I’ve been resisting the urge to become “that kind of vegan” for a while now but seeing as I have made my own but cheese for a few years now I knew with the onset of zero waste making my own plant milk would be next on the menu!
I did a quick search online and I simply needed 100g of oats and 750ml of water.
I buy my organic oats plastic free from Zero Waste Club. So this milk is truly zero waste and costs 40p rather than the £1.60 that oat milk goes for in the supermarket.
The process is pretty straightforward.
1. Soak oats for at least 30 minutes
2. Rinse oats and discard soaking water
3. Blend oats and water together
4. Strain through cheese cloth
5. Transfer to bottle
I bought this gorgeous glass bottle in Sainsbury’s to use for my homemade milk.
You can use one litre of water if you like your milk a little thinner but I loved the mouth feel of this when I had it in a latte.
Have you considered making your own plant milk? I think I’m going to try hemp next as I can get hemp seeds on Zero Waste Club too. If you give it a try let me know how you get on in the comments below.
I’ve had a week standing up for the animals. On Monday I attended Essex Pig Save (which I wrote about here). Save’s are a good way to see the condition of animals in your local area and reinforces your conviction to fight for the animals.
On Tuesday I joined The Humane League to do some craftivism outside McDonalds in Leicester Square. The point of this was to encourage McDonalds to sign up to the Better Chicken Committment (which you can read about on THL’s website) to improve the welfare of millions of chickens each year.
On Friday I took part in our local Earthlings event in Romford. We’ve had a few weeks off so it was good to get back out there.
Yesterday was International Cube Day organised by Anonymous For The Voiceless. Last year 190 events took place on Cube Day and this year it was up to a massive 500 including the first event in the Middle East. We managed to get 22 people to take veganism seriously in Romford and there were also other local events going on in Southend and Chelmsford. I’ll update this when I find out the global tally.
Update – 491 cubes actually happened on International Cube Day with 22,188 people going away taking veganism seriously.
Have you been doing any activism this week? Let me know in the comments below.
As I happened to be off work I joined Essex Pig Save for their October vigil this week. I luckily grabbed a lift from my friend Simona but if you are travelling by public transport people will give lifts from the nearby West Hordon train station.
The Save Movement was started in Toronto, Canada a few years ago. The aim is to offer comfort to the animals in the last moments of their lives, repent for the animals we have paid to be killed prior to us going vegan and share footage of these animals to help to persuade others to change their habits and stop eating and using animals.
There is a police presence and we have an agreement with the slaughterhouse that the trucks carrying the pigs will stop for two minutes so we can see them. Often the slates on the lower levels are shut but many have selfie sticks so we can see into the higher levels. After each truck goes in we hold a two minutes silence along the boundary of the property.
This can be upsetting for the activists so we comfort eachother.
In-between the trucks arriving we have placards to show to drivers who drive past and we do receive positive reception from many.
There are animal saves all over the world now so if you are interested I would recommend you go to The Save Movement’s website to find your local group. If there isn’t one you can ask for advise to how to set up your own.
The Retreat looks after many farm animals to live out their days in freedom and safety. There were some animals who were very new to the sanctuary, some turkeys that had arrived just the previous day and a calf who was saved from the veal trade due to an eye infection while the rest of his brothers in truck are now being fattened in Europe soon bound for somebody’s plate.
The Retreat has a cafe which is exclusively vegan. They explain that it would be hypocritical for them to save certain animals while others end up being eaten.
On the open day they had a range of events including raffles, sales of clothes, second items and cakes as well as lots of activities for the little ones and even some live music.
It costs £500 a day to run the sanctuary and you can support them by heading to their website to make a donation or to sponsor one of their animals.
It helps as an activist to see animals who have been saved from the terrible lives their brothers and sisters have to go through, and give us a reason to continue our fight for there rest of them.
LJ is a poet and she very nicely gifted us a copy of the latest collection to say thank you for giving her a lift to the sanctuary. You can find this and her other work here.
The Retreat is open for one more weekend before it shuts for the winter so you can get there if you get your skates on. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until they reopen in March.
The Humane League is a vegan animal rights charity that originated in the US in 2005 and expanded into the UK in 2016. Their aim is to reduce the most amount of suffering for the largest number of animals.
Their last campaign in the UK was to eliminate cages from the supply chains of companies using eggs. 80 companies committed to phasing out cages including Noble Foods who have 4.3 million chickens in the UK.
Their focus has now come to broiler chickens (those raised for meat). Along with a coalition of other animal groups The Humane League is asking companies using chickens in their supply chains to sign up to the Better Chicken Commitment. This outlines a number of requirements to improve chicken welfare.
The most important factor relates to the breed. The breeds permitted under the Better Chicken Commitment grow slower so the birds are able to support their own weight and are less likely to have physical issues that a lot of the chickens raised for meat suffer from today.
