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Category : Veganism

What Makes a Vegan Product? Or, When is Vegan Not Really Vegan? – vegconomist – the vegan business magazine

Redefine Meat

When is vegan not-vegan? The answer is subjective and has implications for what are purported to be vegan products. While self-identified vegans dont all share the same conception of the term, most generally agree that nobody can be 100% vegan. Why?

Most vegans recognize that every so-called vegan activity, from eating only a plant-based diet to operating an animal sanctuary, is done at the expense of animals. For example, any use of metal, such as a spoon or farm implement, is made possible only through the displacement (at least) of animals and the destruction of their habitat upon which are built mines, factories, towns, and other infrastructure.

Consequently, vegans also generally agree on a definition of veganism such as this one used by the Vegan Society.Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.

The Vegan Society adds that vegans also avoid animal-derived materials, productstested on animals and placesthat use animals for entertainment.

Products, then, can be said to be vegan if they exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation and cruelty. As we know, many and increasingly more products manage to do that. However, a number of ventures that are claimed to be vegan involve the exploitation of non-human animals. Some vegan food products are tested on animals in order to obtain GRAS accreditation.

A longstanding problem remains: how does one know whether a product is vegan? Fortunately, a longstanding solution exists: the Vegan Trademark. The Vegan Society, which coined the term vegan in 1944, established the Vegan Trademark in 1990. Since then, over 44,000 products around the world have been identified with the Vegan Trademark. Vegans know to look for the Vegan Trademark or some other vegan accreditation symbol there are several when they shop. Click here to learn more about the Vegan Societys Vegan Trademark.

Another, simpler, informal way for a producer to know whether a product is vegan or not is this: consider whether it would be acceptable to put a human in place of the non-human animal used in the research or production process. If it is not acceptable, then the product is not vegan.

(Mark Reed, MA, is a Board Member of the Vancouver Island Vegan Association.)

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What Makes a Vegan Product? Or, When is Vegan Not Really Vegan? - vegconomist - the vegan business magazine

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For the Black Vegan Company, plant-based eating is a family affair that requires empathy, breakfast tacos – austin360

Everyone has their own reason for eating a plant-based diet.

For Robin Beltrn and her husband, it was purely a medical decision. After surviving an attempted robbery in 2014, Manuel went through a dozen abdominal surgeries. After several years, they finally had to accept that his stomach could no longer process meat or dairy.

The only problem was: She had no idea how to prepare meat-free foods. "I knew no vegans," she says.

They had two young children, and Robin decided the whole family would become vegan to support Manuel. People who have been through trauma already feel excluded and isolated, she says, and for him to be able to eat well and eat what the whole family was eating became her primary focus.

"Instead of cooking these separate meals for him, we wanted to do this together," she says.

She spent hours a day researching new-to-her ingredients and recipes. She started adding turmeric and paprika to her food to help relieve his inflammation. They switched to Himalayan sea salt, which is packed with minerals and tastes saltier than table salt, and that inspired them to use less salt.

"We didnt have much money, but instead of spending more money on a prescription we couldnt afford, we spent what we could on food," she says.

Her daughter was just an infant, and her son was at that "snacky 2 to 3" phrase, so she started replacing her kids favorite yogurts, milks and ice creams with plant milk-based products. She started using coconut milk in her coffee.

They both started doing yoga, and Manuels PTSD subsided. Shed been dealing with hair loss, but her hair grew back, and she lost a substantial amount of weight, but more importantly, their whole outlook on life changed. Outside their immediate family, however, Robin, who is Black, and Manuel, who is Hispanic, found themselves having to explain their dietary decisions, over and over again.

"When I finally told my family, they didnt really get it, but I told them, Im trying to save my husband and my hair is growing and I feel happy," she says.

The fog lifted

One of their friends, Rolando Rodriguez, had noticed those not-so-subtle improvements to their life.

The longtime friends grew up in Houston. Beltrn had long called Austin home, and Rodriguez was still in Houston, where they had recently been dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. "My body wasnt able to keep up with the physical work that needed to be done," Rodriguez says.

The Beltrns started hosting a Sunday dinner once a month, which is where Rodriguez first realized that vegan food wasnt all "mystery meat" and boring salads.

Rodriguez says he grew up watching family members struggle with diabetes, including losing limbs to the disease. "I had been trained to believe that the disease was hereditary, which it is, but food habits are also hereditary. The way we eat is passed down to us," he says.

After trying Robins food and seeing the positive changes in their whole family, he decided he wanted to start changing those habits.

"Over two years, Im watching my friends go through this dramatic change, mentally and physically. I said, I want to partake in that," he says.

Rodriguez had struggled for years with anxiety and depression, and he thought those were just normal things he was going to have to deal with as an adult. But he quit meat "cold turkey," and he started to experience some of the same physical and mental benefits. "The fog lifted and I was able to concentrate," he says.

Rodriguez and Beltrn started talking about what it would look like if they started a company to share what they were learning with other people.

They sent a batch of Beltrns five-alarm chili to their friend and fellow Houston native Nicole Valadez, who was living in Washington, D.C. "I ate the entire batch," she says. "I saw Rolando slimming up and feeling better and decided I wanted to make the switch, too."

Going vegan herself was easy, she says, but it was telling her family in Houston that she knew would be the hardest part. "Its so important for us to have our family traditions," Valadez says, so she started thinking about ways she could make vegan tamales at Christmas by using jackfruit instead of pork and what egg substitute she could use VeganEgg is her favorite so her mom still could make her breakfast tacos on the mornings when she visits.

"It was important to make culturally relevant dishes that are meaningful to me so we could make them vegan and not miss out on dinners with my family," she says.

Breakfast tacos are a particularly meaningful dish for Rodriguez, too. "To give up the idea of breakfast tacos on a Saturday morning, thats stripping away an incredible tradition for me," he says. "What is my grandmother going to say or think about me if I tell her I cant eat them? There are familiar consequences to changing your diet in our communities."

But when you find an alternative that everyone can eat like a ground beef or chorizo substitute, jackfruit or hearts of palm instead of pulled chicken or pork or that VeganEgg it allows people who are eating a plant-based diet to maintain those close bonds with their loved ones.

"These are very real positive consequences about how we live our lives and interact with our families," he says.

Empathy and eating together

Opening peoples eyes to the possibilities of vegan eating while taking into account very real cultural needs is what drives everything about the Black Vegan Company, from the online cooking classes and virtual and in-person grocery store tours that Beltrn hosts to the new products that the rest of the team members are hoping to sell in grocery stores soon. They also have a cookbook in production.

Plant-based eating has grown immensely in the past decade. Some people are drawn to it because of health and medical reasons, and others feel compelled to avoid meat and dairy products because of ethics or the environmental effects.

But no matter why, when or how someone eats a plant-based diet, there are nutritional, culinary, cultural and relationship factors at play.

The Black Vegan Company wants to help people address all of those by encouraging people to ask deeper questions about what role food plays in the home and how a plant-based diet can fit within a familys time and financial budget. What culturally relevant foods are important to the extended family, and how can a wider social group have healthier conversations about what we eat and why? How can we teach and lean on each other without judging others food choices?

When veganism is presented as trading something "regular" for something "weird," that can be the root of many problems, Beltrn says. Its important to normalize plant-based eating and have empathy for the transitional issues that come when making a big dietary change.

Food is how we show love to each other, Rodriguez says, and its not uncommon for a parent who is used to showing love to their kids through food to go through a mourning period when they cant or dont want to serve the kinds of food they used to.

Valadez, who now also works with the Black Vegan Company, wrote about her family going through all five stages of grief when she told them about her transition to veganism ahead of Thanksgiving one year. "They were angry, they were in denial, they tried to bargain, all of it," she says. "Eventually, they got to acceptance," but it remains an ongoing and profound conversation about cultural values, as well as health and wellness.

"We want to show people how to talk to their brothers and sisters who are going to give you a hard time at the holidays," Rodriguez says. "One way is to remind them, This isnt about you. I need your empathy.

"Were striving for more civil discourse, and its a marathon, not a sprint. Both sides can be less judgy of each other. Vegans feel judged for trying something new, and vegans judge the nonvegans for not adopting their way of eating."

Making it a family affair

Beltrn says she tells clients to be realistic about expectations that they can relearn entirely how to grocery shop and cook in just a day or two.

