All posts by Satelliterobot

Marc Vinette (candidate for Councillor of Rideau Vanier) responds to survey on Animal- and Veg-Friendliness.

Marc Vinette (candidate for Councillor of Rideau Vanier) responds to survey on Animal- and Veg-Friendliness.

1. Will you commit to publishing the position statement of the Canadian Dietetic Association that acknowledges that well-planned vegan diets are healthy for all life-stages, to correct misinformation among the public. If so, how would this been done (tax or water bill insert, bus board signage, proclaiming a vegan day, other?).

Response: Heck no. I would not spend a nickel of public funds on that. I’ll come to the fundraiser you throw to fund your awareness campaign.

2. Will you support a meatless Monday campaign in City of Ottawa cafeterias and catered affairs, encourage school boards & post secondary institutions to follow your example, as well as the Municipality of Gatineau, engaging staff from the department of Public Health in the outreach? Note that agriculture is a larger contributed to climate change than all forms of transportation combined.

Response: Absolutely not.  There should be healthy vegetarian options available in municipal cafeterias at all times, of course.

3. Will you support a bylaw banning circuses and other entertainment acts that use animals for entertainment in Ottawa?

Response: Animal cruelty is sick and disgusting. In my travels I have seen things that would turn your stomach and inflame your rage. Some animals, dogs in particular, enjoy being our “slaves”. Do elephants? I think usually not. Horses? Hmm… I know what you mean about circuses, but you are painting with a wide brush. Would a dog show fall under your definition of entertainment and thus be banned?

>4. Will you support wildlife rehabilitation organizations? How so?

Response: School/org/Business sponsorships is a great way to help fund these kinds of orgs. I have a big mouth, so the word gets out to people who have ears to hear. This is, to my present knowledge, more a matter of provincial jurisdiction. I’ll do my best to pry appropriate funding from Toronto.

5. Will the City of Ottawa publish its policy or develop a bylaw on the treatment of dangerous wildlife within the City?

Response: Frankly, I am not currently versed in the City’s policy regarding dangerous wildlife. Certainly, we should have a humane and effective policy. If elected, I’ll get back to you within a month with a detailed answer.

Big up toi meme and vote Vinette!
Marc Vinette ward 12 Rideau Vanier

George Wright (candidate for Councillor of Osgoode Ward) responds to survey on Animal- and Veg-Friendliness

George Wright (candidate for Councillor of Osgoode Ward) responds to survey on Animal- and Veg-Friendliness.

General Response:

Firstly I was a member of NCVA for several years. We farm south of Ottawa in Metcalfe. Our speciality is our raw gluten free organic rolled and steel cut oats that we sell at the Brewer Park Farmers’ Market, the only ones available in North America. As you will see, my opinions are quite different, I do not disagree with your stance, but feel it is not government’s responsibility to be the solution. Government meddling is partly how the situation go so bad in the first place. Admire your work though, george

1. Will you commit to publishing the position statement of the Canadian Dietetic Association that acknowledges that well-planned vegan diets are healthy for all life-stages, to correct misinformation among the public. If so, how would this been done (tax or water bill insert, bus board signage, proclaiming a vegan day, other?).
Response: People should be free to eat whatever they choose. All food labeling in Canada is a farce. All Bran cereal is 1/3 sugar and it is supposed to be a healthy one. Those who are concerned about what they eat already purchase all their food at  the farmers’ market. Pushing more information will not help, in fact in my opinion it does the reverse.
2. Will you support a meatless Monday campaign in City of Ottawa cafeterias and catered affairs, encourage school boards & post secondary institutions to follow your example, as well as the Municipality of Gatineau, engaging staff from the department of Public Health in the outreach? Note that agriculture is a larger contributed to climate change than all forms of transportation combined.
Response: Again, point 1. Yes agriculture is the problem but it is also the solution. Our food choices are what can save the planet. Herbivores created all the best soils on this planet, they are what can heal it. Study what “Joel” says. I could not farm sustainably without herbivores. They are what heals our land. Mind you, we have them mobbed up, rotated daily, and always on the move, much different than the status quo.
3. Will you support a bylaw banning circuses and other entertainment acts that use animals for entertainment in Ottawa?
Response: The public will decide, it is not government’s responsibility to manipulate public opinion. Government does not have the authority to dictate what is allowed on private property, I would support a ban on public property though.
4. Will you support wildlife rehabilitation organizations? How so?
Response: I would for wildlife in decline. Dangerous wildlife within city limits, I am assuming the urban area and not the whole city, should be dealt with by whatever means that the officer on site deems safest. No guidelines should circumvent what is decided upon in an emergency. As a farmer who loses about 10 percent of my income to deer, and who has seen the population go from nearly extinct to out of control in my 45 years I wish you had listed some species in decline.
5. Will the City of Ottawa publish its policy or develop a bylaw on the treatment of dangerous wildlife within the City?
Response: NA

