Chunky Vegan Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Chunky Vegan Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

Chunks of chocolate, salty pretzels, and a hint of cinnamon make these cookies from the Orchids + Sweet Tea blog absolutely irresistible. 

What you need:

½ cup softened vegan butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
¼ cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup applesauce
1½ cups vegan chocolate chips
⅓ cup roughly chopped pretzels

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a large baking sheet. Into a large bowl, add butter and sugars, whisking until smooth. Add applesauce, and vanilla, whisking again.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and mix using a rubber spatula. Fold in chocolate chips and pretzels.
  3. Using a tablespoon, scoop cookie dough onto prepared sheet, leaving 1-inch between each cookie. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
  4. Remove from oven and let cool for three minutes before serving.

Photo credit: Shanika Graham-White

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Gordon Ramsay Embraces Vegan Burgers and More Vegan Food News of the Week

Gordon Ramsay Embraces Vegan Burgers and More Vegan Food News of the Week

It seems that every week in the world of vegan food news is more exciting than the last and this week is no exception. Gordon Ramsay was once allergic to vegans but now, his brand new Gordon Ramsay Burger opened in Chicago (his first restaurant in the city) and prominently features a vegan burger. Less windy city Duluth, GA is now home to the fourth location of Slutty Vegan—which is embarking on a major expansion. And American chain Krispy Kreme is finally going all in on vegan doughnuts … in the UK. Read on for more. 

Gordon Ramsay puts vegan burgers on the menu in Chicago

We love a good change-of-heart story and this week, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay delivered. While the chef previously played up his anti-vegan persona, when the plant-based shift became too big to ignore, Ramsay took on a different tone and began experimenting with vegan dishes. The newest restaurant to benefit from Ramsay’s change of heart is Gordon Ramsay Burger, a location of which the chef just opened in Chicago. 


There, Ramsay serves the simply named Vegan Burger, which features a vegan patty, bib lettuce, tomato, avocado, eggless garlic mayo, and is served on a vegan bun. Diners can also order the vegan patty in place of meat in any of the eatery’s signature burgers. The Hell’s Kitchen star also serves a fully vegan menu at his Hell’s Kitchen-inspired restaurant in Las Vegas and plant-based dishes can be found sprinkled on Ramsay’s menus worldwide. 

Slutty Vegan opens fourth location 

This week, Duluth, GA experienced the magic that is Slutty Vegan when the Atlanta-based chain opened its fourth location there. As always, opening day drew crowds of hungry guests who waited—in heavy rain, mind you—to be “slutified” by trying one of Slutty Vegan’s indulgent vegan burgers made with an Impossible Burger patty, finished with a variety of flavorful toppings, and slathered with its special Slut Sauce.  


Founded in 2018 by entrepreneur Pinky Cole, Slutty Vegan is expanding quickly from its humble beginnings as a food truck, with its next outposts planned for Birmingham, AL and Athens, GA. Cole is making vegan food even more fun through Bar Vegan, a spinoff concept that operates inside Atlanta’s Ponce City Market. When she’s not expanding her uber-popular business, Cole supports social justice initiatives through the Pinky Cole Foundation, which she established to empower generations of color. 

Krispy Kreme’s new vegan doughnuts

Krispy Kreme was founded in the United States in the 1930s so you’d think that in the 2020s—when plant-based eating has exploded in popularity—any announcement linked to vegan doughnuts would happen on home turf. Wrong. In time for Veganuary, Krispy Kreme is now adding three new vegan doughnuts to its menu in … the United Kingdom. 

The new doughnuts represent the first time Krispy Kreme has offered filled vegan doughnuts and these treats come in super decadent flavors: Fudge Brownie Bliss (filled with rich chocolate and topped with brownie pieces); Caramel Choc Delight (Belgian chocolate and caramel fillings topped with caramel icing and chocolate icing drizzle); and Apple Custard Crumble (apple and custard filling topped with cinnamon crumble).


And to throw cinnamon sugar on the wound, these aren’t even the first vegan doughnuts to hit the UK menu, where Brits have been enjoying a vegan version of Original Glazed doughnuts at Krispy Kreme since last year. 

Spider-Man’s Jacob Batalon is excited for vegan Filipinx food

News of actor Jacob Batalon losing more than 100 pounds on a plant-based diet spread around the internet like wildfire this week after the Spider-Man star spoke candidly about his transformation with Men’s Health. Batalon went plant-based with the help of his girlfriend, Instagram influencer Brooke Reyna. Through Instagram, Reyna introduced Batalon to another queen, chef Reina Montenegro, known for creating vegan versions of Filipinx classics like sisg, kare kare, and kaldereta

Montenegro operates vegan restaurant Chef Reina in Northern California and ships “care packages” of her vegan meals nationwide. Batalon, who is of Filipinx heritage, gave Montenegro a shoutout in his most recent interview with CinemaBlend and is working with the chef to sample her food soon. 


“This means so much to me not only as a Filipina chef but more so as a vegan Filipina chef,” Montenegro told VegNews. “I’ve always felt that we have not really been recognized as a mainstream cuisine let alone the vegan version of it which is often criticized even by our own.” Montenegro and her children are also big fans of the Spider-Man movies and of Batalon’s character, Ned Leeds, in particular because he brings representation of the Filipinx heritage to the big screen. “So this is a family affair,” the chef said, adding that she’s “just incredibly proud of him.”

Eat Pastry launches new vegan cookie dough 

For years, we’ve been gobbling Eat Pastry’s vegan cookie dough with no worries of salmonella straight from the container. Since 2008, the brand has been making superb snackable vegan cookie dough in flavors like classic chocolate chip, peanut butter chocolate chip, fudge brownie, and birthday cake. How does one improve on delicious vegan cookie dough? By baking it into cookies? No way!


This week, Eat Pastry launched a whole new concept: vegan cookie dough cups with gooey center cores. The new product is currently available at select Costco locations in an eight-pack of chocolate chip cookie dough where half the cups feature a fudge core and the other half are loaded with a salted caramel core. Eat Pastry will expand the cookie dough cups to other retailers in 2022. 

Lizzo promises more vegan TikTok recipes

As we approach a new year, we always wonder if it’ll be better than the last. One indicator that the future looks a little brighter is knowing that Lizzo’s vegan cooking tutorials on TikTok will continue in 2022. In the last few months, Lizzo was out there doing things that multi-Grammy award-winning artists do and fans noticed that she spent less time making vegan recipe videos on the social media platform. 


While Lizzo could have just ignored the pleas for more recipes, the musical artist got right back to business and showed off her recipe for lentil stew—turns out, the trick to a rich stew is roasting veggies and blending them into a broth thickener. Lizzo promised more vegan cooking videos in the year to come, including her take on mac and cheese. 

