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Science

BEING VEGAN: Five ways going vegan could change your social life, not just your health

CATHERINE OLIVER: Beyond the well-documented health and environmental benefits, going vegan can also affect our social relationships... According to recently published research of 16 vegans interviewed in Britain about how veganism changed their lives, vegans are constantly finding that their new lifestyle choices can clash with their life before veganism – especially in social interactions. Here are five ways this manifests: 1. Your veganism might be dismissed as a ‘fad’. Veganism challenges the commonly held idea that a healthy diet requires animal proteins. When people go vegan, their…

OPEN LETTER: 50 Presidents urged to introduce or raise taxes on meat and dairy in their countries ahead of climate event

VEGAN MAGAZINE: ProVeg International is one of more than 80 organizations who have co-signed an open letter urging the 50 countries that eat the most meat to raise prices for meat and dairy and reduce prices for fruit and vegetables. The open letter has been co-signed by organizations representing over 5,000 companies, investors, banks, farmers, and youth and food organizations in 100 countries, as well as by NGOs working on issues around animal welfare, climate, environment, nature, and public health. The letter will be presented to world leaders at the United Nations Food Systems Summit…

#NaturalBirthControl: Vegan birth control, what is it and does it work?

JENNA RYU: Experts say these natural, fertility awareness-based methods are especially appealing for strict vegans who take issue with latex condoms, which contain a milk byproduct, or hormone-based contraceptives such as birth control pills... "Lactose is in most forms of hormonal birth control and comes from milk," says Elina Berglund, co-founder of the first FDA-cleared natural birth control app, Natural Cycles. "Most of them also go through animal testing before testing on humans, so in that sense it's not totally vegan"... One popular and inexpensive birth control option is the basal…

GUT FEELINGS: Protein digestion research findings could inspire new plant-based product development

GUAN YU LIM: Scientists have found plant-based meats are digested differently from animal-based meats in a human gut model and suggest that these findings may facilitate the formulation of a new generation of plant-based meat analogues with improved quality and nutritional attributes. Conducted by researchers from China and US, a plant-based beef and animal beef were put through a simulated gastrointestinal model, and it was found that proteins and lipids were digested differently in both products... Plant-based meat analogues are designed to mimic real meat products and are typically…

STUDY: Research shows global greenhouse gas emissions mostly from animal-based foods, higher than expected

BEN SCHEFFER: A study released from Nature Food has shown how food production plays a major role in climate change. Global greenhouse gas emissions from animal-based foods are nearly twice the level of emissions from plant-based foods, and global food production is responsible for a third of all the planet-heating gases emitted from humans. Livestock is responsible for 57% of food production emissions, compared to 29% for plant-based foods. Non-food products, like cotton and rubber, account for 14% of agricultural emissions... Beef plays a large role because raising livestock requires a…

COP-OUT: Why Won’t COP26 Take Animal Agriculture Seriously?

KAT SMITH: On November 1, COP26, the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, will kick off in Glasgow. Over the course of 12 days, the conference will unite nations, businesses, and citizens alike to discuss one of the most urgent issues facing the planet: climate change. In 2015 at COP21, the Paris Agreement—a commitment from countries across the globe to take action to limit global warming—was born. As part of the agreement, countries agreed that every five years they would come back with an updated plan reflecting how they will lower their carbon emissions... Commitments have…

STUDY: Plant-based meat alternatives shown to promote ‘positive changes’ in gut microbiome

OLIVER MORRISON: Popular products such as plant-based mince, burgers, sausages and meatballs, are often perceived as low-quality, ultra-processed foods, and is one factor believed to holding back this sector’s development​ from passing trend into one firmly established in the mainstream. But a team of researchers argues that the mere industrial processing of ingredients of plant origin does not make these products ultra-processed by default. They studied the changes to the gut microbiota of a group of 20 participants who replaced several meat-based meals per week with meat alternatives over…

REPORT: Twenty meat and dairy companies emit more greenhouse gas than Germany, Britain or France

SOPHIE KEVANY: Twenty livestock companies are responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than either Germany, Britain or France – and are receiving billions of dollars in financial backing to do so, according to a new report by environmental campaigners. Raising livestock contributes significantly to carbon emissions, with animal agriculture accounting for 14.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Scientific reports have found that rich countries need huge reductions in meat and dairy consumption to tackle the climate emergency. Between 2015 and 2020, global meat and dairy companies…

NET ‘ZERO CRUELTY’: Britain should embrace ‘synthetic meat’ to hit climate targets, report suggests

ROB WAUGH: Britain should embrace synthetic meat in order to hit its ambitious climate targets, a report has suggested. The Social Market Foundation report urges policymakers to invest in the 'alternative protein' sector, where meat is produced using technologies such as "growing" muscle fibre from tissue samples... Other alternative proteins in the report include those derived from plants or from fermentation processes... The report points out that consumers in the UK only eat 6% less meat per capita than in 1974 – despite the growing popularity of vegetable products and diets such as…

STUDY: One in three ‘Meat Free Monday’ participants turn veggie after five years

MEAT FREE MONDAY: Meat eaters who engage in campaigns such as Meat Free Monday (MFM) over a longer period of time are more likely to change their diet to vegetarian or vegan, according to a new study by Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) and MFM published in the journal Appetite. More than 30% of those who engaged with the programme for five years or more stopped eating meat, with a corresponding 20% of those who engaged for three to five years. Meat Free Monday aims to encourage and support people to reduce their meat consumption, initially by having a plant-based day each week, in…