Saturday, July 26, 2014

Christchurch March Against Factory Farming

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I normally keep 'politics' and my blogging completely separate, but animal welfare is so close to my heart and too big a problem in New Zealand not to ignore. 
 Today Andrew and I went along to our first ever protest march! These marches against factory farming happened all around New Zealand today; here in Christchurch I was so impressed with the massive turnout; Every corner we turned, you couldn't see the end of the massive line of people as far as the eye could see!...It's times like these that I am so proud to be a kiwi girl, because people care so much! 
 I spent my Friday afternoon making a protest sign whilst getting some funny looks in the design suite as I photoshopped the Prime Ministers face in egg yolk! This was all for a great cause however; loopholes within the New Zealand Animal Welfare Act ensures that where there is money to be made, most standards go out the window and this ensures abuse and cruelty towards farm animals. It is time politicians listen to its citizens when we say that things drastically need to change. 
 We live in a country where over 100 million animals every year suffer in pain, fear, filth and abuse before making it to our plates. Chickens, pigs and other intensively farmed animals are confined to tiny cages with literally no room to move at all. These are intelligent, thinking, feeling beings full of personality and life. No living creature deserves to live and die like this. This is not farming, this is not commerce, this is cruelty and abuse. 
SAFE are far better at telling you in a nutshell what is really happening in our farming industry than I am, so head over to their website and have a look. If animal abuse doesn't sit well with you, please think hard about what it is you are putting in your mouth. There are more wallet friendly free range pork and egg products on supermarket shelves, so read the labels carefully when you are out shopping. Another option is trying a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle like I do- I have a clean conscience with every bite I take! Last but not least, Animals have no voice, so we have to speak up for them...The biggest way you can do this is by checking out different political parties animal welfare policies, and making your vote count this election year :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Girls Day Out: Waipara Wine Trail Tour

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Last weekend in a bid to get some serious catch up time with friends, we decided to do something extra special- an all inclusive Winery tour! As it was two of our beautiful friends birthdays to celebrate, it was a great excuse to treat ourselves to a day of deliciousness and fun!
We booked our tour through Tour Finda which included a lovely driver for the afternoon, our own private mini bus, pick up and drop off where we needed and all wine tastings included for around 6 hours!
We visited Pegasus Bay, Waipara Springs, Waipara Hills and Torleese. Each winery had a wine I absolutely loved, and we all ended up going home with bottles collectively from all of the Wineries... They were all too delectable to pass taking one of the wines home!
As we were all relative newbies to wine tasting (apart from those $6 bottles of wine that got us through uni! haha) we all ended up falling in love with the lighter, sweeter, floral Rieslings. Interestingly most of us ended up changing our minds about Chardonnay! We had all previously experienced Chardonnay as cheap, tacky pungent wine- but we were so pleasantly surprised that it actually could taste delicious, especially paired with the right food. 
As a consumer, sustainable business practice is incredibly important to me (even through the haze of a few wines!).  It was great to see that every winery we went to ran their wine making sustainably- So we felt extra inclined to indulge in our tastings!
The staff at each vineyard were incredibly knowledgable and gregarious, so we learnt a lot about how wine is grown, harvested, fermented and stored. it was a great introduction into the world of wine tasting and we joked through the day about expanding our wine tasting vocabularies!
With all of the tastings included, it was more than enough to see us merrily through the day. We were even lucky enough to drive home to a breathtaking sunset across the North Canterbury skyline. Our wine trail tour made for such a lovely day of fun and quality catch up time with each other- I totally recommend getting your girlfriends together and treating yourself to a Vineyard tour in your corner of the world!

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