For the latest vegan news, read:
New Era of High Fashion: Italy Votes to Shut Down Fur Farming
This Cultured Meat Startup Just Raised a Record $347 Million 
This New Vegan Chicken Tastes Just Like Chicken Thanks to AI

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Silky Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Silky Vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse

Avocados add rich, silky texture to this velvety chocolate mousse recipe from the Plants First cookbook. A touch of salt and a flourish of cloud-like coconut whipped cream are just the icing on top. 

What you need:

1 (3-ounce) dark chocolate bar
2 ripe Hass avocados, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut whipped cream, for garnish
¾ cup fresh berries of choice, for garnish

What you do:

  1. Break chocolate bar into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high in 20- to 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until chocolate is melted. 
  2. Into a food processor, add melted chocolate, avocados, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt and pulse until smooth.
  3. Divide mousse among bowls and top with coconut whipped cream and berries.

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Lizzo Promises TikTok Fans Fresh Vegan Cooking Content in 2022

Lizzo Promises TikTok Fans Fresh Vegan Cooking Content in 2022

Musical artist Lizzo has been too busy with her music to share her vegan cooking on social media platform TikTok lately, and fans have noticed. After a fan posted that she misses Lizzo’s vegan cooking content, Lizzo replied with a TikTok video of herself cooking a vegan lentil stew.

“I’ve just been working so much that I have not had time to cook, and every time I cook I be [sic] just so ready to eat that I forget to film it,” Lizzo said in the TikTok video. “But I just remembered right now that I’m about to make a lentil stew.”

The TikTok video goes on to show Lizzo roasting red onions and potatoes, rinsing spinach and kale, and making broth. She blends the roasted vegetables and broth together in a blender and then pours it into a stock pot and adds lentils and greens. 

In her reply to the person who requested more cooking content, Lizzo writes that she’ll also be making mac and cheese soon. Shortly thereafter, Lizzo posted a video of herself making a bagel with vegan egg, deep-fried vegan bacon, and jelly. VegNews.LizzoGoldenKrust

Lizzo’s venture to veganism

Lizzo first publicly announced that she was vegan in June 2020 to her then 8.8 million TikTok fans—a following that has since grown to 20 million on the platform. Since then, Lizzo has regularly shared her vegan recipes and meals on TikTok in which she features replacement products for meat, dairy, and eggs from brands such as Beyond Meat, Eat Just, Califia Farms, and Good Catch. She has shared videos of herself making meals such as a breakfast sandwich with vegan hash browns, scrambled eggs, and bacon; vegan Brussels sprout nachos; and vegan meat-and-cheese-stuffed Jamaican patties.

The celebrity also shares her support for local vegan restaurants. When TikTok first expanded its platform to allow users to make three-minute videos, Lizzo dedicated her first video to a vegan hot honey sandwich and fries from Lettuce Feast, a Los Angeles–area vegan food truck. Lizzo spent the entirety of the three minutes joyfully eating and praising her vegan meal, and in between bites she pointed out that the sandwich—which replaces chicken with fried mushrooms—was perfectly sauced and seasoned. When it came to the crinkle cut fries, Lizzo compared them all to “that one Dorito that’s perfectly seasoned in the bag.”VegNews.LizzoVogue

Shutting down fat-shamers

The three-time Grammy Award winner is also known for sharing body positivity posts and shutting down fat-shamers. Earlier this year, Lizzo shared a video of herself in her underwear eating a vegan egg sandwich over an audio clip of a woman saying, “I’m seeing way too many plus-sized vegans. Are ya’ll frying the lettuce?” Lizzo clapped back further in her caption of the TikTok video: “Yes, actually I do,” Lizzo said in reference to fried lettuce. “Shout out to all my fat vegans—we look as good as we feel … and to the haters, good luck chasing that narrow beauty standard.”

In October 2020, Lizzo was featured on the cover of Vogue Magazine, representing the first time a plus-sized, Black woman was on the cover of the fashion magazine. “I am the first big Black woman on the cover of Vogue Magazine. The first Black anything feels overdue. But our time has come,” Lizzo said. “To all my Black girls, if someone like you hasn’t done it yet—be the first.” 

For more on vegan celebrities, read:
9 Ways Billie Eillish is Paving the Way for a Vegan Future
Cardi B Wants to Go Vegan. Asks 20 Million Fans for Help.
Jermaine Dupri Just Launched His Own Vegan Ice Cream Brand

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Boston Startup Gets FDA Approval for Protein That Makes Vegan Meat Taste Even Meatier 

Boston Startup Gets FDA Approval for Protein That Makes Vegan Meat Taste Even Meatier 

Thanks to food technology company Motif FoodWorks, vegan meat is about to get a lot meatier. The Boston-based company recently launched HEMAMI, a heme-binding myoglobin protein that delivers the flavor and aroma of traditional animal-based meat. The ingredient was recently given Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is now commercially available.

Though myoglobin is found in the muscle tissue of cows, Motif has found a way to express it in a genetically engineered yeast strain. Created using precision technology, Motif’s HEMAMI offers the same characteristics as the animal-derived protein and can be used to enhance the flavor and aroma in plant-based burgers, sausages, and other meats. The primary function of animal-derived myoglobin is flavor but it also imparts a red hue when exposed to oxygen. The Color Additive Petition to give HEMAMI its distinct red coloring is being considered by the FDA.VegNews.MotifFoodWorksVeganHeme1.jpg

Heme: a key ingredient in making vegan meat meaty

According to the company, factors such as taste, flavor, and texture deter two thirds of Americans from adopting plant-based meat alternatives into their diet. This feedback helped Motif identify the importance of a meaty, umami taste to consumers and the gap between plant-based alternatives and animal-based meat products.

“Plant-based foods have the potential to drive a more sustainable future, but that doesn’t matter unless people actually eat them,” Motif FoodWorks CEO Jonathan McIntyre said in a statement. “HEMAMI enables a whole new taste and experience level for meat alternatives that a wider group of plant-based and flexitarian consumers will crave.”

Earlier this year, Motif secured $226 million in a Series B funding round. Now that the product has received FDA approval, the company is moving forward with scaling and commercializing it. As such, Motif is building a 65,000-square-foot facility in Northborough, MA that will include a research and development center, as well as pilot plants for fermentation, ingredient, and finished product manufacturing. The food technologies and finished products created at the site will be used for consumer testing and customer sampling, as well as validating process techniques before sending on to large-scale production partners.The facility is expected to be up and running later in 2022.

