Category: Human Rights (Page 2 of 2)

Feed the Hungry – Without Exploiting Animals

According to the radio and TV news today (1 June 2011) Oxfam has warned that the cost of basic foods such as maize will double in 20 years. Barbara Stocking, Oxfam’s Chief Executive, says that “We are sleepwalking ourselves into ecological disaster.”

The following comment is by HIPPO (Help International Plant Protein Organisation), a British vegetarian charity supporting poor communities throughout Africa.

Hippo Charity“The only thing we disagree with is her time-scale. We know that in Kenya the price of maize has increased by more than 50% since we left at the end of March – two months, never mind two decades. At that time we were paying 2200 Kenyan shillings (about £17) per 90-kilo bag. Now it is 3500 shillings (about £27) and increasing. Beans cost twice as much. Admittedly some of the present increases are due to speculation on the food market but will they come down again? And they come on the top of what had already been a 50% increase in the previous year. Four years ago we could buy maize for less than 1000/- a bag. Imagine how this affects the poor, who already have to spend all the money they have on food. Now they simply haven’t got the money to be able to eat. The rising cost also makes it increasingly difficult for charities like HIPPO to continue to help them.

“Oxfam cites a number of reasons for the impending disaster. The one that they consistently fail to address is the most serious one of all, which is simply that more and more meat is being eaten in the world by more and more people and farm livestock consume about 10 times more food than they produce.

In fact farm animals should not be considered as food-producers at all since they are overwhelmingly net food consumers.

“The world’s people are eating more animal-based foods every year whilst the world’s population is growing rapidly. Meanwhile the remaining wild areas of the world are rapidly being destroyed to feed farm animals, e.g. the vast clearance of the Amazon rainforest to grow soya for feeding to the cattle, pigs and poultry of Europe, leading to changes in the world climate, especially in the patterns of rainfall. Trees are the ‘pumps’ that recycle water back into the atmosphere.

“HIPPO has been saying this since its foundation in 1999 and some others have been saying it for even longer. But even taken all together we are but a David to the Goliath of the worldwide meat and dairy industry. That is why we are sending you this email, asking you to take its message to heart and to pass it on, please.

“The world as a whole needs to consume less meat. As individuals our best contribution is to eat none at all. We can use the money we save to help the poor!”


Veggies adds:

Since 1984 Veggies has been pleased to support the work of Vegfam in ‘feeding the the hungry without exploiting animals’.

The fragile environment cannot support two populations – humans and their food animals. Vegfam raises funds to eliminate hunger, thirst, malnutrition, and starvation, helping people in over 40 countries, by financing sustainable, self-supporting plant food projects, fruit and nut tree planting, irrigation and water wells.

We have sponsored and distributed Vegfam fliers and raised funds through a premium on the sales of bottled water and donations from our ‘samosas for social change‘ project.

You can help us to help Vegfam by using the Everyclick search facility, to raise funds for Vegfam whilst surfing the web.

Meanwhile, for more information on the work of HIPPO (in comparison to that of Oxfam) see our article Don’t Send A Cow – Plant a Tree!

Hippo Charity

One Day – One City – Ten Vegan Free Food Give-Aways!

From 2005 – 2009 the East Midlands’ Vegan Festival welcomed 2000 or more members of the public to the Council House on Nottingham’s Old Market Square on the 2nd Saturday in December.

However the Council House have refused to host further EMVFs so, to maintain public engagement on the urgency of dietary change for the health of people, other animals and the environment worldwide, Nottingham’s vegan campaigners held 9 Vegan Free Food Give-Away and campaign stalls on December 11th, each aiming to reach some 200 members of the public.

Food GiveAwayThe 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.

Vegan mini-festWe 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.

The People’s Kitchen meal afterwards at Sumac from 6.30pm was run as a fundraiser for Avalon Guinea Pig Rescue with a disco/party afterwards..

Please contact nottsfreefood[at] if you are interested in supporting future giveaways, providing some food samples, or helping out in any other way. Or call 07870 861837.

