Category Archives: Get clued up

What’s Gelatine?

Prepare to be hungry now 😉

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Gelatine is parts of pigs or cows (usually). Its obtained by prolonged boiling of the skin, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, horns, tissues and bones with water. Its primarily used from all the left overs from the meat industry. The animal parts are sold on from slaughterhouses to a food processing plant.

Loaded into a chopping machine and cut into smaller pieces. They are washed, then roasted. They are then soaked in an acid or alkali for about 5 days. This removes minerals and bacteria and releases the collagen. The pieces are then put into aluminium extractors and boiled in distilled water. The body parts runs along a tube that draws the liquid out. This liquid contains the Gelatine. It’s passed through machines that press it into thin sheets. These are then Grinded down to create a powder, ready to be added to whatever it’s going in to.

Its used in all sorts of products like shampoos, face masks, make up, moisturisers but also, in food. Foods including, Jelly, soups, salad dressings, jams, fruit snacks, tinned hams (tinned hams?! Yum!) sweets, marshmallows, cakes, ice cream, yogurts, powdered milk and vitamins. The outer shell on vitamins is usually coated in it (you can now get vegan vitamins).

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ALL the above can be made without the use of gelatine/Animals, ALL OF THEM! If you can purchase and eat all the above (not that I go around eating shampoo but you know what I mean) without the need to include animals, then why, do we still produce them? Because people are buying them and it helps fund the meat industry. That’s why.

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Please do make an effort to look at easy switches you can make to avoiding products without this is :) If you need any help, just ask me :)

Love xxx

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What happens to Cows in the dairy industry…

In nature, i.e. the NATURAL way of life… a cow would feed her baby for 9-12 months. The cow and baby form an incredibly strong bond as soon as the baby is born. Just like humans do. Just like a mother giving birth to her child does.

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On a Dairy farm… they are torn apart between 12 – 72 hours. It is an incredibly traumatic separation and the cows are left mourning for a long time.

The mother is then ‘impregnated’ again… by humans.

The cow will produce most of her milk at around 40 – 60 days after she has given birth. Thats when she is impregnated again and the cycle continues. Some cows are kept for up to ten ‘cycles’, but the large majority are only kept for up to 4.

Naturally? they would live up to 22 years.

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The calves are fed a milk replacer, which causes them to become susceptible to disease as the milk is low quality and often ill-prepared. Many calves can die from this. To prevent this from happening, they are moved on to solids far sooner than they should be.

Under welfare regulations, calves can actually be housed alone in individual sheds. This can last up until 8 weeks old where they can then be introduced to group housing. So the calve has been torn away from its mother, isolated and artificially fed unnatural milk. Awesome. Don’t get told this in school.

Female calves

Female calves will eventually enter the dairy herd to replace the worn out cows who have spent a whole life, being pregnant (how else do you think they get milk from them? they have to be constantly pregnant). They have repeatedly given birth, have been quickly separated from their new born calves, to repeat the process over, and over, and over again… until they are too worn out. Thats what these lucky calves now have to look forward to a life of! All for us to have a glass of milk, or milk in our coffee… which we can still have anyway with all the alternatives available.

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Male calves

These are of ‘no use’ within the dairy industry. These are removed as above from their mother. Either shot (I say shot, some get their heads repeatedly stood on, some get thrown off a hard floor, some just get left to die, either way, they are killed), sold on to beef farms, or raised for veal. If they aren’t shot (!), they are usually loaded on to truck and sold at auction. Gosh, I don’t know which out of the three I’d rather? Yes I do… just shoot me straight away.

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If they are sent for ‘veal’ then are usually put in to a crate that is around two feet wide with chains around their necks. this restricts their movement thus apparently making the meat more tender. They are fed a diet that is purposely deficient in iron and fibre, to give the meat a whiter colour. They are slaughtered after 16 weeks. Lovely.

Its estimated that around 100,000 to 150,000 are shot within hours of birth in the UK alone. Isn’t that great?

There is plenty of footage out there showing this happening by brave people that are going undercover to film it and raise awareness. You can’t be ok with this happening when it just doesn’t need to?

 ‘But cows need to be milked’

NO! Cows produce enough milk for their baby. That is why we can get milk from them… because they are making it for THEIR baby. If they do have more milk? Its because they have been fed growth hormones and are genetically engineered to produce more!

