Wednesday, May 7

RSPCA: accepted fishing methods are inhumane

We have a sick fish in our house and while searching for advice I came across RSPCA guidelines on euthanasing fish (interesting) and RSPCA guidelines on killing fish for food (more interesting).

Personally I have never fished in my life because even as a child I found it an abhorrent bloodsport. However, as I'm sure we all have, I have witnessed my fair share of fishing. Now, the accepted method of fishing sees fish being pulled from the water and left out in the air to die by suffocation (how 'fun'!). Occasionally I have also seen them put into containers of icy water.

Interestingly, the RSPCA states that both of these methods are "not suitable for killing fish as they do not result in a rapid or humane death". Honestly, I was very surprised (pleasantly surprised) at this considering that the RSPCA endorses practices such as 'barn laid' eggs. So what are the killing methods considered 'humane'? A forceful blow to the head rendering unconsciousness followed by bleeding out, or spiking the brain (which should render the fish unconscious as soon as the spike enters the brain). So, how many people have you seen doing that?!

Unfortunately, despite all Australian animal welfare legislations covering vertebrates (which fish obviously are) in WA and my home state of SA fish are specifically excluded from cruelty protection. This is totally unacceptable and ridiculous! Animals are animals, pain is pain, suffering is suffering. Again, surprisingly the RSPCA agrees (it's not often that we see eye-to-eye) stating that "Because there is clear evidence that fish are sentient animals capable of experiencing pain and suffering, RSPCA Australia believes that fish should be uniformly protected under State and Territory animal welfare legislation."

So be a voice for sea kittens! Share this information and hopefully fish-killing-type-people will start to re-think their actions.

Happy reading and advocating! :)

Tuesday, May 6

Warming Winter stew recipe

There's just something about cold rainy nights that makes me want to eat warm, nutritious comfort food! Slow cooking food is the best because it makes the house smell all yummy and cozy. This is a favourite stew of ours, a hearty meal to warm your soul.

We used liquid smoke in this, which we bought during our Everything Vegan shopping spree. It really is a fantastic product, if you haven't tried it you should!

Serves: 6-8

4 large potatoes (or 6 smallish ones)
3 large carrots
2 parsnips
2 swedes/turnips
2 large brown onions
1 cup pearl barley
2.5L beef stock (Massel brand is vegan)
1 tsp liquid smoke

1. Peel the potatoes, parsnips, and swedes/turnips and chop into 1cm cubes. Peel the carrots and chop the smaller half into coins, and the thicker half into semi-circular pieces. Dice the onions.

2. Put all ingredients into a large saucepan, cover, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 2 hours, stirring twice.

Happy eating! :)