Vancouver Aquarium Suing the City and Park Board, An Innovative Approach to Teaching How Our Eating Habits Affect The World We Live In, and Brigitte Gemme of Vegan Family Kitchen

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May 24, 2019

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Activist David Isbister on the Aquarium Suing the City and Park Board 

The late Spinnaker at the Vancouver Aquarium.

We welcome back local animal advocate David Isbister on this week’s show to give us the updates on the status of the Vancouver Aquarium since last week. Announced last Friday, the Vancouver Aquarium is now suing the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Park Board over the 2017 cetacean ban for breach of contract and claiming it lost millions of dollars in revenue.

In May 2017, the Vancouver Park Board voted 6 to 1 to approve a bylaw banning whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity. The bylaw went into effect immediately, preventing the Vancouver Aquarium from bringing new cetaceans to its facility in Stanley Park. In the civil claim filed May 14, the Vancouver Aquarium states attendance has dropped in the last two years, adding the bylaw has interfered with the aquarium’s “ability to carry out day-to-day administration” of the Marine Science Centre.

It has also been discovered that Marineland (in Ontario) will be transferring 2 beluga whales “owned” by the Vancouver Aquarium to an animal entertainment park in Valencia, Spain.

Tune in for another informative update from David, who has been in talks recently with the Vancouver Aquarium about improvements that can be made that would hopefully see the a more humane science centre replace the current model of animal cruelty, exploitation and numerous early deaths of the animals.

Capilano University instructor Nicholas Jennings on designing a new course to educate on “Veganism and Sustainability”

For our second interview, we have Nicholas Jennings on the show. Nicholas is an instructor at the local Capilano University in North Vancouver, and he has initiated vegan education events in past years at the University campus. Now, there will be a new three credit academic course elective on “Veganism & Sustainability” at Cap U that will launch this Fall (with registration to open on July 9th). This course is being offered under a unique new program called “First-Year Seminars”.

“Veganism & Sustainability” will explore veganism as an urgent response to growing epidemics, environmental catastrophes and a global shift in ethical values. The students will create a collaborative mini-documentary on sustainable, plant-based approaches to health, ethics and the environment, as well as learn the gold standard of Ted talks presentation skills with which to educate others on these topics.

Nicholas is the designer and lecturer of this truly innovative offering, and in this interview, he speaks about some of the elements that this course will include, why creating a course about these urgent global matters has come to materialize, and how this course is particularly unique in comparison to the handful of other post-secondary courses in the world that educate on how our eating habits affect the world.

You can register for the “Veganism and Sustainability” course this fall, with registration starting on July 9th, by going to capilanou.ca, hitting the search bar and typing in My Cap Schedule.

To connect with Nicholas personally, you can email him at nicholasjennings@capilanou.ca. If need be, he can forward your queries to the committee that oversees these courses.

And finally, if you are interested in checking out the Vegan Bliss charity t-shirts that Nicholas creates, with proceeds going to Earthsave Canada, you can go to Pacific Arts Market at 1448 West Broadway in Vancouver.

Brigitte Gemme, on her Vegan Family Kitchen

Photo by Tosha Lobsinger.

For our third and feature interview, we have local vegan advocate and food consultant Brigitte Gemme on the show. Brigitte’s mission is to support people who want to feed themselves and their families home-made plant-based meals, cooked mostly from scratch. She feels that it’s the right thing to do for health, for the planet, and for the animals and is passionate about spreading the vegan food love via her food consultation service called Vegan Family Kitchen.

Brigitte has devised a system of a streamlined meal planning and preparation approach that allows one to maintain a diverse diet of amazing plant-based meals and home-made snacks while cutting down the weeknight stress to a minimum. She offers her bi-weekly meal plans and personal consults as her way of spreading the vegan message and the logistics of cooking for a plant-based lifestyle.

In this interview, Brigitte tells us about her personal transformation story that spent a few years going from “meat-loving carnivore to enthusiastic vegan”, all while being a food lover and finding her love for good plant-based cooking. She tells us how embracing a lifestyle of smartly preparing and nourishing ourselves with plant-based whole foods can truly enhance our lives, as well as benefit the planet. She also tells us about raising vegan children, and tips for living “zero waste” – that is, sending as little garbage to the landfill as possible. We also discuss the roles in gender equity (or inequity) when it comes to who makes the decisions and does the work to make healthier and plant-based foods in the household.

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