NEW Vegan Market launching in Reading TOMORROW!

Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply looking to include more plant based and/or cruelty free products in your life it’s time to get excited! Why? Oh, only because there is as a NEW vegan market launching in Reading TOMORROW from 10am!

The market, which will be held at Station Road, takes place on the final Saturday of every month and has been setup by Ethic Collective, who aim to bring together those with a desire for sustainable and ethical living.

What to expect at tomorrows market:

  • Hot food – Vegivores and Nourish.
  • Cheeses – Silver Moon.
  • Sweet delights – Hartland Fudge, cakes by Cocolico.
  • Beauty products – Mind, Body and Soul Therapies, Essential oils by Sam
  • Art – QItiji

To find out more and plan your visit head over to:
Meetup event page
Facebook event page

A heads up that the April event will take place on Saturday 28th April to coincide with Are You Listening music festival and will boast many stalls. You can inquire about stall space at the market by popping them an email.

I will be heading down for sure, so maybe catch you there. Enjoy!

Peace and love!

n i c o l a   n a g e v
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FANRBOROUGH VIGILS AND VEGAN FOOD

Hi guys!

I’ve got a new video up on my YouTube from a vigil I attended in Farnborough on Tuesday.

Check it out:

If you would like to come along to a vigil visit our facebook page and drop us a message. Alternatively, if you’re based elsewhere check out The Save Movement for a list of all established groups. Please note that not all groups are associated with The Save Movement, including Farnborough Vigils, so may not appear on the list.

If you know of a slaughterhouse that does not currently have an activist group holding vigils and are interested in starting one yourself please feel free to drop me a comment below.


On Sunday I will be eating all the grub and listening to talks at Brighton VegFest. Let me know if you’re around! I will be filming so be sure to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss the video.

Happy Thursday! N x

Nicola Rose Streak
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Anti Racism March and Vegan Fried Chicken

Hi guys,

So I have just started my vlogging journey! Yesterday I headed to London with some friends for the Anti Racism March. Afterwards, as a reward for standing for hours in minus degrees and snow we headed to Temple of Camden for some vegan fried ‘chicken’.

Check it out here:

I am filming two other videos over the next week so if you like what you see be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss out on the next ones. I don’t know where I’ll end up taking this channel. It’s very much going to be a journey for me. Most of what I’ll be filming is based around veganism, animal rights, lifestyle and mental health.

Please give a thumbs up (or down) and drop a comment if you feel compelled.

Happy Sunday! N x

Nicola Rose Streak
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What I eat in a Day

Hi guys,

Just a quick post to give you a bit of an insight into what my diet looks like on an average day! I would say this is one of the healthier days so perhaps my next ‘What I eat in a Day’ blog will reveal all the naughty things I not so secretly eat.


Breakfast

Breakfast is hands down my favourite meal of the day. When people say they don’t eat breakfast I genuinely feel sad for them for missing out on something so great! I usually have Oats. Luckily for me, this healthy breakfast option is my absolute favourite. If I could I would have oats for breakfast lunch and dinner, I’m not kidding.

So usually in a rush for work I take a container of oats with frozen berries, ground flaxseed and agave nectar. At work I then add hot water. Sometimes I’ll substitute flaxseed for chia seeds, depending on whats in the cupboard. On the weekend when I have a bit more time, and preferably after I have done some sort of fasted cardio, I will cook the oats in almond or oat milk and add cinnamon, raisins, walnuts, cocoa nibs and a chopped banana, with a swirl of agave nectar. The latter is higher in calories, hence the cardio.

breakfast.jpg


Lunch

During the working week I tend to take a packed lunch rather than needlessly spend any spare money going out and buying from the supermarket. I guess I do tend to stick to similar options, which I know if probably a bit boring but a lot of people seem to just have a sandwich so I like to think I switch it up a little bit. I usually either have a wrap, soup or leftovers from dinner the night before. Yesterday I had a Spinach wrap with hummus, siracha, cucumber, mushrooms, spinach and two Linda McCartney Veggie (SFV) sausages.

lunch

Dinner

I try to stick to this rule: Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. Quite often I go to the gym straight from work and so by the time I get home it’s about 8pm. Therefore I try to have something light otherwise I don’t sleep well. Usually on evenings where Tom and I are both around we will make a big batch of something tasty to last us a few days. This saves time and money. Last night I had leftover lentil bolognese with giant cous cous and curly kale!

