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Jan 05

The Top 10 Vegan News Stories of 2015

Below is a list of the top 10 vegan news stories of the year, courtesy of Hannah Sentenac at LatestVeganNews.com.

Here's to saving animals in 2015!

Here’s to saving animals in 2015!

Here we go:

10. Follow Your Heart Releasing Vegan Egg Substitute You Can Scramble
Given the wild popularity of the VeganEgg, it’s no surprise that this story made the list. Since its release, the product has been selling out all over the place, and Instagram is packed with photos of quiches, omelettes, and scrambled eggs made by delighted vegans nationwide. Breakfast will never be the same again.

9. National Pizza Chain Now Offering Vegan Cheese Option at No Extra Charge
While lots of retailers have added vegan alternatives in recent years, they still tend to be more expensive; an “add-on” or a premium upgrade. But with Blaze Pizza offering vegan cheese as a free addition, it’s a major sign that plant-based products are becoming more mainstream.

8. Long Island’s Only All-Vegan Restaurant Opens Under Chef Jay Astafa
Chef Jay Astafa’s creative vegan concoctions have earned him celebrity status in NYC and beyond. His vegan restaurant (with a menu made up of pizza, pasta, and other Italian favorites) is Long Island’s first, and it’s earned rave reviews since opening this summer.

7. Daiya Introducing Greek-Style Dairy-Free Yogurt
Vegan yogurt is one product that’s quickly catching up to its animal competitors. Daiya’s is the latest in a lengthy list of non-dairy options hitting store shelves, and the first “Greek” variety. Kite Hill, Silk, So Delicious, Almond Dream — all are offering cultured creations these days.

6. Plant-Based Doctor Directory Lists Vegan Practitioners Across the Country
Given the health benefits of a plant-based diet (and the ethical ramifications), it only makes sense that vegans would want to seek out practitioners that follow the lifestyle themselves. Thanks to PlantBasedDoctors.org, it’s easier than ever to find these folks.

5. Soap Company with Ethical Vegan CEO Donates Over $150,000 to Animal Orgs
Dr. Bronner’s isn’t your ordinary soap company, and ethical vegan David Bronner isn’t your average CEO. The company is committed to animal welfare and advocacy, and it sets an amazing example for other organizations to follow. THIS is compassionate capitalism.

4. Major Plant-Based Medical Center Opening in Washington, DC
Famed doctor Neil Barnard and his prestigious organization, the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), made history this year with the announcement that it would be opening a major medical center in the nation’s capital in early 2016. The facility is dedicated to the power of plant-based nutrition, and let’s hope it changes the face of medicine forever.

3. Vegan-Friendly Pizza Chain Opening 30+ Locations This Year
Everyone loves pizza, and luckily, it’s a food group vegans aren’t left out of anymore. Uncle Maddio’s, which opened dozens of locations in 2015, is extremely vegan-friendly, and it’s not the only chain that is. With Mellow Mushroom, Blaze Pizza, and Matthew Kenney’s NYC outpost — it’s becoming a breeze to find a cruelty-free pie.

2. Taco Bell’s New Vegetarian Menu Has 26 Vegan Ingredients
Taco Bell might not seem like the most forward-thinking of fast food chains, but it proved otherwise in 2015. It broke new ground with its release of the industry’s first certified vegetarian menu. Based on the list, 26 of the chain’s ingredients are vegan, and with those in mind, there are a world of vegan-friendly combinations available at the popular eatery. You don’t get more mainstream than this.

1. 400 Million Fewer Animals Were Killed for Food Last Year vs. 2007 Because People Are Eating Less Meat
If you didn’t see this story, you might be living under a rock (or in an off-the-grid tiny house, which would be pretty amazing). Thanks to Paul Shapiro, people the world over learned about the USDA’s latest animal agriculture numbers and their implications. Despite lots of bickering, infighting, and arguments about effectiveness within the vegan world, it’s clear that things ARE changing. Even the smallest steps are to be celebrated in a movement as significant and important as ours. Every life matters, and each time someone chooses an animal-free option over meat, dairy, or eggs, lives are saved. Isn’t that what all of us are after? The animals need us to work together, stay positive, and continue to enlighten those around us about the awesomeness of a plant-based diet.

Honorable mentions
These stories we broke didn’t crack the top ten as far as hits, but they were popular — and significant enough that they deserve a mention.

2015 proved that a vegan world is on its way. Here’s to even greater accomplishments in 2016.

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