“To execute on our holistic innovation process and rapidly develop and commercialise our proprietary technologies and products, we need to control the facilities and capabilities required to test, validate, and scale our food-tech,” McIntyre said. “We look forward to the opportunities and innovation our new facility will bring to Motif and our customers.”VegNews.ImpossibleFoodsMeatballs

Impossible Foods brings heme to the game

Heme protein is regarded as a key ingredient to improve plant-based meats for the mainstream market. In 2018, Impossible Foods obtained GRAS status from the FDA for its own soy-based heme, which is a central component of the company’s flagship product, the Impossible Burger. Initially, the company was asked to provide further information about its heme in order to receive a GRAS letter. And though the FDA does not require that foods are tested on animals, Impossible Foods ultimately decided to test its heme on rats. 

“Nobody is more committed or working harder to eliminate exploitation of animals than Impossible Foods,” Impossible Foods founder Patrick O. Brown said in a statement entitled “The Agonizing Dilemma of Testing on Animals,” dated August 2017. “Avoiding the dilemma was not an option. We hope we will never have to face such a choice again, but choosing the option that advances the greater good is more important to us than ideological purity.”

Since receiving FDA approval in 2018, Impossible Foods has expanded its product offerings to include sausages, chicken nuggets, pork, and meatballs, and the company has raised nearly $2 billion to fund its mission of replacing all animal foods with plant-based alternatives by 2035. Currently, Impossible products can now be found in about 22,000 grocery stores, as well as in close to 40,000 restaurants globally. 

For more on plant-based heme, read:
Impossible Fish? It’s on the Way.

Impossible Foods Reveals It Tests on Animals

New Research Explains the Link Between Meat and Cancer

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This New Vegan Chicken Tastes Just Like Chicken Thanks to Artificial Intelligence

This New Vegan Chicken Tastes Just Like Chicken Thanks to Artificial Intelligence

A new vegan chicken is coming to grocery stores shelves and it’s made to mimic traditional chicken with the help of artificial intelligence. Chilean startup The Not Company (“NotCo”) relies on Guiseppe—a technology platform that uses artificial intelligence to create plant-based products that resemble their animal-derived counterparts in all ways. NotCo’s new pea protein-based vegan chicken will be available in four formats: NotChickenNuggets, NotChickenBurger, NotChickenBurgerCrispy, and NotChickenFillet.

“What we have achieved in terms of superior taste and texture is a true reflection of the impact we can make if we believe that things can be done better,” Matias Muchnick, CEO and Co-Founder of NotCo, said in a statement. “None of this could be done without the help of Giuseppe, our patented AI that is transforming plant-based innovation.” 

NotCo will first introduce its new vegan chicken line at 980 retail locations in Argentina, Brazil, and Chile before expanding it to restaurant menus (with partners to be announced soon). After its initial debut in Latin America—where it counts Starbucks, Papa John’s, and Burger King as restaurant partners—the brand plans to bring its vegan chicken line to the United States and Canada. 


Using AI to perfect vegan chicken

Founded in 2015 by Muchnick (a biotech engineer), biochemist Pablo Zamora, and computer scientist Karim Pichara, NotCo is on a mission to replicate animal-based products with more sustainable plant ingredients so that animals no longer have to be part of the food system. The company uses Giuseppe to analyze the properties of thousands of plants in a database and then creates unique ingredient combinations that aim to replicate the taste and texture of animal-based products. 

While many companies use pea protein as a base for vegan meat, NotCo’s vegan chicken also features unique ingredients such as bamboo, peaches, and chickpeas. The brand’s new products have already garnered support from big names in the food industry, including Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer—who is also an investor in the company through Enlightened Hospitality Investments. 

“When I first tried it, it was hard to believe I was enjoying the crunchiness, juiciness, and flavor of a chicken made from fruits and vegetables,” Meyer said. “NotCo has found a way to produce a product with plants that improves upon many versions of actual chicken.”


Making better chicken from plants

NotCo’s improvement on traditional chicken is not in taste and texture alone. According to an internal audit by NotCo, its vegan chicken uses 86 percent less water and emits 73 percent fewer CO2 emissions than poultry production. 

“NotChicken is just the latest in what we have planned as we celebrate the beginning of a new golden era for chicken,” Muchnick said. “It’s an exciting time for us as it is the first time we are launching into a new alt-protein category in three countries at the same time, but you can expect to see more very soon. We’re excited to share this with the world and be one step closer to changing the food system for the better.”


In addition to vegan chicken, NotCo uses unexpected ingredients such as pineapple, coconut, cabbage, peas, bamboo, beets, and chickpeas to create a suite of products, including vegan milk, ice cream, burgers, and mayonnaise. The Chilean company made its US debut on November 1, 2020 (World Vegan Day) at Whole Foods Market. In July, NotCo raised $235 million—with participation from vegan race car champion Lewis Hamilton, musician Questlove, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey—to fund its global expansion.  

For more about vegan chicken, read:

Panda Express Launches Its First Vegan Orange Chicken
Why the World’s Largest Beef Company Is Launching Vegan Chicken
Nestlé Leads $4 Million Deal to Bring Skin-on Vegan Chicken to Market  

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Not Doing Christmas? Try These 10 Vegan Chinese Take Out Spots and Movies Instead

Not Doing Christmas? Try These 10 Vegan Chinese Take Out Spots and Movies Instead

Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a day of delicious food and relaxation. The Chinese-food-and-a-movie tradition stands strong in many households on December 25—some, like our VegNews Editor at Large, Jasmin Singer—revere this practice as adamantly as others revere ornament-adorned evergreen trees. Sure, most Chinese and Chinese-American restaurants carry at least one or two vegan-friendly options (pro tip from Singer: bean curd is everywhere), but when you have the option to support a plant-based business, we say go for it. Here are our VegNews picks for vegan-Chinese-food-and-a-movie when Christmas is just another day of the year. 

VegNews.LovingHutLoving Hut Garden Grove

1 Loving Hut, multiple locations

As one of the largest vegan chains in the world, it’s very possible there is a Loving Hut near you. The menu varies from location to location and veers from staple Chinese dishes into pan-Asian cuisine and even some American-style comfort food. Check your nearest Loving Hut to ensure they’re open on December 25, then order yourself some egg rolls, chow mein, and a slice of cake for dessert. 
Movie pairing: Not a movie, but this heartwarming, seven-minute YouTube video of a guy rescuing two male calves from a dairy farm will make you melt. Essentially a one-man rescue and rehoming operation, Jason Bolalek of Destination Liberation is doing the necessary work to save lives. 
Find it here