Dinner 2


Snacks

I usually have breakfast about 9am and lunch around 2/3pm so I’ll have an apple and a banana as late morning snacks. If I know I’m going straight to the gym I’ll often grab a Trek or Cliff Bar or occasionally I’ll just eat a tin of pulses just to give me some extra energy. Yes, I eat the beans straight from the tin – I don’t care!

So there you have it. This is a particular healthy day to me, although not uncommon really. Look out for my next post which will show you some of the naughtier things I eat!

Thanks for reading – N x

Nicola Rose Streak
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The Best Independent Vegan Eateries in and around Reading, UK

Hey gang,

After the success of this years Veganuary and with it being Plant Power Day I thought I would write a post about my recommendations for best vegan eateries in and around Reading. Knowing that the vegan community in Reading is ever growing I thought this would be especially helpful to new vegans in the area who aren’t sure where to go. It also seems that more and more non-vegans are looking to try new things in an effort to cut down on meat, dairy and eggs and so this is for you guys too!

I like to think I know Reading pretty heckin well, having lived in and around Reading my entire life, so I hope that this is useful to some. If, like me, you enjoy scouting out smaller, independently run businesses then you’ll enjoy this, as I aim to run through a variety of independent food outlets. After this I will be writing a follow up post with my best recommendations on eating vegan at chain restaurants found in Reading.

Unfortunately Reading doesn’t yet have an all vegan restaurant or cafe so my recommendations are those which have great, tried and tasted vegan options and have been positively reviewed by my friends and family also. It surely can’t be long before someone opens up shop though as there is definitely a gap in the market.

*After writing this I realised that nearly all of my recommendations are not actually in central Reading but in a small town just across the River Thames called Caversham which is super easy to get to by foot, bike, bus or car.

1# Nomad – a snug bakery situated on Prospect Street in Caversham, just a hop over Caversham Bridge from Reading. Nomad has a constantly changing menu thanks to owner, Laura’s passion for experimenting with new recipes. This cute bakery makes fresh bread daily and has many savoury lunch options from soup to paninis, as well as vegan sweet treats from healthy flapjacks to giant naughty monster cakes. My personal favourite is a Macha Muffin with Oatly Tea or a toasty, letting Nomad have free rain on what veggies they put in. If you’re lucky you might even get to try some of Laura’s delicious seitan – ask about it when you go in. The restaurant is super allergy friendly and so if there is something you like the look of but aren’t sure is suitable Laura and the team will do their best to accommodate you. What I love even more about Nomad is their regular calendar of events which include a Vegan themed evening once every other month or so. You can also privately hire Nomad for an evening dinner party. Find out more here!

 

2# We are Vegivores – a mobile vegan catering business that pops up in and around Reading. They attend a local, small business food market every Wednesday 10am-5pm in the Market Place, just around the corner from Broad Street. I highly recommend you go and check them out on your lunch break if you work locally. They also appear regularly in Bracknell, Wokingham, Newbury and on the Reading University Campus – so students go get your fix! Keep up to date with their movements on Twitter.

vegivores

 

3# The Flowing Spring – a short drive out of town along Henley road you’ll find a quirky pub restaurant that was awarded gold in the free-from eating out awards in 2017. Flowing Spring are very proud of being able to cater to peoples dietary needs, even easily telling you which beers, ciders and wines are suitable for vegans. As you can see my partner and I enjoyed the burgers (one falafel and one veggie mince) but they also have other options available. They also have a calendar of events from unplugged music nights, star gazing and car and bike shows. I recommend checking them out in the summer when you can enjoy their big pub garden!

 

4# Tutu’s Ethiopian Table – Easily the most unique and ethical cafe/bars Global Cafe. is based on London Road, behind the Oracle car park and Vue cinema. If you like authentic Ethiopian cuisine this place is definitely for you. Although Tutu caters for meat eaters she also creates a whole range of allergy friendly foods for coeliacs, vegetarians and vegans. Global Cafe also has a bar that stocks a wide range of locally sourced, fair trade and organic beers, wines, spirits, coffees and teas to wet the tongue. The venue also hosts a number of events from live music to book clubs and is often the hub for Reading Vegan Meetup so keep an eye out for future events. Tutu also takes her Ethiopian table with her to cater at local events so be sure to sample her vegan options if you see her!

