Fry’s goodbye

It is time to say goodbye to a family who have single-handedly revolutionised the UK vegan scene.

Patrick and Lisa Drummy have been at the forefront of getting meat replacements to hungry people for well over a decade. From humble beginnings with an often broken-down van, Pat launched a distribution company to spread the Fry’s Vegetarian range of vegan products all over the UK.

Due to Pat’s hard work and commitment to compassion, the South African produced products quickly became a staple freezer item for many veggie households. Pat poured his entire life (and livelihood) into the business and his dedication helped countless people make the transition to a meat free life.

Pat’s daughter Lisa joined him not long after this runaway success, making Fry’s UK a true family concern. Between them, they positioned the products in some of the biggest retailers in the country including Holland & Barrett and Ocado. They infiltrated huge catering distributors helping to get vegan food served in hospitals, schools, prisons and pubs all over the UK.

Lisa and Pat are two of the most respected people in the vegan community.

Year after year they tirelessly threw themselves into making Fry’s one of the leading vegan meat brands in Europe. I’m sure they couldn’t recall how many early starts there were or how many thousands of hours were spent spreading the vegan message throughout the country.

They have been friends to so many charities and outreach groups. Pat generously sponsored several of my events such as my Sea Shepherd fundraisers and the London Vegan Beer Fest. Dozens or maybe even hundreds of local animal welfare groups came to love Pat and Lisa for their generosity and honest desire to make the world a better place.

As Pat and Lisa step away from the business and hand the UK distribution back to the parent company, it is evident that our community is losing two of its staunchest supporters.

Pat and Lisa asked me to share the following statement with all of their friends and customers:

After 13 successful years of increasing choice for ethical consumers by introducing vegan foods to the UK market, we have lived to see Fry’s being stocked by health food shops, Holland & Barrett, Ocado and 3663. We’ve worked hard, met some truly great people and had a lot of fun along the way, but sadly, the team behind Fry’s Distribution UK is closing its doors on 31st October as it’s time for us to retire. Pat and Lisa would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, your hard work, your business and, most importantly, your friendship.

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I can’t express what these people have done for vegans and animals in the UK.

Please leave a comment for Pat and Lisa below.

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Fucking horrendus

As you know, previously-vegan range Goodlife now contains a few products with dairy.

Like many compassionate consumers, I am appalled that a company claiming to be ethical would take this huge step backwards.

Look below to see a Twitter conversation from earlier today between me and Goodlife.

goodlife tweetsThis might very well be the worst attempt at recovering from a product scandal that I have seen in years.

Goodlife are sorry that I am upset? Don’t worry about me, mate. I’ll be fine.

Worry about the poor fucking cows that will be used, abused and left for dead when they are no longer productive. Think about the contribution you are making to the constant cycle of exploitation every time you send a pallet of products out to stores. As you receive payment from customers, know that those funds are yours only because baby cows are being ripped from their mothers every single day in the UK and sent to veal crates or factory farms.

No, don’t worry about upsetting me. It’s your tragic family I feel sorry for with its need to earn money any way possible. What an absolutely fucked up thing to know your bills are being paid because animals are being impregnated constantly and killed when they are spent.

Look at this quote from the Viva! White Lies website.

Dairy cows are portrayed as having an idyllic life but the reality is that cows (like all mammals) only produce milk for their young after giving birth. Dairy cows are kept in a cycle of near constant pregnancy and lactation (meaning huge physical and psychological stress, often leading to disease and exhaustion). Every year, dairy cows also suffer the separation from their young just a day or two after giving birth, calling for each other desperately – the trauma and stress have been studied and even the dairy industry admit it causes emotional stress. The fundamentals of dairy farming – removing newborn calves to sell the cow’s milk – always conflicts the animals’ physical and emotional welfare.

Goodlife. Reverse your ridiculous decision to include dairy in your products. Make them vegan again. If not for the individual cows suffering through the dairy process, for your family. Don’t make the horror of dairy farming be your family legacy.

I urge all concerned readers to reach out to Goodlife via Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Vegan action for Liverpool

Vegan comfort food enthusiasts in the Liverpool area have got a new reason to smile.

Say hello to The Old Hardware Shop.

This vegetarian coffee shop opened just weeks ago in the neighbourhood of Woolton Village, which is a bit of a posh area if you are to believe Wikipedia.

Amy and Rosie and the people behind this new meat free enterprise and wanted me to share some photos of their vegan options which include vegan cheese and chorizo toasties, vegan sausage and bacon butties, vegan hot dogs, vegan tuna mayonnaise sandwiches and vegan fish finger sandwiches.

They assure me they always stock a vegan cake option and vegan ice cream, while any coffee, milkshake or hot chocolate (with marshmallows) can be made vegan.

Check out the photos below, like The Old Hardware Shop on Facebook and get in there for some good eating.

Of course it is a shame the venture isn’t 100% vegan but this is sure to be a welcome addition to the Liverpool food scene for compassionate eaters.

