The latest news and updates in the vegan and plant-based world (June 2022)

Here’s what’s been happening for the vegan and plant-based advocacies around the world last June. All features have been sourced from and Visit their sites for the full stories, and to be updated on more news that’ll bring us to an even better world.

On June 2, featured the Care Bears—iconic characters that became plush toys and an animated series—celebrating 40 this year. To honor the anniversary, the brand has partnered with Canadian businesses for limited-edition vegan products. Among the food companies commemorating the beloved brand with Care Bears-themed treats include Bunners Bakeshop, Eva’s Original Chimneys, and Squish Candies.

Excerpts from the story:

“With anniversary collaborations set to launch this summer and fall, food and apparel retail partners include several vegan offerings. Toronto vegan and gluten-free bakeshop Bunners Bakeshop will offer limited-edition rainbow Care Bears sugar cookies, rainbow s’mores squares, mini rainbow birthday cake doughnuts, mini rainbow chocolate chip creamies, and rainbow mini heart cookies with birthday frosting dunking kits at all storefront locations.

“Dessert shop Eva’s Original Chimneys—which serves vegan or dairy soft serve in vegan, bread-like Hungarian pastries called Chimney Cones—will offer a lineup of limited-edition Care Bears-inspired Chimney Cones with vegan options at select locations in Canada. The shop currently offers a number of vegan options for Chimney Cones, such as Apple Crumble, Chocolate Almond, PB&J, Berry-licious, and Thai Mango Sticky Rice, along with vegan burgers and tacos.

“And gourmet candy brand Squish Candies—which offers vegan gummies—will have limited-edition Care Bears-themed candy and packaging, available through its website for delivery across Canada. Founded in 2014, Squish aims to create a classic candy shop experience for children and adults alike and uses mostly beet sugar to sweeten its candies to guarantee that no bone char (an animal-derived ingredient used as a fining agent in many sugars) is present in its formulations. Squish offers a variety of vegan gummies in-store and online, including baby elephant gummies, sour baby dinosaurs and grapefruit slices, baby sharks, pineapples, alligators, flamingos, and rainbow bears.

“First introduced in 1982 through a line of greeting cards, the Care Bears have amassed fans of all ages over the last 40 years, and are now featured everywhere from consumer products and plush toys to animated TV shows and feature films. Known all over the world for spreading sharing, caring, and togetherness, and with a reach of over 1 million on social media around the globe, the Care Bears continue to embark on new adventures with their fans.” (Nicole Axworthy,

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On June 1, reported that Kavaan, who used to be known as the “world’s loneliest elephant,” is now happy with his new life.

Excerpts from the story:

“The 37-year-old animal now lives at Kulen Prum Tep Wildlife Sanctuary in Cambodia, where he was recently filmed splashing and relaxing in the pool.

“Many were pleased and relieved to see Kavaan enjoying his new home, after spending 35 years of his life in captivity at Marghazar Zoo in Pakistan. There, it’s thought the elephant suffered from loneliness, malnourishment, and physical injuries due to neglect and inadequate housing.

“In 2016, Kavaan caught the attention of global superstar Cher. She then campaigned consistently for his rescue and relocation to a sanctuary. (A documentary about her involvement, called ‘Cher and the Loneliest Elephant’, was released last year.)

“In 2020, Kavaan was finally moved to his new home in Cambodia. The new sanctuary regularly posts videos of Kavaan on its social media. It also regularly uploads images and videos of his elephant companions, Sarai Mia and DiPloh. Fans can sponsor Kavaan on the elephant nonprofit The Gentle Giants website. The money helps to pay his caretaker’s wages and food bills.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Lowering Frailty Risk In Older Women Via Plant-Based Diets

On June 1, reported a new study that suggested switching from animal protein to plant protein may help to reduce frailty among older women.

Excerpts from the story:

 “The study was published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle. It found that a higher intake of plant protein was associated with a reduced risk of frailty in women aged over 60. The findings also indicate that replacing animal protein with plant protein might help to avoid the development of frailty.

“In the large-scale cohort study, researchers analyzed data from more than 85,000 women aged 60 and over. The women participated in the Nurses’ Health Study, which is one of the largest studies investigating risk factors for chronic diseases in women. In the study, frailty was defined as having at least three of the following five criteria from the Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illnesses, and Loss of Weight (FRAIL) scale: fatigue, low strength, reduced aerobic capacity, five or more chronic conditions, and loss of weight of 5% or less.

“The researchers assessed the occurrence of frailty every four years between 1992 to 2014. They measured dietary intake by using food frequency questionnaires on nine different occasions.

“Results show that substituting 5% of animal protein, dairy protein, or non-dairy animal protein (including protein from meat and eggs) with plant protein was associated with reducing the risk of frailty by 38%, 32%, and 42%, respectively. The researchers also found that substituting dairy protein for non-dairy animal protein was associated with a 14% lower risk of frailty.” (Riya Lakhani-Kanji,

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More than half of moviegoers want vegan snacks

On June 3, reported that moviegoers opted for more vegan snacks, according to a recent survey conducted by Fandango—the largest online movie ticket sales platform in the United States.