When a family first starts this transition, Beltrn asks them to list what foods they like to eat and what are their must-haves in order to survive, the gotta-have pantry and fridge staples. Then, start looking for good plant-based alternatives for each one, maybe starting with a single product each week, say, yogurt or milk. Buy a few brands, but not the original product youre used to buying, and see which one gets the most votes in a family taste test. (To find out more about their services, go to theblackvegancompany.com.)

"There are definitely different stages of veganism," she says. There might be a stage when youre upset or your kid is mad that they cant have what they want, but that desire to re-create some of those favorite textures and tastes will drive your familys discoveries, both in the kitchen and in the grocery store.

This is about learning together and bending together. "If your kid wanted to play basketball, youd put a goal out there and get a ball and support them on their journey," Beltrn says. Its OK if not everyone eats the same all the time, but its also important to make sure that everyone feels like they are included at the family table.

Eating meatless meals a few days a week is one way to ease into it, Beltrn says, and its important to have the whole family involved in picking some of these new dishes to try, such as cauliflower buffalo "wings" or barbecue sliders made from jackfruit.

"Then it becomes a family activity and something you are doing together, even if you arent doing it seven days a week," Beltrn says.

She also encourages people not to get frustrated if they try a new product or a new recipe and dont like it. There are hundreds of products on the market, and one persons way of cooking meat-free foods might not be aligned with the kind of foods you like. Try out new sources for recipes until you find someone whose tastes "fit" with yours.

"Dairy is the part that freaks everybody out," she says, but vegan substitutes have improved so much over the past 10 years that there are plenty of options sold in mainstream grocery stores that satisfy even the most fervent cheese- and ice cream-lovers. Beltrns favorites are Daiya, which makes a cheeselike product that shreds and melts, and Chao from Field Roast.

Major improvements also have been made to meat substitutes, such as those from Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat, but as a health and wellness coach, Beltrn explains that processed foods are processed foods and they should often be consumed in moderation.

She usually uses mushrooms and jackfruit to provide a hearty base for a dish that might otherwise be based on meat. When she does use a meat substitute, she adds extra layers of fresh ingredients to add the fiber and nutrients that a body naturally craves.

Beltrn uses JustEgg, another vegan egg substitute, when she makes her fried "chicken" with breadcrumbs and mushrooms, and she uses vegan grounds to make lasagna, spaghetti and chili. (Gardein and Quora are two popular brands, and you also can cook lentils to make a from-scratch version.)

At Thanksgiving, Beltrn makes her familys sweet potato pie using coconut milk instead, and "it is better than the original recipe." That was one way she started to break down the stereotype that vegan dishes were somehow less than nonvegan food.

"The most encouraging thing was when my mom went shopping at the grocery store and came home with all these blueberry dairy-free yogurts. It was the only (vegan) thing in her fridge, but she tried."

Today, her mom is 70% vegan, and she served vegan burgers on the Fourth of July. Thats the kind of small win that Rodriguez says families should celebrate.

"Robins got something special," Rodriguez says. "Heres this Black woman in this very Mexican mans kitchen helping to start this journey together because of a thing that were all too familiar with." But the love of food and people coming together around food, which is also something they are all so familiar with, is also undeniably there.

"These difficult stories, these problems, they can become the beginning of a great story," he says. "For me, it was like what Tupac said (in the song Changes): If you change the way you eat, youll change the way you think and the way you treat each other."

Fried "Chicken" Shrooms

Want that fried chicken taste and crunch without the guilt? Try this fried mushroom recipe to satisfy your craving. Use these bites in poboys, fried "chicken" dinner with mashed potatoes or "chicken" nuggets with ketchup and french fries. Instead of a commercial egg substitute, you can use chickpea water, which is called aquafaba. If you dont want to fry these in oil, use an air fryer set to 375 degrees.

Robin Beltrn

18 to 20 shiitake mushrooms (or oyster mushrooms or black pearl mushrooms)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh dill

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

2 cups flour

2 cups egg replacement (Just Egg or aquafaba)

3 cups olive oil (or use an air fryer)

Cut the stems off mushrooms and wash well to remove any dirt. Completely dry them and slice into rounds of desired thickness (we slice about 1/4-inch rounds).

In a bowl, combine salt, dill, breadcrumbs and flour. Mix thoroughly.

Dip the mushrooms in the "egg" wash. Immediately after, dip them in the breadcrumb mixture. For best results, dip/coat one slice at a time. Place the dipped/coated mushrooms to the side on a plate.

Once youve finished dipping/coating all the mushrooms, add 3 cups of olive oil to a deep fryer or skillet. (You can use an air fryer instead for a lower-calorie dish.)

Set oil to medium-high heat on the stove or 375 degrees in the deep fryer. (You can also use 375 degrees in the air fryer.)

Fry mushrooms until golden brown (2 to 4 minutes total). If frying in pan, flip mushrooms to fry on both sides. Place fried mushrooms on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Allow mushrooms to cool for 3 to 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh dill (optional). Serves 4.

Robin Beltrn

Jalapeo Aioli

1/3 cup vegan sour cream or mayo

1 tablespoon fresh dill

1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt

1 lemon, squeezed

1/2 to 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeo (optional)

To a bowl, add the sour cream (or mayo), dill, salt, lemon juice and jalapeo, if using. Mix thoroughly. Serve with fried "chicken" mushrooms.

Robin Beltrn

Guajillo Jackfruit "Pork"

Whenever I prepare a dish that my nonvegan family says tastes as good as stuff with meat in it, I do a little happy dance. I love exposing them to new, healthy ways of consuming our favorite classics and reprogramming what they think about veganism. During one holiday season, the recipe that knocked it out of the park was a vegan take on pork tamales. In order to mimic pork for this recipe, we used jackfruit. Jackfruit is a large fruit grown in tropical regions of the world. I like cooking with it because it looks like and has the consistency of shredded beef or pork. This makes it the perfect meat substitute for dishes that require a shredded, meaty texture, like pork tamales or pulled pork sandwiches. I like to use the Jackfruit Companys lightly seasoned frozen jackfruit. This quantity of guajillo sauce and filling will make about 10 dozen tamales, but you can reduce the quantity by half if you want to make a smaller batch or use the filling in another way. The technique of cooking the jackfruit could be adapted for making barbecue-style sandwiches.

Nicole Valadez

For the guajillo sauce:

15 guajillo chiles

3 ancho chiles

6 garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 onion, halved

2 teaspoon salt

For the jackfruit "pork":

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup diced onion

6 1/2 cups jackfruit

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Salt, to taste

To make the sauce: Fill a large pot with water and set on high heat. While you wait for the water to boil, remove the stems from the guajillo and ancho chiles. Slice each chile in half and remove the seeds. Once the water is at a rolling boil, add the chiles, garlic and onion. Boil until the peppers are soft, about 30 minutes.

Transfer peppers, garlic and onion to a blender and add salt. Blend until smooth and add salt to taste, as needed. The sauce should be well salted, smooth and not very thick. Add a bit of water and blend if too thick. Set aside.

For the jackfruit, set a large pan to medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil and diced onion. Saut onions until they are a bit translucent, about 3 minutes. Lower heat slightly if onion begins to brown.

Add jackfruit to the pan and mash it to break up the large pieces. Once fully mashed, the jackfruit should resemble shredded beef.

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For the Black Vegan Company, plant-based eating is a family affair that requires empathy, breakfast tacos - austin360

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

5 Vegan Michelin-Starred Menus Around the World – LIVEKINDLY

Well-known for having long waiting lists, high prices, small portions, and luxurious recipes made by top chefs using only the finest of ingredientsMichelin star restaurants take fine dining to the next level. Granted, many of these prestigious restaurants feature meat and seafood dishes. But there are still a number of vegan Michelin-starred menus around the world that offer stunning meals made exclusively from plants.

But what exactly is a Michelin star? And why do restaurants covet this rating?

Many are familiar with the Michelin company through its variety of car tire offerings. But the Paris-based brand is also well-known for its Michelin Guide.

French industrialist Andr Michelin and his brother, douard, founded the Michelin Tyre Company in 1888 in Clermont-Ferrand. And in 1900, the duo compiled the first Michelin Guide.

The brothers launched the travel guide in order to help traveling motorists better plan out their trips. At the time, there were less than 3,000 cars on the road in the country. The brothers hoped the new guide would increase the demand for automobiles. In doing this, they also hoped that purchases of their car tires would increase, too.