Mayoral candidate Anwar Syed responds to survey on animal and veg-friedliness

Mayoral candidate Anwar Syed responds to survey on animal and veg-friedliness

1. Will you commit to publishing the position statement of the Canadian Dietetic Association that acknowledges that well-planned vegan diets are healthy for all life-stages, to correct misinformation among the public. If so, how would this been done (tax or water bill insert, bus board signage, proclaiming a vegan day, other?).
Response: Yes, Thru the city of Ottawa web site health page

2. Will you support a meatless Monday campaign in City of Ottawa cafeterias and catered affairs, encourage school boards & post secondary institutions to follow your example, as well as the Municipality of Gatineau, engaging staff from the department of Public Health in the outreach? Note that agriculture is a larger contributed to climate change than all forms of transportation combined.
Response: No, I do not support any such meatless day as I believe people have right to eat what they desire. Change in eating habits can only be done through education and information.

3. Will you support a bylaw banning circuses and other entertainment acts that use animals for entertainment in Ottawa?
Response: No, I believe that organizations such as SPCA play an important role in checking that Animals are treated properly and kept healthy. I am for humane treatment of Animals. Circuses & Zoos provide education to young persons about animals on planets and banning them would be counterproductive

4. Will you support wildlife rehabilitation organizations? How so?
Response: The best way to rehabilitate wildlife is to ensure that City does not keep expanding Urban Boundaries. I don’t have any idea that Wildlife organizations need rehabilitation and not wildlife itself. I will have to look in to your question deeply when the City’s people decide to elect me as the Mayor. At the moment, I do not have any answer to your question.

5. Will the City of Ottawa publish its policy or develop a bylaw on the treatment of dangerous wildlife within the City?
Response: Yes, and I stand for better treatment of any wildlife that comes in to urban areas. In past, I have noticed some wildlife was shot in Ottawa on the basis of protecting car traffic and accidents. I believe we should have develop a better by-law for such situation.

Best Regards
Anwar Syed
Candidate for Mayor of Ottawa

Animal- and Veg-friendliness of Ottawa Election Candidates

Français – désolé, limité!

As you probably know, Ottawa’s municipal election is on Monday, October 27.

An NCVA member and volunteer had the brilliant idea of contacting candidates in the Ottawa municipal election to see where they stand on a variety of animal issues. We’ll be posting their responses over the next few days.

Apologies that this series of posts will be in English only – we won’t have time to translate all of the candidates’ responses.

Here are the questions – we’ll post responses as they come in:

1. Will you commit to publishing the position statement of the Canadian Dietetic Association that acknowledges that well-planned vegan diets are healthy for all life-stages, to correct misinformation among the public. If so, how would this be done?

2. Will you support a meatless Monday campaign in City of Ottawa cafeterias and catered affairs, encourage school boards & post secondary institutions to follow your example, as well as the Municipality of Gatineau, engaging staff from the department of Public Health in the outreach? Note that agriculture is a larger contributed to climate change than all forms of transportation combined.

3. Will you support a bylaw banning circuses and other entertainment acts that use animals for entertainment in Ottawa?

4. Will you support wildlife rehabilitation organizations? How so?

5. Will the City of Ottawa publish its policy or develop a bylaw on the treatment of dangerous wildlife within the City?

Recipe: Apple Bundt Cake

Français

A few weeks ago, Neil and I went apple picking in the Ottawa Valley. The apples were pretty terrible, but we bought a 20-pound bushel of them anyway. You had to choose your bushel size before you went picking and if we came out without 20 pounds of apples they’d know it’s because we knew their apples sucked which we would only know if we’d illegally eaten some off the trees, which we had.

Then last weekend, I was visiting family in southern Ontario and they wanted to take the kids apple picking. The kids were so enjoying ferreting out the apples that met my random, changing, and entirely arbitrary criteria that I didn’t have the heart to tell them to stop. So now I have 40 pounds of apples.

As you see, there are still more apples lurking.
As you see, there are still more apples lurking.

