The number of news found: 48.
12/30/2016 PLANT-BASED PROTEIN GAINS MOMENTUM ON AMAZON
A forthcoming insight report from market research firm 1010Data indicates that plant-based brands are becoming increasingly popular amongst protein powder shoppers on Amazon. ''As the fifth most popular online protein powder brand,'' sports nutrition writer Steve Myers says, ''plant-based Vega’s success is a prime example of the rising popularity of plant proteins.'' The report will be compiled based on the shopping habits of millions of Amazon shoppers that contribute to the protein powder market, which generated more than half a billion dollars in sales in 2016. Myers reveals that while whey-based powders are still the top sellers, plant-based brands such as Vega, Orgain, Nature’s Best, and Garden of Life are amongst the top 10 selling protein powders, due to customer demand for ''clean'' labels and socially responsible brands.
Los Angeles-based vegan shoe company Mink released the first-ever pair of Italian-made faux ostrich shoes. Mink partnered with the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to create the new hand-stamped ostrich-print ballerina shoe—available in black and "wine"—in an effort to raise awareness about the conditions ostriches face on leather farms. Celebrity stylist Rebecca Mink founded the company in 2000, which produces vegan shoes in the same Italian factory as top brands Christian Louboutin, Chanel, Jimmy Choo, and Dolce and Gabbana, amongst others. The PETAxMINK faux ostrich shoe is available for custom pre-order until January 8, 2017, and 20-percent of profits will be donated to PETA.
A new report published by trade outlet National Restaurant News (NRN) projected the composition of the human diet in 50 years and found that it will be much more plant-based. Analysts used current food trends to inform their predictions and listed improvements in medical science and technology as factors that will affect what humans eat. "As the world grows more crowded," NRN's Senior Food Editor Bret Thorn said, "we'll be eating fewer animals and more plants." While Thorn goes on to list insects as a potential diet trend, his theory of moving toward a more plant-based diet is vastly supported by other recent food trend reports. In August, Grand View Research predicted that the dairy-free milk market is expected to reach $35 billion by 2024. Shortly thereafter, research firms such as Technavio and Mintel released their year-end reports, which predicted various segments of the vegan industry to substantially grow in coming years as consumers continue to demand healthier, more ethical, and environmentally friendly options.
On Wednesday, police officers in Fort Worth, TX handed out free Tofurky dinners to passersby at Sundance Square. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals contacted the officers after learning that they gave away free turkeys during traffic stops before Thanksgiving and asked them to instead give away Tofurky for Christmas. "Always being a department that wants to reach out into our community," Fort Worth Police Sergeant Marc Povero explained, "we said sure." After the event, Povero sampled his first plant-based burger at local vegan eatery Spiral Diner and exclaimed, "I thought I was going to have to douse it with hot sauce. But it's delicious just like it is." The sergeant—who comes from a family of butchers—revealed he would be serving a Tofurky roast during the holidays this year.
A recent feature in media outlet Forbes profiled vegan chef Matthew Kenney. Writer Michael Pellman Rowland focused on Kenney's multifaceted plant-based food empire that includes several culinary schools, restaurants, and a soon-to-launch packaged food line. Kenney's culinary schools—which currently produce $5 million in annual profit—would grow to $15 million in profit in coming years with an expansion into 20 cities over five years. The restaurant arm of Kenney's empire is predicted to generate over $15 million in profits in the next 12 months. "Every aspect of his company is scaling up, and if it goes according to his vision," Rowland says, "every corner of the world will be buying his products, eating from his chef’s kitchens, using his cookbooks, and attending his wellness retreats. Get ready, world." In addition to founding plant-based culinary schools around the world and opening several eateries, Kenney's restaurant Matthew Kenney NM opened at a Neiman Marcus department store in Beverly Hills last month, and the entrepreneur announced the launch of a vegan wellness retreat in Hawaii in May 2017.
12/27/2016 BRITS SPEND 328 MILLION POUNDS LESS ON MEAT
Trade magazine The Grocer released its Top Products Survey of 2016 this month which revealed major behavioral changes in the shopping habits of United Kingdom residents in regard to meat. In October 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report that linked processed meat to cancer. Shortly thereafter, research began to surface about attitudes of residents toward consuming meat—with 34-percent of the population reporting they believed meat to be a carcinogen in December 2015. Data about meat-buying habits during that time indicated that UK-residents spent £3.5 million ($4.4 million) less on meat products. According to The Grocer's year-end report, nationwide sales of all meat products have plummeted by £327.8 million ($405.4 million), with bacon sales accounting for the largest decrease in the sector. Sales of sausages also fell substantially by £51.1 million ($63.2 million).
