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Making The Connection – Vegan Society

There’s often this idea that vegan food will naturally be something where you’re denying yourself the the pleasures of food on a sensual level and so it’s always been really interesting to me to be able to show people to how wrong that is and that we can do things with texture and flavor and senses that set the pleasures of eating food we still get all that was vegan through the church there’s a huge variety of food that you can eat if you’re standing from animal products in fact you’d be amazed at what kind of things you can find even just in your local environment that tastes amazing that’s or anything to do with animal agriculture you can find the examples of all kinds of different cuisines from around the world that you can pull inspiration from where this vegan food that is just a natural part of everyday life they use a lot of different vegetables and tofu and different kinds of soy products tempeh fermented things miso kind of surprising curries it’s getting easier all the time to be able to go out and enjoy vegan food in a restaurant setting this place is opening up all the time and even in places that aren’t fully vegan or vegetarian they’re more and more catering to people with that diet as it’s becoming more and more popular and taking off seth is a very busy restaurant we can often easily do two hundred people in a day and it was voted by timeout as one of the top 50 restaurants in the city in 2009 so for a vegan restaurant to be in that category it’s pretty impressive and so our clientele them the people who come here come from a variety of different backgrounds there’s obviously a large sort of vegan and vegetarian contingent but you get people who have no knowledge of those types of diets who are just curious and want to come and experience what the foods that I can check it out I don’t consider it more difficult in terms of creating really good food on the plate it’s fundamentally not different in that sense from meat based but you do find other costs in a vegan restaurant the chef’s themselves are often much more engaged and passionate with what they’re doing because the way in which they got to that place involved their own personal beliefs and philosophies more so than their traditional kitchen Fatih came here from Munich just before I arrived here as a head chef obviously you know he’s got a lot of things to take care of but he is open to discussing what’s being done and how could we make it better I start working stuff about four years ago and after that I decided to be vegan and I give up everything in one night and I feel the difference between all days and now so I’m much more healthy and I don’t need to go back to eat this kind of animal products and so actually soft changed my lifestyle people love our foods and they always keep asking too often the second one we have lots of vegan and organic wine so if you have good baked tofu you can get nice red wine normally if you’re making is that you have to use some chicken stock feel stock or beef store whatever but I just use some mushroom stock or they start I think it’s the most popular dish in restaurant now what some Italian people is coming back after that experience they say sweet risotto delicious is of them so I’m happy with that working in a vegan restaurant as a chef at the level we’re trying to work out is really exciting because it’s the sense that we’re trying to push the boundaries and do things that haven’t been done before and sort of be at a level that’s respected as just restaurant and just food and then people come here and just enjoy an amazing meal and then on top of which it’s entirely plant-based and we get we get a lot of good feedback and a lot of people are excited about the meals that they have and so it’s sort of rewarding to be able to have that impact and the addition of people what’s possible I have a very very active lifestyle and a retained firefighter I’m on call 24 hours a day seven days a week I always have to be armed and ready to go at all times as well as my training and I can honestly say that I never feel inadequate locator for on a on a vegan diet I started running predominantly to raise funds for animal charities and I started to win races and I decided that the ultimate goal would be to run a marathon I enter the first marathon in 2000 and I won it and from there I just decided that this was a way forward to help more animals and to promote vegan diet training for a marathon is not just about going out and running endless miles it’s about doing speed work it’s about doing a lot of endurance work and coupling the tool together so you’ve got to be fast but you’ve got to be fast over a long distance so I personally and everybody’s different trained between about 80 and 100 miles a week I have complete 100% faith that my diet will give me everything that my body needs to perform well I certainly don’t look at meaty doesn’t think I can perform any better if I ate meat from 22 marathons and I always produce a good run no matter what when I’m going to race people you know are quite surprised that I can do what I do on a vegan diet and they say why are you vegan and I would face them well why on you because after all I’ve just beaten you so perhaps if you try my diet you might be up there winning races too on one particular occasion the person who presented me reward was the Lady Mayoress and she actually said that her daughter had been wanting to go vegetarians for quite a few months when my mum was able to tell her that I’d been vegetarian since tiny and vegan since a teenager she would really open joy that was rolling on there that you could use that’s a bigger achievement for me because that’s somebody growing up and then she’s the future and veganism is the future peace good work guys good sleep more sunshine like brain I’ve been working for the NHS for over 15 years now and it’s wonderful because when I get patients sends me who are overweight or got heart disease or high blood pressure I can talk to him about all the plant-based food technique that make them a lot healthier by cutting out the saturated fat and high salt foods in their diet recommendations now by the Department of Health is to go towards a more plant-based diet with the encouragement to have five portions of fruits and vegetables a day in my opinions omnivores can be lacking in lots of vitamins and minerals and nutrition generally if you look at the obesity look at all the fast foods they’re the kind of foods that