ISSUE #4 | APR/MAY 2019
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© 2019 Bethany Ivy
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contained in this publication.
Welcome to issue #4 of Seedling!
What would it be like to grow up in an all-vegan
household? In this issue, Kenna Rose tells us about
her vegan upbringing. Meanwhile, we learn how one
amazing woman is providing blankets and shelter
to the homeless in Tampa, Florida - and we find out
how to minimise our impact on the planet whilst
We have some thoughts about "quiet activism" too -
understated things we can do to make the world a
better place. Finally, Elize Lake and Melissa
Donovan reflect on the impact our lifestyle choices
have on our bodies.
Enjoy, and be sure to let us know what you think!
The editor and writers do not give any
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This magazine is not intended as a
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Click the titles to go directly to the articles!
32.......the quiet activist
42......should we be having children in this day and
14......eat more plants, live more years
27.......the impact of our choices on our bodies: a reflective review
34......yummy vegan recipes
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44.......thoughts about...being yourself
18......sustainable travel: the ultimate guide
22.......the aeroplane in the room
40......beautiful planet - nature photos
8......growing up vegan
10......from blankets to urban shelter for the
homeless: blanket tampa bay
46......what activists are doing wrong
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By Kenna Rose
When most people hear the word "vegan", they automatically
think of restrictiveness what you can’t eat, what you can’t
do. When I was growing up, "vegan" was just a word for what
I could eat; seeing anything labeled vegan made me excited. I
remember loving animals and knowing why we didn’t eat
them, because harming another living being was something
our parents taught us was wrong and unnecessary. And I knew
that caring about animals was important because we share this
planet with them.
Even when watching popular movies, I noticed vegan things
that made me happy "fish are friends, not food." We went to
vegan workshops and little events that showcased vegan
products to try new things. When a new vegan product came
out, my dad would bring it home to try, and usually it was
something good. Almost everything we ate growing up was
My mom is Cape Verdean, and that’s where my grandparents
are from. It’s a nation off the northwest coast of Africa known
for its Creole PortugueseAfrican culture. My mom is a
master at veganising Cape Verdean dishes, and she was
always making something from her childhood and telling us a
story about it. My favorite was cachupa it’s a famous Cape
Verdean dish made of corn (hominy), beans, and some fish or
seedling magazine | 8
meat like sausage. We would make it with vegan sausages and
whatever extra veggies we had in the fridge. I asked my mom
why she raised us vegan, and she told me:
"When it comes to being a parent, the
most important thing is the wellbeing
of your children. If they grow up and
decide they don’t want to be vegan,
that’s fine, but right now it’s my job
to set them up for success and do what I
think will benefit them. And raising
them to believe in not harming other
living beings and eating foods from the
earth is more important than what
My dad is very good at cooking with complex flavors and
building them up his favorite dishes to make are curries,
chili, chana masala and chana saag. One night he spent hours
making a very special curry with onion chutney and papadum,
a thin, crisp, discshaped food from Indian cuisine. It was so
I remember going on hikes and walks in the park with my
family in spring, packing a picnic lunch. Eating PB & J
sandwiches, fruit, and chips, out in nature, spending time
together. At family barbecues in the summer when everybody
else was grilling up hot dogs, burgers and ribs, my dad was
grilling up veggie burgers, vegetable skewers and sweetcorn.
In the cold winter and fall months, we made chili, curries and
The main problem I remember growing up is how everyone
around me always tried to convince me and my siblings that
we were missing out on something. "Don’t you want to try
this?" "Don’t you ever want to just try it?" "Just try it, I won’t
tell". We never wanted to eat animal products the way I dealt
with that was by just saying "No thank you, I have my own
food." And "Mom and Dad made me my own food, wanna try
some?". This grew into family and friends asking to try vegan
things we brought and being impressed by what we could
make out of plants. My mom baked incredible goodies like
vegan cheesecake, chocolate cake, and cookies. My dad
makes the best guacamole that everybody still talks about.
Birthday parties were always a blast too, pizza and taco
parties, and pretty cakes.
Me and my siblings never missed out on anything, because
our parents made sure we had everything but a healthier and
crueltyfree version. We would always spend time together
we still do, and cooking is a big part of that time.
Being vegan has made me a very creative person when it
comes to food I love cooking and coming up with new
recipes. Finding new ways to use veggies and different
seasonings excites me. I love surprising people with
something new I made, and I even surprise my vegan family
In 2019, I am amazed at all the new vegan alternatives coming
out and how the world is embracing veganism. It makes me so
happy to see the people around me wanting to try new things
and to see new vegan restaurants being so successful. I hope
the world continues to change and grow, and I hope more
people raise their kids to be vegan or at least learn about it
before dismissing it.
About the writer
Kenna Rose is a lifelong vegan, photographer,
YouTuber and blogger. She has a passion for
veganism, holistic healing and spirituality.
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From Blankets to
Urban Shelter for the
Beth Ross and The Blanket Tampa Bay Story
By Deborah BostockKelley
We are all just one catastrophic event away from
homelessness. Let the magnitude of that sink in for one
minute. One lost job, one disease, one addiction, one death.
ONE. A single event could move you from an accepted,
contributing member of society to having almost everyone
avoid your gaze.
Through her work with the homeless in Tampa Bay, Beth
Ross has discovered a sad reality most people treat
homeless animals better than homeless human beings.
People will take in, feed, bathe, and rehome pets, but most
would never think to allow a stranger into their home for a
hot meal, running water, and clean clothing.
During a particularly chilly December in 2014, Beth was
volunteering at Trinity Café and reached out to the director
to find out how many people in need were served daily.
When she was told 285, she made it her goal to collect 300
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lankets so that every single person would have a warm
blanket on Christmas Eve.
As fate would have it, in the same timeframe, the church Beth
and her husband Ray attended was given a large donation.
The church gave each family $100 and said to do something
to help someone with the money; in January, they would
discuss what had been accomplished.
Beth knew how much she disliked being cold, so she decided
to use the $100 to buy as many blankets as she could to hand
out to those living on the streets. Tampa Bay seldom dips into
freezing temperatures, but during the coldest part of winter,
even the ‘Sunshine State’ is uncomfortable when you lack
essentials like a coat, hat, and gloves. Providing blankets both
offered protection from sleeping on the ground or pavement
and covered susceptible, often exposed skin, serving as a
barrier from the wind and the chilly temperatures.
After she made her purchases, she created a page on
Facebook and posted about her need for 300 blankets. Her
post went viral and she was overwhelmed by the kindness of
friends and strangers as far away as Georgia, Arizona,
Wisconsin, and California. She managed to deliver 308
“The third morning, I saw that he was lying flat. I called a
police officer friend of mine Dan McDonald, Tampa PD
Liaison for the Homeless and told him that he wasn’t doing
Officer McDonald took the man to St. Joseph’s Hospital.
“It turns out the guy sitting on the bench had been there for
four days. He was suffering from a broken hip and kidney
failure. People walked past him, didn’t look at him, and it
really broke my heart.”
Doctors quickly repaired his hip and worked to restore his
kidney function. He spent several weeks in the hospital before
going to a rehab facility.
“In rehab, we found out that his name was Charles and he had
been employed by the Pinellas County Schools for more than
30 years and had a pension,” said Beth. “I always ask the
homeless what’s your story because, no matter who you are,
everyone has one.”
“I was so touched passing out the blankets to the homeless
because they were so thrilled. They weren’t used to getting a
gift,” she said. “We collected the next year and I got over 800
This one small act of kindness set the wheels in motion. Beth
created the nonprofit Blanket Tampa Bay to challenge the
stigma associated with homelessness. Paperwork that
normally means months of red tape was approved in two
With an abundance of blankets, Beth joined the men and
women at St Peter Claver Church in providing food, and
passed out more blankets.