 

5# Alto Lounge – although part of the ‘Loungers chain’, Alto Lounge offers more of a unique feel than most common chains. It is a modern cafe/bar on Church Street, Caversham which you can visit for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. They have been providing a full, separate vegan and gluten-free menu since 2003. The vegan menu features 4 brunch options and 5 mains as well as tapas and cakes! To date I have only sampled the vegan breakfast but have heard good thinks about the other options. They also offer soya, almond and oat milk for your tea or coffee.

 

If you are from Berkshire or have visited and have any other suggestions or have gone to any of these places drop me a comment, I’d love to hear about it!

Peace – Nx

Nicola Rose Streak
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Top 10 UK Ethical Vegan Clothing Companies

Hi guys, I wanted to share with you my top 10 ethical vegan clothing companies because if I could, I would be kitted out in this stuff everyday. As more and more people go vegan I want it to be easy for them to find decent, ethical, threads that not only support small businesses but also support animal rescue charities, human rights and our beautiful planet. Although I am focusing on UK businesses for this blog post please note that all of those listed do ship globally. So, lets get to it…


#1 HEARTCURE

My personal favourites, founded by Georgia Cook and Jordan McCusker is HEARTCURE who launched in May 2016. The compassionate pair, who recently collaborated with UK Activist Earthling Ed and work with the amazing illustrator Rob Halhead, proudly donate all proceeds to Brook Farm Animal Sanctuary. The clothing company, which is based out of a converted warehouse in Sheffield, use water-based inks on organic materials using 100% renewable energy and ship products rather than fly. They also pride themselves on being fair trade and sweatshop free. Does it get any better? Well actually, yes.. HEARTCURE are also working hard to open a Vegan Social Centre in the heart of Sheffield. You can help them on their way by donating here.

HEARTCURE offer international tracked shipping for £9. You can also find them at various vegan events and festivals throughout the UK.


#2 Blood Tight Apparel

Award winning clothing company Blood Tight Apparel (BTA) was setup in 2011 with the hope to ‘become an outlet to help people spread the word of veganism and encourage others to show compassion‘. With hard hitting designs, free worldwide shipping and thousands of fans it is fair to say they’re doing just that. BTA also have a place in my heart for giving 10% of profits to animal charities. You can pre-order the new ‘Freedom For All’ tee for £19 here, I will be!


#3 Anticarnist

Appealing to my inner metal-head with their white on black designs Anticarnist have pride of place in my wardrobe and are usually my first choice of attire for vegan activism. Anticarnist launched in 2016 and are proudly sweatshop-free and work in line with the Fair Wear Foundation. All products are screen printed on organic cotton using vegan inks and are packaged with biodegradable/recycle materials, making for a low carbon footprint. On top of that 10% of profits go to one of my favourite animal sanctuaries, FRIEND Animal Rescue.

Expect to see Anticharnist with a stand at many vegan events and festivals this year, with one of the next being Brighton VegFest on March 24th/25th.


#4 Ethcs

Ethcs, formerly known as Ethics and Antics, was founded in 2016 by professional freerunner Tim Shieff. Since then, the company has expanded to include ethical athletic attire and children’s clothing. Ethcs was the first company I purchased vegan clothing from after seeing UK grime artists JME (top left) sporting a V Gang shirt on stage.

Ethics is in the name – they ensure all products are produced in safe and healthy working conditions, with fair living wage, legal labour contracts and freedom of association. They use organic cotton and minimal packaging which is better for the environment.

On January 22nd 2018 Tim also launched Mindful Warrior, a workout course designed to benefit people of varying abilities. By using his fitness experience and knowledge Tim is able to help people improve their fitness, strength, mobility and overall health whilst having fun in the process.

For 10% off Ethcs clothing online use discount code NICOLA10OFF at the checkout. A portion of ETHCS profits are donated to Huglett’s Wood Farm Animal Sanctuary.


#5 Stay Close

Oxford based independent clothing company, Stay Close, was launched in 2014 by owners and good friends James Harkness and Nick Taylor. Although they don’t exclusively state that Stay Close is a vegan company they acknowledge that they are often referred to as such and are absolutely fine with that.

