All posts filed under: thoughts

Vegan brownie at Cat Café Dreamcathers, Ghent

Dreamcathers is a cat cafe in between the city hall and the Vrijdagmarkt, in a small alley. It is not far from vegan lunch bar Mie Vie. There are a couple of resident cats who are up for adoption. Dreamcathers work together with the organisations Dierenasiel Gent (shelter Ghent) and Kat Zoekt thuis (Cat looking for a home). Dreamcathers has vegan cakes and brownies and also offers drinks to enjoy while being among the cats (I think all the cakes are vegan, but not quite sure). Cats and vegan cake: a great combination! 🙂 I was here a couple of weeks ago with a friend, after our lunch at vegan cafe Mie Vie. Dreamcatchers works with timeslots. It is advised to make a reservation, but you can always try to inquire on the day itself to check availability. So I did (telephoned beforehand) and it was no problem to come over. The entrance fee is 3 euro per person (if you become a member, which is 10 euro, the entrance fee is reduced to 1,5€). …

Why some of us cannot (simply) educate ourselves

Misogyny. Ableism. Ageism. Vystopia. Health-shaming. These are some of the words that I have come to learn more about in recent years. After a long period in which I hardly found the time nor had the energy to follow up any literature closely, I have recently refound a drive and eagerness to pick up some ‘more serious’ stuff again. I have been reading about vegan activism, the sociology of human-animal relations, intersectionality and the entanglement of the oppression of humans with that of other animals. I am also picking up information from discussions in facebook groups, blogs and other online articles. I have looked up terminology that was new to me, discovered new authors, and am trying to work my head around theories and hypotheses. I still have many questions, but I am learning (aren’t we all, always?), helped with feedback provided on online platforms. View this post on Instagram I feel this is a must read for anyone in the animal rights movement, ànd those fighting for human rights. Truly inspirational. It seemed like so …

Dare to think. Dare to speak

Dare to think. Dare to talk. Dare to act. when you see animal abuse when someone says one needs to eat animals to be healthy when someone invites you for a visit to a zoo when it is said that it all comes down to personal choice when someone says cow’s milk is necessary for strong bones when it is said that eating animals is ‘natural’ when someone says it has always been done this way when it is said that animals don’t have feelings when at a barcecue, someone shoves a ‘steak’ up your face when someone says ‘humane meat’ is better when someone replies but a cow ‘gives’ milk when the rights of animals are violated Speak up! #animalrights #vegan Inspired by a clip made by my Alma Mater, Ghent University:

A look inside Bed & Breakfast AM/PM in Bruges

Bruges is visited by millions of tourists each year. Some only spend one day in Bruges, others come for a short city trip and stay overnight, possibly combined with excursions to other touristic hotspots in Flanders, like Flanders Fields or the coastal area. As I live near Bruges myself, I hardly know any places to stay overnight (or at least, not well enough to recommendend any). To my surprise, I saw a vegetarian bed and breakfast listed on Happy Cow last year, called AM/PM.  And through some mutual friends, I also heard that the hosts of the B&B, Tiny and Kevin, are more and more exploring veganism, and that they also serve vegan breakfast! (NOTE: see update below) As such, I asked them if I could pay them a visit, to take a look inside! And so a couple of weeks ago, I had a nice chat with host Tiny, about the renovation of the house, their journey to veganism and their experiences with running a bed & breakfast in Bruges! Bed & breakfast AM/PM is …

Our visit to Veggieworld 2017, Brussels

Veggieworld is an international vegan fair, that has been organised since 2011, in 8 different European countries. In October 2017, it was organised in Brussels for the first time. Veggieworld was located in Tour and Taxis. Nicely renovated old industrial buildings on the north side of Brussels. Parking just next door (a bit expensive, 7 euro, whether one was there for half an hour of half a day didn’t matter), good facilities (accessible toilets). Bright place, with high ceilings. It was unclear to us at first – going by the name – whether this was a vegan or vegetarian fair (it is vegan). We feel “Veganworld” would be a much more appropriate, clearer and better name. Veggie usually refers to vegetarianism, not veganism, so that is confusing. And using the word veggie instead of vegan makes ‘vegan’ less known and even sound more extreme (see our post: just say the word: vegan!). Admission was 8euro pp (10 euro on the day itself), which we felt was a reasonable price. Of course a free festival like …

