All posts tagged: animal rights

Our visit to Vegan Summer fest in 50 photos! Belgium’s first vegan festival

Yesterday BE Vegan hosted Belgium’s first* vegan festival in Gentbrugge. Ghentbrugge is near the city of Ghent, about 40km from Bruges, so it was only about a half hour drive for us. We decided to go early. Partly because the weather forecast warned for possible thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Also because the inscriptions on the FB event led to suggest there was going to be a huge turnout (more than 4000 people). So we wanted to avoid the ‘big crowd’ and we arrived a little bit before noon. The festival was mainly inside one of the halls of KERKGent. Inside the hall were stalls of organisations like Bite Back, Animal Rights and host organisation BE Vegan, and also several shops selling mainly shoes, books and food. In one shielded corner of the hall were some seatings for the scheduled talks (about vegan activism, vegan bussinesses etc). The big foodstalls were outside and next to that was a tent where the food demos took place.    Although we were there early, the queues for the main foodstalls outside were getting longer rapidly. We …

The inside of a leather jacket

Chinese artist Cao Hui made a series of sculpturs of everyday objects that are often made of leather, like a couch, gloves, shoes or a suitcase. He also shows the inside of these objects, with organs, fat and flesh. The artist wants to challenge the way we look at everyday objects. On the website of the Lin Lin Gallerij, Cao Hui explains: Increasingly uneasy and dissatisfied with merely describing surface appearances, artists now attempt to plumb the inner reaches of things; an agenda that apparently moves into science or other fields. It seems artists are no longer happy just being artists, but are driven by their inborn love of performance to try out new roles, such as philosopher, scientist, doctor or perhaps even engineer. According to this info the sculptures are not made with real leather nor organs, but with products like resin and fibre. The artist doesn’t seem to want to bring an animal rights message, but the images do make you think about the issue, no? Leather is not a by-product Leather or animal skin …

Impressions from the photo exhibit ‘The Forgotten Animal’ in Bruges

Anyone who’s going from the station in Bruges to ‘t Zand in the coming week cannot miss this. There are about a dozen big bords with a photo on each side of a ‘forgotten’ animal in the food industry, with next to each photo a description of the fate of the animal. The photo exhibit is originally made by the Dutch organisations Varkens in Nood (Pigs in distress) and Dier en Recht (Animal & Law) and we already saw it in Amsterdam in 2013 (see our impression on our Dutch blog here). At that point, we wrote ‘Would this be possible on the Burg in Bruges or next to the Saint-Baafscathedral in Ghent?’. And now the exhibition is actually in Belgium, and in Bruges even! Fantastic! 🙂 The exhibit uses the same images as the ones that were used in the Netherlands, but the texts are adapted to the Belgian context. The Forgotten Animal is brought to Bruges by a cooperation of different organisations*, and can be seen for a week in the Albertpark.  

Yummie food @Vegan music festival Ieperfest

Ieperfest is a 3-day hardcore music festival, just outside Ypres (Ieper, 75km from Bruges, Belgium). Since day one, more than 20 years ago, all the food at Ieperfest is vegan! So we went to check it out on day1! To listen to some bands (a trip down memory lane for one of us!), hang out, relax, and get a general impression of the atmosphere. But especially to taste the vegan food! It’s pretty rare to find vegan food at a music festical, so to have all catering fully vegan (and most of it organic too) is really extraordinary! Not having to ask whether the fries are baked in vegetable oil, being able to order food without worrying about hidden ingredients! What a relief! And plenty of choice too! Vegan food catering at Ieperfest: This is what we ate at Ieperfest: For refreshments, there’s of course plenty of beer available, but it’s nice you can also drink organic apple or orange juice (2€). And Koek & Zopie offers a variety of organic coffees. Unfortunately, the rain came pooring down several times, turning the festival grounds …

No more ponies on Bruges annual funfair in May

On Friday May 9th, 2014, Bruges’ annual funfair ‘De Meifoor’ starts its 814th edition. About a hundred attractions occupy Bruges’ inner city markets for a couple of weeks (till June 1st). For the first time, there will be no attraction with live ponies on the Bruges Meifoor, according to reports in Het Nieuwsblad and Het Laatste Nieuws. Hurray! Finally! The Nieuwsblad captions “children will not be able to ‘enjoy’ a ride on real horses”. However, for the ponies, there is no enjoyment in it. In this funfair attraction, ponies walk little circles in a small arena for hours and hours on end. For a couple of euros, children can ride along on the ponies’ back for a couple of circles. The ponies have to endure the deafening music and bright scattering lights from surrounding fair attractions. Animal rights organisations have often protested against these pony attractions in several Belgian cities, and luckily, more and more cities are banning this attraction on their annual city funfairs. But the abscence of the pony attraction on the 2014 Meifoor in Bruges is not due to the city …

Demo to close Boudewijn Seapark (dolphinarium), Bruges

The annual dolphin slaughter in Taiji, Japan, has received a lot of international media coverage. Hundreds of dolphins have been killed. It’s a massacre. The dolphins’ anguish is horrible. Watch this video from CNN Some dolphins are ‘spared’ and caught alive, to be sold in the entertainment business. Imprisoned for live. These highly intelligent sensitive animals are doomed to spend the rest of their lives in small swimming pools and perform tricks day after day after day…. Dolphins don’t fare well in captivity. Dolphinaria worldwide are also guilty for what is annualy happening in Taiji, Japan. Boycot dolphinaria. It has nothing to do with nature conservation and even less with love for animals. Unfortunately, Bruges has a dolphinarium: Boudewijn Seapark. We hope it will be closed soon. Animal rights organisation Bite Back is holding a demonstration for the closure of the dolphinarium in Bruges, this coming Sunday afternoon, January 26, 2014, at the entrance of Boudewijn Seapark. See the facebookpage of Bite Back for more details about the demo! LINKS Sea Shepherd, facts about the drive hunt …