The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Just like that, we're halfway through the year.
STAFF WRITER | LOS ANGELES, CA | CONTACTABLE VIA: AUDREY@LIVEKINDLY.COM

The year is officially almost halfway through. And although it went by in the blink of an eye, May was an exciting month for plant-based news. From the CEO of McDonald’s hinting that vegan options may be added to the chain’s menu to a major Icelandic whaling company announcing it has ended whaling for good, here are the top plant-based news stories from May.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Nick Cannon opened a vegan restaurant in Los Angeles.

1. Nick Cannon Opens Vegan Soul Food Restaurant in LA

Actor and comedian Nick Cannon opened The VTree Hollywood inside Yamashiro, a Japanese restaurant located in the Hollywood Hills.

The vegan soul food restaurant, which Cannon opened in collaboration with plant-based chef Chef Velvet, opened on April 30. It serves “soulFULL” plant-based dishes. The restaurant is currently open for takeout and delivery due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Scientists created sustainable microplastic from pea protein.

2. Scientists Make Microplastic From Beyond Meat’s Hero Ingredient 

The University of Cambridge may have discovered a way to solve the world’s microplastic problem. 

The university is using Beyond Meat’s hero ingredient, plant-based pea protein, to make sustainable microplastic. The California-based vegan meat brand uses pea protein in its meat-like, plant-based burgers and sausages. 

The U.K. firm Xampla, a spin-out from the university, used the ingredient to create the “world’s first” plant-based protein to replace microplastics in everyday items.

Xampla’s plant protein-based material is able to decompose “naturally and fully” in a matter of weeks. This makes it a better packaging alternative to traditional plastics. These can take hundreds to thousands of years to fully decompose.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
McDonald’s may be launching vegan options. | McDonald’s

3. Vegan Options Are Coming to McDonald’s U.S.

McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski revealed that the fast-food chain may be getting vegan options.

The executive made the comment during an interview with CNBC. Although a launch date and details were not given, he notes that he “certainly expects to see plant-based on the McDonald’s menu.”

The international fast-food giant has already launched plant-based options at restaurants across the globe. McDonald’s locations in Finland, Sweden, Germany, the U.K., Norway, and Canada all have vegan options.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
The power couple is having a vegan baby.

4. Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix Are Having a (Vegan) Baby

Vegan power couple Rooney Mara and Joaquin Phoenix are reportedly expecting their first baby together.

According to Page Six, Mara, who became engaged to Phoenix last year, “may be as far as six months along.”

The duo reportedly first met while on the set of the 2013 sci-fi romance drama “Her.” They began dating when they were reunited in 2016 to begin filming “Mary Magdalene.” 

The couple just partnered with Beyond Meat to give plant-based meals to vulnerable communities during the pandemic. Last month, the couple spoke out against factory farming and discussed the ongoing backlash against wet markets amid the pandemic in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. Some experts believe the pandemic started at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, last December.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Mykonos is getting a fully vegan hotel. | Koukoumi Hotel

5. A Vegan Hotel Is Opening in Mykonos, Greece

Mykonos, Greece, is getting its very first fully vegan hotel. Koukoumi Hotel is set to open in Ano Mera—a quaint village located in Mykonos—this summer.

The hotel features a relaxing spa stocked with only vegan beauty products and Mediterranean-inspired vegan dining. The hotel’s menu boasts a number of raw vegan meals, many of which feature ingredients sourced from the hotel’s fruit and vegetable garden.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Dunkin’ Donuts’ CEO says a vegan donut may be in the works.

6. Dunkin’ Is Working on a Vegan Donut

Vegan donuts may soon be coming to Dunkin’. The international coffee and donut chain’s CEO, David Hoffmann, made the announcement at a shareholder’s meeting.

As it relates to a vegan donut, we continue to investigate a viable vegan donut option. We are looking at it closely,” Hoffmann said.

