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Ep 47. A Journey to Veganism via an inside look into Irish farms & slaughterhouses

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I stumbled across Niamh's story via Earthy Cáilíní on Instagram. Niamh is now working as a vet and began her studies as a meat loving omnivore, to finish them as a vegan, influenced to change by what she saw during her placement. I asked her to come and chat about her story and as animal welfare is something very close to her heart, she was more than happy to come on. It's a heavy episode, but an important one.

We chat about:

  • [04:20] Environmental impacts of animal agriculture.
  • [09:30] Niamh introduces herself.
  • [13:50] The first class in which she began to question things.
  • [18:50] A pig farm.
  • [28:50] A sheep farm.
  • [35:10] Chicken farming.
  • [44:30] Disease & antibiotics.
  • [55:00] A dairy farm.
  • [01:04:00] Religious slaughter in Ireland.
  • [01:10:40] Slaughterhouse workers.
  • [01:14:00] How Niamh deals with euthanasia in work.
  • [01:18:00] Niamh's other eco habits & random questions.

Mentioned:

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Calls To Action:

Go Vegan - Sign up to Challenge 22 for free where you'll get nutrition tutoring. If you can't go vegan, try base your diet on as many plant based foods as possible. If you need help or want more suggested resources for this, please get in touch!

Get active with protest groups. We need system and policy change. Message them to get involved!

NARA (National Animal Rights Association) have been doing brilliant work in Ireland from getting fur farming banned to now working on the banning of hare coursing.

Animal Rebellion Ireland (groups exist worldwide too) are calling for a transition to a plant based food system for the sake of the planet as well as animals. As talked about in episode 44 with Zac Lumley, non violent civil disobedience is an extremely effective tactic and that's what ARI are about.

Support investigative journalism like Noteworthy.ie who have specific call-outs for various campaigns.

Donate to, and volunteer for, animal sanctuaries like Eden, Little Ones Microsanctuary, Back Into Daylight and Heartstone Veganic Sanctuary.

Sign petitions, like this one to stop the proposed development of another pig factory farm.

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Ep 44. Using Civil Disobedience in the Climate Justice Movement – Zac Lumley

Click this link to find this podcast on your podcast provider!

Zac is an activist with a number of climate action groups. Most recently, he and another activist, Orla Murphy, were arrested and imprisoned for a protest at Iveagh House in Dublin. As Orla was still in prison at the time of this recording, I interviewed Zac to hear his story and the place of civil disobedience in the climate justice movement. Orla has since been released on the 22nd of April after spending over a month there. You can still write to Orla at orlaonremand@protonmail.com and hopefully I'll have her on the podcast in future.

If you're interested in getting involved with Extinction Rebellion Ireland, there's a new members meeting happening tomorrow (4th of May 2021, 7pm GMT) that you're welcome to come along to. Hosted by yours truly! Keep an eye out for upcoming events for XRI here, or on your local groups website. And if you son't have a local direct action group, you can set one up!

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We covered:

  • [07:00] Getting to know Zac.
  • [11:40] When Zac began getting more active in climate action.
  • [14:05] When Zac went vegan.
  • [15:20] What is Civil Disobediance?
  • [20:30] Is destruction of property violent or non violent?
  • [24:00] The first time Zac got arrested / Kepak protest.
  • [29:00] Why do people put themselves in a position where they know thwy'll likely be arressted
  • [34:20] The action on the 19th of March where Zac and Orla were arrested.
  • [40:10] Zac's experience in prison.
  • [42:00] Orla's words from prison.
  • [49:30] Reactions to the protest.
  • [56:30] How many people do we need partaking in civil disobedience to get the job done?
  • [01:06:30] Random Questions!