For twenty years, the Michelin brothers gave out the guide at no cost. However, in 1920, the duo launched a brand new guide, which sold for seven francs. According to Michelin, the new Michelin Guide featured a list of local French restaurants and other establishments like gas stations and hotels to help improve motorists travel experiences.

Due to the growing popularity of the guides restaurant review section, the brothers hired a team of restaurant inspectors to better rate the restaurants. And in 1926, the company began awarding one Michelin star to fine dining establishments in France.

In 1931, the company expanded its rating system to include three stars. Five years later, the company published its criteria for ranking restaurants.

The Michelin Guide awards one star to a very good restaurant, two stars to a restaurant that has excellent cooking that is worth a detour, and three stars to a restaurant that has exceptional cuisine that is worth a special journey.

The Michelin Guide now publishes editions in a number of countries. These include the U.S., China, and Belgium. The former received its first guide in 2005.

Although not all restaurants accept the ratingsome believe it stifles a chefs creativity in the kitchenmuch of the culinary industry reveres the iconic rating system. As such, many restaurants around the globe vie for the highly coveted Michelin Star status. These five vegan Michelin-starred menus managed to snag the prestigious rating this year.

Nestled in Shanghai, this vegetarian restaurant scored one Michelin star as part of the Michelin Guide Shanghai 2020 edition. Fu He Hui boasts an expansive plant-based menu. This restaurant encompasses a serene Zen-inspired atmosphere that truly reflects the idea that veganism isnt just about the food, but is a way of life, Michelin star inspectors said in the rating.

The inspector added: Only set menus are served, with masterfully created and artfully presented dishes, including some old-fashioned labour-intensive recipes. Tea culture is also closely related to Zen. Which is why the restaurant offers tea pairings where four different Chinese teas are served to complement the dishes.

The restaurants vegan menu includes options like crackers with eggplant puree. It also offers beetroot rolls with chickpea filling and a mix of avocado, mango, and tomatoes in a seaweed waffle cone.

In November 2019, Beijing-based restaurant Kings Joy was only one of two restaurants that entered the inaugural selection of the Michelin Guide Beijing.

The Michelin Guide awarded the vegetarian restaurant a coveted two stars. It offers vegan options and serves a variety of dishes featuring organic vegetables from local farms.

In the review, Michelins inspector said: Try [the chefs] tasting menu for culinary highlights, such as honeylocust, fox nuts, and peas, as well as rice with assorted mushrooms and peach resin, both delivering a nice contrast of textures.

Located right in the heart of Vienna, this Michelin-starred restaurant features an elegant plant-based menu created using regionally sourced ingredients. The fine-dining restaurant, opened by Austrian restaurateur Christian Halper, also sources some of its produce from its own garden.

Michelins inspector said: The depth of flavour that youll find in the exclusively vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer here is remarkable!

The inspector added: And how about a bottle from the ever-growing selection of organic wines? Or perhaps one of the restaurants home-made alcohol-free drinks to wash down the sophisticated, flavoursome fare?

The Michelin Guide awarded this vegetable-centric, New York-based restaurant one star as part of its 2020 New York City guide. The distinction makes Nix the only vegetarian restaurant in the U.S. to have a Michelin star.

The [menus] main section is divided between lighter and bolder dishes, complete with an asterisk highlighting those preparations that can be made vegan, the Michelin inspector said in the review.

The inspector said that the chef and owner, John Fraser, relied on influences from around the world to bring out the individual flavors of his market produce.This includes flavors like sweet hoisin sauce and spicy Thai chili.

Joias chef, Pietro Leemann, opened the restaurant in 1989. In 1996, Joia became the first vegetarian restaurant in Italy to receive a Michelin star.

In the review, Michelins inspector wrote that Leemann became a vegetarian after a gradual philosophical and spiritual transformation in Asia.

After many years, his focus is now on natural food, which is avant-garde, experimental, skilfully prepared and beautifully presented. Full of flavour, the menu here is 80 percent vegan and gluten-free, the inspector added.

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5 Vegan Michelin-Starred Menus Around the World - LIVEKINDLY

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Is the Vegan Movement Ready to Reckon with Racism? – Civil Eats

Earlier this year, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) posted a Super Bowl advertisement it said had been rejected by Fox. The one-minute clip featured cartoon animals, from bees to bald eagles, taking a knee while the national anthem hummed in the background. It closed on the hashtag #EndSpeciesism.

The media spot was an attempt, in PETAs own words, to pay homage to Colin Kaepernick and movements rejecting injustice, but for many viewers, including those of color, the comparison struck an insulting chord. Michael Harriot, a columnist for The Root, called the ad a despicable but expected example of mockery of 400 years of systemic oppression by comparing Black lives to grizzly bears and bald eagles.

PETA defines speciesism as the outdated belief that human beings are superior to all animal species. The campaignand the sentiment behind ithas offended advocates of color from the get-go. As A. Breeze Harper, author and founder of the Sistah Vegan Project, wrote in a letter to PETA in 2014, Black people will continue to be treated as animals . . . until post-racial, post-humanist, I dont see color power-holders like [PETA], practice the tenets of Black Lives Matter (along with many other anti-racist movements).

Racial conflict in the vegan movement isnt new. But this years nationwide protests against police violence and white supremacy have revived this conversation in earnest among white vegan groups, especially those that maintain a single-minded commitment to animal rights. These nonprofits, including the Humane Society of the United States, Mercy For Animals, the Humane League, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, are largely staffed with white executives and carry out the will of largely white funders and priorities.

Some groups have stood up and spoken out for racial justice or lent their platforms to Black leaders to advocate for change, and examined the ways that their organizations reinforce white supremacy and might evolve. Others are much earlier in a process of learning, and other groups still cant see the connections between racial justice and their vegan causes.

As those groups ask themselves howand even whetherto support the movement for Black lives, their answers reveal the early stages of a glacially paced journey away from systems that have often excluded people of color at best, and denigrated their movements at worst.

In the summer of 2018, when the vegan crab cakes at Baltimores vegan soul food restaurant Land of Kush made PETAs list of the nations top 10 vegan seafood dishes, owner Naijah Wright-Brown was surprised and honored. But then, a week later, the organization put up a giant billboard of a crab on the nearby waterfront, imploring the citys residents to go vegan.

Racial conflict in the vegan movement isnt new, but this years nationwide protests against police violence and white supremacy have revived this conversation in earnest among white vegan groups.

When this gesture ignited a billboard war between PETA and a landmark Baltimore seafood restaurant, Jimmys Famous Seafood, Land of Kush found itself implicated in the debacle. Wright-Brown says PETA then wanted Land of Kush to take it a little further. She declined, but was left feeling like PETA didnt understand the challenges she faced as a Black business owner.

Land of Kush is not in that position in Baltimore to be having these types of debates, she said. Theres already a racial civil war going on out here . . . we dont want to add to it.

Wright-Brown isnt alone in this experience of alienation. In a 2018 survey that asked about burnout among animal rights activists, all the activists of color interviewed cited racism in their organization and the broader movement as a reason for their departure from the movement.

When I first got involved in the animal rights community, there were hardly any Black people . . . and never any discussions of human rights, Black vegan organizer Gwenna Hunter told Civil Eats. She came to veganism slowly, first for health reasons, and then after watching online videos about the dairy industry.

The deeper she got into the community, the more one message came through: Veganism is about the animals, because theyre voiceless. Human rights issues should not be discussed, she said. She often found herself cut off when she brought up Black Lives Matter, and thought, Its crazy that nobody wants to have these conversations.

Prominent Black celebrities from Beyonc to Venus and Serena Williams have publicly championed a vegan diet in recent years, including high-profile Black athletes Colin Kaepernick and Kyrie Irving. But its notable that while white celebrities are often vocal about their veganism for environmental or animal protection reasons, vegans of color overwhelmingly cite heatlh as the prime motivator for their change in diet. And while white vegans saturate the cultural spotlightincluding celebrities like Alicia Silverstein and Joaquin Phoenix8 percent of Black Americans identify as vegan, making them nearly three times more likely to eschew animal products than any other group of Americans.

While the vegan population is more Black than the country writ large, most vegan nonprofits with multi-million-dollar budgets cater nearly exclusively to animal-focused audiences, a practice that vegans of color have long emphasized systematically alienate communities of color. This dissonance demonstrates to LoriKim Alexander, an organizer of the Brooklyn-based Black VegFest, that anti-Blackness is wholly embedded in the system of white, mainstream veganism.