Excerpts from the story:

“Fandango’s May 2022 ‘Concession Confessions’ survey included 2,500 movie ticket buyers from across the country. The findings show that 81% of moviegoers believe concessions are an important part of the theater experience, with 47% saying that they will purchase concession food even if they are late to a movie. 

“A majority of respondents (55%) revealed they want healthier, vegan options when going to the movies. Undoubtedly, the most popular vegan concession snack is popcorn and, according to Fandango’s survey, moviegoers agree. An overwhelming majority (83%) of moviegoers believe concession popcorn tastes better, with 76% indicating they are more likely to eat popcorn at theaters than at home. When it comes to the size of orders, 66% get a large or extra large size every time they see a movie and 47% would prefer a bottomless popcorn bucket. (Anna Starostinetskaya,

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Bath celebrates Queen’s Jubilee with vegan festival

On June 1, reported that Bath celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee by hosting a big vegan food festival, complete with 80 stalls selling everything from fashion to food to pet products—a celebration of plant-based living.

Excerpts from the story:

“The festival, (which took place) on June 4, also (happened) to be the third day of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee long weekend celebrations. She (is) the first British Monarch to celebrate the milestone.

“Bath has played host to several vegan festivals over the years, but organizer Victoria Bryceson says 2022’s event (was) ‘bigger and better.’

“She told Somerset Live: ‘We received so much positive feedback last year. There is now so much demand that this festival is becoming a sell-out event.’” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Hugh Jackman opens vegan café in New York

On June 6, reported that Hugh Jackman’s Laughing Man Coffee had opened a full vegan café in New York City called Laughing V, on Duane Street in the downtown Tribeca neighborhood.

Excerpts from the story:

“Laughing V is the product of successful vegan outreach by Chef Lauren Evans, a vegan and lifelong Tribeca resident. For a long time, Evans has been making an effort to ask local Tribeca restaurants to add vegan options. She is also a frequent customer at Laughing Man Coffee, a coffee brand which was founded by actor Hugh Jackman together with David and Barry Steingard in 2011. When she lobbied the Steingards for more vegan options, Evans tells VegNews they were very receptive and asked her to send them a few vegan suggestions.

“Evans did far more than that: She developed a restaurant-ready, upscale menu of vegan appetizers, entreés, desserts, and more that thoroughly impressed the founders of Laughing Man, and thus Laughing V was born. That intricate menu proved a bit too ambitious for the small space available for Laughing V—which now operates right next door to the coffee shop—so Evans curated a more practical menu of vegan sandwiches and baked goods.

“Evans makes as much as possible from scratch and cooks with unprocessed plant-based ingredients, which allows her to offer healthier versions of otherwise heavy dishes. For the savory seitan used in her Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, for example, Evans uses a special recipe that incorporates Italian herbs and lentils which she carefully crafted to let people ‘feel full and satisfied, but not weighed down’.

“Evans is developing new menu items, including a coconut curry dish with ‘a lot more exciting dishes to come’. The ambitious upscale menu that she originally crafted may resurface for pop-up dinners in the much larger Laughing Man space next door. Fortunately, Laughing Man co-founders David and Barry Steingard have been incredibly supportive of the venture (their first vegan business venture).” (Matt Marshall,

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New study suggests meatless diets help memory function

On June 9, featured a new study revealing that cutting out meat could help improve memory function.

Excerpts from the story:

“Researchers from Birkbeck University recently evaluated 62 adults, some of whom followed a meat-free diet (pescetarian, vegan, or vegetarian) and some of whom followed an omnivorous diet (some had a high meat intake and others had a low meat intake). The study’s aim was to assess the impact of food choices on memory. Researchers also assessed the participant’s sleep quality.

“According to the findings, diet does not seem to impact sleep. However, it may impact a person’s ability to remember things. The study suggests that eating meat may lead to poorer memory.

“To assess memory, researchers evaluated the results of a memory test and a delayed recall test. In the former, pescetarians came out on top. For the second, it was the vegetarians. In both, meat-eaters were at the bottom. Women performed better in the study in every diet category (aside from the vegetarian group). According to the Birkbeck researchers, this could be explained by the fact that women are less likely to have a high meat diet.

“Pinar Sengul, who led the research, said: ‘A vegan diet is associated with superior cardiovascular and cerebrovascular conditions.’ She added: “Mediterranean diets are linked with reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases and improved performance on cognitive.’” (Charlotte Pointing,

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4 reasons to switch to veganism

On June 8, cited factors contributing to the rising popularity of vegan diets around the world, and four compelling reasons to switch to veganism.

Excerpts from the story:

“At the beginning of 2022, 629,000 people from more than 220 countries and territories took the Veganuary pledge to eat only plant-based foods for the month of January. (The figure is up by 129,000 from January 2021.)

“Whether the motive is to ensure better health, end animal cruelty, or sustain our planet, one thing is for sure—a plant-based diet could transform your life. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons to consider this lifestyle change.

“1. Improved digestion and sleep. A recent survey for The Vegan Society’s Vegan and Thriving campaign gathered a panel of 500 people from the United Kingdom who had gone vegan since the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics. Fifty-six percent of the respondents experienced better digestion and 55% reported having better sleep.