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The growth hormones cause the udders to become unnaturally big and very heavy, which results in infections. The average dairy cow is now producing 10 times more milk per day than she naturally should be.

Please, don’t forget this when you go to make your next meal choice. This is happening right now. This will continue to happen, while you continue to buy into it.

Love xxx

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I’ve not died yet! The benefits of a cruelty free diet…

Shortly after writing my post on not getting colds. Where I mentioned that I didn’t need to go into the health benefits of a vegan diet, because I’d assumed most people knew about them, I went on to a post on Facebook about the effects on your body when cutting meat out of your diet and read the comments.

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OH. MY. GOD.

People still think being vegan is unhealthy?

So, here we go :)

The health benefits of a vegan lifestyle…

I’m going to keep this as minimal as possible but if I haven’t gone in to any of it as much as you would like then let me know! Some will be having a separate post written about them.

I’ve mentioned it a few times but I personally feel SO much better eating this way. I in no way feel unhealthy and feel far better than I used to. Both mentally and physically.

Fats

There’s (as always) conflicting research now on fats and which are good and bad for the body. I personally don’t think weight gain is caused by fat (unless you’re eating a shit load of it and its all the unhealthy stuff), but that its caused by sugar and processed foods (which contain lots of salt and sugar). Or of course, by eating far too much, which is my problem 😉 Below are the three main types of fat and what you can eat to replace the animal products you may be using.

Saturated Fats

Whatever your views are on saturated fat, you do need some, in moderation. Both Meat and Dairy contain a lot of it, along with a lot of stuff that isn’t great for you. You can get it from far healthier sources, such as coconut oil, dark chocolate and coconuts. No need to eat an animal and all the drugs it’s pumped with or the pain it’s suffered when you can get the fat you need from coconut oil :) Cutting out Meat and Dairy allows you to moderate your intake of this fat and consume more healthier foods.

Monounsaturated Fats

These are known as the good fats, you’ll get them from olive oil, avocado and nuts. These will help reduce cholesterol, lower the risk of heart disease and strokes, help with arthritis and help with weight management!

Polyunsaturated fats

These provide us with essential fatty acids like omega-3. They are associated with good heart health as they can help to prevent blood clots and regulate heart rhythm. Again, you don’t have to eat an animal to get these. You can get these fats from flax oil, linseed oil and walnuts!

Phytochemical’s

These are found in plant based foods, they heal the body and can prevent it from ‘getting’ cancer. They boost protective enzymes and work with antioxidants in the body. These include, Berries, Citrus fruits, Soy, Red grapes, Whole grains, Tomatoes, Orange vegetables, Tea, Onions and garlic. Now of course, you can eat these while eating meat and dairy. However, I eat a hell of a lot more now I don’t eat animals and their body juices. Plus, eating animals and their juices isn’t good for us or the planet.

Cholesterol

Eliminate animals and their body fluids from your diet and you should be able to lower your cholesterol. Plant based foods contain NO CHOLESTEROL!!!

Prostate cancer

Generally, men in the early stages of prostate cancer who switched to a vegan diet either stopped the progress of the cancer or reversed the illness.

I spoke to a guy a few weeks ago who had had prostatitis, he was put on pills from the doctor to cure it and told to not eat any dairy as the dairy would stop the pills from working. He cured his prostatitis but also lost three stone and felt a shit load better. He still doesn’t eat dairy :)

Type 2 diabetes

People who’s diets are based mainly on plant-derived foods, such as, beans, veg, noodles, rice etc were less likely to develop diabetes when compared to those who’s diets are fattier or meatier. A plant based diet improves insulin sensitivity. It also helps to reduce blood sugar, cholesterol and aids weight loss. Which of course, all helps.

Cardiovascular disease

Eliminating Meat and dairy products and replacing them with nuts, whole grains and veg will improve cardiovascular health as animal foods are high in cholesterol. Again, plant foods contain NO CHOLESTEROL!

Eliminating animal products and replacing them with the above also help reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes, as the replacements are lower in saturated fats. Oats, oat bran, oat barley, beans, aubergine, apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits help lower the risk of heart disease as they deliver soluble fibre. Soluble fibre attaches to cholesterol particles and takes them out of the body. This means its less absorbed so won’t spike your blood sugar levels (making you feel hungry) and is a great help for those who have type 1 or type 2 diabetes as it can help keep your condition under control.