Read the full East Midlands Vegan Festival posting for more info and the announcement at Nottm Indymedia.

Full report and pictures at

March for Farmed Animals

Farmed Animals Banner

Veggies Banner

In an amazing show of solidarity and compassion many hundreds marched across the west end of London on Saturday 2nd October, to highlight the plight of farmed animals.

The rally was independently organised by grass roots campaigners, “Animal Rights Coalition”, supported by Animal Aid, Viva!, Veggies Catering Campaign and many other groups.

October 2nd, World Farm Animals Day, honors the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, an outspoken advocate of non-violence towards animals.

This is the first time that we have held a march for farmed animals in London, and it was a lively day, in solidarity of the millions of animals killed for meat, dairy and eggs, every day.

Speech by Richard Deboo

“Did you know that in the UK alone, around 1000 million animals are killed for meat, dairy and eggs every year? And, that number does not include the fish that are trawled out of the water in their tonnes. None of this is necessary – we do not need to consume animal products.”

Andrew and JulietAnimal Aid Director, Andrew Tyler, spoke of the negative human health and environmental impacts of animal farming but declared: ‘My own argument against meat, milk, eggs, fish and all other animal products arises from my knowledge of the vile cruelty that is integral to these animal product industries. I have seen it for myself during numerous visits to farms, markets and slaughterhouses.” [video] More at Animal Aid’s rally report.

In Viva!’s media release, founder and director, Juliet Gellatley, said: “Viva!, together with many supporters, will be at the forefront of the event, calling for a move away from the reliance on livestock farming, for the sake of animals, people and the environment. It is unbelievable in this day and age that such barbaric and outdated practices, under which animals suffer, are allowed to continue.”

In her speech at the rally, she added: “If one person is unkind to an animal it is considered cruelty, but when a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of profit, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are involved, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people”. [video]

march for farmed animals

March for Farmed Animals by Mario Mitsis

Pretty Veggies from video by Lextorite (at 3:00)

Congratulations and much respect to the organising team.

Other reports:

National March for Farmed Animals
London, October 2nd, 2010
By Shari Black Velvet

Saturday October 2nd saw the National March for Farmed Animals take place in London.

Speeches kicked off at approximately 12.30 and saw Juliet Gellatley of VIVA! give the first, before Andrew Tyler of Animal Aid, Richard Deboo, Louise Wallis, the former president of the Vegan Society and Kevin White, founder of Midlands Vegan Campaigns, who has just been awarded Veggie Achiever Of The Year.

The march itself began around 1.30 and saw animal lovers from around the UK walk up the busy Regent Street, down through Cockspur Street, down Whitehall, along Embankment, finally into Horse Guards Avenue, carrying placards, banners and leaflets, spreading the word to the general public about the cruelty that happens to farmed animals.

At every McDonalds or Steakhouse the marchers stopped to focus on that location for a few minutes, letting them know that they’re far from pleased at the companies for making a living out of the slaughter of animals, chanting ‘Stop the Slaughter, Meat is Murder’. Although what started out as a sunny day eventually saw rain drizzle, it couldn’t dampen the marchers’ passion.

PatMartinAfter the two hour long march, a few more speeches took place including one from Chrissy Leyland, one of the founding members of Pogo Cafe, one of our fave vegan cafes (in London), Marion Eaton of F.R.I.E.N.D. Animal Rescue and Patrick of Veggies (vegan catering campaign).

The afternoon concluded with a couple of numbers by Mártin the Livewire, vegan hip-hop / rapper.

Full report and photo gallery by Shari Black Velvet at Save-A-Scream website.

Images also from photo reports by: Rastislav Kolesar and Mario Mitsis

Videos of the march by Lextorite and by VeganDave001

The March for Farmed Animals was organised by individual activists, just like you and I.
Can you help with a donation?

March For Farmed Animals:

Want more?