They have done some awesome collaborations with Sea Shepherd and Sheffield Hunt Saboteurs with profits going to both organisations. As well as clothing and accessories they also have amazing wall flags (left image), one of which is on my wish list for payday.

All Stay Close clothing is made in the UK, using a mixture of Earth Positive and Fair Wear clothing, which are some of the most ethical producers available.

You can expect to see them at UK events and festivals, including Brighton VegFest on March 24th/25th.


#6 All Glamour No Guts

All Glamor No Guts (AGNG) launched in February 2014 and has some of the cutest clothing and accessories going.

As is the trend, AGNG pride themselves on the fact they do not use child or forced labour. They pay a living wage whilst ensuring there is no discrimination against employees or excessive working hours. They also make sure that there are safe and healthy working conditions, with legal labour contracts. Products are also packaged using recyclable materials to help the planet.

AGNG also give 10% of proceeds to Hillside Animal Sanctuary.


#7 UNCAPTIVE

UNCAPTIVE ‘recognises the impact Fashion has on the planet, from sweatshops and child labour, to pollution, global warming and cruel exploitation of animals‘.

The company, which was founded in 2016 by Declan and Itala, produces a range of ethical clothing with vegan specific attire such as those shown in the images above.  The company exhibits at various events and festivals throughout the UK. In fact, exhibiting at vegan events made them realise how much others put emphasis on eradicating animal cruelty, but not necessarily as much thought into human ethics. With that in mind, in January 2017 UNCAPTIVE developed a passion for sourcing products from ethical suppliers, accredited with the Fair Wear credibility, which makes sure the clothes are made by fair labour.

All designs created in-house and hand screen printed onto mostly organic cotton in a small studio in Newcastle upon Tyne.


#8 Jade Green Vegan

Vegan slogan master, Jade, works to be as kind as possible to both animals and the planet. Therefore she uses biodegradable shipping bags and sources all clothing from a printer that uses toxic-free and vegan-friendly ink.

As of January 2018, 5% of Jade’s profits will be used to fund an animal sanctuary. Jade has supported many charities over the past couple of years though. Here is a list of Animal Charities that have received donations:

Keep an eye out for Jade at various UK vegan events and festivals and go say hi!


#9 Cheap 50s

Cheap 50s produce edgy clothing through partnership with environmentally sustainable fair trade manufactures in the UK and Portugal. You can rest assured both human rights and animal rights are protected and go hand in hand, as they should.

These tees are excellent for the passionate vegan activist and are an affiliate of The Earthlings Experience (founded by Phoebe Frampton). Cheap 50s donate all profits towards animal rescue.

#10 Viva La Vegan

Viva La Vegan (VLV) was founded by fashion and graphics designer Jay Charlton in 2014. It is important to the VLV team to use eco-friendly, water soluble dyes on organic cotton and only use recycled or recyclable packaging. It’s also paramount that workers are not forced into labour or working excessive hours, work in safe and hygienic conditions where there is no discrimination and living wages are provided.

VLV have products ranging from t-shirts, hoodies and bags to jewellery, greeting cards patches and stickers. Their designs tackle many animal rights issues from animals used for entertainment in circuses, to wildlife protection and anti-fur as shown above. Look out for them at vegan fairs across the UK in 2018.

Thanks for checking out this blog!

Big love, N x

Nicola Rose Streak
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Does wearing faux animal skin and fur products encourage the use of real animal products? Lets discuss.

Fur? In 2018?! I know..

It is fair to say, despite my rage, that fur is making a comeback. A study by Copenhagen University has found that real fur is more popular in the UK than it has been for decades, and that UK fur sales had doubled in the last five years (cited by The BBC in 2016). Despite efforts from animal rights activists across the UK the fur trade seems to be booming. I only have to step onto Reading high-street and within seconds I’ll spot someone wearing coyote, mink or rabbit. It’s both disgusting and heart breaking.

So why is fur making a comeback? Well, it’s largely to do with the fashion industry and their celebrity endorsements. Whilst it gave me some hope to hear in the latter part of 2017 that Gucci pledge to go fur free in 2018 I am still worried by how many influential fashion companies are still buying into the cruel fur industry.

