Wildlife Wednesdays: Seals

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5 Fun Facts about Seals

1. Only common and grey seals breed in British waters, though vagrant northern seals can be seen around our coasts. Common and grey seals are difficult to tell apart when in the water. The common seal has a relatively smaller head and its nostrils form a V-shape. The grey seal has an elongated ‘Roman nose’ and its nostrils are parallel.

2. Because seals hunt in the open sea and usually travel long distances in search of prey, returning to land means a significant drain on their energy reserves.  Therefore, seals tend to fast when ashore and minimise the time they spend on land.

3. Blubber is a good insulator at sea, but seals can overheat on land, even on cool days, so they often fan themselves with their flippers.

4. Because seals are evolved from land carnivores and, unlike whales and dolphins haven’t evolved ways of giving birth at sea, they must return to land to give birth to their pups.

5. Pups of both species are fed for up to four weeks, during which time they can more than double their body weight. Their mothers then abandon them.

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Where to see Seals? 

While seals can be seen basking at any time of year, they primarily return to land to moult (common seals from August to September; grey seals from February to April) and breed (common seals from June to August; grey seals from September to December).

Common seals are not actually uncommon in fresh water rivers and have been known to travel several hundred miles upstream. Grey seals, on the other hand, are much less likely to enter rivers.

The top 10 seal watching spots in the UK can be found here.

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Links to my previous Wildlife Wednesday posts can be found here and here.

Thanks for Reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird

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SOURCES : RSPB, Discover Wildlife, Countryfile

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Wildlife Wednesdays: Foxes

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This weeks’s WildLife Wednesday is all about the beautiful fox. Adaptable, clever and unmistakable, here are 5 fun facts about this wonderful animals.

 

5 Fun Facts about Foxes

  1. The fox’s success is mainly due to the fact that they are willing to eat almost anything. They have become particularly good at living alongside humans in farmland and urban areas.
  2. Foxes are traditionally  thought of as being sly and cunning, they are very clever and adaptable creatures.
  3. They often only live for one or two years, although they have been known to survive for up to nine years.
  4. Foxes are territorial, and for most of the year they live in small family groups. Foxes mate in January, and cubs are born in March, looked after by the ‘vixens’ (females) of the family.
  5. You are most likely to see foxes at dawn or dusk and you may also hear them howling in at night, particularly in the breeding season.

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What’s the deal with fox hunting? 

Whilst hunted in the past, fox hunting is now banned, but foxes are not welcomed by everyone and still suffer cruelty in some areas. Campaigners claim that illegal fox hunting still continues.  Despite public opposition, it was reported in September that Theresa May is planning to go ahead with a vote to repeal the Hunting Act in Parliament, a pledge included in last year’s Conservative election manifesto. This would lift the ban on hunting. Keep a watch for petitions and other ways to get involved in the Keep the Ban movement. https://www.facebook.com/AntiFoxHunt/

Where can you find them? 
Foxes inhabit almost every habitat – sea cliffs, sand dunes, salt marshes, peat bogs, high mountains, woodland and particularly abundant in urban areas.
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Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird
Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird
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I have always been fascinated by animals and Wildlife. My holidays as a child were spent looking for nature in some shape or form and always involved at least a few animal related activities , be it visits to local farms or dare I say it, zoos. I no longer visit zoos (a subject of a future post) but there are still so many ways of seeing, discovering and finding out more about British Wildlife.

Which brings me on to my new weekly topic. Each week, I will focus on a new beauty of British Wildlife so we can all learn about these amazing animals that are right on our doorstep. As it’s December, I thought I would start with the Robin.

5 Fun Facts about Robins

  1. The robin was declared Britain’s National Bird on December 15th, 1960 and again in 2015.
  2. Robins are one of the only UK birds to be heard singing in the garden on Christmas day, warning off intruders with their songs as well as using their sweet tunes for finding a mate.
  3. When the male robin has found a mate, he will strengthen their bond by bringing the female food, such as worms and caterpillars, which she begs for noisily.
  4. Robins will defend their territories to the death, and so in the poem “Who killed Cock Robin?”
  5. Their nests are made from grass, moss and dead leaves and usually in a hole in a tree stump, bank or wall.