Watch Global Warming: MEAT THE TRUTH (full length • widescreen • 4 subtitle languages)

Shambala Campaign Networking

AR GatheringWhilst Veggies is providing catering for the Animal Rights Gathering near Northampton over the August Bank Holiday, thanks to Tim, Cath and others, a selection from the Lush sponsored Veggies Campaign Networking exhibition will be featured at the Shambala Festival.

Here’s a pic of the some of the literature being gathered together ready to travel down. For more info on the groups featured see the Charity Pot Section at Veggies Directory.

campaigns info

As ever, Veggies Free Info Exchange features Info For Action, with details of a number of forthcoming campaign events, including:

For details of more events see Veggies/Sumac Diary, the Animal Rights Calendar or Indymedia.

campaigns info

Refugee Action

One of the groups featured in the Info Exchange is Regugee Action, a national charity that works with refugees to build new lives in the UK. At the recents Barefoot Festival we took some time out to put together a new exhibition panel for them.

Refugee Action

Killing Fields for Cheap Meat

Killing Fields: The True Cost of Cheap Meat

Much of the cheap meat and dairy produce sold in supermarkets is only made possible as a result of serious human rights abuses and environmental damage in one of Latin America’s most impoverished countries. This film, by the Ecologist Film Unit, documents the experiences of some of those caught up in Paraguay’s growing conflict over soy farming.


  • Up to 97% of soy is used as animal feed.
  • Practically all non-organically raised farmed animals, producing meat, eggs and dairy, are fed genetically mutated (GM) animal feed.
  • Ethically sourced soya for direct human consumption rather than wasteful livestock farming, can help the transition to a sustainable vegan diet.
  • The organic soya used for Veggies products is sourced from France.

See also:

British meat and dairy is destroying rainforests
Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent
Daily Telegraph, 20 July 2010

“More than one million tonnes of soy is imported every year to feed animals in the pig, poultry and dairy sectors with 98 per cent of this coming from South America – where studies have linked the expanding number of soy plantations to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest – as well as the grassland regions of the Brazilian Cerrado, the Atlantic forest and the Chacos region.

“The UK could cut its dependency on imported soy in half by encouraging farmers to switch to home-grown alternative protein crops like oilseed rape meal, lupin, sunflower, linseed, beans and peas.”

– Veggies says: “this dependency could be cut far more if home-grown alternative protein crops were used for direct human consumption, rather than for the second population explosion of farmed animals.”

For more information see the Movement for Compassionate Living.

For more videos follow the links at

A Dip in the Directory

outreachLush have supported Veggies in supporting grassroots campaigns for humans, animals and the environment, by funding outreach at the Glastonbury festival. With their help, Veggies Catering Campaign created an exhibition to provide insight into work of the included groups.

At the 2010 festival the display was positioned next to the Veggies catering stall, allowing for pre/post food perusal. Two volunteers were stationed in the exhibition marquee, engaging with revellers and providing information about the various causes.

A Splash from the Charity Pot

In addition to a display of posters and leaflets from 25 participating groups, visitors were introduced to the Veggies Directory, also funded by the Lush Charity Pot. This project aims to improve networking between individuals and a wide variety of movements supporting social change.

Visitors to the space were very impressed with the diversity and availability of literature on offer. Many flyers and brochures were taken. The Sailboat Project, for example, later thanked Veggies – mentioning a significant increase in web traffic after Glastonbury.

meat free fiverA particular favourite with visitors was “Meat Free Monday”, a project promoted by Animal Aid. After running out of the info/recipe pamphlets, Veggies were able to put visitors in touch with Animal Aid, via the listing on the Veggies Directory.

In order to attract attract attention to the exhibition, we were grateful for the additional help of supportive festival-goers, who enthusiastically took quantities the exhibition program, listing all the groups, for distribution across the Greenfields area of Glastonbury Festival. For example, information was provided at various Speaker’s Forum presentations, and at performances by artists such as Sieze the Day. In this way, this project could have been extended with the involvement of more exhibition crew.

animal aid displayWe were lucky to have made contact with a member of Ecotrip, who gave valuable assistance with the effective layout of the display. With his support, we wish to continue developing dedicated boards for each of the groups. The project would also benefit from a larger banner on the entrance, giving the space a stronger identity.

