Wild Honey

Wild Honey is a new(ish) organic health store at 111 Magdalen Road, East Oxford, located in the premises formerly occupied by the Magic Café, with another branch at 12 South Parade, Summertown. The store was recently voted Best UK Independent Retailer 2017 at the Natural Food Show. As well as stocking a wide range of organic produce, much of it produced locally, Wild Honey has a weekly free taster session (every Thursday from 3pm) and regular visits from a nutritionist. Both stores are open seven days per week: opening times and other details can be found at https://www.wildhoneylove.com/. (Thanks to Natasha Williams for the information, who writes: “I was very impressed. The store has a selection of fresh veg, the regular health food foodstuffs and quite a large range of other household / beauty / personal stuff.”)

Paul Appleby

Urge your election candidates to protect existing animal welfare legislation

Animal Aid are calling on supporters to contact the General Election candidates in their parliamentary constituency, asking them to pledge to protect existing animal welfare laws, including the 44 EU laws pertaining to animal welfare, and to strengthen them wherever possible.

The wording of their suggested letter or email to candidates is as follows:

“I am writing to ask you, as my prospective parliamentary candidate, to
pledge to protect animal welfare legislation should you be elected to

Currently, there are 44 EU laws pertaining to animal welfare, and I am
concerned that with Brexit, some of the directives may be weakened,
while the regulations will simply cease to apply unless the government
legislates for them to remain.

The laws cover many issues, including setting standards on the way
animals are farmed, transported and slaughtered, ensuring eggs from
caged hens are labelled as such, and banning cosmetic testing on
animals. These are important issues, and hard-won protections for
animals are now in danger.

Will you pledge to fight to maintain current animal welfare standards as
a minimum should you be elected? Will you further pledge to strengthen
legislation and protection for animals wherever possible, to include,
for example, making independently monitored CCTV mandatory for all

These issues are important to me, and I will consider seriously all
responses from candidates when I come to vote on June 8th.”

For further details and to send the email to candidates go to https://www.animalaid.org.uk/general-election/

Paul Appleby

Unlocking the Cage

The Oxford Student Vegetarian Society will show the documentary film Unlocking the Cage, about US animal rights lawyer Steve Wise’s attempt to obtain personhood rights for chimpanzees, on Thursday 18 May, 7pm, at Harris Lecture Theatre, Oriel College, Oxford. Details at https://www.facebook.com/events/1910068955939320/

Hire of the film was funded by VERO (Voice for Ethical Research at Oxford) who posted this blog about Unlocking the Cage when it was first scheduled for screening in Oxford https://voiceforethicalresearchatoxford.wordpress.com/2017/02/13/unlocking-the-cage/

‘Vegan team’ to play in the Football League

“Cheltenham, Swindon, Newport – You’re going to eat hummus at the New Lawn next season as Forest Green Rovers have been promoted to the Football League.” So raved Bob Hunt of BBC Radio Gloucestershire as the so-called ‘vegan team’ claimed a place in Football League Division Two next season with a 3-1 win over Tranmere Rovers at Wembley Stadium in the National League play-off final on Sunday 14 May (http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/39850996). Forest Green Rovers are located in Nailsworth (which, with a population of 5,794, will become the smallest town ever to host an English Football League club) and the catering at their ground is entirely vegan in keeping with the principles of owner Dale Vince, CEO of green energy provider Ecotricity. Nailsworth also boasts a vegan restaurant Asparagasm (see the post dated 17 April 2017) and two independent health food stores.

Paul Appleby

Vegetarian café in Wallingford

There is a new vegan/vegetarian café in Wallingford called Ribizli (https://www.ribizli.co.uk/). The Happy Cow website describes Ribizli as a modern café specializing in gluten-free and dairy-free cakes, most of which are suitable for vegans. The café is at 53 St Mary’s Street, and is open 5 days a week, Thursday to Monday inclusive, 10am to 5pm (4pm on Sundays). Further along the street at number 52 is The Health Store Wallingford (http://www.thehealthstorewallingford.co.uk/), an independent retailer “staffed by local ladies with a wealth of knowledge of the health food industry”, which is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm, Saturday 9.30am to 5pm. (Thanks to Anne-Marie Bevan for the information.)

Paul Appleby

Learn the art of vegan cheese-making in Gloucestershire

In a previous post we mentioned Asparagasm (www.asparagasm.com), the vegan and gluten-free deli and diner in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire (a small town about 50 miles from Oxford). As well as fine dining extravaganzas, pop-ups, and private catering, Asparagasm now offers workshops. Lucy Longrigg, Asparagasm’s resident vegan cheese maker, writes:

“The interest and demand for plant-based cheeses is ever growing, and happily this is an area of expertise at Asparagasm. We run half-day workshops where aspiring cheese enthusiasts can learn the tricks of the trade, either at our state of the art teaching kitchen in the Cotswolds, or anywhere that I can plug in a blender! These events are gathering quite a following amongst vegan and v-curious communities, attracting visitors from London and even Portugal!

Using only simple ingredients and natural techniques, students learn about the fermentation processes involved in vegan cheese making, and once they have developed the necessary skills, students are then able to experiment with creating their own flavours. Classes are kept small and friendly to ensure quality, and all ingredients, course materials, welcome drink, lunch, tastings and cheeses to take home are included.

As well as all things cheesy, Head Chef Lauren, who has just returned from training with Matthew Kenney* in California, is also offering a packed teaching programme. Upcoming classes include heavenly Chocolate Masterclasses, as well as bespoke private lessons, where you can learn how to make all sorts of wonderful food.

For further information, visit the Asparagasm Facebook page (www.facebook.com/Asparagasm), or pop in for a chat!”

[* Matthew Kenney is an American celebrity chef, entrepreneur, author of a dozen cookbooks, and educator specializing in plant-based cuisine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Kenney). Photo by Joanna Fallon (http://thecotswoldchalkboard.co.uk/).]

Stalls at the Oxford Vegan Festival

Paul Freestone’s picture below shows stalls at the Oxford Vegan Festival, held at the Kassam Stadium, Oxford, on Saturday 25 March 2017.

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