Monday, 23 June 2014

The Clean Up Cruelty Pledge

Clean Up Cruelty is a campaign run by Cruelty Free International to help raise awareness of animal tested household products such as cleaning products, dishwasher tablets, washing-up liquid and air fresheners. To test the ingredients that go into these products, animals such as rabbits, mice, hamsters and rats are injected, gassed, force-fed and killed. Whilst the law has recently changed meaning that new cosmetics cannot be tested on animals in the European Union, the UK government has failed to keep its promise to ban animal testing of household products. 
 
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
Rabbits, hamsters, rats and mice have traditionally been injected, gassed, force-fed and killed to test the ingredients that go into everyday household products such as washing up liquid, air fresheners and dishwasher tablets. - See more at: http://www.crueltyfreeinternational.org/en/household-products#sthash.Fk5FFV4K.dpuf
There are many cruelty-free cleaning products available, proving that animal testing is not just cruel but unnecessary too. To be sure that the products you are buying are truly cruelty-free, you should only buy from companies that have been awarded the Leaping Bunny logo as this means no animal testing is conducted or commissioned for finished products or ingredients in any phase of product development by the company, its laboratories or its suppliers after a fixed cut-off date. Marks and Spencer's and the Co-operative's own brand cleaning products are certified as cruelty-free, as are brands such as Astonish, Method, Ecozone and Bio-D. Check the Go Cruelty Free website regularly for a full up-to-date list of cruelty-free companies.
 
There are several things that we can all do to help end animal testing of household products:
 
1. Sign the petition to urge the government to implement the ban as soon as possible. Don't forget to share it on Facebook and Twitter to get your friends involved as well.
 
2. Send this tweet to the Home Office:
@UKHomeOffice @CrueltyFreeIntl It's time to ban animal tests for cleaning products AND ingredients #cleanupcruelty http://bit.ly/14Me98u 
 
3. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your home, and make sure you stick to it! Once you know which brands are cruelty-free and where to buy their products it really is easy to stick to the pledge.
 
4. Take the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge to only buy Leaping Bunny certified products for your workplace. Simply download the pledge form and guidance notes (which can be found here), complete the form stating which Leaping Bunny certified products you use and send it back to Cruelty Free International. In return you will receive a certificate which you can display in your workplace to let everyone know that you are cruelty-free!
 
Before I set up my holistic therapy business I knew that I wanted to only use Leaping Bunny certified products in my treatments. I have to check the company list regularly though, as on a couple of occasions I discovered that I had been continuing to buy from companies that had had their certification revoked without me realising. I managed to find some even better products though, and when I found out about the Clean Up Cruelty Pledge I couldn't wait to apply for my certificate. As well as only using cruelty-free beauty products and essential oils, I also only buy cruelty-free cleaning products for my business. I am lucky that my treatment room is right next to a Co-op, so all my cleaning products, washing-up liquid, hand wash etc comes from there (Co-op clearly label which products are vegan too). I filled out the form and sent it off, and I promptly received my certificate which is proudly displayed in the waiting room. 
 
 
I am really proud to be a cruelty-free consumer, and I have had new clients come to me because I am a cruelty-free and vegan business. I highly recommend making your workplace cruelty-free no matter what line of work you are in as it shows that you are caring and compassionate. Vegan/cruelty-free consumers would much rather give their custom to ethical businesses, so by taking the pledge you could be opening up your doors to new and loyal customers.
 
Don't forget to like Cruelty Free International on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and updates.
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Thursday, 15 May 2014

Vegan Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

In my house we have a roast dinner nearly every Sunday without fail. We don't always have Yorkshire puddings though so I completely forgot about them when I went vegan and it never occurred to me that you must be able to make a vegan version. That was up until a few months ago, when a lovely lady called Heather posted a recipe in a vegan Facebook group. Heather had played around with a non-vegan recipe she had found and discovered that mixing the egg replacer and water in a blender rather than by hand yielded the best results. Intrigued, I decided to give the recipe a go, and upon tasting the golden, crispy puddings I was hooked! My roast dinners just don't feel complete without a couple of these delicious Yorkshires anymore.
 
 
 I've had a few requests for the recipe since I posted some pictures in a recent makes and bakes post, so without further ado, here it is. This recipe makes 6 large Yorkshire puddings, but you can halve the quantities to make 4 smaller ones.
 
 Ingredients
100g plain flour
250 ml unsweetened non-dairy milk of your choice
4 tsp egg replacer powder such as Ener-G or Orgran
8 tbsp water

Method
1. Preheat oven to 230°C/gas mark 8.

2. Add a drop of oil to each section of your Yorkshire pudding pan and place in the oven to heat.

3. Whisk together the flour and milk.

4. In a blender/food processor combine the egg replacer and water until very fluffy.

5. Quickly fold the "egg" into the flour mixture.

6. Once the pan is very hot, pour the Yorkshire mixture into the sections and put back into the oven. The oil should sizzle when the batter is added to it.

7. After 15-20 minutes take the pan out of the oven (the tops should be starting to crisp at this point) and "pop" the tops with the back of a spoon to expose the centres. Put the Yorkshires back in the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.
 
The trick to successful Yorkshire puddings is to ensure that both the oven and the oil in the pan are very hot! If you try out this recipe I'd love to hear how your puddings turn out.


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Monday, 28 April 2014

Restaurant Review: Wildebeest Cafe in Falmouth, Cornwall

Vegan cafes/restaurants are hard to come by. Sure, there are plenty of vegetarian restaurants that have a few vegan options, but there aren't many totally vegan ones. So imagine my excitement when I heard that a brand new vegan cafe was opening not far from me!
 
Wildebeest is a new cafe/bar in Falmouth, Cornwall. They are open all day for breakfast, coffee and cake, lunch and dinner. The food takes inspiration from all over the world, and local produce is used where possible. Wildebeest also sell a selection of vegan beers, wines and cocktails. I couldn't wait to visit, so when my friends and I were deciding where to go for our next meal out, I suggested the Wildebeest. Although my friends aren't vegan or vegetarian, they are open to trying different foods and were just as excited as I was to go there!
 
 
 
The cafe is small but cosy. The menu is written on a big blackboard on the wall. What I love about Wildebeest's menu is that it changes regularly; it is nice to be able to have different options to choose from every time you visit a restaurant. Here was the menu on the night we visited:
 
 
I decided to try the gnocchi. I'd never tried it before and I wasn't disappointed. The pesto was so creamy and delicious - absolutely bursting with flavour. The cashew parmesan was really tasty too.
 
 
Both my friends went for the Mex Mix (minus the cashew cheese). Chloe has a nut allergy and Zoe is coeliac, so after discussing their dietary requirements with the lovely waitress, they were advised on which dishes would be suitable for them. It felt a little strange that for once I did not have to mention my requirements to the staff!
 
 
We all thoroughly enjoyed our main courses, which were really filling. But no matter how full you are there's always room for dessert, right? Zoe had the raw raspberry cheesecake with coconut whipped cream, Chloe had the lemon and blueberry cupcake and I had the chocolate brownie (warmed!) with a scoop of homemade chocolate ice cream. We all loved our desserts, and I can safely say (after sampling all three dishes!) that they were among the best vegan desserts I've had. I hope the raspberry cheesecake is available next time I go to Wildebeest as I wouldn't mind having a large slice of it!
 
 


I really enjoyed dining at the Wildebeest. The food was excellent and very reasonably priced, and the staff were really friendly and knowledgeable. The cafe was fully booked the night we went, and I've heard it's always really busy. I think it's a hit with both vegans and non-vegans alike! I can't wait to go back :)
 
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