In recent weeks, educational tools explaining the role of white supremacy in mainstream veganism have been shared in progressive social media networks, as well as vegan-specific accounts. This slide deck,for example, was liked by 10,000 people, while this post from 2019 was recirculated on a radical platform and received 7,000 likes. For a few weeks following the murder of George Floyd, lists of Black chefs, educators, restaurants, and writers abounded in the vegan world.

Meanwhile, BIPOC activists have renewed longstanding calls for solidarity within the community. If vegans can have love and adoration for cows, they can love within their species, Black VegFest organizers wrote in a document that listed 7 points of Allyship for the White Vegan Community in Defense of Black Lives. If Black vegans can practice intersectionality, white vegans can, too, it read.

Mainstream, white vegan groups often weather storms of criticism without taking serious steps toward change. Alex Bury, a white vegan who has worked in fundraising at some of the largest mainstream animal rights nonprofits, including the Humane Society of the United States and PETA, says thats a typical approach. When the Movement for Black Lives and reckonings on sexual harassment have been in the news in the past, Bury says, they made some nice posts and memes, but that was it.

The modern vegan movement came to life during World War II in Birmingham, England, with the founding of the Vegan Society, which waged campaigns against cruelty to animals, particularly horses, mules, and oxen. By World War II, Western society was powered by motorized equipment, and animal advocates pivoted to focus on farms and laboratories. It was always about the animals, explains Victoria Moran, founder of Main Street Vegan and a best-selling cookbook author.

Moran has been vegan since 1983, and was mentored by a co-founder of the American Vegan Society. For decades, while white vegan culture moved into the mainstream, racism wasnt seen as relevant to the problems that vegans wanted to solve.

A lot of white people who considered ourselves liberal, and open-minded, and certainly not racistwe were kind of oblivious, Moran told Civil Eats. The idea that there was institutionalized racism that we were part of and had benefited from, we didnt know that, until the last four or five years . . . Im not proud of that, its just the facts.

Meanwhile, Black communities have used food activism to rebel against injustice since colonization. As Black VegFests Alexander put it, Our grandparents, our great grandparents, our mothers, fathers, siblingstheyve always brought [vegan traditions and food culture] to us. But whether weve been able to hear, through the white noiseliterallyis a different story.

If youre marketing specifically to white folks, youre effectively saying, Were the only ones that matter.

In the last decade, Breeze Harper, Aph and Syl Ko, Bryant Terry, and others have introduced BIPOC leadership to the vegan mainstream, teaching social justice frameworks while offering up recipes that have helped their audiences re-interpret the history of Black cuisine through a plant-based frame. Some white vegan circles have been heavily influenced by these new narratives, while others maintain that racial justice has nothing to do with ending cruelty to animals. And yet, say Black vegans, until white vegan groups approach their audiences differently, the movement will continue to alienate BIPOC members by default.

If youre marketing specifically to white folks, youre effectively saying, Were the only ones that matter, says Alexander.

In some corners of the vegan world, there are signs that meaningful change might be in the offing, even if groups arent being clear about exactly how, or when.

We are eager to become an animal rights and anti-racist organization while also being realistic that this may be a difficult shift for some, Mercy for Animals (MFA) President Leah Garcs wrote in a recent statement on anti-racism. In the statement, the group draws a connection between the impact of factory farming on animals and impact on meatpacking workers (many of whom are refugees) and communities of color that have long been impacted by meat production.

MFA is enlisting Breeze Harpers Critical Diversity Solutions to introduce third-party accountability, as well as releasing concrete goals and metrics around diversity and inclusion in the coming weeks and months. The statement uses ideas and language of allyship not found in the organizations three-year strategic plan from 2019, which alludes vaguely to diversity but does not contain the words race, racism, or white.

But change doesnt come all at once. The organizations mission statementWe exist to end the greatest cause of suffering on the planet: the exploitation of animals for foodhas yet to be revised.

We know there are areas we can do better in both messaging and programs to make our movement more inclusive and welcoming to people of color, a spokesperson at MFA told Civil Eats. We are listening to people of color within the animal movement, educating ourselves, and looking for where we can do more to foster an anti-racist culture in our movement.

Gene Baur, founder of Farm Sanctuary, has also recently recognized the overwhelming whiteness of the groups membership. [Racial justice] is an area that has been of interest to me personally, but one that has not been pursued, and frankly, that I didnt have as deep an understanding as I do now [in light of recent events], said Baur, who founded the organization in 1986. So I am learning throughout this process.

Farm Sanctuary is in the midst of a strategic planning process, and while theres nothing concrete yet in terms of commitments to offer, Bauer says the group is making progress, and he is very optimistic about the direction were going in.

Baur is proud of his communications team, which has made notable use of its platform, sharing space to encourage BIPOC leaders to advance Black Lives Matter messaging and education. Our members have been used to seeing pictures of cute animals running in the field. Which is fine, and we will continue to do that. But were going to do more than that. The way I see it is that were transforming to a new level of impact, a broader anti-oppression effort.

In response to questions from Civil Eats, PETA provided a statement saying its staff members had participated in Black Lives Matter protests and donated to the organization, and that PETA has always believed in the power of protests, pushed for equal rights, and equal consideration for all, and stood for an end to injustice.

Activists and allies all point to one obstacle as the largest barrier to reforming animal rights organizations in favor of addressing larger systems of oppression: the people who hold money and power in the animal rights fundraising community are primarily white men. These insular, mega-rich donor circles and executive teams are the primary resistors to expanding the scope of the movement.

A blog post on racial justice from the Humane League summarized the problem succinctly: Large animal protection organizations in the U.S. are predominantly white, as are their boards, major supporting foundations, and most influential donors.

The Humane League has received $17 million since February 2016 from Open Philanthropy (OP), a large-scale animal welfare funder. OP has given more than $123 million to vegan causes in that same time frame, and it almost exclusively benefits white-led, white-owned advocacy organizations, media groups, and colleges and universities.

Theres a lot of [vegan] donors out there who simply do not want to see anything about Black Lives Matter; they think it takes away from animals.

Mercy For Animals has received nearly $10 million from OP since 2016, almost $8 million has gone to Animal Equality, and $6.5 million has benefited the Good Food Institute, a cell-based meat promotion group. OPs program director, Lewis Bollard, was not available for an interview with Civil Eats, though his team shared a statement signed by other white funders committed to addressing the problem of philanthropic whiteness.

These pipelines create barriers to opening the organization to the cause of racial justice, say insiders. Theres a lot of [vegan] donors out there who simply do not want to see anything about Black Lives Matter; they think it takes away from animals, said Alex Bury.

After two years consulting independently with large animal rights donors, Bury has re-directed her energy into rectifying the white vegan movements racial shortcomings. Shes now vice president of development at Vegan Outreach, which employs grassroots activists in communities with high potential for converting new vegans (mostly college towns), and sits on the board of Womxn Funders in Animal Rights, a small group of fundraisers and philanthropists that works to funnel money to small, women-led organizations with diverse leadership teams, prioritizing projects by and for communities of color.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, this work has expanded, emphasizing direct funding of vegan, BIPOC-owned restaurants and food businesses to help them provide free meals to their communities. Organizations like A Well Fed World have raised money with similar priorities and models.

This work squares with the expressed needs of BIPOC leaders. Frustration with foundations that fund large white organizations to work in communities of color and bypassing work on the ground by and for members of those communities, a cadre of leaders from a dozen organizations published An Open Letter from BIPOC Leaders in Food & Agriculture to Food Systems Funders. The leaders decried what they saw as a pattern of paternalistic practices that entrench our marginalization, reinforce a culture of white supremacy, and devalue the knowledge and genius in our communities.

The letter included model fundraising methods and organizations, recommending that funders invest in unrestricted multi-year grants and move towards using a participatory grantmaking model with BIPOC-led orgs from and doing work in BIPOC communities.

No-strings-attached funding is a show of true allyship, as BIPOC vegan activists have made clear. As Black VegFest founder Omowale Adewale recently told Mercy For Animals, real support needs to come without any quid pro quo. His colleague at Black VegFest, organizer Nadia Muyeeb, put it his way: We are not looking for any saviors. We want allies who listen to us when we say we need resources and respect our Black spaces.

Some organizations, they fund you and then they wanna tell you exactly what to do, and thats not my mindset, said Land of Kush owner Naijha Wright-Brown, who is also a speaker on vegan issues and leader of the Black Veg Society of Maryland. Look yallweve been colonized for centuries, and nobody is going to tell me . . . how Im going to be representing my promotion of the vegan movement . . . that was a big problem.

