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08/14/2018 15 NFL PLAYERS DITCH ANIMAL PRODUCTS

A growing number of players for National Football League (NFL) team the Tennessee Titans are adopting a plant-based diet. Currently, 15 players are adhering to animal-free eating, thanks to an initiative launched in 2016 by linebacker Derrick Morgan and his wife Charity Morgan—a professional Le Cordon Bleu-educated chef who re-trained herself to cook strictly vegan food. Charity explained to ESPN that the turning point came when players smelled the food she was preparing for her husband, whose performance has not faltered since he began following a plant-based diet a year-and-a-half ago. For breakfast and lunch, Charity prepares meals that are plant-based versions of what the players are used to eating—such as soy curl-based chicken tacos, beans, and rice—with many players requesting a dinner meal so that they can continue to eat vegan foods at home. "Overcoming the preconceived notions is the biggest part," Derrick said. "I was a part of it. I used to believe athletes had to eat meat to maintain play, then I educated myself." (vegnews.com)

08/13/2018 MEAT GIANT SMITHFIELD FINED $473 MILLION FOR POISONING NORTH CAROLINIANS

A federal jury decided two weeks ago that Smithfield Foods—the world's largest pork producer—should be fined $473.5 million for creating a public health disturbance in North Carolina. In 2015, Duplin County, NC residents filed suit against Smithfield Foods for the toxic fumes emitted by its factory farm where million of hogs are crammed together in putrid conditions. Part of the plaintiffs' attorneys' argument relied on the fact that Smithfield's waste mismanagement practices—such as dumping raw fecal matter and urine into open-air lagoons, a practice that has been illegal in the state since 1997—are intentional, implemented in order to keep the company's production costs competitive with China. Smithfield—which only has to pay $94 million of the verdict due to a state limit on punitive damages—is owned by Hong Kong-based WH Group, which reported $1 billion in profits last year. In a related lawsuit, Smithfield Foods was fined $50 million in May, and a jury awarded $75,000 in damages to each of the 10 residents involved in the case for the suffering they endured due to the company's failure to manage waste produced by its factory farms. (vegnews.com)

08/10/2018 KINGS OF LEON BASSIST GOES VEGAN

Member of popular band Kings of Leon—Jared Followill—recently confirmed that he has been vegan since last year "Today marks one year on a strict, plant-based diet," Followill tweeted. "Never felt better. Never felt more love for animals. Never felt better about my impact on the environment. Luckily, it's never been easier to be on this diet." One fan who is considering going vegan asked the musician about what inspired his transition. "It started for selfish reasons. My own health," Followill replied. "Then the more I got into it. I learned about how awful the factory farming system is for the animals, and most importantly, the planet we're all supposed to live on." (vegnews.com)

08/08/2018 UN AWARDS VEGAN SOCCER TEAM CARBON-NEUTRAL CERTIFICATION

Last week, the United Nations granted "carbon-neutral" certification to English vegan soccer team Forest Green Rovers (FGR), marking the first time the international organization granted the accolade to a professional sports team. The certification indicates that the team's net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere equals zero, a feat that FGR owner Dale Vince has accomplished through a number of eco-friendly initiatives. In 2015, Vince removed all animal products from the team's stadium menu and installed solar panels, a chemical-free lawn, and a solar-powered lawn mower. While FGR players are not required to maintain a plant-based diet outside of their professional obligations, many players continue to follow a vegan lifestyle off the field. The stadium's head chef Jade Crawford revealed that the plant-based menu has made an impact with the fans, as well. In 2016, the stadium received a "Menu of the Year" award and FGR gained English Football League status in May 2017. (vegnews.com)

08/06/2018 GERMANY CROWNED WORLD'S TOP VEGAN FOOD PRODUCER

Market research firm Mintel named Germany the top vegan food producer of the year in a report released last week. Mintel measured the number of vegan products (including both food and beverage categories) launched between July 2017 and June 2018 in countries around the world. Germany amounted for 15 percent of the total new products launched worldwide, narrowly beating the United Kingdom by only 1 percent, while the United States placed third on the list with 12 percent. "In recent years, consumers around the world have increased their intake of plant-based foods, and Germany is no exception," Katya Witham, Global Food & Drink Analyst at Mintel, said. "The appeal of products without animal-derived ingredients has extended far beyond the limited pool of steadfast vegans and vegetarians, carving a place within overall healthy and varied diets." A 2016 Mintel report revealed that one in 10 new products launched in Germany that year touted a vegan label. (vegnews.com)

08/04/2018 LUSH REVIVES VEGAN SHARK SOAP TO HONOR FALLEN OCEAN ACTIVIST

Beauty brand LUSH Cosmetics re-launched last month vegan Shark Fin Soap, the sales of which it will donate to benefit the Rob Stewart Foundation. The organization is dedicated to continuing the work of fallen ocean activist Rob Stewart who spent his life raising awareness about the human exploitation of sharks, uncovering illegal fishing operations, and fighting to save the ocean. Stewart—the filmmaker behind documentaries Sharkwater and Revolution—died last year during a diving expedition before completing his latest film, Sharkwater Extinction, which is slated for release in October. "Rob believed that it was everyone's duty to protect our oceans," LUSH Director of Brand Communications Brandi Halls said. "By re-launching Shark Fin soap, supporting the foundation and continuing to engage our customers on ocean protection, we hope to help his vision live on for years to come." In previous years, LUSH's Shark Fin Soap raised $550,000 to support ocean conservation organizations. (vegnews.com)

08/03/2018 BRUSSELS BANS ANIMAL TESTING ON CATS, DOGS, AND PRIMATES

The Brussels-Capital Region of Belgium, which encompasses the city of Brussels and 18 surrounding municipalities, will officially ban commercial animal testing involving cats, dogs, and primates as of January 1, 2020. Animal experiments will also be prohibited in education and safety testing—except in cases where the tests are deemed "absolutely necessary"—as of January 1, 2025. This decision comes after the collaborative efforts of animal-rights organization Cruelty Free International (CFI) and Belgium-based charity Global Action in the Interest of Animals campaigned for the ban, which is expected to reduce the total amount of animals exploited in laboratories in the region by 20 percent (about 20,000 animals). Last year, Brussels banned the production of foie gras—which is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell up to 10 times their normal size—within its city limits. (vegnews.com)

08/01/2018 338 DAIRY FARMS SHUTTERED IN WISCONSIN THIS YEAR

Dairy industry media outlet Dairy Herd reported last week that 338 dairy farms in Wisconsin, the second biggest dairy-producing state in the United States after California, have ceased operations thus far this year—a 30-percent increase from the same time period last year. In May, international dairy company Arla Foods announced that it would end its contracts with 11 milk suppliers in the state, citing "increased production and market volatility" in the dairy industry as the reasons behind its decision. Outside of Wisconsin, Dean Foods ended dozens of contracts with dairy farmers in Pennsylvania this May, and milk-processing company Marcus Dairy did not renew its contracts with 52 dairy suppliers in New York in June, forcing many of them to cease operations. To minimize its risk in the fledgling dairy industry, Dean Foods has pivoted toward plant-based brands by becoming the majority shareholder of flax milk-based company Good Karma Foods last month. (vegnews.com)

The number of news found: 8.

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