism that seems to be choking the planet, and our hearts.
We are stewards of creation - what a wonderful job title that is!

Let's embrace it and get to work.

Peace and love

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

The Meatrix!

I just found this brilliant video after publishing my post. Watch it - it is genius! And will make you laugh whilst making the point (you film buffs out there will love it).

Also, it is a great way to introduce people gently to the problem of factory farming without sitting them in front of a PETA film and making them cry. Which is always a bonus.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

The red pill or the blue pill?

Today I’ve been thinking about how our attitudes towards each other and our fellow creatures are often tainted by either wilful ignorance or a worldview that has been imposed on us since childhood. We accept eating animals that have been cruelly treated before slaughter as a ‘normal’ part of everyday living, and not something worth kicking up a fuss about. After all, surely all the nice people we know wouldn't eat meat and dairy if there was really something morally wrong with it.

People lavish love and attention on their pets and then sit down to enjoy a bacon sandwich, eating an animal that scientists now recognise to be at least as intelligent as a dog. Why is it that we view one animal as food and another as friend? Quite simply, because we’ve been taught to, and until now we haven't thought to challenge it. If we find a wounded bird in the garden, we nurse it back to health. Unless that bird is a chicken, in which case, we eat it. This behaviour is totally irrational, and yet feels entirely natural and normal to us. We have grown up with images of idyllic farms full of happy pigs and hens laying fresh eggs, and cows that are free to roam in the sunny fields.

This idyllic farm is a lie that the industry is clinging on to with all its might, even in the face of rising awareness over conditions. There may be the odd farm that operates like the fantasy farm portrayed on the Muller advert (I feel like screaming at the telly when this one comes on! What a load of rubbish http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCHWJb8i2tk&feature=related ), but they are unfortunately a rarity - the majority of our meat and dairy in this country comes from factory farming. Because we eat so much meat, it would be impossible to run ‘ethical’ farms and produce meat fast enough to meet our insatiable appetite for it. The greed involved really is quite sickening, and indefensible.

I have lost count of the amount of meat eaters who refuse to watch documentaries on the conditions of factory farming, because ‘it’s too upsetting’. Indeed, when I spoke to one friend about it she insisted that she didn’t want to know and that she was ‘quite happy living in the dark, thank you very much.’

Well, what’s a vegan to do? People clearly feel compassion towards these animals or they wouldn’t find it upsetting, and yet they don’t realise, or refuse to accept, that they hold within themselves the key to stopping it. Our agency as consumers is the most powerful thing we have in the fight to end the suffering of billions of animals. Even just making more compassionate choices when we shop can make a huge difference in the message we send to our supermarkets. You probably wouldn’t find this link on many vegan blogs, but if you are a meat eater who is still unconvinced that becoming a vegetarian is necessary but does feel called to make a stand against the appalling conditions in factory farms, please visit Compassion in World Farming, a charity that is not about convincing people to be veggie, but is dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals.


They have a great site, and if you have questions, do email them! They are a huge organisation but they got back to me really quickly.

Although I’d love everyone to be vegetarian or vegan for the many reasons I discussed in my first post, I must admit that the primary motivation for my veganism is to fight against the incomprehensible scale of animal suffering currently happening in our world. If animals were allowed the freedom and space to act out their God-given natural behaviours, the ethical issue of choosing to eat meat or choosing not to eat meat would entail a far different discussion to the one we find ourselves having today. Surely meat eaters and vegans alike can agree that all animals, regardless of the situation they are born into, whether it be domestic pet or farm pig, deserve the right to live their lives free from suffering at the hands of human beings.

In The Matrix (you can watch this clip on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=te6qG4yn-Ps) Morpheus offers Neo a choice between knowing the truth about the state of the world and returning to his previous state of ignorance. He says to Neo:

This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

I’d urge you to take that red pill and see how deep the rabbit-hole goes. Stop hiding from animal suffering, and joyfully embrace the fact that you can play an enormous and valuable role in ending it. Then maybe together we can make a Wonderland we’d all prefer to live in.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Cupcakes and Ethics

Because together, they work! I promised I'd talk about cupcakes, so here we go. Since discovering the book 'Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World', by the geniuses and pure bundles of delight that are Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, I have come to believe that if these things were cooked in large enough quanities, most of the world's ills would be cured. Or at least I'd be able to have cake at a cafe. Check these women out, and fall in love with the post-punk kitchen!
The book is a delight to read, (you could read it just for fun with no intention of ever donning your oven mits), and the pictures are like vegan porn, which we need more of in the world!
Here's their blog.

