Costa Rica: Together, we just won a big victory for sharks and rays!

Check out the following response from Turtle Island Restoration Network in relation to our recent post re shark protection petition – our original link is shown here:



Dear Mark,

Together, we just won a big victory for sharks and rays!

On Monday, Costa Rica officially announced it would support the listing of all proposed shark and ray species at an important international conservation meeting being held in Costa Rica later this month.

I personally want to thank every one of you that signed our petition asking Costa Rica to take a strong position. Our almost 5,000 voices united together helped make a difference.

The announcement came after the Ministry of Environment sided with us and not with the Costa Rican Fisheries Institute who vehemently oppose shark protections.

Read more about the victory here.

2016 is going to be a pivotal year for the protection of sharks leading up to the CITES meeting in South Africa in the fall where critical decisions will be made.

Thank you for helping protect the sharks!

Peter Fugazzotto
Strategic Programs Director
Turtle Island Restoration Network

turtle island

PS – Even though Costa Rica will be supporting the listings, a number of other countries will need to vote in favor at the meeting this month. Please make a donation today so we can advocate on behalf of sharks and rays in the upcoming days.



England: Valentine Vegan – Great Food Specials and Links For Animal Free Best Food !



Vegan Recipe Club February Valentine Special!

The Viva! Vegan Recipe Club newsletter is back and we have some exciting new sections which will guarantee that there is something there for everyone. Alongside our usual recipes, we introduce our new Guest Chef Recipe and Viva!Health sections alongside regular news about our Viva! campaigning activities. We have a double whammy of culinary delights to tempt you with this month as we welcome both Valentine’s Day and Pancake Day! Wondering how to show your love on Valentine’s Day? Well, we don’t want to over-promise and under-deliver but if you follow our Goddess Chocolate Heart recipe, you will be sure to make your partner or friend feel special and end your evening on the sweetest of notes! Then of course, there is Pancake Day to follow so we want to share a lovely egg-free pancake recipe with a healthy filling, ideal for kids and adults alike. February also seems an opportune time to introduce the lovers section on our Viva! site. This is packed with all you need to know about giving your love life a boost as a veggie, from foods that make you feel good, to getting in shape and boosting your energy levels! Valentine Vegan Fact: veggie food is full of natural aphrodisiacs that will have your love life sizzling, including asparagus, almonds, avocados and bananas.

Guest Chef Recipe

CHEF – Rachana Sequoia

RECIPE – Raw Chocolate Goddess Love Hearts

Each month we are now going to showcase an inspiring and talented chef who inspires us with mouthwatering vegan recipes. To launch the section we introduce Rachana Sequoia.

Rachel has embraced a no meat diet since she was 12 years old.

Her mission is simple, to inspire people to make changes in the way we eat for our health, our happiness and our planet! These little nibbles of divine gorgeousness are so easy to make for yourself or your beloved on Valentines Day or any other day. The superfood raw cacao will boost your love vibes and put a huge smile on your faces, giving you a lovely burst of energy. Cacao is known as the food for the Love Generation of which, dear Viva! friends, you are fully fledged members! Serves: approx 20 Chocolate hearts | approx 50 minutes for a batch Ingredients: 100g cacao butter (melted) 10g coconut oil (melted) 70g cacao powder 30g lucuma powder 50g maple syrup or agave syrup A pinch sea/rock salt ½ tsp cacao nibs Dried raspberries A pinch of pink rose petals ½ teaspoon mucuna – bliss herb


Melt the chopped up cacao butter and the coconut oil in a bowl over  a saucepan of boiling water (also called a bain-marie). Add sweetener and all powdered ingredients.

Crumble up the dried raspberries  and rose petals and sprinkle a little in each of the moulds.

Spoon in just ¼ teaspoon of the liquid raw chocolate into each mould to cover over the raspberries/rose petals and keep them visible as pretty decoration.

Pop in fridge for 10 minutes to set. Then fill moulds to the top with the remaining chocolate mixture.

