A vegan diet is critical for our future prosperity

Recently we started working on ‘Veganuary‘, a non-profit campaign encouraging people to adopt a vegan diet for the month of January. The campaign offers a wide variety of recipes and great resources to guide people through a month of veganism.

As part of our work over the course of the next couple of months we will be running lots of exciting competitions and outreaching to influencer communities. SO If you want to be involved drop us a tweet or leave a comment in this blog.

As a vegan led organisation we believe veganism is vitally important for building a pleasant for future generations. The latest IPCC report highlights the scale of the environmental crisis we face. The predicted 4 degrees temperature increase by the end of the century equals millions of climate refugees and widespread famines as the cost of everything on our plate soars.

Sadly we are set to see people starving on a scale the world has yet to witness. At the same time the world faces the challenge of feeding an extra 3 billion people by 2050. So how are we going to do this? We don’t have the right in the West to sit here and say people in the global south must eat a different diet to ours, because well we got rich first and screwed up the planet badly. We need to find a smarter way of eating which enables us to thrive in harmony with the planet without degrading our environment.

Although figures differ; the meat industry is responsible for between 10-25% of yearly global greenhouse emissions. The rearing of livestock plays a key role in deforestation, decertification, whilst also using up water and soya to grow the animals which could be used to feed people. This interesting Friends of The Earth report puts the combined, nitrous oxide, methane and carbon dioxide levels from livestock rearing at around 18% of greenhouse emissions. (Page 15/16)

One of the ways we can seriously combat climate change and global world hunger is through veganism. A vegan diet is starting to be seen as achievable and desirable to follow as a way not only to save the lives of animals but to lower your carbon footprint and reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Forbes recently described vegan food as a mega trend of 2014 and the first vegan supermarket is due to open in London in 2014 and Jay-Z and Beyonce have just embarked on a 22 day vegan challenge. Elite vegan athletes are becoming more commonplace and they are not just taking part they are winning major sporting events. It is no surprise that Al Gore and Bill Clinton, the former President and VP of America have gone vegan. They know the figures for the health and the planet; they know it makes humanitarian sense.

The bullet points below take you to fact filled information from the Veganuary outlining how by trying a vegan diet you could be helping the planet become a better place.

We all have to make our own decisions in life about what we do and how we eat. I can just say from my own experience a vegan lifestyle is great if you want to feel healthy and live an environmentally friendly life.

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The New Dawn Traders leading a sail renaissance

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We recently helped an exciting environmental campaign The New Dawn Traders with a social media strategy to help them communicate their exciting 7-month sail voyage around the Atlantic.

We believe they are sparking important conversations about the future of global trade and how by looking to the past we can create a fossil fuel free sail transport future.

A voyage of discovery

On the 14th October our friends at The New Dawn Traders, Alex and Lucy set sail on 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with wind powered cargo vessel Tres Hombres who are pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo.

The sailboat for the voyage is 100% wind-powered and emission-free. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009. This year will be the ship’s first voyage to Brazil

Before the advent of the steamboat global trade was conducted by sail boats similar to the Tres Hombres boat. With the discovery of fossil fuels we very quickly shifted away from sail boats that had served global trade well for centuries.

The New Dawn Traders voyage is divided into two mutually supported departments: Trading Under Sail and Storytelling. Their ultimate goal is to manifest a self-sustaining, theatrical cargo ship, trading in goods, knowledge and culture by the power of the wind.

Creating environmental and social change for the better requires a groundswell of many individual efforts, and The New Dawn Traders hope to motivate this through documenting and sharing their own path towards a healthy, happy, enchanted and fair planet.

The shipping industry has a direct impact on coastal environments and communities. Apart from pollution to the air and through discharge of black and grey water, ships cross-contaminate ecosystems through the intake and discharge of huge volumes of ballast water from port to port. Even sound pollution from shipping affects the migratory patterns of marine species that rely on sound for navigation and ships can kill marine mammals on impact, should the unfortunate creature be in the way. The human impact is significant too – coastal communities that once thrived on the providence of their oceans have been losing their livelihood to large multinational companies, from cargo ships, cruise liners and industrial fishing trawlers, whilst then also being hardest hit by the pollution of these beasts.

Meet The New Dawn Traders, Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys:

Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys

Fossil fuel shipping was reported this year to make up 4.5%  of global carbon emissions. Shipping emissions are not currently included in the EU carbon cutting targets. And with the IPCC predicting global shipping emissions to rise by another 30% by 2020 we feel this is vital campaign for all of our futures.

Key Facts about global shipping:

  • 90% of everything you buy or own has spent time on a cargo ship.
  • A single cargo ship can burn 250 000 litres of fuel every 24 hours.
  • Just 16 of the world’s largest ships can produce as much sulphur pollution as all the world’s cars.

We wish the New Dawn Traders all the best on their voyage and we can’t wait to taste some of the delicious sail cargo on their return.

You can support this fantastic project by visiting the New Dawn Traders Indiegogo funding campaign.

Keep updated with their voyage by following them on Twitter and liking their page on Facebook and following their voyage blog.

Vegan social

Fafafel flatbreads

 

In June Social Chic, Director, Damien, decided to make the step from vegetarian to vegan. Below he discusses why he made this choice and shares some of his favourite vegan social media accounts and websites.

Going Vegan

I have been thinking about veganism for a long while but I always managed to find excuses. However recently after speaking to my vegan friends and visiting Berlin where I found lots of vegan inspiration, I felt ready to make the step.

I can honestly say it has been an amazing experience, I feel full of energy and happy to be living a cruelty free lifestyle and reducing my own carbon footprint. I have a love of cooking and have already discovered a number of amazing new vegetables.

I believe we’re living in the mist of an environmental crisis, whether it is hurricanes Sandy or Katrina, or wildfires in Australia, what is clear is that we are experiencing extreme weather on a regular basis. Floods, droughts and changes in the climate are threatening our ability to feed a growing population. It is widely acknowledged that we will have an extra 3 billion people to feed by 2050.

With this in mind, I believe everyone should eat less meat. If everyone was to do this we would reduce our global carbon emissions and have more food to share with our neighbours in developing countries. Currently around 80% of world soya production is used to feed livestock, I believe this should be used to feed people.

Everyone has their own choice to make regarding the food they put in their body. However if you have ever been interested in vegetarianism or veganism, I would urge you to give it a try. I believe you will feel healthier and happier as a result and you will be treading lighter on the earth and disengaging from a system which is cruel to animals.

So these are some of my favourite websites and vegan social media resources.

1) Barnivore– This is a brillant resource for checking if you beer is vegan. It seems most decent beers in the UK are. You can download the app so you can check the beers you are unsure of before putting in that order.

2) Vegan Peasant Catering– I first came across these guys when I attended a Healthy Planet event last year. The food was delicious and they tweet loads of interesting vegan articles and meals.

3) Vegan Food Everywhere– This website looks in a early stages but really interesting. Basically it a crowdsourcing project encouraging people to upload pictures of where they have eaten out and had vegan food.

4) Post Punk Kitchen– I have a huge sweet tooth so being able to make tasty vegan cakes is important to me. PPK have loads of great recipes and advice on creating tasty vegan dishes.

5) Thug Kitchen– This website has garnered plenty of attention of its foul language and great vegan food. I love the approach of just improvising and using whatever you have in your cupboard to make the dish work.