12/27/2016 SEAFOOD IN CHINA PUMPED WITH ANTIBIOTICS
An exposé published in the current print issue of Bloomberg Businessweek explores the mounting problem of antibiotics used within the seafood industry in China. The country is the world's largest exporter of marine animals raised for food, and scientists estimate that Chinese farmers expose fish to as many antibiotics as their land animal counterparts—perhaps even more, as antibiotics are also used to treat aquatic disease in the water of fish farms. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) claims that strict regulations exist that protect the United States from importing tainted marine animals, a recent investigation by conservation group Oceana uncovered fraud in the fish industry, finding rampant mislabeling of fish species and origins. The Bloomberg exposé confirms that marine animals from China do, in fact, make it to the United States.
Vermont congressman Peter Welch sent a letter to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Robert Califf last Friday urging him to exclude plant-based milks from the definition of "milk." Welch says the term "milk" should only be used by the dairy industry to describe a beverage that comes from "the mammary glands of one or more lactating healthy cows," and asks that the FDA require plant-based milks to find an alternative name. Welch was joined by 24 other congressmen from dairy-producing states in arguing that cows' milk is more nutritionally valuable than plant-based milk—despite recent scientific studies that prove otherwise. Welch's stab at dairy-free milk comes during a time when the plant-based milk market—which is predicted to grow to $35 billion by 2024—poses a financial threat to the flailing dairy industry.
A recent feature published by media outlet Forbes focused on the growing trend of men's cruelty-free fashion. Writer Jim Dobson says vegan fashion is gaining traction with designers moving away from fur, down, and leather due to cruelty-free demands from animal protection groups. "There are remarkable gains in developing new vegan textiles," Dobson said. He illustrates this trend by highlighting faux leather shoes and tote bags by New York-based Brave Gentleman; faux leather shoes by French luxury brand Galet; a faux fur sleeping bag by Fabulous Furs; goose down-alternative jackets by Nobis; and vegan boots by Dr. Martens, amongst others. Dobson predicts that the future of vegan fashion is bright, given Stella McCartney's recent announcement of her forthcoming vegan menswear line.
New film Manchester by the Sea tells the story of a young boy named Patrick (Lucas Hedges) who is put into the care of his uncle, Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck), after his father dies. During a particularly emotional scene, a chicken falls from the freezer, reminding Patrick of his deceased father. During the same scene, the viewer is shown that the top shelf of the freezer is stocked with plant-based Gardein products. Affleck has been vegan for several years, and has advocated for animals-rights by teaming up on several campaigns for the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). "When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products," Affleck once said during a PETA public service announcement, "I say, 'because they are unhealthy, and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry.'"
Social media site Pinterest recently released their Pinterest 100 report—a compilation of the biggest trends predicted for 2017. The company's insights analysts compiled the report from more than 75 billion pins and determined that the popularity of jackfruit—their top trend—amongst users had risen by 420-percent in 2016. Users are interested in jackfruit for its meat-replacement properties, and are pinning ideas for using the plant for the vegan versions of pulled pork sandwiches and peanut curries. Other trends include marble wallpaper, chrome nails, and backless shoes. Several year-end trend reports from various data analyst firms have pointed to the rising popularity of meatless options in restaurants, vegan packaged products, and plant-based milks.
New research conducted in Switzerland and published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE found that rats display a wider range of emotions, including happiness, than scientists previously believed. A prior study established that rats enjoy being tickled, and perceive the activity as a form of play between themselves and humans. In this study, scientists selected the most ticklish 15 male Lister Hooded rats from a group of 75, and observed their appearance after a play period and a mildly aversive activity, in order to determine the contrast of their emotions. After the play period, the ears of all of the rats were more pink in color and less angular in position, indicating a state of happiness. Researcher Luca Melotti says that these findings have important ramifications when it comes to rats being used as test subjects in laboratories. "Not all regulations in every country are considering animals, especially lab animals, as sentient beings. So showing that ... a wide range of emotions are measurable in those animals is very important." Similar research was conducted with pigs last month, where scientists found that the animals have distinct personalities and can make pessimistic and optimistic decisions.
