NCVA response to Ottawa Citizen pictorial, “This Little Piggy”

On July 25, the Ottawa Citizen published a pictorial that followed one pig from its life on a small farm, through the process of being slaughtered, and then finally, to someone’s plate at a ritzy Ottawa restaurant. You can see it–and some of the photos–here.

Public response has been interesting. Some readers were appalled and upset, feeling that they shouldn’t be subjected to such inappropriateness. Boy, tell it to the pig.

Here’s the letter that NCVA President Josh Flower submitted to the Citizen for consideration, in response to the original pictorial, and the letter linked to above:

Response to Lost my appetite reading pig story
July 26, 2011

Volunteers with the National Capital Vegetarian Association (NCVA) definitely relate to the sentiments expressed by Francine Laurendreau in her letter to the Citizen. The photos in the pictorial This Little Piggy were indeed disturbing and upsetting. However, as president of the NCVA, I would disagree that the photos are “inappropriate.” They are an accurate reflection of the harsh end-of-life faced by farm animals worldwide and the practices behind feeding the human population’s addiction to meat and animal products. Anyone who chooses to consume these things owes it to themselves and the animals they’re eating to acknowledge and face this reality, and newspapers play an important role in raising people’s consciousness about important issues.

The pig in this article was even from an ironically-labeled “happy meat farm;” it’s possibly worse for the 95 per cent of “food animals” who are raised in factory farms. As the pictorial clearly demonstrates, there’s nothing happy about the transition between being a living and breathing creature and becoming meat on a plate.

Many vegetarians and vegans choose to eschew consuming animals for several reasons, including health benefits, to lighten the load on our fragile environment, and to spare animals such as the pig in the Citizen pictorial. There’s never been a better time to explore a plant-based lifestyle; Ottawa has a multitude of stores, services and restaurants that support it, and more people are moving in this direction than ever before.

The NCVA invites Ms. Laurendreau, and anyone troubled by the pictorial, to learn more about the vegan lifestyle and to visit its website,

Josh Flower

NCVA is revving up for Capital Pride


Pride 2010 - NCVA

Capital Pride in Ottawa is over 1 month away (Aug. 28, 2011) and the NCVA is not dallying when it comes to ensuring its participation! Capital Pride is an excellent opportunity to get out, show your pride, enjoy your city, and most of all support the LGBTQ community of Ottawa.

Ever feel like marching in a parade??

In the upcoming weeks, more information will come available on how YOU can participate as a volunteer or proud veg*n at Capital Pride this year. For sure, the NCVA will have a booth at the Info Fair to promote the association, educate the public on the benefits of a plant-based diet, and expose the resources and welcoming vegetarian community in the national capital region. Of course, just like last year, we will also be marching in the Parade and we want you to join us!

Stay tuned for more information on costumes, pre-parties, related Facebook event, T-shirts, and sign-up info for volunteer opportunities!

If you have any ideas, questions, or would just like to let us know now how pumped you are for Pride, you can email the NCVA (ncva (dot) avcn (at) gmail (dot) com), or better yet, come out to the next café/pub night taking place next Thursday evening, hosted by… me! (I’m also organizing our Pride participation.) Info for the café/pub night here.

Sausage Threatens Vegan Pizza Party

I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of the NCVA for coming out to last Tuesday’s “pizza party” meetup at La Dolce Vita

I think we were just shy of twenty people – about evenly divided between old friends and newcomers.

Neil and I had the pleasure of sitting beside Katie Gibbs and her partner, Dave Bagler. Dave is probably the funniest person I have ever met and, with Neil’s permission, I have declared him my new best friend.

He’s also the Ontario Green Party’s Candidate for Ottawa-Vanier…I’d almost consider moving there just so I could vote for him if the area weren’t so riddled with crime and heavy metal contamination (Now don’t go freaking out over that comment Vanierians…resorting to violence will only entrench the stereotype, haw haw).

But where was I?  Oh yes, pizza party…

The ravenous crowd went through four bags of Daiya and untold packages of Yves veggie pepperoni, which were brought in specially for our event. The general consensus was that the pizza was exceptional. Mine certainly was – I got the “Toscana” with olives and artichokes.

My Toscana
Random Za

Homemade cupcakes were provided for dessert. The tiramisu ones were chosen to reflect the Italian theme of the evening. The black forest ones were mainly backup to appease that small but vociferous portion of the population that objects to food soaked in booze (??).

There was one drawback to the evening. It involved Neil and his calzone, from which greyish chunks of sausage tumbled mid-meal. Neil handled the situation calmly, and the wait staff were very apologetic. And the mishap actually had the benefit of reaffirming Katie and Dave’s previously bitterly lamented decision to order pizza instead of calzones.

Fake pepperoni on top, but real sausage lurking inside...ew

So, gross as it was, the sausage by no means spoiled the evening. I wouldn’t even have mentioned it but for the valuable lesson the tale holds for all vegans: always be very specific when placing an order in a non-vegan restaurant and don’t be afraid to write the chef a note. Our sausage mishap was apparently the result of the chef thinking Neil wanted veggie pepperoni “in addition to” rather than “instead of” sausage in his calzone.

So thanks again to everyone for coming out ad for being so forgiving of the fact that I forgot all of the dates of our future events. And a big bravo to all the subsequent friend-making that occurred on facebook! After all, meeting like-minded people is what these events are about 🙂