vegan just wouldn’t entertain eating at all and certainly studies have shown that vegans are less at risk of heart disease type 2 diabetes and things like hypertension so certainly a vegan diet encompasses all those health benefits as well and I feel really fit and healthy I love my food and I do love having treats and a benefits from a vegan diet is that it’s low in saturated fat so you can have all these treats and you know you’re still going to be looking after your heart people often are concerned about calcium which you can get from fortified foods and vitamin b12 which you can get through things like fortified non-dairy milk some soya products also from some yeast extracts whether you’re vegan or a meat-eater you still need to make sure you have adequate quantities of vitamin D the main source comes from sunshine from the sunlight on your skin so get adequate sunshine or have fortified foods containing vitamin D and we get quite a few queries about parents or pregnant women who are concerned about getting the right nutrition for their children and for their unborn child and certainly we can assure them that they get all the nutrition they need through a planned vegan diet and I’ve written a book for the vegan society about vegan infants it starts from conception through to infancy and hopefully prepares to reassure then get all the nutrition they need for themselves and for their children I’ve been vegan for six years and then I became pregnant friends asked me are you going to stay vegan surely not sort of thing and I didn’t have any pressure from doctors or midwives everyone seemed very happy for me to stay vegan wasn’t a problem at all I’ve read a lot about being pregnant and I knew everything that was supposed to be seeing and so there’s absolutely fine I was very active and fit during my pregnancy pregnancy was great I quite enjoyed it and she was nine pound three when she was born so she was a pretty big baby without any dairy or meat you know I managed to produce a very beautiful healthy baby and everything’s been great I’ve felt very healthy and strong since I’ve had to breastfeeding hasn’t been easy it’s made me respect I’ve got animals milk even more and make me feel strongly that I don’t want to ingest any other milk because their milk is meant for their babies just as my milk is meant for my baby and it just seems completely wrong that adults of other species should be drinking milk that’s not for them I’ve been very lucky I think she’s a very happy baby she’s not had colic or any digestive problems and some people have told me anecdotally they think that’s because of my diet that I’m not eating anything which upsets her digestive system so I would really advocate staying vegan and being confident about being vegan because I do believe it’s the best thing for your baby as well as for you I’m here now with Labour MP Carrie McCarthy and this morning we’re going to be talking about global food security the environmental concerns surrounding food production well I think people just need to be very much aware of the impact of the Western diet on the environment as well I mean some people will become vegans because of health reasons some cos concerns about animal welfare but I think increasingly people are beginning to look at the impact of industrialized farming and the fact that we just cannot sustain a western-style diet the world’s population is predicted to grow from 6.7 billion at the moment to 9 billion by 2050 and even if we don’t have those levels of population growth even if we stick to current levels it’s estimated that if everyone adopted a western-style diet we’d need three planets the size of Earth in order to sustain ourselves a vegan diet is very sustainable because on average it requires a third of the water and a third of the land to produce a vegan based diet than it would to produce an animal-based diet and that’s because farmed animals eat much more protein than they produce most of the protein that they consume is used to actually to live to keep themselves warm to repair injuries rather than to actually what you could describe as grow milk eggs or means more water land is therefore needed to produce cattle feed for example which leads to deforestation scarcity of water supplies soil erosion and the pesticides have a damaging effect on the environment as well so we need to explore ways that are less harmful and wasteful and have less impact on our environment our natural resources some people ask me well what would happen to farmers livelihoods if we all moved to plant-based diet along with animal-based but obviously if people did do that they would still be consuming crops that are actually grown by farmers they’d be enrolled for farmers to play to move towards a more sustainable way of farming I live in the countryside and I see how much of the land his potential is just not being used I mean in Hampshire a lot of the land is devoted to stables for horses so we could actually change the lounge’s to benefit the wildlife the planet the animals and us a lot of people ask me would the landscape look monotonous without livestock I mean I could say that we’ve actually created an artificial landscape which was more diverse before with trees and wildlife and we would actually encourage the diversity of crops we would be seeing orchards of nuts and fruit we would encourage a lot of understory shrubs layers of soft fruit of great diversity of vegetables and cereal crops it would actually be a much better mixture of of crops instead of huge monocultures of acres and acres because of the diversity you would get more habitat for the Wildlife actually encourage the wildlife which is under a great great pressure with the current conventional farming the bees here are very important they actually operate at much lower temperatures and honeybees that come out earlier and they and they feed later so you’re getting good pollination I know also here there are three species of parasitic wasp which means that you have a reduction in caterpillar numbers which cause a great deal of damage to cabbages and broccoli and kale and hardly any any damage is seen here the hedgerows are kept very very thick they’re not cut every year so they’re richer for wildlife and they’re also connecting annuals between the hedgerows across the fields which act as beetle banks and wildlife corridors what these methods do is they actually benefit the biodiversity you have more predators which keep a balance you don’t have the pests and disease problems could we manage on a plant-based diet in the