Inspired by the effectiveness of the project at Glastonbury, Veggies have incorporated the Charity Pot exhibition into their campaign networking space at numerous other events such as Peace News Camp, Earth First Summer Gathering and events such as local community festivals and even a school reunion.

Overall the project was successful. Growing from their years of experience in direct grassroots campaign networking, Veggies look forward to extending and developing the project into the future.

We’ve been busy rolling out the exhibition of groups featured in Veggies Directory to many more events.

Veggies has always had a ‘Free Information Exchange’ alongside the catering stalls at many of the events that we attend. With support from Lush Charity Pot we put together a more organised display which was launched at Glastonbury Green Futures Field..

Other events featuring the exhibition have included:

Northern Green Gathering

The NGG Crew did not hold an event of their own in 2011, but provided workshops and information at several other events. They utilised the information exchange to get a good selection of up-to-date information and leaflets for these events.

Kerry says: “if we could use any information Veggies have available to share, that would be great. I saw Veggies at Glastonbury and thought the info exchange was a great idea, and would really help us out and spread the campaign messages even further. We are going to Moor Music Fest, then a local one-dayer, Solfest and Eden. So, kids and family music, with some teens and hippies, is the audience, i reckon!”


display1 display2




Make yours a meat-free Monday

“What a difference a day makes”, says human rights campaigner, Peter Tatchell

London – 22 July 2010

Fight Climate Chane image

If everyone in Britain stopped eating meat for just one day a week, it would reduce greenhouse gases by the equivalent of taking five million cars off the road. Wow!

I just discovered this fab Animal Aid video, with great music by Moby, which explains how.

Watch and enjoy:

Make yours a meat-free Monday.


According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), the farming and slaughtering of animals rates as one of the top three causes of all the major environmental problems confronting the world.

These include land degradation, climate change, air pollution and water shortages. According to a landmark 2006 UN FAO report, animal farming is responsible for 18 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than the entire transport sector combined.

The message of Animal Aid’s film is that if everyone in the UK gave up eating meat for just one day a week, this would result in greenhouse gas emission reductions equivalent to taking more than five million cars off the road.

More information about meat-free Mondays and how you can make a difference, see here:

Peter Tatchell will be attending this year’s Nottingham Pride at the Forest Recreation Ground on Saturday, 31 July.

Support the Nottingham Veggie Day Alliance calling for a weekly veggie day in Nottingham:

Calais Migrant Solidarity

Many Veggies and Sumac Centre supporters also support the human rights of migrants in Calais, some of whom are climate refugees or are fleeing conflicts caused by the extraction of resources including oil and water, which feed our western consumer and livestock-based lifestyles.

Calais Migrant SolidarityCalais Migrant Solidarity give practical support for migrant communities and are networking to fight all aspects of the border regime. We were pleased to include Climate Migrant Solidarity as part of our Lush Charity Pot campaigns exhibition at Glastonbury. This will continue at many future events.

To contact Calais Migrant Solidarity or for more information see their listing on Veggies Directory.

Migrants are harassed by the French Police, who regularly destroy their belongings including their sleeping equipment. This was a massive problem for migrants last winter in sub-zero temperatures.

This year the Activist Tat Collective’s SolAIDarity project is collecting camping equipment left over at festivals to pass on to Calais Migrant Solidarity for distribution. Some equipment may also be used for eco-camps such as Mainshill.

Activist Tat can be contacted via their listing on Veggies Directory

They write:

We only want USEFUL stuff! We define useful as:

– Tents in a fair condition.
– Cooking equipment (if working)
– Sleeping bags and blankets
– Tarps
– Roll mats

We shall also be coordinating transport for tat collections at Reading and Shambala. If you want to collect at other festivals and can provide transport, do get in touch.