2 Sipz, San Diego, CA

This plant-based microchain in Clairemont, La Jolla, and North Park offers a dizzying variety of Chinese-inspired and pan-Asian dishes. On Christmas Day, tuck into pan-fried potstickers and any one of the generously portioned rice entrées such as Walnut Shrimp or Sweet & Sour. Don’t skip dessert. While not Chinese in origin, the vibrantly purple ube cake is an absolute must. If they’re out, the coconut cake and layered brownies won’t disappoint. 
Movie pairing: Vegucated. It’s light, entertaining, and watching three meat-eaters adopt a vegan diet for six weeks could inspire your on-the-fence family to give it a go in the New Year. 
Find it here

VegNews.SunflowerCafeCafe Sunflower

3 Cafe Sunflower, Atlanta, GA

We’ve confirmed that this vegan Atlanta institution will be closed on Christmas Day, but if you order ahead around lunchtime on December 24, the food should keep in the fridge. The menu spans a number of cuisines, but there is plenty of Chinese food to tuck into. Favorites include steamed dumplings and a glistening, golden sesame soy chicken served with organic brown rice and a medley of vegetables in a ginger soy sauce. 
Movie pairing: The Game Changers. You may not want to be plowing through a mound of saucy noodles while watching ripped vegan athletes, but a healthy plate of vegan protein and veggies pairs perfectly with this plant-based sports documentary. 
Find it here

VEgNews.AulacAu Lac

4 Âu Lạc, Los Angeles and Fountain Valley, CA

Âu Lạc is a Southern California vegan institution. The Vietnamese and Chinese menu straddles the line between both raw and cooked dishes, offering everything from sticky sweet and sour chicken to complex raw soups and rice dishes. We highly advise trying a bit from each menu. Our go-to order includes BBQ pork rolls, raw Sea Salad, and T-Anh Fried Rice. 
Movie pairing: Forks Over Knives. Âu Lạc makes whole food, plant-based dishes enticing and craveable, which is exactly the kind of reinforcement you need when engrossed in this vegan health documentary. 
Find it here

VEgNews.ChefKennysrestaurantChef Kenny’s Asian Restaurant

5 Chef Kenny’s Asian Restaurant, Las Vegas, NV

Just like its home city, there is a lot going on with the menu at Chef Kenny’s. Yes, you’ll find the standard Chinese-American dishes like Spicy Kung Pao Beef, Orange Chicken, and Buddha Delight, but you’ll also see sushi rolls, vegan tacos, and Thai Tom Yum Soup. Essentially, there’s something for whatever you’re craving. 
Movie pairing: Seaspiracy. Heavy without being outright gorey (with the exception of that whaling scene toward the end), this eye-opening documentary will hook you from beginning to end. 
Find it here

VEgNews.BodiKoserrestaurantBodhi Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant

6 Bodhi Kosher Vegetarian Restaurant, New York City, NY

For a satiating meal of plant-based dim sum and larger entrées such as vegan turkey, take a seat at this casual NYC spot. With a menu so expansive it’s impossible to try everything in one sitting, make it a New Year’s resolution to come back until you’ve sampled it all. 
Movie pairing: Ferdinand. Technically a children’s animated film, this heartwarming story about a gentle-souled Spanish bull doesn’t sugarcoat the realities of what happens to spent fighting bulls. It’s kid-friendly and teaches compassion to all. 
Find it here

VegNews.SpicyMoonSpicy Moon

7 Spicy Moon, New York City, NY

With locations in both the East and West Village, this no-frills vegan Szechuan restaurant packs a fiery kick into most of its dishes. Locals love this place—from the Dan Dan noodles to the mapo tofu. If you’re trying it for the first time on December 25, be prepared to become a regular. 
Movie pairing: Cowspiracy. Are you ready to feel old? This hit documentary debuted almost eight years ago! Time for a rewatch. 
Find it here

VegNews.DumplingthenoodleDumpling the Noodle

8 Dumpling the Noodle, Seattle, WA

Those seeking takeout with mixed company may not be able to choose a vegan restaurant, but thankfully, many restaurants have added dedicated vegan options to their offerings. Dumpling the Noodle is just one example. The restaurant serves animal-based dishes, but all vegan items are clearly labeled (and delicious). Don’t miss the shiitake vegan buns, Jajang tofu pancake roll, or the Chili the Veggie Rice Noodles. If they’re closed on Christmas, plan ahead and order a 20-count of the frozen organic vegan dumplings. 
Movie pairing: Fast Food Nation. Many omnivores don’t realize where their food comes from. If you’re dining with them, turn this on and watch their eyes open to what’s on their plate. 
Find it here


9 Grasshopper Restaurant, Boston, MA

Similar to the Loving Hut, this college student hot spot offers a bit of everything—from sweet- and sour-smothered tofu to fried vegan chicken tenders. Check out the Grasshopper Specials for a medley of plant-based proteins served with chili sauce and an assortment of nourishing, colorful veggies. 
Movie pairing: Chicken Run. Yes, another animated kid’s movie. Because you can’t watch Earthlings and eat at the same time. This film gets the vegan point across without being graphic. 
Find it here

VegNews.MollyYehbunsMolly Yeh

10 Make your own

It’s 3pm on December 25 and you realize every restaurant within reasonable driving distance is closed. Don’t panic. Chinese buns are actually fairly easy to make—they just take a little time (give yourself three-and-a-half hours if it’s your first time). Beyond their addictively pillowy texture, they’re the perfect vessels to clean out your fridge. While the recipe below calls for certain ingredients, you can essentially roast whatever veggies you have in your fridge, mix in some crumbled tofu (optional), pour in soy sauce, a couple drops of sesame oil, and minced ginger (if you’re feeling fancy), and use this savory mixture to stuff your bao dough. You can even make these a few days before (pre-cooking), freeze them, then steam on December 25 when all else fails. 
Movie pairing: Pig. Plenty will argue this isn’t a vegan movie—Nicholas Cage’s character prepares plenty of animal-based dishes. But the pig at the beginning will warm your heart, and the ending will leave you breathless and contemplating the meaning of love, grief, and the power of both animal and human companionship. 
Get the recipe

Note: before making plans, check with the restaurant to ensure it’s operating normal or modified hours on Christmas Day. Further, this list is just a selection of vegan-friendly Chinese restaurants across the US. Check out to find more near you. 

Craving vegan Chinese now? Check out these articles:
Vegan Chinese Turnip Pastry
5 Vegan Dim Sum Recipes to Drool Over
Beefy Vegan Tempeh and Broccoli

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How a Plant-Based Diet Helped Spider-Man’s Jacob Batalon Drop 112 Pounds

How a Plant-Based Diet Helped Spider-Man’s Jacob Batalon Drop 112 Pounds

Jacob Batalon—who plays sidekick Ned Leeds in Marvel’s Spider-Man franchiseis 112 pounds slimmer these days after the actor made a few lifestyle changes, including switching to a plant-based diet. The 25-year-old actor decided to make the change after realizing that his weight was holding him back both professionally and personally. “I decided to get into this sort of transformation, or this sort of journey, with my health and fitness at the end of 2019,” Batalon told Men’s Health. “Even when I wasn’t doing anything physical, I found myself getting sleepy at work and it was because of all the fat food I was eating.”

