This year we are reshaping our ‘info for action’ activities by putting our popular and visual catering trailer right alongside the campaign space, such that the customers come inside the marquee to get their food and are offered shade from the sun, or respite from the rain, in a comfortable, carpeted action-cafe space, with tea and cake available directly from our kitchen in the marquee.
Not only will festival-goers attend as a result of being ushered in whilst buying their food from Veggies Catering Campaign, but by making the space fun, entertaining and interactive it will attract all kinds of festival-goers. This will be achieved by running discussion workshops, exhibitions, films, talks, cake baking skill-shares, and free food sampling give-aways. All this will be supported by our team of experienced campaigners, and is made possible by those wonderful people at Lush.
170,000 people attend Glastonbury for headliners, left-field bands, workshops, talks, and stalls with many charities taking the opportunity of such a lot of people in one place to raise awareness about various worthy causes. But there’s a gap – that’s Animal Rights, and it’s a problem. Festivalgoers are in an openminded headspace, relaxed and receptive.
This project aims at giving Animal Rights a voice to the masses at Glastonbury through a variety of workshops in a dedicated space, benefiting from being annexed to, and sign-posted by, Veggies Catering (an old favourite at Glastonbury since 1987 & 3 times nominated for Glastonbury’s green caterer award). Not only will festivalgoers attend as a result of being ushered in whilst buying their food from Veggies Catering, but by making the space fun, entertaining and interactive it will attract all kinds of festivalgoers.
This will be achieved by running discussion workshops, films, talks, cookery demonstrations, and food sample giveaways.
Long-term, sustained change:
By highlighting this ever-present this educational component of Veggies Campaign Catering, it will entrench a change in thinking about vegan food, about our attitude to animals, and the consequences for the environment. This is the stuff that changes lives and an opportunity not to be missed. Whatever people learn here, they will pass on to friends and family, in casual conversations with co-workers and clients, and to strangers they get talking to over a meal. Enough of those people will repeat that information that awareness grows and grows slowly creating long-term change.
The Badger Action Cafe
The impending badger extermination is harrowingly cruel, farcically unscientific and frighteningly undemocratic. It must be fought on all fronts.
Veggies Catering Campaign is running the Badger Action Cafe at Glastonbury Green Futures Field, to raise awareness of this issue and to raise funds to enable activists to travel to the cull zones to engage in legal, non-violent, direct action to protect the badgers.
We aim to keep the public fully informed of exactly what the government is unleashing in the countryside against totally unambiguous public opinion.
This is a campaign that champions not only a harmless (and already endangered) species’ basic right to existence but also our own human right to be represented by our government, not dictated to by it.
For the tens of thousands of badgers in the final countdown to a brutal massacre, it is now or never!
Activists will be engaging in legal, non-violent, direct action in the countryside where the killings are planned to take place.
Others will be “working the streets” to keep the issue firmly in the public eye.
Veggies Catering Campaign was set up in Autumn 1984 by four friends who were frustrated about the lack of vegetarian fast food available in Nottingham. Their intention was both to provide an ethical fast food stall in the city, and to take the veggie message to a wider audience by participating in demonstrations and gatherings. One of the first things the founders did was to take a giant veggieburger along to a Vegetarian Society protest outside the infamous Royal Smithfield show!
Veggies has grown and evolved a lot over the last  years, but the ethical message has remained the same. All food served has been vegan from the start, and as minimally packaged and locally-sourced as possible and practical. Veggies also compiles the national Animal Rights calendar and Contacts Directory, whilst helping run the Nottingham’s Sumac Resource Centre. Veggies has a tightly packed events diary with the co-op providing food in all sorts of situations, like carrying boxes of samosas and cakes on protest marches.
FOOD that has been genetically modified could be on sale in as many as one-in-four pubs, restaurants and takeaways in our region.
Trading standards officers in York found around a quarter of caterers using cooking oils sourced from a genetically modified (GM) food without telling their customers. The same GM oil is on sale, including wholesale to caterers, in Nottingham. Bookers and other catering suppliers have been selling oil identified as GM by very small print on the cans.
