At the Dementia Cafe we are very health conscious. We believe in a healthy lifestyle. In addition to this we’re big hearted souls and we’re all about compassion for every sentient being. As such, we are vegan! Yay! We are so very fortunate to have the Vegan Society as one of our supporters and we’re also super happy to be friends with vegan advocates Esther the Wonder Pig and her family.
For those who don’t know, Esther is a rescue pig who could well have been a victim of the meat industry. She now has a loving family and happily lives out her days in peace in Canada. At the DC, we’ve been so saddened by the atrocities of the meat industry that we decided to re-home a pig once we’re operational and just like Esther, we hope to inspire those who visit us.
We know that kindness is everything and we’re all about being kind to our bodies too.
How many of us have been told as kids that eating fruit and vegetables is part of a healthy lifestyle? Well I guess almost all of us but what do we really know about the nutrition in fruit and vegetables and their tremendous benefit to our health? Plants contain a lot of essential minerals which are critical to our health. So much so that it is possible to live on a plant based diet and be the healthiest you can be. Minerals and ‘Essential Nutrients’ include: calcium, fluoride, iron, magnesium, copper…(and many more) are essential for our health because they play an important role in the production of vitamins, enzymes and hormones in our body.
They also affect our blood pressure, nerves, muscle constriction and energy production.
All minerals can be found in vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans. Eating fresh, raw fruits and vegetables can provide us with more vitamins, whereas during the process of cooking these minerals can be lost.
Can a vegan diet really be fun though? … Yes! We cry! We have found that we continue to live a healthy lifestyle without loss and only with gain. It is possible to have all of the foods you enjoy and have those foods be vegan! Vegan ice cream for example has never been so easy! We adore Earthy Andy’s Blog and one of our faves which we posted recently on our Instagram is: Cotton Candy Ice Cream (that’s Candy Floss Ice Cream to the UK folks). Head over to Earthy Andy’s Blog to find this recipe and many many more!
Sadly, today, a lot of people still believe that eating meat is necessary. Many think it makes us stronger and that it’s essential for our nutrition but this is not the case. In fact eating meat can cause heart disease, diabetes and Cancer, according to the World Health Organization, processed meat is the worst. Such as hot dogs, ham and bacon, all of these can cause cancer.
So why is it that becoming Vegetarian is not enough? Most of us have heard how badly animals are treated before they are slaughtered and of course, atrocious details of the slaughter itself. What is often overlooked by the media however is the devastating details of the diary industry. Not many people know that the production of diary and eggs is agonizing for animals. The horrifying way that they are treated includes the following:
- Cows being slaughtered when they no longer produce milk (these cows collapse often from exhaustion and are referred to as “downers”.)
- Male calves (not producing milk obviously) are of no use to the dairy farmer and are taken from their mothers, (Distressing to the both mother and calf), ripped away at only a couple of days old for slaughter.
- Dairy cows (female) are repeatedly mechanically raped (inseminated) to bear calves and so produce milk.
- Dairy cows that collapse because they cannot go on due to the exhaustion from constant insemination, birth and milking, are called “downers” and are removed often crudely by fork lift trucks and taken to slaughter themselves
- Many dairy cows are forced to live in uncomfortable conditions and their udder is infected. It is stated that cow’s milk is legally allowed up to 400 million somatic pus cells in content.
“21,000,000 dairy calves are slaughtered for veal or cheap beef every year globally”
The farming of poultry is sadly not much better. Many animals are fed against their own will in the process of fattening. Farms have long been exposed for feeding chickens with antibiotics. Poultry is arguably the cruelest of all farming, this includes the egg industry where chick culling of male chicks is mandatory. This is the process of killing newly hatched poultry for which the industry has no use Chicks are gassed, suffocated and ground up, sometimes still alive.
Studies suggest that Going Vegan is the best decision that one can make not only to show love and compassion for animals but also for the purpose of our own health and lifestyle.
An analysis by the farmer and scholar Simon Fairlie, shows that “Not only do humans need no pasture, but we use grains and pulses more efficiently when we eat them ourselves, rather than feed them to cows and chickens.”.
It would seem half of the world is obese, while the other half of the world is starving. One source of world hunger? The meat industry. Grain used to feed millions of animals could actually feed the starving of the world if it weren’t fed to the animals that are killed for meat to feed the western world.
Contrary to the facts, many continue to ignore the suffering and the issue that the meat industry is not sustainable. Angelina Jolie stated: “I joke that a big juicy steak is my beauty secret. But seriously, I love red meat. I was a vegan for a long time, and it nearly killed me. I found I was not getting enough nutrition.”
If one doesn’t eat enough nutrients plant based or otherwise this will obviously be the case. A plate of chips vs a fresh salad, a diet coke vs a green smoothie, Multivitamins and water vs cigarettes and alcohol, we could go on…instead we say: go figure.
We do find it ironic that Jolie herself donates much needed cash to starving children across the globe, (an amazing effort) but a bit like taking their last pound and giving them a penny. The meat industry is destroying the planet faster than any other known factor in today’s world. How do we stop it? Simple, we stop eating meat.
Many celebrities are vegan, Stevie Wonder, Ariana Grande, Joaquin Phoenix, Ellen DeGeneres. Ellen is a huge fan of our pal Esther the Wonder Pig who we mentioned earlier. You may know all about Esther from our post: ‘ANIMALS SAVE THE DAY‘
For those living with Dementia, having a diet of fresh vegetables, fruits and grains is essential. According to: Food For The Brain studies suggest that “Dementia and Alzheimer’s could be reduced in the early stages by a comprehensive optimum nutrition approach. The strongest evidence to date relates to raised homocysteine levels, which both predicts risk and can cause the kind of brain damage seen in Alzheimer’s, caused by lack of B vitamins, especially B12 which is increasingly poorly absorbed with age.” Eating vegetables such as Spinach, Broccoli and Beetroot (which is high in nitrates and iron) and fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and cherries are very healthy and well known for improving our memory.
If you feel that you want to improve your lifestyle and live healthier life, you too can switch from animal products and become vegan. The good news is that it’s not impossible. You may feel overwhelmed, however becoming vegan doesn’t have to happen overnight. You can always start by reducing the amount of meat that you eat per week, for example: eating meat just twice a week and gradually avoid milk. Soya milk is a great alternative. You can find a substitute for almost any kind of animal product. There’s also more than one dairy free milk option on the market, from almond milk to cashew milk, even vegan cheese!
For the meat lovers, Quorn products are among some of the best, they offer sausage rolls, burgers, fake-meat pies and many other meat replacement meals that are unrecognisably meat-free. They taste just like the real thing! Linda McCartney foods are spectacular and we think they have the best meat-free sausages on the market! Most supermarkets stock these, why not try them out yourself? There’s a world of foods out there and we know plant based is best for us. Let’s enjoy without ingesting cruelty!
We aim to offer smoothies in our cafe once we’re up and running. Smoothies are a great way to ensure you’re packing in as many vitamins as you possibly can. We’ve been trying out different recipes of late. Those who follow our instagram might have spied these! Our latest one was………….. A smoothie full of protein & iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin A & B6… we created it from Kale, Spinach, Strawberries, Green Lentils, Large Ice Cube and a Cup of Water. We find that by overpowering bland flavours such as spinach and kale with orange or apple, a really sweet drink can be made in minutes! Are you getting your five a day? – Why not join us and try a smoothie!