Documentary – SEED: The Untold Story

Seed: The Untold Story is an absolutely fantastic documentary detailing the significant loss of biodiversity at the hands of human ‘progress’ and capitalistic greed, and the people who are trying to create ‘backups’ of natures bounty by the way of seed banks:

SYNOPSIS

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds. SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona Laduke and Raj Patel.

SEED is Executive Produced by Academy Award Winning Actress Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub (Little Miss Sunshine) and Phil Fairclough (Grizzly Man, Cave of Forgotten Dreams).

“Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being.”

– Vandana Shiva

And here is the full documentary:

On a side note: as any vegan knows, you find animal products in all manner of unbelievable places. Well, now we know that animal DNA is used on GMO crops!!!

GMO-protestors

The new sobriety: why straight edge is back

i-D magazine has an article on the ‘return’ of straight-edge, and how a new generation of teens are discovering that non-conformity is self-empowerment:

In the early 1980s, those who identified as straight edge would draw a black “X” on the back of their hands, in the same way a club owner would mark the hands of concertgoers who were too young to drink, to signify their intentions. The “X” has since become a universal symbol for those in the community, and today many edgers will rep the “xxx,” or “xvx” for vegans, in their social media bios. Veganism and vegetarianism have been adopted by many who are straight edge as another way to live clean.

xvx-hands

And here is the seminal song from Minor Threat:

Obviously, you don’t have to be a fan of hardcore punk to be straight edge but who out there can’t identify with seeing drugs and alcohol tear down friends, family and society around you? You just need the desire to live clean and keep a clear mind. And no, this isn’t a religious sect or conservative Christian group trying to be cool with music.

Veganism/vegetarianism works well with the straight-edge mentality, and many people are proudly XVX, including outspoken vegan and animal-rights campaigner (not to mention talented musician) Moby! 

More Links:

Wikipedia

StraightEdge WorldWide

The Rise of Vegetarianism and Veganism in China

Sixth Tone has an in-depth interview with Zhang Si, CEO and co-founder of Veg Planet, an online platform for China’s rising number of vegans and vegetarians, on the challenges she faces promoting vegetarianism, veganism and animal rights in her home country:

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In early 2013, WeChat launched its public account feature, and I created an account called Veg Planet, hoping to inspire people to change their stereotyped impressions of vegans. I translated a lot of vegan-related English articles, recipes, and information about environmental impact and animal welfare. The platform equipped vegans who face resistance from their family or colleagues with this information, and also provided products to meet their needs.

The platform attracts more people to consider a vegetarian diet and then begin to enjoy it. At the very beginning, 80 percent of our followers were vegetarians, and now 30 percent of our 300,000 readers are nonvegetarians who are considering giving it a try.

Lots of respect and support going out to Zhang and her team for their hard work! You can feel the positive impact she’s having and I believe this is the start of some major social changes in China!

15 Celebs You Didn’t Know Were Vegan!

EVE, makers of fantastic vegan and environmentally-friendly bags, recently published a list of 15 vegan celebrities:

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“Imagine living in a cage in the dark, unable to move, day after day. The suffering of today’s American farm animals is almost beyond belief. They don’t have a choice, but you do, and their lives depend on it.” ~Casey Affleck

Extra kudos to Casey Affleck for sneaking in a Gardein product placement in his fantastic, not to mention award winning, Manchester by the Sea:

Celebrity support is important to all causes, due to their amplified voice, and Veganism can benefit greatly from such support. From Joaquin and Moby’s collaboration on Earthlings, to Ellen Page’s strong social justice work, celebrities can reach large crowds and hopefully open more minds.

Also, during Game of Thrones water-cooler talk, it’s pretty easy to drop the interesting fact that Peter Dinklage is vegan!

Vegan Bags – EVE

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EVE are a fantastic Canadian company specializing in vegan bags and ship to Canada and the USA:

We set out to design high-quality, contemporary products that were unique and made to fit into our modern lifestyles. At the same time, we wanted to create a company that had a positive impact on both the environment and economy. From sourcing our materials to practicing business, sustainable actions were at the core of what we wanted to do.

Sounds good:

Our entire lineup is ethically handmade in Portugal and PETA Vegan Approved. Our premium cork fabric makes our products ultra-lightweight and durable, while maintaining a feeling just like leather. In addition, our unique material is waterproof, easy to clean and antibacterial.

Website

Facebook

Instagram

PETA – Animal-Derived Ingredients List

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PETA provides a long list of animal-derived ingredients for everyone to try and memorize (or at least bookmark for future reference!)

As most vegans know, animal cruelty is deliberately hidden behind bizarre names, such as:

Ambergris.
From whale intestines. Used as a fixative in making perfumes and as a flavoring in foods and beverages. Alternatives: synthetic or vegetable fixatives.

Cystine.
An amino acid found in urine and horsehair. Used as a nutritional supplement and in emollients.

Keratin.
Protein from the ground-up horns, hooves, feathers, quills, and hair of various animals. In hair rinses, shampoos, permanent wave solutions.

Lipase.
Enzyme from the stomachs and tongue glands of calves, kids, and lambs. Used in cheesemaking and in digestive aids.

As PETA explains:

Keep in mind that this list is not all-inclusive. There are thousands of technical and patented names for ingredient variations. Many ingredients known by one name can be of animal, vegetable, or synthetic origin. However, don’t let all this overwhelm you—this list is a resource and is here to help!

 

Exeter, England – Go Vegan with EFFA campaign!

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For vegans, and the vegan-curious, based in or near Exteter, England, let me introduce you to EFFA:

Exeter Friends For Animals (EFFA) initiates campaigns locally and acts in support of national organisations, holding street collections and information stalls on issues such as factory farming, vivisection, live exports, fur farming, etc.

We also offer help and guidance to people seeking to go vegan, and organise a varied calendar of social events in Exeter and beyond.

EFFA is dedicated to peaceful protest and consists of a wide diversity of people and talents.

Starting March 19th, EFFA are holding the event ‘Go Vegan in 2017’, with multiple events throughout the area:

Visit the EFFA offical website or find them on Facebook for more information.