Land of Kushwhich Wright-Brown runs with her husbandbenefitted early on from a grant from A Well-Fed World, and the partnership worked because, in her words, they wanted to support more marginalized communities and organizations led by people of color, and gave the funding and got out of the way. I love animals too, [but] we have other social issues that are equally important in our community.

Wright-Brown also feels positively about writing for Jane Velez Mitchell of the vegan media platform Jane Unchained. Shes totally for the animals, she wont deny that, Wright-Brown said of Velez Mitchell, but shes allowed me to have [conversations that center black and brown communities] without telling me how to do it.

But these types of dynamic appear to be rare. Ultimately, when white leaders refuse to include other aspects of social justice into animal rights movements, Alex Bury sees it as inherently linked to questions of ego. When white men help animals . . . the animals, will never threaten their status or power or money or jobs, says Bury. But if they help people of color or women, it could mean the white men would have to share their money and leadership positions with others. . . . That makes people in power very uncomfortable.

Aryenish Birdies consulting firm, Encompass, works primarily with animal rights groups that have an interest in hiring more people of color and engaging them in the movement. Encompass also convenes a global community of BIPOC animal rights activists called the global majority caucus, now over 100 people strong.

Birdie says her client base has quintupled since the George Floyd uprisings, but with her work with upper-level animal rights executives very much at the early stages of providing racial literacy, she estimates that real transformative progress is still about a decade away. We need to be moving towards accountability, Birdie said. There are a lot of animal groups that have a good amount to apologize for, and we should be doing that to truly make amends with communities of color if we want to talk about embracing them.

In order to fund her own work, she faces the extra obstacle of convincing powerful funders that diversity and inclusion efforts will ultimately help animals. Most of her funding comes from animal rights funders, and while she tells granters that not only is inclusivity work the right thing to do, opening the movement will also help animals eventually by building the movements power. This pitch has a difficult time competing with organizations who say theyre helping animals more directly, Birdie says.

While funders and executives are having tough conversations, rank-and-file members of the vegan movement have taken the opportunity to engage each other in conversation on racial issues, asking what race has to do with animal suffering, and what to do about it.

If everybody goes vegan, its not like theres not gonna be racism anymore, says organizer Gwenna Hunter. A month ago, Hunter started a Facebook page called Vegans for Black Lives Matter. The conversations that came out of the impromptu community have been difficult, but Hunter is encouraged. Now, to see the solidarity, Im like, This is the vegan community that I knew and loved, that I thought I was a part of.

Kyla Marie Cruz, a white vegan who runs trainings on anti-racism and white supremacy in the animal rights movement in eastern Michigan, first told Civil Eats in late June that an overwhelming amount of people interested in doing better and being better through anti-racist work and true allyship. But a few weeks later, Cruz had already seen some of the fervor is dying away for many of them.

Its going to feel hollow if organizations and individuals dont follow through.

She has also noticed that just as many are doubling down on their stance that the movement should remain singularly focused. Many of those willing to have conversations and be open to change are still unwilling to more critically examine the movement as a whole and the ways in which the existing frameworks we are operating within are, in many ways, shortsighted and harmful.

Black leaders on the ground are clear about their expectations. There are some who are trying to push the movement forward by examining what allyship actually means, reasons why theyre coming to allyship, and actually practicing what they preach, Black VegFests LoriKim Alexander said. But its [only] coming now, on the heels of thousands of thousands of deaths. It took so much pain and suffering to get to this point.

Shell believe in real change when she sees it. Its going to feel hollow if [organizations and individuals] dont follow through, she said.

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Is the Vegan Movement Ready to Reckon with Racism? - Civil Eats

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Global Vegan Cheese Market Expected to Reach $2.5 Billion by 2021 – The Beet

Therising demand for plant-based foods has led to a boom in dairy-free alternatives. The global market for vegan cheese has been growing exponentially and research shows it will reach $2.5 billion before this year ends.

Transparency Market Research, a market intelligence company, published a report that predicted the overall growth of the vegan cheese market, expecting it to reach $2.5 billion before 2021, and increasing to $7 billion by the end of 2030.

It is well documented that dairy consumption can leadto manyhealth risks and potentially cause a lot of illnesses.Many people find that in their effort to be healthier, plant-based milk and butter were easy to switch to, while cheese tends to be the most difficult to give up.

With the growing cheese market, there will be a wider variety of plant-based cheeses as well as more options to choose from for personal taste preferences. The expanding variety of dairy-free alternatives will help more people to ditch dairy for good, which not only benefits consumer health but also the environment and animal welfare.

Climate change, mounting concerns related to animal cruelty, and health are some of the leading factors that are driving the vegan movement worldwide. At present, veganism is at its peak and the trend is likely to continue in the near future," thereport says.

The key players in the market contributing to this growth include fan-favorites Violife Foods, Daiya, Kite Hill, Miyoko's Creamery, Follow Your Heart, Parmela Creamery and Field Roast. Brands continue to surprise consumers with differentinnovations of nut or plant-based "cheeses" that taste just like the real thing.

For more on the best dairy-free cheeses, check out The 10 Best Dairy-Free Cheeseand The Best Dairy-Free Shredded Cheese.

Original post:
Global Vegan Cheese Market Expected to Reach $2.5 Billion by 2021 - The Beet

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

What You Can Learn From 20 Athletes Who Went Vegan to Get Stronger – The Beet

Now more than ever, athletes are reaching for lentils, edamame, and chickpeas instead of biting into steak dinner, to raise their strength, fitness, and overall performance levels. Here are twenty athletes who creditswitching to a vegan or plant-based diet with improving their fitness and results--through faster recovery time between workouts, quicker healing from injury, and being able tobuildleaner, strongermuscles. These superstars say that their dietshelped them get to where theyare today,such as preparing for Olympic Gold or becomingthe number one tennis player in the world.

These champion players report that eating a plant-based diet increasesenergy levels, provides more than enough clean protein to refuel and rebuild, reduces inflammation, and improves recovery time. Eating plant-based also helps them with mental clarity, andevenabates allergy symptoms like asthma during the most intense allergy season.

In the nearly one yearsinceThe Game Changerswasreleased last September and became one of the most-watched documentaries, and showed that some of the world's strongest and accomplished athletes don't need meat or dairy to succeed, more and more players are limiting their animal protein intake and are going all or mostly plant-based.

The number one tennis player in the world, Novak Djokovic, went plant-based more than twelve years ago to enhance his athletic performance and win more matches. In recent interviews, he has creditedgoing vegan with helping him rise from third place in the world to first in the world because it helped clear his allergies. Before changing his diet,Djokovic had searched for cures to the breathing issues that cost him matches and focus which caused him tostruggled during his most intense matches. The allergies used to make him feellike he couldnt breathe and would be forced to retire from competitive matches as he did in Australia.

"Eating meat was hard on my digestion and that took a lot of essential energy that I need for my focus, for recovery, for the next training session, and for the next match," he said. Djokovic emphasized he does not eat foods that require a lot of digestion, especially in the morning, when he needs all of his energy for training. Instead, he starts the day with hot water and lemon, then celery juice, and some superfood supplements.

Tia Blanco wongold at the International Surfing Association Open in 2015 andcredits her success to her vegan diet.Blanco reports thata vegan diet helps her stay strong and she enjoyseating different forms of vegan protein like nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.

The professional surferwas influencedby her mother, who is a vegetarian andgrew up in a veggie-forward household, Blanco hasnever eaten meat in her life,which made the plant-based switch much easier. And speaking of making things easier,Blanco has an Instagram cooking page called @tiasvegankitchen where she shares her favorite simple vegan recipes so all of her fans can eat like their favorite professional vegan athlete. In addition to her home-cooked meals, Blanco recently became an ambassador for vegan company Beyond Meat and now she posts Instagram stories and highlights of her favorite meatless meat recipes.

Steph Davis has been vegan for 18 years now and says, "theres nothing in my life that hasnt become better as a result, from climbing and athletics to mental and spiritual well being." Davis has competed on some of the most challenging verticle routeson the planet likeConcepcion (5.13), which is known to be one of thehardestpure climbsanywhere. Davis holds the third overall ascent and is the first female to ever make the ascent of theroute. Davis described it as her "most technically demanding climbever."