“One day a remarkable thing happened. I was going to work
and saw this man sitting on a bus bench. It was really cold and
all he had on was a tshirt and blue jeans. He didn’t look like
he was doing well. I watched as the people hurried past him,
purposefully not making eye contact because he was a bum. I
stopped to see if I could help him, but he kept saying, “No, I
don’t want any help. Leave me alone.”
Anyone who knows Beth will know that this answer wouldn’t
do. The next morning, he was in the same spot, leaning over
to the right. She stopped to ask if he needed help and he gave
her the same response.
An Urban Rest Stop
Charles had married later in life, but when his wife died, his
grownup stepdaughter, whose name was on the mortgage,
kicked him out and he became homeless. Social workers
helped Charles file for his retirement and Social Security, and
now he lives in an apartment. Doctors said if Beth had
ignored Charles like the other passersby and not reached out
to Officer McDonald, Charles would have died on that bench.
Stories like this are all too common, and Beth makes sure she
learns everyone’s story. If someone tells Beth that he needs
steeltoed boots or a chef’s jacket for gainful employment,
Beth supplies whatever was requested.
Over the years, she has learned many lessons. The most
important is that the homeless never get to choose. They are
always given items, never allowed to pick for themselves.
seedling magazine | 11
After her second year, she offered them the opportunity to
choose their own blankets.
Other requests were far from extravagant. Imagine not having
little items we often take for granted – Qtips, BandAids, nail
clippers, backpacks to house their few belongings.
“The homeless seldom take off their shoes. They sleep in their
shoes because they’re afraid someone is going to steal them,”
One individual kept asking for sleeping bags week after week.
Beth finally asked what he was doing with them and he
revealed that he was handing them out to other homeless
people, so they didn’t have to sleep on newspaper.
Today, Beth has touched over 17,000 lives, donating over
7,500 blankets, thousands of hygiene items and backpacks,
shoes, socks, and sleeping bags. Yet the most common human
need can’t be solved by warm blankets, toiletries, and
Inspired by Urban Rest Stops in Seattle, Beth wants to create
a 45foot container, an Urban Shelter, a safe structure for the
homeless to shower and wash their clothing.
She already has two staffing companies lined up, eager to
help them find jobs.
“Some of these people are veterans, many have skills. I can
help them get their resume ready. I have a clothes closet.”
Beth has been told that the Urban Shelter needs to be south of
the interstate, south of Trinity.
“I’m trying to solve a community problem by getting the
homeless cleaned up, getting them a job, getting them off the
street, but that starts with the Urban Shelter. I’ve got the
drawing – it’s amazing – I’m just trying to find a place to put
this. It’s become a burning passion in my heart. We just need
funding and we need land to get this Urban Rest Stop built. It
makes me mad when people think that every single homeless
person is a drunk or bum, because everyone has a story.
Sometimes, you just need to take the time to ask what it is.”
To learn more or to contribute to Beth’s fundraising for the
Urban Shelter, visit www.blanketampabay.org or
About the writer
Deborah Bostock Kelley is a journalist, playwright,
producer, director, actress, author, Broadway World
theatre critic, owner of The WriteOne Creative
Services, & founder of Life Amplified variety
showcase for charity.
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By Melissa Donovan
No matter the diet we consume, we can all agree on one truth:
life is fleeting, and inherently precious. So we must
consciously care for our bodies, the vessels that allow us to
live out our dreams. As more people turn to holistic practices
alongside conventional medicine, the importance of
preventative care is being emphasized. Many disease
treatments simply mask symptoms with medication, failing to
correct underlying imbalances. Three of the most important
ways we can take our health into our own hands are eating
well, getting enough sleep, and exercising.
The foods we eat should fuel us so we can live our most
fulfilling lives, not put our health at risk. Being informed
about the consequences of a poor diet, including the
possibility of developing certain diseases, should empower us
to be mindful of our food choices. Eating for health doesn’t
have to be restrictive or boring. We can enjoy the foods we eat
whilst reaping the benefits of optimal wellbeing.
are seemingly infinite variables which can contribute to the
manifestation of diseases. Even people we consider to be
healthy sometimes develop illnesses. Nevertheless, properly
nourishing our bodies with nutrientdense foods will only
enhance the quality of our lives. Whilst the FDA permits
certain preservatives, artificial flavors, and other ingredients
to legally be included in food items at grocery stores, we must
rely on our best judgment to guide us in eating well.
"The foods we eat
should fuel us so
we can live our
lives, not put our
health at risk."
We all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation. There
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Relatively recently, cigarette smoking was normalized and
glamorized as a result of Big Tobacco’s successful
advertising. As the repercussions of smoking became evident
through continued research, society’s view of cigarettes
drastically shifted. Now, tobacco products are sold with
warning statements directly on their packages, and children
are taught about the dangers of smoking as early as
smoke. We may even know of people who smoke cigarettes
and live to be a hundred years old. Though possible, such
instances are not the norm and don’t exemplify ideal health.
The pervasiveness of animal products in our society could be
compared to cigarette smoking. As researchers continue to
dispel misinformation, such as the idea that eating meat is
necessary to get enough protein, we must remember that there
are invisible sideeffects to everything we consume. We may
justify our unhealthy habits, whether it’s smoking, drinking
soda, or frequently consuming animal products, by believing
our longevity won’t be compromised. We may not think to
associate our dietary choices with our health problems. We
owe it to ourselves to be aware of all the risks and benefits
associated with any decision we make, assessing whether the
potential compromise of our health and longevity is
Animal products can kill too.
Photo: Chad M on Flickr
Even though the harmful effects of smoking are now common
knowledge, a large proportion of the population continues to
According to the CDC, heart disease is the leading cause of
death in the United States, killing 610,000 people every year.
Heart disease accounts for one in every four deaths. The
leading causes of heart disease include high blood pressure,
high cholesterol, and smoking. Other risk factors include
diabetes, obesity, poor diet, inactivity, and alcohol
consumption. Heart disease is quite sneaky in that these risk
factors accumulate slowly over time. Consuming foods high
in saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in the blood,
increasing the probability that we will suffer from heart
seedling magazine | 15
disease and stroke. Eating a more plantbased diet greatly
reduces our risk of heart disease, as saturated fats are
primarily found in animal products. Plantbased foods that do
contain saturated fats, such as palm oil and coconut oil, are
likely less harmful as they don’t contain cholesterol. In fact,
cholesterol is only found in animal products.
Whilst cholesterol is necessary for cellbuilding, the liver
produces all the cholesterol we need. The excess cholesterol
in animal products may increase our risk of atherosclerosis, or
hardening of the arteries. Eliminating excess cholesterol may
reduce the risk of problems caused by blocked arteries,
including heart attacks and stroke. Hypertension, or high
blood pressure, is considered the secondlargest health threat
in the U.S. Reducing meat intake, especially processed red
meats, reduces the amount of cholesterol and saturated fat
consumed, and may therefore lower blood pressure and the
risk of health issues.
Although animal products may not be the sole contributor to
health issues, becoming aware of the risks associated with
their consumption allows us to be more conscious of our longterm
health. Consuming a primarily whole food plantbased
diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and
legumes can optimize health and reduce the risk for and
symptoms of certain diseases.