Brooklyn, NY-based vegan skincare brand Mullein & Sparrow pledged to adopt an animal every day for 12 days leading up to December 25. The skincare brand partnered with Farm Sanctuary to sponsor the rescued animal residents, and have thus far helped provide expenses covering food, shelter, and care for Luther the Rooster and Autumn the Goat. In the coming days, Mullein & Sparrow will also adopt Dorado the Donkey, Li Mu Bai the Rooster, Madeline the Turkey, Artemis the Duck, Mother the Goose, Vera Jo the Sheep, two hens Sunshine and Merryweather, and Frank—a steer rescued this year by comedian Jon Stewart and his wife Tracey in New York after he ran away from a slaughterhouse. The skincare brand will share the stories of the animals they adopt on their blog, and encourage customers to do the same with promotional offers and free gifts.
12/19/2016 "VEGAN FOOD" TOPS 2016 GOOGLE SEARCH IN NYC
New York news outlet NY1 recently identified the top search inquiries made in 2016 by city residents. When it comes to keywords, top searches included President-elect Donald Trump, winning lottery numbers for Powerball, late musician Prince, and Olympic swimmers Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte. When it comes to keywords connected to the search term "nearby," New Yorkers most often looked for "vegan food" and "juice bars," indicating a desire to locate and visit those establishments. New York has had a big year in terms of vegan restaurant openings, including the Brooklyn expansion of Omaha, NE-based Modern Love, Ravi DeRossi's veganized eateries Mother of Pearl and Ladybird, vegan pizzaria Screamer's Pizza, and several new locations of vegan fast casual restaurant by CHLOE—along with its bakery iteration Sweets by CHLOE, which opened in September.
12/19/2016 TESLA EXPANDS VEGAN INTERIORS TO ALL MODELS
Car company Tesla Motors announced that it will now offer vegan interiors for all its car models. The company first introduced the "vegan ultra white" as a stock option in the electric utility vehicle Model X last January. After its introduction—which was petitioned for by vegan Tesla shareholders—CEO Elon Musk raved about the cruelty-free material, stating that "the white interior is the best." According to Musk, the car company is now making all portions of their vehicles in-house—a departure from traditional companies that typically outsource the production of parts and interiors. Tesla has also discontinued all but one of its animal-based interior options. Other car makers—including Ferrari and Bentley—are considering high-quality vegan interiors for their car models.
New York-based vegan confections company Lagusta's Luscious catered the wrap party of popular television series Bones last week. Long-time customer and Bones actress Emily Deschanel asked the company's owner Lagusta Yearwood to create a unique dessert spread for the party, which included almost 300 white and dark chocolate skulls. Yearwood tells VegNews she worked with a 3D-printing lab at the State University of New York in New Paltz to create the skulls, which were then filled with 1,500 pieces of chocolate, sealed with melted chocolate glue, and some were hand-dipped in 50 pounds of vegan white chocolate. Yearwood went vegan 25 years ago and says crafting artisan chocolate is her form of activism. The chocolatier explains that her line of work is "a way to gently convince people that being vegan isn't scary or hard."
12/16/2016 RARE SUPERBUG GENE FOUND IN PIG ON US FARM
A group of scientists from Ohio State University discovered a rare superbug gene—bla IMP-27—in a pig on an unnamed farm in the United States (identified only as a moderately-sized, family-run operation). The danger of this discovery lies in that bla IMP-27, if transmitted to humans through the consumption of meat, can lead to infection by bacteria carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE), which kills half of the victims it infects. "The emergence of CRE has been described as heralding the end of the antibiotic era with their global expansion, presenting an urgent threat to public health," the researchers stated. While the farmer from where the infected sample originated does not know the cause of the pig's infection, lead researcher Thomas Wittum believes antibiotics used in the animal agriculture industry are to blame. David Wallinga, MD of the Natural Resource Defence Council says this gene may lead to doctors' inabilities to treat people for common illnesses.
12/15/2016 GIRAFFES PLACED ON EXTINCTION WATCHLIST
During a meeting last week in Mexico between members of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), scientists placed the giraffe on Red List of Threatened Species. The mammal is now labeled as "vulnerable" as the global population of giraffes has fallen by 40-percent, from up to 163,000 in 1985 to only 97,562 in 2015. "Illegal hunting, habitat loss, and changes through expanding agriculture and mining, increasing human-wildlife conflict, and civil unrest are all pushing the species towards extinction," the IUCN stated. "Many species are slipping away before we can even describe them," IUCN Director General Inger Andersen said.
