Ribizli vegetarian/vegan café, Wallingford

I mentioned the new vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free café Ribizli at 53 St Mary’s Street, Wallingford (https://www.ribizli.co.uk/), in a post dated 30 April 2017. We visited Ribizli on a Sunday afternoon in early August. The café took some finding, even though it is very near to the Market Place in the centre of Wallingford, but it was worth the effort. The salads we had were delicious and filling, as were the cakes, and almost everything on the admittedly rather limited menu was suitable for vegans. The dining rooms are small but surprisingly spacious, especially one in which canine companions are welcome, and Timi and Malcolm were friendly and helpful hosts. Ribizli is open Thursday to Monday inclusive, 10am to 5pm (4pm on Sundays). Sadly, the health food store that used to be next door has recently closed down, but Just Trading, a workers’ co-operative located across the road at 17 St Mary’s Street (http://justtrading.co.uk/products.htm), sells a variety of organic and fair trade foods, as well as clothes, gifts, household consumables (including refills), toiletries, and paper products.

Paul Appleby

OxVeg stall at Elder Stubbs Festival 2017

OxVeg will be running an information/publicity stall at the Elder Stubbs Festival 2017, Saturday 19 August, 12 noon to 6pm. This popular annual event is held at Elder Stubbs Allotments, Rymers Lane, Oxford OX4 3EQ. This year’s Festival is themed around Alice in Wonderland, with a children’s fancy dress parade, hands-on workshops, including yoga, mindfulness and Tai Chi, a children’s corner, music from Emily Maguire, Raw Sounds, Music in Mind and the deaf choir Handy Voices, and the usual mix of stalls and catering. An entrance fee is charged and there is limited parking in the area, so visitors are encouraged to walk, cycle or take public transport to the event, which is organised by the mental health charity Restore.  Brief details at https://www.restore.org.uk/event/elder-stubbs-festival-2017.

Factory farming map of the UK

Compassion in World Farming have produced a factory farm map of the UK, pointing out that 70% of farm animals in the UK are factory farmed, meaning that around 750 million animals are confined in intensive systems every year. The map shows that Oxfordshire has over 1,449,000 indoor-reared farm animals. Most of these are broiler chickens raised for their meat, but around 43,600 are pigs, giving the county the seventh highest number of indoor-reared pigs in the UK. You can explore the map and express your disapproval to your MP at: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/map.

On the Pulse Trail at CAT

During a recent holiday in North Wales we visited the Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT; http://www.cat.org.uk), near Machynlleth. CAT is an environmental charity that researches and promotes sustainable living. Their interactive exhibits are spread over seven acres and include the Pulse Trail, which highlights the positive contribution that pulses (the dried seeds of legumes such as lentils and chickpeas) can make to feeding the world population in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner. The photos below show two posters from the trail, explaining how growing pulses is a much more efficient use of land than rearing cattle, and how producing a kilogram of chickpeas requires only a fraction of the water needed to produce a kilogram of beef.

Paul Appleby

Animals are sentient beings under EU law, and should be so under UK law as well

Compassion in World Farming have launched a petition to ensure that animals are recognised as “sentient beings” and afforded the same level of protection under UK law as they currently are under EU law after Britain leaves the European Union.

Under current European law, animals are recognised as sentient beings, acknowledging their ability to feel pain, suffer and also experience joy. As sentient beings, full regard must be given to their welfare when creating new legislation or regulations. Securing this status for animals was a massive step forward for animal welfare when the legislation was first adopted in 1997, and subsequently consolidated in the Lisbon Treaty of 2009. The Repeal Bill, which moves all European law into UK law once Britain leaves the EU, has left out this important protection, omitting both the recognition of animals as sentient beings, and the requirement for governments to pay “full regard” to their welfare. Thus, once the UK leaves the EU, we cannot be sure that future Governments will still treat animals as sentient beings.

The petition to Secretary of State for the Environment Michael Gove MP reads as follows:
“The EU Treaty recognises animals as sentient beings. Once the UK leaves the EU, we cannot be sure that future Governments will still treat animals as sentient beings – so we demand that the Treaty clause is brought into UK law. Please ensure the Repeal Bill recognises animals as sentient beings, and requires that full regard be paid to their welfare in the formulation of policy.”

To sign the petition go to: http://www.ciwf.org.uk/repeal

Paul Appleby

OxVeg member’s 65-mile cycle ride for Animal Aid

Congratulations to OxVeg media rep Paul Freestone who recently completed a 65-mile cycle ride to celebrate becoming an OAP and to raise money for Animal Aid. Paul was interviewed about the cycle ride on BBC Radio Oxford on Monday 10 July. The interview is one hour and 42 minutes into the programme at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0572wzp

If you would like to make a donation to Animal Aid in recognition of Paul’s effort go to: https://www.animalaid.org.uk/go/Paul

Vegan MPs

The recent General Election threw up plenty of surprises, and several milestones were passed. A record 201 female MPs were elected, for the first time a majority of MPs were educated at comprehensive schools, and the first ‘Darren’ took his seat in the House of Commons.

What is less well known about the new MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, is that he is a vegan (http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/who-is-darren-jones-election-56940). Mr Jones attributes his veganism to neighbouring MP and fellow vegan Kerry McCarthy, who retained her Bristol East seat (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kerry_McCarthy). Further afield, long standing vegan Chris Williamson regained the marginal seat of Derby North (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Williamson_(politician)) and, completing the vegan parliamentary line-up, Christina Rees, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, retained her Neath seat (http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/politics/11-facts-about-christina-rees-12599722).

All four vegan MPs are members of the Labour Party, and they might be expected to play an active role in the All Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism (http://vegappg.org.uk/). Christina Rees and Kerry McCarthy were officers of the group in the previous parliament, along with the anti-hunting Conservative MP for Crawley Henry Smith, and Green Party Life Peer Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb.

Paul Appleby

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