In a week where the media spotlight has (rightly) been on global protests, we still managed to find some interesting and uplifting stories that have been flying under the radar. From Beyond leather launching climate friendly vegan leather, Alicia Silverstone praising a plant based diet for kids and New Zealand schools educating students on the benefits of reducing meat & dairy here’s our pick of top vegan stories for the week.

Vegan leather wins climate award

This week, an innovative new leather product received a CLIM2020 award for environmental consciousness. These products, made from apple pulp, have the look and feel of leather whilst drastically reducing animal cruelty and environmental impact. Importantly, whilst the majority of plastic faux leathers have simply been rebranded as ‘vegan’ to boost sales – this product was actually developed with environmental responsibility in mind. That is – plastic free.

The brand, Beyond Leather Materials, has already made waves in the market for vegan leather. We’re so excited to see what they’ll do next.

New Zealand schools teaching students to replace meat and dairy

In a new curriculum, New Zealand schools will now promote cutting down on meat and dairy consumption in order to combat climate change. The curriculum, published in January, builds on the established links between the animal industry and climate change – and, additionally, promotes a meatless lifestyle based on recent health data.

This is a great step forward. We know that schools are often far behind the research when it comes to health promotion – relying on antiquated and simplistic models of healthy eating that are taught in K-10 PDHPE classes such as the food pyramid – which in many cases counts ‘dairy’ ‘fish’ and ‘meat’ as self contained and essential food groups. However, we know that they’re not.

This is especially worrying because schools have been identified by the government as a key institution that has the responsibility for health promotion. Schools should be teaching kids healthy eating in line with research that has identified a vegan diet (or simply cutting back on animal foods) as a key way to prevent chronic disease.

Alicia Silverstone praises vegan diet for children

This week actress Alicia Silverstone spoke out about the benefits she sees from putting her child on a vegan diet: citing that his health and mood are excellent. This is attributed to the health benefits of a vegan diet – and healthy people are often happier. Additionally, she attributes this to his connection to his environment and strong ethical conscience – which many find gives them purpose and increased empathy.

We need more people like Silverstone. Many people, even vegans, are afraid of raising their child as a vegan for fear of them missing out on essential nutrients such as calcium. However, these beliefs are a myth based on decades of propaganda from the dairy industry. It is perfectly possible to have a healthy child on a well planned vegan diet. In this case, our culture lags behind the research.

Find more vegan news here.

Image: Alicia Silverstone/Instagram


About the Author

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Lucy Bailey is 18 years old and has been vegan for 9 months. Lucy is an award winning public speaker and passionate writer on animal issues. For her vegan activism, Lucy has been awarded the Sydney University Leadership Award and a Sydney Scholars Award in 2019.

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