Category Archives: Lifestyle

Introducing Happs: A Vegan & Preservative Free Wine

It happened one Friday night when my friend declined her drink, saying that it wasn’t vegan-friendly. But wait a second…isn’t all wine vegan? From my limited knowledge on wines, I had assumed that its grape base solidified it as a vegan drink. However, I was obviously way off the mark. Although a wine’s main ingredient is fermented grapes (or other fruit, if it’s not a grape wine), the production of wine involves the addition of a fining agent. As you can guess, this fining agent is made from animal products. The most frequently used fining agents are casein (a milk protein) or isinglass (gelatine derived from fish), as well as a host of other animal products such as chitin, egg albumen and even blood and bone marrow.

Image: The Kitchn

Now before you get put off wine forever, let me explain why fining agents are commonly used in its production. One of the main reasons is to retain its clarity and colour. Overtime, sediment may fall into the wine and without fining agents, the wine will become muddy with suspended solids. These fining agents can also reduce any astringency and bitterness, creating a flavour that is pleasant to the palate. It works by creating a bond between the agents and the suspended particles in the wine, producing larger particles which are then easily precipitated out of the wine.

Image: Wiki 

So, the question remains for all wine lovers out there; do you have to give up wine drinking to pursue your vegan journey? Not necessarily. Nowadays, other alternatives such as bentonite and carbon are being used. Since veganism has gained more traction, various non-animal-based agents such as vegetable gelatine and protein from peas and potatoes have been created as well.

And voilà! The vegan wine is born, and we need to look no further from our WA home to find the perfect source: Happs Wines.

Image: Happs

The family run winery is nestled in the beautiful Margaret River region and produces more than thirty grape varieties to date. They cater for every palate imaginable, with its uniqueness coming from the family’s artistic flair. Each bottle is artfully designed to fit different personalities and tastes, and their ongoing patronage of the arts only adds to this creativity. Not only a vineyard, the Happs estate is a hub for artists, jewellers, potters, sculptors and musicians alike, all who have gathered at the onsite gallery to showcase their talent.

Image: Margaret River Wedding Directory

The wines are an embodiment of the imaginative yet down-to-earth couple behind Happs. Erl and Ros were inspired to plant in Margaret River following Professor John Gladstone’s prediction of the region becoming much like the world class wine region of Bordeaux. Since then, they haven’t looked back, and have embraced their natural calling to create great wine. They go by the motto, “Great wines are made in the vineyard”, and their entire range is produced by the fruit grown from their own estate. Their two vineyard locations allow for a diversity in soil type and climate, creating subtle nuances between their wines. Happs focus not only on great quality, but on the cultivation of a more organic harvest by implementing an environmentally sustainable management regime and avoiding the use of herbicides. This practice allows for soil microorganisms to thrive, resulting in little to no addition of sulphite in the wine-making process. Essentially, they are able to create preservative free wines!

Image: Happs

Their wines can be divided into three distinct ranges, all recognised and exported globally:

  • The Happs Estate Range: evolved over thirty-five years to represent the layered landscape of the Northern Capes region.
  • The Three Hills Collection: embodies the cool climate and elegance of the Karridale vineyard. Only the very best fruit are selected, from the very best sections of the vineyard.
  • The Indigenous Series “iSeries”: an expression of the ancient land from which they are created, embodying a unique sense of place.

Image: Happs

Below is a list of the vegan and preservative free wines from their range. Their vegan wines are fined with a pea protein, ensuring that no animal products are used in its production. Preservative free wines are amazing for those prone to allergies and are completely free of all processing aids, including sulphites. Happs even boast of creating wine with the lowest content of preservatives, and it is no wonder that they are as well-loved as they are.

Vegan and Preservative Free:
Happs PF Red
Happs PF White
Happs Reds
Three Hills Reds

Preservative Free:
Happs White
Three Hills Whites

Image: Your Margaret River Region

So what are you waiting for? Find out more about this amazing wine at https://happs.com.au/. Don’t be afraid to grab yourself a few bottles, or even better, head down to their winery just 2.5 hours’ drive from Perth city.

Thanks to Happs Wines, we can now all enjoy our glass, guilt free!

