I’m Lou and I love baking… and lots more. First of course come family, close friends and my working pony Terex who I spend way too much time with.
Sustainability & climate change, farming, nature & rural land management, responsible animal care & training, current affairs & music, gardening, chinwagging (lots) and pretty much all food (lots)!
Prior to becoming a home baker I trained dogs and horses, gained a BSc(Hons) in Countryside Management at the wonderful Wye College, and always busy at our family smallholding & farm shop. Next I spent a few eye-opening years at a big animal rescue centre and then manager of Tunbridge Wells Farmers’ Market. During that time I was lucky enough to visit all types of farms and food manufacturers. It gave me real insight into a much wider range of farming and food processing practices.
Supporting British Farming
I am strongly committed to supporting British farming, so use UK flour, sugar & oil – but really – we need more organic UK options for these staples to help bring back some of our struggling nature. My eggs are properly local & free range from retired commercial hens living out their lives to the max on an organic diet at the wonderful Elaine’s just down the road. I do not use any other animal products.
British farming standards are the highest in the world. However, we still do have some unethical practices such as caged chickens, cramped pigs, lame and short lived dairy cows, and a big bug bear of mine…live export of animals for slaughter. Any animal facing the chop should be humanely slaughtered in a local UK abattoir: It’s the least we owe them.
Check out the animal welfare group Compassion in World Farming. They campaign and lobby to improve the welfare of all farm animals including horses. They also give help with labelling to understand how to buy more ethically raised animal products.
My other passion is pet welfare. Animal rescue centres have been bursting at the seams for decades. They have to turn pets away to be put to sleep every day. The UK is in the grip of an unwanted pet epidemic. But it is little publicised. Local Authorities, rescue centres and vet surgeries are putting down thousands of unwanted pets every year. Often bought on a whim, and not properly trained and socialised. Consequently, they get chucked out at the unruly teenager stage. Through no fault of their own they are already difficult to re-home and cope badly in care.
In the meantime thousands more pets are constantly being bred, often by careless owners who keep their inmates caged in filthy breeding farms here & abroad for smuggling in. They just want to make a quick buck selling puppies, kittens, rabbits etc to keen inexperienced owners. And this cycle continues year after year. Always consider a rescue pet first. Most of them aren’t any more complicated or demanding than a ‘bought’ pet.
A very home-bred epidemic is one of overpopulation of horses. Around the country you may notice them – grazing in the wrong places – illegally on development land surrounding towns & cities, in farmers fields & local green spaces. Look closer and often they range from just unkempt to skinny & tethered with no water or shelter in unmanaged weedy fields. This is known as fly grazing. It is illegal and these ponies are owned ‘on the cheap’, and suffer as a consequence. They are often left to breed together, exacerbating the problem as carelessly bred horses have little value unless they are trained. As a consequence these unloved little fluffies sadly end up sold at the market for a few quid, bundled in lorries with loads of others beginning their long last journey through Europe to the far away slaughter house.
Farm animals, horses and companion pets are not commodities or status symbols.
They feed us and keep us company and they deserve our respect.
Terex, the Sendmecakes pony
I do the donkey work at Sendmecakes but the rest of the family are always being enlisted! We have a new tiny horsebox/van/camper, so I can get out & about to more public events with Terex. He collects selfies and strokes by being adorable, while I chat away answering questions and raising awareness of responsible animal ownership, ethical food choices, greener living & climate change. When attending events I also run a free prize draw to win one of my best selling Ultimate Bake Boxes.
Anyone local to Tenterden might see Terex in his chariot with me out & about on our lovely lanes. If you do – give us a wave! Also, Like & follow the Send Me Cakes Facebook page to keep track of what we get up to. If you would like Sendmecakes at your event (Kent/Sussex) or one of my Bake Boxes for your charity raffle, just get in touch.
How you can help
There are lots of ways to help all animals from pets to livestock, horses and wildlife – whether they are looking for homes, hoping for a better farm life, or just wanting to be left alone in the wild. Rescue pets range from rabbits, birds & reptiles to donkeys and even friendly pigs! Local and national rescue centres rely on volunteers holding fund raising events and helping out in shelters and charity shops. It’s easy to help farm animals by eating meat, fish and dairy less often, and choosing UK free range or organic options, and MSC certified fish. Using fewer animal products also helps wildlife across the planet, as we are rapidly ploughing natural habitats to feed factory farmed livestock. These habitats are Earth’s lungs – and at the end of the day, ours too, so we must look after them.
For more info on farming and the environment check out Compassion in World Farming @ www.ciwf.co.uk.
For more info on how our habitat destruction & over use of fossil fuels is causing climate change (and what we can do about it) go to Extinction Rebellion
Finally, do email firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact page if you have any queries.