The Moran Livestock Association in Seongnam, South Korea—where approximately 80,000 dogs have been killed each year for meat—has agreed to cease the slaughter, confinement, and sale of dogs, as of 10:00 am Tuesday. This action comes after an ongoing campaign launched by animal-rights group In Defense of Animals urging the city of Seongnam to stop the brutal dog meat trade at the city's Moran market. "The closure of Korea's most infamous dog meat market at Moran deals a significant blow to the heart of the dog meat trade," IDA President Marilyn Kroplick said. "Moran market has run with the blood of hundreds of thousands of dogs for many years, so this is a step in the right direction in our fight to end the horrific dog meat trade." While Kroplick said the closure of the market is indeed progress, she also indicated concern that dog meat traders would relocate elsewhere.
12/15/2016 PLANT-BASED BURGERS MORE FILLING THAN MEAT
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen recently conducted studies to determine the satiety levels of consuming a plant-based burger when compared to a meat-based one. 48 healthy men were divided in three meal groups, and fed either one of two plant-based burgers with differing amounts of protein and fiber per 100 grams (9 percent and 10 grams, and 19 percent percent and 25 grams, respectively) or a meat-based burger (19 percent protein and 6 grams of fiber). The participants were then asked to report their levels of satiety and satisfaction. Three hours later, the group was instructed to consume a lunch of pasta bolognese and eat until they felt full. The study results indicate that participants who consumed plant-based burgers reported a higher level of satiety, including those in the lower-protein plant-based category.
12/14/2016 ALL FISH TO GO EXTINCT BY 2048
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) recently warned that global fish populations may completely collapse by 2048. According to the organization, the demand for fish worldwide is two to three times higher than oceans can support. WWF explained that 53% of the world's fisheries are fully exploited—including most of the top ten fisheries in the world—and an additional 32% of fisheries are heading toward depletion. According to WWF, the causes of overfishing include massive bycatch, irresponsible fisheries, destructive practices, subsidies that keep too many boats in the water, and pirate fishers—or those who do not follow fishing laws.
12/14/2016 FILMMAKER CAPTURES THE YEAR IN VEGAN
London-born filmmaker Klaus Mitchell debuted short film Vegan 2016 this month. Mitchell created the 35-minute film as a narrative of the top worldwide accomplishments—plus some challenges—of the vegan movement during 2016. According to Mitchell, the vegan message first broke through to a broad audience with the popularity of vegan doctor Michael Greger, MD, whose 2016 appearances on media outlets such as Fox News spread the message of his New York Times bestselling book How Not to Die. The filmmaker outlined other major events such as Hampton Creek's impact on the egg industry, the growing popularity of meat alternatives, and mounting scientific evidence to support the health and environmental benefits of a vegan diet. Mitchell founded media outlet Plant Based News in 2015, and plans to document the vegan movement through film for the next 50 years to create a "macro-perspective of all the individual events" as a resource that society references to trace the evolution of the vegan movement.
The last two remaining beluga whales (Aurora and her calf Qila) held at the Vancouver Aquarium recently died. The aquarium—which claims to be a conservation facility—said that the deaths may have been caused by animal-rights activists who, despite no evidence confirming the aquarium's accusation, believe potentially poisoned the whales. On the heels of this tragedy, scientist and environmental activist Jeff Matthews argues that the Vancouver Aquarium is not in fact a conservation facility. Matthews points out that more than 40 deaths of whales and dolphins have occurred at the aquarium. The aquarium plans to import five new beluga whales from United States-based SeaWorld to fill their empty beluga tank. Matthews points out that the aquarium has not taken a stance against the planned Kinder Morgan pipeline, which is expected to threaten the whale population along the coast—despite claims from aquarium executives that they are a conservation facility.
Archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar Ilan University recently found more than 9,000 plant remains in Israel from the Paleolithic period. The site of the findings is the oldest known area where humans controlled fire in Western Asia, indicating that many plants were cooked to make them edible. Researchers identified 55 different Paleolithic plant species in the area including tubers, nuts, seeds, fruit, leaves, stems, and roots, including seven edible species of plants found in surrounding Hula Lake. Last year, researchers at the University of Florence proved that the diet of people during the Paleolithic period was heavily reliant on oats, wild wheat, and other starches. These findings prove that the current "paleo diet"—which primarily focuses on animal protein and shuns grains—does not accurately reflect the dietary lifestyle of humans during the Paleolithic period.
