Thursday, 29 April 2010

A day in the life of the ALiberation group

I can't believe that I had my last class today. I'm so relieved and at the same time it seems that everything happened fast. Well, I can say that I had exactly one semester because it was just three months of classes. I still have two final exams in May but I just need to study at home. I really like to study, like to go to the university and enjoy having to read all the academic stuff. So, I'm really happy to say that I did well in this first period of the Master.

Today I had the feedback about my Photojournalism assignments and I'm very happy to say that I got an "A" in the final one, that I loved to do. We had to choose between three proposed themes and one of them was "A day in the life of..." and I decided to photograph the vegan/animal rights Irish group ALiberation. They do a demo basically every Saturday in the city center and now they are fighting against the fur factories in Ireland. I stayed there for hours and did more than a hundred pictures. It was very nice, I already know most of them, so it was good to be doing something related to my choices, to my values. For the final project we should choose at least 6 photos and present them as a book or a magazine article.

My final project:

The words:

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The voice of the animals in Dublin

In the last years the groups that fight for the animal rights are increasing around the world and campaigns to spread the vegetarianism and veganism started to be more mainstream, with some celebrities embracing the cause. The Irish group Aliberation is a group based in Dublin that is trying to be the voice of the animals around here. The group focuses its aims in informing the public about the respect for the rights that all animals – human or nonhuman – have: “The right not to be murdered; the right to freedom, the right to bodily integrity and the right not to be considered property”.

The group prefers to work with one campaign each time to have the opportunity to dedicate 100% to it. Right now they are promoting the fight against the animal fur industry in Ireland. Their aim is not an easy one: they want the abolition of the Irish fur factory farms. In times of economic crisis, the group is facing some protests against their protests that happens basically every Saturday afternoon in front of the store Barnardo Furriers (the oldest fur shop in Ireland), located in the city center. The group has also to do with the Gardaì many times, even when they are doing nothing wrong or illegal. Their purpose is to talk to people and get signatures for some petitions. It is freedom of expression, it is freedom of information.

The work they are doing for the animals seems to attract a lot of people in Dublin, that agree with the actual campaign. During one afternoon with the group it's possible to see different types of people going to the table to join the cause: teenagers, old people, families, Irish or non-Irish, vegetarians, vegans or omnivores. There are no stereotypes – as many people use to think – about the ones that believe in the animal rights. People that have in common the opinion that animals shouldn't be treated as object, especially when it is just too promote the (cruel) fashion industry.

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I will make a set with more photographs soon at my Flickr page soon too!

Friday, 16 April 2010

Sugar? Agave? Nothing at all?

Vegan chocolate cake date I baked using agave nectar

There are many studies around about the use of sweeteners. The white sugar is always the "bad guy" and we all know that it is really bad (
mainly due to its refinement process) and in some places it is still not vegan too. Because of all that, people started to look for other options, healthier, of sweeteners.

The agave nectar (or syrup) has been used for a lot of people as a more natural option. I had never used before two months ago and I thought it was really good to bake using it and that it could be better to replace the white sugar in the cakes with it (Matteo's birthday cake was made with agave). Then two days ago I received this article by email, about the myth of the agave and how bad it can be to our body. I'm not an expert in the issue and I really don't know what to do. In Brazil is not that hard to find the brown sugar,
known as a more healthy and less toxic option and I can find it here in Ireland as well (including some organic options). But will be this enough? I really like sweets and I'd like to have some good options.

But what should we use as a really good option? Nothing at all? What do you think?

Monday, 12 April 2010

I will always have time...

... to do my best for the most important person in my life:

Happy Birthday! (L)

Matteo's favourite vegan cake is also my best seller one!

Friday, 9 April 2010

The (vegan) food in the house

I'm in love with the spring again. This year is being even better because we are living in a house, in a neighborhood full of houses and parks and trees that start to be full of flowers. I am enjoying every single moment of these amazing changes of the weather.

I'm still working a lot and I have a lot of assignments to do what means no time for a lot of things that I love, including blogging and cooking. But we are having some good meals. For our 4th anniversary, my sister-in-law cooked an amazing lasagna (and nothing better than Italian food prepared by Italian people!) for lunch and pizza in the night. I did a lemon cheesecake (I'll post the recipe later) too, so we had lots of good food.

Eggplant and zucchini lasagna
(the image isn't good but it was delicious!)

And we can always count with some stuff that make our days in the kitchen easier:

From Italy

From Italy

Our Easter egg, also from Italy

This is an amazing vegan cheese that
my best friend Clarissa (and Dennis) brought to us from Berlin

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

I believe in love

Today is our 4th anniversary! It's unbelievable how fast time is passing. I still remember all the details of that day. The most beautiful day of my life.

I am not a religious person but me and Matteo decided to get married in the church as well. At the time it seemed to be the best thing to do to our families and it was 100% worth it. Everybody that was important to us was there and it was amazing! We had a small party after the ceremony with a vegan menu (including the cake) and the food was just perfect.

But the most important thing today is to celebrate these 4 years. I don't believe in marriage in the way some people do. I don't think that the law or the church can change two people's lives. I believe in love. Signing a piece of paper or talking in front of a priest didn't change nothing in my life. I was married before and it didn't work, so I could just give up. But I didn't. I still believe that living with someone you love more than everything is the best way to spend your life. I believe that this relationship between two people is really amazing. It's not always easy, but it's totally worth it. I don't believe that the law or the church make a marriage. Love, respect and friendship are the ingredients. And you must take care of this every single day. It will be enough, I promise. I don't understand how people think that getting married could change the relationship. I do believe that moving together changes a lot of things. But if you learn how to live and be happy with the person you love, you are already married.

Today I'm celebrating this amazing day and all the memories that it bring to my mind.

Matteo, thanks for being my husband. The love of my life.


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