Found this article on Huffington Post
A 12-year-old boy has cared for more than 100 unwanted animals by opening up his own animal hospital for creatures who have been injured or abandoned.
Callum Underdown, from Suffolk, devotes all his free time and spends all his pocket money to give the animals a new lease of life.
He spends hours trawling Facebook groups and online classified sites to hunt down unwanted animals and birds and take them in – paying for their upkeep out of his own pocket money.
Eventually, mum Sarah Underdown, 32, felt the house got so overrun with Callum’s animal arc, she bought him a small holding on a farm, where he now keeps his collection of goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, geese and chickens.
She said: “He’s loved animals ever since he was little. He doesn’t care about football or computer games or anything like that, he just wants to look after animals.
“We started off with a few chickens in the garden and it just grew from there.
“It was crazy before we got the small holding. The chickens used to get into the kitchen all the time. Every time I tried to make dinner, I’d be tripping over them!”
His mum estimates Callum, who tends to his “zoo” at 6am every morning before school, has spent around £3,600 on his mission to save unwanted animals.
Callum cycles to his miniature farm every day before and after school, and spends every weekend tending to his 19 chickens, two geese, nine rabbits, 26 guinea pigs, and two goats.
Over the past year, Callum has taken in more than 100 unwanted animals, and tries to find good homes for as many of his animals as possible. Many would not have survived had it not been for his help.
Several of his chickens were underfed and were missing feathers when they came to him, but with the right diet and veterinary care, they’re back to full health.
Mrs Underdown said: “We keep the sick animals at home while they recover – we’ve started calling the kitchen ‘Sarah’s Hospital’!
“At the moment, we’re taking care a baby rabbit with an eye infection. He came to us with his eye closed up and the person we got him from said they thought his eye may actually be missing.
“But Callum didn’t want to give up on him. We got him medicine and cared for him at home, and very slowly his eye began to open up. He’s on the mend now.”
Each week, Callum spends every penny of his £10 weekly pocket money on caring for his animals and maintaining his small piece of land.
Callum with his mum and sister
Mrs Underdown said her son first began looking after abandoned animals last year, after his family were involved in a road accident.
She said: “We were in a collision and sadly a motorcyclist died at the scene. It was awful, and it really upset Callum. He wasn’t himself for a while.
“A while later, he asked if he could adopt some chickens and keep them in the garden. Being outside and looking after them really cheered him up. We think this has helped him to deal with his feelings about the accident.”
After adopting his first few chickens, Callum’s mini menagerie quickly grew and he began checking Facebook ‘Buy, Sell, Swap’ pages and classified sites to find unwanted and abandoned animals.
She said: “People often sell animals cheap on Facebook, but there’s no guarantee that they will go to good people. You never know who might take them, and you hear some terrible stories about animals being abused.
“Callum likes to buy these animals because then he knows that they’re being taken care of.”
The family’s garden was soon full to bursting with Callum’s animals, and Sarah and Lee knew something had to be done.
Underdown said: “We noticed a small piece of land about 10 minutes away from our house was available. We thought it would be perfect for Callum and decided we’d get it for him.
“When we got there, it was all overgrown and in a terrible state, but Callum dug it out and tidied it all up himself. Now we barely see him at weekends – he’s there from 9am until dusk.”
But Callum isn’t left to do all the work on his own – the whole family tries to pitch in, with five-year-old sister Harmony also doing her best to help.
Callum hopes to work with animals in the future, and can’t wait to start volunteering with the RSPCA when he turns fourteen.
His mum added: “I’m so proud of him. He works really hard and he’s doing a really good job.”
This is a great article I found on http://www.theflamingvegan.com
When someone says to you, “Oh, being a vegan must be SO hard”, how do you respond?
My automatic response is to say that no, on the contrary, it’s the easiest thing in the world. But the truth is, it IS hard, just not in the ways they imagine.
True, replacing animal foods in my diet with healthier, more compassionate and environmentally-friendly options has been a joy, not a burden. True, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything by giving up what was never really mine to take to begin with.
But the truth is, being vegan hurts, and sometimes that hurt cuts deep.
It hurts to see your best friend post jokes on Facebook about turkeys being killed for Thanksgiving dinner.
It hurts to watch your family members stuffing the corpses of tortured animals into their mouths, and then attempt to hold a dinner conversation with them as if everything were perfectly normal.
It hurts to walk past a KFC advertisement and see dismembered body parts being sold for pocket change.