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Where can you see Robins?

Robins breed throughout the British Isles, and on almost all of our offshore islands. They can be found all year round across the UK in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.  The best way to see a robin in your garden is to dig.  Within minutes one may perch on a fence or branch nearby waiting to inspect the newly-turned soil for earthworms.

I hope you enjoyed the first Wildlife Wednesday post.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird
Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird
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Sources: http://www.discoverwildlife.com, https://www.rspb.org.uk, http://www.garden-birds.co.uk, https://onekind.org/animal/robin-european/

Favourite vegan and health apps

There are some great apps to help you on your healthy journey. Here’s a pick of some of my favourites divided into Exercise, Health and Veganism.

Exercise 

Walk Jog Run

WalkJogRun

I use this app for finding running routes near me and if really did help me to increase the distances that I run. Shows hill climb gradients so you can avoid those particularly hilly routes or tackle them head on! Easy to follow, just don’t get caught out in the middle of the woods with no signal!

http://www.walkjogrun.net

Map by Run

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Loads of features here but I mostly use this to record all of my runs and examine my pace per mile and other stats. I love the weekly round up email detailing your week’s activities and total distance ran.

Nike Training

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A library of workouts from athletes and trainers which focus on the type of training you would like to do. You can keep track of your activities and even share them with friends if you’re feeling competitive.

Health

Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen

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Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen (the brain behind Nutritionfacts.org) allows you to record the essential foods he recommends you try to incorporate into your daily diet. Based on his book ‘How Not to Die’.

Sleep Cycle

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If you have trouble getting up in the morning, this app may be for you. It measures your sleep cycle and wakes you sometime during a 30-minute window before your alarm when you’re in the lightest sleep state ensuring you feel naturally rested.

 

Headspace

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Billed as the ‘gym membership for the mind’ , Headspace is a meditation app that suggests just 10 minutes a day can help improve concentration, happiness and relieve stress. It’s extremely accessible for the beginner and easy to follow. I can highly recommend.

Veganism

Cruelty Free beauty

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This handy guide allows you to check which cosmetic, personal care and household product companies are cruelty-free. These companies have all been given the Leaping Bunny certification so you can be assured that no new animal testing is used.

Barnivore 

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Barnivore is an online directory of vegan and vegetarian beer, wine, and liquor. You may not know but when filtering the drinks prior to bottling, companies can use things like isinglass (from fish bladder), gelatine and egg whites. This app is great to discover which brands are cruelty free when out and about.

Do you have any favourite apps?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird
Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird
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5 Reasons To Go Vegan

For the Animals

IMG_0641This is personally my number one reason for going vegan. I just couldn’t justify the suffering these animals were experiencing at my hands. Animals have rights just like people. Who decided that these beautiful creatures should be used and abused at our expense and for our edible pleasure? Unfortunately, we seem to have a great love and respect for dogs, cats, lions, tigers and other cute and fuzzy animals, it sadly seems harder to make the connection that cows, pigs, lambs, chickens are just the same. I was there myself and I’ve glad I woke up.

For your Health

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Not only has the vegan diet been proven to reduce the risk of diseases, strokes, diabetes and obesity, I have never felt better. My skin is clear, I have more energy and I blooming well ran the London marathon. Nutritionfacts.org is a great resource for nutritional information as well as the latest studies and findings related to the benefits of a plant based diet.

For the Food

IMG_0403As I’m sure you know by now, vegan food is more than just lettuce and avocado.  ‘What do you eat?’ is one of the most common questions that I get asked by those carnivorous types. I usually answer ‘virtually everything you eat’…curries, stews, pies, stir frys, pasta, chips, crisps, cakes, biscuits, ice cream, cereal, bread. You name it, you can veganise it. See it’s not too different, eh?

