Last week saw peaceful days of action co-ordinated by the ‘Stop the Arms Fair Coalition’ in response to the bi-annual arms fair DSEi (Defence & Security Equipment International) at the London ExCel Centre. DSEi is the world’s largest arms fair and it exists so that arms buyers and sellers can come together, network and make deals.
From ‘Campaign Against the Arms Trade’ (CAAT): ‘DSEi 2013 featured 1,500 exhibitors from around the world displaying arms ranging from rifles to tanks to fighter jets to battleships. They were joined by “trade visitors” and military delegations, including countries involved in conflict and from human rights abusing regimes, as well as those with desperately underfunded development needs.’
On the Sunday 8th September the week of action was kicked off with a demo organised by Occupy London: Occupy vs the Arms Trade. Volunteers from Nottingham-based Veggies, the vegan catering campaign, went down to London on this Sunday to provide food by donation for the peaceful protesters. Veggies has been supporting campaigns for humans, other animals and the environment since 1984.
On Sunday 8th September, Veggies of Nottingham packed up their vegan cakes and samosas and headed down to London to give their support to the hundreds of peaceful protesters campaigning against the immoral and unethical DSEi arms fair.
At least two Nottingham companies had stalls at DSEi. Heckler & Koch and Ergo Computing exhibited their wares to military delegations from around the world. H&K, which is based in the Lenton Lane industrial estate, sells assault rifles and submachine guns to repressive regimes such as those in Bahrain and Egypt.
Campaigners were very happy to see the Veggies team (and their delicious vegan food!) along on the day. The team provided a boost of morale to those that had been out protesting since the early hours of the day and hadn’t had anything to eat. In fact people were so happy to see Veggies that the stall was swamped with those eager to get hold of food by donation and all boxes of food and trays of cake quickly sold out.
People were also very interested in the campaign literature the team had brought along, as human rights and animals rights campaigning is all part of the same struggle against needless suffering and injustice. Animal Aid’s purple poppies, sold to commemorate the many animal victims of war, were available on the day and people donated generously for these.
If you would like to join the friendly Veggies team to campaign against social injustice, animal abuse and enviromental destruction then you can contact them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For almost 30 years Veggies of Nottingham have been working to promote compassionate catering. In all those years we have never used calves milk, nor any other animal products. In 1984 this was unheard of, but now customers rarely ask “do you have normal milk” – Plant Milk Is Normal.
The choice is no longer soya milk or calves milk. With Oat Milk, Hemp Milk, Coconut Milk, Rice Milk, Soya Milk, Spelt Milk, Almond Milk, Hazelnut Milk and many more widely available why would any one choose to cause suffering to cows and their calves.
With the support of Granovita (soya milk), Koko (coconut milk) Good Hemp (hemp milk) and others, Veggies continues to bring these many choices to vegans and non-vegans alike.
Different milks may be preferred for different purposes. Some are better to make smoothies or ice-cream, for cooking, on cereals, or for use in tea & coffee.
Experiment. Enjoy them all!
This non-dairy milk spotter chart is from the Stop the Cull facebook page. For a discussion of many more choices and preferences visit the Stop the Cull site.
The dairy industry is pressing for the killing of 70% badgers in cull zones, but what else can farmers do to ‘protect’ their cows? When they have killed ‘their’ cows at an unnaturally young age (when their milk production falls), they could grow almonds, hazelnuts, oats or hemp instead. The efficiencies of growing food for direct human consumption might free up land for wildlife, and even for ex-dairy cattle to live out their lives in retirement.
Tips for successful use of plant milks
These days people understand that soya milk may separate in coffee – they rarely complain, but they do seek the solution.
The factors behind soy milk separating are acidity and temperature.
The solution: the optimal temperature to brew coffee if about 93 °C – not boiling.
If your milk separates simply add more milk, allow coffee to cool or make it less strong. Some milks settle, so it is always worth giving a quich shake before use.
The report includes info on ‘Who makes what, soya sourcing & GM policies’.
For example Dean Foods, who own the Alpro, Provamel, Soya Soleil and White Wave brands, is a massive dairy company in the USA, reported to control up to 90% of the processed milk market in some states.
As at 20th November 2013, the live scores available to Ethical Consumer subscribers indicated that the Best Buys for soya milk are: Plamil, The Bridge, Soyatoo! and Granovita.
For other non-dairy milks the Best Buys are Good Hemp, EcoMil, The Bridge, Oatly and Rice & Rice.
Johnny: “To support unhealthy industrially farmed milk full of puss the centre of nottingham was blocked off with barriers, goodness knows how the elderly& physically disabled coped. No wonder cows get TB, if you want to help stop badger culls avoid most milk, please.”