He continued, “You’re going to continue to see us put more consumer [choices] on the menu.

After trialing oat milk at select locations in California, Dunkin’ Donuts announced earlier this year that it would be launching the plant-based milk option nationwide. The chain added plant-based breakfast sausages by California-based brand Beyond Meat to its menu last year.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
IKEA shared its garden sphere design at no charge. | IKEA

7. IKEA Shares Garden Sphere Design for Free

Blueprints for IKEA’s Garden Sphere are now available for free download, distribution, and reuse. The Growroom gardening sphere design makes it easy to grow fresh produce in dense urban areas.

The multi-tiered, spherical design mimics some forms of verticle gardening by maximizing airspace. The product’s design allows its users to feed an entire street, block, or even neighborhood, depending on the population.

The entire Growroom frame can be constructed with just a few supplies: plywood, screws, a hammer, and access to a local fab lab. 

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Health professionals want the UK to go vegan.

8. 300 Health Professionals Urge the UK to Go Vegan

More than 300 members of the Plant-Based Health Professionals UK—an organization that promotes plant-based diets for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases—want people to go vegan. 

The members, which backed the “No Meat May” campaign, urged the general public to make the connection between major disease outbreaks like coronavirus and animal agriculture to prevent future pandemics caused by zoonotic diseases. Zoonotic diseases like the novel coronavirus can transfer from animals to humans.

Although some experts believe the virus started in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, last December—the exact origin of the disease has not been determined. The vast majority of experts do agree the COVID-19 outbreak likely originated in a wild animal before spreading to humans.

Check it out here.

Dr. Campbell says a vegan diet could mitigate coronavirus symptoms.

9. This Doctor Says a Vegan Diet May Boost COVID Immunity

World-renowned biochemist Dr. T. Colin Campbell says a vegan diet may help “minimize the severity” of coronavirus infection.

The plant-based nutritional expert is well-known for completing one of the most comprehensive studies on human nutrition. Dr. Campbell—along with his son, Thomas M. Campbell—found dietary links between the consumption of animal-based foods like meat, dairy, and eggs and certain diseases, such as cancer and heart disease.

Based on the findings, Dr. Campbell says a plant-based diet may spur the immune system into producing more antibodies. Antibodies help the body fight off viral infections.

​Our surveys in China, in 1983 to 1984 and in 1989, show quite impressively, (by several nutrient factors), that consumption of plant-based foods associates with a higher proportion of people having antibodies to the virus causing liver cancer, suggesting that acquired immunity to that virus was promoted by consuming more plant-based foods and less animal-based foods,” Dr. Campbell told LIVEKINDLY.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
PETA wants to train slaughterhouse workers on how to make vegan meat.

10. Former Slaughterhouse Workers Will Be Trained to Make Vegan Meat

Former slaughterhouse workers could train to make vegan meat through a new program offered by international animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

The organization offered to train workers to produce vegan protein instead of animal meat. This follows high rates of coronavirus among meatpacking employees and the potential for meat shortages.

PETA also highlighted the potential for meat producers themselves to switch completely to plant-based alternatives. Companies including Smithfield Foods and Hormel already produce and sell vegan meat.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for May
Icelandic whaling company has ended whaling for good.

11. Iceland Has Killed Its ‘Last’ Whale As Industry Shuts Down ‘for Good’

Icelandic whaling business IP-Utgerd announced it’s ending whaling for good.

I’m never going to hunt whales again, I’m stopping for good,” Gunnar Jonsson, managing director for IP-Utgerd, told the AFP. The company is one of the nation’s two remaining whaling operations.

Iceland’s second whaling firm, Hvalur, revealed it will not hunt any whales this year. Hvalur said it canceled its hunt this year due to export problems and social distancing requirements amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

Icelandic media network RUV reported that the country canceled the summer’s whale hunts due to the pandemic. This is the second year in a row that the country has had to cancel all whale hunts.

Check it out here.