Batalon now maintains an exercise routine at the gym six days per week that involves 60 minutes of weight training and 30 minutes of cardio. As for his diet, Batalon ditched animal products with the help of his girlfriend Brooke Rayna. “Recently, my girlfriend has actually gotten me into a plant-based diet, as well. And that’s really helped my body,” Batalon said. “I can feel the difference between eating a lot of meat and eating a lot of plant-based stuff and that’s really helped me.”

The actor reprised his role in the new Spider-Man: No Way Home film and is grateful that he was able to regain his health in 2020, a transformative year for many. “I found a lot of light in the dark in the sense that a lot of people were suffering and I was fortunate and lucky enough to have found my health and all those things,” Batalon said. 

While Batalon is known for playing Spider-Man’s sidekick, the actor will play the starring role in Reginald the Vampire, a series set to release in 2022.


Plant-based diet and weight loss

While Batalon changed several lifestyle factors to transform himself, the plant-based diet has been linked to helping individuals lose weight. In one study published earlier this year in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers compared the effects of a low-fat plant-based diet versus a Mediterranean diet (where some animal products were consumed) on weight loss and found the former delivered far better results. 

Participants who followed the plant-based diet lost an average of 7.5 pounds of fat mass, reduced their visceral fat, and lowered their total cholesterol while improving their LDL cholesterol. Researchers propose that the plant-based diet led to weight loss due to a reduction in calorie intake, increase in fiber (a macronutrient not found in animal products) intake, decrease in fat consumption, and decrease in saturated fat consumption.


Batalon is not the only actor to turn to a plant-based diet for weight loss. Actor and director Kevin Smith—known for his ‘90s cult-classic films such as Clerks and Chasing Amy—dropped more than 50 pounds after going vegan and thanked his both vegan daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, and vegan eatery Veggie Grill for helping him to ditch animal products after he suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 2018. 

For more about the health benefits of a plant-based diet, read: 

6 Tips for Losing Weight on a Vegan Diet

8 Reasons to Forget Keto and Go Vegan

Eating One Hot Dog Shortens Healthy Life by 36 Minutes, Study Finds

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Why Clif Bars Just Launched Vegan Jerky for Dogs

Why Clif Bars Just Launched Vegan Jerky for Dogs

Energy snack brand Clif Bar is expanding into a new category with snacks for dogs. Its first line of dog food products, Clif Pet, is expected to launch in early 2022 with three plant-based jerky dog treats made in three flavors: Sweet Potato & Blueberry, Pumpkin & Apple, and Butternut Squash & Cranberry. Clif Bar says each recipe is formulated with seven ingredients and promotes easy digestion, and it plans to build out the portfolio in the coming months.

The vegan jerky product launch is the first venture for Clif Bar’s recently announced Trailblazers Incubator program, which aims to identify and build on disruptive and sustainable innovation opportunities.

“Just as Clif Bar was founded on disrupting the energy bar category nearly 30 years ago, the Trailblazers Incubator is built to consistently deliver our bold innovation agenda and accelerate our growth plan,” Clif Bar Chief Innovation Officer Rizal Hamdallah said in a statement. “In addition to a rapid, data-driven product development and go-to-market strategy, what makes our approach different is extending the loyalty of the CLIF brand. By introducing CLIF Pet, we will bring energy to the whole family.”VegNews.ClifPetFood

Clif Bar gets into vegan jerky for dogs

Clif Bar entered the dog food category because of the dramatic increase in companion animal adoptions during the COVID-19 lockdown, along with the emerging demand for higher quality food for companion animals. Dog food is often made with low-grade animal-based ingredients that pose health risks due to bacterial contamination and the presence of antibiotics. The company says that because companion animals are considered part of the family today more than ever before, the category represents a significant growth opportunity.

“With more than 11 million US households bringing a pet home during the last 18 months of COVID, the category is exploding and ripe for new offerings,” Incubator Senior Director Greg Lok said in a statement. “What makes this launch unique is the combination of speed and discipline to bring an innovative, relevant product to market during a global pandemic. We are truly blazing new trails by applying best practices from tech start-ups to our expertise in consumer insights and packaged goods—it’s a winning combination.”

For humans, Clif Bar predominantly focuses on energy bars under its Clif, Clif Kid, and Luna brands, of which many are vegan—including Clif Bars in flavors such as White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Chocolate Brownie, Vanilla Almond Latte, and Peanut Toffee Buzz. While most of its products use soy protein, a few products contain animal-based whey, including Clif Whey Protein, Luna Protein, Zbar Protein, and Clif Recovery Protein Drink Mix.VegNews.WildEarth

Innovation in vegan dog food

In recent years, there has been increased interest and innovation in plant-based food products for companion animals. California-based startup Wild Earth, a dominant player in the category, is on a mission to create better companion animal food that does not include slaughtered animals, is healthier for companion animals, and leaves a lighter environmental footprint. It offers plant- and fungi-based food for companion animals as well as products made with cell-based meat (made from a small amount of animal cells that are grown in bioreactor). 

In 2019, Wild Earth debuted a unique dog treat made with cultured koji—a type of fungus that it grows in a lab-setting using a proprietary process that contains more protein than steak. 

The company recently secured a $23 million investment led by a team that included Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban, vegan actor Paul Welsey, and a handful of investment firms. Using the new funding, Wild Earth will develop beef, chicken, and seafood from cell-based meats using its proprietary technology with the aim to release new dog and cat foods in 2022. 

For more on vegan food for companion animals, read:
Vegan Dog Food Brand Launches in Japan to Help 9 Million Dogs Go Vegan
Biotech Startup Launches High-Protein Meat-Free Dog Food
Startup Debuts New Vegan Food for Cats and Dogs

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This Lab-Grown Meat Startup Just Raised a Record $347 Million with Help from Tyson

This Lab-Grown Meat Startup Just Raised a Record 7 Million with Help from Tyson

This week, Israel-based Future Meat Technologies (FMT) announced that it has closed a $347 million Series B funding round—the largest investment ever made in the lab-grown meat (also known as “cultured” and “cultivated” meat) industry. The investment was co-led by agribusiness giant ADM through its venture capital arm ADM Ventures and included participation from Tyson New Ventures (TNV), meat giant Tyson’s investment arm. 

FMT makes its slaughter-free meat using several innovations that help it reach price parity with traditional meat production methods. For one, it makes meat from a combination of plant-based protein, cell-based meat, and lab-grown fat—an innovation that cuts the cost of growing animal meat from cells while maintaining the flavor and texture of animal-derived meat. 

