A film night with the Arran Vegan Group and upcoming events

Carol and Jules of the Stonewater House Vegan B&B in Lamlash and the Arran Vegan Group hosted a wonderful vegan film night last month, open to everyone. By Alice Maxwell.

We were warmly welcomed and offered a delicious vegan spread – vegan wraps, pastries, humus and veg sticks, followed by two wonderful vegan cakes. Carol and Jules’ generosity also extended to a range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic vegan drinks. After we had been fed and watered, we were invited to watch two films in Stonewater’s spacious and comfortable sitting room.

The first film, entitled “73 Cows” was a touching short story about a farmer named Jay Wilde who had followed his father’s footsteps into beef farming on Bradley Nook Farm in Derby. Jay is a sensitive man, and became increasingly aware of the cows’ emotions and different personalities. Sending them to slaughter seemed to him like betraying them, and he felt trapped – knowing his work was cruel and unnecessary but not knowing how to change tack. Finally, with the help of his wife Katja, they decided to become a meat free farm, and soon became labelled by neighbours as The Funny Farm. Although their herd was valuable, they refused to send the cows to the abattoir and instead found them refuge at the Hillside animal sanctuary in Norfolk, where they could live out the rest of their days in a “happy cowy” way. The short film won a BAFTA award earlier this year.

The second film shown was “The Game Changers” – a film mostly about athletes who changed to a plant based diet, and how the diet transformed their performance. Diagrams were shown of how meat and dairy products clog the arteries, leading to innumerable health problems – from tiredness to full blown heart attacks, diabetes and premature death. Heart attacks are one of highest causes of death among fire fighters. A group of New York fire fighters volunteered to go on a vegan diet for a week, and had their blood pressure, heart rate and weight taken before and after the experiment. The results were remarkable – even after only a week the men were markedly healthier on a vegan diet and the men felt more focused, relaxed and energetic.

Arnold Shwarzeneger appeared in the film too, saying what a huge difference the diet had made to his health and physical strength. He pointed out that the Western world has been fed the misconception that “Steak is for Men” for far too long. Research has found that Roman Gladiators were in fact vegetarian, proving that physical strength is not reliant on meat, which in fact reduces strength. The strongest man in the world, Patrick Baboumian, was shown breaking the world record of weight lifting – he was able to lift 555 kg after converting to a vegan diet.

The human body is not designed to eat meat at all – our teeth are suited to grinding and crushing plants, and our digestive tracts are far longer than carnivores – who need to digest meat quickly. We humans also cannot make our own vitamin C, so we must rely on plants for this. Vitamin B12 is commonly thought to be only available from animal products but it seems this is also a fallacy. The vitamin is actually found in the soil and water that animals ingest, but due to pesticides it is being destroyed and even meat eaters are now being found to be B12 deficient.

The environmental effects of eating meat are enormous. Vast swathes of natural forest are cleared every day to make way for growing animal fodder. ¾ of agricultural land is used for livestock and around ¼ of the word’s carbon emissions come from livestock. This figure is almost the same as all of the world’s transport.

With so much compelling evidence, the eating of meat and all animal products simply does not make sense. Let’s be kind to ourselves, the planet and its future generations, and think about steps we could make towards a plant based diet.

For more information on the Arran Vegan Group see their Facebook page

Here is a list of upcoming events organised by the Arran Vegan Group. The next meet up and film night is on Thursday 28th November at the Ormidale Pavillion. The film showing is ‘How not to die’. The group is also getting ready for the Arran VegFest in March 2020. See the website for all the activities and events planned so far.

ARRAN VEGAN GROUP – Events for your Diary

Glasgow Vegan Festival
Saturday 23 November 2019
Glasgow Trade Halls, 85 Glassford Street, Glasgow G1 1UH

Film: How Not To Die
Thursday 28 November 2019
Ormidale Pavilion, Brodick
Entry Free, donations to cover costs welcome

Festive Vegan Cookery Day including vegan organic lunch
Wednesday 4 December 2019
Drimlabarra Herb Farm, Kildonan
Contact Nicola Dee Kelly for details at 01770 820338
www.herbalmedicine.org.uk sshm@herbalmedicine.org.uk

Vegan Group Christmas Dinner
Thursday 12 December
PHT, Lamlash
(please let us know by 30/11/2019 if you would like to attend)

Arran VegFest
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 March 2020
Arran High School, Lamlash


Carol and Jules at Stonewater House, hosting last month’s film night.