References

1-3 billion people are expected to be forced from homes within the next 50 years. [1]

200+ indigenous land protectors are murdered every year trying to protect their land and water. [2]

We're headed for +4°C of global heating (some publications this year are suggesting +5° and +6°C [3][4]) — +4°C is "incompatible with an organised global community" and likely to be "beyond adaptation". [5]

Island nations call for "1.5 to stay alive" and in 2009 at G77 Lumumba Di-Aping said that the new climate draft trying to limit warming to +2°C was "certain death for Africa". [6][7]

When the Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 (non-binding, remember), countries said they'd try to limit warming to +2°C. However, even if every country met their climate agreements that they set for themselves (NDCs), we're headed for more than +3°C. [8] Despite this, countries aren't even hitting their climate targets! [9]

We've currently warmed the planet somewhere between +1.1°C and +1.3°C. [10] We're currently at an extremely crucial point, as we're in the danger zone at which irreversible climate tipping points could be triggered: some may lie between +1°C and +2°C [11]. Obviously because the risk is so great we have to follow the precautionary principle, meaning that we must absolutely everything we can to halt emissions immediately. Even if we halted greenhouse gas emissions today, heating will continue for decades or even centuries. [4] [1] [https://www.pnas.org/content/117/21/11350](https://www.pnas.org/content/117/21/11350)

[2] [https://e360.yale.edu/digest/more-than-200-environmental-activists-and-land-defenders-murdered-in-2019](https://e360.yale.edu/digest/more-than-200-environmental-activists-and-land-defenders-murdered-in-2019)

[3] [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/new-climate-models-predict-warming-surge](https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/04/new-climate-models-predict-warming-surge)

[4] [https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/](https://climate.nasa.gov/faq/16/is-it-too-late-to-prevent-climate-change/)

[5] [https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-change-commitee-report-4c-warming-fossil-fuels-crisis-a9597511.html](https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/climate-change-commitee-report-4c-warming-fossil-fuels-crisis-a9597511.html)

[6] [https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01436597.2017.1368013](https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/01436597.2017.1368013)

[7] [https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/12/poor-countries-g77-suicide-pact-copenhagen/](https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2009/12/poor-countries-g77-suicide-pact-copenhagen/)

[8] [https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052171](https://news.un.org/en/story/2019/11/1052171)

[9] [https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/nations-miss-paris-targets-climate-driven-weather-events-cost-billions](https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/nations-miss-paris-targets-climate-driven-weather-events-cost-billions)

[10] [https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/climate/wmo-statement-state-of-global-climate](https://public.wmo.int/en/our-mandate/climate/wmo-statement-state-of-global-climate)

[11] ****[https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0](https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03595-0)

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Ep 42. The Ripple Effect You Have

For the final episode of 2020 and the season finale(!) of Book of Leaves, I asked people for stories of a ripple effect they witnessed: times when people told you that you inspired them to ditch plastic toothbrushes or the other way around, when you were inspired by someone else!

Thank you to Vasco, Mark, Conor, Mies, Gerda, Sophie, Elaine, Lucrezia, Katy and Cecilia for sharing your stories! If you have a ripple effect moment, send it to me at ceara@bookofleavespodcast.com or on Instagram or Facebook. I'll most likely do another one of these in the future, but for now, thank you for listening and I can't wait to bring you more leaves to add to your book in 2021.

Thank you so much for being here with me and I look forward to collecting more interviews for 2021! Get in touch if you have any requests.

Stay safe, and happy new year. Ceara x X

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Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures

Ep 40. The Mercosur Deal, Chimps, & Activism – Laura Kehoe

For episode 40, I had the pleasure to interview Laura Kehoe, an activist, scientist, conservationist - all the ists! She has done, and continues to do, so much for the planet, it's quite mind-blowing. She is a true inspiration and I know I say this about all my episodes, but I really can't wait for you to listen to this one. We cover a lot, it's listed below and you'll find links to campaigns & resources too. I hope you get something out of this, because I sure did.

Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures
Photo: Mark Linfield/Walt Disney Pictures

Resources Mentioned:

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  • [04:50] Laura's path to conservation & activism.
  • [10:35] What it was like to work with chimps & how they're doing now (check out the talk Laura gave!).
  • [15:10] The main issues threatening chimps.
  • [18:05] Ways in which we can help them.
  • [18:30] The work of Trees.org and what 400 Trees is about.
  • [22:20] What is the Mercosur deal?
  • [30:40] Having effective conversations with people about climate change, and experiencing burnout.
  • [45:30] Managing the stress of fighting for a better world.
  • [47:10] What can WE do regarding the Mercosur deal?
  • [52:35] What do you want for the planet this Christmas? Introducing Green Santa.