I eat loads more nuts and veg now than I used to (stop it), I just don’t think I ever thought to eat them before, in fact I didn’t really think much about my diet before at all! Nuts definitely fill you up for longer too so I eat less naughty foods when I’m out at work. Just keep a bag in your car, or bag.

Blood pressure

A whole grain rich diet will lower blood pressure. Whole grains are a source of healthy nutrients including fibre, iron, potassium, magnesium and selenium. Get some Brown Rice, Wholemeal Bread, Wheat, Oats, Barley and Rye in ya! Eating these will reduce your risk of high blood pressure by making you feel fuller for longer, aiding in weight loss. Decreasing your risk of insulin resistance, reducing damage to your blood vessels and increasing your intake of potassium which lowers blood pressure.

Arthritis

Research in to treating Arthritis with a Vegan diet has been very promising. Its long been known that cutting dairy out helps alleviate the symptoms. But Now they are looking into other aspects of a vegan diet in relation to helping with it too.

I Have had dodgy knees since a ‘very competitive’ 😉 sporting injury (Damn my sporting competitive side, damn squash and damn my friends even more, it was all his fault ;)) I was told I had arthritis in my left knee but there wasn’t much that could be done about it at that age so I just have to do all I can to stop it getting worse. Which is as always, diet and exercise.

The pain has lessened since switching… It may well be because I’ve lost weight since cutting animal products out, but either way, it certainly feels better and i’m able to confidently do more on it.

Osteoporosis

Your bone health requires a good balance of protein, calcium, potassium and low sodium. ALL of these can be easily consumed on a vegan diet and from very healthy sources. There are lots of sources of Vegan calcium. Almond butter, Kale, Figs, Broccoli, Tempeh, and many more!

Please look into the affects of dairy when it comes to osteoporosis. I am certain it is not as positive as you think it is. My Gran had Osteoporosis very badly so it is something I look into, for myself and my family members. I wouldn’t take any chances with their health or mine so for me to cut dairy out says a lot.

Cancer

This link explains pretty much what I would want to say… this link and many others, the facts are out there for you to find! We ALL have cancerous cells in us… Its how we feed those cells that can make all the difference…

www.forksoverknives.com/science-says-about-diet-and-cancer/

and this one…

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/vegan-diet-cancer_b_2250052.html

and another…

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/foods-for-cancer-prevention

There are a shit load of articles out there to back up these ones… It just makes sense.

As for any links you read slating the vegan diet? Think into why they may be doing that. Who’s doing it and whats in it for them?

Think of all the antibiotics and hormones the animals are pumped with too, they go in to your body when you consume them!

Cataracts and muscular degeneration

Diets with leafy greens, fruits, vegetables and seeds help prevent the onset of muscular degeneration and are high in antioxidants. Both of these are helpful in fending of cataracts. If only the nana in the Royle Family new this. Weird that she didn’t… Jim Royle was really healthy 😉 Again, yep, you can eat these as well as consuming meat and dairy… but you’ll eat more on a vegan diet and you aren’t effecting another soul.

Weight loss

No doubt about it, if you follow a healthy vegan diet you’ll lose weight. I can’t always do this, I’m greedy, I can’t say no to foods and there are so many good vegan treats, sweets, snacks and drinks to consume. 😉

PMS

It’s long been reported that Dairy is terrible for PMS. If you suffer during that time of the month. Cut it out!

Energy

I’ve loads more of the stuff! Sleep better, Wake up fresher and Fall asleep quicker. When I get back in from work I am always up for going back out or exercising now. I feel more alert. I don’t want to just lie and do nothing (lazy libra in me ;)). Theres loads of athletes now changing to a vegan diet and improving their performance! Clearer mind, clearer body!

Hair

“your hair will fall out” – My hair is growing quicker than its ever grown… it has however turned purple though 😉

Teeth

“your teeth will fall out” – Nope still there and the dentist has said I’ve got good nashers. I haven’t had any fillings since going vegetarian actually? Just thought of that! I had three before then!! whoops.

Nails

My nails are really healthy at the mo… I do bite them though… which isn’t very vegan is it? 😉 Nail health is a good indicator of your internal health, so as mine are all good, I’ll take that as a positive indicator!

Migraines

I used to get terrible migraines, proper migraines, lie in a blacked out room, don’t talk to me, feeling sick, head pounding so much I was certain it was the end, migraines. Certain foods can contribute to migraines. Yes some of them aren’t vegan too :) not going to be biased here! However, in the list of foods to dodge, meat and dairy are there! And in the foods to include… They are ALL vegan!

