Bank Holiday Weekend + August 2014

SL3a4promoHave you picked up your copy of issue 3 of Starflower Living?

It’s just £2.50 and instantly downloadable.



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Child-led education…and leaving the nest.

blogeliza1BANGOR UNIVERSITYToday ranks as a VERY proud mummy day.

As some of you know, until last year my daughters were home educated. Our approach was very laid back: child-led, free range learning.

Bethany did two years of A levels in one year, and is off to Bangor University (School of Music) in 30 days!

Today we got Eliza‘s results. She did so well in her GCSEs! She, too, did two years of school work in about 9 months…we couldn’t be happier with her results:

A star for her science practical;
A for English Literature;
A for biology;
Bs overall for science, English language and history (and a handful of As for coursework).

And get this: She started maths at foundation level, and worked her way up 4 grades to the highest level maths and has come out with a B.

There’s so much to be said for letting children choose their learning path and deciding if/when they choose formal education.



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Starflower Living ~ the magazine for a courageous, heart-centred lifestyle

StarflowerLivingcover-1-3D-renderedIssue TwoSL3lowrescoverJust preparing to publish issue three of Starflower Living. It will be available on Monday from If you’ve not yet tried some Starflower inspiration, you can download the first issue FREE. Subsequent issues are just £2.50 to anywhere in the world, and instantly downloadable. Enjoy! Love, Veronika xxx

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Not-so Organic British Eggs

One thing I’m always banging on about to my teenage daughters is: read the label!

You may not know, but in 1993 when I worked as a media officer for the Royal New Zealand Society for the Protection and Care of Animals, I wrote a book about the history of the RSPCA in NZ (The Compassionate Years), and I launched the ‘ban the battery cage’ campaign to free laying hens from a life of cruelty.

Did you know that a battery hen lives its life in a cage the size of an A4 piece of paper? Its feet stand on the cage of the bird below it.

A hen is born to scratch the dirt and take dust baths. She is born to feel the sun and the rain on her. She is not born to live her life in a cage with the excrement of other birds falling on top of her.

A friend once said to me, when reading The Mother magazine, that the level of passion I have could probably be applied to anything. She laughed and said ‘you’d probably be this passionate about chickens!’ My friend, bless her, had no idea. No idea at all. “Funny you should say that,” I said. Imagine the look on her face when I told her about my campaign in NZ.

As part of that campaign, I began writing articles to educate the sleeping public. Well, surprise surprise, half a dozen ‘top eggs’ from the Egg Board came to visit me and my boss and demand I stop writing such articles. Why? Because, believe it or not, I was ‘hurting’ their industry. Imagine!

My boss was terrified. I, however, knew exactly what I was doing. The ‘top eggs’ argued that we had to have battery eggs to make them affordable for all those poor single mums. “RUBBISH,” I replied. “Lentils are cheap. Beans are cheap. And they’re nutritious. Animals shouldn’t be suffering in order to feed humans.”

So, here I am, 21 years later, and still passionate about the chickens. To my horror, I have discovered that, at least in the UK, you might ‘think’ you are buying organic free range eggs because it has the Soil Association logo on it ~ but what you are buying are eggs from hens which have been VACCINATED. How this is even legal is beyond me.

This is a law suit waiting to happen. Talk about duping the public!

When I buy carrots or beans or onions or any vegetable labelled organic, I do so in the understanding that the farmer has not used chemicals or toxic products on the food which is going into MY body. I pay MORE for organic food than non-organic food, and I do so for three reasons: I am mindful of what goes into my body. I care that the farmers who are working as naturally as possibly with their crops are rewarded for their work; and I care that Mother Earth isn’t loaded with toxic chemicals. It might be an ‘in the moment’ decision, but the consequences are far reaching. I trust that my buying decisions are making a difference on those three levels.chickenvacc

When a person buys an animal product (whether it is eggs, dairy or meat) that is labelled organic, they do so on the understanding that animal welfare is a primary issue. They do so in the understanding that the animals are not given hormones or antibiotics. HOW THE HELL vaccinations are allowed under the ‘organic’ banner is mind boggling. Not only that, it’s a disgrace that there is no MAJOR label on the front to identify this to the consumer.

Many parents choose not to vaccinate because they know of the dangers of such a poisonous product. These same parents would WANT to know if the eggs they were eating or feeding their children came from a creature which had been ‘poisoned’.

Don’t believe a vaccine is poisonous? Would you drink it? I rest my case.

Vaccination is also an extremely ecologically unfriendly business. (see The Mother magazine, issue 35 July/August 2009 That this whole industry has managed to insidiously slither its way into organic farming is a biological nightmare. The Soil Association should be pulled to task on this.

Unless you have your own chickens or are getting them from a friend who you KNOW isn’t vaccinating, don’t assume your local organic free range eggs are as wholesome as you’ve been led to believe.

Free range SHOULD mean that a hen (or other animal) has freedom at all times to range outside.

Barn eggs are from hens stuck in sheds. Barn is not a ‘cute’ term.

Beware of signs which say Farm Fresh Eggs or Happy Hens. They’re highly unlikely to be happy.

Unless you see the hens ranging in fields with lots of space between them, they’re not free range.

