I'm sorry I haven't posted since the New Year, things have been quite hectic here! The reason for this, is I managed to get a new job! I start on Monday and I'm thrilled to bits that I'll actually be working close to home, with some really nice people. So I've been rushing around lately going to interviews and buying new work clothes, and consequently haven't had the time to update the blog at all. I am just happy that I'll now be able to get back into my usual routine and it also means that I'll be able to continue to afford to feed Gerry his vegan food :)
Talking of dog food, I ordered Gerry a new treat today. Now it's not strictly "vegan" and I don't know what other vegans will think about this - it is a dog chew made from Stag Antler. The difference with this animal product is that it is naturally shed and a sustainable resource. No deer were hurt in the process, and the chews last a long time and are good for dogs, providing them with lots of necessary vitamins and minerals. The company also makes sure that all their packaging is environmentally friendly and recyclable. I decided to order one because Gerry loves his chews and the vegetable-based or rice-based chews I've bought him in the past are gone in a matter of seconds, and I need something to keep him occupied when I'm away from home and that will last him a good while. He has a plastic bone with vegetable paste inside which lasts a long time, but sometimes I do worry about him swallowing little bits of plastic. These antler chews are 100% natural, beneficial nutritionally, help to clean the teeth, are ethically produced and are not harmful to any animals in the process.
I'd be interested to hear your opinions on this. I have no idea how these deer are kept. If I found out that they were not roaming free in an estate or parkland, and discovered they were intensely farmed or mistreated in any way, then I would stop buying them immediately. Does anyone have any insight into this?
Gerry recovered well from his fractured paw. He was actually very well behaved during his 6 weeks house arrest - as if he knew exactly why he wasn't allowed out. He went through a pretty terrible time, poor thing. The bandage on his leg rubbed the skin and he got a few pressure sores and the skin started peeling off, which meant the bandage had to be removed, slowing down the healing time for the fracture. He's still being eased into exercise now (I think he overdid it a little today on a walk with a Sighthound Stroll friend and ended up limping a little) but he's doing well and his sores have nearly completely healed over.
In other news, I got a tattoo on my foot recently. I was planning on getting the other one done, but after the way my foot reacted to it I think I'll be leaving it for quite a while - I could not walk for about a week! It really swelled up and it was so painful. My tattooist Joe didn't do it this time, but my friend Anto, their apprentice, did an amazing job and used the same Eternal vegan ink as Joe uses. Here's the result, neat huh!
I also got my septum pierced. I've missed my nose piercing for the last few years. I only really took it out because of my work, but with a septum piercing you can tuck it up and hide it away inside your nose whenever you want. So that is what I shall do! It's very subtle, as it's only a small horseshoe and not a full ring. You can just about see it in this photograph.
And now for some lovely pictures I've taken recently:
And some yummy vegan food I had over the Christmas / New Year:
Homemade apple cinnamon crumble with nuts on top and vegan custard.
Black Bean, Apple & Soya Mince Chilli, which was really very good.
Christmas Dinner at my dad's with the Mulberry Bush's homemade nut and mushroom roast, with a wonderful sauce made with morello cherries and red wine, accompanied by sprouts and chestnuts, with maple roasted root vegetables. Mmmm!
My second Christmas dinner at home with the boyfriend consisted of orange and cranberry stuffing balls, root vegetable roasts (with yummy peanuts) from Goodlife, maple roasted root veg, sprouts and copious amounts of cranberry sauce and thick, delicious vegan gravy. Well worth waiting for!!
A chickpea tagine made with spicy sundried tomato and cinnamon sauce from Tesco, accompanied by some of Tesco's own Mediterranean Cous Cous. A quick and simple meal which tasted lovely!
So I'll update again soon and let you know how my new job is going. The words "Occasional Friday Pizza" and "Night at the Dogs" have already been thrown at me even at the interview stage, so we'll have to see how I cope with that! There will be no way I'm going to the greyhound stadium, so maybe when people ask why I can use it as an opportunity to educate them on sighthound welfare. As for the pizza, I'm sure I'll be able to order in something without cheese and educate a few more people about veganism when they give me some funny looks!