Tag Archives: featured

Do you want to help promote healthy eating, environmental and welfare awareness? Call for new volunteers

A number of volunteering opportunities have been made available in the upper Calder Valley, an excellent way to get hands-on experience in writing, editing and leading. 3 Valley Vegans is a local group who want to inform and support people moving towards a healthy vegan lifestyle. We produce a newsletter and website and maintain a presence on social media. We also run events such as cookery demonstrations and information stalls. These activities are coordinated and delivered by a core group of volunteers who are looking to welcome and train people in the following positions.

Writer

  • Write blog posts, articles and social media updates about current issues and resolutions relating to climate change, pollution and animal welfare matters locally. 
  • Write about healthy eating initiatives and successes featuring a plant-based, vegan diet.
  • Consider actions happening in Calderdale, or activity around the world which links to us.  
  • Training in WordPress and Facebook will be provided. 
  • Ideal for someone who is passionate and keen on expanding their interest in such matters. Previous experience of writing online is desirable.

Editor

  • Oversee the writing of blog posts, articles and social media updates about current issues and resolutions relating to plant-based healthy eating, climate change, pollution and animal welfare matters locally and globally. 
  • Coordinate a newsletter 3-4 times a year, compile and proofread the writing of other people into our newsletter software.
  • Respond to minor newsletter membership/subscription matters.
  • Training in MailerLite will be provided.
  • Ideal for someone who is organised and motivated with moderate confidence using computers. Previous experience of editorial work is desirable.

Chair

  • Run a meeting of the core group of volunteers every 6-8 weeks, usually face-to-face but with an option of online attendance.
  • Follow-up any actions noted at the meetings, check people are completing them.
  • Compile an agenda of items for each meeting.
  • Training in Google Docs will be provided.
  • Ideal for someone who is organised and responsible. Previous experience of leadership is desirable.

Contact us today!

CANCELLED: 26 Sep: Great Big Green Week event: 3 Valley Vegans circular walk of Todmorden

UPDATE: Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled due to illness.

Sunday 26th September 2021, Carr and Craggs Moor and the Stones menhirs (standing stones). Around 8 miles / at least 5 hours including lunch stop. (Please note the change of date!)

The Great Big Green Week logo

The 3 Valley Vegans event for September 2021 and the Great Big Green Week is a walk in the hills to the southwest of Todmorden.  This will be a great opportunity to explore an interesting and beautiful area whilst grabbing time for informal discussions about vegan diets and their environmental, ethical and health benefits.  

The route juxtaposes renewable energy sources against coal mining in the past. It also passes through land used for animal agriculture and provides a chance to see some standing stones.  In the past, the remains of a fossilised shark have been found in this area once covered in rainforest.   

Todmorden hill walk 2
  • Booking essential: email rob@3valleyvegns.org.uk if you wish to book a place and receive rendezvous instructions.
  • Food & drink: out of respect for others on the walk, please only bring vegan food & drinks.
  • Stops: there will be a lunch stop together with a couple of snack/drink stops. Bring your own food and drink.  Ensure that you have plenty of water and energy giving snacks/fruits. There are no shops or cafes on the route.
  • Ascent: 390 metres or thereabouts.
  • Difficulty: moderate with a long steep climb near the start.  The terrain is boggy, slippery and wet in places.
  • Attire: please wear waterproof walking boots and dress appropriately for the weather. Also bring waterproof & warm clothing even if the forecast is for good weather.
  • Dogs welcome: but note that there are several stiles en route and most lack a dog-pass.  There are sheep and cows in some fields. Rabbits and deer have also been seen on this walk.
  • Walk with us at your own risk.  There will be a guide but every person joining the walk is expected to take responsibility for their own safety. There will be no formal provision of first aid support.
Sheep in Todmorden
Farming equipment in Todmorden

“Bet you’d love a bacon sandwich”

One of the clichéd comments that get thrown at vegans (and vegetarians) is the idea that we yearn to eat bacon, that euphemism for the flesh of a pig.  Even if sourced locally from one of those rare ‘free range’ pig farms, a young pig has to be slaughtered to provide that unnecessary source of nutrition known as bacon.  It’s also classified as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) by the World Health Organisation.  

Sentient Media recently published a story about an advertising campaign by the world’s biggest pig-flesh exporter, Danish Crown.   This campaign is being challenged as greenwash; a misleading, unsubstantiated and/or irrelevant statement or claim that a product, service or company has a low impact on the environment.  In this case, the advertising campaign is an attempt to overcome the growth in public concern about the links between meat consumption and climate change.

Here’s a link to the story.  Before you read it, bear in mind that most of the pigs that end up being slaughtered for food will have come from factory farms. Viva’s film Hogwood shows the kind of conditions that pigs have to suffer in British factory farms.  Also consider the fact that a significant portion of the feed for pigs and chickens in this country is soya beans grown in South America. This has been linked with deforestation of the Amazon and forest fires.  As for the greenhouse gas emissions associated with eating a pig’s flesh compared with other foods, the graph below is derived from peer-reviewed academic research. Whilst pig flesh is not the biggest per kilogram contributor to climate change, it’s around four times worse than tofu and nearly 29 times worse than nuts.