I've decided I won't attempt to bake any tonight (especially as it requires a lot less effort just to drool over these pictures), but will instead have a glass of white wine, courtesy of good old M&S, who mark whether their wine is suitable for vegetarians, and enjoy a vegetable curry. Good times.
Afterthought: If the cupcakes look this good on earth, just imagine what they'll be like in heaven! Sweet.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The longest of journeys start with a single blog...

So here it is! My brand new blog, dedicated to the discussion of the difficulties and joys of living out both my Christian faith and my vegan lifestyle (and of course expressing my firm belief that these two things go together very well). I hope that it'll be a thought-provoking read for vegans, christians, vegan christians, and of course all you meat-eaters out there! You know who you are...

I'll be posting up general musings, rants about animal rights, interesting articles and useful links to websites, relaying distressing yet humorous experiences at restaurants (oh there are so many), talking about vegan cooking successes and failures, and of course giving you my general take on the highs and lows of being a vegan christian.

I've only been a vegan for about two months now, after realising the ridiculousness of being a vegetarian who wore leather, used products containing animal derived ingredients, and consumed dairy which is actually part of the meat industry (I only recently discovered how milk is produced). Looking back, I'm not quite sure how I reconciled these behaviours, but I think it was mostly down to ignorance and perhaps laziness. After spending a lot of time researching, thinking, and talking with friends and family, I came to the conclusion that difficult though it may be to live a vegan lifestyle, I could not justify living any other way.

So the process began. Swapping over my shampoo, shower gel, cosmetics, and household cleaning products to vegan cruelty free brands took a fair while, and indeed this is still a work in progress. Some things you just don't think about. Like furniture polish. (Incidentally, today I discovered that Oxfam sell Vegan Society approved eco-friendly furniture polish, so things are looking up!).

Changing my diet was easier than I thought it was going to be, and I have never felt healthier. At first I really missed cheese, but I'm over it now. Really. I am. I don't fantasise about cheese on toast at all. Nope. Never.

Note to self: Change your leather watch strap. It does not look good with your 'Go Vegan' t-shirt.

So, why am I passionate about veganism? Is it because I like cute fluffy animals and get upset at the thought of eating them? In a word: No.* As a christian, I believe that we are called to eliminate suffering wherever we can, and the animal industry (both food and anything dealing with animal products) is unethical, unenvironmental, and horrifyingly violent. I firmly believe that animals have a right to health and happiness, just as we do, and that this suffering is unacceptable. I am not going to discuss the issue of whether eating meat is, in itself, wrong; I personally wouldn't want to take a life for the sake of a chicken sandwich, but that's each individual's personal dicision to make. I do however think that in our current situation the meat industry is fraught with injustice and suffering, and it is impossible to eat meat and not be implicated in this suffering - buying it is funding it.

When challenged a lot of people say: 'Well, I care more about people than animals'. Veganism is about caring for people. Being a vegan is about trying to reverse the impact our consumerist attitude here in the West has on developing countries, and about caring for the environment (I recently read that the pollution caused by the animal industry is more than all other industries in the world put together). Our meat consumption is not energy efficient or sustainable; I'm no economist, and I am unable to give an accurate description of the movement of grain that is involved in feeding our animals, but in my research it keeps coming up time and time again that grain is being used to feed animals (that are going to be eaten) rather than people. This is a pretty succinct read regarding the problem:


How can we as christians reconcile caring for our brothers and sisters and being involved in this injustice? I'm not sure we can, but thoughts are welcome...

I believe, too, that God cares about everything in creation, and that we are asked to be good stewards of that creation. We are certainly not called to go stomping around doing as we please and eating as we please, regardless of the impact we are having on others and the environment.

So there you have it, a little glimpse of where I'm coming from. It is always hard swimming against the tide, which is what being either a vegan or a christian can feel like at times. Yet despite the effort it takes, if you believe in something strongly enough you have to try to live in line with those beliefs, otherwise nothing will ever change.
A friend from church emailed me today saying: 'I've decided that however great or small an impact I might have by being vegan, if that's the right thing to do then I'm gonna do it.' I think this is the real question we need to ask ourselves: Not will it be too hard? or what if I don't like soya milk? or does that mean no ice cream?, but is it the right thing to do?

Is it the right thing to do? I think it is.

This has been a bit of heavy post - tomorrow's will be about vegan cupcakes and wine!

vegan christian love to you all

* Well okay, maybe a little bit. Have you not seen Babe?!

Sharing thoughts on peace, love, and vegan cupcakes!