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Becoming Vegan

EIGHT years ago when I decided to become vegan, I was the only vegan I knew.

In fact I hadn’t even met a vegan! My aunty was vegetarian for six years, but that was back in her ‘uni days’ and so it was described as some sort of hippy phase.

I remember making the decision and friends actually betting on when I would crack! (My friend Rachel bet me twenty quid I would break by a week – a lot to a 17 year old!)

Well here I am, unbroken, unwavering, and gladly friends with a more vegans than ever before.

It got me thinking though, when I first began there was no ‘Fry’s Chicken Nuggets’ available at my local Tesco’s – you had to make do, find your own recipes and pray to god you could make Tofu taste like anything other than just tofu!

A lot of discussions on WordPress, Tumblr, Facebook and everywhere else about vegans – seems to be talking to VEGANS. Preaching to the converted if you wish.

So I thought for anyone you know out there who is thinking about being vegan, or anyone who wants to become one, here are some handy links.

After all, this is what we’re all here to do right?

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Vegan Friendly Finds – Holidays!

The other day I was talking to my South African housemates and they were urging me to go on Safari in the country.

“You’d love it” they said, “The animals are so close, and they live in the wild.”

I have to admit I was intrigued, however after a quick bit of research (including a great Louis Theroux Documentary – here) I found that most of these ‘wild life parks’ or ‘game reserves’ actually made their money from hunting.

Of course there are a few exceptions to this rule, but I found communication slow and even the ‘eco-friendly’ websites didn’t have sufficient information on the animal welfare and upkeep of the ‘sanctuary’.

On my travels I did however find a few websites that can help fellow vegans looking for a guilt-free escape and so I thought I’d share them – I haven’t been on any of these holidays (yet!) but if like me you are just looking for some inspiration and somewhere to add to your wanderlust list, check these pages out.

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Whittaker’s Dark Chocolate

Really short and sweet today, just like this delicious vegan friendly chocolate bar.

I’m not really a fan of dark chocolate as I find it too bitter, but this bar is not bitter at all and tastes creamy and all chocolate’y and nice!

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Whittaker’s Dark Chocolate

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Here’s the ingredients:

DARK CHOCOLATE [COCOA SOLIDS 50%* (COCOA MASS & COCOA BUTTER); SUGAR; EMULSIFIER (SOYA LECITHIN); VANILLA FLAVOUR] *Minimum Percentage. May contain traces of milk chocolate, peanuts and other nuts.

But if in doubt the official Whittakers website states:

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Perfect!

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Enough said really.

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Kellogg’s

*UPDATE – Since writing this post it has come to my attention Frosties contain animal derived Vitamin D. Please find below a list of vegan Kellogg’s products. Obviously mistakes do happen and sources can be unreliable – I apologise for the info and hope you forgive me!*

I’m suddenly excited to wake up in the morning!

But before we begin, I need to confess something – This post, was a different post five minutes ago.

It’s not because I’m fickle or couldn’t think of anything to say…. Its because I didn’t trust the information I was being given, and you shouldn’t either.

My post was going to be about –
Kellogg’s Unfrosted Poptarts – Strawberry

Several blogs – including PETA- have said its vegan friendly, and certainly – on the surface the unfrosted flavours look to be ok.

However the more I looked into the ingredients, the more I disliked.

Basically, it comes down to this – nowhere on their website do Kellogg’s say that unfrosted Poptarts are vegan, or even vegetarian. Although the ingredients look OK at first glance, and the allergy information doesn’t state animal, when going through it bit by bit I found a few ingredients I just couldn’t look over; Pyridoxine hydrochloride & Thiamine hydrochloride for eg. Although they could be from plant. I think they’re from eggs. Infact I’m pretty sure that at least three other ingredients in the recipe are derived from animals (e numbers ect) but you think they’re not because PETA and other sources have told us so.

So wheres the evidence? Wheres the letter from Kellogg’s saying it is? Nowhere. And thats why the blog has changed.

If you have any information I don’t have on Poptarts – please let me know!

*Deep breath* …. And let’s begin…

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is – Kellogg’s Cereals:

There are a few that are vegan and here are a couple of them.
A couple of Special K also don’t have vitamin D.

 

Also, when I was researching Betty Crocker products for my last post I found out that General Foods, (the people who own BC) had caved into public pressure and are now using sustainable and responsible sourced Palm Oil. (YAY!) So I thought to myself…. I wonder what other companies do this? And low and behold….

The Guardian reported HERE:

“The food giant Kellogg’s has caved in to public pressure and agreed to buy palm oil only from suppliers who can prove that they actively protect rainforests and peatlands and respect human rights.

The move, which follows intense pressure from consumer groups around the world, is expected to improve the survival chances of highly endangered animals like the Sumatran tiger and the orangutan in southeast Asia, as well as provide some protection for indigenous peoples in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Latin America and west Africa who depend on tropical rainforests for a living.

At least 30,000 square miles of tropical forest has been cut down in the past 20 years to supply the burgeoning global food industry with cheap palm oil to make packaged foods, ice cream and snacks. The deforestation has led to illegal land grabs, forest fires and social conflict in communities which depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. The heavy loss of peatlands has also contributed significantly to the increase in climate change emissions.”

In a statement, Kellogg’s said that it will require its suppliers to “protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and peatland of any depth. Suppliers will also be required to protect human and community rights.”

“While palm oil is a very small percentage of our total ingredients, as a socially responsible company, concerns about the sustainable production of palm oil are clearly on our radar screen,” said chief sustainability officer Celeste Clark.”

 

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Nature Valley Bars!

Nom nom nom nom nom nom nom. Is all I can say! So many flavours!