Davis explainedwhy she went vegan eight years ago when she partnered with PETA."What can we do to start making changes in a positive way? And if it just so happens that changing our lifestyle leads to environmental benefits, health benefits, economic benefits, and positive social change, then all the better. One thing Ive learned is you dont have to do or be anything you dont want to be, and you can change anything in your life just by starting to do it. Its you who chooses who and what you are, by the things you think and the things you do."

She goes on to add,"no one says you have to become a perfect vegan overnight. But why not start making small changes and see how it feels? I believe its the small choices people make that have the biggest power to change, and nothing is more simple yet also more far-reaching than changing how and what you choose to eat. Were all here for a short time, in the end, and living a well-intentioned and compassionate life seems like what ultimately matters the most, the only real goal that I aspire to."

Tennis champion Venus Williams swearsthat making the switch to veganism was one of the factors that helped to improve her performance and get over an auto-immune disease. Thetennis star went vegan back in 2011when she was diagnosed with Sjgren's syndrome, a debilitating autoimmune disease with a range of symptoms from jointpainto swelling, numbness, burning eyes, digestive problems, andfatigue.She chose to eat plant-basedto recover to herformerly healthy self, and it worked so she stuck to it.

The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion recovers faster on a plant-based dietnow, compared to how she felt backwhen she ate animal protein. When you have an auto-immune disease you often feel extreme fatigue and random body aches and for Venus, a plant-based diet provides energy and helpsher reduce inflammation.

The Beet reported on Willaim's diet and what she normally eats in a day to stay healthy, fit, and win more matches. Talking about her favorite dinner meal, Williams adds,sometimes a girl just needs a donut!"

Mike Tyson recentlysaid he is "in the best shape ever" thanks to his vegan diet. The boxing legend then announced he's getting back into the rings after 15 years,to fightagainst Roy Jones, Jr. in Californialater this fall.

Tysonwent vegan ten years ago after dealing with health complications and in the wake of having cleaned up his life: I was so congested from all the drugs and bad cocaine, I could hardly breathe."Tyson said, I had high blood pressure, was almost dying, and had arthritis."

Now, the 53-year-old powerhouse is sober, healthy, and fit. "Turning vegan helped me eliminate all those problems in my life, and "I'm in the best shape ever." His new trainer agrees:Watching Iron Mike's speed during recent training sessions, observed: "He has the same power as a guy who is 21, 22-years old."

Oklahoma City's point guard Chris Paul decided to ditch meat and dairy and was asked join on as a co-executive producer for the popular documentary,The Game Changers.

For breakfast, Paul enjoys oatmeal with plant-based milkand nut butter. For lunch, hefuels up with pasta or brown rice with Beyond Meat sausage, grilled vegetables, and a curry sauce. His chef toldUSA Today,"The main thing is, we try to keep it as light and clean as possible for his normal routine, with organic ingredients. Anything that can minimize body inflammation. Chris is always worrying about what he can and can't eat." So far it appears he's getting it right.

In an exclusive interview with The Beet'sAwesome Vegans columnist Elysabeth Alfano, Paul said eating a plant-based diet helps him keep up with players half his age.

In 2016,Kaepernickmade the switch to veganismwith his longtime girlfriend to recover froma series of injuries that had him down for the count.The Beetrecentlyreported onhow this dietary switchhasallowedKaepernick to stay strong and healthy. Now, he's in the gym building muscle and looks fitterthan ever. But will he be picked up? The professional football player claims that a vegan diet makes him feel "always ready" to perform his best on the field.

Cam Newton just replacedTom Brady, who also follows a mostly plant-based diet, as the New England Patriot's QB, after havingmade the plant-based switch back in March 2019. The NFL Star first decided to ditch meat and dairy to recover quicker from injurieswhen he learned that a plant-based diet is proven to help reduce inflammation."I've seen such a remarkable change in the way my body responds to the food that I eat," Newton told PETA for his recent partnership for a new campaign called, "Built Like a Vegan," proving that you don't need to eat meat to be strong. Newton enjoys a meat-free burger on a pretzel bun, heavy on pickles and sauce.He adds: "People often ask, 'How do you get your protein?' I just say, 'I get it in the same way you do, but it's fresher and cleaner.' "

Newton shares how to do it: "My advice to a person who wants to become vegan is to eat on schedule. If you can eat on a schedule, you won't miss [a meal or crave meat] or think anything different, and you'll be alright."

Elijah Hall says about his vegan diet:"Going vegan was the best decision" he has ever made.Hallholds records in the indoor 200 meters and was training for the Tokyo this summer when it got postponed by a yeardue to the pandemic. Hall said "the effects that its having on my body are amazing. Becoming a plant-based athlete has opened many doors to my health and my training." We predict he'll only get faster in the next 11 months and break records, come home with golf and be the world champion in 12 months.

Five-years ago, Morgan Mitchell went vegan and it made her faster, leaner and happier. Last year she was featured in the plant-based athletes documentary The Game Changersand said,Being vegan has helped me immensely. I dont feel sluggish like I did when I was eating meat, and my recovery from training really took off. It felt like an overall cleanse for my body, and I started seeing greater results on the track.

Now Michelle is committed for the planet as well.Ultimately helping the environment and not contributing to animal cruelty was a big thing for me, too. That was my initial reason for going vegan, and the rest of the benefits were just added bonuses.

Mitchell describeswhat she eats in a day for enhanced performance and more energy to win sprints. I like to make sure I have three different types of protein in there. I use tofu, beans, and mushrooms, along with spinach, vegan cheese, and hash browns, she says. I also love to add Beyond Meat for more flavor, which is a great source of plant protein as well. That usually keeps me full for the better part of the day," she told Well + Good.

"We were taught that eating animal products was good for us but we've been lied to for hundreds of years," said Lewis Hamilton. The Beet reported on Hamiltion'svegan diet quotingThe New York Timesthat he credits his new plant-based diet with making the difference in his career. Hamilton gave up processed food and animal products for vegetables, fruit, nuts, grains, because of his strong compassion for animals, for the benefit of the environment, and his own health. Hamilton isn't the only vegan in his family. His dogRoccois fully vegan and Hamilton says he's "super happy" on Rocco's very own IG post.

Earlier this year, Hamilton gave up his private jet because he said it's a big pollutant and aims to live a sustainable lifestyle. Back in February, he started a line of sustainable clothing with Tommy Hilfiger at London Fashion Week.

Featured in The Game Changersfor his elite strength and his superhuman ability to lift a car, Patrik Baboumiam is one of the strongest men in the world and also happens to be vegan. Baboumian lifted 358 poundsin the 2009 German log lift nationals.

Back in 2014, Baboumiam partnered with PETA in his campaign "Want to be Stronger" describing powering yourself with plants and how you can build muscle without eating meat.

One of his 2019 PETA campaigns showed him posing with crossed arms and leaves in his mouths with the text:"The world's strongest animals are plant-eaters: Gorillas, buffaloes, elephants and me."

Bahoumiam's diet consists of a dairy-free shake for breakfastwith 8 grams of protein and 0 carbohydrates. For lunch, he enjoys vegan sausage, falafel, low-fat oven fires, peppers, and more grilled veggies. He normally eats 250 grams of carbs and 90 grams of protein just for lunch. Dinner includes vegetables cooked potatoes, and tofu. If you want to eat like Boubanian, he reports his food diary onhis blogBarBend.

Here's a guy who has worn many hats: Bodybuilder, Terminator, California Governor, and now vegan and advocate for the plant-based lifestyle. Arnold Schwarzenegger ditched meat and dairy and has proven that you don't need to eat animal products to be strong, healthy and reverse symptoms of heart disease. Now 73, he had a pulmonary valve replacement 1997 due to a congenitaldefectandunderwent emergency open-heartsurgery in 2018 to replacethevalve again. He thenchanged his eating and fitness habits and now extolls the virtues of plant-based eating for the environment as well as health reasons.

He is a producer of The Game Changers (a movie with many masters) and an advocate for going vegan for health, the environment and the sake of animals (he posts on IG with his pet donkey and miniature pony, both household dwelling animals).

Schwarzeneggersaid last year: "Right now, seven million people are dying every year. That is alarming and everyone in the government has the responsibility to protect the people.... 28 percent of the greenhouse gasses come from eating meat and from raising cattle, so we can do a much better job."

Jurek is an extreme ultra-marathon runner who has won the Hardrock Hundred, the Badwater Ultramarathon, the Spartathlon, and the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (you get the idea). Jurek has been vegan for almost two decades, after easing intoit by cutting out meat in college, heslowly stopping seafood and finally giving up all animal products once he realized that eating this way made him feel healthier and happier.

