Top tips for World Vegan Month if you’re feeling peckish

Updated 02 November 2019

Top tips for World Vegan Month if you’re feeling peckish

  • It’s very easy to stay vegan and still enjoy a multitude of Arabic food staples
  • If you are seriously considering committing to veganism in the long term, then it’s worth talking to your doctor

Here are a few tips for those thinking of exploring veganism, on the 25th anniversary of World Vegan Month

Eat local…

It’s very easy to stay vegan and still enjoy a multitude of Arabic food staples. Hummus is usually fine for vegans (just check that the restaurant hasn’t added yoghurt to the tahini-chickpea mix), as are falafels (if you’re being really strict, you might want to check that the oil they’ve been fried in wasn’t used for meat dishes too) and spinach fatayer. And of course, vine leaves stuffed with rice, tabouleh, and fattoush are ideal for those keeping their meals plant-based. You’ll have to resist the grilled halloumi though, sorry.

… or eat Asian

Asian cuisine is also a great choice for vegans. Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants usually provide a wide range of delicious plant-based dishes that make it easy to enjoy a meal without worrying that your options are going to be severely limited by abstaining from animal products. Thai curries are usually made with coconut milk, but with other cuisines, it’s always worth checking that the sauces are dairy-free, and — with Indian cuisine — that the food hasn’t been cooked in ghee.




(Shutterstock)

Source your supplements 

A plant-based diet can meet most of your nutritional needs, but it’s often suggested that vegans should consider taking vitamin B12 as a supplement. It’s the only vitamin that isn’t reliably supplied by a varied plant-free diet, and is important to help minimize the potential risk of anemia and heart disease. The recommended dose is 10 micrograms per day.

It’s also worth seeking out foods that are rich in calcium and iron, as plant-based diets may not provide these in the same high doses as a diet including meat. Calcium-rich vegan foods include sesame seeds (also good for iron intake); beans and lentils — especially winged beans (aka Goa beans) and white beans; figs; almonds; spinach (again, good for iron); kale; edamame; and (some) tofu (also iron-rich).

If you are seriously considering committing to veganism in the long term, then it’s worth talking to your doctor about your individual dietary requirements, but generally speaking there is no reason why your health should be negatively affected by switching to a plant-free diet. In fact, the reverse is often true.




(Shuttertstock) 

Cleaning without cruelty

Vinegar, baking soda, lemons (the juice and the peel) and essential oils are all great alternatives if you’re worried about non-vegan ingredients in your cleaning supplies (or concerned that mainstream products may have been tested on animals). It’s easy to mix your own highly effective cleaning materials. A good one to start with is a straightforward spray cleaner for tiled surfaces. Mix two tablespoons of lemon juice with two tablespoons of organic (check for a cruelty-free logo) hand soap or washing-up liquid and two tablespoons of white vinegar. Add a cup of warm water to it all, distil into a spray bottle, and you’re ready to go.




(Shutterstock)

Skip the aquarium, head to a sanctuary

Vegans consider zoos and aquariums to be forms of animal exploitation, so they are off the list of family activities. But kids, especially, love to visit places where they can see different animals, so a sanctuary that provides rescued or endangered animals with a home is a great alternative. In Saudi Arabia, the Shaybah Wildlife Sanctuary, for example, has helped return the Arabian oryx, sand gazelle and ostrich to the Empty Quarter. All three species had been hunted nearly to extinction in the 20th century, but can now be found roaming the sands once again.




(Shutterstock)

 


High stakes in Johnny Depp libel hearing

Updated 13 July 2020

High stakes in Johnny Depp libel hearing

  • The 57-year-old denies abusing actress Amber Heard — now 34 and the global face of French cosmetics firm L’Oreal
  • Some legal experts following the High Court hearing in London question why Depp decided to put himself through the three-week ordeal

LONDON: Hollywood star Johnny Depp wrapped up five days of gruelling testimony Monday in a libel trial that has exposed the dark underbelly of the lifestyles of the rich and famous.
The “Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise hero is suing the publisher and executive editor of Britain’s The Sun tabloid newspaper over a 2018 story branding him a “wife beater.”
The 57-year-old denies abusing actress Amber Heard — now 34 and the global face of French cosmetics firm L’Oreal — during a rocky two-year marriage that ended in a messy 2017 divorce and several lawsuits.
But he has admitted a debilitating drug habit and allowed the defense to air graphic details of 14 assault allegations that made headlines around the world.
Some legal experts following the High Court hearing in London question why Depp decided to put himself through the three-week ordeal given the subject matter being aired.
“He’s been extremely ill-advised to pursue this,” Mark Stephens, a leading media specialist at London law firm Howard Kennedy, told AFP.
“To expose (difficult divorces) to forensic examination is the height of stupidity or hubris.”
Here are the main points that have emerged from the trial so far.
Hollywood’s drug culture has provided the backdrop for the entire hearing.
Depp told the court on Friday that he snorted cocaine to help break his addiction to painkillers.
He argued Thursday that he was suffering from withdrawal while coming off of drugs and was in “no physical condition” to hurt Heard during one alleged incident on his private Bahamas island.
Depp further explained the party drug ecstasy had little effect on him and that he preferred to leave it to Heard and their celebrity friends.
The actress herself was alleged to have sent a party invitation with instructions: “Bring some food, booze and drug of choice, yey!“
Another text Heard allegedly sent from Depp’s phone asked a friend to “procure more mushrooms.”
“Amber Turd” began trending on Twitter after Depp spent a part of Friday trying to explain how a large stool ended up in the couple’s bed in 2016.
Both of them were alleged to have been involved in extramarital affairs at the time and Depp claimed it was left there as revenge by either Heard or one of her friends on her 30th birthday.
Depp called the defense’s claim that it was from one of their dogs “physically impossible” because it was simply too big.
“There were jokes like ‘Amber Turd’, ‘Amber in the dumps’ going on,” defense attorney Sasha Wass told Depp sternly.
Depp professed his innocence and called the incident a “mystery.”
One of the darkest episodes involves an allegedly high and drunk Depp scrawling messages to Heard on a mirror and wall with the blood of his severed finger.
Depp acknowledges dipping the finger in a can of paint to continue writing once the bleeding stopped.
But he denies tripping on ecstasy at the time and claims Heard slashed off the tip of his finger with a bottle during a particularly bad fight.
The defense says he hurt it while “completely destroying” the couple’s vacation home in Australia.
Depp said Thursday that he was experiencing “some kind of breakdown” and was feeling suicidal at the time.
Mark Stephens said both Depp and Heard had plenty to lose and little to gain from the proceedings.
“His reputation will be permanently stained if he is found to be abusive.”
And “if Heard is not to be believed, she will find it very hard to find work in Hollywood.”
British libel law puts the burden of proof on the defense and gives Depp the initial advantage.
But the judge told Heard her upcoming testimony would not be bound by “confidentiality restrictions” agreed in the divorce.
Depp may find it even harder to clear his name in a separate defamation lawsuit he filed over an op-ed about the alleged abuse that Heard wrote in The Washington Post.
That hearing is expected to begin in August in Virginia under US laws putting the burden of proof on Depp.