The following companies have signed up to the Better Chicken Commitment
Marks and Spencer
Coco Di Mama
Pret a Manger
There is a notable market leading company missing from this list… McDonalds.
McDonalds uses millions of chickens in their supply chains globally and if they agreed to the commitment it would improve the lives of so many chickens and also encourage other companies to follow suit.
McDonalds only use free-range eggs and organic milk so it is hypocritical that they are not committed to improving the welfare of the chickens in their supply chains.
The Humane League has carried out a week of action this week encouraging McDonalds to make the change and do the right thing.
We need to keep the pressure on McDonalds, you can help by contacting them on social media, emailing, phoning and speaking to your local store manager. Go to https://www.ImNotLovinIt.co.uk/ to add your voice to the cause.
Last weekend saw 5,000 vegan and vegan curious people descend on the Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire. After a 4 hour drive from London (which should have been 2 and a half hours!) my Sister-in-law, Gemma and I queued for a little while to get in and then we set to work putting up the tent.
After we had successfully putting up the tent we headed over to the food area. Last year there were only four food stalls so I was glad to see the organisers had improved on this and there were 25 stalls serving food and drinks!
I chose a chickpea curry and rice and Gemma had a massive burger from Biff’s Jack Shack.
Gemma also picked up some churros which were a firm favourite with the crowd!
After having a little look around the stalls we headed to the main stage to hear a talk from Heather Mills. If you weren’t aware Heather is an activist and an entrepreneur owning the vegan food company VBites. Heather was really inspiring and it was great to hear about the work she was involved in.
We headed back to the tent after that for a cup of tea and an early night although it took quite a while to get to sleep.
On Saturday morning we headed over to the activism bootcamp building to watch a documentary called The Last Pig. I had heard the farmer who features in this film on The Main Street Vegan Podcast so I was excited to watch the documentary. I’d definitely recommend you check it out.
We headed back to the tent to have some breakfast on the camp stove. Although there is plenty of food available I would recommend you bring some of your own too.
We went to hear a talk from Zero Waste Club which again was really interesting. I’m already a customer of ZWC and have written about them on the blog before. Their insight into plastic free living was really interesting and everyday I’m trying to live a more sustainable life.
The next talk was from Kerry McCarthy MP for Bristol East. It was interesting to hear how animal rights issues were being pursued in parliament and how an incremental approach is required in order to develop laws that protect and help improve conditions for animals.
There were some great stalls present. I picked up some information from Viva! and Gemma had her perfume bottles refilled from Eden Perfumes and also bought a cutlery set from vegan queens Bright Zine.
For dinner I had a jackfruit wrap and fries from Herbivorous. Gemma enjoyed a Caribbean meal with jerk soya pieces, rice and peas and vegetables.
We settled down into the evening talks. First up we saw Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of Peta. I was a little disappointed with her talk which just seemed to be her journey to veganism and didn’t touch upon the work that Peta does. She also didn’t hang around to receive any questions which every other speaker had, I think her talk was more appropriate for a non-vegan audience.
Next we watched the new film Dominion. Dominion was filmed in Australia and is a comprehensive breakdown on what every animal that is exploited on that continent goes through, from animals bred for food to wild animals and those used for entertainment. This was the most hard hitting vegan film I have seen and if you don’t have an emotional response to this film there is definitely something wrong with you!
After Dominion we saw a talk from Dr Melanie Joy. Melanie is a psychologist and the author of the book “Why we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows”. Her talk was about communication between vegans and non-vegans as well as within the vegan community. It was really interesting and is the basis of her new book.
Last up on the main stage was comedian Simon Amstell. Simon is a fave of mine and I saw him perform about 10 years ago so I was looking forward to seeing him again at Camp Out. For most of the talks people were sitting on the floor or on their own camp chairs however the organisers asked that everyone stand in order to fit everybody in that wanted to see Simon’s set. He was great and had the whole audience in stitches.
There was a music stage as well with grime artist JME headlining on the Saturday night. We however decided to head back to the tent as it wasn’t really our thing.
On Sunday we planned to get up for morning yoga but unfortunately we slept through that! We packed up the tent and had a last mooch around. I bought an onion bhaji from veggies catering for the journey home and headed back to Herbivorous for some loaded fries for lunch. They had barbeque jackfruit, homemade beans and chipotle mayo and it was the best thing I had eaten all weekend.
I bumped into quite a few friends and fellow activists around the camp and we also made friends with Henrietta the pig!
Overall we had a fabulous time. There were queues for the toilets but they went down quickly and they were all toilet blocks rather than portaloos. We tried to camp nearest the quiet camping area although you will always get a few loud obnoxious people. I’ve seen pictures of the camp afterwards and lots of people have commented how clear and tidy it was left compared to other festivals.