Stories from around the globe celebrating all things vegan
Europe's largest vehicle manufacturer, Volkswagen, has announced that it is almost entirely veganising its headquarters' employee canteen menu - it will no longer serve meat, except for fish.
The switch follows the company's ongoing efforts to become more sustainable. The move is noteworthy for the company, since it means abandoning a 48-year tradition - the Volkswagen curry wurst.
In 1973, the German car maker launched its own sausage brand, with the curried sausage having been served in eateries in six Volkswagen factories, as well as in German supermarkets and football arenas.
Unknown to most, annually, the vehicle manufacturer produces more sausages than they do cars, multiple times! Thus, the move to a more plant-based menu is one of great significance for the brand.
Leith Street, Edinburgh, Scotland: City gets its first all-vegan and plastic-free restaurant
The vibrant Scottish city of Edinburgh has got its first-ever vegan and plastic-free restaurant - Erpingham House (erpinghamhouse.com/edinburgh). The new establishment marks the third restaurant in the Erpingham House group, founded by vegan entrepreneur Loui Blake and footballers Declan Rudd and Russell Martin.
The exciting new eatery is to be led by chef Emma Rae, who has a degree in environmental science and specialised in vegan cooking after returning from travels in Southern Asia. She studied raw food in Bali, cooked alongside families in rural India and ran the kitchen of the New York Farmacy pop-up.
Head chef Emma ensures produce is locally and responsibly sourced, believing healthy food should also be delicious and sustainable. You'll find seasonal favourites bursting with flavour that are kind to you and the planet, predominantly made from Scottish produce. Erpingham House is centred on a mantra of 'eat plants and be kind' and is 'proud to be free from single use plastics', also offsetting all their carbon emissions by planting trees.
Hythe, Kent, UK: Hythe Town Council becomes vegan for the climate and wins PETA award
Set in the beautiful Kent coast you will find the seafaring town of Hythe. The Head Cinque Port town is run by Hythe Town Council, who have received acclamation for their motion to transition to a plantbased council to combat climate change. This means that they will only serve vegan food and drinks at all official council functions and events.
On the council's website, they state: \"Moving to plant-based catering for all council functions is another important step in reducing the council's carbon footprint. Plant-based foods have the smallest carbon footprints. Producing meat, fish, eggs, cheese and milk emits more greenhouse gases than producing their plant-based equivalents. Animal-exploiting industries are also major contributors to rainforest deforestation, other habitat destruction, drought, and water and air pollution. The Committee on Climate Change recommends that people reduce their meat and dairy consumption and encourages the public sector to lead the shift to less carbon-intensive diets. By switching to all plant-based options for all council functions, Hythe Town Council will be reducing our carbon footprint, taking a leadership and educational role, and adopting a more ethical and compassionate approach in relation to animal welfare. Offering plant-based options should not mean any additional expense to the council and can be done with an emphasis on locally sourced and sustainable choices. In addition, plant-based food can be eaten by everyone, which is not the case for non-plant-based.\"
The council's vote has been commended by animal rights organisation PETA, who have awarded the council the first-ever Compassionate Council Award. \"Hythe Town Council is fighting climate change with diet change,\" says PETA senior corporate liaison Dr Carys Bennett. \"PETA is delighted to recognise it for making Hythe and the rest of the planet a better place for everyone.\"
California, USA: Miyoko's Creamery wins legal battle to use the label 'butter' on its vegan spread
Plant-based dairy brand Miyoko's Creamy, based in Sonoma County, California, USA, is celebrating a triumph in the legal case taken against them for using the label 'butter' on their products. A California federal judge ruled in favour of Miyoko's use of the term on its products, as well as the words 'cruelty-free' and 'lactose-free'.
In December of 2019, Miyoko's received a letter from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), who stated that the vegan brand had violated state food regulations by marking its products as 'cruelty-free' and 'vegan butter'. Following this, in February 2020, Miyoko's struck back at the CDFA, suing the state for breaching the company's First Amendment rights.
In August 2020, the CDFA pleaded to drop the case, but the court granted Miyoko's preliminary injunction. When the hearing took place, the state brought forward a study that looked at consumer identification of various dairy and vegan products. It revealed that 26 per cent of consumers misidentified dairy-free cheese products, yet the findings also showed that 19 per cent of purchasers also misidentified dairy-based cheeses (livekindly.co). The state went on to present results that showed similar trends with other dairy and plant-based goods, but in many cases, shoppers were more confused by animal-based products - 12 per cent of consumers in the study misidentified vegan milks, but 16 per cent misidentified animal-based milks (law360.com).
Commenting on the findings, the judge said: \"Taken as a whole, this research merely signals the following: that consumers are perhaps a bit better at identifying traditional cheeses than vegan cheeses, and perhaps a (roughly equivalent) bit better at identifying vegan milks than traditional milks,\" the judge continued. \"For the purposes of First Amendment scrutiny, this modest takeaway hardly cuts in favour of finding Miyoko's use of 'butter' inherently misleading,\" (livekindly.co).