On the topic of celebrity endorsements, the Kardashian’s are apparently the most photographed family in the world and therefore their obsession with wearing dead animals is seen by millions through their social media accounts, as well as on TV and in the press. The Kardashian’s aren’t the only guilty party though, there are many other celebrities on the cruelty waggon, including; Lady Gaga, J-Lo, Kate Moss and Rihanna. But lets not just target women here because men are certainly just as bad. Kanye West, Justin Beiber and Kid Rock are openly proud fur wearers.  It seems for many celebrities that parading around in the skins of dead animals is one of their favourite ways to flaunt their wealth. Whilst members of the public, desperate for some sort of status among their peers are copying the ‘trend’.

The facts about fur

According to Last Chance For Animals each year, more than 1 billion rabbits and 50 million other animals, including foxes, seals, mink, cats and dogs, are raised on fur farms or trapped in the wild and killed for their pelts. Because we import from China and other countries with poor regulation, it can often be mislabelled as “faux.” Depending on the size of the garment, up to 100 animals or more may be killed for a just one coat.

Common ways that animals are trapped involve leg holds, drowning sets and conibear traps which can all leave an animal suffering extreme pain for a lengthy time before they die. Animals are known to chew through their own limbs just to escape.

Please head over to Last Chance For Animals website for more facts about fur.

How can you tell if you’re wearing real fur?

How to spot the difference:

  • Separate the fur at the base. If it’s fake, you will see fabric webbing. If it’s real, it will be attached to skin.
  • The burn test: Clip off the tip of the fibres and set light to them. If they melt like plastic, it’s fake. If they singe and smell of burning hair, it’s real.

How not to spot the difference:

  • Don’t be fooled by the price. It can be cheaper to produce real fur in China than synthetic alternatives.
  • Don’t assume fake fur must be poor quality. It can be difficult to tell fake and real apart because fake fur can be of such good quality.
  • Don’t believe everything you read. Complicated labelling rules are often flouted and the label only has to reflect 80% of the item’s composition so a fur trim may be omitted. Labelling laws do not apply to accessories such as shoes and handbags

So, with all that in mind..

..are we helping or hindering the anti-fur campaigners by wearing faux fur, considering how many people are buying real fur mislabelled as faux? When confronted by activists many members of the public try to defend themselves by saying that they are not aware they are actually wearing real fur. Let’s assume all these people are in fact innocently telling the truth and they didn’t know, they’re still showing us that faux fur is very popular and as long as we continue to import from countries with poor regulations we can’t promise faux is ever really faux.

‘But what about leather?’ I hear you say – and rightly so! There are so many synthetic leathers available now. Whilst this is fantastic and I adore my vegan Doc Martens I do find myself wondering if I’m actually fuelling the ever-popular leather trade in the same way that faux fur might fuel the fur trade. I have noticed myself subconsciously choosing only to wear them around close friends and other vegans, or if I’m out in public not waving the vegan flag. Here’s why…

I go out on the streets and get involved in activism when I can to try and educate the public about the ways in which animals are exploited by humans, as well as to try promote a vegan lifestyle. On occasion I have worn my vegan Doc Martens and I have had members of the public accuse me of being a hypocrite because ‘[your] wearing leather boots!’. My response is usually that if you are that convinced my shoes look like real leather, then I have proven my point that we don’t need to kill animals and wear their skin! However, I can tell that sometimes they just think i’m lying. I find myself wondering if for every one person that spoke out about thinking I wore leather how many other passers by are thinking the same thing without saying anything? So am I really getting people to consider stopping wearing animals or to listen to me about animal exploitation at all? This could apply to any other activist wearing faux fur, wool, suede, silk and so on.

Now, I just want to stress that I am not claiming that we should or shouldn’t be wearing the synthetic alternatives and of course, if we are wearing synthetics we aren’t directly paying for animal cruelty. However, I can’t help but wonder if we are unknowingly persuading others to go out and buy both faux fur (which could and often does turn out to be real) or if people are just going straight for the real fur because they think everyone around them is wearing real fur and therefore it must be okay. If so, should we consider not wearing the alternatives? Again, this post is more me thinking out loud than dictating what other vegans and animal rights activists should do. I would honestly love to hear other peoples thoughts on this topic.

Nxx

fur