Choosing plantbased alternatives to the foods you love is
simpler than ever, with their growing availability in stores and
restaurants. There are nondairy milk, yogurt, and cheese
alternatives made from almond, soy, coconut, cashew, rice,
oat, hemp, hazelnut and more. Plantbased chicken, beef,
pork, burgers, bacon, sausage, deli slices, meatballs, fish, and
so much more are also available in most stores. Plus any of
your favorite dishes can be made vegan with a simple recipe
search. Eating more plantbased foods is simple, tasty, and
will lessen your risk of chronic health issues so you can live
the life you are meant to live. SM
About the writer
Melissa is a grad student from Tampa, FL who went
vegan 3 years ago. Now, she loves teaching others
about the benefits of a plantbased lifestyle. Find more
vegan tips and tasty food photos on her Instagram
(@piquantvegan), and on her upcoming blog
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The ultimate guide to
by Jess Saunders
In 2017, UK residents made 72.8 million visits overseas – an
increase of 3% when compared to 2016, and the 2018 figures
are yet to be released. With cheap flights on the rise, and
people’s desire to travel not going anywhere, we can expect
that figure to increase further.
So what if you want to continue to travel – to satisfy your
inner wanderlust whilst keeping your impact on our fragile
environment to a minimum? This guide has got your back.
seedling magazine | 18
1. Getting there
Alternative travel methods – did you know that the bulk of
your holiday’s carbon footprint comes from plane travel? For
example, one person flying from London to Paris will emit
58kg of CO2 per person, so choosing to go by train, if you
can, is kinder to the environment. As a comparison, the same
journey on the Eurostar only emits 0.9kg of CO2 per
passenger and, shockingly, travelling by ferry in a petrol car
from Dover to Calais, emits 87.5kg of CO2 per car.
Taking the Eurostar beats getting the plane
If you have to fly:
Offset your carbon footprint by planting trees. Trees for Life
are an organisation trying to inject new life into the
Caledonian Forest in Scotland by planting trees. You could
work out the carbon footprint of your trip with this carbon
calculator and donate the equivalent amount of trees – or start
your own grove.
Pack light – the fewer items you pack, the lighter the load of
the plane, which decreases fuel consumption and reduces the
carbon emitted by the plane – simple!
Remember to order a vegan meal before your flight –
airlines only carry special meal requests if they’re ordered in
advance, so don’t forget! A vegan diet has been proven to be
the least impactful on the environment, and removing meat
and dairy can cut an individual’s foodrelated carbon footprint
by up to 73 percent, according to a recent study.
2. Take good habits with you
We all know the problem plastic poses for the environment –
each individual piece takes over 400 years to degrade, and
only 9% of all plastic produced over the last 60 years has
actually been recycled, with the rest ending up in landfill or
the ocean. It’s estimated that eight million pieces of plastic are
dumped into our oceans every single day, and it’s choking
marine life. So, taking good (plasticfree) habits on holiday
with you is not only advised, but essential:
Take your reusable coffee cup and water bottle – both take
up little space in your luggage and will come in handy whilst
out and about and at airports, allowing you to take a hot drink
on board your flight (after going through customs, of course).
Cafes and restaurants are usually happy to refill water bottles
Say no to other singleuse plastics – take a reusable
shopping bag out with you when exploring new areas – for
souvenirs, gifts for friends back home, and general bits and
Cutlery and straws – if you’re eating on the go, take a
reusable cutlery set with you. I got mine from Bright Zine and
it even says “Vegan Queen’ on it – giving me a confidence
boost every time I need to use it. Especially good for cocktails
on the beach – no need for a straw as there’s a metal one in
the set, and it even has a brush included (if you choose to add
it), so you can keep your straw clean.
seedling magazine | 19
Toiletries – even though travelsized toiletries are
convenient, they’re often expensive and have limited use.
Instead, buy empty reusable miniature bottles and decant your
(liquid) toiletries into them, or better still, only use toiletries
that are plasticfree, such as soap or shampoo bars from Lush.
3. Eating whilst away
keep track of where to visit and when – this means you could
take in the local sights that are near where you want to eat (or
4. Getting around whilst away
Often, one of the best ways to get to know a new place is
going for a wander and taking in the scenery. Here’s how to
keep your carbon footprint down while sightseeing:
Walk – we’ve all got that one friend who insists on walking
whenever you’re going sightseeing, so how about following
in their footsteps – literally – and walking to your destination?
Walking means you can get some exercise in (and up the stepcount
on your fitbit), and it’s free leaving you with more
money to spend on delicious local food or souvenirs.
One of the best parts of going away, for me, is getting to try
new food. World cuisine is a huge part of every trip that I take
whether it’s a weekend away, a longer holiday or even a
business trip, I’ll actively go out of my way to hunt down the
best plantbased food on offer. Keep your carbon footprint
down whilst exploring world cuisine by:
Eating local – naturally, food that isn’t imported will have a
lower carbon footprint and will be fresher. It’s a fantastic way
to learn about local flavours and traditions too. If you’re in a
location that has street food, then always give it a go. This is
often where you’ll find the besttasting food – and it’s likely
to be cheaper, as it’s not set in a physical restaurant. So you’ll
be saving money and experiencing the best local flavours.
Public transport – okay, if you really can’t walk to that
museum, art gallery or national park, take public transport.
You’ll be sharing the carbon footprint of the train, tram or bus
with other passengers, so you’ll be emitting fewer carbon
emissions than taking a taxi or an Uber and you’ll be saving
Group excursions – if you’re going out on a trip, why not
make sure you go with a group? You’ll get to meet new
people and share the carbon footprint of the minibus or coach
with them, rather than booking a private car.
Happy Cow and Facebook groups – before heading
anywhere, it’s always worth planning out where you’d like to
eat. It’s a common misconception that eating vegan whilst
away from home is difficult, but it just takes a little planning.
Happy Cow is a free service that does its best to list all
restaurants, eateries and cafes that offer vegan and vegetarian
food. Another top tip is to ask for advice in the local area’s
vegan Facebook group, or even your own local vegan
Facebook group to see if other people have been to your
destination. A firsthand recommendation is the best.
Planning – it goes without saying that going away takes a lot
of planning – flights, passports, insurance (etc.), so it’s good
to make a list of everything you need to do. To make sure you
don’t forget about the best places to eat, add it to your
planning list. I’ve even been known to create a spreadsheet to
5. Your accommodation
Ecoholidays are gaining in popularity, so if you can, look to
stay in an ecofriendly hotel or apartment. They’re bound to
get even more popular in the coming years, but here’s how
you can find ecofriendly accommodation right now:
Organisations like Green Tourism have been working with
accommodation providers and tourist attractions for 20 years
seedling magazine | 20
Search for eco-friendly accommodation
to highlight the importance of being environmentallyconscious
when you’re away from home. They offer a useful
online directory of over 2000 green places to stay and things
There’s a whole website dedicated to Responsible Travel –
this resource allows you to search by the type of holiday
you’re looking for – whether it’s adventure, relaxation or
something in between, they’ve got you covered. You can even
search by vegetarian or vegan holidays!
If you’re not staying in a specifically ‘eco’ hotel or
apartment, you can still be as ecofriendly as possible while
you’re there. For example, use the thermostat responsibly,
turn the air conditioning off while you’re out and don’t have
your towels and sheets washed every day – all these things
will help to keep your carbon footprint down.
6. Your home while you’re away
Make sure to turn as many electrical appliances as possible
off before you go away. It will help to keep your bills and
your carbon footprint to a minimum!
Leave a lamp on using a timer switch – the timer can be set
so the lamp is off during the day and on for the evening. This
will make it look like you’re home, but you won’t be wasting
energy by leaving the light on the whole time you’re away.
Pick a timer up from Wilkinsons – they’re readily available.
Turn the thermostat down – set your thermostat to 10
degrees, and only have the heating switch on automatically if
it gets really cold. This will make sure your pipes don’t
freeze, and will still conserve energy.