 

Written by: Tiffany Ko

References:
https://happs.com.au/
https://www.thekitchn.com/as-it-is-vegan-week-136676

The Boldest Fashion Statements in Protest History: PETA

Whether we accept it or not, what we choose to buy and wear speaks a lot about who we are on the inside. As many of you hopefully know, the fashion industry has become more involved in activism throughout recent runways and shows. For lots of us, it is easier to buy cheap new garments without thinking of any downside. Through these purchases, we are sending a message of support to big fast-fashion, unsustainable, money orientated companies.

Image: Timur Emek / Getty Images

Well, praise the politics and open opinions of this society. Some designers and labels are out there, taking a stand against the irresponsible fashion industry model and reminding us why it’s so important to put our hard-earned money towards the positive side of the industry. Companies like PETA are not afraid to have tough conversations and extreme campaigns to highlight what they believe in. They tend to tackle the big world issues and launch the controversial ads, lines and collaborations that are not even in their best interests. It is becoming clearer that statements on and off the runways are getting the most attention, so to the brands who are doing it to get their name out there, not cool. But to those who have been supporting the good for years and truly believe in what they’re creating is for the greater good, I absolutely appreciate your work and bravery.

Compiling the most influential, extreme and boldest fashion protest statements in history has been a challenge but here are some of the best. I hope this written series changes the way you think of fast, cheap, cruel impulse buys.

Image: Huffington Post

PETA’S ANTI-FUR MODELS 1994

Sometimes, to make a statement, you need to recruit a few of the era’s top models and pose in no clothes at all. PETA revolutionized the 90s protest when the organization began to release their anti-fur campaigns full of completely naked models. The ad wrote ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’. Supermodels like Naomi Campbell, Chrissy Turlington, Kate Moss, Cindy Crawford and Elle McPherson were all photographed under the slogan stripped down to take a stand alongside PETA. This became one of the most iconic and influential advertisement of the 90s.

Image: PETA

This was all coming off a fur epidemic, where all through the past decades, most notably the 80s, fur was the ‘it’ item and the statement piece of women’s wardrobes. PETA’s anti-fur campaigns weren’t the first of their efforts to stop humanity and the fashion industry to stop the use of fur. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and was founded in the 80s where the founders would organize small protests starting in the US. Before their clever campaigns, PETA and its affiliates worldwide gained a reputation for controversially bizarre street theatre. In 1992, activists for PETA were known to throw paint at people who were wearing fur and at one stage a giant ‘sheep’ followed the Australian Prime Minister at the time around to protest the cruelty in our wool industry.

Image: PETA

PETA’s ‘We’d rather go naked than wear fur’ campaign was incredibly powerful, whilst still many ladies sadly continued to strip the lives of animals to remain in the fashion game, many high-profile brands like Armani committed to going fur-free and have continued doing so to this day. Shortly after, a survey went out around America and it was said that after only one in five women still owned a fur coat.

 

Written by Darcey Weaven

References:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cifamerica/2010/nov/03/peta-cruelty-to-animals
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1994/04/01/the-year-the-fur-flew/3b8ff4a7-b665-419b-882f-6e103b4fe04c/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.0d01bfb8258d

Luxury Vegan Sneakers: An Interview with VFL’s Designer, Kelly

Tell us a bit about yourself and your brand: After being a vegetarian and then vegan for approximately five years, I struggled to find any local products that were fashionable.  That’s when I took matters into my own hands and thought – I could make my own!

When did you launch VFL? I started the company in early 2017 and we launched in October 2017.

What was the reason behind you creating VFL? During my vegetarian days I was completely unaware of animal cruelty and I hate to admit this now but I would only buy designer items of leather/silk/cashmere etc thinking that they were the best natural products you can buy. Let’s just say when I transitioned  to being a vegan I got a very rude awakening, especially in my closet. I felt so awful and ignorant and couldn’t believe how unaware I was. I kept the products for quite a while afterwards as they were all so expensive, but I did end up selling what I could for very cheap. I couldn’t bear to even keep them in my closet anymore and it’s a bit hypocritical for a vegan to carry an LV bag and wear Louboutin’s. So I let go of my ego and fell in love with real cruelty-free materials and products. I swapped all my expensive perfumes and cosmetics for home-made or cruelty-free brands and have even started to make my own shampoo now. When you become vegan it’s more than just a diet, it’s about taking a look at all aspects of your life and making changes to better the planet where you can. I originally created the brand as a high end fashion line to hold status, but were importantly – also comfortable.