The law requires that consumers should be made aware – before purchasing – that the food they are eating is either sourced from genetically modified food or contains genetically modified food, but many caterers may be ignorant of the law, or not carrying out proper checks of their ingredients. They are required to reveal it on the menu or on a prominent notice. It is illegal for them to conceal this information, and they must not wait for customers to ask for it. Failure to comply is a criminal offense. The maximum penalty on conviction in a magistrates’ court is a fine of £20,000.
Any consumers who are at all concerned regarding the inclusion of GM food should specifically ask the caterers when ordering their food whether it is GM, or sourced from a GM origin. The law requires the owner to provide an honest answer.
KTC (Edibles) Ltd,
J S House, Moorcroft Drive, Moorcroft Park, Wednesbury, West Midlands, WS10 7DE
Ph: 0121 505 9200
On their website at http://www.ktc-edibles.com/ the product is described as “A clear liquid oil suitable for culinary purposes”, with no immediately visible reference to its GM source amongst the many product pictures and listings.
March’08: 20 drums KTC oil now flashed as ‘non-GM’, but 20ltr boxes still labelled as made from GM soya.
This should also concern those using ‘straight vegetable oil’ as an alternative to diesel fuel. This is also an issue in relation to food security as the price of a basic food commodity such as vegetable oil will inevitably increase when used as a motor fuel.
This may be discussed on the http://www.vegetableoildiesel.co.uk forum.
DINERS in Dorset have unwittingly been eating genetically modified (GM) food, according to the county’s Trading Standards service.
A survey of 48 restaurants throughout the county found 13 of them were breaking the law by using cooking oils containing GM substances without telling their customers.
Of the 13 catering businesses Trading Standards officers found breaking the rules, two are in Weymouth, one is in Dorchester and one is in Portland.
Of the remaining nine, two are in Sturminster Newton, three are in Wimborne, one is in Ferndown, one is in Christchurch and one is in Blandford.
Dorset Trading Standards chief Ivan Hancock says he cannot name the eateries found falling foul of the GM laws because of national Freedom of Information legislation and because he does not want to run a ‘naming and shaming’ campaign.
The owner of the Weymouth restaurants found to have breached the rules – Sinan Keskin, of Café Express in King Street and Cafelicious in St Thomas Street – agreed to be identified in the Dorset Echo.
Mr Keskin, 28, said he had not been made aware of the need to tell his customers about the GM ingredients his premises used before the Trading Standards investigation and had now changed the products he uses to comply with the law.
He said: “It was quite a surprise to me to find out about this law.
“Nobody had told us about it and I didn’t know before that I had to tell my customers.
“I’ve now changed the oil I use to a GM-free variety, which costs an extra £2 per container.”
Mr Keskin, who has been running Cafelicious for six years and Café Express for two, added: “There is a need to comply with the law and if this is what Trading Standards want, it’s what I will do.
“I’m not going to argue with that but it seems like it could cover a wider area.
“For example, if a customer comes in saying they want Halal food or
vegetarian food, do I need to tell them that the plate it’s served on may have had bacon on it?
“Or, would I need to tell them that their plate has been washed in the same sink or machine as plates that have had meat on them?
“If I’m going to be 100 per cent above board do my customers have to be told about these things?”
Mr Keskin said he now spends around an extra £16 per week on GM-free cooking oils at his businesses to comply with the GM food laws.
Veggies Twitter Account includes news of Veggies Events and other activities, and substantial items from like-minded friends.
As we are busy people, and expect that you are too, we do not tweet too often.
We do not intend to document the trivia of our daily lives!
Likewise we tend not to follow others on twitter who tweet too often.
Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, went vegan in 2001 after visiting Farm Sanctuary.
Biz Stone is also lobbying for vegetarian meals in school lunches. He sent a letter to Rep. George Miller, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, writing: “Hundreds of thousands of students across the country don’t eat meat, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study. However, these young vegetarians often can’t find healthy, meatless meals in the school cafeteria.”
Biz Stone obviously believes in the power of lunch, because Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters provides free vegan lunches to its employees.