For the Environment

IMG_0949If you’ve seen Cowspiracy, you would know that eating animals is one of the biggest contributing factors to climate change. The production of meat and other animal products places a huge burden on the environment – from crops and water needed to feed the animals, to the transport from the farm to your plate. Furthermore, the large amount of grain feed required for meat production is a significant contributor to deforestation, habitat loss as well as species extinction.

 

For the People 

hands-63743_1920I have been accused of only caring about animals and not people. Apart from the fact, that my heart is big enough to care for all living beings, we can feed more people in the world on the food that animals, raised as food, eat than we can on the “food”  that you get from animals.

The fact is you can get everything you need from a vegan diet, without harming others and our environment in the process so what’s the point in eating meat?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird.

Check out my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/londonveganbird
Follow me on Twitter @londonveganbird
Follow me on Instagram: London Vegan Bird

Vegan 101: Eggs

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Continuing on with my Vegan 101 series, my beginners guide to veganism. This time I’m looking at Eggs so let’s begin with some FAQs.

What’s wrong with eggs? The facts

  • Living Conditions at egg factory farms are terrible. Caged hens are kept in cramped conditions with wire mesh floors. What’s more,their beaks are cut off so as not to peck each other from frustration.
  • Male chicks are killed. Because male chicks are no use to the egg industry, they are either ground up alive or suffocated. And yes, this happens on Free Range and Organic farms too.
  • They’re not healthy Despite being heavily marketed as a health food (raw egg smoothie anyone?), eggs actually have zero dietary fiber, and about 70 percent of their calories are from fat—a big portion of which is saturated. They are also loaded with cholesterol (eggs have 3 times more cholesterol than a steak).
  • Chickens have been genetically modified to produce 300 eggs per year instead of their normal 17. How can this be good for the chickens?
  • The life span of chickens naturally is 10-15 years. In the egg industry, it is just 2 years.

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But what about Free Range or Organic?

Free Range means that hens must have outside space. However, there are no rules to say how often the chickens go outside. And in truth, many never do.

Organic hens have less crowded living conditions indoors and debeaking is forbidden but unfortunately, feather pecking is still a problem (when one bird repeatedly pecks at the feathers of another).

What if the eggs come from my own pet chickens?

This is rare that this scenario actually exists but apart from the fact that these eggs are not ours to take, they are not healthy either (as explained above). Not to mention the fact that eggs really are an equivalent to a chicken’s period. Gross.

What are the Alternatives?

The wonderful news is that there are tons of alternatives to eating eggs. On toast and as part of a Full English (vegan) breakfast, why not try Tofu scramble. Follow Your Heart even has a Veganegg product that is pretty darn similar.

For baking, you can use an egg replacer http://www.orgran.com/products/174/, flaxseed, apple sauce, cornstarch, vegetable oils, tofu, apple cider vinegar…the list goes on.

 

32125_1For more information: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/scary-egg-facts/ and http://freefromharm.org/eggfacts/

For studies into the health of eggs, see here: World Health Organization and here National Institutes of Health s International Urology and Nephrology.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Believe In The Power Of The Run.

No Chick left behind

"Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way" (peta)

Bowl of Beans

Exploring Vegetarian Food from Latin America And Beyond

Sewloveable

A lifestyle blogger with a love for many things!

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Vegan fashion, food, travel and other stuff

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new web- www.stylrwithasmile.co

Nick Butter Running

Ultra Runner, Endurance Athlete, Adventurer & Motivational Speaker

therunbetweeners

a help page for running addicts

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Running, Lifting, and Everything In Between

Shorter and Faster

The adventures of a 4'11" gluten-free Bostonian runner

simplisticInsights

Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

Run at Stanwick Lakes

5k, 10k, Half Marathon

Around the world in 80 runs

1 man. 2 legs. 80 runs. Many countries.

Icicle climb | trek | ski | run

'inspirational mountain adventures'

Hannah Eats

Running, making, baking and creating

Lazy Girl Vegan

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Ultra Runner Girl

Writing about running, war zones, and everything in between