Turn applications off – and not just to standby! Turning
applications off standby will save you energy and money.
Things like wifi, TVs and music speakers can all be turned off
at the plug while you’re away. SM
About the writer
Jess is one of the creators of the food blog Vegan
Punks, and a CIM certified professional marketer. As
well as being Ecotricity’s social media and digital
content manager, she works as a freelance social media
specialist with other vegan and ethical businesses in her
seedling magazine | 21
The aeroplane in
by bethany ivy
I have never been on an aeroplane. No, never.
It didn't start out as an ethical decision it was just
circumstance. My first trip out of the UK was a school trip
to France aged 17, where we took the ferry. I wanted to see
more of the world and just assumed I would get planes
when I ventured further afield in the future.
I didn't think too much about the environmental impact. I
had a vague awareness that flying wasn't good for the
environment, but then neither is driving. It seemed like one
of those things you just couldn't avoid.I'm not sure exactly
when my mindset shifted, but I think it was after reading
George Monbiot's Heat. It's essentially a manifesto for how
we could avoid climate catastrophe without changing our
behaviour. For almost every aspect of our lives, Monbiot
came up with a way of doing this. Flying was the only
So here's what it comes down to: we can't keep flying as
much as we are and avert the worst impacts of climate
change. When I discovered this, I knew I would have to
give up on the idea of air travel.
What's so bad about
Many people I speak to are unaware of just how
environmentally damaging flying is. Like me, they compare
it to driving. But there are a few factors which make it
worse for the planet.
seedling magazine | 22
Firstly, planes emit more carbon dioxide per mile than other
forms of transportation. But their environmental impact is
also amplified by their other engine outputs and the altitude
at which they fly any emissions go straight into the
Planes emit the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide, along with
water vapour and soot. These have complicated effects on
the climate which are difficult to measure, but it's believed
that the total impact of a plane is about twice that of its
carbon dioxide emissions. And of course, flying allows us
to travel much further than we otherwise would, further
contributing to emissions.
In the UK, flying is estimated to be responsible for 13 to
15% of our greenhouse gas emissions. This may not sound
like much, but remember that most people only take a short
flight once a year, and a longer flight even less frequently
so the minority of people who fly regularly are having a
emissions tar gets
The UK government has set out plans to reduce our carbon
emissions by 80% by 2050. It's also announced plans for a
third runway at Heathrow airport, which could lead to an
extra 700 planes a day using the airport. It's hard to see how
these things are compatible.People are already flying more
as flights continue to get cheaper. The government is not
going to do anything to discourage this quite the opposite.
Change will have to happen on a personal level.
When is flying justified?
This is unlikely to be a popular opinion, but I believe we
need an end to "frivolous flying". That means no jetting off
to Lapland for Christmas, and no package holidays to
Spain. And we have to remember that the further we travel,
the more emissions we create.
There's nothing wrong with travel for the sake of travel, but
maybe we need to stay closer to home. By vowing not to
use planes, I've for the most part limited myself to Europe.
But is that really such a limit? I've barely even explored my
own country yet. How many Britons have been to Greece or
Thailand or the USA, but never the Lake District or the
Yorkshire Dales or the Highlands? These places are all still
on my bucket list.
And there is an incredible amount of Europe to explore. I
dream of travelling slowly all over the continent, taking in
every place along the way.
Back to the question of when plane travel is justified. Of
course, many of us have loved ones abroad, and I'm not
"if we all
would make a
suggesting we should never see them again! Also, some
people fly for medical treatment and other important
reasons. Flying sometimes is the only option.
What about flying for business? In the internet age, it seems
a little silly that we have people flying everywhere to go to
meetings and the like. Many could be done over Skype or
using other technology instead. Perhaps we need to start
structuring our businesses in a way that doesn't involve so
Obviously it's not down to me to say what is and isn't an
acceptable reason to fly. We all need to take responsibility
for our own actions. But imagine if we all committed to
only flying when absolutely necessary that would make a
seedling magazine | 23
Contradiction in the
At an environmental discussion I attended last week,
someone complained about an environmental group which
had recently protested at Heathrow airport. Apparently, one
of its members had flown off to Paris the next day, and two
others were flying away for Christmas. There seems to be a
disconnect in many of our minds when it comes to our own
actions. This is especially true when it comes to things we
don't want to give up, like eating animal products, driving,
and of course flying. We need to be honest with ourselves
about the impact of our actions. Giving up plastic straws is
great, but it sends the wrong message if we then jet off to
Then there are those who fly halfway around the world to
volunteer at environmental projects. Though people do this
with the best of intentions, it may do more harm than good
when the impact of their flights is taken into account. It
would make more sense to get involved in a local eco
Yes, giving up (or at least cutting down on) flying involves
a degree of sacrifice. It's certainly a loss of convenience.
But we're reaching a point where our personal convenience
needs to come second, or we won't have a planet to live on
anymore. The United Nations has warned that if we don't
act now, all hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate
change will be lost, and we'll likely experience extreme
rises in temperature, droughts, flooding, and more. As
George Monbiot points out, those who are most affected by
our choices will be the ones in developing countries who
will likely never even be able to afford to get a plane.
in renewable energy, for example.
There's a lot of debate over whether this is valid. Some
argue it's just a scam allowing people to feel good about
their bad behaviour. My opinion is that carbon offsetting is
a good idea if you must fly, but we shouldn't use it as an
excuse to carry on as normal. It's been suggested that we
should offset our flights two or three times to be sure this
is also a good idea, but again, I think we should only fly
Being vegan isn't an
excuse for flying as much
as we like
Many vegans are quick to point out that animal agriculture,
not flying, is the biggest cause of climate change. This is
true, and I absolutely advocate for the adoption of plantbased
diets as anyone who reads my blog will know!
But it's easy to get into a mindset where we think, "I'm
already doing so much to help the planet what's wrong
with taking the occasional flight?" We need to be doing as
much as we can, rather than using our existing ethical
choices as an excuse.
In developed countries, we have a certain sense of
entitlement. We've become so used to being able to be, do
and have whatever we want that we react badly when told
that we need to stop doing something. It's time we started
putting the planet first. Our future depends on it. SM
I'm writing this sitting in the park on a sunny day it's so
hot that I've taken off both my jumper and my coat. It's
February, and as much as I'm enjoying the sun, I find this
What about carbon
Many people now "carbon offset" the impact of their
flights. This means putting money towards a green project
whenever you pay for a flight. Theoretically, the amount
you pay will save enough carbon to offset the impact of
your flight. Projects may include planting trees or investing
About the writer
Bethany is a freelance writer, blogger and the editor of
Seedling. She loves books, long nature walks, cooking
delicious plantbased food, meditation and yoga.
seedling magazine | 24
seedling magazine | 25
"Health is the
seedling magazine | 26
A reflective review on the
impact our choices have on our
by Elize Lake
More than our conscious minds will ever know, our bodies
desire to survive and thrive. It’s often said how impressive
modern technology is, and its advancements are enough to
blow the mind of anyone who encounters advertisements
for the latest gadget. But do you know what I think is
tremendously impressive? Biology. Nerd Alert for sure
our bodies are incredible, to a degree that no manmade
technology can compete with.
The incredible and continuous work our bodies do for us is
so often overlooked. Survival is a subconscious mission;
we're preprogrammed to operate without having to
consciously concentrate on making our bodies work. We
breathe without thinking about it. Our cells constantly
regenerate, and our bodies work tirelessly to maintain
balance by processing the environmental toxins, stress, and
pollution that we encounter.
It’s actually profound the amount of work our bodies do for
us, and can we honestly say that we input the same level of
commitment? It is with reflection that we must ask, am I
really doing all I can for myself?