A new study published in the Journal of Food Science found that isolated compounds extracted from avocados, particularly the seed, are effective in controlling the growth of listeria. Scientists from Tecnologico de Monterrey in Mexico believe that organic compounds—called acetogenins—found in avocados have antilisterial properties and, when added to ready-to-eat foods, can prevent the spread of the disease, which causes symptoms such as muscle aches, fever, gastrointestinal issues, and even death. The food-borne illness sickens approximately 160,000 people annually, with 260 of those resulting in death. Other plant based foods—including chicory root—have been found to contain protective qualities against illnesses such as heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
12/13/2016 LAST FUR FARM CLOSES IN JAPAN
The Otsuka mink farm in Niigata, Japan—the last remaining fur farm in the country—shuttered at the end of November. Since 2006, the farm has been in violation of Japan's Invasive Animal Species Act, wherein animals not native to the region—including mink, raccoon, and coypu—are highly restricted due to their threat to the destruction of local biodiversity. Additionally, the Otsuka farm was repeatedly warned by the Animal Rights Center in Japan for its violation of the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals. In lieu of bringing his farm up to code, the owner opted to end operations, citing that his farm was no longer economically viable due to declining demand for fur. Concurrently, a whistleblower recently released harrowing footage he gathered during his employment on a mink farm in Poland—a supplier to British and other European fur manufactures.
12/12/2016 LUNG CANCER HIGHER IN SLAUGHTERHOUSE WORKERS
New research presented last week at the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Austria by keynote speaker Harald Zur Hausen, MD found that exposure to and consumption of meat increases the risk of contracting lung cancer. Dr. Hausen—a Nobel Prize recipient for his work in connecting the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) with increased cancer risk—is currently researching the causes of lung cancer in patients who do not smoke, to determine the links between cancer and other factors such as diet. His findings indicate that slaughterhouse workers, butchers, and others exposed to animal carcasses, inhale oncogenic viruses—or viruses that can lead to cancer cell formation. Additionally, he found that consuming pathogens through animal products—including bovine milk—can also prove carcinogenic for humans.
Warren Arthur McNabb was fined $15,000 by a New Zealand court on Thursday for breaking the tails of 211 cows. During an inspection by both the Ministry for Primary Industries and a veterinarian, nearly half of the 446 cows on McNabb's dairy farm were found to be suffering from broken tails. "It's been compared, I guess, to having your fingers broken, in terms of level of pain," the veterinarian said. The court banned McNabb from milking cows for six months, and ordered him to pay all fees associated with the case—including veterinary bills. While McNabb's actions are considered animal abuse, New Zealand is known for developing a globally used practice called tail-docking in the 1900s, wherein cows' and calves' tails are partially removed employing several methods—the most common of which is placing a thick rubber band on the tail to cut off circulation until up to two-thirds of it falls off.
A nine-page petition filed by the Center for Science in the Public Interest asks the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service to begin requiring colorectal cancer warning labels on certain meat and poultry products. The petition claims "scientific research has led to the conclusion that processed meat and poultry increases the risk of colorectal cancer." The North American Meat Institute (NAMI), said CSPI has earned the nickname "the food police" for such "scare tactics." The CSPI suggests the label should state: "USDA WARNING: Frequent consumption of processed meat products may increase your risk of developing cancer of the colon and rectum. To protect your health, limit consumption of such products." The group also wants a similar warning on poultry products. (foodsafetynews.com)
Babies are becoming violently ill after drinking a new formula milk touted by manufacturers as "brain boosting", child nutrition experts have warned. Alarmed mothers have complained that the powdered milk with fish oil makes their babies vomit and some have been taken to hospital with severe reflux. Fish oils have been added to major brands such as SMA and Aptamil to tempt parents who believe the Omega 3 fatty acids they contain help growing brains. But experts say babies cannot process fish oil, leading some to vomit the milk back up. Others suffer colic, diarrhoea and constipation. More than 13,000 parents have signed a petition demanding that Nestlé "ban SMA Pro Formula Milk" after it changed its ingredients in January. The three big brands – SMA, Aptamil and Cow & Gate now all include fish oil in their "standard" newborn milks. (dailymail.co.uk)
A new report published by global market research company ReportsnReports determined that the global coconut milk industry will grow by 15.4 percent every year until 2020. Researchers identified that the coconut milk industry is growing, thanks to the health benefits associated with the consumption of coconut products—including lowering cholesterol, improving blood pressure, and preventing heart attacks and strokes. The report revealed that coconut milk sales will be most prominent in the Americas, including Brazil and Argentina, where lactose intolerance affects 86 and 61 percent of the population, respectively. In addition to coconut milk, various sectors of the plant-based industry including meat, egg replacers, and other non-dairy milks are expected to boom in coming years.
