Well, I say a long time coming, I had actually typed this recipe up about a week and a half ago. Then, whilst still getting to grips with the new laptop’s track pad shortcuts, managed to delete the entire thing. Yep…the WHOLE THING. Needless to say, I was rather miffed at this, but ho hum. Always type lengthy articles in Word…the elves of WordPress are out to get me.
Anyway, typing disasters aside, lets move on to cake.
And boy, what a cake.
I made this little beauty for my friend Alanah’s Canadian Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago. Now, not being an expert in vegan and gluten free baking before (I once made some gluten free flatbreads that were so solid you could probably have quite successfully tiled a roof with them) I’m still not sure why I so confidently…
So it turns out that lobsters, octopus, prawns, crabs, squid etc probably do feel pain. This article was recently published in the New Scientist and suggests that all of these animals not only feel pain but some of them feel it more acutely than humans do.
But do people care? Will everyone who read the latest evidence in the New Scientist or all of you reading this blog post now, finish reading this and then vow to stop eating these animals? No, most won’t according to what history shows us. Not until the vegan movement gathers a lot more momentum and swells to much bigger numbers. Why not? I don’t understand why otherwise kind, caring, compassionate people don’t change their behaviour once they’ve discovered that that behaviour causes pain and suffering to innocent sentient animals. We’re not talking about political allegiance or tastes in music or something that is inconsequential in terms of pain and suffering. We are talking about a global genocide that is causing billions of animals every year to endure immense abuse, pain and suffering. Is that how incapable we are of thinking for ourselves, of acting upon proven facts, of swimming against the tide, of challenging the status quo? It makes me feel so sad and angry and disappointed. But more than that it baffles me. I’m not any more compassionate than anyone else. I don’t love animals any more than anyone else? I don’t enjoy seeing an animal suffer any more or less than anyone else I doubt. We all have the same reaction when we see an animal in pain – we empathise enormously and will do everything we can to stop it’s suffering. So why the massive blind spot when it comes to eating animals and animal products? Is it ignorance? It is fear? I think we all know deep down that the process by which meat gets to our plates cannot be a wholly pleasant one. But somehow we deem it worthwhile for the pleasure of taste and the fear of change. So we do everything we can to remain ignorant and hide behind pathetic justifications such as ‘but we’ve always eaten meat’ (and? we’ve also always enslaved other people and raped and pillaged our way around the world – it doesn’t mean it’s okay!) and ‘we need it for protein’ (no you do NOT).
The second I discovered what happens to the billions of male chicks born each year I vowed to never eat eggs again. As soon as I discovered that I didn’t need to eat meat of any kind in order to eat a healthy, full and balanced diet I vowed to never be responsible for the slaughter of another pig, cow, duck, chicken, sheep, lamb or chicken. I just the same way as when I discovered how foie gras was made I vowed never to eat it again. As soon as I discovered what veal was I vowed never again to eat it. As soon as i discovered the life cycle of a dairy cow I vowed to never eat dairy again. As soon as I discovered the human rights abuses committed by Primark I vowed never to shop there again. As soon as I discovered the environmental ruin that Nestle is causing around the world I vowed never to buy their products again. Why doesn’t everyone else. Ignorance is a good enough answer if you really didn’t know. But once you do know – what excuse do you have to continue to perpetuate the problem?
I’m bored of being polite and saying oh well some people don’t want to offend others or stand out from the crowd or be the objects of ridicule. It’s not good enough. Do better. We all need to be better. How can we pretend to preach the values of right and wrong to our children if we ourselves are knowingly perpetrating these cruel acts of needless violence and suffering day in and day out. Enough.
Please stop eating and exploiting animals. No more excuses.
I had one of those amusing slash infuriating moments recently that all vegans and veggies have to put up with often. I was sat eating my lunch (steamed kale, spinach, chickpeas and broccoli with a tahini and lemon dressing) whilst a colleague ate hers (mozzarella and bacon Panini with a packet of crisps). Over the course of our lunch she tried to explain to me why she thinks veganism is a bad idea. Her reasoning:
1. It’s too expensive
2. It’s dangerous to cut out entire food groups from your diet
3. It’s an unnatural diet and not one that we are designed to eat
Hmmm…. I sat there looking from my plate to her plate and back again and wondered how she could not see the irony and complete nonsense of what she was saying. There was I, a committed vegan for nearly 2 years, eating a plateful of the most nutritious, tasty, cheap, locally grown, organic whole food whilst she sat across from me eating a plateful of high cholesterol, high fat, unhealthy, expensive, factory farmed, deep fried, highly processed rubbish!
Now I’m not saying you can’t eat a really healthy non-vegan diet because of course you can. But I’m saying it’s astounding how often people will completely ignore the elephant in the room when it comes to discussing the health benefits of veganism. They’ll start muttering on about vitamin B12, iron levels and zinc and dive straight into the nitty gritty of the possible nutritional shortfalls of a vegan diet if you don’t do it sensibly, whilst ignoring the fact that I’m there snacking on an apple and they’re on their fifth chocolate digestive…