In short, being vegan hurts because love hurts, and becoming vegan means opening up our hearts to love animals and recognize them as innocent, feeling beings that don’t deserve to suffer for our pleasure. Once our eyes have been opened to just how much they do suffer, we cannot help but share in that suffering ourselves.
So we try to stop it. Boy, do we try. Of course we know that we ARE helping by no longer eating animals or their secretions ourselves, but, with the veil finally lifted from our eyes, we realize that there are so many more lives to save, and the enormity of the task can easily feel overwhelming.
Becoming vegan is like being blinded on the road to Damascus, then simultaneously taking the red pill and waking up to find that you’re living in the Matrix and that EVERYTHING YOU’VE BEEN TOLD IS A LIE.
Except that this is no Hollywood movie. This is all too real.
And except that, unlike a religious conversion, your new-found conviction is based not on faith but on cold, hard facts.
You know what’s wrong with the world, and you know how to fix it. It’s such a simple answer, and it will solve so many of the world’s problems, from halting climate change to ending world hunger to reversing the obesity epidemic. But, to your dismay, no one wants to hear it.
Feeling disheartened, misunderstood and perhaps even depressed, you may try to isolate yourself from the insanity of this world. In an attempt to avoid reminders of animal suffering, you may stop going out to eat with non-vegans, or decide you will only eat out in vegetarian or vegan restaurants, or limit your travels to places where you know such restaurants will be available.
This is a terrible idea.
Why? Because by doing this you will: (a) miss out on lots of wonderful experiences and relationships; and (b) still fail miserably at your attempt to avoid suffering, because suffering is everywhere.
So if there’s no avoiding it, how can we cope with it? Start with these three basic principles:
As a vegan, you probably think of yourself as a pretty compassionate person. You have expanded your circle of compassion to include all non-human animals, and that is a wonderful thing. Just remember to include all humans in that circle as well – yes, even those who are contributing to animals’ suffering.
Remember that you weren’t always vegan either. As obvious as it is to you now, there was a time when you did not yet see the disconnect between your own values of peace, non-violence and compassion and the dead animal that was on your plate. Treat every non-vegan in your life as a VIP – a vegan in progress.
To paraphrase Rory Freedman, people are like kernels in a bag of microwave popcorn. Some pop right away, some will take a bit longer, and a few may never pop at all. Recognizing that each of us is on our own journey and will come to the truth in our own time makes it much easier to be accepting of others, no matter how far along they are on their own journey.
2. Take Action.
The most powerful way of coping with the tragedy of animal suffering is by doing something to stop it. No, you won’t be able to stop all of it, but you can make a real difference in the lives of individual animals. In addition to eating only plant-based meals, here are a few steps you can take to do even more to help:
· Cook for others. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, as they say, and a great way of opening people’s minds to veganism is by showing them the delicious food they can enjoy as a vegan.
· Wear it on your sleeve. Or on your hat, your jacket, your running shorts, etc. Buy some t-shirts or other accessories with vegan slogans and spread the message everywhere you go, without even opening your mouth.
· Volunteer at an animal sanctuary. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking to people face-to-face about veganism, how about spending time with animals instead? Find a sanctuary near you and ask how you can help.
· Donate money. If you don’t have time to volunteer, then give a donation to help fund the work of animal rights organizations.
· Start a blog. The Internet offers an unprecedented opportunity to share your story with the world. Whether it’s a recipe, a thought piece or a personal story about your experiences with animals, what you share could be exactly what someone else needs to hear in order for the penny to drop.
· Lead by example. If you want to be effective in attracting people to veganism, don’t come across as an angry, militant extremist who throws blood on women wearing fur coats and calls everyone they meet a murderer. Instead, show them that as a vegan you lead a happy, joyful life full of love, peace, connection with nature, and delicious and healthy food.
3. Focus on the Good.
With all the undercover videos of factory farms floating around our social media networks, it can be easy to fall into despair and forget just how much progress we have made, and continue to make.
Seek out positive news, like stories about how Subway is expanding its vegan sandwich pilot project, or how 400 million fewer animals were killed for food in the U.S. in 2014 compared with 2007.
Sign up for email updates from farm animal sanctuaries, and receive stories in your inbox of animals being rescued and living out the rest of their lives in peace and freedom.
Watch this video, and then visualize the joy and beauty of what a vegan world could be like. And believe in your heart that it could really happen. The truth is, we ARE moving closer to a vegan world every day. And when that day comes, being vegan won’t hurt at all anymore.