I remember spending time with a thin friend as a child.
They had a tremendously fast metabolism, and to a
stranger's eye could even have been classed as underweight;
regardless of what they consumed, absolutely no changes
were noticeable. However, this was only from the outside.
Just because there are no immediate consequences, it
doesn’t mean you can simply get away with bad choices –
there will always be an impact.
I distinctly remember my mother telling me that one day
my friend’s body would catch up with them, and if their
lifestyle choices didn’t improve, their body would degrade
faster and ultimately they would look 'unhealthy'. The
outside would come to reflect the in. Although I didn't
understand the extent of control we have over our bodies
until I was much older, this is the first conversation I
remember having about how our choices affect us. The
seedling magazine | 27
facts are there – with research, we can see just how much
our choices influence our bodies.
It’s with genuine sadness that I witness the widespread
habits of mainstream society. Things we commonly
purchase can be incredibly harmful and debilitating to us.
Yet it’s so easy to obtain these products that you’d have a
hard time believing how harmful they are in the long run.
It's similar to smoking. Smoking used to be advertised as
healthy, and its adverse side effects were covered up with
clever marketing ploys. Sadly, this still happens today, just
with different products.
It’s only through my own experience of illhealth that I’ve
come to truly understand what a good environment we can
create with the right choices, and what a damaging
environment we can create with poor choices. Exposure to
certain synthetic substances, toxins, and environments our
bodies simply weren't meant to encounter can play a
massive part in our health.
Mistreating my body by
Over the past two years, I’ve endured an interesting,
turbulent, scary, unpredictable and emotional journey with
my health. Although it has been very daunting at times, it
has also been very educational and insightful too. It all
started when I, as many women do, took a form of birth
control aged 20. I was newly single at the time, and having
had a girlfriend for two years prior, I had never had to
consider a form of protection beforehand. I was one of the
lucky gay couples who don’t want babies zero chance of
pregnancy! However, being newly single, events happened
and I took my first contraceptive pill. Over the following
two months I continued taking an emergency form of
contraception. It was so willingly handed over to me by
trained professionals that I naively didn't think I’d
experience any illeffect on my body. Boy, was I wrong.
After two months of occasional emergency contraceptives,
I got back into dating my exgirlfriend. This was truly a
blessing in disguise for many reasons – the main one being
no more synthetic substances in my system! Only now do I
realise that I was inflicting damage on my body, and I can
see that getting back with my exgirlfriend gave my body a
muchneeded vacation from the extra hormones. My body
could try to rebalance itself in peace.
After about six months of dating, we decided that
ultimately it wasn't working between us and that we were
going to end our relationship indefinitely. Time for Take
Two. I met the most handsome man I have ever set my eyes
on soon after my ex and I broke up. Luckily, he thought I
was adequate too, so we began dating. Never really having
had to consider a form of longterm contraception before,
this was a whole new experience for me. During the first
six months of my new relationship, I took the emergency
pill approximately six or seven times. Again, it being
seedling magazine | 28
willingly handed over to me led me not to question whether
any damage was being done to my wonderful body.
Obviously, as implied by the term 'emergency
contraception’, it should really only be used when accidents
occur and never as a replacement for contraception. This is
something all women should be informed about by their
The effects of birth control
Taking birth control in any form comes with potential sideeffects.
I naively thought, as with all medication warnings,
that they wouldn’t affect me. But since taking so many
emergency contraceptives, I have dealt with several issues
from my immune system becoming compromised, to
developing a severe hormonal imbalance, to amenorrhoea
and digestive issues, sudden food intolerances, allergies,
acne, anxiety, stress etc. I have spent the last 18 months
trying desperately to learn how to love my body in the
uniquely compromised state it is in.
Taking birth control can influence the brain's
communication with the ovaries and affect the alignment of
the hormones produced in the body. I was taking emergency
contraception, which is a much higher dose of hormones –
so it’s as if instead of receiving a flick on the nose from
Mike Tyson every day of the month, I received a punch
straight to the face twice a month from him instead. Whilst
both have side effects, the punch is harder for the body to
deal with because all the impact comes at once. Bottom
line... bad call.
Intuitively learning about my
My medical ordeal has been and continues to be a long
road, but ultimately I have to be grateful for it. It’s only
making mistakes that’s enabled me to really understand the
necessity to question everything. When I first took birth
control, I was a vegetarian dreaming of one day being
vegan. I ate a lot of dairy, which I now understand would
also have been impacting my hormone levels. I am now a
fully transitioned vegan who lives primarily on a whole
foods diet with little processed food. Over the past 68
months I have faded out caffeine, bread, soy, fake meat
products, and most processed foods, and have been
relearning myself from scratch. I can see now how this
learning experience has allowed me to make healthier life
Having experienced sideeffects from medication, I avoid
resorting to it if possible. This brings me back to what I was
initially talking about – making the right choices for our
individual bodies. My body's needs are different from
yours. This is why intuitive living and selfeducation are
In the same way that meat and dairy have been put onto
food pyramids and are recommended for their "health
benefits", just because someone says something, it doesn't
mean it’s true.
If you're reading this as a vegan, you hopefully oppose the
'meat is healthy' and 'milk gives you strong bones'
propaganda. Learn to question every aspect of your life
with the same suspicion you read those statements with.
Question your choices. I don't believe for a minute that
there are any benefits of consuming meat or dairy, but there
was a time when I did. Only through my own research have
I come to new conclusions.
The system we live in is entirely fixated on profit, and
corruption is very present in today's world. When you see a
product, see more than the cleverly coloured packaging and
the entertaining slogans, and question the ingredients and
the harm they could potentially do to your body. Research
medication before taking it, and be open to seeking
alternatives and holistically treating yourself if that’s an
option. You don’t always have to resort to medication
immediately just because it’s readily available; remember
that it may have sideeffects.
Big changes start with small
Even if your body is, as far as you're concerned, healthy,
you can still benefit from conducting further research into
optimal choices and learning what health means for you.
Things that have helped me:
Selflove. Every intention, whether big or small, will
impact your body. Consciously engage a filter in your brain
and give yourself some indulgently delicious selflove and
Minimising sugar. I found this to be the most difficult for
sure! I habitually have tea and biscuits every night and the
thought of not having that crunchy, crumbly rich tea dunked
into my vanilla chai herbal tea – God, would there even be
point in living without it?! It's a struggle. I'm not going to
tell you it's as easy as pie... ironically, there is nothing easy
about pie. But looking into the effects of sugar can
seedling magazine | 29
"If someone wishes for good
health, one must first ask
oneself if he is ready to do
away with the reasons for
his illness. Only then is it
possible to help him"
definitely further your understanding and help you decide
what's best to put into your body. There’s some evidence
that shows sugar can have a similar impact on our brains to
certain drugs, and for me, this was enough to encourage me
to change my habits.
I've found that not giving myself a hard time with cravings
has been a tremendous asset in creating a healthy life.
Cravings happen, and I've found that learning to accept
them whilst I work towards overcoming them is the best
way to mentally approach it turning the situation into an
'as positive as possible' scenario. The ideal is no biscuits,
but seeing as that isn't where I'm at right now, I’ve reduced
the selection of biscuits I buy. I only buy biscuits with no
palm oil or sustainable palm oil. This is my compromise; it
makes me feel good and I’m still contributing my conscious
understanding and making ethical choices I agree with.
For me, cutting out alcohol and caffeine has tremendously
aided my body. There is evidence that shows excessive
alcohol consumption can lead to profound issues with the
liver, as well as other problems. The liver is responsible for
the production of our hormones and plays an integral part in
over 500 vital roles in our bodies. Yikes, that is a lot!