Set in the fridge for 30 minutes… then it’s over to you, sweetness, to spread the LOVE!

ALL KITTED OUT Saucepan Chocolate mould Measuring spoon Mixing bowl Ladle Thanks to Rachana Sequoia from Juiciful for the Goddess Lovehearts. To order your selection of gourmet vegan chocolates, find amazing vegan recipes and check out her workshops in raw vegan food get in touch


Pancake Day Gorgeous pancakes without an egg in sight.

Here’s our fool proof recipe – with nice serving suggestions. Serves: approximately 8 medium pancakes | Time: 20 minutes for a batch This basic pancake batter is very versatile. If you want thicker pancakes – American or Scotch style – just reduce the liquid a little. Try using 120ml each of plant milk and water instead of 175ml. It is easier to make something too thick and thin it down rather than the other way round!


175ml/6fl oz soya milk

175ml/6fl oz water

175g/6oz plain flour, sieved – we like to use half fine wholemeal and white but they work with all white or all wholemeal too! If you’ve only got self-raising flour, no problem – just halve the baking powder.

2 tbsp chickpea flour, sieved – also known as gram or besan flour. Don’t skip the sieving, it’s really hard to get the lumps out otherwise!

1 tsp baking powder, sieved

1 tbsp plain vegetable oil

Pinch of salt

Additional oil for frying – or low-cal spray if using non-stick pan

Note  • Gluten-free flour and baking powder works in this recipe (rest of the ingredients are already g/f) • Chickpea (gram or besan) flour is widely available from bigger branches of most supermarkets; ethnic shops like Indian grocers; health food shops. It’s pretty cheap! ‘Elephant’ is one brand to look out for. 

Serving Suggestions

Strawberries and cashew nut cream

Raspberry, chocolate and sprinkled almonds

Syrup: golden, agave, date or maple

Coconut palm sugar and lemon juice

Fresh fruit with syrup as above – e.g. banana, strawberries, blueberries…

Fresh fruit with chocolate sauce – click here for an easy vegan choc sauce recipe, or use a vegan chocolate spread such as Plamil Alternative To Milk or Essential Trading’s Dark Chocolate Spread

Vegan ice cream

ALL KITTED OUT Scales Measuring spoons Measuring jug Sieve Whisk or stick blender Mixing bowl Non-stick frying pan Ladle Thin spatula/fish slice, eg silicone   Method:

Place all of the ingredients, except the oil for frying, in a blender and blend until smooth. Alternatively whisk by hand until there are no lumps.

Heat a small amount of oil in a frying pan until piping hot. Drain off any excess (or use low-cal spray, as above).

Pour enough of the batter mixture in to the frying pan to thinly cover the bottom. Fry on one side for about a minute. Loosen the edges with a spatula and flip. Fry the flip side for another minute or until done.

Remove from pan and keep warm in the oven on its lowest setting.

Add more oil/spray to the pan if and when necessary. Repeat steps 3 to 6 until all of the mixture is used up. Serve with your chosen accompaniments.


Viva! News

My Vegan Town

my vegan town

This is the first phase of our new directory which showcases places to eat and stay, shops, producers, events and discounts – and we have loads of exciting features still to come. We want the Viva! Vegan Directory to be user-led, so we need you to get involved to make this THE place to go for all things veggie & vegan. You can share the vegan love by adding a listing or review to My Vegan Town.

You can submit a listing for a veg-friendly place to eat, sleep or shop. You can even add a listing for ethical events, services and like-minded local groups.  It’s super easy and completed in just six steps. Tell the world where to get the best vegan cheese or post a few snaps of that delish vegan burger served at your local café – we want it all! And if you’re a business, you can add your own listing!

We hope that My Vegan Town will be the perfect travelling companion for your animal-friendly adventures and we’d love to have your feedback at this stage. Click on the links to get there! Or if you can’t find your cherished veg-friendly thing, get in touch!