Chart of greenhouse gas emissions of food product, where beef is by far the highest
Chart showing how beef is by far the food product responsible for the most greenhouse gas emissions. Source: OurWorldInData.org

Featured image: Sentient Media

CANCELLED: 22 Aug: Picnic in Hebden Bridge

UPDATE: Apologies, due to the heavy rain this weekend, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our picnic event. It would not be much fun to sit on saturated ground without shelter. If you have emailed us to confirm you were going to come, please look out for a new reply.

Come and join us for our annual pot luck picnic! This year we will of course be following government instructions and keeping a safe social distance throughout, and sadly not sharing food this time.

  • Sunday, 22nd August 2021 at midday.
  • Calder Holmes Park, Hebden Bridge
  • Meet between the cafe and the path to the railway station (see photo).

As usual, everyone is welcome to come along, we just ask that you only bring vegan food or drink (thank you for respecting the wishes of our vegan members). Please bring your own cutlery and plate. We will probably be sitting on the ground, so you may wish to bring a portable seat or blanket.

If you want to come, please send us an email. Dogs are welcome too. If the weather is bad, we may have to cancel, check here or look out for an email if it comes to that.

See you there!

Featured image by Carroll Pierce, CC BY SA 2.0

Horses slaughtered in the UK: petition from Animal Aid

Copied from Animal Aid:

Animal Aid had to use the Freedom of Information Act to uncover the facts about horse slaughter in the UK. We discovered that in 2019 more than two thousand equines were killed for their meat in this country.

Astoundingly, when we asked the government the same question – it said: “We are unable to provide the information requested as it is commercially sensitive.”

We are demanding that the government takes action on horse slaughter, by limiting the number of horses bred each year. This will mean fewer horses end up as ‘surplus’ or unwanted – and fewer horses will end their lives at an abattoir.

No animals should have to face slaughter.

Animal Aid, 2021

Feed our Future: providing meat-free and plant-based school meal options for all

FEED OUR FUTURE: Calderdale 

Sometimes it can seem hard enough to get a school just to provide vegan meals for vegan pupils. Many parents have faced this battle. Feed Our Future aims to go much further than this. Working with ProVeg UK and Plant-based Health Professionals, the campaign wants schools to have two meat-free days every week and offer attractive plant-based options on the other three days. Asking for two meat-free days per week doesn’t display lack of ambition – it’s all that’s possible under the current School Food Standards, which require meat to be served three days per week, dairy five days per week and fish once every three weeks. The Standards are due for review but there is no timetable for this so far. 

Where local authorities have declared a climate emergency, this proposal can be presented as a measure which will help them to meet their climate change targets. Plant-based menus also improve children’s consumption of fruit and veg and are more inclusive in terms of dietary and religious requirements.  

Calderdale has declared a climate emergency – indeed it was one of the first to do so – but does not have control of school meals, delegating the matter to individual schools or groups of schools. There are also several academy schools which are not under local authority control at all. However, Calderdale is working with an organisation called Food for Life, which is part of the Soil Association. Liz and Myra  met the Calderdale lead from Food for Life, and found her to be very responsive to our proposal. Indeed, they had already trialled some plant-based meals with school caterers. Unfortunately, the cooks were not impressed and considered that the children would not like the food.  

We are undeterred, however, and have held a second meeting attended also by Colette Fox of ProVeg UK. By means of its School Plates programme, ProVeg UK has an innovative approach to designing menus in a way to make all kinds of food appealing to children, and also provides free training to school catering teams 

Our next step is to set up a meeting with the Calderdale Public Health officer with responsibility for sustainable food. We hope she will be able to help us make some vital contacts with school heads. 

Food for Life so far works with 11 local authorities in the north of England and the midlands. We hope via this campaign to be able to make a difference to school food in Calderdale and beyond. Watch this space! 

FEED OUR FUTURE: Bradford 

3 Valley Vegans member Anne Taylor lives in the Bradford area, where the situation is different from Calderdale. Read about her experiences campaigning on school food. 

Following my own family experience of trying to get vegan school meals under the free school meals system unsuccessfully until near the end of the free period, I have been writing to councillors and my MP in Bradford. Emails to my MP have resulted in communications between myself and Vicky Ford MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Children and Families, regarding the School Food Standards, which make it mandatory for schools to provide meat 3 times a week and dairy every day to all school age children. I have found out the School Food Standards are underpinned by the Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition (SACN) with their public health nutritionist a member of the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board beef and lamb sector board and acting chair. The AHDB provides educational resources for schools about where our food comes from, though no mention of the impact on the planet.  

I have discovered there are many groups involved in trying to change the school meals system, and recently came across Joe Brindle’s campaign Teach the Future, which is about making all school subjects include climate change education. I have emailed Joe regarding the importance of the food provided at schools too which he has replied to and agreed food is something that needs to be looked into, so is passing on to his team. 

I have emailed various councillors with influence over health or the climate emergency but have had a poor response so far. I have also made a Freedom of Information request for a list of which schools get their meals from private catering companies and which have school meals provided by the council. I am awaiting a reply. 

I believe the more people who contact their MP or councillors or talk to schools about this the greater the chance that change will eventually come. In the meantime, it’s a good idea to focus on the Feed Our Future campaign for two days meat free days per week.