Having drunk only water for many, many years, I can
definitely say that this choice has helped my body, and from
my own personal experience, contributed to my overall
health. Water can be jazzed up with all sorts of fruits to
keep things interesting, so it doesn't always have to be the
Switching from plastics to glass! I had no idea about the
potentially harmful substances in some plastics. I’m in the
process of swapping all the plastics in my house for glass. I
decant packaged foods into glass Kilners, I've invested in
some savvy glass lunch boxes and have swapped my plastic
bottle for a beautiful glass one. Small changes like this not
only help the environment (which will always make me feel
better), but also minimise toxin exposure.
During my medical ordeal, I also transitioned to eating
mostly organic. Again, before my passion for health came
into fruition, I never really knew the difference between
organic and nonorganic. I've found that eating organic is
better for me. It makes me feel better, and quite often the
organic items I buy come less heavily packaged, so it really
is a win win!
Learning about my body has also been key in
understanding what my body needs. Our bodies are
constantly communicating with us, and it’s up to us to learn
and interpret their needs. If you get a blemish on your face,
there’s a reason for it. Imbalance in the body can lead to
seedling magazine | 30
skin ailments the body ingeniously expels harmful toxins
this way. I've personally found face mapping to be an
excellent and insightful tool for understanding what parts of
my body need extra support.
This journey has time and time again highlighted the
necessity of managing stress. Taking time to relax and
unwind away from the daily stresses of life really does
impact the body and mind in a positive way. In the same
way that everybody's health is individual and subjective,
this is true for the best ways to destress. I've found that
dedicating time to relaxation and doing at least one thing
that makes me feel good daily has contributed
tremendously to my mind and body's health.
Do something today your future
self will thank you for”
I am not a medical professional and don’t advise changing
anything based solely on what I have written. This article
was to highlight my own experiences and the steps that
have aided me. I actively encourage further research on all
subjects if you’re considering changing your lifestyle to
aligns with what you're trying to achieve.
Choosing a more holistic and intuitive way of life takes
time. There are often alternatives to modern medicines,
ancient remedies proven to be effective without the
potential sideeffects some modern medications harbour.
But always speak to a professional when contemplating any
form of medicinal treatment. Life is full of choices, and
only by making poor ones can we learn and do better. I
hope I have piqued your curiosity and you will question
what you put into your body whether it is food, drink or
drugs in the future. SM
About the writer
Elize is a startup blogger focusing on skin positivity,
overcoming Post Birth Control Syndrome and learning
to rebalance her body and support her organs with a
tailored whole foods plantbased approach.
seedling magazine | 31
The Quiet Activist
by Hannah Parry
The word “activist” can be quite divisive. Think of historic
activists and you’ll probably imagine suffragettes chained to
railings, or men dressed as superheroes abseiling down
famous buildings. Greenpeace performs activism with its fleet
of ships by intercepting and bearing witness to environmental
crimes around the world. But activism can be much more than
these bold and potentially dangerous displays of discontent.
Here’s how I am a “quiet activist”, and why this is just as
important as headlinegrabbing stunts.
It was winter 2018 when I packed my tiny car full of
donations and made the stormy journey across the Channel to
work for Care4Calais. Care4Calais is a small charity in
northern France which helps refugees and displaced people
who are living in Calais, Dunkirk and even as far afield as
Paris and Brussels. The charity provides clothes, tents,
sleeping bags and other necessary items to those who have
made the long and difficult journey from wartorn or
oppressive countries with the hope of finding a better life in
seedling magazine | 32
Due to bad weather and brutal treatment by the police, the
struggle is neverending tents are confiscated, clothes are
ruined, dignity is savaged. Care4Calais relies almost entirely
on volunteers, and I was one of them. On each day of the
month I was there, I worked in the warehouse preparing for
distribution later in the day. I went to Paris and Brussels with
vanloads of warm bedding and clothing to help the hundreds
and hundreds of people living in miserable circumstances.
This was my activism. By going myself, I generated a huge
amount of interest from people back home friends and work
communities showed curiosity and amazing generosity when
they heard what I was doing.
Now, I can give those people (and anyone who will listen)
firsthand accounts of chatting with an Afghan teacher, an
Iranian lawyer and teenagers from Eritrea and Iraq. I helped
people in a practical way I can’t express how necessary the
work of the charity is to the survival of these desperate people
but I also witnessed and continue to share the stories of these
volunteers from any
background for as
little as an afternoon
of work. Get in touch
via their website
you would like more
individuals the media has forgotten. This is my quiet activism.
Listen and I’ll tell you what it’s like to stand in the cold, to
laugh and to cry, to learn fragments of exotic languages and to
meet friends for life.
But anyone can perform tiny acts of “everyday activism”.
There are many opportunities over the course of your day to
raise awareness of an issue you feel is important. By asking
for dairyfree milk in a cafe when you can’t see any, you can
contribute towards creating demand. Telling your waiter that
you picked their restaurant because of their plantbased
offerings does the same. Join a protest march. Volunteer with
a local homeless charity. Sign and share petitions about
fracking and wildlife on social media.
Bearing witness was another theme when I was backpacking
in Southeast Asia. As the heat of the day gathered about me, I
wondered what I was doing there, listening to the stories of
the Killing Fields in Cambodia. The brutal, violent acts
carried out in the name of the Khmer Rouge resulted in
millions of Cambodians being murdered. The narrator on the
audio guide wasn’t just a narrator. He had lived through the
atrocities; he had lost his family. He asked us to bear witness.
To remember the dead and to learn for the future. Talking to
my friends after our visit, we discussed why tourists want to
visit the Killing Fields, former Nazi concentration camps and
similar sites of sadness and violence, and also whether it is
ethical to do so. My view is that, as a citizen of the world, I
have a responsibility to listen and learn about the history of
the planet. Places which have such desperate histories are
often in need of tourism to boost the economy so that
rebuilding can occur. This is my activism remembering
those killed and telling their story, learning, so that it might
not happen again.
Refuse to have a plastic straw with your cocktail. Join your
local Greenpeace group, and deliver plastic packaging back to
the supermarket. Buy everyone in your family a reusable
water bottle. Cycle instead of driving. Post photos of your
amazing vegan food or your wastefree toiletries on
Instagram. Stimulate conversation about things you believe in.
All of these tiny acts add up (how many plastic bags are saved
by buying just one reusable cloth bag?). Anything you are
able to do as part of your everyday activism contributes to our
common cause. SM
About the writer
Laura WhenMaria she can Grierson sit still is long a writer enough, andHannah editor from the
Traveller Middlesbrough, is a writer NorthEast and blogger. England. The rest She ofcreates
business she’s running content orfor hiking a range or cooking of industries, up vegan edits feasts both
somewhere fiction and nonfiction, in the worldand orher playing poetry theand organ! short Find stories out
more at have www.hannahparry.co.uk/hannahthetraveller.
been published in UK anthologies.
Not everyone can visit exotic locations or volunteer in France.
seedling magazine | 33
from vegan cooks Miggs McTaylor and Holly
seedling magazine | 34
I recently tried a few nobake
granola bars with varying results,
and none had the satisfying crunch I
was after. Maybe someone out there
has a nobake crunchy bar that
doesn’t fall apart, but I haven’t seen
These bars, though, are exactly what
I’ve been craving.
The recipe is kind of a half and half:
you roast the oats and nuts and then
stir in everything else. Easy peasy.
And they’re good in an airtight
container in the fridge or at room
temperature for up to a week.
