6 Vegan Cream Replacements

Like I mentioned in ‘8 Simple Egg Replacements’, pretty much all animal products can easily be replaced with a cruelty-free, vegan alternative. This includes cream. Below are six vegan cream substitutes that can be used in custards, mousses, soups, ice-cream etc.

1) Cashew Cream
Boil 1 cup of cashew for about 5 minutes until they become soft. Place the cashews in 2 cups of water. Blend them on a low setting and gradually increase the speed until they are blended thoroughly.

2) Coconut Cream
Coconut has a creamy texture and sweet flavour and it can be bought in most supermarkets. This is a great substitute for whipped cream, pies and mousses. It is also much healthier than dairy cream.

3) Avocado
Avocados are ideal as a cream substitute in baking, creamy sauces and smoothies because of it’s creamy high-fat content. They’re cheap and can be found in any supermarket.

4) Bananas
Blended frozen bananas with a small amount of any alternative milk creates a very healthy ice-cream. It’s extremely cheap and easy to prepare and takes minutes to make!

5) Beans
Pureed beans work well in creamy soups, especially cannellini beans. Their mild taste won’t overpower other flavours in the dish.

6) Silken Tofu
Similar to the cannellini beans, tofu’s mild taste will not overpower flavours in the dish. It’s ideal for custards, frozen desserts and many savoury dishes. It’s soft and creamy, meaning it can be easily put through a blender.

-The Vegan Lily

8 Simple Egg Replacements

Pretty much all non-vegan foods have plant-based replacements. The least obvious replacements are ”egg replacements”. Here is a list of the most convenient vegan egg replacements along with recommended substitute measurements:

1) Tofu

Tofu is suitable for egg replacements in recipes that contain a lot of eggs, such as custards and quiches. To replace one egg in a recipe, purée 1/4 cup soft tofu. Although it tofu may not fluff up like eggs, it does have a texture that is perfect for ”eggy” meals.

2) Banana

One banana should substitute one egg in sweet dishes or baked deserts. The banana will add flavour, sweetness and moisture to the dish.

3) Flax Seed

3 tablespoons of water mixed with 1 tablespoon of flax seeds should replace one egg. Finely ground flax seed is best used in whole-grain baked goods and pancakes because of it’s nutty flavour. It also makes a great binder. Flax seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids and fibre.

4) Baking Soda and Vinegar

1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar should replace one egg. This is ideal for fluffy baked goods.

5) Chia Seed
Similar to flax seeds, chia seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They will also create an excellent binding agent for baked goods.  To replace one large egg, finely friend 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in a spice grinder.  Place in a small bowl and stir in 3 tablespoons of water.  Allow to sit for 30 minutes before using in a recipe.  The mixture will thicken to a gel-like consistency.  Just before incorporating into a recipe, stir in a food pinch of baking powder.

6) Vegan Yoghurts
Alternative yoghurts include soy, rice, coconut flavour etc.  1/4 cup of yoghurt should substitute one egg. It will also add flavour and moisture to the dish. Yoghurts work best with breads, muffins and cakes.

7) Applesauce
1/4 cup of applesauce should replace one egg. Similar to the yoghurt replacement, applesauce works great with muffins, pancakes and breads. You may need to add baking powder or baking soda as a rising agent if needed.

8) Chickpea Flour
A more unusual substitute is chickpea flour. this is available in health food shops. It’s also known as besan, chana flour, gram flour, cici flour and garbanzo bean flour. 1/4 cup of chickpea flour and 1/4 cup of an alternative milk should replace one egg.

With many people being allergic to eggs or trying veganism, egg replacements are becoming more popular. Given the numerous health risks related to eating eggs, egg substitutes make eliminating eggs from your diet even easier. To read more about the health benefits of removing animal products from your diet, visit TheVeganLily’s ”Health Page” or www.nutritionfacts.org.

-The Vegan Lily

Do Salmon Feel Pain?

I’ve seen many people trying to justify eating small fish (such as, salmon) by saying ”They can’t feel pain anyway” or ”They probably don’t have complex nervous systems or brains”. According to scientific evidence, these are myths.

WHAT SCIENCE SHOWS

YES – Fish Can Feel Pain

  • Similar to humans, fish also have A-delta and C neuronal fibers involved in transmission of pain stimuli (Sneddon et al, 2003)
  • Substance P, which is involved in pain transmission in mammals has been found in the hypothalamus and forebrain of finfish (Ashley, 2007)
  • Fish hypothalamus and forebrain show changes in activity when pain stimuli are administered, indicating pain processing capability (Ashley, 2007)
  • Salmon exhibit erratic swimming after CO2 gassing prior slaughter, indicating capacity to experience stress (Southgate and Wall, 2001)

”When experiencing a painful event, the human neo-cortex shows considerable activity and based on comparative anatomy, some scientists have gone to say that fish do not perceive pain or fear because they lack a neo-cortex (Rose, 2002). However, human brain activity is not exclusive to the neo-cortex when receiving a painful stimulus (Braithwaite, 2010). Underlying brain areas show changes in activity as well, as MRI studies show and salmon share some of these brain parts like the hypothalamus and forebrain. Thus, using the same logic as some proponents of the aquaculture industry, we can say that fish, including salmon, do have some brain parts necessary to process pain since some brain parts involved in pain perception are homologous to humans.

