This Vegan Week | 23/1/17


1. | British Supermarkets take us up the aisles.

Firstly some good news, because we like good news. British supermarkets will be enjoying something of a makeover this year, as scientists work with our grocers to cut meat consumption.

As part of a £5 million programme called Our Planet, Our Health, Sainsbury’s is leading a collaboration with Oxford University academics to pioneer an experimental reshuffling of their shelves.

There is no getting away from the fact that we are facing profound climatic change  - the evidence sadly abounds, despite a climate change denier making it to POTUS (oh farts). This year we’re going to see some really exciting (although admittedly, belated) changes to the way we eat, dress, shop and generally live our lives.

Eating more fruit and veg and less red meat benefits people’s health and the environment - that much we already know. So how are Sainsbury’s planning to help us help the world?

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News / Getty Images  Imagine walking into a supermarket and seeing this work of food art!

Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News / Getty Images

Imagine walking into a supermarket and seeing this work of food art!


There will be vegetarian options right next to the meat, rather than shrouded away in one quiet corner at the back. They’ll give vouchers and loyalty points to shoppers who do buy the veggie options and free recipes and leaflets to guide shoppers towards meat-less options.

Hurrah for veggie alternatives receiving a positional upgrade in the supermarket aisles! 

Sainsbury’s are loving the vegan vibes. They launched a range of coconut milk based vegan cheese alternatives last year and have reported that sales have boomed - 300% better than forecasted.

2. | Elephants get stabbed into submission. Tourists get selfies though.

And now for some bad news. Bad, sad, but desperately important. In the same month that Ringling Bros closed their circus due to dwindling ticket sales (about time too - what is this, 1901?) and pressure from animal rights groups (whoop whoop!) a friend shared a video on Facebook illustrating how elephants are ‘trained’ to submit when humans fancy a ride.

This video is graphically sad, I'm sorry:


Some people won't be able to watch that video - I know I wish I hadn't.

If you'd like to help Elephant Nature Park rescue more elephants, here's how.

Still a popular tourist attraction in Thailand and many other Southeast Asian countries, elephant rides will only stop when the paying public wake up to their formidable power - if tourists refuse to ride elephants, the horrific torture will stop.

We are all individual forces to be reckoned with. Every penny we spend, every decision we make, sends a signal about what we will tolerate. We can affect change, just by not buying - pretty bloody simple, no?

I long for the day we look back on all the cruelty humans inflicted on our fellow Earth-mates and think, jeez, we got a bit carried away there. Sorry about that chaps. I hope I live to see the day humans revolutionise our relationship to the world. Close down Seaworld, let the elephants roam free.