TomClements: “The Milk Race”. What a joke. Trying to propagandize milk as some sort of health-giving food, despite the world’s healthiest societies being entirely dairy-free and supported by largely plant-based food. Dairy only does us, the environment and the animals that produce it massive amounts of harm. It’s a vile industry that wields far too much power over people and governments.
"water footprint of soy-milk sample 28% of average cow milk. Water footprint of soy burger 7% of average beefburger" http://t.co/zRXCtDHttn
Glastonbury 2013 was a big success for Veggies Catering Campaign, especially in terms of our vegan campaign outreach.
On arrival we found that the Green Futures Field organisers has moved our pitch to a key location at the entrance to the Green Futures Field, right off the Old Railway Track crossroads.
A major part of Veggies work involves supporting the public’s interest in all the new vegan products available. Whilst not able to do ‘sampling’ we were able to encourage potential customers to taste test the foods on our menu, in particular cheeses and plant milks.
Vegusto with gusto at Glasto!
Swiss vegan manufacturers, Vegusto have created a range of ‘cheeses’ based on coconut, rapeseed and sunflower oils, almonds, cashew nuts which really do taste like cheese! And what’s more, the cheeses are not only dairy free, but gluten free, soya free and egg free too.
Bute Island – just ‘bute’ for taste testing!
Thanks Bute Islands Foods. Your Smoked Gourmet Chorizo & Scheese pulled a huge crowd when taste tested @ Glastonbury! http://t.co/EJ7WMUNPZY
Goody Good Stuff sweets combine the highest quality blend of ingredients including natural fruit juices and extracts which create a beautifully clear consistency and a superior taste experience. The entire line is vegetarian, fat-free, meat-free, dairy-free, nut-free, Halal and Kosher certified.
Pulp Friction Smoothies
We were delighted to have been loaned a Pulp Friction bike to add d-i-y smoothies to the low-tech, low energy activities at Veggies at Glastonbury.
, from Nottingham, provides volunteering opportunities for young adults, taking their smoothie bikes to different community events – schools, youth clubs, playschemes, community festivals etc.
Info for Acion
As ever part of out mission is to pass on info about the many events that we attend, including Peace News Summer Came, the Animal Rights Gathering and Reclaim the Power (No Dash for Gas) Action Camp; campaigns that we support, such as the Radical Routes network and the Movement for Compassionate Living; and also other activities featured in the Green Futures Field, such as the Speakers Forum, which featured the Lush Charity Pot Slam.
A special mention too to Zia Solar Systems that helped with the power to keep the foods as chilled as the crew!
Our crew are reflecting on ways to make this huge campaign outreach mission work even better in future. If you have and thought, please contact us.
- “Well, first and foremost, I think we should totally be giving ourselves a big pat of the back. Couldn’t really ask much more from a team. ”
- Campaign space worked better than it ever has.
- In spite of some fantastic contributions to the Veggies aesthetic, our frontage and customer lounge still looked like the practical marqueue of a not-for-profit, grass roots, campaigning organization, rather than a slick professional venue (IMHO).
- Campaigning: We need to have recurring activities to draw people in like the smoothy maker, free samples and other good ideas. They need to be on all the time as well, we had a great campaign space and people came when they could interact in some way, but when there was nothing to interact with the space seemed pretty quiet apart from staff (its Glastonbury they’ll find other things to do). We need to properly brainstorm interactive things we can have inside the space and practice them before the event (maybe use at regular events as well) and have them running as long as the space is open and draw lots of people in and get them educated or at least give them a leaflet.
- One crew member in the multi-use space just didn’t really work in my opinion, you get pulled into a conversation about the badger cull, giving a milk taster round, prepping fruit for the pedal-smoothie, clearing up the space and sign-posting people to the trailer for their coffee. If you add to that trying to start a burger demo, re-organise the merchandise, checking the honesty pots, facepaint and clean up the relishes table, it makes it impossible for 1 person in a multi-use space to do any one of those things efficiently or effectively.
- People used the cafe space when trailer crew encouraged them to, same goes for campaign space. I think if trailer crew felt more joined up with the campaign space and had those quick conversations whilst burgers were waiting or coffee brewing, it would have got a masses more traffic. It’s the point of contact, if we miss that, we miss the person.
