Monday, 29 March 2010

Link lurve: Amy Clare on human privilege at the F-Word

I have seen too many feminists (and anti-fascists and other progressive types who I agree with on so much else) be derisory about animal rights, and far too many AR activists return the 'favour' and argue that any human cause is an unnecessary drain on time or even a conspiracy to keep activists distracted from the 'real' issue of animal rights. It is often posited as a zero-sum choice for what you believe in. What you do is a different matter - it is an individual choice how each person uses their limited time and energy, and choosing one issue over another is fine in that regard, but it doesn't mean you have to give up caring about anything else even if it does take rather slacktivist forms at times. Can you tell a raw nerve has been hit?

Anyway, this is meant to be link lurve not link whinge (although that might be a useful feature sometime, haha) I bring you the following post: Amy Clare at feminist blog The F-Word asks if you have 'Checked your human privilege lately?'

A quick sample: 'Some have likened becoming a feminist to taking one of the pills in The Matrix - suddenly, you can see the world as it really is. You become aware of every instance of oppression, and when others then dismiss this oppression, it is unbelievably infuriating. I feel the same whenever the topic of animal rights comes up in conversation, and omnivores shrug their shoulders at me and declare that they enjoy meat, so why should they stop eating it? For me, this is the same as hearing a man say that he enjoys rape porn, so why should he stop watching it?'

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Link love: Knocked up and vegan

To quell any rumours (and any fears on Ben's part should he see this post in google reader, haha! Really tempted to remove the disclaimer to see his reaction...) I am NOT pregnant.

That aside, Chloe Jo Davis at Crazy Sexy Life has made a post on being a pregnant vegan, which I felt like posting in case I or anyone reading my blog might find it useful now or (in my case) in the future.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Sweet potato and chickpea curry

I made this last night to keep my boy's strength up for couple of busy and stressful days ahead!

You will need to get:
-4 largeish sweet potatoes
-1 onion
-1 tin chickpeas
-Peanut butter
-Cumin and your preferred curry powder
-Cooking oil (I usually use sunflower)
-Tomato puree

And then:
-Chop the sweet potatoes
-Boil the sweet potatoes for half an hour and leave to stand for a bit so they go mushy
-Strain the sweet potatoes
-Heat the cooking oil in the bottom of the pan, add the sweet potatoes, a chopped onion, about a tablespoon of tomato puree and the curry powder
-Stir in the chickpeas
-Add some warm water until the mixture starts to look like soup. Simmer it for a while - stirring occasionally because this stuff can stick to a pan - then add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter and stir in thoroughly.

Eat with rice. Not pasta this time!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Pasta with peppers and chickpeas

This one definitely comes into the erzatz-but-tasty category - I came back from a trip yesterday and launched straight into a day and a half of being constantly out at work, so needed to cook something nice from limited resources to sustain me for an evening working at home!

-Half a pepper (yellow in this case)
-Three small cloves of garlic
-Cooking oil (I use sunflower)
-Tomato puree
-Splash of balsamic vinegar (optional)

Put the pasta (about a coffee mug per person) on to boil, adding a splash of oil and a pinch of salt
Heat the oil in a wok or frying pan, cook the pepper in it for about five minutes and the garlic for a bit less
Add the chickpeas in with the pasta*
Add the tomato puree and some water to the peppers and garlic
Add the balsamic to the veg sauce bit
When the pasta is cooked, mix everything together.

*If you use frozen chickpeas, rinse them first with cold water to seperate them and take the freezer taste away. They will defrost while in the boiling water. Duh.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

30 Days of Veganism - my ideal experimental vegan!

Bryn Woznicki is a student journalist, a lifelong omnivore, and currently at the halfway stage of an experiment whereby she goes vegan for 30 days and documents this in her paper. I was dubious when I first heard about her - my experiences of omnis who do experimental veganism haven't always been the most positive, at best they manage it with a few fairly standard problems for the set period and are pretty happy to go back to their old diet at the end. Bryn, however, seems to be made of sterner stuff!

She sticks to be vegan diet with, as far as I can tell, only one or two slip-ups; makes more than the barest nod towards the wider vegan lifestyle, eats in mainstream food outlets and tries out vegetarian ones, and feeds her apparently very fussy meat-eating friend vegan food which he eats without complaint. She doesn't waste time being a martyr, which is very refreshing after the likes of Jay Rayner and Oprah. The jarring note seems to be the attitude of her vegan boyfriend to these proceedings - maybe she is just blogging the more newsworthy interactions and he is completely sweet and helpful behind the scenes, but he seems to do rather a lot of judging and hectoring.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

It's a pearl!

Today, I wanted a meal I would normally make with couscous. I have all of sod in the house of a couscous-y nature. It was 6pm on a Sunday, when shops tend to be shut, and I had very little energy to actually go out and hunt down grains that might not fill me up so well anyway. What I do have is pearl barley. And, amazingly, it worked out pretty well.

Pearl barley, I have to admit, takes a while to cook - basically you cover it with cold water, bring it to boil and simmer it for an hour. On the other hand, I've found it freezes pretty well (in terms of being edible afterwards), which means it is always worth doing double quantities and freezing some for another time.

So, today I did that - I used one of my smaller coffee mugs full of dry barley, simmered it for an hour, then took about half out to cool down ready for freezing. Then, to go with my stir-fried veg, I flavoured what was left in the pan:
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 teaspoon each of cinnamon and nutmeg
-a pinch of salt

Turned out ok and probably filled me up better than couscous would have!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Linky lurve - Barbies and bunnies!

In honour of National Vegetarian Week, the lovely Ms Vanilla Rose provides a list of ways to help animals, some of which translate beyond the Barbie arena!

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3