To run such an extreme amount of miles, you need to fuel your body with plant-based foods that will give you enough energy and carbohydrates to go the distance.The goal is to eat 5,000-6,000 calories of plant-based foods daily.

Jurekoutlined his plant-based diet in an interview with Bon Appetite. Instead of waking up to a hot cup of coffee to boost energy, he prefers to drink tea anda green smoothie with spirulina or chlorella and a host of other ingredients. He adds bananas, frozen pineapple slices, or mangoes, brown rice and pea protein, (for protein) to rebuild what's lost in training. This is not just any smoothie.

Soccerstar, Alex Morgan is one of the beloved members of the USA National Team that won the World Cup and has shown that the female players deserve to get equal pay as their male counterparts by the US Soccer Federation.She is also an animal rights advocate and longtime vegan, having given up meat when she decided that "it didn't feel fair to have a dog, and yet eat meat all the time, referring toher adorablepup Blue.

Morganaims to eat 90 grams of plant-based protein daily to stay fit and lean, especially for her workouts and on the field.Morgan admitted that breakfast was difficult because "a lot of the things I love like pancakes and French toast had dairy and eggs." But now she enjoys oatmeal with nut butter and berries, smoothies, rice, quinoa, veggies, black beans, protein shakes, Mediterranean food, Impossible burgers, Mexican beans, and sauteed veggie burritos, she told USA Today.

Paul Rabil who played for the Boston Cannons and the New York Lizards of Major League Lacrosse, ditched meat and dairy after his 2019 season ended and revealed he's now "officially" vegan on YouTube. "At first [switching to a plant-based diet] was to help solve some pain and trauma that I was going through. Over the last two years, I've had two herniated discs.... and that has led to a ton of shooting pain down my legs, its called sciatica," Rabil explains the purpose of his diet switch.

Headds: "I've tried to a lot of things; I've had a number of cortisone shots; I've done physical therapy for two years. And I reached a place where I was thinking 'okay maybe I can solve this with nutrition because a lot of our pain stems from inflammation.Within a few weeks, I started noticing a lot of alleviation so I started focusing and doubling down more on veganism"

Hannah Teter won Olympic gold and silver in the halfpipe and is also a seven-time XGames medalist. She changed her diet after watching the documentary,Earthlingswhen she discovered how "horrible" factory farming is. After a strict vegetarian diet, Teter liked the way she performed and believes that her diet helped her win gold at the 2006 games.

She now considers herself "plant-based" and in an interview with theHuffington Post, Teter said, "I feel stronger than Ive ever been, mentally, physically, and emotionally. My plant-based diet has opened up more doors to being an athlete. Its a whole other level that Im elevating to. I stopped eating animals about a year ago, and its a new life. I feel like a new person, a new athlete."

Djokovic is not the only tour player to go plant-based. Nick Kyrgiosshared that he does not eat meat anymore because of his strong compassion for animals.

During the time of the Australian wildfires, the Aussie native explained: "I've been passionate about animal welfare for some time now. I don't eat meat or dairy anymore. Thats not for my health, I just dont believe in eating animals."

"I tried a vegan diet a couple of years ago but with all the travel I do, it was hard to stick to it. Since then I've managed to make it work, and I've been vegetarian for quite a while.

"Seeing the footage of these animals suffering from the fires only reinforces why I've chosen this diet. When I see these terrible photos, I cant comprehend eating meat."

Matt Frazier has run 27 ultra-marathons in his career so far and continues to write about the endurance strength of being a vegan athlete in his personal blog, which he started 11 years ago: No Meat Athlete.

The Beet recently interviewed Frazier about his vegan journey and howto be a successful athlete on a plant-based diet. Whenasked about the first time he ditched meat Frazier replied, "I had already cut 90 minutes off my first marathon time. I was still 10 minutes away from the Boston Marathon qualifying time.I had plateaued, and I was not sure how I was going to find 10 minutes. [Plant-based eating] was what I was missing. Thats what it took. The other big noticeable difference to me [after going vegan] was I stopped getting injured. Injuries had always been a big part of my running journey. When I became vegan, it was around the time I ran three 50-milers and a 100-miler. I didnt have any injuries. If its done right, [plant-based diets] can really help you recover faster."

Rowing is grueling. It's known as the toughest endurance sport in the world. The world record-breaking female rower, Michaela Copenhaverwent vegan in 2012 for ethical reasons, she toldGreat Vegan Athletes.Initially, I just wanted to eat more vegetables. Those things are super good for you, and they're delicious. Beingvegetarianandveganmade me more conscious of how many servings I was getting a day (or not).

When she switched from vegetarian to vegan it was almost accidental: I was traveling for a regatta in the fall of 2012. I had been vegetarian for 1.5 years already but relied pretty heavily on dairy and eggs. While I was traveling, I was bouncing from couch to couch and had no way to safely store dairy or eggsso I decided to try a week without them. I felt great, and it wasnt nearly as scary as I thought. Ive been vegan ever since.

Now it's a value system: Once I stopped eating and using animals, I felt I could finally address a question that had been bothering me for a long timewhat right do we have to exploit other creatures? Now, I understand that we have no right, and my motivations are primarily ethical.

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What You Can Learn From 20 Athletes Who Went Vegan to Get Stronger - The Beet

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

The 10 Best Vegan Cheeses That Taste Like the Real Thing – The Beet

Vegan cheese has come a long way since the first time I tried soy cream cheese in the late nineties living in Los Angeles. I remember gagging at the taste andthinking there was no way that spread was going on my precious toasted bagel. Flash forward several decades and plant-based cheeses are better than ever: These days many innovative ingredients like cashews, almond milk, coconut cream, smoky flavor and fermented foods are being utilized by topchefs in the plant-based industry to create plant-based cheeses that far surpasses anything the dairy industry makes.

Dairy products areunhealthier, less environmentally friendly, and crueler to animals than plant-based alternatives.By purchasing dairy-free cheeses not only are you saving the lives of cows, but you are supporting companies that value sustainability and the environment. Below are ten delicious vegan cheeses to get you started on your love of plant-based cheese.

Chao by Field Roast, famous for its plant-based sausages, is one of the few cheese slices I can eat straight from the package. Of course, it's also great melted in a grilled cheese sandwich with a slice of tomato, in your favorite plant-based lasagna recipe, or shredded on top of a veggie pizza. This creamy cheese is coconut-based and seasoned with fermented tofu for a sweet and savory end product. Good luck eating only one slice! Chao's other flavors, Tomato Cayenne and Creamy Original are equally as delicious.

True story - I have never met a Miyoko'sCreamery cheese I didnt absolutely love. I also admire the creative founder, cookbook author, and Chef Miyoko Schinner, and her love for rescued animals and devotion to veganism. The sundried tomato garlic cheese wheel is created with cashew cream and fermented with live cultures. Serve it on grain crackers or get creative and whip up Miyokos vegan sundried tomato risotto from their website.

I need the Canada/US borders to open already so I can get some Kite Hill cream cheese since its not available in Toronto. Three people, one of whom is a talented Chef and creator of the delicious plant-based restaurant Crossroads in Los Angeles, founded Kite Hill. Their velvety smooth almond milk cream cheese is perfect on a toasted bagel with a coffee in the morning. When you need a break from spices and herbs this is one of the best plain varieties on the market.

Nuts For Cheese is a Canadian vegan company using ethically sourced and high-quality ingredients like cashews, coconut milk, and nutritional yeast. What began as one Chef in the back of a vegan kitchen has become a full-scale facility whose aim is to spread positive change through food. They have six unique cheese varieties and each one is packed with mouth-watering flavor. The Un-Brie-Lievable is a semi-firm wedge that is rich and creamy and the perfect pairing for my homemade charcuterie board. If you live in the US you can order Nuts For Cheese through Vegan Essentials.

Who doesnt have childhood memories of snacking on cheese sticks before dinner? You can now relive those moments with plant-based Cheeze Sticks by Daiya, perfect when on the go. Ingredients include coconut cream and tapioca starch but unlike their shreds and slices you dont have to melt the sticks they are delicious right out of the package (Yes, really). They are also kid-friendly and my vegan son loves them.

Your plant-based Greek salads just got a whole lot better. Violife is based in Greece so creating the Just like Feta Block was a natural fit and inspired by their Greek heritage. The tangy block goes perfectly with olives, cherry tomatoes, or a Portobello mushroom. In addition to olive extract and coconut oil, their feta contains Vitamin B12. All their delicious cheese products are vegan because they believe in living in harmony with animals and the environment.