I’ll find a link that has a list of foods for you…

http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/a-natural-approach-to-migraines

‘Meat, dairy products and eggs are best left of your plate completely. Aside from being among the worst migraine triggers, they also tend to disturb your natural hormone balance, which contributes to migraines’

I’m not saying you’re going to be cured of them… I’m aware it could be many factors causing your migraines. But the facts are there, changing your diet can only help?

Skin

My skin is 100% better since switching! Less spots, less tired looking, less blackheads (lush i know) and more balanced. Its smoother and to be honest I never really moisturise (apart from my face). I know you’re meant to but I can’t be bothered and don’t seem to need it.

Longer Life

There is no argument that if you eat a GOOD vegan diet you will live longer… unless you know… the grim reaper comes for other reasons.

Mercury

Most shellfish and fish we (I say we as a whole, I don’t mean me, I just don’t want to say you as it looks quite presumptuous and rude ;)) currently eat contain high levels of Mercury. Even if you buy specific fish that is marketed as better quality, it is almost impossible not to be consuming mercury. Mercury can harm the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, eyes and immune system. It occurs naturally in the earths crust. We are all exposed to it, regardless of what our diet is because of human activity (mining, coal fired power stations, residential use of coal etc) but digesting it, is obviously not great and means your in take is A LOT higher.

Dairy Milk (in brief ;))

We are NOT ‘designed’ to consume cows milk or any other animals milk. A few times people have said to me ‘oh yeah I don’t drinks cows milk it’s wrong… I drink Goats milk instead…

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The idea of drinking dairy is constantly instilled in to us as being good for us and what we should do, mainly through advertising and the dairy industry paying for these views to be pushed on us through ‘professionals’. SO MANY people are lactose intolerant and most don’t even know about it or know they have the symptoms. Eliminate dairy from your diet, you won’t be lactose intolerant, you’ll feel better, be healthier and cows won’t constantly be used by us needlessly.

Animal protein (In brief)

Firstly, our bodies really don’t need the amount of protein that some think it does… If you are having more than you need… you are just ‘getting rid of it’ when you… you know… go to the toilet.  Its wasteful and not needed! There has been research into this, look it up if you don’t believe me :) It was even on a BBC documentary I watched so it’s ‘mainstream’.

Plant based protein gives you enough protein and a ‘healthier for the body’ protein too! You can get get all the protein you need on a vegan diet. Obviously I’ll do a separate post on this as its always a big topic to discuss. But trust me, I’m not wasting away, millions of other vegans aren’t wasting away either!

Check out any list of vegan Athletes! There are tons of them and they aren’t half dead, all have hair, muscles, a working brain and a very happy and peaceful conscience 😉

http://vegansociety.com/whats-new/blog/ten-best-plant-powered-athletes

Thats just the first link I saw… there are a lot more to click on.

Processed meat has also been classed as a DEFINITE cause of cancer, thats a group 1 Carcinogen!!! With red meat classed as a PROBABLE cause.

Whether you believe this or not is up to you… but by digesting the food of animals that have felt fear, sadness, anxiety… it is all going in to you. I know a lot will be sceptical about this, but it is true. You are what you eat. I will do another post on this at some point as I also never used to believe this so know what you’ll be thinking 😉

Again, ALL the hormones and antibiotics they are given are going straight into your body.

Of course you may be eating unprocessed animal meats that have had no additives, haven’t been pumped of antibiotics or hormones. Aside from these being expensive when you can get all you need form plants, you are still contributing to a market that is bad for the planet, horrendous for the animals and creating a need for that market. Non of which I can contribute to, so even if my health wasn’t in question… the animals and the planet still mean too much to me.

Spirituality 

Call the above whatever you want, but for me, I feel totally differently to how I felt even just a few years ago. I see the world as one big connected home of energy. We are all connected and we all need to be nice, to love everything, to see the beauty that’s all around us and to look after everything that’s here. Someones been a dick to you? They are probably hurting. Someone needs help? Help them. See an opportunity to do something nice? Do it! Who cares if they wouldn’t do the same for you. Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong. Live your life in the best way you can. The more ‘right’ things you start doing. The nicer your world is to live in. And the nicer it is for everything else to live in too.

Love xxx

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