“2. Improved energy levels. 53% reported feeling more energetic after swapping meat and dairy for fruit and veg. 3. Higher fitness levels. In the survey, 52% reported higher fitness levels and the ability to walk and/or run better and/or further. 4. Living with the environment in mind. People who had seen graphic media of farmed animals (42%), watched a documentary (36%) or received information from an animal advocacy group (21%) all achieved better results in reducing their animal consumption six months later.” (Tina Manahai,

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Gas station with 24/7 vegan convenience store

On June 9, featured 24-hour vegan convenience store Hangry Planet opening in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Excerpts from the story:

“Hangry Planet offers vegan snacks, meals, desserts, and more that are vetted to assure that every product is sustainable, animal-product free, and cruelty-free. In addition to the store, Hangry Planet also offers a gas station and immersive virtual-reality car wash, along with colorful and comical sculptures and live music.

“The Hangry Planet is the brainchild of actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Bobak Bakhtiari, who curated the market’s products and consumer experience. Bakhtiari opened the 24-hour convenience store in an effort to help advocate for sustainability and animal welfare while also meeting consumers’ everyday needs.

“Hangry Planet’s offerings are curated to satisfy every on-the-go need. Additionally, 10% of every sale made goes to several different charities supporting both animal and human rights, schools, orphanages, and impoverished communities globally via Moms Against Poverty.

“Although Hangry Planet might be the first 24-hour vegan market at a gas station, it is not the first convenience store to cater to vegan consumers. In 2018, acclaimed vegan chef Matthew Kenney opened vegan convenience store New Deli in Venice, California featuring an array of practical, everyday products and a counter deli.” (Nicole Axworthy,

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11 delicious vegan aphrodisiacs

On June 9, featured 11 vegan aphrodisiacs, as well as meat- and dairy-free concoctions to get couples “in the mood”.

These 11 aphrodisiacs are: Almonds, arugula, asparagus, avocado, banana, basil, chocolate, fig, garlic, maca, and walnuts.

Featured meals were almond stuffed mushrooms, avocado salad topped with raspberry dressing, walnut, arugula, and basil pesto pasta for the main course, with sides of rainbow chard with figs and roasted asparagus with hazelnut picada. For dessert, chocolate fondue with figs, bananas, and strawberries and a chocolate ganache torte are highly recommended. (Natalie Norman, Anna Peraino,

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Coldplay helps raise $29 million to make cultured meat

On June 10, reported that SciFi Foods (formerly known as Artemys Foods) had announced a $22-million funding round.

Excerpts from the story

“The food-tech startup, which specializes in cultured beef, counts British brand Coldplay among its previous backers. But the new Series A round was led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The new funding brings SciFi Foods’ total raised to $29 million.

“According to SciFi Foods, the finances will be used to continue working on research and development, marketing, and new hires. It has already appointed Myra Pasek to its board of advisors.

“While many companies are growing meat from cells in labs and concentrating on scaling up that technology, SciFi foods combines cultured beef with plant-based protein. According to the brand, making meat this way helps to keep costs down, without sacrificing quality or taste. ‘We’ve devised the technology to grow real meat without the need for an animal,’ said Joshua March, CEO of SCiFi Foods. (Charlotte Pointing,

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Study finds drinking milk increases prostate cancer risk by 60%

On June 10, reported that men who regularly consume dairy, particularly milk, compared to those who abstain from it, could be at approximately a 60% higher risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a new study conducted by researchers at Loma Linda University and published in the scientific journal The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Excerpts from the story:

“Since 2001, researchers have been monitoring the health of 28,737 Seventh-day Adventist men in the United States and Canada. The cohort study examined the dietary habits of these men over a period of five years and monitored their health throughout. Researchers used the state cancer registries to find that at the end of the study, 1,254 participants had developed prostate cancer.

“The researchers analyzed participants based on their intake of non-dairy calcium and compared them based on the amount of dairy they consumed. The study found that men who consumed 430 grams of dairy per day (which equates to 1¾ cups of milk) faced a 25% increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men who consumed 20.2 grams of dairy per day (or about ½ cup of milk per week). When the highest dairy intake group was compared to the men who consumed zero dairy, that risk was much higher. The type of milk—full fat versus low fat—was not linked to significant variation in prostate cancer risk.

“Researchers also noted that calcium intake from non-dairy sources did not play a role in prostate cancer risk, suggesting that substances other than calcium in dairy are involved.

“On the flip side, a growing body of research has shown that a plant-based diet can be protective against certain cancers, including prostate. (Anna Starostinetskaya,

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EU urged to provide schoolkids better access to dairy-free milk

On June 10, reported that a growing number of people have urged the European Union to add plant-based milk options for schoolchildren.

Excerpts from the story:

“A petition (set up by Oatly, ProVeg International, Dier&Recht, and more) calls for the European Commission to add calcium-fortified plant-based milk to its school scheme. So far, more than 18,500 people have added their signatures.

“One reason listed on the petition is lactose intolerance. Not everyone can break down the lactose in milk easily. In fact, nearly 70% of people around the world are lactose intolerant. Another is animal welfare, and another is the environment.