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Ep 35. Opening a Vegan Café & Zero Waste Shop in Dublin – Sebastian, The Carrot’s Tail

On the first day of lockdown I moved into a new house within 5km of The Carrot's Tail. The vegan café quickly became a fortnightly highlight for me and my housemates. In this episode, I talk to Sebastian, one of the founders of the business, about his personal journey to veganism to the running of the café.

Don't forget to give them a follow on Instagram @thecarrotstail or Facebook!

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We cover:

  • (02:45) Sebastian introduces himself.
  • (04:55)How the switch to environmentalism and veganism came about for Sebastian.
  • (09:35) How & why The Carrot's Tail came about.
  • (13:20) The relationship with other vegan businesses in Dublin.
  • (15:30) Addressing the balance of supporting small businesses and vegan options in big chains.
  • (18:50) The initial reception The Carrot's Tail received when opened.
  • (23:45) How they feel about the future post lockdown.
  • (26:35) Tips for managing food waste at home or commercially.
  • (34:10) Tips for anyone wanting to reduce their animal product intake or go vegan.
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Also mentioned:

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Photo by Chris Scarffe

Ep 32. Climate Change & Over Fishing in Coastal Communities – Ruth Leeney

 

Ruth Leeney is a conservationist and fellow activist and vegan, working hard to preserve our under water world. We covered so much in this chat and still didn't get to talk about everything, so I know for sure, there'll be a second interview with Ruth sometime in the future! In the meantime, you can support Ruth's work through Women4Oceans here.

Photo by Chris Scarffe
Photo by Chris Scarffe

We covered:

  • (05:40) Ruth's background and when she became eco consious.
  • (08:34) Scuda diving in U.K. Vs Australian waters.
  • (13:44) How the community Ruth works with in Mozambique are being affected by over fishing.
  • (17:50) How the locals have been impacted by Climate Change.
  • (23:44) What, if any work is being done by NGOs or governments to aid and educate in this crisis.
  • (28:40) What is Blue Justice? Read this link for more.
  • (32:35) How we in the first world countries can help.
  • (37:28) Why Ruth first became vegan and how she manages working in coastal fishery communities considering that.
  • (45:15) How to know if the fish you do buy is sustainably sourced.
  • (48:20) How to avoid trawled fish.
  • (49:40) Dynamite fishing.
  • (50:40) The plastic Ruth has seen on her dive adventures around the world.
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Also Mentioned:

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Ep 23. Making Easter Ethically Eco!

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OK, you may have forgotten what day of the week it is but the Easter Bunny has not! This Sunday, the 12th of April, is Easter Sunday. This is a holiday that, like many others, has good intentions but so much waste involved and is linked to the heavy carbon footprint of chocolate. In this episode, using the research I've done I delve into:

  • A very ...very... brief history on Easter.
  • A look at the carbon footprint of chocolate. 
  • Consumption of Easter Eggs in Ireland & the waste involved.
  • Eco friendly treasure hunts (buy reusable wooden eggs here).
  • Ethical decor and dinner suggestions as opposed to eggs and lamb.

Reports & Surveys Used:

  1. Euromonitor Chocolate Report.
  2. Euro 2017 Chocolate Stats.
  3. University of Manchester report on the Environmental Impacts of Chocolate. 
  4. Repak Easter Survey. 

And FOR THE FIRST TIME...this episode is now available to watch. Check out my first YouTube video below!

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Ep 20. Sustainable Resolutions

Happy New Year guys. I know it doesn't feel like it for a lot of people, especially due to the ongoing fires in Australia. Personally, I find it so hard to not be overwhelmed when such disasters happen but the only thing I can do that alleviates this dread in me is knowing there is still life right now therefore there is still hope and I must do what I can.

