Seedling Magazine Issue #4 - April/May 2019


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 travelling.

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.


ISSUE #4 | APR/MAY 2019




for the






taking understated



is it possible?

seedling magazine | 1

thank you to

our sponsors

We are so grateful to our amazing sponsors for helping to support this issue! Be sure to check

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The UK's most eco-friendly energy supplier - and the only vegan-friendly one!

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seedling magazine | 2

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Bethany Ivy

© 2019 Bethany Ivy

While every effort has been made to

ensure that information is correct at the

time of publication, the authors and

editor cannot be held responsible

for the outcome of any action or

decision based on the information

contained in this publication.

Hey everyone,

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

warranty for the completeness or

accuracy of this publication’s content

or opinions.

This magazine is not intended as a

substitute for medical advice. The

reader should consult a doctor in

matters relating to his/her health,

particularly with respect to any

symptoms that may require diagnosis

or medical attention.

No part of this publication may be

reproduced or transmitted in any form

without prior written permission of the

editor. Permission is only deemed valid

if approval is in writing.

All images used have been sourced via

Pixabay, or are used with the

permission of (or appropriate credit to)

the owner.

seedling magazine | 4

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seedling magazine | 5


Click the titles to go directly to the articles!


32.......the quiet activist

42......should we be having children in this day and


body 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

seedling magazine | 7


Up Vegan

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

homemade though.

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

others think."

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

warm stews.

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.

seedling magazine | 9

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,”

Beth explained.

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 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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Eat More


Live More


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

most fulfilling

lives, not put our

health at risk."

We all know that correlation doesn’t equal causation. There

seedling magazine | 14

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

elementary school.

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


seedling magazine | 16

seedling magazine | 17

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

vice versa)!

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

money too.

­ 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

to do.

­ 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

spare time.

seedling magazine | 21

The aeroplane in

the room

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

huge impact.

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


to only

flying when


necessary it

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

much travel.

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

huge difference.

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

when necessary.

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

greatest of

human blessings"

– Hippocrates

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

healthcare professionals.

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

choices overall.

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

ensure it

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

Care4Calais welcomes

volunteers from any

background for as

little as an afternoon

of work. Get in touch

via their website if

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

the time,

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

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

crunchy homemade

granola bars

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

coat well.

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

coat thoroughly.

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

and breadcrumbs

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

Serves 4­6

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

Harissa-roasted cauliflower

­ 1 head of cauliflower

­ 1­2 Tbsp harissa paste

­ 2 Tbsp olive oil

­ Juice and zest of 1 lemon

­ Sea salt

­ Olive oil

Kumara steaks

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

the seasoning.

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

­ Olive oil

­ Sea salt

To serve

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

eautiful planet

Appreciating the world with photos of beautiful places

Meteora, Greece

By Farin Montanez

Instagram: @spiritedvegan

seedling magazine | 40

Carmarthenshire, Wales

Carmarthenshire, Wales

By Sabree Simmons

Instagram: @theveganbree

Bristol, England

Do you have a beautiful nature photo from your part of the world? Submit it by emailing, 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

having children

in this

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

here today.

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

parental instincts

without having


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

single­use packaging.

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

thoughts about...

being yourself

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.

Multiple selves

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

are genuine?

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


does it

mean to




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.

Personal growth

"It's possible to

form a deeper

sense of self based

on authenticity

and values."

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

the environment’.

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.

How about:

‘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?

Applying these


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

convince everyone

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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