“Animal agriculture, which includes the dairy industry, is responsible for 14.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, it uses up valuable resources. One liter of cow’s milk, for example, uses 22 times more water than one liter of soy milk. So far, the EU’s school program has helped to subsidize around 160 million liters of cow’s milk every year.

“According to the EU, it is currently reviewing the ‘school fruit, vegetables, and milk scheme’, and lists health and sustainability as two key reasons why it has opened a consultation.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Airline adds plant-based meat to flights and lounges

On June 15, reported that United Airlines was looking to add more plant-based options for its travelers, and partnered with Impossible Foods to do just that.

Excerpts from the story:

“Starting today, United will add Impossible Meatball bowls to first-class menus on all domestic flights more than 800 miles in the continental United States. Plant-based without modification, the new bowls feature Impossible’s meatballs (a blend of Impossible Beef and Impossible Sausage) and broccolini served on a bed of couscous and topped with an herb-infused tomato sauce.

“United is also updating its menus on the ground. Select United Polaris airport lounges in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Newark will offer Impossible’s plant-based sausage as an omelet ingredient, along with the company’s plant-based sausage patties at their breakfast buffets.

“Impossible’s United partnership follows its collaboration with Delta Airlines earlier this year which resulted in some in-flight menu changes, as well. In March, select long-haul Delta flights (900 miles or longer) added multiple vegetarian options for passengers in Delta One (business class) and first class. One of those dishes was the airline’s first plant-based meat option: The Impossible Burger which featured the plant-based patty rubbed with green chili spice and topped with caramelized onion chutney and Manchego cheese served on a brioche roll. The airline added vegan lamb made by San Francisco Bay Area startup Black Sheep on select flights, as well.

“As for its United partnership, Impossible is also hoping to give the airline’s customers an option that’s not only kinder to animals but it is more environmentally friendly, too. To that end, while producing animal-derived foods is responsible for up to 17% of greenhouse gas emissions globally, Impossible’s plant-based alternatives require 75% less land, 85% less water, and 90% less greenhouse gas emissions to produce”. (Anna Starostinetskaya,

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Mars’ 1st vegan milk chocolate bar in the US released

On June 17, announced that confectionary giant Mars would be launching animal-free chocolate in the United States.

Excerpts from the story:

“Mars is the world’s biggest chocolate brand. It has already launched vegan versions of its popular chocolate bars Bounty, Topic, and Galaxy in the United Kingdom. But this is the first time it’s launching a dairy-free, sustainability-focused chocolate bar in the States.

“Called CO2COA, Perfect Day helped to create the new plant-based offering. The food tech company creates animal-free milk protein with microflora.

“Perfect Day’s product is far better for the environment than dairy. It produces up to 97% fewer greenhouse gases and uses up to 99% less water. This is why Mars has chosen the name CO2COA, as a nod to the new bar’s sustainability credentials.

“The new chocolate also uses Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. The packaging is paper-based.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Vegan bacon made from seaweed launched in 3 restaurants

On June 17, reported that Berkeley, California-based food technology startup Umaro Foods had just launched its first food product: Vegan bacon made with seaweed-based protein.

Excerpts from the story:

“Formulated with Umaro’s proprietary seaweed protein, the innovative bacon aims to replicate the sensory qualities of pork bacon. ‘We’ve nailed crispy bacon,’ Beth Zotter, Umaro’s co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. ‘We’ve found a way to use seaweed in a totally new way to improve not just the meat, but also the unmistakable taste and texture of bacon fat.’

“At Michelin-starred Sorrel Restaurant, Umaro bacon will be incorporated into Sorrel’s renowned tasting menu as an addition to a bite-sized, seasonal little gem lettuce bite with white peach, jalapeno, cucumber, and Umaro bacon. In a second offering, the company’s purified protein extract, sourced from nori, will be incorporated into Sorrel’s Parker House rolls, served with an accompanying wild onion cream caviar course, to add flavor complexity.

“New York’s Egg Shop is offering Umaro bacon on its Egg Shop Bacon Egg and Cheese as a special item at both of its locations in the Nolita and Williamsburg neighborhoods. It will also be offering Umaro bacon as a side or as a plant-based substitute in any dish that currently includes bacon. And at Nashville’s D’Andrews Bakery, Umaro bacon will be featured in its classic BLT. Later this year, Umaro Foods will be available in additional restaurants throughout the United States, including the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and beyond.

“Founded by Zotter and Amanda Stiles, Umaro is the first to develop and use concentrated red seaweed protein as an umami-enhancing ingredient in plant-based meat. The company’s origins began in the design of offshore seaweed farming systems, and it is now focused on delivering branded consumer food products featuring its proprietary Umaro red seaweed protein. Umaro’s mission is to develop an entire food system using this sustainable source of vegan protein.” (Nicole Axworthy,

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Kevin Hart opens vegan restaurant in Los Angeles

On June 17, reported that actor and comedian Kevin Hart would be opening a new vegan fast-food restaurant in Los Angeles.

Excerpts from the story:

“Opening this summer, the new restaurant, called Hart House, will serve fast-food favorites with a plant-based twist. For example, menu items include the Double Burg’r, which features American cheese, Hart House signature sauce, and two plant-based patties. There’s also the Deluxe Crispy Chick’n, served with ‘hunny’ mustard and pickles, as well as French Fries and Crispy Tots.