3/4 cup agave nectar, divided
2 Tbsp vegan butter
3 cups rolled oats
6oz (170g) pack of slivered almonds
Coarse salt, to taste
1 cup dried cherries or other dried fruit, chopped
1/3 cup crunchy nut or seed butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 325° and lightly butter two 8"x8" baking
2. Place 1/4 cup agave nectar and butter in a small glass bowl
and microwave in increments of 15 seconds, stirring each time,
until butter is melted.
seedling magazine | 35
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, almonds, and 1/2 tsp.
4. Drizzle agave and melted butter over oat mixture and stir to
5. Spread evenly onto a large baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes,
stirring halfway, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from
oven and allow to cool completely, around 10 minutes.
6. Return mixture to the large mixing bowl. Stir in the cherries
or other dried fruit. Set aside.
7. In a saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup agave nectar, nut
or seed butter, and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a
boil then reduce heat and continue cooking, stirring frequently
until sugar is dissolved, around 10 minutes.
8. Remove from heat and drizzle over oat mixture, stirring to
9. Pour equal amounts into each of the prepared pans. Press
everything down firmly and evenly.
10. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before slicing.
spaghetti with brussels sprouts
This companyworthy pasta dinner with inseason flavors of roasted Brussels sprouts and lemony, toasted Panko breadcrumbs
for a crisp, light touch on top is actually super easy to toss together.
We begin with roasting the Brussels sprouts. Meanwhile, the breadcrumbs are toasting and the pasta is cooking.
The Brussels sprouts are then cooked with white wine and garlic, tossed with the cooked spaghetti, then topped with
breadcrumbs, vegan Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Dinner is done.
See? I told you it was easy.
seedling magazine | 36
3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved or quartered
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
Zest of 1 medium size lemon
1 16ounce (450g) pack of spaghetti
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
Vegan Parmesan cheese, grated, and
red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F/205°C.
2. Toss Brussels sprouts lightly with 1 tablespoon olive oil add salt and pepper to taste. Onto a baking sheet, spread Brussels
sprouts in an even layer. Roast 1520 minutes or until fork tender.
3. To a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot, add breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden in color. Remove from heat and toss with lemon zest.
Remove breadcrumbs to a mediumsized bowl and set aside.
4. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions and set aside.
5. To the skillet used for breadcrumbs, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. When oil is hot, add roasted Brussels sprouts and
garlic. Cook over medium heat for 23 minutes, until heated through.
6. Add white wine, remaining 1 tablespoon sea salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Continue cooking another 23
minutes, until wine is reduced by half.
7. To the Brussels sprouts mixture, add cooked spaghetti. Toss to coat well.
8. Divide pasta among serving bowls. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, vegan Parmesan cheese, and red pepper flakes. Serve warm.
About the cook
Holly is a contributor to VegNews and USA Vegan
magazine, a recipe developer, and a homeschooler. Find
more of her recipes on her blog, This Wife Cooks.
seedling magazine | 37
kumara steaks with
harissa roasted caulflower and
black turtle bean hummus
Most people are aware of the quote “ you eat with your eyes” these ingredients could be chopped up and stewed
together in a onepot for meal, or with a little more effort, attractively plated and served as a tasty meal.
This dish comprises three elements. Each element can be prepared ahead of serving; this is ideal if you plan to
entertain and want to make an impressive dish look effortless. But all three components can also be enjoyed
individually, and make great additions to your vegan repertoire.
The black turtle bean hummus is a tasty dip or spread on toast. The harissaroasted cauliflower could be added to a
salad or a side dish for any vegan table. And last, but not least, the kumara steaks (which are really just giant flat oven
chips) are something interesting to throw on the BBQ this summer.
Individually they're incredibly tasty together they are colourfully (and tastily) impressive.
seedling magazine | 38
Black turtle bean hummus
400g can/ 1 cup cooked black turtle beans
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1∕4 tsp fine sea salt
1∕2 tsp hot smoked paprika
1∕2 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 head of cauliflower
12 Tbsp harissa paste
2 Tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1. For the hummus: Put all the ingredients in a food
processor or use a stick blender to make a smooth puree. If
using homecooked unsalted beans, you may need to adjust
2. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Trim the outer
leaves and base from the cauliflower, trim off florets, then
cut into bitesize pieces.
3. Put harissa paste, olive oil, lemon juice and zest into a
mixing bowl and stir to combine; toss the cauliflower florets
in the mixture to coat. Season with sea salt and pepper.
4. Roast 30 minutes or until tender; toss cauliflower or shake
the baking tray after 10 minutes to ensure even roasting.
5. Slice kumara into 1cm thick slices lengthwise and brush
or spray with olive oil. Season with sea salt. Optional Heat
griddle pan to a medium heat, place each slice on the griddle
for 57 minutes on each side, or until there are black char
lines. Finish in the oven until tender.
7. Bake oiled kumara slices in the oven on a baking paperlined
tray for 1520 minutes, or until cooked.
1 large kumara (aka sweet potato) per 2 people
Place a kumara steak on a plate, spread with black turtle
bean hummus and top with florets of harissaroasted
cauliflower. A side of greens and sprinkle of salty green
olives finish the dish nicely.
About the cook
Having trained as a professional chef, Miggs
graduated to being a Botanical Cuisine Specialist after
completing the eCornell Plant Based Nutrition
Certificate and Rouxbe's PlantBased Professional
Course. You can find her recipes here.
seedling magazine | 39
Appreciating the world with photos of beautiful places
By Farin Montanez
seedling magazine | 40
By Sabree Simmons
Do you have a beautiful nature photo from your part of the world? Submit it by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org, and be featured on this page next issue! You'll get a link back to your site or
social media account too.
seedling magazine | 41
should we be
day and age?
by Johnathan Skinner
Most of us experience strong parental instincts at some point
in our lives. It could be that you've wanted children your
whole life, or perhaps it suddenly hits you in your 30s.
Wanting children is a natural instinct which helps drive the
survival of humans as a species – without it, we might not be
In today's world, however, we should be asking ourselves if
having more children is the right thing to do. The human
population is approximately 7.5 billion, and is rising at an
exponential rate. Humans have been around for about 200,000
years, but there's never been such an extreme level of
population growth as there has been in the past 200 years. At
the beginning of the 1800s, the population was estimated to be
1 billion, growing to around 1.6 billion in the year 1900. Now,
just one hundred years later, it's exploded to over 7 billion and
is still continuing upward.
Every person has an environmental impact. The food we eat,
the products we buy, and the plastic it's packaged in all cost
seedling magazine | 42
future of our species, but in this day and age it is also a threat
to that very future.
How can we fulfil our
the earth. Raw materials are excavated, transported, and
processed. Food is shipped all around the world. The creation
and distribution of food and products to fill the needs and
wants of billions of people results in an incredible strain on
resources and huge quantities of pollution, not to mention the
waste generated along the way from unused products and
The demands on the earth to sustain the human population
outweigh its ability to sustain it. As a result, we're facing
catastrophic consequences, including humancaused climate
change to an extent that threatens the entire planet's survival.
We can and should each individually make changes in our
lives which greatly reduce our environmental impact (such as
avoiding the largest sources of pollution: meat and other
animalsourced products, unnecessary air travel, and excess
Our parental instincts represent a complex set of emotional
needs, including: the desire to be a protector, to pass on
wisdom, to give love, and to feel loved unconditionally.
Understanding these needs allows us to choose alternative
ways of fulfilling them, such as the following:
Volunteering with children – There are numerous groups in
need of volunteers to help run activities for children of various
ages, such as Scouts, Guides, or helping with children's
programs at libraries and community centres.
Adopting animals – If you want to bring love into your
home, then adopting from a rescue centre or shelter will
definitely do the trick, and you'll be providing a muchneeded
home to an animal in need.
