This is the kind of blog post I adore writing. There is nothing more satisfying than helping spread news of vegan companies helping organisations dedicated to furthering the well-being of non-human animals.
I recently spoke with Lisa of UK-based vegan food distributor Beanie’s Health Foods about the wonderful support they offer to whale protectors Sea Shepherd. Lisa and her father own and run their company that supplies Fry’s Vegetarian frozen foods to the whole of the UK (Remember our campaign to get them back in a certain High Street retailer?). They are the sponsors of next week’s London Vegan Potluck 7, so you can just imagine the amount of delicious, vegan food we will be consuming.
Enjoy this brief chat I had with Lisa about why her company supports Sea Shepherd, what you can do to help their cause and what exciting developments the future holds for Beanie’s Health Foods and Fry’s Vegetarian in the UK. Sounds like there are some massive plans afoot…
FGV: Hello Lisa. How did Beanie’s Health Foods get involved with Sea Shepherd?
Lisa: Over the years we have met up with some of the Sea Shepherd crew at events like the Bristol Vegan Fayre, the London Vegan Festival, Christmas without Cruelty etc. The Sea Shepherds are a lovely friendly bunch and we would give them left over FRY’S stock at the end of the show, then we met Laura (one of the chefs) at the Bristol Vegan Fayre and we told her she can contact us for FRY’S whenever she needs to – sometimes crew members collect FRY’S from us or if it’s logistically possible we will deliver to them directly as we did recently when the Steve Irwin was docked in Southampton…we were really lucky as we were invited to meet the crew and we stayed for a delicious vegan dinner and a tour of the ship!
FGV: How important is the work Sea Shepherd does?
Lisa: Their work is awe inspiring – the great thing about the Sea Shepherd organisation is that they are truly hands on – they don’t petition for the cessation of whaling – they head out on seriously dangerous missions in freezing conditions at great risk to themselves to stop the whalers in their tracks. They are bringing the barbarity of unnecessary whaling to an international audience – if you have ever watched “Whale Wars” you will see how risky their missions are and how effective their actions have been! How can anyone not get behind them?
FGV: What do you do as a business to support Sea Shepherd?
Lisa: We’re a vegan frozen food company and the galleys on board the Sea Shepherd ships only serve vegan food – the crews need food that is going to last for the duration of their campaign trips and the FRY’S range is perfect for that as it is stored in the freezer until needed……on a three month mission the crew quickly run out of fresh food supplies and need to live off tinned and frozen products………we’re always happy to supply the Sea Shepherds with free food – the money they don’t spend on food is put towards their missions to save marine wildlife which can only be a positive.
FGV: Why should others support Sea Shepherd?
Lisa: The most important reason is to bring about the complete cessation of whaling – anything that anyone can do to support the work of the Sea Shepherd will help that goal. You have to admire the Sea Shepherd crews – they are volunteers -they give up their time, they leave their loved ones for months on end and they put themselves in extreme danger to save marine wildlife. Not everyone can make those personal sacrifices but we can all support their work from the comfort of our own homes – make a donation, offer whatever stock/services you can – go on their website to see how you can assist.
FGV: Finally, any exciting Beanie’s or Fry’s Vegetarian news you would like to share with us?
Lisa: Well, we have lots going on in 2012 – our FRY’S range will be available from 3663 from January 2012……3663 is the biggest food service supplier in the UK – they supply pubs, schools, hotels, colleges, universities, hospitals, prisons, cafes, leisure centres, care homes etc ……it’s an exciting time for us expanding into the catering industry. To date the FRY’S range has only been available in the retail health food sector and independent caterers who order from us directly. I think the huge negative we’re up against is that caterers often don’t provide for vegans as they think there’s no demand for vegan food – but it’s a catch 22 situation – as vegans ourselves we rarely eat out because there is so little choice for us locally but if we don’t go out to eat, caterers won’t think to provide for us ……… so we’re hoping that the FRY’S range, being available to caterers through 3663, will change that and hopefully us vegans can eat out more frequently…………and maybe veggies, meat eaters, patients, students, holiday makers, school children, beer drinkers, prisoners, let’s be ambitious, the entire UK(!!!) will all be exposed to yummy vegan food too!!
And we’ve got four new FRY’S products that are being launched in the UK in January as well – Pepper Steak-Style Pies, Chicken-Style Pops, Country Mushroom Pies and Chicken-Style Louisiana Tenders……these will be available through health food shops, Holland & Barrett and 3663.
There you have it, FGV readers! Lisa from Beanie’s Health Foods has given you some extremely sound reasons why you should support Sea Shepherd and the crucial work they do to protect our oceans. They have also given you extremely sound reasons to be excited with news of impending new products and a fantastic catering distribution deal.
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Attend London Vegan Potluck 7 to taste Fry’s Vegetarian foods for yourself!