“Together with entrepreneur Andy Hooper and former chef Michael Salem (who brought the Impossible Whopper to Burger King), Hart designed the menu to be appealing to people who love meat.

“Hart came up with the idea in 2020, amid Covid-19 lockdowns. After working on the menu for two years, the restaurant is finally ready. But the trio won’t be stopping at one location. Another spot is planned for West Hollywood, and there’ll be more after that too.

“Hart isn’t the first celebrity to launch a plant-based fast-food chain. In the United Kingdom, the vegan fast-food chain Neat Burger is backed by Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton. Recently, Leonardo DiCaprio invested in the company, which is set to expand to the United States this year.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Study finds vegan diet rich in legumes can help in weight loss

On June 21, featured a new study published in the medical publication Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that showed an increased intake of legumes and a decreased intake of meat, fish, and poultry could help individuals lose weight.

Excerpts from the story:

“The 16-week study, undertaken by the nonprofit research and advocacy group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), included 244 overweight adults who were randomly assigned to either make no diet changes or to follow a low-fat vegan diet, without restrictions and consisting of vegetables, grains, legumes, and fruit. Researchers tracked the participants’ diet quality, body weight, fat mass, and insulin sensitivity. The final data analysis included 219 participants who completed the whole study and submitted their final diet records.

“The study found that participants on the vegan diet lost an average of 13 pounds and 9.1 pounds of fat mass. Comparatively, body weight and fat mass did not decrease in the group that made no diet changes. In the vegan group, increases in fruit, legume, meat alternatives, and whole grain intake and decreases in animal products, added oils, and animal fats were associated with weight loss. Notably, an increased consumption of legumes was associated with decreased weight, fat mass, and visceral adipose tissue (the hormonally active component of total body fat). Increased intake of fruit and meat alternatives were associated with a decrease in body weight, and increased consumption of whole grains was associated with decreased body weight and fat mass.

“When it came to animal products, the study noted that a decreased intake of eggs was correlated with decreased weight, and a decrease in high-fat dairy intake was associated with decreased weight and fat mass. Reductions in the combined intake of total meat, fish, and poultry were associated with weight loss and a decrease in fat mass. And decreases in the intake of added animal fats as well as added oils were associated with decreases in weight and fat mass.

“The researchers also noted that the vegan group experienced improvements in insulin sensitivity. Additionally, the vegan group’s diet quality, measured by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index-2010 (AHEI) score, increased by six points on average in contrast to no significant change in the group that did not make a diet change.” (Nicole Axworthy,

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New study says potatoes help build muscle like milk protein

On June 21, reported that new research had suggested that potato protein could help build muscle in a similar way to animal protein.

Excerpts from the story:

“The Alliance for Potato Research and Education funded the new study. Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands discovered that protein concentrate derived from potatoes may also support muscle repair and growth.

“Published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the new study involved 24 young, healthy, active men. They drank 30 grams of potato protein or milk protein after a workout.

“The researchers recognized that the small number of people was a research limitation. They also cited a lack of gender and age diversity as a drawback. However, lead author Dr. Luc J.C. van Loon told Medical News Today: ‘The main outcome is that potato-derived protein ingestion can increase muscle protein synthesis rates at rest and exercise. This response does not differ from ingesting an equivalent amount of milk protein.’

“Potatoes are not renowned for their protein content. But, potato protein concentrate, which is extracted from the juice residue of the crop, has a similar amino acid composition to milk protein. Last year, another study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that plant-based protein can compete with chicken when it comes to foods that support muscle-building.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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13 US lawmakers demand guidelines for animal-free drug testing

On June 23, reported that a group of 13 bipartisan lawmakers sent a demand letter to Robert Califf, MD, the Commissioner of the United States Federal Food and Drug Association (FDA). In it, the lawmakers asked FDA to issue clear guidelines for drug makers to meet regulatory approvals using animal-free testing methods.

Excerpts from the story:

“While the FDA has been making progress toward endorsing animal-free methods of developing new drugs, it has yet to outline the path toward regulatory approval for companies that do not wish to engage in cruel, outdated, and ineffective animal-based testing.

“The demand letter comes after Califf, a cardiologist, spoke in front of the House Appropriations Committee in May about the 2023 fiscal FDA budget during which he mentioned the need to reduce animal-based testing methods. In March, the FDA requested $8.4 billion for its operations during the 2023 fiscal year which includes $5 million dedicated to its New Alternative Methods Program, which it says would ‘spur the adoption of methods for regulatory use that can replace, reduce, and refine animal testing.’

“And while it seems the FDA is moving toward animal-free testing methods, animal-rights groups, including taxpayer watchdog group White Coat Waste Project (WCW), have uncovered grueling animal-testing in recent years—which the lawmakers point out as contradictory in the demand letter. ‘The FDA appears to be sending mixed messages about animal testing requirements,’ the letter states. ‘For instance, the FDA has stated it ‘does not mandate that human drugs be studied in dogs.’ On the other hand, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and private companies have argued that the FDA required them to conduct tests on dogs.’