Originally posted on Armory of the Revolution:
Gary Francione, the self-styled leader of the “abolitionist” movement, has denigrated the efforts animal activists who engage in single issue campaigns. Single issue campaigns are the backbone and building blocks of every social justice movement, and Francione’s position has hurt animals more than he has helped them. A recent article on the Armory has focused attention on Gary Francione and his “abolitionists:” Gary Francione is More Dangerous to Animals Than The Department of Agriculture, The Safari Club, and the Republicans Combined
We are pleased to publish Dr Karen Davis’ guest article on Armory of the Revolution
By Karen Davis, PhD, President of United Poultry Concerns
“For me the question is whether or not advocates can make the case for abolition/veganism as equal powers simultaneously with the specific case being cited. Can we agree that advocates need to ensure this happens?”
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When it comes to vegan cooking and baking, cheese substitution is one of those things that gives me a headache. I’m a bit wary of soy-based alternatives, as they seem over-processed and unnatural in comparison. There are, of course, equally over-processed varieties of “cheese” that freak me out too! (Full disclosure: I did have a bizarre addiction to Tofutti cream cheese a year or so ago, and have been rather reluctant to group it into the Weird Fake Cheese category. But the editor in me demands consistency above all else!) Another interesting alternative that I’ve come across online is blending together nuts, nutritional yeast, and other stuff to make a creamy, cheese-like substitute. This usually involves soaking the nuts overnight, which is far more than I care to go through to make fake cheese. (Also, the vegan community seems to invariably refer to this substance as “nut cheese”—a phrase that is so hilariously gross, I have trouble taking it seriously. Yes, deep down, I’m a 13-year-old boy. :P) So, my very simple solution: make a filling so tasty, it doesn’t need cheese. No headaches here!
Honestly, if you’re too lazy to make ravioli, just make this filling and eat it like mashed potatoes. Seriously—it’s awesome. The combination of sweet potatoes and coconut milk actually changed my feelings toward coconut many years ago. When I was young, coconut was THE grossest. My parents have been using Skin Trip lotion since I was little, and I found the scent revolting. I went to birthday parties fearing that the cake would come out covered in horrible shredded coconut, completely ruining my reason for coming to the party in the first place! But when I started getting into cooking after college, I happened upon a recipe for sweet potatoes, carrots, and green beans simmered in coconut milk. For some reason, it intrigued me. I made it, and wow—I could not believe how amazing sweet potatoes and coconut milk tasted together. Add a spicy kick, and it really doesn’t get much better. My boyfriend even declared this to be his favorite of all the ravioli I’ve ever made (and I’ve made a lot)!
Vegan Sweet Potato, Coconut Milk, & Roasted Chili Ravioli
yield: approximately 2 dozen large ravioli
- 2 cups of semolina flour
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- a little over 1 cup of water
- a dash of salt
- 3 small to medium sweet potatoes
- around 6 oz. of coconut milk
- 2 chili peppers (I used red serranos)
Preheat the oven to 450°. Rub the peppers with a little bit of olive oil, then place the potatoes and peppers together in the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until the pepper skin begins to blister and blacken. Remove the peppers and place them in a paper bag (an air-tight container also works if you don’t happen to have a paper bag). Close and let peppers rest for at least 10 minutes (they will steam in the bag, making the skins easier to remove). Peel the skin away from the pepper, then remove the seeds from the inside. Mince the pepper and set aside.
While you’re waiting for the potatoes to finish roasting, combine the flours and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour water in the well and stir to combine. Turn out on a floured surface and knead until a smooth dough forms. Divide into two, then cover in plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and let rest.
When the sweet potatoes are soft, remove them from the oven. Once they’ve cooled, remove them from their skins and mash in a large bowl. Add the minced pepper and the coconut milk, and stir until well combined.
Roll one round of pasta dough into a rectangular shape on a well-floured surface, until thin but not in danger of tearing (about 1/16 of an inch thick). Place evenly-spaced spoonfuls of filling along the surface of the dough. Roll the second half of the dough out, replicating the size and shape of the first. Brush a little bit of water in between the spoonfuls of filling, then place the second rectangle on top and press to seal.