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Posted in I love sugar, I'll pay you to cook for me, Provincial towns you jog round Tagged with: , , , , ,

World Vegan Day menu

As you know, London Vegan Drinks taking place this month is also a celebration for World Vegan Day.

I am expecting to welcome more than 150 vegans and their friends to Kabaret in Wood Green this Saturday November 1st, 2014 from 6pm onwards.

Kabaret is the fabulous 100% vegan bar and cafe co-owned by Louise Wallis, the person who actually founded World Vegan Day. Louise will be behind the bar and doing a few DJ spots, so make sure you congratulate her and show your thanks.

We also have a very special guest who will be chatting with attendees. Vegan legend Colleen Patrick-Goudreau will be mingling throughout the evening and will have a few copies of her books to sell and sign.

And then the food!

Anarkali is the resident chef at Kabaret and she has created a super fun bar snack menu for the night.

Revellers at London Vegan Drinks will be well fed with the following:

Handmade gourmet burgers
– tofu burger and salad on bun (can be gluten free on request)
– garlic sausage burger and salad on bun

7″ pizzas
– classic with tomato, cheese and basil
– spinach and mushroom
– margherita
– Hawaiian
– pepperoni

Extra toppings available for pizzas

Home cooked wedges featuring sweet potatoes and rustic fries

Selection of relishes and sauces

Vegan champagne £30 per bottle

How exciting!

Come along on Saturday night from 6pm. All the details including directions and address can be seen by clicking here.


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Posted in I'll pay you to cook for me, I'm getting drunk for you, London can you wait?, London Vegan Drinks, London Vegan Events, Vegan Tagged with: , , ,

Halloween suckers

This time of the year is all about Day of the Dead for me, but if I was giving Halloween a look in I’m sure these vegan sweets would be a major concern in my house.

As I was ambling around my local Sainsbury’s a few nights ago, I made time to peruse the Halloween sweets and candy aisle. Strangely, the very first packet I picked up had the ‘vegan’ symbol on the back.

sweetsThis pack of orange flavoured jellies is the perfect addition to your shopping list if you want to get involved in the Halloween tradition of dishing out candy to strange children. It would be pretty awesome to hand a few of these to trick or treaters. Covert vegan action via celebration sweets!


 

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Posted in I love sugar, Supermarket Bombscare Tagged with: , , ,

Mega vegan fail

Is this the biggest mega fail in the history of vegan food labelling?

Scroll down to see photographic proof of a MAJOR mistake by high street retailer Holland & Barrett. Read more ›

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Chocolate on the buffet

Just when you thought my vegan Day of the Dead party this weekend couldn’t get any tastier, Cocoafeliz have joined the buffet table.

When I wrote about this vegan chocolate company a while back, it resulted in one of the most popular blog posts in the history of FGV. You can see the original post here.

This company has been the smash hit vegan success of London over the past few months. They make some of the tastiest cruelty-free chocolates around and you can order them online for home delivery.

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The fab people behind these delicacies want to treat attendees of my 3rd annual vegan Day of the Dead party. How lovely!

They are sending over 70 individual, handcrafted chocolates for the giant buffet. Flavours will include coffee, strawberry, peanut butter, choc caramel, orange caramel, lavender and kiwi. I hope I am able to show restraint when the delivery arrives.

You can read all about my Mexican party here or order tickets online here.

Please visit the Cocoafeliz online shop to see the entire range available.

You can also follow them on Twitter and like them on Facebook.


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Posted in I love sugar, London can you wait?, London Vegan Events, Vegan Tagged with: , , ,

Ethiopian pop up

Do you all remember when I wrote about Muya of Kentish Town closing down? It was a sad day for people who love vegan Ethiopian food.

Dry your tears. I have some good news to turn the tragic mood on its head. Read more ›

Posted in London can you wait?, Vegan Tagged with: , , ,

Plant milk

My partner Josh just posted this photo from his workplace that highlights the explosion in popularity of plant-based milks.

10402775_10152588904638751_8087180804920234631_nJosh took this photo in his staff kitchen this morning and I thought it was fabulous. I really wanted it to share it with you all.

I see the photo as a signpost for how far we have come in our struggle to educate people about dairy alternatives and in turn, help improve outcomes for animals.

This is just one small staff office in one part of London. Imagine the huge number of milk drinkers who have switched to plant-based milks over the last few years all over the UK. It is overwhelming to think of the positive impact this is having as it lessens the demand for cruel dairy.

Let’s celebrate plant-based milks!

If you have people in your workplace considering ditching dairy, share this link with them. It is an excellent resource site created by Viva! Campaigns to assist people in removing dairy milk from their diet.


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Posted in Haus of FGV, Vegan Tagged with: , , ,

Mega shop

Just before Josh and I departed Berlin, we paid a visit to the wonderful Veganz grocery shop on Warschauer Straße for a spot of shopping.

The idea was to buy a few things to bring back to London. The reality of the situation was slightly different to the plan.

Check out our haul. Read more ›

Posted in Supermarket Bombscare, Taking the long way around, Vegan Tagged with: , ,