Shake it, baby, shake it! Whip up your favorite pasta dish and sprinkle it with tasty Parmesan Grated Topping by Go Veggie for an added kick. Its totally plant-based but tastes like classic Parmesan cheese. Their website has several yummy looking recipes with ways you can use this Parmesan topping.

I did a happy dance the day I discovered Smoked Gouda Slices by Follow Your Heart.Canadians know the brand as Earth Island, but the products are the same. This hickory smoked Gouda is created with natural smoke flavor from plant sources and is the perfect ingredient for a hearty Panini sandwich with caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, and zucchini. Follow Your Heart began as a soup and sandwich counter and is now a leader in the industry with a full range of plant-based products.

No need to travel to France when you can get gourmet soft French-style cheese in over 3,000 stores across the United States. Chipotle-Serrano Pepper by Treeline is created with chipotle Marita flakes, smoky Serrano pepper, and fine cultured cashews. This vegan brand loves all animals, does not use palm oil in any of their products, and provides links to the truth about the dairy industry on its website.

You know vegan cheese has gone mainstream when grocery store giants like Whole Foods have their own line. Yup, times have definitely changed. These non-dairy Mozzarella Cheese Shreds melt and stretch for the perfect homemade veggie pizza and are also available in Cheddar.

Whats your favorite plant-based cheese? Let us know in the comments.

Read the rest here:
The 10 Best Vegan Cheeses That Taste Like the Real Thing - The Beet

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Steve Cook: You Can Still Be Unhealthy On A Vegan Diet – generationiron.com

Vegan diets have become more and more popular in the fitness world. This is due to a variety of reasons including a mix of moral choices and health choices. But is a vegan diet truly the healthiest option? And can it work for someone looking to build muscle? In our latest GI Exclusive interview, Steve Cook explains how vegan diets are not automatically healthy and require attention to detail just like any other diet.

Steve Cook is a master of keeping his body on point. While not a massive Mens Open bodybuilder, he holds a Mens Physique style body that is almost always shredded to the core whenever hes seen in public. We have debated in the past about whether or not a bodybuilder can succeed on a vegan diet. But what about smaller classes of physiques like Steve Cook? What does he think about a vegan diet?

Steve Cook certainly understands the importance of a vegan diet overall. There are people who choose to go vegan for moral considerations rather than health. But when it comes to health, Cook makes it clear that vegan diets are just like any other diet. What does this mean exactly? It means going vegan doesnt automatically make you healthier.

Steve Cook training (above).

Many success stories are due to addition by subtraction as Steve Cook puts it. Basically, when a person goes vegan they are unknowingly removing food from their diet and in many respects eating less. This causes weight loss but does it mean your body is completely healthy?

Steve Cook points out that there are many things that are terribly unhealthy for you but still qualify as vegan. Many potato and corn chips are a perfect example of this. Many snacks in general can often fall under being vegan. Of course, these are still terrible for your health.

So if someone is looking to be healthier, a vegan diet is not the only option. The truth of the matter is that a vegan diet would be just as challenging as a keto diet or any other kind of diet out there. Putting a label on it does not automatically make it easier to transform your life and health. Each and every diet only works with focus, attention to detail, and consistency.

You can watch Steve Cooks full comments on veganism in our latest GI Exclusive interview segment above!

Originally posted here:
Steve Cook: You Can Still Be Unhealthy On A Vegan Diet - generationiron.com

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

5 Signs That Japans Vegan Food Scene Is Having a Moment – Green Queen Media

While the plant-based trend seems to have experienced a slower uptick in Japan, it looks like its now hitting the country in a major way. From vegan bakeries serving up dairy-free Japanese-style milk buns to 100% plant-based burger joints and an all-vegan konbini setting up shop, theres no doubt that the movement is heating up now. Below we showcase five indicators that Japans vegan food scene is flourishing.

In March, popular Japanese burger chain MOS Burger added a new soy and konjac-based vegan patty to its menu. Called the MOS Plant-based Green Burger, the new burger imitates the classic MOS Burger, but does not contain any dairy, eggs or meat. It was developed in line with the SDGs as a more planet-friendly alternative option for consumers who want to reduce their carbon footprint.

Theres now a completely vegan convenience store or konbini in Tokyos Asakusa neighbourhood. Called the Vegan Store, the store is filled to the brim with on-the-go plant-based snacks, bento boxes, onigiri rice balls, household goods and even 100% vegan soft-serve ice cream. Convenience store culture is huge in Japan, so a plant-based one is the beginning of a sea of change.

Daiz announced earlier this year that it will use the capital that it has raised from investors to open one of the biggest vegan meat factories in the country. The facility will be able to produce a whopping 3,300 tonnes of its proprietary soy-based meat, it revealed, demonstrating significant demand from consumers. Daiz also hinted that it is looking to go public on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Great Lakes Tokyo, a burger joint in the Japanese capital, has recently wiped beef and dairy off its menu and turned into a completely vegan restaurant. It first opened in December last year, but quickly had to shut its doors when coronavirus hit the city and it was during this time when founder John Penny began learning about how the livestock industry is linked to the emergence of zoonotic diseases. He promptly adapted his fast casual eatery into a cruelty-free zone.

You know that veganism is hitting Japan when plant-based bakeries and cafs begin to pop up, given that the Japanese are almost more serious about their bakeries than the French. The new 1100 Cafe/Bakery, for instance, is the latest to set up shop in the city of Kawaguchi. Since late June, the shop has been offering vegans, flexitarians and lactose-intolerant folk plant-based versions of Japanese bakery classics, including red bean buns, raisin bread and other favourites, along with an entirely vegan drinks menu of oat milk lattes.

Lead image courtesy of Getty Images.

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5 Signs That Japans Vegan Food Scene Is Having a Moment - Green Queen Media

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

Man sparks workplace controversy with reaction to co-workers vegan-only club: Petty and ridiculous – Yahoo Lifestyle

A man is stirring major internet controversy after sharing his response to his co-workers vegan dining club.

The frustrated employee shared his dilemma in Reddits AITA (Am I The A******) forum. Writing under the username Unlucky_Sound_6040, he explained why he decided to start a meat-eaters-only club at work.

After colleagues created an exclusive vegans-only club at work, I created a meat-eaters-only club at work. Am I the a******? the user asked.

READ MORE:Thousands of Amazon reviews rave about these reliable cleaning products

Unlucky_Sound_6040 wrote that his office issue began with a co-worker named Jane. Several months ago, she started a dining club for vegans at the company.

According to the Redditor, no one took issue with the club at first. But, after Jane approved her club with the companys human resources department, some employees began to complain.

In the [clubs mission] statement, which passed with HR, one of the rules stated that only vegans, vegetarians, and pescatarians will be welcome, and that all dinner options will be vegan, the user wrote. This rubbed some of us the work way, since it was clearly exclusionary and divisive.

The Redditor added that his workplace soon became divided, with many employees feeling left out. Thats why he and a group of co-workers decided to start the Burger and Steak Club.

The new club, which excluded vegans and vegetarians, also managed to pass through the companys HR approval process. However, many members of vegan club complained in response.

[They said] that our club was exclusionary, offensive to their lifestyle, and that eating meat (as opposed to not eating meat) was not a lifestyle, the user wrote.

Divisions grew deep in the office. Unlucky_Sound_6040 wrote that his relationship with Jane, who formed the vegan club, was significantly damaged.

Despite my prior friendship with Jane, she now refuses to talk to me and is only spending time with her club members, he wrote.

Story continues

The post drew more than 1,500 comments, with Reddit users taking strong stances on the issue. Many argued that the vegan club should have included all employees.

Jane is why people dont like vegans, one user wrote.

It is incredibly stupid to exclude non-vegans since introducing omnivores to delicious plant-based food is a good way to get them to be more open to veganism, another argued.

Others said the meat-eaters were in the wrong, since their club was excluding a group that, in general, has a tougher time finding enjoyable meals.

Nobody is going to come eat burgers and steak if they arent meat-eaters, one user wrote. Its understandable that vegans/vegetarians would want a safe space.

A few commenters dismissed the controversy altogether though. One called the issue petty and ridiculous.

Everyone is being so unbelievably petty here, another user concluded.

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Man sparks workplace controversy with reaction to co-workers vegan-only club: Petty and ridiculous - Yahoo Lifestyle

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson


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