Tag Archive: vegetarianism


MORRISSEY – Live at Carisport, Cesena 8th October 2015

Give that man a hand

In my last post I was scathing about Morrissey’s debut novel, List Of The Lost, but I’m happy to report that his ‘day job’ as singer and musical icon is still in rude shape.

For this show in Cesena, the second of just two dates in Italy, he was in fine voice and treated an adoring public to a supremely polished show dominated by material from his excellent new album World Peace Is None Of Your Business.

It would have been all too easy for him to go through the motions and run through Smiths classics. Probably a fair proportion of the audience would have actually preferred this but I’d much rather see an artist performing songs that reflect where he is now than who he was then. Continue reading

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tasteofulster“Our food. So good” is the subtitle of the Northern Ireland Tourist Board‘s free booklet listing a selection of “handpicked” cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels.

“It’s an exciting time for food in Northern Ireland” the authors gush in the introduction but the options are far from exciting if you are vegetarian and positively desperate if you are vegan.

Having just spend a week in Belfast and County Down, I can confirm that there are plenty of reasons why it’s a great country to visit but would also give warning that healthy and ethically correct food is not one of them.

The page of symbols used in the guide’s entries is the first thing that alerts you to this problem. There’s an icon to indicate which places have parking, conference facilities, disabled access or are child friendly and there’s also one for those looking for gluten-free meals. However, there is no symbol for patrons seeking meat free alternatives.

In the Belfast section there are 42 listings, a page for each, and only one of these seems to genuinely acknowledge that not everyone wants to stuff their face with sausages, steak and meat burgers. Take a bow The Salt Bistro  which offers up a “superfood salad” as well as a “lentil and bean burger with tabasco mayonnaise”.

Elsewhere “veggies”, as we are chummily called, find very slim pickings indeed. The Beatrice Kennedy restaurant  has “meat, fish and game on every menu” so the final sentence – “veggies will be pleased too”– seems to be something of a puzzling afterthought. How? and Why? I ask myself. Continue reading

AVERAGE JOE ON THE RAW  directed by Daniel Hayhurst (USA, 2013)

At the age of 30, Seth Hayhurst was beginning to show the onset of middle age spread but could not by any stretch of the imagination be called obese.

Actually, you would say that he looked in pretty good physical shape. Mentally, however, was another story.

He’d gone through a messy divorce and ,although now in a good relationship, he realized he had ‘anger issues’  and attitude problems that needed to be addressed.  He declares that he wanted “to be shiny again”.

Above all, he felt his life was slipping into a mundane pattern in which he was destined to become just another average American with declining health and lower energy levels.

In the introduction to this documentary, directed by his brother Daniel, he says: “I looked in the mirror and saw complacency. I saw a man settling into normalcy ……so, I could just fall in line with the rest of the people on the assembly line of commonplace OR ….. I could make a push at my limitless potential. I could try to reset my intelligently designed body to heal itself!” 

 His radical solution is to ditch fatty meat orientated fast foods and embark on a 60 day raw vegan diet. Seeing how others who ate like this looked vibrant and alive convinced him that this was the life changing, clean living alternative he was looking for.

Continue reading

vegfest-forli-cesena-2013This weekend was the 4th edition of the Veg Fest near my home town of Cesena in Emilia Romagna. This has been an annual event for the past five years (one year was skipped as the original venue fell through).

For the past two years the festival has been held at Parco Fellini in Gambettola, a small town situated midway between Cesena and Rimini.

The organisers are the local group Lega Anti Vivisezione (LAV) whose broad goal  is to promote Vegetarianism/Veganism as a more humane lifestyle choice.

I attend as one of the converted, having been a vegetarian for almost 40 years now. These days, I count myself more as a demi-vegan. To fall short of being a full-on vegan as this would mean the stiff challenge of foregoing most beers, wines, cheeses, cappuccino, dairy ice cream etc. etc. I’m working on it!

It is interesting to note the social changes over the past five years using this Veg Fest as a subjective indicator of some subtle ways in which attitudes are shifting. Continue reading

petriburger“It’s not natural, normal or kind – the flesh you so fancifully fry is murder” . Morrissey’s words to The Smiths’ Meat Is Murder still speak for vegetarians the world over.

I am one of them, not having eaten meat or fish for the best part of 40 years, most of my adult life.

The arguments for a vegetarian diet are environmental as well as ethical:

  • Global meat demand is estimated to increase by 73% by 2050. But we already use 70% of farm land for livestock
  • Livestock farming for meat is responsible for ~18% of all greenhouse emissions, more than all global transport combined

This is why scientists have invented a meat product that is not natural and normal but is kind in that no animal is ‘murdered’.

Cultured beef takes the muscle cells from a living cow, grows them in a lab to produce muscle tissue, the main component of the meat carnivores consume. Continue reading

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