East Midlands Vegan Festival stalled

Sadly we have hit a hitch with the potential 7th East Midlands Vegan Festival (EMVF).

East Midlands Vegan FestivalDue to its success in bringing in some 2000 people each year, the Council will no longer allow the use of the Council House, due to the ‘wear and tear’ that the event is causing to the building.

We have been searching for other options, but are stuggling to find another venue immediately where the public pass by. We have always targetted the EMVF at the non-vegan general public by holding the event right where they are, rather than at a less prominent venue that would likely attract only those already committed to dietary change.

It may be possible to take it out onto Nottingham’s central Old Market Square (in front of the Council House), but this would take the budget over £2000 rather than the previously affordable £1000 – the event is self-funded, with the support of the Vegan Society and many small independent vegan traders, and organised by volunteers from Nottingham’s vegan community.

Taking the event outside would also necessitate a move from its prime pre-christmas Saturday date, and none of our shortlisted dates have found favour with the Council.

Other options include taking the event on the road, for example to Derby, Leicester or Lincoln, or taking it out of the city centre, for example to the Arboretum, the successful venue for Nottingham’s Green Festival.

So it is unlikely that there will be an EMVF in 2010.

However, never to be deterred, campaigning continues with the vegan outreach offered by the EMVF being replaced by monthly Vegan Free Food Give-Aways at various city centre locations, including on the doorstep of the Council House! Each of these events gives the opportunity to engage directly with a hundred members of the public, reaching a thousand during the year.

The EMVF team also hosted the world’s first Vegan Beer Festival at the Sumac Centre, Nottingham’s vegan social centre.

Call on the City of Nottingham to support a weekly VeggieDay (Meat Free Monday):

Follow Veggies Catering Campaign News at

A Lush Plan for Glasters

In 2010 we were offered a fantastic opportunity by Lush Charity Pot, the fund that raises money & awareness about charities and campaigns for a better, fairer world.

Stop Press: See exhibition report at A Dip In The Directory.

Lush collaborations have continued at Glastonbury & beyond with support for our Food For A Future vegan outreach project, field kitchens for eco-action gatherings, our Networking Directory, and many other projects that we are associated with.

Veggies Tor For over 20 years Veggies has participated in the Green Futures Field at Glastonbury Festival.

As well as providing a vegan catering oasis, we run a ‘free information exchange‘ to feature different projects that we support. In the past we have featured groups such as Indymedia, the Movement for Compassionate Living and the Vegan Society.

In 2010 Lush sponsored the space to help promote many campaign groups and charities that we both support. Veggies crew will engage with the public and distribute information for 10 hours a day over 5 days to the greenest of the 200,000 people that attend Glastonbury, i.e those that visit Green Futures at the heart of the Green Fields.

The great thing is that many of the groups are ones with whom we already have a well established direct working relationship.

We are also making connections with other excellent groups with whom we have not worked previously, but who are active at a grass roots level on concerns that we share.

A dip into the Charity Pot


    • Animal Aid – the UK’s largest animal rights group and one of the longest established in the world
    • Animal Protection Agency – the APA is committed to ceasing the trade in wildlife for pets
    • Bustan Qaraaqa – a community permaculture project, based in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour (Shepherds’ Fields), close to the city of Bethlehem.
    • Calais Migrant Solidarity – Practical support for migrant communities. Networking to fight all aspects of the border regime.



    • Rainforest Foundation – working to ensure the protection of rainforests by securing the rights of indigenous communities
    • Reprieve – uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.
    • Refugee Action – a national charity that works with refugees to build new lives in the UK
    • Respect for Animals – campaigns against the international fur trade, both fur farming and trapping
    • Restore the Earth Campaign – This campaign is about working to restore the great ecosystems around the planet
    • Room2Heal – a healing community for refugees, asylum seekers and others who have suffered human rights violations.