UK a lot of work being done with agroforestry is showing that we could have a lot of the crops growing here that we’re actually importing at the moment and a lot of things could still be grown outside we wouldn’t have to have heated greenhouses and even just with the polytunnel like we’re seeing here it’s surprising what you can achieve we have now several stock free commercial stock free farms like this one we know that these methods work stop free organic farming the system of food production which excludes any animal by-products or any depends on and the more inputs at all it’s not just about growing crops it’s also about the way we interact with what goes on you know we’ve been nature around us we’ve been doing it now for fifteen or sixteen years it’s working very well people very happy with it I mean it’s nice to have people back on the land working land and everyone’s more than happy to be doing it we’ve developed the system of fertility building which relies very much on green earth so we’re using plants to produce nutrients which to fix from the air to improve biodiversity and not relying on importing somebody else’s land to support our fertility which is what most conventional and organic production is depend on so we’ve kind of signed this system which is more or less independent of exterior forces and because we’re building carbon in the soil is particularly important I mean a very small increase in organic content in the soil has a huge effect in terms of carbon entrapment in fact this is when the biggest carbon sinks possible soil so it’s not only good for animals it’s also very good for carbon capture which is obviously good for climate change so we’re building a game and telling the only way to build or guarantee long-term is food plants you can’t do it through manure curly I mean your dissipates into the environment very quickly it gets broken down whereas plants they leave roots in the ground which gradually decay and become carbon thin here is actually four different types of green manure for different plans for doing slightly different things but all building for charity and the the outcome of this is a saw which is very friable good good population of worms easily worked doesn’t take as much energy to work so when it’s in good condition yes and very good for plant roots so this this forms the basis for tt for future crop eat your coffee yeah you’ve got a whole range of crops 70 different types of vegetables over 300 sevens a year almost once selling every day on average so it’s making the best possible use of land to feed people which is really what funny should be doing and I do very much hope that there will be a move a transition from the conventional type I quote you have now to a stop through agriculture in the future stock free farming I could support people in developing countries as well as here and the same techniques would be beneficial we would actually not use the fast amounts of water land food to support the livestock we would actually create more tree habitats making a difference with climate change it’s been interesting looking at the way the environmental debate has developed I mean initially people thought carbon emissions that’s about the energy we use in our homes or it’s about the amount we drive or the amount we fly but increasingly people have realized that the food and the environment are so closely interconnected and there’s been a growing amount of research which is saying actually the way we eat and what we eat and what we throw away is having a significant impact on the environment every step of the journey from the field to your plate is creating carbon it could be anywhere higher so that 818 percent of greenhouse gas emissions it’s caused by the meeting and dairy products we compare that say with the aviation sector which is only 2 percent so you know there’s a tenfold difference between the aviation sector and the food sector we only have one planet and it’s a defined size there’s only a certain amount of arable land and a lot of that’s being increasingly degraded through animal agriculture least in Australia certainly harder proved animals and other parts of the world degrading the quality of the land and we need to be very careful with the way we farm in order to make sure that that lands is there to sustain us for future generations cattle in many countries in world outnumber the people the cattle themselves produce a lot of waste they require a lot of land methane is produced from them which is a huge contributor to global warming one of the most significant and for every kilo of meat an increasing proportion of dung that goes onto the land in the u.s. it’s the FAO report that says that’s one of the primary causes of water table pollution in the Amazon the vast majority of deforestation is being used for cattle farming and much of the remaining is for soya protein which is used as cattle food so without without this relentless strive to produce more meat which is a you know a high profit product we would have more Amazon which has been called the lungs of the world in addition to its contribution to climate change you have to look at species loss you have to look at the native people who live there and so on the number of birds the number of animals that live in a given area forest or essentially wiped out by it being converted to forms of agriculture it’s like someone going into the Louvre in France and just smashing it up I mean it it’s – and and and it’s just so unnecessary and we’re destroying something that that can’t be replaced there are a host of things we could do that will have a really significant effect on climate changes to society things that we’re looking at the things like transport our energy supply and and then you have the way we use animals given that global livestock production is causing more greenhouse gas emissions and all forms of transport put together I think we’re confronted with a question do we totally reengineer our energy and transport systems or do we just give up eating what I think are often unhealthy and cool products there’s also the case of fish stocks most of the major ways in which fish are caught are fairly unsustainable we have things like drift net fishing which is completely indiscriminate and it catches every sort of fish in the ocean then you have trawling which trough the oceans for reducing plant biodiversity destroying reefs people often say that fish farming is a sustainable option but actually an even greater number of fish are required to be caught from the wild in order to feed