I hope you guys had a wonderful year in 2013. This was a great year for veganism, especially for raising public consciousness of the plant-based lifestyle. Now more than ever, we have more resources, dining and cooking options, community, and well-wishers. So without further ado, here are the top vegan news of 2013.
PETA gets under fire for unsavory PR tactics: PETA has never been known for being subtle, but the latest campaigns have gone beyond objectifying and sexualizing women to “fat-shaming” overweight women. In the wake of findings that Plan-B might not be effective for women over 176 lbs, PETA drew criticism by stating that “Plan V” will help overweight women lose weight and “regain control over their reproductive rights.” PETA is used to touting the weight-loss benefits of going vegan in campaigns of gorgeous nude women. I appreciate PETA for their animal rights fervor, but this incessant focus on nude females feels very puerile, and evidently, not even effective. According to a new study by the University of Queensland researchers, people who viewed sexualized advertisements supporting ethical organizations reported that they will reduce support of said groups. It turns out sex doesn’t always sell, when it comes to ethical persuasions. The ads used were pulled directly from PETA campaigns.
Fruitarian diet gets big: 2013 was the year of raw veganism, and especially high-carb, low-protein and low-fat diet–also known as the 80-10-10 diet–consisting of 80% fruits and vegetables, 10% protein, and 10% fat. Some of our own Peaceful Dumpling writers are raw vegans as well and we covered this hot topic here and here and here.
Vegan goes haute cuisine: Once upon a time, vegan restaurants were limited to casual dining and juice bars, but not anymore. In 2013, we saw the growth of upscale vegan, and especially raw vegan restaurants. Recently, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of the most celebrated chefs in the world, has announced he will be opening a “100% vegetarian, raw, vegan” restaurant in spring 2014.
“Practical vegan” and “flexitarian” become the new catch-phrases: Celebrities and food writers tout the benefits of adopting a part-time veganism for health. Carrie Underwood said to Women’s Health magazine, “I’m a vegan but I consider myself to be a practical vegan,” admitting that she goes back and forth between vegetarian and vegan diets and that she enjoys eating cheese. Olivia Wilde, who is expecting her first child, said that she’s not eating vegan during her pregnancy and that veganism “is not always easy and accessible.” Of course, we have Mark Bittman, who can be credited with bringing “flexitarianism” into mainstream dialogue, but who also contends that full scale veganism is not pragmatic or worthwhile, with which we at Peaceful Dumpling disagree.
And, the biggest vegan story of 2013. Who is the biggest celebrity to embrace veganism? Bill Clinton? Boy crush Brad Pitt? Girl crush Jessica Chastain? Oh, no. Not anymore.
Jay-z and Beyonce go vegan for 22 days: This was undoubtedly the most talked-about vegan news of the year. On Dec 3, 2013, Jay-z announced on his blog that he and his other half will go vegan until Christmas, in a 22-day period of “spiritual and physical cleanse.” The media went into a frenzy over the Instagram photos of vegan food and reports of vegan restaurants visited by the power couple. This no doubt introduced millions of people to the concept of veganism for the first time, but some still found issues with the move, including this snarky comment from no other than…Mark Bittman. “Maybe Beyonce is misinformed–on the one hand she takes money from Pepsi to push some of the worst so-called foods ever created. And then she announces she’s vegan for 22 days–but what is she doing beyond that? The point is not to be vegan for three weeks, but to improve our diets and the way we treat the earth and other species. Not for three weeks but permanently,” Bittman told TIME magazine.
Did I miss anything? Discuss!
Also in News: Public Charter School Serves Vegan Lunch
Photo: PETA; Beyonce via Instagram