Salmonella concerns come from hens being cramped in close quarters and in unhygienic conditions. This is NOT a concern for truly free range hens with well-cleaned nesting boxes, so using this vaccine to ‘protect’ them is just ridiculous and shows no understanding of the disease.

According to the Soil Association’s own literature:

“Organic is a term defined by law. Any food products labelled as organic must meet a strict set of standards which define what farmers and food manufacturers can and cannot do in the production of organic food. Organic product sold in the UK must by law display a certification symbol or number.

Unlike many other food assurance schemes, the combination of legally defined standards and regular third-party inspections, mean that when you buy an organic product you can be confident that the claims made on the label about how the food has been produced can be believed.
A healthy animal is better able to resist disease than a stressed one. Organic livestock farming aims to prevent disease from occurring by promoting health. This is achieved through appropriate diet, high welfare standards for housing, amount of housing space for each animal, and taking measures to reduce stress.
Organic farm animals:
• Must have access to fields (when weather and ground conditions permit) and are truly free range
• Must have plenty of space – which helps to reduce stress and disease
• Must be fed a diet that is as natural as possible and free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
• Must only be given drugs to treat an illness – the routine use of antibiotics is prohibited
• Cannot be given hormones which make them grow more quickly or make them more productive
• Must not be produced from cloned animals.”
Where does it say on there that they can be vaccinated?

If you’re old enough to remember the 1980s, Edwina Curry caused quite a storm in this country by claiming that most UK eggs had Salmonella. Now flocks of chickens, including those endorsed by the Soil Association (a logo of organic foods), are vaccinated. Chickens can carry two species of Salmonella: S. Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium.

If you are caring for hens, keep their nest boxes clean and ensure good hygiene. Cook your eggs well.

Ingredients of salmonella vaccine:

I had planned to give you a list of the ingredients of the salmonella vaccine.


“Due to legal requirements, certain sections of this web site can only be made accessible to health care professionals. We invite animal healthcare professionals to register an Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health web site account to obtain access to all restricted content on this web site and on many other Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health web sites.”

Surely if ‘you are what you eat’ is so important, then this should be a matter for public record? Why isn’t this information readily available?

Anyone who has done indepth research into vaccines will know without doubt that there is no place for them in the food chain.


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The War Within


There’s a lot of discordant energy in the air, particularly over the situation in Palestine and Israel. I see anger in my Facebook newsfeeds; people urging others to take action (or take sides). And there’s anger that others aren’t expressing their anger over the situation.

Away from the media frenzy and propaganda, I am connected to people who search for another way. Some dedicate their crafts or energy to peace.

When you’re someone who likes to do things, and take action, it can become a desperate struggle to get your voice heard. If it feels right to sign a petition or send messages through your FB newsfeed, then do so. If others don’t want to participate in that form of action, then they shouldn’t be shamed into it, either.

A metaphysical approach to the situation NOT just between Palestine and Israel, but every war in the world (especially the ones which don’t make it onto the news because, frankly, there’s no vested interested from the so-called superpowers: aka, money) is to look within and search for the ‘war’ inside yourself. Where are you battling? What is the war ~ the bombing, the fighting, the killing, the raping and all the other atrocities ~ that’s going on inside you? Where aren’t YOU at peace with yourself?

I ask these questions not in any way to trivialise what is happening to those people, but because whatever we see in the world is a reflection of us.


Quantum physics

teaches us

that a ‘thing’

only exists when we observe it.

Just the other day I saw a news item which upset me deeply. An Australian couple rejected their Down’s son and left him with the surrogate mother. They took his healthy twin sister.

Every time we see/hear a ‘story’ in the world that impacts us, it is an opportunity to look within. I asked myself: what baby/project have I rejected because I haven’t considered it ‘good enough’ or because I’m scared that it won’t be accepted by the outside world? Again, this isn’t to dismiss the sadness or enormity of that particular situation, but to see my own prejudices. Every time I publish a book and ‘put it out there’, I’m terrified of it being rejected. I’m excited when the book is published and it’s my hands, but the letting go of it? That’s a whole different story!

I once heard a woman say that if she ever had a Down’s baby she’d flush it down the toilet! Her words have haunted me in ways you can’t even begin to imagine. Is our world so disconnected; are we, as humans, so separated, that we can’t join together and see that despite our outward differences we are all one?



We each come to this earth on a journey ~ a spiritual journey in a human body. For some of us, we will have challenges to our physical body, others to their mental body; and others still will endure sacrifices and demands to their wealth, self esteem, health, career, home, country, and so on.

The war between Palestine and Israel teaches me not only to be grateful for the home I live in, my healthy family, friends and right livelihood, but it reminds me to keep practising the ancient Hawaiian forgiveness prayer:

I love you
I’m sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you

By saying this prayer, over and over, we take ownership for the situation we’re witnessing, and in turn, it releases the person/event.

If we want to see peace in the world, we have to start with ourselves. Peace begins at home. Remember that old saying: when you point the finger at someone, your other three fingers are pointing back at you!

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World Breastfeeding Week

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week, let me introduce you to (or remind you of) my book, The Drinks Are On Me: everything your mother never told you about breastfeeding. Published by Starflower Press. There is also an Italian translation (available in Italy).


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