In 1985 Veggies helped establish Nottingham’s Rainbow Centre, later taking on the co-ordination of the running of the space. In 2001 the support generated over the previous decades enabled the purchase of the Sumac Centre, a collectively owned space supporting a wide range of interconnected initiatives, including being the home of Veggies Catering Campaign.
On Satuday 8th December 2012 there is to be a discussion on the future of the Sumac Centre noting, amongst other things, its role as “a meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.”
This role hasn’t just happened in isolation.
It is due to Veggies and others being centrally involved in the running of Sumac from 15 years before it even existed. We may feel this role to be carved in stone, and this may well be the case.
However Sumac is simply the sum of its parts so we, as ‘vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners’ must continue to play our part.
If you are free on Saturday 8/12/12 (11am-6pm) please consider supporting the vegan status of the Sumac Centre and its role as a national resource for the animal rights movement.
This Saturday is a Sumac visioning day, a chance for all of you who come to the Sumac Center to bring your excitement, enthusiasm and inspiration in order to help shape the future of the Sumac Centre.
- How is the Sumac used?
Meeting place, tat storage, music venue, peoples kitchen, food bank, a base for lots of varied campaigns/alternative cultures, bike project, fundraiser events, information and awareness raising events, film screenings, autonomous DIY infrastructure, ABC letter writing, gardening club.
- Is this the kind of useage we want to continue?
- What is the current purpose of the Sumac?
A meeting place for politically motivated activists, a resource centre and library. Meeting place for vegans and animal rights activists/campaigners and a tool for their propaganda.
This will include a conversation about whether the sumac is there to engage with the local geographical community or the activist community. It’s a stable part of infrastructure for ‘our movement’.
- Is this the purpose we want to go forward with?
There will be lunch in the middle and we’ll all have a big ole delicous peoples kitchen at the end.
The Sumac Centre is an independent community and activist resource centre. It is made up of a community cafe, social club, library, exhibition space, veggie catering campaign, filmnights, talks, meeting spaces and the residents. The centre is used by various campaign groups and collectives working towards social change and justice for all. Come and visit us!
Wednesday 1st to Monday 6th August Ecological Direct Action without Compromise
Workshops, skill sharing and planning action, plus low-impact living without leaders. Meet people, learn skills, take action.
The Earth First! Summer Gathering is the place where people involved in radical ecological direct action – or those who want to be involved – get together for five days of time and space to talk, walk, share skills, learn, play, rant, find out what’s going on, find out what’s next, live outside, strategise, hang out, incite, laugh and conspire.
The 2012 Earth First Summer Gathering will be held on the first weekend of August.
As ever Veggies will be co-ordinating the d-i-y cafe space and holding cake baking workshops.
The UK Animal Rights Gathering is to a great weekend not to be missed, with talks, discussions and workshops on a wide range of issues and activities related to animal rights campaigning, as well as a chance to relax with like-minded people and socialise and network with other campaigners from all over the UK.
The 2012 Animal Rights Summer Gathering on the second weekend of August.
As ever Veggies will be co-ordinating the catering, running a cafe space and holding vegan cookery workshops. More AR Gathering Details…
Well, not actually ours, but Growing with Grace is looking for investment to save their stock-free organic farm!
Former Sumac volunteer, Eleanor Fairbrother has recently become a grower at Growing With Grace, an organic farm in the Yorkshire Dales.
The farm is an amazing place, with 2 acres of glass houses. It supplies organic vegetables to local people via its shop, box scheme, and wholesale to other retail outlets. It is committed to its stock free status, with all its fertility coming from an onsite composting scheme of the local green waste.
Growing With Grace is also committed to environmental stewardship, using biodiesel made on site in its tractors and delivery vehicles, and promoting biodiversity in the greenhouses with permaculture techniques, including a spectacular forest garden under glass (with peaches, figs, and nectarines!). It is also committed to co-operation and non-hierarchy, having been a workers co-op since its inception, and now being a community co-op.
The farm has been in financial trouble for 2 years, after a failed take over by a larger social enterprise, but it now has a bunch of new directors who have changed it from a workers co-op to a community co-op, reorganised the business plan, and are now doing a share issue to raise funds to save the farm.