FMT also cuts costs by using an animal-free serum as a growth media and a proprietary cell rejuvenation technology where its steel fermenters remove waste material and recycle up to 70 percent of nutrients leading to higher cell densities. Its unique approach has allowed the startup to reduce the cost of its cultured chicken products to $7.70 per pound (or just $1.70 per 110-gram chicken breast), down from approximately $18 per pound just six months ago. 


“We are incredibly excited by the massive support of our global network of strategic and financial investors,” Professor Yaakov Nahmias, founder and president of FMT, said in a statement. “This financing consolidates Future Meat’s position as the leading player in the cultivated meat industry, just three years after our launch. Our singular technology reduced production costs faster than anyone thought possible, paving the way for a massive expansion of operations.”

FMT opened its first cultivated meat plant in Israel earlier this year and aims to open a large-scale production facility in the United States in 2022. Currently, Singapore is the only country in the world that has granted regulatory approval to cultivated meat products. However, other countries are expected to follow and FMT is seeking regulatory approval in several territories with the aim to begin marketing its products—such as cultured chicken, slaughter-free lamb kebabs, and cell-based beef burgers—to consumers and restaurants in the US in 2022. 

Tyson and other meat giants invest in lab-grown

From environmental, ethical, and health perspectives, the growing human population cannot continue to rely on traditional animal agriculture for nutrition. In order for a shift to occur from traditional agriculture to new ways of producing meat—be it from animal or plant sources—the participation of established industry veterans such as Tyson, with its expansive distribution networks and influence, is imperative to bring novel meat products to market in accessible ways. And this shift has already begun. 


Tyson’s participation in FMT’s Series B round follows a $2 million investment TNV led in the startup in 2018. In addition to Tyson, Nestlé has shown early interest in FMT’s products and is considering incorporating its slaughter-free meat into its European Garden Gourmet line once regulatory approval is in place. 

“While Future Meat is leading the pack as the fastest growing company in this space, I truly see the entire cultivated meat industry as a massive agent of change, creating a sustainable future for coming generations,” Nahmias said. “It is our mission to create a more sustainable future for coming generations. Our technology can produce meat on a fraction of the land currently used for meat production.”

Prior to FMT’s historic $347 million round, the largest investments in the cultured meat space included a January 2020 raise of $161 million by UPSIDE Foods (which included participation from Tyson and Cargill) and Eat Just’s $170 million raise for its cellular agriculture division GOOD Meat in May 2021.

For more about cultured meat, read:

The USDA Just Made Its First Investment in Lab-Grown Meat
Why Humanitarian Chef José Andrés Is Excited to Serve Lab-Grown Meat 
This Startup Makes Lab-Grown Chicken for Less Than $10 per Serving

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Krispy Kreme UK Launches Three Vegan Doughnuts. Can the US Get Just One? 

Krispy Kreme UK Launches Three Vegan Doughnuts. Can the US Get Just One? 

On December 31, doughnut chain Krispy Kreme will launch new vegan doughnuts at its United Kingdom locations. The chain is updating its menu in time for Veganuary, a campaign that challenges people to go vegan for the month of January and beyond. Typically, the Veganuary campaign results in many new product offerings and deals at restaurants and retailers across the world and Krispy Kreme is joining the celebration for the second year in a row. 

This year, Krispy Kreme will offer its new vegan doughnuts in three flavors: Fudge Brownie Bliss (filled with rich chocolate and topped with brownie pieces); Caramel Choc Delight (Belgian chocolate and caramel fillings topped with caramel icing and chocolate icing drizzle); and Apple Custard Crumble (apple and custard filling topped with cinnamon crumble). 

“We are really excited to bring this range to customers and spread a little joy in January and are confident it delivers on the irresistible taste we are known and loved for whilst being accessible to a broader network of customers,” Louise Direito, Krispy Kreme UK and Ireland’s Head of Innovation, said in a statement.

Krispy Kreme’s new doughnuts are certified vegan by UK’s The Vegan Society and represent the first time that Krispy Kreme has offered a vegan version of its filled doughnuts. 


Krispy Kreme’s vegan doughnuts

United States-based Krispy Kreme was founded in 1937 in North Carolina and expanded across the country in the 1990s, when the Smithsonian recognized the doughnut chain as an American cultural icon. The historic chain was built around a secret doughnut recipe that founder Vernon Rudolph bought from a French chef in New Orleans. 

While that recipe has not changed much since its founding, Krispy Kreme did develop a vegan version of its yeast-raised doughnuts for its UK stores. Krispy Kreme’s first vegan doughnut, the Original Glazed Vegan Doughnut, debuted in time for Veganuary last year and is available for delivery across the UK. 

“We are excited to extend our range of iconic irresistibly original doughnuts with the launch of our first ever vegan offering, available exclusively in the UK,” Direito said in a statement last year. “We know January is a time that many are trying out new lifestyles and set ourselves the challenge to create a plant-based doughnut that is equally delicious as the original, with absolutely no compromise.”

VegNews has reached out to Krispy Kreme to inquire about its plans to launch vegan doughnuts at its US locations. 


Vegan doughnuts at Dunkin’

Krispy Kreme’s biggest global competitor is Dunkin’, which updated its doughnut menu in Belgium in a major way last year. There, the chain introduced a whopping 41 vegan doughnut options from simple creations such as Original Glazed, Pistachio, and Cinnamon Swirl to filled varieties such as Double Stuffed Strawberry, Sugared Raspberry, and Cinnamon Jam. Dunkin’ Belgium even went all out with inventive creations inspired by the Cookie Monster (complete with googly eyes), candy rings (in Strawberry Red and Strawberry Ring), and a vegan doughnut decorated to resemble a bee with salted pretzel antennae. For Christmas this year, Dunkin’ Belgium is offering a cheery vegan doughnut decorated with red and green icing. 

Outside of Belgium, however, Dunkin’s vegan doughnut options are sparse (if not entirely non-existent). In the US, Dunkin’ previously made some plant-based menu updates such as the Beyond Breakfast Sandwich, avocado toast, and oat milk. Last year, former CEO David Hoffman also hinted at the potential of a vegan doughnut. “As it relates to a vegan doughnut, we continue to investigate a viable vegan doughnut option,” Hoffman said during a shareholder meeting. “We are looking at it closely.” 

Hoffman left his post at Dunkin’ in September to pursue other interests—including investing in vegan bacon brand Hooray Foods—leaving the future of vegan doughnuts at Dunkin’ hanging in the balance. 