Petition: Punish Billionaire for Destroying Coral Reef With Megayacht.

coral reef

Punish Billionaire for Destroying Coral Reef With Megayacht

Petition 2

Target: Cayman Islands Department of Environment Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie

Goal: Ensure man whose megayacht chain allegedly damaged most of a coral reef is properly punished for his negligence.

Billionaire Paul Allen is reportedly responsible for the destruction of a coral reef due to the fact that he anchored his ridiculously massive yacht in the middle of it.

The huge chain wrecked havoc upon the Cayman Islands reef, damaging around 80 percent of it. Almost 14,000 square feet of it was entirely destroyed, leaving untold numbers of marine organisms without food and shelter.

Paul Allen is the co-founder of Microsoft, and as such he is incredibly wealthy. His yacht is the 49th largest in the world according to Boat International. Something this massive was bound to disrupt the ocean, but this destruction of such an important aspect of the marine ecosystem is completely unacceptable.

Allen is blaming the local port authority for the destruction of this reef, but his completely unnecessary yacht never should have been near the coral reef in the first place. Due to the fact that he has so much money, it’s possible that the authorities may be reluctant to try and prosecute him for this destruction. We cannot allow that to happen as it will send the message that billionaires can get away with anything.

Coral reefs cannot be repaired once destroyed. However, justice can be done and things like this can be prevented. Sign our petition to demand that Paul Allen be punished for damaging this coral reef.


Dear Director Ebanks-Petrie,

Recently, 80 percent of the West Bay coral reef was reportedly damaged by the anchor chain of Paul Allen’s massive megayacht. This is an incredible amount of destruction, as I’m sure you know, and will have a devastating effect on the marine ecosystem in the area. All of this is because of the greed of a rich man who apparently thinks that he can get away with anything.

This coral reef lies in a protected area and its destruction warrants much more than a simple fine that wouldn’t put a dent in his huge fortune. This is also not the first time that billionaire yachts have come along to damage these fragile habitats.

We can’t let this man get away with effectively destroying this coral reef and leaving untold numbers of marine animals without their home. Please do not let him off easy, as nothing can bring back a coral reef like this which took hundreds of years to develop. Ensure that your government presses charges against Paul Allen and makes him pay for his greedy negligence.


[Your Name Here]






A Probable Carcinogen Is Now the Most Heavily Used Weed Killer in History.

A Probable Carcinogen Is Now the Most Heavily Used Weed Killer in History

But don’t expect a new analysis of glyphosate use to derail Monsanto’s plans for its next-generation herbicides.

Jason Best is a regular contributor to TakePart who has worked for Gourmet and the Natural Resources Defense Council.


One of the promises made at the beginning of Monsanto’s biotech revolution some 20 years ago was that planting crops genetically engineered to withstand weed killer applications would dramatically reduce the amount of chemicals farmers used. So why are we virtually drowning in herbicide today?

An analysis published Tuesday in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe finds that, rather than herald a bright future where farmers had to rely less on chemical herbicides, broad adoption of Monsanto GMO crops designed to withstand the herbicide glyphosate appears to have instead led to a chemical deluge. Today, glyphosate, which Monsanto markets under the brand name Roundup, stands as “the most widely and heavily applied weed-killer in the history of chemical agriculture in both the U.S. and globally,” according to a statement released by the Environmental Working Group in response to the findings.

Indeed, the analysis finds that use of glyphosate has skyrocketed 15-fold since Monsanto introduced its line of Roundup Ready crops in 1996. Although the chemical herbicide has been around since the mid-1970s, some 75 percent of all glyphosate applied to crops during the history of its use has been sprayed in the last 10 years. That equates to 2.4 billion pounds sprayed in just the U.S. from 2004 to 2014, the equivalent of 436 million gallons of Monsanto’s Roundup PowerMax formula.