    • Shell To Sea – campaigns to protect Rossport, County Mayo community from Shell’s Corrib Gas Project
    • Sail Boat Project – water based NVDA training in support of campaigns for positive social change.
    • SchNews – newsheet & directory covering environmental & social issues, direct action protests & campaigning
    • Sumatran Orangutan Society – dedicated to the conservation of Sumatran orangutans and their forest home.


    • Transition Network – a community-led response to the pressures of climate change, fossil fuel depletion and increasingly, economic contraction.
    • Undercurrents – Support for activists using film / internet to further their message and campaign for social change
    • Uncaged – international campaigns against animal experiments and for the advancement of animal rights
    • Women Asylum Seekers Together (WAST) – Raising awarness about the issues that force women to seek international protection
    • Veggies Directory – networking for humans, other animals and the environment


  • AT Co-operative – infrastructure for Climate Camp etc. Collects discarded tents for activists and refugees
  • Climate Camp – visit them in the Dragon Field
  • Sea Shepherd – visit them nearby in the Green Futures Field


All these groups can be found in the Lush Charity Pot section of Veggies Directory at

Any old tat!

We don’t want to encourage people to abandon their “rubbish” and perpetuate the disposable consumer culture, but if anyone has tat they would like to drop off for the Calais Migrant Solidarity, the AT Collective or Climate Camp, take it to the Climate Camp area in the Dragon Field.

Glastonbury Festival is huge, time is short and there are many distractions, so we hope that ethical festival visitors will welcome the opportunity to find out about many of the finest charitable projects all under one roof. So come on down to the Green Fields!

Veggies Glastonbury Map

Lush cosmetics charity support

Lush supports charities and other good causes (we don’t just support registered charities) through a variety of ways; campaigns in our shops and on our website; cash donations through Charity Pot, limited edition charity products and our Carbon Tax fund and through product donations.

We like to look after those who look after others and are committed to supporting small, grassroots charities, non-violent direct action groups and other good causes working in the areas of environment, animal protection and human rights.

We believe we can make the most impact by supporting causes and funding projects that others won’t, therefore we give priority to less popular causes which are more difficult to gain support for. We support non-violent direct action as we feel it plays an important part in bringing about positive social change.


Throughout the year we partner with organisations to run nationwide campaigns in our shops. Our campaigns team, along with the help of our creative design team and enthusiastic shop staff, have run a variety of campaigns over the last few years, including issues such as animal testing, the impact of the palm oil industry on orangutans and indigenous people, vegetarianism, packaging, fox hunting, shark finning, destitute refugees, climate change and an end of torture and the right to a fair trial. We’ve worked with organisations such as Reprieve, Refugee Action, Hunts Saboteurs Association, Animal Aid, Climate Rush, Biofuelwatch and Uncaged.

Our 90 stores around the UK and Ireland are the perfect way of reaching thousands of people; we use our windows to grab people’s attention and lure them in to find out more. Once in the shop we ask customers to take part in the campaign by taking personal action, signing postcards and petitions or simply learning more about the issue.


In April 2007 we created Charity Pot to raise funds for charities and other good causes. Charity Pot is a hand and body lotion made with fair trade cocoa butter. Every penny the customer pays for the product (less the VAT which we have to give to the government) is put in to the Charity Pot fund and then distributed to various causes nominated by staff and customers.

Charitable funds also come from our Carbon Tax Fund. Our staff do not fly domestically for Lush work and for international flights we charge ourselves a Carbon Tax; for every tonne of CO2 emitted when we fly, we pay £50 in to the fund. The fund is used to support internal and external environmental projects, especially those relating to climate change and sustainable transport, and also discourages staff from taking international flights.

Product donations

We donate stock to charities to help with fundraising (eg raffles) and for direct use by patients and clients (eg homeless shelters, women’s refuge and hospices).

Get in touch

If you know of an organisation that you feel would benefit from Lush’s help please contact Sophie Pritchard on or call 01202 667 830.

Further information can be found on the website

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