Growing with Grace needs around £60,000 to make it financially viable and has until the end of July to get it!
They are asking individuals / groups to buy a £100 share in the farm (or more if you want!). You will then be part owner of the farm, and able to vote at AGMs etc. The farm will be able to get back on its feet, and will be able to get back to full production and profitability. Copies of the share issue prospectus, and an application form are available in PDF form on our website.
It is essentially an ethical donation, but technically you could withdraw your money in a couple of years, and you can also expect to get a small dividend on your money from around the same time. Until they have raised enough money that they know they are financially viable, your money will be kept in a holding account, and if they don’t raise enough money to save the farm, we will return it.
As a ‘stock-free’ farm no animal products such as blood, bonemeal or slurry from factory farmed animals are used. More information on truely animal friendly farming can be obtained from the Vegan Organic Network.
If you really care about animals, the best way you can help is to stop eating them!
Each year in the UK alone approximately 1,000 million animals are farmed and killed for food – and that figure doesn’t include fish.
The average meat-eater consumes around 11,000 animals in their lifetime (including fish and shellfish). Think of all the lives YOU will save simply by turning vegetarian or vegan!
As well as being more humane, an animal-free diet is healthy, environmentally friendly and a better way to use the world’s precious resources.
There are many reasons to go veggie including animal welfare, health, environmental protection and cost. If you are concerned about one or more of these issues, why not take the opportunity to try some more meat-free meals during March or take the veggie challenge?
AN undercover gardening movement has arrived in Nottingham.
Armed with “ammunition” of seeds, the group Guerillas of Love aims to transform derelict public spaces into beautiful and productive gardens.
Known as guerilla gardening, the national movement started in New York in 1973 and has spread across the world, with the practice of secret cultivation first being recognised in the UK in London in 2004.
It has now appeared in Nottingham for the first time and the Guerillas of Love group is planning to turn rundown spaces in the city into fruit and vegetable gardens.
Click here for more
The group’s actions are technically illegal because it is transforming land it does not own. But Guerillas of Love founder Chris Tomlinson, 40, of Forest Fields, said he would challenge anyone who tried to arrest him.
“I have been stopped by police two or three times before because they said that I was trespassing,” said Mr Tomlinson, who, before moving to Nottingham, concentrated on creating gardens in Hastings.
“It is trespassing but I’ll challenge anyone who says they are going to arrest me because how do you make it stand up?
“What I’m doing is in my heart and that is creating a really nice area to live in.”
He has already planted seeds in some of the barren areas of Forest Fields but said the results would probably not be seen until spring.
His first big plant will take place within the next few weeks, with the arrival of fruit trees bought with donations of £300 from cosmetics firm Lush and £200 from green electricity company Ecotricity.
“We can live on a planet of colour and life if we choose and it only takes a pocket of seeds to do it,” said Mr Tomlinson, who has been gardening since the age of 12, when his grandfather taught him.
“I’m not on a political movement or anything. People do see it as that but I try to live my life through following my heart and I do it because I love doing it. It’s as simple and mundane as that.
“There are also a lot of other benefits.
“A lot of areas which I choose to plant are deprived, so I’m enhancing the wildlife, feeding the community and, while I’m doing it, I’ve got people coming up to me and asking what I’m doing, so through it I’m also building communities.”
Anyone interested in becoming involved in Guerillas Of Love should contact Chris Tomlinson on 0845 458 95 95
The success of the day depended on the support of autonomous self-contained teams of volunteers, each with 3 people including one adult confident to explain the ‘political campaign’ status of their stall to anyone official that might ask.
On the Friday cakes, pizza and other food samples were prepared at the Sumac Centre, and each stall kit was sorted out with tables, literature and utensils.
We then gathered at Sumac from 10am on Saturday to tour around the City, dropping off each stall in turn and collecting each one back as and when time, crew or supplies run out. Base camp was at the Old Angel, Stoney Street off Hockley, opposite the end of Broad (Broadway) Street, with a sampling stall nearby.