Put in another, more Web-savvy way, the Environmental Working Group translates that mind-boggling amount as enough to fill some 3 million kiddie pools a foot deep—which, put end to end, would span the country.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way—at least not according to the vision Monsanto sold farmers a generation ago. The problem with glyphosate was that it had a nasty tendency to kill crops along with weeds, but Monsanto said it had neatly solved that problem with its line of patented GMO crops. Because those Roundup Ready crops were engineered to thrive even when doused with glyphosate, farmers could use the potent herbicide to kill pesky weeds, in less amounts than they might with other types of herbicides.

That’s what happened—at first. But within a decade, something “unexpected” occurred—or rather, it was unexpected only if you believe it never dawned on the experts in life sciences at Monsanto that it might happen. Farmers began reporting that certain weeds appeared to have developed a resistance to glyphosate. Instead of using less herbicide, now some farmers were being forced to use much more to combat a growing epidemic of “monster weeds.”

Why does all this matter today, even beyond the staggering amount of glyphosate that’s being applied to American cropland and the broken promises of the agrochemical industry that the deluge represents?

For starters, last year the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, made big news when it classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen, raising significant concerns about the safety for the farmworkers around the world who are charged with applying massive amounts of the herbicide to fields, as well as the health of agricultural communities where use is heaviest.

Second, rather than take a long, hard look at what’s happened in the 20 years since Monsanto sold farmers on the company’s trademarked crop “system,” the big agrochemical giants are instead rolling out a new generation of GMO crops coupled with newly formulated chemical combos.

Despite the withdrawal of the approval of the Environmental Protection Agency late last year, Dow remains committed to getting its Enlist Duo system to market, while Monsanto is developing Xtend, or what might be dubbed “Roundup Ready 2.0.” In an effort to combat the scourge of super weeds, both companies have developed powerful herbicides that pair more chemicals with—you guessed it—more glyphosate.



Petition: Stop Selling Elephant and Rhino Ivory on Yahoo.

Petition Link:

Petition 2

Stop Selling Elephant and Rhino Ivory on Yahoo

Target: Yahoo Inc. CEO Marissa Mayer

Goal: Stop allowing ivory sales on Yahoo Japan that threaten the endangered elephant and rhino populations.

Internet company Yahoo is still a participant in the ivory trade that’s devastating populations of endangered animals, including elephants. While Google and Amazon have committed themselves against allowing any sale of ivory through their websites, Yahoo Japan is making millions from it. These sales increased from two million to seven million in the span of just four years.

The ivory market continues to thrive as the material becomes more rare and precious due to the shrinking populations of the animals that grow in on themselves. The western black rhino has been driven to extinction, and the white rhino only has three remaining individuals left, all in captivity. Due to poaching for ivory and habitat shrinkage, elephants could be extinct in just one or two decades.

The more Yahoo Japan fuels the ivory trade, the more they put the last remaining rhinos and elephants in danger. Multiple companies and governments have already been pressured to end their roles in this brutal and devastating market, and we can do the same with Yahoo. Sign our petition to the CEO of Yahoo to demand that she prohibits all sale of ivory through her website.


Dear Ms. Mayer,

Your company, Yahoo, is currently participating in a brutal market that’s responsible for the endangerment and extinction of multiple animal species, including the western black rhino and the African elephant. Yahoo Japan recently saw $7 million in ivory sales, up from $2 million just four years prior. This cannot be allowed to continue.

Poaching for ivory has caused the loss of so many magnificent animals, and participation in the trade of this material is what drives poachers to continue slaughtering them in incredible numbers. Experts estimate that African elephants could be extinct in as little as 10 years, largely due to this practice. The only way to stop poaching entirely is to eliminate the market for ivory. There is no other reason to poach elephants.

Companies like Google and Amazon have already committed themselves against the ivory trade. Consumers across the world are becoming more aware of the realities and consequences of this market and will not stand for your participation in the slaughter of rhinos and elephants. If you want to protect your already faltering profits, you must immediately prohibit all sale of ivory through Yahoo Japan and any affiliated sites.


[Your Name Here]