For more about vegan doughnuts, read:

Washington, DC Gets Its First Vegan Doughnut Shop
18 Best Vegan Doughnuts in the Us You Have to Try
A Queer-Owned Vegan Doughnut Truck Is Coming to Seattle

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Nutty Vegan Cinnamon Walnut-Pecan Granola 

Nutty Vegan Cinnamon Walnut-Pecan Granola 

This nutty, hearty, lightly sweetened granola cluster recipe from the Plants First cookbook is a great homemade staple to keep on hand in your cabinet for jazzing up smoothies, adding to your favorite loaf batters, or simply eating straight from the jar. 

What you need:

1 cup raw walnuts
1 cup raw pecans 
½ cup raw shelled pumpkin seeds
½ cup raw shelled sunflower seeds
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger powder
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
1 tablespoon agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup full-fat coconut yogurt, for serving
¼ cup berries or diced fresh fruit of choice, for serving

What you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Into a food processor, add walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in oats, coconut, cinnamon, ginger powder, cardamom, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine oil, molasses, agave, and vanilla extract. Pour over dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  4. Spread on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until lightly browned, stirring every 15 minutes to ensure even baking. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely over several hours. 
  5. Serve over coconut yogurt with fruit or store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

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The 15 Best Vegan Stocking Stuffers for Everyone On Your Holiday Gift List 

The 15 Best Vegan Stocking Stuffers for Everyone On Your Holiday Gift List 

Vegan Sweets & Treats 

VegNews.WilliesCacaoChampagneTrufflesWillie’s Cacao

1 Champagne Truffles by Willie’s Cacao

These melt-in-your-mouth, dark chocolate truffles impart a smooth, nutty taste thanks to sparkling champagne and roasted hazelnuts. Drop these in any chocolate lover’s stocking for a celebratory holiday treat. ‘Tis the season after all. 
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2 Almond Butter White Chocolate Snowballs by Sjaak’s

If your loved ones are aching for a white Christmas, opt for these velvety, decadent snowballs made with rich and creamy white chocolate that’s rolled in coconut flakes and filled with handmade and roasted almond butter. Buy enough for everyone, or prepare for a snowball fight (yes, they’re that good).
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3 Cranberry Cocktail Bears by Sugarfina 

The candy obsessed will agree: there’s nothing like sinking your teeth into a chewy gummy from Sugarfina. These boutique, luxe gummies are made with real cranberry juice and pack a sweet-and-tart taste. Buy an extra serving for yourself, trust us. 
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4 Holiday Macarons by Verón

Nutella, Nog, and Candy Cane macarons fill this box of classic Parisian treats. These limited-time flavors are perfect for the friend itching to jet set across the world at a moment’s notice. A bite of these delicate confections will do … for now. 
Shop here

Vegan Beauty


5 Fire & Spice Balmie Set by Axiology

For the beauty obsessed who are constantly on the go, this zero-waste, multi-use balmie set from Latina-owned Axiology makes getting ready a breeze. Infused with hydrating oils, butters, and antioxidants, these lip-to-lid balmies nourish the skin while adding just the right amount of glitz. Opt for a set of three or a single balmie to help your loved ones get started on their collection. 
Shop here

VegNews.EllaandMiaella + mila

6 3-Pack Holiday Kiss Set by ella + mila

This vegan and cruelty-free nail polish trio comes with plum, ruby red, and glittery gold shades for a holiday look you can wear through New Year’s Eve. The quick drying polish is chip resistant so you can go longer between touch ups. At-home #ManiMonday, anyone? Shop here

VegNews.BoodaButterBalmSetBooda Organics

7Booda Buter Eco Balm 3-Pack by Booda Organics

Made with a blend of organic and moisturizing coconut, olive, and jojoba oils, this lip balm provides nourishment for soft, supple lips all throughout 2022. The Purely Naked, Creamy Cocoa, and Enlightened Mint varieties are sustainably packaged in biodegradable tubes for a minimal-waste stocking stuffer. 
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8 Berry Bad Bite-Size Eyeshadow by e.l.f. Cosmetics

Ask any beauty aficionado and they’ll agree: e.l.f.’s bite-sized eyeshadow quads are a must-have for any makeup routine. Complete any look with four complimentary buttery shades—for just $3! If that’s not a steal, we don’t know what is.
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Vegan Self-Care


9 Faux Fur Sleep Mask by EcoTools 

During the holiday season, we take extra care to get a full night of beauty sleep, and this faux fur sleep mask makes catching z’s easy and extra cozy—counting sheep not required. 
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10 Sleepy Bear Bath Bomb by LUSH

This bedtime bath bomb made with skin-softening cocoa butter, calming lavender oils, and finely ground oatmeal (for even softer skin) is a must-have for winding down after a busy holiday season. Gift them to those on your list who could use a little extra TLC.
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11Cooling Water by Milk Makeup

Cult favorite Milk Makeup’s Cooling Water stick helps reduce under-eye puffiness with caffeine while seawater provides soothing hydration. This fan-favorite roll-on is universally loved and perfect for everyone on your list. 
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VegNews.BrightandBeardifulBeardKitBright & Beardiful

12 Beard Oil & Balm by Bright & Beardiful

Small-batch vegan beard care brand Bright & Beardiful makes caring for beards easier than ever. Their deep conditioning, non-greasy formula delivers soft and shiny results for whiskers to rival old Saint Nick’s. 
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Vegan Accessories 

VegNews.VeganLeatherPhoneRingJJPrecisionEngravingJJ Precision Engraving

13 Vegan Leather Phone Ring Wallet by JJ Precision Engraving

This faux leather, handmade card holder attaches to the back of your cell phone for a decluttered, minimalist on-the-town experience. Available in 11 fun shades, there’s a perfect phone wallet for everyone on your list. 
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14 Get Outside by Cadence

For the home-gym-work commuter or the friend taking off on weekend adventures, this magnetic travel capsule set makes keeping your personal care essentials organized a breeze. Use it for your face wash, shampoo, clay masks, and more. 
Shop here


15 Angel Cherub Soy Candle by GoodishNYC

These cute angel cherub soy candles are perfect for candlelit baths after a busy day. Your loved ones will sip wine as they destress and listen to calming tunes. Pair with a Sleepy Bear Bath Bomb for the ultimate stocking stuffer duo. 
Shop here

For more vegan holiday gifts, read:
15 Dad-Approved Vegan Christmas Gifts for Men Under $50
10 Vegan Food Gifts You Can Get Delivered
The 21 Best Vegan Fashion & Beauty Gifts Under $100

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New Era of High Fashion: Italy Votes to Shut Down Fur Farming 

New Era of High Fashion: Italy Votes to Shut Down Fur Farming 

This week, the Budget Committee of the Italian Senate voted on an amendment that will close Italy’s remaining 10 mink fur farms in the next six months and permanently ban fur farming nationwide. The vote occurred after discussions with Humane Society International/Europe (HSI Europe) which presented practical and strategic solutions to close and convert fur farms into more humane and sustainable businesses in its recent report “Mink Breeding in Italy: Mapping and Future Perspectives.” 

