Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Importance of Urban Mobility

(Originally posted at:
More than a month after my last Greenpeace blog post about the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, I'm now finally coming to the end of my trip to Brazil before I come home to Edinburgh. I've spent the last fortnight volunteering at the Greenpeace office here in Manaus in the Amazon, and it's been an amazing and really interesting experience. I will write another blog post specifically about how Greenpeace works in Brazil and some of the things I've been doing here, but right now I'd like to share a bit about a really important local campaign: transportation. 

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Vegan MoFo is coming!

The Vegan Month of Food (MoFo) is happening in September this year, and I'm going to be taking part for the first time!

So far, I haven't got a specific overall theme, but you can expect vegan food focused posts about:
  • Brazil (especially Manaus and Rio de Janeiro)
  • Travelling by plane
  • Connecting veganism and the environment
  • University life and academia
  • Being an activist and a vegan
  • Connecting veganism and peace issues
  • Edinburgh/Scotland
  • Veg boxes
  • Couch surfing (hosting and being hosted as a vegan)
  • Vegan recipes: old favourites and new discoveries
  • Topical animal rights and vegan issues and news

Plus probably a whole lot more besides!

Any suggestions for an overall theme, or requests for posts about specific things are very welcome; feel free to write them in the comments section below.

Monday, 26 August 2013

Vegan Brazil 2: Pará and Amazonas

In this post, I'll be discussing the kinds of vegan food I've been able to find so far in the Brazilian states of Pará and Amazonas, which both lie in the Amazon Basin in the north of the country. It's going to be quite limited in some ways as the only cities I've spent any significant time in are Belém, Alter do Chão and Manaus, but as I've also spent a couple of days in the forest staying with a family of indigenous rubber tappers and over five days travelling by boat along the Amazon River, I've also had some quite interesting experiences worth sharing.

At the risk of repeating myself, I want to say once again that it really is possible to be vegan and eat well in Brazil, but you do need to bear a few things in mind:

Firstly, most Brazilians that you meet simply won't know what vegans do and don't eat. I've met a fair few who do know what vegetarians eat, but none so far who've known anything about veganism, so you really do need to be prepared to try some Portuguese and be really clear about what you can eat.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Vegan Brazil 1: Rio de Janeiro & Foz do Iguaçu

I guess the first question is: why am I talking about being vegan in Brazil when there are so many other things I could be sharing about the incredible experiences I'm having here? I guess that the answer is that I wanted to write about this subject because, when I told friends, family and even relative strangers about my plans to spend around seven weeks in Brazil travelling on my own, many people assumed it would be very hard or even impossible to both eat well and keep to my ethical standpoint as a vegan here. However, I'm very pleased to be able to say that, so far at least, this definitely isn't the case.

Rio de Janeiro
Refeitorio Orgânico, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro

I think that most foreigners (and indeed most Brazilians too) will be surprised to hear that, according to the vegetarian and vegan travel website HappyCow, there are at least seven vegan restaurants and ten further vegetarian restaurants within the city of Rio de Janeiro alone. Whilst I was in Rio, I visited three of them, and would have gone to more if there hadn't been so much disruption disruption in the city during the World Youth Day, which I wrote a bit about in my last post.