In this (delightfully short) episode I suggest 6 resolutions you can take your pick of for 2020, or adopt them whenever you like if that's your jam! I also give a quick summary and shout out to all the guests I've had in 2019 and of course to you guys, the listeners. Thank you all so much.

I'll be back in 2020 at some point with more inspiring and educational interviews.

X

 

Mentioned:

Click this link to find the episode on your podcast provider!

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Ep 16 & 17: A Sustainable Christmas

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Episode 16 & 17 is all about Christmas! I sat down with sustainable guru Cate Russell, fellow actor and friend and we delved into sustainable solutions for Christmas from gift suggestions to recipe suggestions. All businesses mentioned are linked below. Don't forget to share this episode with a friend!

In Part 1 we covered:

  • An quick intro to Cate and how we feel about Christmas.
  • Real vs Fake trees.
  • Decorations: fairy lights, garlands, tinsel, baubles, making your own.
  • Where & how to recycle electronics. Find your local WEEE drop off point here.
  • GIFTS (see detailed description & links below).

Gifts

  • Monitor what you need to get and how much you're spending. I mention this Xmas Gift app. 
  • Ask your friends/family what they'd like or need.
  • Offset their carbon with a charity like Vita.
  • Plant a tree with a charity or company like Grown. 
  • Gift a plant.
  • For kids you can make them a book with scraps of paper, paint a t-shirt, knit a toy.
  • Sustainable clothes, accessories, jewellery or candles. Brands linked below!

Clothes, Bags, Accessories:

  • Jump The Hedges - upcycled tarpaulin to water resistant yoga bags, bum bags etc.
  • Grown - organic cotton t-shirts & jumpers & they plant a tree for every sale.
  • The Upcycle Movement - upcycled wetsuits to bags, earrings, pencil cases etc.
  • Cork Crafts. - traditional cork products (learn about cork in episode one!) such as shoes, bags wallets etc.
  • ReKINDle. - beautiful hand-painted denim jackets, patches & tote bags with earth friendly messages.
  • Fresh Cuts. - shop in Dublin selling their own eco branded clothes among other brands.

Socks & Underwear:

  • Stór - bamboo and organic cotton underwear for men.
  • Rapanui - underwear and clothes and they take their own stock back to recycle.
  • Thought - organic catoon, bamboo & hemp socks, underwear & other clothes.
  • Ecoalf - swimwear and clothes from recycled nylon plastic taken from the ocean and beaches.
  • Stripe & Stare - mostly use modal from beechtrees to make knickers and other clothes and, their knickers are compostable.
  • Patagonia - have a shop in Dublin as well as an online store and sell outdoor wear including sustainable warm socks.
  • Molke - all their colourful underwear is manufactured in Scotland and sustainably sourced.
  • Swedish Stockings - luxury detailed tights and stockings from sustainable material (plus they have this amazing scheme for taking back old tights which I didn't mention in the episode!).

Books:

Jewellery:

Candles:

Technology:

  • Mind your technology to make it last with covers like Pela and anti virus software etc.
  • Purchase second hand from CeX.

Toiletries:

Make sure they'll actually use what you give them!

  • LUSH - all ethical, mostly vegan, take back their plastic containers to recycle into new ones.
  • Bodyshop - cruelty free natural products (though they use a fair bit of plastic).
  • Superdrug - own brand toiletries are all free from animal testing but again, they use plastic.

You can buy sustainable soaps and toiletries (and more!) from these Irish retailers:

Cards:

In Part 2 we continued on discussing:

  • Gift wrapping alternatives.
  • Christmas cards.
  • Dinner.
  • Pets for Christmas.
  • Mental Health.
  • Upcoming Markets.