As a result, I’ve spent the last few days finding recipes that call for lots of apples, then modifying them to use even more apples. Here’s one of my more successful efforts…

Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients:
3.5 cups peeled, sliced apple
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup whiskey
2 tsps powdered egg replacer (probably optional)
4 tbsps water (probably optional)
3/4 tsp salt
half a grated nutmeg (1/4 tsp powdered stuff, but grating your own is fun!)
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 cup coconut oil

Directions:
1) Whisk flour and baking soda together in a large bowl
2) Combine all remaining ingredients except for 3 cups of apple in a medium sized bowl with tall sides. Whizz them with a hand blender for 2 minutes. Or you can do it in your regular blender, but those suck and you should toss yours and get a hand blender instead. Unless it’s a Blendtec or Vitamix, in which case you have my approval and bitter envy.
3) Fold the blended stuff into the dry mixture, until the two are about halfway incorporated.
4) Fold in the remaining 3 cups of apple, very gently, until you can’t see any more dry flour.
5) Pour into a bundt pan greased with coconut oil and/or lined with parchment paper.
6) Bake at 350 degrees for about 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
7) Cool completely and turn onto a plate, dust with icing sugar, then serve.

BUNDT!
BUNDT!

Upcoming Event: Vegan Cooking Class

sit with me logoFrançais

COME! SIT! SAVOUR!

Follow these commands and follow your nose all the way to our vegan cooking class being held on Sunday, November 9 at 3 PM at Beaver Barracks, 464 Metcalfe Street in Ottawa. Hosted by the National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA), the course, aptly themed “Vegan Cooking Made Easy” will not only show animal lovers how to prepare marvellous meals without using any animal products, but the ticket sales will benefit Sit With Me Rescue.

Beaver Barracks
Beaver Barracks

Could anything be more fitting than that? Just bring your curiosity and your appetite. Then lean back, listen and learn, and later lap up appetizers, soup and an entree, a dessert and a snack. Although the instructors may make it look as easy as, well, pie, it’s easier than you may think, particularly when you can bring home a booklet of the recipes that they prepared and you sampled. The tickets cost $30 per person or $50 per couple, and may be ordered at https://ncva.ca/2014/08/15/vegan-cooking-class/

VegFest 2015 – Volunteers Needed for Organizing Committee

Français

I’m writing this post as a briefing note because I’ve been working so much overtime lately that I forget how to write normally.

vegfest2010groupshot
VegFest 2010

OBJECTIVE
To inform you that VegFest 2015 will be held in June 2015 at the RA Centre and that we are establishing a committee to arrange speakers, cooking demos, kids’ area, etc.

BACKGROUND
The NCVA held the first Vegfest in 2009 at the Glebe Community Centre. We did the second, third and fourth one there too, in 2010, 2011 and 2012, respectively.

In 2013, the NCVA lacked the volunteer power to put on a fifth VegFest, so some outside organizers took it on and held a 2-day VegFest/YogaFest on the grounds of St. Paul’s University.

In 2014, the NCVA still didn’t have the volunteers power to put on a VegFest and we kind of thought the people who did it last year were doing it again, and it was all kind of confusing and it just didn’t happen and everyone felt kind of bad about it.

Shaun exhibiting one of the cupcakes in the VegFest 2012 cupcake contest he organized. This could be you!
Shaun exhibiting a cupcake from the VegFest 2012 cupcake contest he organized. This could be you!

CONSIDERATIONS
There bloody well will be a VegFest next year.

The fine gent who did the 2013 one will be the lead project manager, so it still won’t exactly be an NCVA event.

But the NCVA will have a big presence there. In addition to our table, we get to bring in speakers and basically do whatever we think would enhance the event.

In order for us to do these event-enhancing activities, we need to put together an organizing committee that is willing to develop and execute the activities.

Volunteers Corrie and Kim getting some love from Farm Sanctuary's Gene Baur. This could be you!
Volunteers Corrie and Kim getting some love from Farm Sanctuary’s Gene Baur. This could be you!

If no one steps forward to be on the committee, the NCVA is not going to feel guilty if the 2015 event is a snore or if there isn’t one in 2016.

NEXT STEPS
1) Volunteer to be on the committee by October 30, 2014. Send an email to ncva.events@gmail.com.
2) Serve on the committee from November 2014 to June 2015.
3) Make VegFest 2015 so awesome that you will be able to personally take credit for at least 100 instant conversions to veganism.
4) Collapse from exhaustion and start scheming to convince some other poor slob to take your place on the committee next year.

A Crepey Brunch in Hintonburg

Français

IMG_0977 exteriorSo I heard though the grapevine that there’s a place in Hintonburg that’ll make you a vegan crepe.

It’s called “A Thing For Chocolate”, and Neil and I just went there for brunch.

