St. Patrick’s day is quickly approaching, and if you don’t already have plans for this Saturday, here are some awesome ideas:
- Join Mercy for Animals for a St. Patrick’s Day Leafleting Party. The party will kick off at 6pm, somewhere near the Plaza Saltillo Station. Plan on grabbing a bite to eat, snagging a free Mercy for Animals T-shirt to wear, and then heading west to hand out some leaflets. The party will congregate in front of certain venues as popular shows let out, and hit up bars along the way to stay motivated. For more information check out the Facebook event page.
-Or skip the SXSW madness, and spend the day in the kitchen whipping up some of these Irish inspired recipes: Start your day off with this Irish soda bread recipe from Happy Herbivore, then keep yourself going with this colcannon recipe from Vegan Yum Yum, fill up with this Irish stew recipe from Vegan Dad, and finish the day off with one these shamrock shake recipes rounded up by Vegansaurus. Or take the lazy way out and pick up some St. Patrick’s Day specials at the Wheatsville Hot Bar.
The bagpipe, specifically, the Great Highland Bagpipe, or “a’ phìob mhòr”, is an instrument of great cultural significance with a long tradition of playing, native to the Scottish Highlands, but renowned around the world. The GHB’s unique sound is instantly recognizable, and evokes images of rolling green hills, men in kilts, expansive lochs, and the creatures that may or may not dwell in their depths.
Traditional materials used in bagpipe construction are often of animal origin, but fortunately, at least in the case of the GHB, there are vegan alternatives available, and it is possible to play a set of pipes which is not made from animal parts. As a proud vegan piper, and as somebody who always likes to think that if there’s something that I want to do, that there’s somebody else somewhere who wants to do the same thing (it makes me feel a little less crazy), I hope that some vegan out there who has always wanted to play the pipes, but never knew how easy they are to veganize, will find this information useful.
Great Highland Bagpipes, and bagpipes in general, are somewhat unwieldy contraptions which may appear quite complicated to the untrained eye, but in reality, once broken down into their chief component parts, are fairly simple to understand. As the name suggests, bagpipes consist of a bag and some pipes, and while the bag is usually the most obviously non-vegan part of a set of “traditional” pipes, there are a couple of things to look out for elsewhere on the instrument. Let’s take a quick tour of bagpipe construction, and explore some of the vegan options for each part.