About pigs, horses and winter stew

Don’t worry, no horses nor pigs ended up in the stew. A couple of weeks ago we went to the screening of the documentary The Last Pig. The screening was organised by Uitgezonderd (who also organises a vegan people’s kitchen in Bruges every month) and was held at the edge of the city, in Koersepeerd (“koersepeerd” is Flemish dialect for racehorse). Hence my opening 😉 There was also a people’s kitchen that evening, before the screening of the documentary. All you can eat Winter stew with seitan, potatoes  and salad. Delicious, and a huge portion! The Last Pig is the story of pig farmer Bob Comis in the United States. His story reminded me of that of Gustaf Söderfeldt, the Swedish farmer who switched to veganic farming a couple of years ago.  In similar vein, Bob is having trouble with his conscience. The documentary follows him during his last year as a pig farmer, until the last pigs leave the premises. Throughout the the docu, Bob talks – in a very serene and calm manner – about his company, life …

Staring at humans: Les Zoos Humains, exhibition in Liège

The exhibition  Zoo Humains. L’invention du sauvage  (Human Zoos. The invention of the savage) ran from September 2016 til the end of February 2017. We visited a week before it closed. It was in La Cité Miroir in Liège, a nicely renovated building, that used to house a swimming pool. Before our visit to the exhibition, we had lunch at Como en Casa, a nice vegetarian restaurant, and we also visited the GoVeg Vegan shop. The website of the exhibition Zoos Humains, gave this introduction (my translation from French): “One isn’t born racist, one becomes racist  For more than five centuries, the industry of human exhibitions fascinated more than 1 billion 400 million visitors and put on display between 30.000 en 35.000 figurantes in spectacle shows, all around the world. These spectacles, being the first visual contact between cultures, have drawn a divide and a hierarchy between the so called “civilised” and the “savages” in the minds of westerners. At Zoos Humains, visitors learn how racist prejudices became installed during the times of the great …

Drop the ‘strict’

Words are not simply neutral  expressions of how we experience or want to describe reality. They shape and give meaning to our thoughts and ideas, and even though we think we are giving an objective account of reality, our choice of words often has a very subjective interpretation. Here are a few texts about veganism (or a vegan diet). Note the use of ‘strict’.   The repeated use of the word ‘strict’, portrays veganism (even more) as something extreme and hard. Don’t make it sound more difficult than it is, and drop the use of the word ‘strict’.

First vegan market in Lille (France)

A couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, there was a vegan market in Lille (Rijsel, France). Lille is just across the border with Belgium, and for us that is just an hour’s drive, so we were eager to go check it out! The vegan market was organised by Végétal & Vous, a vegan shop in Lille. We could park not too far from the Community center. A bit of a bummer that the elevator was out of order, although the organisor had mentionned and warned about this the day before on the facebook page, and offered help to anyone needing assistance.  But we managed 🙂 The market was not really that big (certainly not when compared to other vegan fairs or festivals we’ve been to, like Veggieworld, VegfestUK, vegfestNL or Vegan Summerfest). But nonetheless with a nice variety of shops, products and organisations. And since it was in France, also some new brands that we had never heard of. But also some products that I personally don’t really associate with veganism (like dream cathers and …

Inspiring: pig farmer turns vegan and now grows vegetables

This is the kind of story that makes me happy. That shows that change is possible! While there is an increasing amount of positive stories about veganism in the media, most of those reports are about the growing number of vegans, vegan celebrities, or the emerging offer of vegan products in shops. So mainly about the consumption side of the story. But the ultimate goal is the abolishment of the use of animals, for food, clothing, entertainment and other purposes. Circussen without animals, food production without the exploitation of animals. It’s not just about getting consumers to choose vegan options, but about getting farmers to practice veganic agriculture.  So their company makes the transition to veganic farming (without the use of animals, and also without animal products such as manure). So that no animals are used and exploited. The story of Swedish farmer Gustaf Söderfeldt is a great example! ‘Humane’ meat Gustaf and his partner Caroline wanted to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and settled on the countryside, where they started …