Vegan trends are only getting more newsworthy, and not just banana peels and avocado pits and wearing pineapple leather (remember: consuming edible organic matter is always better than composting). Around the world, more people are cutting animal products of all kinds from their menus and diets and finding new ways to nourish themselves with plants. Let’s take a look at some of the latest news from the vegan world.
Vegan Space Food in Development for Mars Mission
A vegan deli in Minneapolis, the Herbivorous Butcher, is loaning its plant magic to the chef-scientists at the Advanced Space and Technology Research Laboratories in Shoreview, Minnesota. It’s thought that a largely plant-based diet will fuel astronauts heading to Mars, with food brought on missions as well as grown aboard, so Kale and Aubry Walch, the brother-and-sister team behind the deli, are being commissioned to create a menu for a simulated mission. According to the animal-rights group PETA, “[a] vegan colony in the cosmos can avoid the destructive force that animal agriculture is to any environment, and our health.” In the meantime, they’re growing vegetables and flowers in synthetic Martian soil.
Finnish Preschools Go Vegan
Helsinki officials have approved a plan for an all-vegan menu for 20 of the city’s preschools. Currently, the food served to Finnish toddlers is mostly vegetarian and organic when possible. In 2011, Helsinki City Council approved a €400,000 annual budget to include organic ingredients in preschool meals. Under the new plan, the preschool meals would be animal product–free for a year in an experiment to gauge whether the extra €123,000 spent is a cost-effective way to improve healthy eating habits during formative years.
German Schools Not Required to Provide Vegan Food
No matter how vegan trendy Berlin gets, courts have ruled that voluntary diets like paleo, fruitarianism and veganism don’t have to be accommodated by school food programs unless a doctor recommends them for health reasons. One incensed father insisted that the German constitution protected his daughter’s “freedom of conscience” to abstain from eating animal products. However, the committee countered that school lunch only has to be held to the quality standards of the German Society for Nutrition, which does not just recommend a vegan diet for children or adolescents.
Vegan Ultramarathon Runner in Cow Suit Sets World Records
British ultramarathon runner and world-record setter Fiona Oakes is in the middle of the Four Deserts Grand Slam, a series of four 250-kilometer runs in four deserts around the world (including Antarctica), and she’s doing them while wearing a cow suit to raise awareness of veganism. The suit, like the rest of her gear, is animal product–free, and Oakes also helps run an animal rescue center for furry and hooved victims of abuse and neglect.
Asheville, North Carolina, Celebrates Vegan Awareness Week
Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer declared May 9-15 Vegan Awareness Week to recognize the North Carolina city’s vibrant vegan cuisine, commitment to eco-friendly farming practices and general culinary progressiveness. The official proclamation, first proposed by Joe Walsh, president emeritus of the Asheville Vegan Society, notes that “the largest longitudinal diet study of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores concluded that vegans live longer lives with lower incidences of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.” Ashevillians should need no other reason to frequent the many restaurants that cater to plant-eating consumers.