“This is an historic victory for animal protection in Italy, and HSI/Europe is immensely proud that our fur farm conversion strategy has played a central role in dismantling this cruel and dangerous industry in our country,” HSI Italy Director Martina Pluda said in a statement. “There are very clear economic, environmental, public health, and, of course, animal welfare reasons to close and ban fur farms.” 

Once the vote passes Parliament—which is expected to occur by the end of 2021—Italy will become the 16th country to ban fur farming. Under the fur ban, breeding of fur-bearing animals including mink, foxes, raccoon dogs, and chinchillas, and the closure of all active fur farms in Italy would become effective as of June 30, 2022. To facilitate the transition, the Ministry of Agriculture will compensate former fur farmers a total of €3 million in 2022. 


The fur-free future of fashion

Fur is falling out of favor with fashionistas, retailers, and major brands across the globe, including Italian designers GUCCI, Valentino, Prada, Armani, and Versace which have all banned the use of fur in their collections in recent years. Major retailers such as Macy’s, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue have also committed to stop selling fur. And the pages of fashion media giant Elle are going fur-free in countries around the globe. 

“Today’s vote recognizes that allowing the mass breeding of wild animals for frivolous fur fashion represents a risk to both animals and people that can’t be justified by the limited economic benefits it offers to a small minority of people involved in this cruel industry,” Pluda said. “With so many designers, retailers, and consumers going fur-free, conversion of fur farms offers people a sustainable future that the fur trade simply cannot provide.”

In addition to banning fur farming, several governments have passed stricter fur bans, including Israel which became the first country to ban the sale of the cruelly begotten animal hides earlier this year. 


Fur farms spread COVID-19

One development that’s pushing fur further out of fashion came during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic when many European mink farms, particularly in the Netherlands, reported the presence of the COVID-19 virus in mink. This led to a massive cull of mink across many countries and the shut down of the mink fur industry as a public health measure. As of December 2021, 465 mink fur farms in 12 countries have reported a COVID-19 outbreak across the globe, including in Italy, the United States, and Canada. In February, the European Food Safety Agency reported that all mink farms should be considered at risk for COVID-19 outbreaks. 

Hon. Michela Vittoria Brambilla, president of the Parliamentary Intergroup for Animal Rights and of the Italian League for the Defense of Animals and the Environment, ensorses HSI Europe’s fur farm conversion proposal as a humane and sustainable path for Italy, a country that was an early hotspot of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“In 30 years of animal rights battle this is the best victory. Finally, a parliamentary vote sanctions the end of unspeakable suffering inflicted on animals only in the name of profit and vanity,” Brambilla said in a statement. “Italy is the 20th European country to introduce a ban or severe restriction on fur farming: better late than never. Now we await the final approval of the budget law, but the political will has been clearly expressed. A dream comes true that animal protection associations have cultivated for decades in our country.”

For more about the end of fur in fashion, read:
Elle Bans Fur From Its 45 Editions Globally
Canada Goose Commits to Going Fur-Free by End of 2022
Saint Laurent Bans Fur. These Are the Last-Remaining Hold Out Brands.

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Drew Barrymore Helps Cardi B Go Vegan with Quorn’s Plant-Based Meat

Drew Barrymore Helps Cardi B Go Vegan with Quorn’s Plant-Based Meat

Musical artist Cardi B wants to go vegan and actress Drew Barrymore is here to help with Quorn’s plant-based meat alternatives. Earlier this month, Cardi B took to Twitter to ask her 20 million fans for advice about meat alternatives, tweeting; “I want to go vegan but I love meat. Are vegan meat replacements similar to meat in taste or not really?”

Cardi B further explained that she was suffering from gastrointestinal issues and wanted to experiment with plant-based eating to help. “I had a stomach virus not so long ago and I feel like my digestive system haven’t [sic] been the same,” Cardi B tweeted. “I been [sic] drinking probiotics and I don’t see a change much. I be lookin [sic] at raw food pages a lot  but that will be a huge change for me to do that.”

Both Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods offered Cardi B samples of their vegan meats to aid in the transition and many fans and celebrities responded to Cardi B with words of encouragement, including Barrymore who answered the call on social media with a personal video. “Cardi B, Hi. My name is Drew. I am one of your biggest fans ever,” Barrymore playfully says. “And I didn’t dream that I would be reaching out to you until I saw the article about you saying that you don’t want to eat meat and I feel the exact same way.” 


Barrymore explained that she was vegetarian until age 26 and now identifies as a flexitarian with a predominantly vegetarian diet. “I have been looking for [meat] substitutes my whole life and I found it. So my recommendation to you is the Quorn company …and I would be honored to send you a bunch because I think it’s going to blow your mind.” Barrymore ended the video message by telling Cardi B that she loved her messaging. “I love all of us trying to figure out how to figure this out” and restated that she was one of her biggest fans. 

Cardi B, Drew Barrymore, and vegan meat

Barrymore has been the CMO (Chief Mom Officer) at vegetarian brand Quorn since September and as part of her position, the actress works closely with the United Kingdom-based brand to popularize it in the United States. The actress joined the Quorn team shortly after the brand opened a massive research and development facility in Dallas, TX, where it is working on new mycoprotein-based meatless chicken products. 

“This partnership is very personal for me. As a mom of two daughters, I know the importance of having affordable, easily accessible, and delicious options that I feel good about serving my kids,” Barrymore said in a statement. “I love this brand because the integrity of its mission truly motivates me and I’m honored to be joining as Chief Mom Officer.” 


Barrymore’s involvement with Quorn is not the first time the actress partnered with a plant-based meat company. Last year, Barrymore welcomed food blogger Diana Brandt on an episode of The Drew Barrymore Show after the actress learned of Brandt’s initiative to help struggling businesses during COVID-19.

To support business and staff, Brandt collected donations via Venmo and distributed them as tips of as much as $1,000 to businesses in need and at that point, helped 32 Arizona businesses survive the pandemic. With the help of vegan meat brand Field Roast, Barrymore left a $5,000 tip for Verdura, a struggling vegan restaurant Brandt was working with at the time. 

For more about vegan meat with celeb appeal, read:

Post Malone Leads $2.3 Million Investment in Vegan Burger Brand
Drake Just Helped Vegan Chicken Brand Daring Foods Raise $40 Million
Why Mark Cuban Thinks This Vegan Meat Brand Is Worth $50 Million

Photo credit: Landon McMahon

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