Furthermore, some argue that since fish have a short memory in the order of seconds, they would not remember any pain, even if they felt it, or would simply lack a complex brain enough to make perception out of something when they cannot form memories. However, juvenile salmon learn aspects of their environment when migrating to the sea and rely on this memory (that has lasted on the order of years) to return to the freshwater the came from to spawn (Sneddon et al, 2003). Thus salmon have more complex brains than some people thought and they are capable of forming memories. Thus, they might be able to remember a painful experience.

Based on the scientific evidence available, there is a strong indication that fish, including salmon, can feel pain.”

What Toothpastes Are Cruelty Free?

List Of Brands That Sell Toothpaste And Do Not Test On Animals Or Contain Animal Products:

  • JASON
  • Tom’s of Maine
  • Desert Essence
  • Nature’s Gate
  • Kiss My Face
  • Kingfisher
  • Auromere
  • Vitacare
  • Eco-Dent
  • Radius
  • Hello Products
  • Co-op

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Brands That Do Test On Animals

  • Arm & Hammer
  • Aquafresh
  • Biotène
  • Crest
  • Colgate – Although Colgate tests on animals, they do have a selection of vegan toothpastes and products which do not contain any animal products.
  • Sensodyn

Should We Buy Colgate Products?

If you rely on regular supermarkets or drugstores as your source of dental care then it may be difficult to find a vegan toothpaste. Although Colgate does test on animals, according to the company’s website, it does offer a selection of products free of animal-derived ingredients:

Toothpaste:

  • Colgate Cavity Protection (Regular and Gel only)
  • Colgate 2in1 Toothpaste & Mouthwash
  • Colgate Max Fresh
  • Colgate Kids Toothpaste
  • Colgate Sparkling White

Toothbrushes:

  • All Colgate Toothbrushes

Source: http://www.colgate.ca/app/Colgate/CA/EN/Corp/Products/Vegetarians.cvsp

Please note that Colgate is not a vegan company and does test on animals. Colgate is listed on PETA as a ‘company that works for regulatory change’ which means “they test on animals only when required by law. They are completely transparent with PETA about which animal tests they conduct and why, and that are actively working to promote development, validation, and acceptance of non-animal methods.”.

Is Wool Cruel? – [Warning-Graphic]

Probably the least likely fashion material we would assume would involve harming another being. Wool.

Sheep are gentle individuals who, like all animals, feel pain, fear, and loneliness. Some people might say that shearing an animal for its fur isn’t cruel because there’s no pain involved and that sheep seem to even enjoy the shear every once and a  while. And while this may be true in certain cases, it is important to note that the majority of wool we buy comes from large industries where profit is above welfare. Because there’s a market for their fleece and skins and money is involved, they’re treated as nothing more than wool-producing machines.

If they were left alone and not genetically manipulated, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes. The fleece provides them with effective insulation against both cold and heat. Sheep are often bred or genetically manipulated in order for them to grow overlapping skin (to increase surface area) which, in turn, results in more wool production. This, in theory, seems harmless. However, the reality is that the flaps of skin is often extremely uncomfortable and sometimes painful for the sheep.

Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without any regard for the welfare of the sheep. This hasty and careless shearing leads to frequent injuries, and workers use a needle and thread to sew the worst wounds shut—without any pain relief. Strips of skin—and even teats, tails, and ears—are often cut or ripped off during shearing.

PETA’s investigations in Australia—the world’s top wool exporter—found that shearers beat, kicked, and threw terrified sheep. ”A PETA investigation of more than 30 shearing sheds in the U.S. and Australia uncovered rampant abuse. Shearers were caught punching and stomping on sheep, in addition to hitting them in the face with electric clippers and standing on their heads, necks, and hind limbs. One shearer was seen beating a lamb in the head with a hammer.  Another even used a sheep’s body to wipe the sheep’s own urine off the floor.   And yet another shearer repeatedly twisted and bent a sheep’s neck, breaking it.” Below, is the video revealing the abuse.

-The Vegan Lily

Eating Out As A Vegan

For some reason, I find that non-vegans seem to think that it’s extremely difficult to go to restaurants and family events as a vegan. I personally disagree.

Most places will have at least one vegan dish (even accidently) and if they don’t, they will usually accept your request to serve the dish without the cheese, dairy, honey etc.

I’ve found that most Indian and Chinese restaurants have loads of vegan dishes. Last week we decided to order a Chinese take away. I decided to get a dish with a cashew sauce (completely vegan friendly!) and it tasted amazing.

And last Friday I went to an Irish restaurant, where the waiter even offered to make me a special vegan dish. Not to my surprise, it was amazing again. A large salad with sundried tomatoes, wedges and a sweet and sour sauce. ❤

Family events may be a bit of a different story. If you know in advance that an event you’re going to will more than likely not have any vegan food, perhaps eat before you go out or bring some food with you (depending on what type of event it is).

Luckily, my family are quite accepting of my ethical beliefs (for the most part) but I understand that many vegans don’t get the support from their families that they deserve. In situations like these, I would suggest explaining to some of your family members (in a calm manner) some of the reasons that you decided to become vegan. Try to talk about issues that you know they would have some kind of interest in.

Gaining your family and friends support for your choice to be vegan may take some time, but it is certainly not impossible. You might even end up convincing a few more people you know to make the transition themselves!

-The Vegan Lily