The atmosphere is cheerful and unpretentious, decorated with framed quotes affirming that chocolate is good for you and you’re probably not getting enough.

IMG_0971 menuThere were only a couple of vegan options on the menu and they were pretty plain. When we placed our order, however, we discovered that they also make a savoury vegan crepe. Called “The Vegan,” it’s filled with Daiya, basil leaves, mushrooms and tomatoes.

"The Vegan"
“The Vegan”

I was kind of surprised when the crepes arrived, because they were brown. Omar the owner informed us that they’re made of buckwheat. I’m not sure what that’s all about – if it’s a conflation of gluten-free with vegan or if he just thinks vegans like healthy looking brown things. But who cares – they were good, and Omar was such a dear and so eager to bring in more vegan options, I didn’t want to get in his face about the brown crepes.

The "London Fog" - Earl Grey tea with almond milk.
The “London Fog” – Earl Grey tea with almond milk.

Speaking of, we told Omar to get Earth Balance, President’s Choice meatless chicken breasts and Tofutti Cream cheese to make his menu more vegan-friendly. I encourage you to contact him if you have any other suggestions. Honestly, I kind of drew a blank when he asked me. Partially out of excitement and partially because it started giving me flashbacks to our ill-fated Restaurant Outreach Program (let us never speak of it again).

Sweets from the Earth goodies at the counter!
Sweets from the Earth goodies at the counter!

So there you go – vegan crepes in Ottawa. In yer face, Toronto.

Addendum: After posting this blog I discovered that everyone except me knows that traditional savoury crepes are always made with buckwheat *looks down in shame for being an uncultured mouth-breather*.

 

 

 

West End Well can compete with Herb & Spice, but no vegan destination

Français

IMG_0963 exterior, cropped saturatedA new cooperative grocery/cafe/performance space just opened right down the street from me in Hintonburg.

It called the “West End Well,” and I was very excited to head over there this morning to see if Hintonburg had gotten itself yet another vegan destination.

I’ve got to admit I was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice space. It’s big, beautiful, and has a really nice produce section. It also offers IMG_0964 fruits & veggiessome vegan staples like Tofurky and Field Roast sausages and Daiya.

It’s also got Zengarry nut cheese, Strawberry Blonde Queen Elizabeth cake (bought that!), and the requisite wall full of fair trade organic chocolate. There was a new one there called “chocosol” which declares that it is not chocolate but an invitation to social justice. So of course I bought one because who can refuse an invitation to social justice when it is offered for a mere $5.59? I hope the company puts my contribution towards a better bean grinder because the chocolate was kind of gritty. Though sometimes I wonder if these barsartisanal companies make their food like that on purpose. You know, they make some perfect, creamy chocolate then say, “Hmmmmm, it doesn’t taste artisanal enough – throw some dirt in!”

When I walked in the door, I was fully prepared to commit to spending the bulk of my grocery budget there if they could provide two things: Silk Soy milk and non-bricklike vegan bread.

They didn’t have the Silk but the person at the counter dutifully wrote down the suggestion. Their regular in-house bread isn’t vegan but the gluten-free stuff is. The staffer was very emphatic that the gluten-free bread is not as gross as she’d expected, and is also the best gluten-free bread she’s ever had. I explained with equal enthusiasm that I might buy a loaf of gluten-free bread for the sheer joy of punting it down the road if I didn’t think I’d break my foot on it.

menuAs for the cafe menu – well, there it is, have a look. Given the relative vegan-friendliness of the grocery section (right on par with Herb & Spice, Rainbow and all that), I was surprised that the cafe so fully embraced the bacon-loving hipster ethic, but there you go.

Despite its, shall we say, “misalignments” with my own ethics, I give the West End Well three and a half lentils out of five. It’s pretty, it’s got a lot of vegan stuff, and it’s closer than Herb and Spice.

Free Movie July 19: Simply Raw – Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days‏

The NCVA is co-hosting a documentary about a program run by Dr. Gabriel Cousens to help people with diabetes get off insulin.

Organizers Melanie and Paul are looking for volunteers who can (a) help prepare some raw snacks and (b) a photographer to take pictures of the event.

Set-up for the event is at 9am on Saturday July 19th. If you are able to volunteer, please contact Melanie at info@maitlandmassage.ca or leave a message at 613-722-6423. The event takes place at MEC, 366 Richmond Road in the community room (upstairs).

For anyone who would like to see the film, they can RSVP their ticket here: http://simplyraw.bravenewtheaters.com/screening/show/14666-ottawa

Diabetics and their relatives/friends are especially welcome to attend. Seating is limited to 40.