“The demand letter to the FDA comes after years of campaigns and investigations conducted by WCW. Under its #CutFDARedTape campaign, WCW has made progress in exposing wasteful animal experiments—both in the sense of wasted animal lives and taxpayer money—and pushing government agencies to embrace animal-free testing models. With its 2021 ‘Broken Bureaucracy’ report, WCW exposed countless acts of unnecessary cruelty by drug makers looking to gain FDA approval throughout the years, including some NIH-funded tests that included force-feeding drugs to puppies, de-barking dogs by cutting their vocal cords, and injecting animals with cocaine.” (Anna Starostinetskaya,

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Japan moves to regulate cultured meat

On June 23, reported that Japan had been making moves to regulate the cultured meat industry.

Excerpts from the story:

“According to Japan News, the country’s Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry has set up a team of researchers to investigate the safety of cultured meat, which is grown from animal cells in labs.

“The team will help to advise the Health Ministry on any health risks associated with cultured meat and what regulations will be necessary for the industry. After they have completed their research, they will release a report, which the ministry will discuss alongside cultured meat regulations in other countries.

“In 2020, Singapore became the first country in the world to give cultured meat regulatory approval. As a result of that decision, California-based brand Eat Just was able to sell its cultured chicken meat in the country.

“While no other country has granted approval yet, governments are backing the cultured meat market. The Netherlands, for example, has passed a law legalizing the sampling of cultured meat and allocated the sector €60 million in public funding. In France, the government has backed the cultured foie gras brand Gourmey. In October 2021, Israel’s president Isaaz Herzog announced that the government was ‘officially’ embracing alternative protein, after tasting cultured meat products by Jerusalem-based cultured meat company Future Meat.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Podium finish for vegan multisport athlete

On June 24, featured vegan athlete Lisa Gawthorne, who had just won bronze at the World Triathlon Multisport Championships.

Excerpts from the story:

“Gawthorne took part in the sprint duathlon event, which, like the rest of the championships, took place in Romania. In temperatures of 30 degrees Celsius, she ran for 5.7 km before cycling for 20 km. She finished up with a 2.5-km run.

“As well as a passionate athlete, Gawthorne is also dedicated to veganism. ‘I live and breathe veganism,’ she told In Your Area. ‘I really love spreading the positive message that veganism has for health, fitness, the animals, and the planet.’

“Gawthorne is one of many successful vegan athletes proving to the world that a meat diet is not necessary for optimal performance. Earlier this year, vegan powerlifter Sophia Ellis broke six national records at the British Women’s Classic Championships. She lifted the heaviest deadlift by a woman in British history. Last year, vegan world champion triathlete Kate Strong achieved the record for traveling the furthest distance on a static bike in 24 hours.

“Famous plant-based athletes include Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton, Grand Slam star Venus Williams, former bodybuilder Patrik Baboumian, and Olympic footballer Alex Morgan.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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New survey finds 81% of US military prefer plant-based meals

On June 24, reported that a majority of US military members want vegan meals, ready-to-eat (MRE), according to a survey conducted by animal-rights group Mercy for Animals (MFA).

Excerpts from the story:

“From January 26 through February 2, MFA polled 226 active service members across various ranks and all branches of the United States military through survey platform Qualtrics and sourced from digital insights company Cint. Out of the members polled, 58.4% identified as omnivores; 23.5% as omnivores who are trying to reduce consumption of one or more animal products; 5.3% as flexitarian; 7.5% as vegetarian; 3.5% as vegan; and 1.8% as pescetarian. 

“The survey found other dietary insights about active service members, including that 63% of them would choose a vegan MRE if it was available. When it came to attitudes toward plant-based eating, more than half of respondents believe plant-based foods are healthier than animal-derived foods and that plant-based foods raise energy levels better than their animal-derived counterparts. When it came to beliefs around climate, the majority of the military members surveyed (81%) want more climate-friendly MRE options with 63% indicating that plant-based options are more sustainable than animal-based.

“Currently, 83% of MREs are meat-based and 17% are suitable for vegetarians but not vegans. While fully plant-based MREs are not currently widely available, despite evident demand for them, MRE vendors are capable of creating special meals for Humanitarian Daily Rations that accommodate ‘diverse religious and dietary restrictions from around the world’.” (Anna Starostinetskaya,

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Ocean pollution’s impact on fish now linked to skin cancer

On June 28, reported that eating higher amounts of fish could increase the risk of malignant melanoma by 22%, according to a new study published in the medical journal Cancer Causes and Control. Study author Eunyoung Cho, who investigates the connection between diet and skin cancer, says bio-contaminants such as mercury in the fish likely play a role in the cancer association.

Excerpts from the story:

“To examine the relationship between fish intake and melanoma risk, the study researchers analyzed data collected from 491,367 adults who were recruited from across the United States to the National Cancer Institute’s NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study between 1995 and 1996. Participants, who were 62 years old on average, reported how frequently they ate fried fish, non-fried fish, and tuna during the previous year, as well as their portion sizes.