What are some of the materials you are using for your shoes: The current line is made of high quality micro-fibre which mimics and breathes like real leather.

What’s next for VFL? ? As I personally evolve, the business is definitely evolving with me. The new line I am working on is bespoke handmade shoes in Australia that will be plastic free and hopefully we can experiment with pineapple leather (pinatex), linens and cotton canvases, corks, recycled tyres ​and native materials. I am really excited for the future and can’t wait to show you what I create.

 

How can we purchase your gorgeous shoes? You can purchase the shoes online through https://vflvegansforlife.com/ and we are working on getting a store in Bondi this year. I am happy to give Vashti readers a discount code for 20% off with the promotion code: vashti.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pizza: The Cruelty Free Way

Pizza is a prized meal for those nights you just want to relax and indulge. When transitioning to veganism, it can often be hard to let go of the cheesy utopia that is the glorified Italian classic.

Ever since the veganism movement took off and made its way to Western Australia, it is astounding how easily accessible plant-based pizzas have now become.

 

Here are our top Perth pizza picks (PPP!):

Image: Peace’za

Peace’za East Vic Park

The original pizza place for plant-based people has always been Peace’za located in East Victoria Park. The menu items are authentic and are incredibly delicious. Be prepared for a flavour extravangza when you next visit Peace’za.

Image: Tavolo

Tavolo in Belmont

For those nights you feel like eating out, Tavolo based in Belmont is the perfect pizza option! Enjoy a relaxing ambience along with an entire vegan menu. With numerous options that cover a broad spectrum of Italian cuisine, there is something here for the whole crew.

Image: Dominos

Dominos – New vegan range

That’s right, we said it – Dominos! This local favourite, that is affordable and delicious, has recently introduced a VEGAN range. Through the app, website or even UberEats, you can now easily order an array of vegan pizzas and garlic bread too. Their margherita pizza is so identical to non-vegan pizza, you won’t look back.

https://vegan.dominos.com.au/

 

Image: Via Pizza

Via Pizza in Riverton

If it’s hidden gems that you are after, then Via Pizza has to be added to the top of the list. As of early July, a tiny Italian restaurant based in Riverton, introduced a mouth-watering vegan range.  South of the River locals can now rejoice at authentic Italian cuisine that is made with love. Not many people know about this treasure yet so be sure to try their new range as soon as possible.

Vegans and those who are transitioning into the compassionate way of life, can be put to ease as living life without our classic favourites is a thing of the past!

 

Written by Krithika Ramnarayan

Header image: Uno Momento 

Perth is a Plant-Based Donut Heaven

Who doesn’t love donuts? The iconic treat has been a household favourite for generations and now it has never been easier for a vegan to get a hold of them.

Image: Yo Donuts Perth

Veganism in Perth is an ever-growing movement and as a result, there are a plethora of options available for the consciously inclined.

We did some underground investigative work and found two boutique donut makers in Perth’s North and South regions, who are slowly developing their identity within the plant-based community.

Image: Yo Donuts Perth

Yo Donuts Perth

A delicious donut maker situated South of the River, Yo Donuts offers high-end donuts and cupcakes that look and taste like a work of art. Yo Donuts produces fresh goodies by order during the week, and orders can be made for a box of 12 or more. From Oreo and chocolate sauce filled delights to strawberry pistachio ring donuts, Yo Donuts Perth provides a mouth-watering alternative for people who are after an amazing experience, minus the cruelty.

Instagram: @yodonutsperth

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/yodonutsperth/

Image: 2 Fat Frenchies

2 Fat Frenchies

As the name suggests, this adorable North of the River business is a donut maker that produces aesthetically pleasing treats and not to mention has two French Bulldog mascots! The two fury friends belong to the owners of 2 Fat Frenchies, and photos of them are just part of the parcel. Enjoy the quirkiness of this unique brand along with some of the most stunning donuts you will ever see, not to mention a flavour extravaganza in your mouth!

Instagram: @2fat_frenchies

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/2FatFrenchies/

Image: 2 Fat Frenchies

Both Yo Donuts Perth and 2 Fat Frenchies are still hidden treasures amongst the vegan community and the donuts produced by both donut connoisseurs are made with an incredible personal touch.

