Monday, January 24, 2011

Meat-Free Monday: The Petition

Meat-Free Mondays: Are you up for it?

Did you know that by not eating meat for just one day a week, you really can help to slash levels of dangerous greenhouse gas emissions in the air you breathe?

A “meat-free” day of the week is not a new idea. Countries across Europe have already suggested the idea to their respective governments, some of which have embraced the idea. Belgium’s Ghent Town Council introduced a “Meat-Free Thursday” in 2009, which is still going strong.

By opting to take part in a similar campaign here in Ireland, you too can make a contribution to the environment. Dangerous greenhouse emissions are a direct result of mass cattle farming and, as we all know, Ireland is a major beef farming nation.

Our country must now accept a slice of responsibility for the global increase in greenhouse gas emissions. It can, and should, demonstrate to the world a commitment to make its carbon footprint smaller.

The benefits of ‘Meat-free Monday’ are immense: you lower your intake of meat and reduce your carbon footprint. You also improve your health and make sure fewer animals in Clare are slaughtered for food. Consider this: if demand for meat lessens – even just a small bit - more land, typically used for cattle grazing, can be used instead to cultivate trees, organic vegetables and grains. This is good news, especially for Clare. Why?

  • The Centre for Environmental Living and Training (CELT) is based in Clare. CELT is dedicated to environmental awareness and is right now driving forward their Agroforestry campaign. Agroforestry involves the integration of trees into farming systems to create more diverse, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems. It also reduces the need for fertilizers by providing habitats for natural predators. These natural predators eat ‘pests’, negating the need for harsh chemical fertilizers.

We can help CELT’s Agroforestry policy by spearheading a campaign to eat less meat and therefore reduce the amount of space needed on farms for cattle grazing.

If you want to commit yourself to Clare Veg Group’s meat-free Monday campaign, please sign our petition here:

All movements start out small and grow bigger and bigger the more people get involved. We want Clare can be the first county in Ireland to launch “Meat-Free Monday.” We can lead by example and get the whole country on board. It’s down to you.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apples, Men on Bikes and Naughty Seeds...

Irish Seed Savers is made up of a few special ingredients, chief of which is commitment to perpetuate the seeds of Irish plant life. Since 1991 the organisation has been flourishing side by side with its Native Apple Collection, Grain Collection and its Seed Bank, which contains more than 600 rare and endangered vegetable varieties. Seed Savers, you might say, is Ireland’s answer to Captain Planet.   

Chrys Gardner is project manager at the organisation’s Scariff-based headquarters. She spoke to the Clare Veg Group at its last meeting about the work and ethos of the not-for-profit organisation. Passion seems to be the nectar on which Seed Savers thrives, if photographs of blooming flower gardens, smiling faces and hard-at-work communities are to go by. The grounds are a veritable plant sanctuary, a co-operative community bound together by a genuine interest in sustaining the earth.

There are over 140 varieties of apple in Ireland, she told our amazed group. The survival of these varieties, she said, is due in large part to the Trojan work of an Irish Doctor who cycled around Ireland in the forties picking branches from apple trees. Dr Keith Lamb embarked on a lone mission to sustain the variety of Ireland’s native apple trees and to gather information for his research, which he kept for posterity.

His research was presented to Seed Savers, as well as Dr Michael Hennerty’s, former head of the Department of Horticulture at University College Dublin. Thanks to the work of pioneering individuals such as these, Seed Savers is now home to a very unique orchard: one where 33 self-rooting varieties flourish without the need for grafting for propagation. Seed Savers's Native Irish Apple collection is also home to over 140 native Irish varieties.

It’s not all apple pie and custard however, she warned, explaining the darker side of seed cultivation. The EU has enforced directives banning the sale of seeds, and placing others on a sort of ‘naughty seed’ list, banning even their planting. The motivation behind this draconian measure, she explained - not to anyone’s surprise - is to allow multinational food corporations control of the food supply. She explained that many multinationals are now encouraging the growth of hybrid seeds at the risk of wiping out the originals.

Seed Savers is one force that is determined to not allow this to happen in Ireland. They run many wonderful courses to support a vegetarian lifestyle, such as growing organic vegetables and medicinal herbs, and vegetarian cooking classes. They are a charitable organisation of huge integrity and we feel excited about our future relationship with them as well as others like them.

For more information about Seed Savers, visit

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vegetarian Cooking Class

Combining cooking skills with Ayurvedic nutrition this course will leave you with a comprehensive understanding of food, seasonal diets & eating according to your body type. Click on link below for more info;

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Animals in Wine.

For those of you who haven't decided to stop drinking as part of your New Years Resolution, maybe the info on will be enough to encourage you to choose your tipples more carefully...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Vegetarian Restaurant Paris

Vegetarian Restaurant - Paris.
Going by the reviews Le Poutager du Marais had on and also I simply had to see for myself. This place is a little gem. Its charming and rustic and oh so french! Wall hanging plants at the entrance gives an instant organic feel. Although we had no reservation, the staff were very accommodating and spoke good English. He squeezed us in (and I literally mean 'squeezed' as the tables are very close together but it adds to the cosiness). We had pureed chickpeas with salad and beautiful french bread for starters. For mains we vegetable gratin with fried potatoes, and quinoa/tofu burger with goats cheese with salad and pureed brocoli. Only for we were in a busy restaurant I would have licked the plate. It was colourful and tasty and there was plenty of it. Service was top class also. Although we didn't have room for dessert there was a big selection with the vegan chocolate cake coming highly recommended. For more info see the website of Le Poutager du Marais

International Vegan Festival

13th International Vegan Festival 4th - 12th June, 2011
Elimar Hotel - Rincón de la Victoria, Málaga (Spain)
for more info see