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is the yummy, scrummy – Nature Valley bars – which you’ll be pleased to know are available all over the world!

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Why they’re good? – Don’t have time for breakfast? Need a pick me up around eleven? Fancy a sweet treat after dinner? Or just craving something rammed with sugar?

Nature Valley bars all the way my animal loving friends!

These are possibly my favourite readily available cereal bar, as they are super tasty and always help keep the hunger away.

Whats bad about them – I know they don’t hold the nutritional value of lots of snack bars out there, which when you could easily buy something that gives you that extra boost just next door to these on an aisle, they might be looked over. However they do have a Protein Granola range that adds as an extra boost to my daily intake, with an advertised 10g of protein per bowl.

I think that you just have to think of Nature Valley as a a) non vegan company, who’s products just so happen to be vegan, and b) the price difference between a multipack of these and other products on the market is amazing! They are at least 25% cheaper! which doesn’t sound like a lot, but considering this is a luxury item on top of your weekly shop – every little helps.

BEST OF ALL – unlike other products designed ‘for’ vegans where you tend to get only a few flavours. Nature Valley have a whole host of yummy options depending on what you fancy.

These are the list of products that Nature Valley currently have available on the market and are vegan:

CRUNCH range-
Pecan crunch,
Maple Brown Sugar,
Cinnamon,
Apple Crisp,
Roasted Almonds,
Crunchy Peanut Butter.

ROASTED NUT CRUNCH range-
Almond crunch
Peanut crunch.

TRAIL MIX range-
Fruit & Nut

PROTEIN GRANOLA range-
Crunchy Almond

Be careful when ordering online though as I’ve checked the ingredients for the above list off of the official.com nature valley website (click the links to go through to the listed products page) however in other countries ingredients may change due to different manufacturing process.

I’m saying this so you all check the backs! As companies are sneaky! Last thing I want is for you to eat anything you don’t want.

Enjoy! X

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – McVities HobNobs

Todays Vegan Friendly Find is the legend that is a McVities HobNob.

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Allergen Information:
Contains: Gluten, Wheat, Oats

Ingredients:
Rolled oat (38%), Wholemeal Wheat Flour (23%), Sugar, Vegetable Oil, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Raising Agents (Sodium Bicarbonate, Ammonium Bicarbonate), Salt.

For those of you that don’t know what one is – where have you been? – A HobNob is like a mini flapjack in busicuit form.

They’re pretty damn tasty and unlike the cheaper supermarket versions of the biscuit they contain no palm oil, so are nice and friendly to vegans! Yay!

HobNobs are great to dunk in tea, or for a road trip as they keep you full thanks to the oaty goodness, they make a cracking base for a cheesecake and as I discovered today an amazing crumble topping! (Did anyone else know this?!?)

I made a peach crumble, it was super fast, really tasty and really cheap to make.

Ingredients:

One pack plain HobNobs.
Two Tins (one just doesn’t have enough juice in it) of Peaches – or tinned fruit in juice/syrup.
Cinnamon – optional.

THATS IT!!

*Just pour the two tins of fruit in an over proof deep dish,

*Get a carrier bag, place half the packet of HobNobs in, twist the top of the bag so none can fall out – then smash the sh*t out those HobNobs against a hard service until a breadcrumb like texture.

(This is a great excuse to also pretend you’re a Kurt Cobain)

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*Once fully smashed, quickly exit your method actor Cobain head space, (or if you insist on staying in character throughout this recipe, pop on your grubbiest plaid shirt ). Then add 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over the peaches, bake in the oven for 20 minutes on a medium heat.

When the crumble is golden brown and you can see the bubbling fruit juice peaking through its ready!

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For ultimate sweetness add a spoonful of vegan ice cream or vegan custard (see my top ten vegan products blog for my choice brand of accompaniment)

I ate the crumble on its own, and taste wise, it was not too sweet which is nice, especially after a big dinner, it was crunchy, with soft cake like bits where the biscuit had mixed with the fruit juice, and had the lovely oaty texture.

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In future I think I would use tinned cherrie’s or rhubarb as the peaches were a bit tasteless compared to the HobNobby top.

On the plus side – you only use half a pack of HobNobs, so whilst its cooking make yourself a brew and get ready to dunk!

Rock and roll!

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A Deep Breath & I Dive Right In!

Hello and welcome to the first ever Vegan Friendly Find!

I’m excited about this blog, as unlike all my other blogs (and there have been many, many, many attempts!) this one is a) something close to me, and b) something really easy to keep going!

Basically my plan is to use this space as a way of highlighting products I have discovered are vegan and are not vegan, as well as my favourite recipes, cosmetics and vegan friendly companies. I’m also going to be throwing in a few reviews for good measure!

There are already many excellent blogs out there that list vegan products and recipes such as:

Sweet Vegan
PETA
And Vegan Society

But I’m hoping products that are ‘inbetween’ (aka are technically vegan but have moral issues surrounding them) can be debated and discussed openly here, as well as posting a range of vegan topics, films, book reviews and honest struggles that I have, as blogs and websites tend to stick to one concrete theme (aka baking).

Most importantly though I hope you share with me your discoveries! If I’ve got something wrong or there’s something you know I dont… TELL ME!
We all have to battle that sometimes hazy ground between living a normal life and sticking to our morals, so all and any help is appreciated.

Too many sources are unreliable online, and too many companies refuse to answer questions in fear of a PR backlash.

And to all the guys, I apologise if I post too many cosmetic or ‘girly’ posts, I’m not being biased against your needs, it just I’m investigoogling things I use on a daily basis, and so if things pop up I didn’t know about – like the fact Lush have their own Vegan makeup range (which they do!) – then its gonna go on here!

So yes! I hope you enjoy and can’t wait to start talking to you all! X