A solo art exhibit entitled "Bully" by New Zealand-born vegan artist Claude Jones debuted yesterday at the Artereal Gallery in Sydney, Australia. Jones' artworks feature bulldogs acting out exploitative human behaviors on other animals such as rabbits, horses, and bulls. Jones went vegan six years ago after adopting a kitten named "Laska" who reminded the artist of her love for animals. Through her art, Jones aims to inspire more people to leave animals off their plates, avoid products tested on animals, and shun animal attractions such as circuses, aquatic shows, and horse and dog races. Jones is also one of 10 Queensland artists chosen to participate in touring exhibition, "Animal Fanfare," with viewing dates in several locations through April, 2017. The "Bully" exhibit will be available for viewing until December 22, 2016.
12/08/2016 SEAWORLD CUTS 320 JOBS TO STAY AFLOAT
SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby announced the day before yesterday that the company would be eliminating 320 jobs across their properties. The aquatic park has been struggling to stay in business since the release of influential documentary Blackfish in 2013. Reports of animal abuse and neglect from a former SeaWorld employee, the deaths of several marine animals, and a conspiracy uncovered last year wherein a SeaWorld employee admitted to infiltrating animal-rights organization PETA with the intent to spy on their activist actions, have all led to dire consequences for the park. Within the last two years, SeaWorld has faced decreased attendance, plummeting stock prices, and legislation that prohibits the company to breed orcas. Manby explained that the job cut will be part of the park's restructuring program—one that no longer uses whales as show performers.
Several restaurants in England are refusing to accept the new £5 banknotes after learning they contain tallow—an animal byproduct made with rendered beef or mutton fat. "To stay true to the cause, we will no longer be accepting new five pound notes," Brixton vegan restaurant VegBar announced on Twitter last week. Similarly, vegan juice bar Not Just Juice in Gloucestershire has stopped accepting the notes. Additionally, The National Council of Hindu Temples in the United Kingdom has issued an official statement that bans the use of the notes in the organization, stating that the tallow-laced currency is "a medium for communicating pain and suffering and we would not want to come into contact with it." The Bank of England confirmed last week that the new £5 banknotes contain tallow due to a plastic polymer used by their supplier Innovia Security. A petition launched to remove the animal product from English currency—which the Bank of England promised to address—and currently has nearly 130,000 signatures.
A motion to introduce more non-animal proteins at Yale University Dwight Dining hall was passed by the executive committee by an overwhelming majority of 46 to eight in November. The resolution was set forth by Yale Animal Welfare Alliance and stated, "in light of the enormous negative repercussions of meat consumption, we advocate that Yale Dining make a concerted effort to increase the amount of non-animal protein in the dining halls." According to Dwight Hall Co-Coordinator Anthony D'Ambrosio, the resolution will be incorporated as a "core value" of the ivy league university. Currently, the campus dining hall offers vegan butter, mayonnaise, and plant-based milks regularly. Dining halls at universities across the United States continue to add more plant-based proteins to appease student demand for healthier, more ethical, and environmentally friendly options.
12/07/2016 KAT VON D RAISED $200K TO BENEFIT LAB CHIMPS
Makeup mogul and animal-rights activist Kat Von D announced last week that her company Kat Von D Beauty donated $236,000 to Project Chimps—a nonprofit organization that rehabilitates chimpanzees who have been used for cosmetic testing. The funds were generated by sales of the limited edition "Project Chimps" shade of Everlasting Liquid Lipstick released by Kat Von D Beauty in August. "Not only will this donation help raise awareness to the cruel [and] unnecessary animal testing industry," Von D stated in an Instagram post, "but it will help give 300 chimps—who for the last [three] decades have lived an unnatural life in testing labs—rehabilitation, and a safe haven to live out the comfortable life they deserve." Earlier this year, Von D announced that she would reformulate every product in her cosmetic brand to be completely vegan and debuted her cruelty-free brand in the United Kingdom and Ireland in October.