Dinner:

Upcoming Christmas Markets

CountyDateMarket & VenueHostsTime
CorkEvery SaturdayCork Craft Market @ Princes Street Church, CorkThe Fair Alternative10am-5.30pm
Every SaturdaySkibereen Farmers’ Market9.30am-2pm
13th DecGreen Friday 2019 @ St Peter’s, CorkTBC
DublinDaily until 31st DecMakers Market @ Om Diva BoutiqueOm Diva Boutique10am-6.30pm
Sun: 12-6pm
Sundays until 22nd DecChristmas Market on the Green @ The Well, Stephen's GreenUrban Markets Dublin12-5pm
13-15th DecThe Fumbally Christmas Market @ The Fumbally StablesThe Fumbally Stables13th: 1-8pm
14-15th: 10am - 6pm
14th DecSustainable Fashion Dublin Flea @ The Workman’s ClubSustainable Fashion Dublin12-5pm
14th & 15th DecMade in Stoneybatter @ The Work and WeldersLilliput Stores11am-5pm
14th & 15th DecChristmas Eco Craft MarketNational Botanic Gardens10am-4.30pm
19th & 20th DecA4 Winter MarketA4 Sounds19th: 3-10pm
20th: 12-5pm
Kerry14th & 15th DecOld Market Flea @ The Laurel’s Hall, Killarney11am-5pm
Meath22nd DecMarket @ Sonairte, LaytownSonairteTBC

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Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.

Ep 12. Why it’s time to join the Rebellion- Cormac Nugent, Extinction Rebellion

For episode 12 I asked Cormac Nugent for an interview on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Ireland. He has been with the group for a few months and hosts some of their public 'Heading for Extinction' talks. He knows an awful lot about the climate crisis situation and more importantly, what we need to do about. We cover a LOT in this episode so it's longer that usual but you won't notice the time going. We sure didn't!

Some of the highlights we talked about are:

  • How Cormac became involved in Environmentalism.
  • The Montreal Protocol: protecting the ozone.
  • Who Extinction Rebellion are, their demands and values.
  • Why they do disruptive actions.
  • What The Climate Emergency the Irish government declared means for us and the climate emergency measures bill.
  • A brief science of the climate crisis: previous extinctions, carbon absorption by the ocean, coral reefs, soil degradation.
  • The temperature rise, why and how it happens, what needs to be done to stop it.
  • Tree cover in Ireland and the problem with sitka spruce.
  • Our carbon budget.
  • What a just transition means.
  • Electric cars Vs public transport.
  • The top 3 causes of climate change.
  • Erica Chenoweth’s studies including the 3.5% rule.
  • Rebellion Week.
  • What you have to do to risk arrest.
  • Examples of affinity groups: Plant Bandits and The Bumble Bees.
  • Advice for battling eco-anxiety.

Educational Resources:

Cormac protesting in style against the invasive sitka spruce.
How to get involved:
  • Social Media Channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
  • Joining your local group (or setting one up if there isn't one!).
  • Via your College/University XR society. Again, you can set one up if there isn't one!
  • By attending local Heading for Extinction talks, NVDA workshops and monthly meetings, all events are listed on their Facebook page here.
  • Share XR's events and posts online and with your friends and family.
  • Donate to their GoFundMe by clicking here.
  • Join protests in person.
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Find and join your nearest strike on the 20th of September!

[Sign up to be a steward here.]

School-age students have self-organised marches around the country and they need you to attend.

  • Dublin: Gathering 12:00 at Customs House, marching at 12:30 to Merrion Sq., rallying 13:00 - 14:00 at Merrion Sq. in front of Govt. buildings
  • Cork City: Gathering on Grand Parade St. from 12:00, marching at 12:20.
  • Kerry (Tralee): Meet at County Buildings, Ratass, at 9am
  • Clare (Ennis): Meet at The Height, O’Connell Square at 9am
  • Drogheda: Demonstrating from 13:00 outside St. Peters's Church, West St.
  • Galway: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 16:00 in Eyre Square
  • Navan: Demonstrating from 13:00 - 15:00 at the Market Square
  • Limerick: Marching from Arthur's Quay Park at 13:00, finishing at City Hall.
  • Dundalk: Demonstrating from 12:30 - 15:00 in the Market Square
  • Kenmare: Demonstrating from 9:00 - 13:00 outside the Courthouse
  • Dingle: 12pm at the Town Park climateactiondingle@outlook.ie.

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