those fish I have a number of friends who who say well what if we raised animals in a more ethical manner The Omnivore’s Dilemma is a very famous book where that’s his conclusion is that he can move to the country and raise his own chickens anything his own animals it’s a lovely concept if you like the taste of meat but it’s just not going to sustain six billion people and growing which is the world’s current population I’ve always been a vegetarian my whole life and so I’ve always respected animals to an extent my boyfriend challenged me to become a vegan because he’s done the vegan challenge for a month and I was inspired so I I went into it with full enthusiasm and I got all the benefits I felt good about myself I got lots of vitality I lost weight as well and I’m proud of myself and I’m more than anything proud of the fact that no animal is harmed by what I eat and that’s what I think veganism is about living in harmony with everybody our thinking about non-human animals is very confused and people that have chosen to lead a cruelty-free plant-based lifestyle are baffled as to why other people have not made a connection many of us lived companion animals such as dogs cats and rabbits we share our homes with them considered a members of the family and we grieve when they die yet we kill and eat other animals but if you really think about it are no different from the ones we love this is known as speciesism a prejudice against members of different species most people don’t question their habit of eating animals as they’ve been brought up to believe it’s normal behavior but causing suffering should never be considered normal according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization humans kill approximately 56 billion animals of food each year and this doesn’t include fish this quantity can only be achieved by factory farming animals which can lead to diseases such as bird flu swine flu BSE and mr s antibiotic resistant microbes are the result of the overuse of antibiotics over half the antibiotics in the UK are given to farmed animals not humans and farmed animal diseases can spread to units behind windowless walls is easy to turn a blind eye to the horrific reality of factory farms and slaughterhouses you may think this footage is old that things are not like this anymore wrong this is exactly what is like and what happens to the farmed animals who live outside is not too dissimilar free-range chickens will usually be slaughtered for meat at eight weeks and organic at around twelve weeks people see cattle and sheep grazing in fields and think they’re okay but they’ll also be sent to slaughter like all animals bred for food factory farmed and free-range animals are treated as commodities and their individual needs or preferences are not respected and it’s not just to produce meat every year millions of farmed calves and chicks die in order to produce milk and eggs male chicks don’t produce eggs and are not profitable for meat production so are killed the day they are born and laying hens when their egg production starts to fall are also killed long before their normal life expectancy it’s no fun for cows either in order to produce milk the dairy cow must give birth to a car as soon as the calf is born they form a strong bond with their mother yet within a few days they are usually separated causing extreme distress male calves do not produce milk and are usually shot at birth or sent for veal production and the female calves are added to the milk production line like their mothers three months after the loss of her calf while still producing milk she is usually made pregnant again she’s put through this exhausting procedure three or four times until she too is deemed redundant and killed more than 20% of dairy cows sent to slaughter have been found to be pregnant and the skin from these unborn cars is used to make soft suede many people assume that leather is an incidental element of the railing of animals for me it’s not it’s used to produce shoes jackets wallet gloves and furniture and so purchasing leather goods helps make the railing and killing of animals a profitable concern just as we have tried to end racism sexism and ageism we can also try to end speciesism enjoying a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle is the ultimate protest against animal exploitation it’s taking action every day to reduce animal suffering and death by decreasing the demand for all I don’t like watching their animal cruelty City to it by us watching it together we can make a difference we can empower ourselves by being educated what is going on and then change it with the mounting evidence compassion our health the environment water pollution supporting developing countries food security rising population sustainability the rainforest when people ask why are you vegan perhaps the question should be why on dude please make the connection I like being able to abstain from the negative aspects of food culture and be able to celebrate the positive month becoming Regan’s not mean Duff changing of diets caring about animals global warming also you’re changing the lifestyle I feel wonderful being vegan the best thing I’ve ever done if we want to have a lower carbon diet we should be eating a more vegan food I think there’s misconceptions about being a vegan which stops people exploring investigating it seeing it as a possibility in my opinion the real reason people eat meat and dairy because they like the taste of it when you look at the evidence is that really working the case for the organism is so strong on a number of fronts from the animal welfare point of view from the health point of view and from the environmental point of view that I would never go back food when I was pregnant was very easy they tell you not to eat all the things that already worked in my diet it was brilliant people say to me oh you have any trouble you know cutting up cream cheese and is like no good I need only way I feel a change has to come very quickly time in a way isn’t on our side but we know we have the solutions in place we know to stop drink at work so what our people are concerned about developing countries the environment the health or our fellow creatures becoming vegan is an active positive and compassionate choice yeah maybe I feel private flashing like a brighter future for the future I hope that more people respect to each other care for the planet a little bit more and respect animals a lot more and just try a cruelty-free diet stop

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