Cut out ravioli with a sharp knife or a pasta wheel. To make extra-sure they are sealed, press all around the edges with a fork. Freeze any ravioli that you won’t eat immediately.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, then add the ravioli. Cook until they begin to float (this should only take a few minutes). If you like your ravioli a little crispy (I know I do!), heat a little olive oil in a pan, then add the cooked ravioli and pan-fry over medium heat for a few minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Top with a little bit of fresh rosemary and sage if you happen to have it, then serve!
Originally posted on Cecils Pride:
***UPDATE: WE’RE UPLOADING PICTURES OF THE PROTEST AS WE GO***
With dozens of people chanting “Extradite Palmer, Extradite Palmer, Extradite Palmer!” and journalists holding camera, the killer of Cecil the Lion, Walter Palmer, returns to work at his dental clinic.
Dressed in a black polo shirt and dark pants, Palmer was seen walking across the street from the gas station with a security escort who made a way through the crowd of journalists and protesters and held the door open for him. Once inside, Palmer flashed a large smile to staff members who greeted him with smiles of their own as if nothing has happened.
Police presence was up today as taxpayer dollars was used to provide security for the dental clinic. “Hopefully, this will die out and we can move on,” Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley said Tuesday morning. “We had to shut down Rhode Island to accommodate the media trucks.” Patients received police escorts as they…
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Originally posted on Armory of the Revolution:
For those unfamiliar with the good professor, Gary Francione preaches a strain of animal activism which were it to be followed, would guarantee that animals never achieve decent treatment, let alone rights.
Francione is the self-styled leader of “abolitionism.”
He leads those in the animal movement who call themselves “abolitionists.” They think they are patterning themselves on the Abolitionists of the 19th Century who opposed slavery.
But our animal abolitionists confuse the meaning of the word “abolition” with “opposition.” Abolition means prohibition by law.
Nothing modern abolitionists do is aimed at prohibition by law of the Animal Holocaust. If they were doing so, they would be agitating for socialist governments around the world, as such governments are the most likely to ban animal agriculture.
Our modern abolitionists are content to be vegans and urge others to be but oppose everything done by the rest of us .
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these look so yummy I will have to try these…..
Originally posted on Veronica's Cornucopia:
Chocolate Covered Katie will be doing a “Hug A Vegan Dessert” post featuring all vegan dessert recipes submitted to her (click here for details!), and while I’m not vegan, I do enjoy vegan foods quite often, and I took this on as a challenge to create something fun and so delicious that anyone, regardless of dietary choices or restrictions, could enjoy.
Since I’ve had cake pops (and cake balls and cupcake bites) on the brain lately, I decided that’s what I would veganize. It needed to be done, don’t you think? Who says we need butter and eggs to make a delicious cake pop? This recipe proves you don’t! And you don’t even need any strange or fake ingredients to get your dairy and egg-free cake pops groove on. This recipe consists of common, every day ingredients, or those that you can easily find at any supermarket…
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Originally posted on Geeky Cakes:
Italian Meringue Buttercream without eggs or dairy? Impossible, you say? Not with the miracle of aqua faba (the liquid drained from a can of beans)!
If you’ve never had Italian Meringue Buttercream before (or its cousin, Swiss Meringue Buttercream), you’re in for a real treat. I often say that IMBC is the finest icing on Earth — silky smooth, light, and not too sweet, it’s a wonderful change from the confectioner’s-sugar-based American Buttercream, which some would argue isn’t a proper buttercream at all. Meringue Buttercreams are very often used on wedding cakes, and with good reason. They look great and taste luxuriously elegant.
For my initial experimentation with this recipe, I chose 100% organic palm oil shortening because others have reported success using it as a butter substitute in egg-based IMBC — it’s creamy and luxurious, and creates a buttercream with a lovely texture, which pipes like a dream. Unlike…
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Awesome story about a vegan vet had to share.
Originally posted on Vegans Are Cool:
Randall Cannon is a veterinarian from Orlando, Florida. We caught up with Randall to find out his perspective on animals.
1. What inspired you to become a vegan?
My inspiration for becoming vegan was, without a doubt, the animals. Any health and environmental benefits are a bonus. I was raised in a family that hunted and hunted myself until I was 20. Like most people, I looked at animals as a source of personal enjoyment whether it be for taste or sport. When I entered veterinary school, I cared for animals, but in a very selfish way looking at them more as a possession than a soul-I loved animals more for what joy they brought ME.
I was trained in the livestock industry and had full knowledge of the horrors involved in bringing animal products to the dinner table. I was able to keep my blinders on and continued to eat meat and dairy for…
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