All posts tagged: animal rights

Bombed, shot, shell shocked and killed. Animals in War Memorial, London

On our last city trip to London last Summer, we visited the Animals in War Memorial. It is located on the upper East side of Hyde Park at the Brook Gate.  On our previous visit to London (for the Intersectionality conference at VegfestUK, Nov 2016) we barely got a glimpse of the monument as we passed by with a cab on busy Park Lane, but a large truck in the lane next to us was unfortunately blocking our view on the Memorial. The memorial was designed by English sculptor David Backhouse to commemorate “all the animals that served, suffered and died alongside the British, Commonwealth and Allied forces in the wars and conflicts of the 20th century” (quote from Animals in War Memorial). It was unveiled in November 2004*. I have very mixed feelings about memorials and monuments dedicated to animals who have ‘served’ for law enforcement, as soldiers, as bomb sniffers or protection guards. One the one hand, it is heartwarming to see so many people care about the animal victims of war, and commemorate them …

Farmer switches to veganic farming and gives cows to sanctuary

I find this one of the most inspiring stories of the last years. Although there’s no shortage of positive stories about veganism in mainstream media (about the numbers of vegans growing, vegan celebrities or the increasing offer of vegan products), most of these focus on the consumption side of the spectrum. There are far less stories from the other side, being the production side. And in the end, when it comes to the food aspect of veganism, that’s what it’s all about: ending the use of animals in food production. Making farmers choose vegan options, switching to veganic farming (without the use of any animal products, like manure). Jay Wilde, a 59 year old vegetarian farmer from Derbyshire (UK) inherited the farm when his dad died in 2011. He couldn’t bear to send the cows to slaughter anymore and has donated about 60 cows to a vegan sanctuary. And is now switching to veganic vegetable farming. “I’m relieved to have made the decision to no longer farm animals, something which I always found quite upsetting,” he …

Interview with Trudi

A couple of months ago, Ned from The Way of the Squirrel Books posted a call to other bloggers to do an interview. I had seen such calls for interviews before on other blogs, but had never actually done one of them. I was contemplating on editing the ‘about’ section on my blog anyway, but then thought this was also a great way of introducing readers with the person behind the blog. A good opportunity to share some insights into why I started blogging, some general thoughts on veganism (keeping in mind it is also an opportunity to reach people who may have never heard of veganism) and just some more general personal stuff. Ned sent me some questions, which I replied to, and he then edited it. It was fun doing, and thanks again Ned, for the opportunity! 🙂 The original post is up here on Ned’s blog, The Way of the Squirrel books, reposted here with permission. INTERVIEW: MEET AND GREET MONDAY – BLOGGER: BRUGESVEGAN Well, here we are again.  Another Monday and another …

Impressions from Vegan Summerfest 2016, Ghent

A couple of weeks ago, Belgian organisation BE Vegan organised the second edition of Vegan Summerfest. We went to the first edition in 2015 (see our post here) and surely did not want to miss it! This year, the festival was in the Artcube in Ghent, where BE Vegan had also hosted a talk by Jo-An McArthur last Winter (see blogpost here). A more spacious venue than last year, with more room inside and outside. We went early to avoid the big crowd as much as possible and to secure a parking spot nearby (by the time we left early afternoon, people were already parked several blocks away from the venue). The foodtrucks were outside and inside were two halls with stalls of organisations like Bite Back, Animal Rights, and also several shops selling shoes, books, food and cosmetics. With benches to sit down and relax a while. During the afternoon, there were some talks in yet another hall. Would have loved to hear Ruby Roth‘s ‘Vegan is Love‘ talk (via Skype), but that was scheduled for the late …

Sea Shepherd in Antwerp: a look on board the Sam Simon

One of Sea Shepherd’s ships docked in Antwerp a couple of weeks ago. The Sam Simon anchored near Antwerp’s city museum MAS and during that couple of days crew offered guided tours on the ship. Sea Shepherd is international marine wildlife conservation organization. They use direct action tactics to protect marine life, for example disturbing whale vessels and seizure and destruction of drift nets. I visited the ship with a Dutch friend. It was fascinating! Some information that was shared during the tour: there are a lot of signposts with Japanese language on board the ship, that’s because the ship was originally a Japanese vessel new volunteers start out as sailors, cleaning, doing the simple on board tasks and can later on take on more responsibilities life on board is taken very seriously, no fooling around, and no alcohol on board. If you fool around you leave at the next harbour! The Sam Simon has participated in several operations (see the stickers) The Sam Simon is named after American television producer and writer Sam Simon (co creator of the Simpsons), who donated the money …

I won the lottery! Dinner with Sea Shepherd crew and Tom Waes on board Sam Simon, Antwerp