- Integrate not just the trailer into the campaign space but the crew and the whole approach – otherwise we really are just serving burgers to rich festival punters and raising funds for Veggies (which is valid but we can do more than just that):
- Trailer crew are resourced with whatever they need to make those conversations with customers possible
- The campaign period is shortened with 2 crew on it at all times
- Much clearer continuity between the Veggies trailer and the ‘badger cafe’ – customers really didn’t get that it was the same space
- I don’t think there was ever a need for 5 people on a trailer shift especially as sometimes it dropped down to 2 very shortly after. I also think we should have stayed open until 5am as between midnight and 4am everyone who normally camps out around the main stages is somewhere between Arcadia, Shangra La and the stone circle.
- The 5th afternoon crew member might be be better used helping in kitchen rather than than trailer, so that more cake, bhajis, pizza, soups, meals etc could be made.
- Chrissy enjoyed cooking crew meals, and didn’t mind working through
til 9pm most evenings. Surplus meals might be offered on an ad-hoc
basis to customers, subject to availability.
- We absolutely should have had some frontage next to Groovy Movie. We were focussed so much on grabbing attention from the cross roads we were actually closing ourselves off from people coming back down from the stone circle, or in the Green Futures Field.
- We need to think about cake display – we should keep an eye out for a two or three tiered cake display with a cover. I also think we should have had cakes, pasties and cold drinks on a table in the marquee with an honestly pot for those who did come in asking.
- The Indian place down the track was already trading when we arrived so we must be open as early as possible. On the tuesday evening we were the only people open and we were doing steady trade throughout.
- There were times before and after the main festival was running that crew were hungry and the conventional 3 meals a day hadn’t really been considered and planned in.
- I would have liked to have a daily meeting/briefing during which ideally all crew members get together to:
… communicate the ‘extra-tasks’ and priorities of the day, and designate people to action those so everybody knows what to do and how to help
… raise any relevant issues (concerns, worries, requests for help, big-ups…) in order to facilitate communication and relieve any tension amongst ourselves as well as celebrate our hard work
- The festival officially finished on Sunday night. Some of the team arrived home late on Tuesday evening.
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 all kinds of vegan foods! All this will be supported by our team of experienced campaigners.
Lush Funding Vote
Ten groups been short-listed to pitch to receive £1000 funding from those wonderful people at Lush. Ten groups are presenting at 1.45 on Saturday at the Speakers Forum, just along from Veggies in the Green Futures Field. But only 5 groups can win the dosh!
The impending badger extermination is harrowingly cruel, farcically unscientific and frighteningly undemocratic. It must be fought on all fronts, but this cannot be done effectively without funding.
With the support of LUSH, activists would be able to travel to the cull zones to engage in legal, non-violent, direct action to protect the badgers. It would also enable street campaigners to keep the public fully informed of exactly what the government is unleashing in the countryside against totally unambiguous public opinion.
It is therefore 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.
Activists will be “working the streets” to keep the issue firmly in the public eye.
Please support the badgers by going along and casting your vote to Stop The Cull.
We are seeking support to maintain resources to provide campaign catering to a wide range of activist groups, from Peace News to Earth First, from direct action climate activists to animal rights campaigners. As well as supporting campaigns for positive social change this embeds within those movements the role that vegan outreach plays in tackling all the problems associated with the industralisation of the food industry, in particular for animal products.
In addition to those mentioned, this year resources will have been shared with the Stop the G8 mobilisation, an international anti-racist football tournament, the Stop the Badger Cull campaign, Calais Migrants Solidarity, Nottingham Green Festival, Radical Routes Network of radical co-operatives, and numerous vegan festivals.
We will be sending an action kitchen to the Calais Migrants Solidarity refugee camp and Reclaim the Power (in support of the No Dash For Gas climate actions). Our team of campaign volunteers run vegan free food give-aways, often on McDonalds doorstep, pitch up with free non-dairy milk tastings, for example at The Milk Race and do vegan outreach at over 70 events every year.
Please support all the groups that we support by going along and casting your vote for Veggies Catering Campaign
The other groups presenting there work are all equally amazing, and equally deserving of your support:
Stop New Nuclear Alliance
Green Gathering Speakers Forum
The Land Magazine
SEER – Sussex Extreme Energy Resistance
Feeding the 5000 – Gleaning Network UK project
UK Tar Sands Network
We’ll see you at 1.45 on Saturday at the Speakers Forum
Pulp Friction Smoothie Bar Project, from Nottingham, provides volunteering opportunities for young adults, taking their smoothie bikes to different community events – schools, youth clubs, playschemes, community festivals etc.
We are delighted to have been loaned a Pulp Friction bike to add of d-i-y smoothie to the low-tech, low energy activities at Veggies at Glastonbury.
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 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.
So we at Veggies went down to London yesterday (June 1st) for the National Anti Badger Cull March.