“The researchers found that compared to those whose median daily fish intake was 3.2 grams (0.11 ounces), those whose median daily intake was 42.8 grams (1.5 ounces) had a 22% higher risk of malignant melanoma and a 28% increased risk of developing abnormal cells in the outer layer of the skin only—known as stage 0 cancer or melanoma in situ. For context, that’s approximately one-quarter of a standard serving size (140 to 170 grams, or 5 to 6 ounces) of cooked fish or one-quarter of a can of tuna per day.

“During the study period, 5,034 participants (1%) developed malignant melanoma and 3,284 (0.7%) developed stage 0 melanoma. The researchers found that higher intake of non-fried fish and tuna was associated with increased risks of malignant melanoma and stage 0 melanoma. Notably, compared to those whose median daily tuna intake was 0.3 grams (.01 ounces), those whose median daily tuna intake was 14.2 grams (0.5 ounces) had a 20% higher risk of malignant melanoma and a 17% higher risk of stage 0 melanoma. And a median intake of 17.8 grams (0.62 ounces) of non-fried fish per day was associated with an 18% higher risk of malignant melanoma and a 25% higher risk of stage 0 melanoma.

“‘We speculate that our findings could possibly be attributed to contaminants in fish, such as polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, arsenic and mercury,’ Cho, an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University, said in a statement. ‘Previous research has found that higher fish intake is associated with higher levels of these contaminants within the body and has identified associations between these contaminants and a higher risk of skin cancer. However, we note that our study did not investigate the concentrations of these contaminants in participants’ bodies and so further research is needed to confirm this relationship.’” (Nicole Axworthy,

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Climate expert says plant-based lifestyles now ‘imperative’ for survival

On June 29, reported that Dr. Peter Carter, expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), declaring the global climate crisis would continue to worsen unless meat and dairy are removed from diets.

Excerpts from the story:

“Carter stated his opinion as New Zealand’s agricultural sector gears up for potential price emissions (a cost applied to carbon pollution, introduced to encourage a reduction in emissions).

“New Zealand has previously railed against recommendations for plant-based diets, especially those in the IPCC report. But Carter states that a world without animal agriculture is now essential for human survival.

“‘Ethically, all unnecessary methane sources have to be cut as fast and far as feasible. That means global veganization is now a survival imperative,’ he said. Carter made the declaration in response to Durwood Zaelke and his discussion of the methane emergency. The UN demands a 45% reduction in methane emissions by 2030, to prevent global heating from rising above 1.5C.

“IPCC research suggests that increased vegan diet uptake will positively impact the climate. This is due to reduced emissions when comparing plant crops to animal rearing. In addition, if everybody switched to plant-based eating, agricultural land demand would fall by 75%. It takes 100 times more land to produce one kilo of beef or lamb than a plant-based equivalent protein crop. If the world turns vegan, land usage will reduce from 4.1 billion hectares to 1 billion and emissions will plummet.” (Amy Buxton,

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Report finds lowering meat consumption best way to fight zoonotic diseases

On June 30, revealed a new report recently published in the Royal Society Open Science that suggested that there would be no better way to mitigate the risk of zoonotic (animal-born) disease if the demand for animal products continues to rise. While there have been calls to reduce intensive factory farming practices in favor of smaller operations in an effort to reduce emerging infectious disease (EID) risk, the report concludes that this method isn’t the answer.

Excerpts from the story:

“The report notes that intensive animal farming increases the risk of zoonotic-born pandemics because of the way we raise and slaughter animals—we transport them long distances, keep them in highly dense living conditions, and don’t care for their health and welfare. The zoonotic pathogens that emerge from this method of farming animals can occasionally spill over and cause pandemics in humans, and the report points out that the risks of this happening are escalating.

“The report’s approach and conclusion is predicated on the assumption that drastically slashing meat consumption—the best disease mitigation solution—is too difficult to achieve in the short term. ‘One approach proposed to reduce EID risks is to dramatically reduce meat consumption. In the extreme this could allow widespread restoration of natural habitats, increasing the health of wild populations while also greatly reducing opportunities for transmission to livestock and people—hence reducing the risks of disease emergence,’ the report explains. ‘However, given long-term trends in per capita wealth and robust relationships between income and consumption of livestock products, reducing livestock demand substantially is likely to be extremely challenging. This means it is important to determine how any non-zero demand for livestock products can be met at (the lowest) cost in terms of EID risks.’”

“Reducing the risk of zoonotic disease is just one reason that is motivating calls for substantial reductions in global meat consumption. Earlier this year, researchers at the University of Bonn in Germany released a study titled ‘Meat Consumption and Sustainability’—which will be published in October in the 14th volume of the Annual Review of Resource Economics. Here, the researchers examine the climate impact of animal agriculture against current meat consumption to come to the conclusion that in order to meet the climate goals set forth in the Paris Agreement, humans will have to reduce their meat consumption by at least 75%.

‘“If all humans consumed as much meat as Europeans or North Americans, we would certainly miss the international climate targets and many ecosystems would collapse,’ study author Matin Qaim, a professor at the Center for Development Research (ZEF) at the University of Bonn, said in a statement. ‘We therefore need to significantly reduce our meat consumption, ideally to 20kg or less annually. The war in Ukraine and the resulting shortages in international markets for cereal grains also underline that less grain should be fed to animals in order to support food security.’” (Nicole Axworthy and Anna Starostinetskaya,

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Compassion for refugees essential for climate crisis mitigation

On June 28, reported the Institute for Economics and Peace prediction that by 2050, 1.2 billion people could be facing life as a climate refugee.