Housemates – Sharing your home with some friendly chatty
housemates who share your values would liven up the place,
and you may even find yourself with some new best friends.
Fostering or adoption – There are millions of children
already here in the world who lack a loving home and are in
need of people just like you to be parental figures, even if
only temporarily through foster care. The application process
can take a year or two, but the positive difference you'll make
to that child's life will last a lifetime. SM
plastic and consumer goods), but regardless of how much we
reduce, we must consume to survive. It's only by having fewer
people on the planet that we can make lasting permanent
reductions in the strain on the environment worldwide.
It's also worth considering that given the doomandgloom
forecast for the earth's future, is this really a world we want to
bring more children into? What kind of future will they have?
It's possible that things will turn around and we could avoid a
climate disaster, but is it worth the risk? The parental instincts
we have come from a desire to protect our children and the
About the writer
Johnathan has been vegan and an activist for
nearly two decades, and has devoted his career to
making apps and websites exclusively for vegan
seedling magazine | 43
The phrase 'be yourself' is repeated so often that it has become
a cliche. Whenever we're stressing out about a job interview
or making a good first impression, wellmeaning friends and
family members will tell us to 'just be ourselves'.
I can't be the only one who has always found this advice
frustrating. I suspect many of us just don't know what it means
to be ourselves. And it's something I think I'm only just
starting to figure out.
The answer, of course, is that you're probably not making
anything up. We all tend to behave in completely different
ways with different people. That's because the way someone
interacts with us, and the dynamic between them and us,
naturally shapes our behaviour. Most researchers who have
studied this topic agree that there is no one 'true self'. So no
wonder we're so confused!
Culture and self
Widespread confusion about this has sparked the idea of
'finding yourself', which has become an eyerollinducing
cliche in its own right! And I have become confused all over
again about what it means to 'find yourself' and how exactly
you're supposed to do it.
So why are so many of us confused about something as
fundamental as who we are? There are a few factors at play.
The situation is further complicated by the influence of
culture. Some cultures value extroversion, for example, and so
many people in these cultures will display extroverted traits.
Other cultures are the other way around. And this applies to
many other traits too. It's virtually impossible to separate
ourselves from the environment we grew up in. Our culture
and those around us have a huge influence on how we
What is the authentic self?
Have you ever noticed that you behave completely differently
around different people? You may be lively and playful with
your kids but calm and professional at work, for example. Or
maybe some friends bring out your crazy funloving side,
whilst others stimulate debate and deep discussions.
Does this mean that you must be faking some of your traits, if
they appear to be contradictory? How can you tell which ones
All this makes it tempting to declare that self as a concept is
useless and should be abandoned. But I feel it depends on
what we think of as the self.
All too often, we define who we are by what we like and
dislike, how we look, where we work and so on. None of
these makes us who we are, but I do believe it is possible to
form a deeper sense of self based on authenticity and values.
seedling magazine | 44
I told the story on my blog of I how I studied computer
science at uni, thinking I should do something that would get
me a good job. The uni tried to push me into doing a
placement at an investment bank or a software development
company. But after a few mindnumbing sessions of listening
to company representatives drone on about how great it was to
work there, I just couldn't do it anymore. I knew it wouldn't be
true to myself to take on any of those placements, and I just
couldn't motivate myself to do it. I dropped out of the
placements program, and ended up leaving uni too. That
decision, inspired by a friend of mine who encouraged me to
follow my truth, was based on a deeper recognition of what
my core values were. In other words, I realised that I am a
creative and freespirited person, and working in an
investment bank would probably have destroyed me!
Underneath our egos, we all have some deepseated core
values like compassion, perseverance and groundedness. And
if we derive our sense of self from these, we are much more
likely to live and behave in an authentic way.
"It's possible to
form a deeper
sense of self based
This is another phrase that sounds kind of cheesy, but I'm
coming to believe that personal growth just means learning to
live in line with your core values, like the ones I mentioned
above. When we do this, we begin to live with intention,
becoming driven to pursue the life we want. We realise the
value of having a purpose in life, beyond making money or
simply surviving. And we stop letting our fears, doubts and
insecurities hold us back and dictate how we live.
Living authentically and with intention benefits us in so many
ways. Tough situations become challenges rather than threats.
Life begins to go our way. We are happier, have better
relationships, laugh more. We act with integrity, because we
know our values. And we become confident in our strengths
and abilities, because we are grounded in who we are. That, to
me, is what being yourself is all about. SM
seedling magazine | 45
are doing wrong
If you are an activist, you probably spend a lot of time
encouraging people to stop doing things. I know I do! ‘Stop
supporting animal exploitation’, ‘don't use disposable plastic’
and so on. And sometimes this approach does a lot to raise
awareness and get people thinking. But is it really effective
activism? All too often, it seems somewhat lacking when it
comes to getting people to actually change their behaviour.
And the key problem with this approach is that it focuses on
the negatives ‘don't do that’ or ‘[insert thing] is really bad for
This can sometimes make people feel helpless. They can see
why something is bad, but they have no idea what to do about
At one Earthlings Experience demo I did, a passerby became
very upset and frustrated. She could see that the footage was
awful, but there were no members of the outreach team
available to talk to her. This left her feeling at a loss as to how
to avoid the cruelty she had witnessed.
I've realised that simply pointing out what's bad isn't effective
activism we also need to provide viable alternatives.
Consider the following ways of phrasing a statement, for
‘Eating meat is cruel, bad for the
environment and unhealthy.
seedling magazine | 46
Consider eliminating it from your
‘Eating meat is cruel, bad for the
environment and unhealthy.
Consider replacing it with
alternatives like soy products, or
swapping it for lentils and beans
in your favourite recipes.’
The difference is that the second option offers a clear pathway
to eliminating meat, whereas the first does not. It tells people
what to start doing, rather than what to stop doing.
‘We should stop growing crops as
monocultures because it has a
negative impact on biodiversity.’
‘We should switch from
monocultures to permaculture to
help promote biodiversity,
increase food production and
reduce our reliance on
Which is more convincing?
One of the most successful animal activist events I ever took
part in was a free vegan food stall. It removed the
confrontational element often present in street activism, but
more importantly, it helped to show people that there is an
alternative to the way they currently eat. We had so many
great conversations, and it felt like truly effective activism it
was more positive than any other event I had participated in.
You will never
Of course, some people remain resistant even in the face of
viable alternatives. They will make all sorts of excuses about
why they can't possibly change their behaviour.
There was a segment on the radio the other day about
charging more for takeaway coffee cups to encourage people
to bring their own cups. One enraged listener phoned in
saying there was no way she could bring her own cup because
it ‘wasn't convenient’ and ‘didn't fit with her lifestyle’.
She also said it was unfair to expect people to pay more for
their coffee. When the idea of bringing a flask instead was
suggested, she complained that she didn't want to spend
money on buying a flask even though it would have saved
her a fortune in the long run!
Some people just won't be convinced, no matter how
compelling the alternatives. In these instances, it's probably
best to focus on someone more receptive for the sake of your
own sanity, if nothing else!
The takeaway here is that most people want to minimise
disruption to their lifestyles, so we must help them to do that
if we really want them to change. It may seem selfish when
someone won't give up plastic for the sake of the
environment, for example, but we must try to see where
they’re coming from. We can suggest convenient alternatives
they may not have considered, like bamboo toothbrushes and
metal drinking straws. And lifestyle changes can be
contagious. Someone who switches to zerowaste toiletries
may take their whole family with them, and those family
members, in turn, may influence their friends. Change is farreaching,
so let's create as much of it as we can. SM
seedling magazine | 47
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