Sea Shepherd is international marine wildlife conservation organization. They use direct action tactics to protect marine life, for example disturbing whale vessels and seizure and destruction of drift nets. One of their ships, the Sam Simon, embarked in Antwerp for a couple of days and was open for public visits. I visited the ship with a Dutch friend earlier in the week (review with many more pics of the Sam Simon will follow here). On that visit, I gave a donation to Sea Shepherd, and as such entered the lottery to win a dinner for two on Saturday evening on board the ship, with the crew and Tom Waes. As it is with lotteries, one never expects to win … But this time, I did! 🙂 I got a call on Saturday afternoon and of course I gladly accepted the dinner invitation for two. We had the opportunity to talk to the crew and some volunteers from Sea Shepherd Belgium. And we also met Tom Waes (Belgian actor, director and TV-presentor), who is an ambassador for Sea Shepherd and Captain Alex Cornelissen (CEO …

Our visit to VegfestNL in Utrecht

Last weekend, we went to a vegan festival in the Netherlands. This was the second edition of VegfestNL, this time in Utrecht. Utrecht is only about 2 and a half hours drive from Bruges. The festival was not coincidentally on November 1, which is World Vegan Day. It was located in the Jaarbeurs of Utrecht, a big conference and event hall at the edge of the city. There is supposedly parking nearby, but when we arrived, all nearby parkings were announced as full and the surroundings seemed like a big construction site. Very confusing to get there. Luckily, we found a parking space in one of the streets not too far away, but then it was still quite a walk to the festival venue! It was not a free festival like Vegan Summer Fest a couple of weeks ago in Belgium (see our review here), but with an admission fee of 10€ (which still seems reasonably fair, although it does increase the treshold for a lot of people). There were seperate halls with dozens of stalls, selling food, …

Some classics in animal advocacy. And juice!

Here are some books that inspired me. And some green juices. I posted this photo earlier on instagram last Summer, but wanted to write some more about it here. It’s about 20 years since I’ve read Peter Singer‘s Animal Liberation (1975 – on the photos is a Dutch version: Dierenbevrijding). This book triggered my interest in animal advocacy and human-animal relations. I think at that time, it had a similar impact on many people like Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals had more recently (both being very accessibly written and reaching a very large audience, and both are translated in so many languages). Although it is not about animal ‘rights’ in the philosophical sense, since it is written from a utilitarian perspective. Peter Singer explains the term speciesism (discrimination on the basis of species) and documents the many ways in which animals suffer at the hands of humans. The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams (1990) is a must read for anyone interested in feminism and/or animal advocacy and the concept of intersectionality. It shows the many ways in which the …

More than numbers

Thousands of eartags on a pile in a slaughterhouse. Of thousands of slaughtered animals. The photo tells more than words can ever express. Individual animals, each with their own feelings and desires, but stripped of their personality. Anonymous. reduced to a number in the system. Objects. Just in Belgium, 300 million animals are killed every year. 300 million times suffering, fear, pain. 300 million times a sentient subject’s life is abruptly and violently ended. Each day a pile of tags in every slaughterhouse in Belgium. In every slaughterhouse in Europe. Over the world. Day after day after day after day. The sadness over such incredible amount of suffering could be paralysing. But the thought that change is possible is somewhat consoling and encouraging. The awareness that change is happening. You too can stop this madness. Don’t participate. Go Vegan. The photo is from a photographer using the pseudonym “K49814” and part of a photo exhibit in Berlin “Atmen ohne Pause” (breathing without pause), with several other photos taken in slaughterhouses. Ausstellung über slachttiere, Ding der Unmöglichkeit, Süddeutsche Zeitung. Killing statistics Belgium. Deze …

Dairy: from yummie to yuk

dairy everywhere Up until a couple of years ago, I still ate dairy. Not so much a glass of milk (never liked that), but a lot of ‘processed’ milk. A sandwich with cheese. Mac & cheese. Pizza with cheese. Icecream with fruit and whipped cream. Yoghurt. I quite enjoyed it! Yummie! And there’s also a whole series of products of which you do not realise that they contain dairy. Milk (or whey or milkpowder) is included in a broad scala of food items, from bread to pizzadough, crisps to sauces, chocolates to cakes, soup and bread spreads. A couple of years ago, we went vegan. That means no animal products, so also no dairyproducts. You can read more about the reason’s why here. In a nutshell: for exactly the same reasons why I went vegetarian all those years ago: first and foremost for the animals. I also take note of the environmental aspect and the health reasons involved. Stolen mother’s milk I see dairy in a totally different light now. I see it as mother’s milk of cows, sheep …