12/06/2016 FDA SEIZES 4 MILLION POUNDS OF MILK
On Wednesday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) seized four million pounds of powdered milk (worth over $4 million) produced by Valley Milk Products LLC in Virginia. The FDA filed a complaint against the company that alleges its products were adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, after a recent investigation revealed the presence of salmonella in its products and work surfaces—as well as other unsanitary conditions, including water dripping from the ceiling into milk products. "The FDA urged Valley Milk to conduct a voluntary recall of the implicated products," FDA's associate commissioner for regulatory affairs Melinda K. Plaisier said. "The firm refused to recall and, as a result, we have had to intervene and seize this adulterated food to prevent it from reaching consumers who could be exposed to Salmonella from these products." This government action comes after dairy producers in the United States dumped 43 million gallons of excess milk into manure lagoons and fields in the first eight months of 2016.
Animal-rights organization Mercy for Animals (MFA) released its most recent undercover investigation on November 30. MFA partnered with international animal protection group Animal Equality (AE) to set up surveillance cameras in government-owned slaughterhouses across 11 municipalities in Mexico. The groups captured harrowing footage of animals being shocked with electric prongs on their faces, workers wrapping chains around animals' legs and stringing them upside down, and animals being scalded alive and stabbed repeatedly before languishing for extended periods of time, eventually choking on their own blood and vomit. Both MFA and AE are calling on the federal government of Mexico to pass protective legislation that would require rendering animals insensible prior to slaughter. Earlier this year, MFA's Vice President in Mexico Blanka Alfaro Pola was successful in thwarting the "Animal Protection Act" in Nuevo Leon, Mexico which, despite its name, would have left countless farm and companion animals unprotected.
Students of New Zealand's Hutt Valley High School were named finalists in the entrepreneurial competition Young Enterprise Scheme for their vegan product, Ease Chocolate Milk. Vegan students Eireanne Millikin, Megan Rea, Ella Steele, and Zara Badrick—who developed the coconut-based milk to fill a gap in the vegan beverage industry—spoke in front of representatives from the county's chamber of commerce this week. The students partnered with local chocolatier The Chocolate Story to create their Belgian chocolate-infused non-dairy beverage, and received acclaim from tasters including parliament member Chris Bishop. Winners will be announced on December 7 and will receive $25,000 to be used toward their college education.
12/05/2016 ENGLAND CONSIDERS MAKING ITS CASH VEGAN
The Bank of England is looking to remove animal products from its new £5 banknote. The note went into circulation in September and uses a plastic polymer that contains tallow—or rendered beef or mutton fat. The bank confirmed on Twitter on Monday that the notes contained tallow, which sparked a social media outrage resulting in more than 100,000 signatures on a Change.org petition asking the bank to reformulate the banknote sans animal products. In a statement to British media outlet BBC, the bank revealed it was not aware of the presence of tallow in the banknote when it contracted material supplier Innovia Security to create the currency.
The Ontario arm of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) charged area aquatic park Marineland with five counts of animal cruelty on Friday under the Ontario SPCA Act. During a recent visit to the marine park, the animal welfare organization found a peacock in distress, neglected guinea hens, and malnourished black bears. The OSPCA did not have the authority to remove the animals in question, however, the organization continues to monitor Marineland to ensure the charges are addressed. "Reports of animal cruelty are taken very seriously," OSPCA's Senior Inspector Steve Toy says. "When we receive reports of cruelty that involve wildlife or exotic animals, we will utilize our experts as well as industry experts to assist us with our investigation."
