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02/15/2019 VICTORIA BECKHAM DITCHES EXOTIC ANIMAL SKINS
Former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham has become the latest fashion designer to pledge to stop using exotic animal skins in her designs. Beckham's line has never used animal fur, but her latest pledge means clothing and accessories made from alligator, crocodile, ostrich, and snake skins will be discontinued as of the Fall 2019 collection. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) prompted the pledge after it conducted several exposés into the exotic-skins industry. "Behind every crocodile, alligator, snake, or lizard handbag or pair of shoes is a violent death," PETA UK Director Elisa Allen said. "Victoria Beckham's decision to ban exotic skins will spare countless remarkable animals immense suffering, and PETA UK calls on other luxury brands to follow her kind example." Beckham joins a growing list of fashion labels that have banned the use of exotic skins or other animal materials in recent years, including Chanel, Gucci, and Michael Kors. (vegnews.com)
New startup Sustainable Bioproducts announced that it raised $33 million in funding to aid in its mission of creating plant-based and lab-grown foods using a microorganism sourced from a volcanic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. "These extremophiles learned to be extremely efficient in using their resources," Sustainable Bioproducts CEO Thomas Jonas said about the microorganisms, which contain all nine of the essential amino acids. "They are very relevant at a point in time when humanity already uses tremendous amounts of resources to support the highly inefficient animal-protein model." The company isolates the microorganisms, feeds them glycerin and starches, and ferments them in a laboratory setting to create a base that can be used for various applications. Sustainable Bioproducts recently raised its Series A funding from a number of investment firms, including those led by business magnates Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Jeff Bezos, yogurt brand Danone, and agricultural giant Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. The company plans to use its funding to create prototypes that could include vegan dairy and meat products, and protein-rich additives to foods such as yogurt. "What we have here is a super protein," Jonas said. "And it comes from one of the most pristine wild places on the planet." (vegnews.com)
The School Strike for Climate Change is scheduled to take place for the first time in the United States in New York City on March 15. Originally started by vegan teen activist Greta Thunberg, the campaign urges students to walk out of classes to encourage world leaders to make meaningful commitments to fight climate change. The US-based arm of the protest is the work of 13-year-old student activist Alexandria Villasenor, who has personally protested climate-change inaction in front of the UN office every Friday. Villasenor decided to take action after witnessing climate-related events such as the California wildfires. Politicians have criticized young climate activists for skipping classes in favor of protesting for climate action, to which Villasenor responded, "If we're not going to have a future, then school won't matter anymore." Villasenor partnered with climate-advocacy group This is Zero Hour to organize the event—which is expected to have support from other groups, including 365, Extinction Rebellion, and The Sunrise Movement. Villasenor's protest has already garnered interest from student groups in Australia and Europe, with students expected to participate in Thailand and Uganda, as well. (vegnews.com)
Genesis Butler—a 12-year-old vegan activist—presented Pope Francis with a tempting offer, asking him to go vegan for Lent in exchange for a $1 million charity donation of his choosing. Butler is leading the Million Dollar Vegan (MDV) global campaign to urge the Pope to "help fight climate change with diet change," and is supported by animal advocates Sir Paul McCartney, actress Mena Suvari, musician Moby, and more. MDV asks the Pope—a vocal supporter of climate-change action—to set an example for his followers during Lent, a holiday that promotes discipline and the avoidance of "sinful" foods such as meat. "We're launching this bold campaign to jolt our world leaders from complacency. For too long they've failed to act on evidence of the damage caused by animal agriculture; many have subsidized that very industry, but we cannot afford for them to remain silent," MDV CEO Matthew Glover said. "We're thankful Pope Francis has spoken on these issues, which is why we're asking him to try vegan for Lent, and set an example of how we can align our principles of compassion with our actions." Last year, Butler—who went vegan at age six—launched nonprofit organization Genesis for Animals, an organization that raises funding to benefit the work of farmed animal sanctuaries. (vegnews.com)
The vegan population in the United Kingdom will increase by 327 percent in 2019, according to data collected by personal finance website finder.com. The report is based on a survey of 2,000 UK residents that represent the average population in terms of age, gender, and region. The survey found that 2.2 million Brits plan to follow a plant-based diet in 2019, the most popular of the three diet trends (vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian) that pathfinder.com observed. While the poll found that a plant-based diet is more expensive than the others, the difference amounted to only an extra £2 ($2.62) per week. The new predictions build on an already booming vegan population in the UK. In 2016, The Vegan Society found that only one percent of Brits (542,000) identified as vegan—a number that then represented a 360-percent increase since 2006. Last year, consumer research company Compare the Market Ltd. found that the UK vegan population had grown by 600 percent to represent seven percent of the country's total population. (vegnews.com)
Croatian animal rights activists released on Monday a list of 45 high-profile cases of animal torture and killings in 2018, calling for the government to form an animal protection inspectorate and adopt a comprehensive animal protection law. The non-governmental organisation Animal Friends Croatia said that although misdemeanour and criminal offences reported against animals in 2018 had not increased in frequency compared to previous years, such cases were more publicised, leading to more awareness in the general public of the need to prevent and punish such acts of cruelty. "In addition to cases of sadistic abuse, animals often suffer or die due to irresponsible treatment, and many are killed in attempts to get rid of unwanted newborns, by drowning, suffocating, burying them alive, and other brutal methods," said Ivana Lunka of Animal Friends Croatia. She added that the only way to reduce the frequency of animal abuse would be an animal protection law. "Even though the proscribed fines for animal abuse are up to 80,000 kuna (€10,800), fines actually dished out to animal abusers are still low. Although the criminal code sets jail terms of up to one year for abusers of animals, most cases end with only conditional sentences for perpetrators," the group said. (hr.n1info.com)
Tesco, the United Kingdom's largest supermarket chain, is expected to close its meat, fish, and deli counters as part of its plan to create a more efficient business operation. The supermarket is also reportedly reducing its staff by 15,000 and replacing staffed canteens with vending machines. Despite cuts, the chain more than doubled its Wicked Kitchen vegan prepared food line last fall to meet the growing demand for plant-based food after sales increased by more than 25 percent last year. The line, which was created by Tesco executive chef and Director of Plant-Based Innovation Derek Sarno and his brother Chad Sarno includes items such as Spicy Veg and Mushroom Sourdough Pizza, Pesto Lasagna, and Charred Pineapple Dream Cake. In addition to the Wicked Healthy line, Tesco recently added vegan steak Vivera and vegan pizzas made by European brand Oumph! to its shelves. (vegnews.com)
McDonald's recently launched a "Bacon Hour" promotion where customers can receive a side of bacon with any purchase, and doctors from medical group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) aren't "lovin' it." On Tuesday, members of PCRM protested outside of a Washington D.C. McDonald's, highlighting the devastating medical effects of consuming processed meat such as bacon. The World Health Organization classified processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen in 2015 after comprehensive scientific studies proved that consuming just one 50-gram portion of the animal product increases colorectal cancer risk by 18 percent. Doctors held signs that read "Colorectal Cancer: I'm Riskin' It," "#BreakUpWithBacon," and "Bacon Causes Butt Cancer," while handing out cancer screening kits to McDonald's customers. (vegnews.com)
The number of news found: 8.
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