After a long and complicated journey, via trains and tubes (we will no longer be doing full catering in London) carrying as much as we possibly could of pasties and samosas, we sold out within the first hour of getting there!
“Compassionate folk made their destination London on June 1st to protest against the badger cull that UK’s government has despicably already given approval to in the South East of England. Brian May and Bill Oddie took part in the march with the former giving a speech before the march kicked off. He was joined by Kate of Animal Aid, Wasp of London Against The Cull and Born Free Foundation’s Virginia McKenna. Activists, young and old, dressed in black and white with face masks and paint to show their support for the badgers, who do not deserve to be killed. London Against The Cull are calling for badgers to be vaccinated rather than culled.” …more…
Funds Raised to Stop the Cull
By providing refreshments on the streets just for donations, over 200 Samosas for Social Change, over 100 pasties from Screaming Carrot vegan bakery and 100 drinks went in an hour. 250+ cakes soon followed. Thanks to generous support from ‘customers’ over £100 was raised to pass on to friends working to Stop the Cull in the field.
To stop as many badgers being slaughtered as possible during the culls, activists and hunt saboteurs are ready in the cull zones to take every legal effort to put themselves in the way of those engaged in killing badgers. You can support this work with a small (or large) donation, or support your local group.
Vegan Housing Co-operative looking for new members
Rose Howey Housing Co-operative is a large house on the edge of a beautiful park near the centre of Liverpool. Its tenants are living together to foster a supportive home which encourages communal living and supports its members to engage with radical social change and ecologically minded living. All communal spaces are vegan and currently with the six adults there are seven children living in the house, including some who are home educated. The vision of the house also includes providing spaces for local community projects (such as The Free University of Liverpool and Migrant Artist Mutual Aid) and for larger national networks.
Single and multi-room units are available for people to join us as tenants or spaces are available for workshops either on a monthly or hourly rate.
Bedrooms from £55 per week.
Workshop spaces (e.g. art studios / office space) from £40 per week or by hourly rate.
As far as possible, new members will be active in creating the vision of Rose Howey, both practically with the necessary restoration and decoration of the house and in creative terms by adding to the energy of the project. However shorter term use of rooms will also be considered.
If you are interested in joining and want to come meet us to see what we’re about or have any questions about our project, get in touch Stacey on email@example.com, 07858 148538
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!
“Running a vegan business can be tough as many are run for altruistic reasons, rather than purely to make money. The internet brought with it an opportunity to help vegan businesses by giving them more marketing muscle, and … we set up the Vegan Village website to do this.
“The Vegan Village website went live in September 1997 with contact details for 44 vegan organisations. We sent out monthly newsletters to help establish the Vegan Village concept and encourage people to get involved. In addition to the listings, there was a noticeboard for small ads, a newsdesk for press releases and news stories, and a recipe of the week to encourage people to visit the website regularly. Mini websites were offered at below cost price to help vegan businesses take their first steps on the net.
“The noticeboard processed thousands of free adverts and become one of the most popular vegan pages on the web.
“The Vegan Village was an ever-present in the Google rankings, a recommended site on BBC Search, and remained the quickest, most cost-effective way for new vegan businesses to announce their presence to the marketplace.”
The Vegan Village was archived by UKWAC Web Archive as part of the ‘unfolding recent history of UK events, interests and activities’. The latest snapshop, archived in 2011 continues to be a valuable source of information.
The Vegan Village was ‘run for fun’ by Liz at Digitalis, with grateful thanks to Andy at Imaner. Digitalis continue to offer website design services to vegan and veggie companies and Imaner Consultants continues as an ethical organisation also offering website design services.
“We would like to say a big thank you to everybody who has supported the Vegan Village over the years.”
Veggies compiles The Vegan Business Connection (VBC) to encourage mutual support for cruelty-free businesses, i.e. those using no animal ingredients whatsoever and striving to minimise environmental, human and animal rights abuses.
The V.B.C. gives as much importance to the proprietors, as to the goods or services traded. It is to those who run such businesses that we can look for guarantees of their ethical standards, and knowledge of vegan issues.
The Vegan Outreach Diary lists the increasing number of food-based vegan outreach events, from free food stalls to major vegan festivals.
Event Organisers are urged to check the diary and to submit full event details as soon as a date is set, for details to be added to this nationally coordinated diary. Provisional dates may be submitted too.
The Diary is compiled by Veggies Catering Campaign and updated constantly for use by vegan food campaigners nationwide.
The Vegan Outreach Diary is designed to be reciprocally linked from any other group, website or event with a similar mission, to demonstrate the spirit of mutual support and cooperation that is central to Veggies campaigns.