12/05/2016 VEGAN RESCUES 100-YEAR-OLD GIANT LOBSTER
Vegan Nova Scotia resident Katie Conklin rescued "King Louie"—a 23-pound lobster believed to be 100-years-old—from New Brunswick store Alma Lobster Shop. Shop co-owner Catherine MacDonald says the rare lobster became an attraction after people expressed interest in mounting the animal and using him as a promotional prop for their businesses. Luckily, Conklin acted fast and paid $230 for King Louie and released him back into Bay of Fundy, where he was caught several days prior by local fishermen. King Louie is the most recently rescued lobster in Canada. This summer, vegan Christine Longhead rescued lobster Lobby Joe from a tank in Ontario and spent more than $300 to transport him to the ocean in Halifax. One month later, Canadian monks released 600 pounds of lobsters off the coast of the Wood Islands after purchasing them from local vendors on Prince Edward Island.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND)—a collection of 100,000 healthcare professionals, the largest in the United States—published its official position on vegetarian diets in the December issue its medical journal. "It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that appropriately planned vegetarian, including vegan, diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits for the prevention and treatment of certain diseases," the AND states. While the organization recognizes the benefits of vegetarian diets in general, AND finds the vegan diet is best for reducing the risk of (and treating) illness such as heart disease, hypertension, some forms of cancer, and type 2 diabetes. AND deemed vegan diets effective at promoting a lower body mass index, more environmentally friendly than other diets, and safe for people in all stages of life. While AND has published various papers on how consuming animal products affects health, this is the first time AND included their position on how the animal agriculture negatively impacts the environment.
12/02/2016 UK CURRENCY IS NOT VEGAN
New £5 banknotes containing "tallow," or rendered beef or mutton fat, entered into circulation in England this September. The notes are printed using plastic polymer pellets for the materials' stain- and water-resistant qualities. The Bank of England confirmed via Twitter on Monday that tallow was present in the banknotes. Concerned citizen Doug Maw launched a petition—which currently has over 100,000 signatures—on Change.org to remove the animal product. "This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the UK," the petition states. "We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use." The petition will be delivered directly to the Bank of England urging them to remove tallow from the new banknotes.
12/02/2016 TORONTO FOOD BANK SERVED 50,000TH VEG MEAL
The Toronto Vegetarian Food Bank (TVFB) served its 50,000th vegan-friendly meal last weekend. TVFB was launched in 2015 with the mission to allow people to maintain their ethical dietary choice despite financial circumstances. "We don't think that people's dignity should be sacrificed because they're down on their luck," TVFB executive director Matt Noble—himself a seven-year vegan—said. The food bank spends 60-percent of its budget on fruit and vegetables and offers protein-rich tofu-based dishes and plant-based milk. "We want to not have people put in a position where they have to choose between feeding themselves or harming another being," Noble said. TVFB will continue serving its community throughout the holidays with the next event scheduled for December 19.
Pope Francis met with the members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences—including theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking—at the Vatican on Monday. During his speech, the Pope urged the scientists to "work free of political, economic or ideological interests, to develop a cultural model which can face the crisis of climatic change and its social consequences." Pope Francis directly addressed politicians who deny the existence of climate change by discussing the problematic nature of "the ease with which well-founded scientific opinion about the state of our planet is disregarded." The Pope's speech comes after president-elect Donald Trump vowed to pull out of the Paris Agreement—signed by 200 countries in an effort to collaboratively combat climate change—and announced he would appoint avid climate change critic Myron Ebell as head of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Trump has since wavered on his position regarding climate change, but the future the US participation in the Paris Agreement remains uncertain.
New York-based food consulting firm Baum + Whiteman (BW) released their annual food trends report for 2016, and the firm predicted the popularity of non-animal protein and vegetables will continue to grow on restaurant menus. Due to ever increasing demand for plant-based alternatives to meat, BW says, "We've reached a tipping point for vegetables," adding, "They're pushing animal protein to the side of the plate ... or entirely off it." BW calls this trend "root to stem" dining and names several restaurants—including Philadelphia-based vegan eatery Vedge—as early adopters of the trend. In conjunction with several market research reports that predict an exponential growth of vegan milk, meat, egg replacer, and packaged goods industries in coming years, 2017 will be a great year for plant-based dining.
A recent feature in Canadian media outlet MacLean's explored a phenomenon plaguing blue zones—or areas with the largest concentrations of individuals over 100 years old. In 2009, Michael Poulin began to study blue zones—namely Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece—to determine the commonalities between the areas, and found that one common thread was residents followed a mostly plant-based diet. Poulin's new research of younger generations in the blue zones indicates that they will not live as long as their predecessors due to an increase in meat and junk food consumption. The American diet brought to Okinawa via a United States military base in the 1940s will wipe out the blue zone there in 10 to 15 years. In Costa Rica, Nicoya is now home to many Kentucky Fried Chicken and McDonalds' fast-food chains, and as a result is undergoing a "nutritional transition," according to global health scholar at Macalester College Eric Carter. Outside of the disappearing blue zones, the spread of the Western diet into areas such as China and Africa, has been credited for increases in obesity rates and nutritional deficiencies.
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