Excerpts from the story:

“As the earth heats up, seas rise, and natural disasters become more frequent, homes are becoming uninhabitable. And as a consequence, around the world, more and more people are finding themselves faced with impossible decisions. Stay put and deal with treacherous, life-threatening environmental challenges, like drought, severe heatwaves, floods, and hurricanes. Or flee, and move themselves and their families to a place that’s unfamiliar, but one of relative environmental safety. Is the world ready for this massive influx of displaced people? In a word: no.

“The West is already struggling to cope with the current refugee crisis, as people flee war, persecution, and famine. The UK government is actively trying to deport people to Rwanda. In France too, asylum seekers face hostility from the government. And under Trump, the US subjected more than 20,000 children to the risk of serious harm, says Human Rights Watch.

“We’re looking at a frightening future; we need tangible action in terms of climate crisis prevention and mitigation. But we need a healthy dose of compassion too. After all, it is the world’s richest countries that did the most to create the climate crisis that people are running away from. According to The New York Times, the 23 richest countries in the world are responsible for half of all historical carbon dioxide emissions. These include the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Canada. The United States is the worst offender, responsible for 24.6% of all emissions.

“Rich countries are also the biggest consumers of meat. The industry wastes resources, drives deforestation, and accounts for 14.5% of all emissions. In fact, a recent report from the University of Bonn in Germany concluded that Western countries need to cut meat consumption by 75% to help alleviate pressure on the planet.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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New report shows 1 in 3 UK shoppers ditching meat to cut costs

On June 29, showed the findings of a new research showing that, as the cost of living worsens in the United Kingdom, a third of consumers are cutting out meat to reduce their grocery bills.

Excerpts from the story:

“New research from the Vegan Society discovered that one in three supermarket shoppers are either eliminating meat from their weekly shop or scaling it back to get more out of their budget. More than half also said they would give a plant-based diet a go if it was more cost-effective.

“While it’s true that some plant-based meat products can be expensive, there are affordable alternatives. Tesco, for example, aims to provide an affordable selection of vegan sausages, burgers, nuggets, and more with its Plant Chef range.

“But the cheapest foods on the shelves are not meat or meat alternatives. Instead, they are simple, versatile plant-based ingredients like beans, lentils, tinned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, rice, and pasta, for example.

“The new research accompanies the organization’s ‘Live Vegan for Less’ campaign, which aims to dispel the myth that veganism is always an expensive lifestyle choice. Last year, an Oxford University study revealed that ditching meat could help people cut their food costs by up to a third. In 2020, a poll revealed that vegan meals are 40% cheaper on average than meals containing meat, including fish. And in 2019, another study concluded that going meat-free could save people more than £600 a year.” (Charlotte Pointing,

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Ways to cut plastic and save animals

On June 30,’s Sarah McLaughlin shared 9 easy-to-do vegan and eco-friendly steps to cut down on personal waste in order to reduce plastics that are harming the animals.

These are: Carrying a reusable water bottle; mixing your own household cleaner using available household ingredients; using reusable steel or grass straws; making your own face masks (sheet masks); using biodegradable plastic bags and reusable grocery bags; swapping plastic body care products for cruelty-free and environmentally safe ones; freezing vegetable scraps to make smoothies or vegetable broth at a later time, and; making simple meals instead of ordering food with wasteful takeout containers and utensils. (

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Precision fermentation reproduces ‘meat’ from animal extinct for 30,000 years

On June 30, reported about European food technology company Paleo unveiling six different heme proteins for plant-based meat: Beef, chicken, pork, sheep, tuna—and even extinct woolly mammoth.

Excerpts from the story:

“Founded by Andy de Jong, MD, and Hermes Sanctorum, a former member of Belgium’s Parliament, Paleo is the first to use precision fermentation to produce GMO-free heme proteins that are bioidentical to six animal proteins. The World Intellectual Property Organization published Paleo’s patent application this week, allowing Paleo to share details of its technology.

“Essentially, heme is what makes meat taste like meat. When it comes to mimicking conventional meat products, it is responsible for both the taste and color of meat. Before cooking, heme gives meat its red hue that turns to brown when cooked. Heme also enhances the food’s nutritional value, including as an easily absorbed source of iron.

“Paleo’s six heme strains are animal-free but identical to animal protein, allowing vegan meat’s taste, aroma, cooking performance, and nutritional content to be nearly identical to the real thing. The startup initially focused on the four traditional species that are raised and slaughtered for meat (cow, chicken, pig, and lamb) and then tuna was added to its portfolio.

“Paleo scientists decided to challenge themselves by making proteins of animals that are now extinct. Based on an analysis of the oldest DNA ever found (more than one million years ago), they were able to reproduce the heme protein of woolly mammoth. In the process, Paleo scientists learned that mammoth protein has unique properties and delivers ‘strong aromas of grilled meat.’” (Nicole Axworthy,

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