Be sure to make your next donut orders with one of these two Perth gems.

 

Written by: Krithika Ramnarayan

The Vegan Community’s Best Kept Secret: Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine

The options for the plant-based community seems to be rapidly increasing. Veganism is easily the fastest growing movement and choices are becoming more mainstream, accessible and affordable.

Through our thorough investigation, we were able to unravel a compassionate gem amongst our niche! Introducing, Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine, a boutique vegan catering and meal preparation business based in Perth Western Australia.

We had the pleasure of interviewing the woman behind this cruelty free business:

Why did you start Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine?
I have been a massive animal lover all my life! I started my own vegan catering company to promote veganism and encourage others to make the change to a plant-based diet or at least eat less dairy, eggs and meat. The most effective way for me to promote change in people’s diet is through delicious food. It’s certainly what gave me the final push into veganism. To eat something delicious, fresh and cruelty free means that as a vegan, you don’t have to miss out on amazing, tasty food. I especially love it when Omni’s eat my food and can’t believe its vegan!

I became a Vegan almost three years ago now and before that, I was a vegetarian for most of my life. It wasn’t until I became vegan that I developed a real passion for food. I became really interested in modifying and altering non-vegan recipes to suit the vegan diet. It’s amazing how you can recreate flavours and textures without using meat, dairy and eggs. Cooking really excites me now and I want to show others how vegan cooking can ignite a passion for food and cooking in them too.

Can you tell us about some of the things Sylvia’s Vegan Cuisine does?
We cater for events and functions, either finger/party food or hot and cold dishes. We also provide individual weekly meals most weekends so people can order lunches and dinners for their week ahead. There are usually two options to choose from. We also provide a volunteer service for events such as the Greener Pastures Animal Sanctuary, who do fundraisers on a regular basis, like Yoga in the Pasture. You get to do morning yoga with the goats and the pigs then we provide a lunch afterwards. GPA are an amazing non-profit organisation run by Rachael Parker who cares for over 150 rescued farm animals. They are always in need to donations and support.

How do you source your amazing recipes?
The internet is a vegan’s best friend! Any recipe, food question, health query or general inquiry associated with veganism is fully covered online…. Just Google! Vegans are very well connected locally, nationally and internationally. I’ve been amazed by this. Bosh has great online recipes and so does Vegan Richa. I scope the odd magazine here and there for recipes and ideas. If I eat something delicious, I’ll ask the cook to share their recipe!

Why is spreading the message of veganism so important?
So many reasons. For me, first and foremost is to stop the suffering, torture, exploitation and death of animals. Animals are someones not somethings. We have a deep connection to all other sentient beings so to do what we are doing to them goes against our true nature as human beings. Also, animal agriculture is literally killing the planet. Health-wise, I think it’s pretty common knowledge now that it’s really not good for us to eat any animal products. We can certainly live wonderful, healthy lives without them.

Who are some of your vegan inspirations?
Every Australian vegan know James Aspey! He is a legend. James has dedicated his whole life to veganism and I really admire and appreciate the work he does. One of my cooking inspirations is Veet from Veet’s Cuisine in Byron Bay. I get to see her when I go on yoga retreat every year or so. She provides the delicious food for us yogis and its always organic, healthy, fresh and delicious. Veets always willing to share recipes and offers me advice and handy tips. There are vegans in my life who are the unsung heroes and inspire me on a daily basis. Rachael Parker who looks after the 150+ animals at Greener Pasturers with a small group of volunteers. One of my best friends, Caitlin Donaldson constantly inspires me. She’s studying law so that one day she can help make positive changes in legislation pertaining to animals. Caitlin also does a lot of volunteer work for places like GPS in her spare time. And then there’s young Alyssa Jade who also does a lot of volunteer work at GPS and helps run Perth Pig Save. Alyssa bravely approaches the pig trucks on their way in to Linley Valley abattoir in protest and to offer solace to the poor pigs.

How can we book you for an event or order one of your weekly lunch orders?
Easy! You can go to our Facebook page and leave a message or email us at info@sylviasvegancuisine.com. Give us a call on 0401 906 869 or visit the website sylviasvegancuisine.com

 

Written by: Krithika Ramnarayan
Images: Krithika Ramnarayan