The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Senior Editor | New York City, NY | Contactable via: kat@livekindly.com

Kat has been writing about veganism, environment, and sustainability for five years. Their interests include over-analyzing the various socioeconomic forms of oppression, how that overlaps with veganism, and how the media in all of its forms reflects the current culture.

November has come. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the days are getting shorter and colder — but the impending holiday season is a fair trade-off for many.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October

This past month, Tesco ruffled feathers with a “controversial” commercial promoting vegan food, business mogul Oprah encouraged fans to join her in eating one plant-based meal a day, and IKEA UK announced that this year’s Christmas menu is meat-free. Here’s what else went down in October.


The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Should cheese have a warning label?

1. Doctors: Put Cancer Warnings on Cheese

Doctors want the FDA to put a breast cancer warning label on cheese. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization that “combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of more than 175,00 members.”

PCRM sent a petition calling for the FDA to put cancer warnings on cheese, similar to the ones on cigarette packs. The petition states that “dairy cheese contains reproductive hormones that may increase breast cancer mortality risk.”

“Instead of cheese manufacturers like Kraft slapping a pink ribbon on products like Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Macaroni & Cheese, as they have done during previous Breast Cancer Awareness Months, they should be adding warning labels,” said PCRM founder Dr. Neal Barnard in a statement. “We want women to be aware that dairy cheese could put them at risk of dying from breast cancer.”

Although cis women are highlighted, they are not the only ones who should be screened for breast cancer. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, breast cancer affects cis men as well, but to a lesser extent. Trans women undergoing hormone therapy may experience an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a recent study in the British Medical Journal. Trans men and gender non-conforming, assigned female at birth individuals who have not undergone bilateral mastectomy should undergo regular screenings, notes the University of California, San Francisco.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
The Miley Cyrus-backed restaurant is now open.

2. Miley Cyrus-Backed Restaurant Serves ‘High’ Vegan Cuisine

Lowell Farms: A Cannabis Cafe is now open in Los Angeles. The vegan-friendly restaurant, which allows smoking cannabis indoors, is the first establishment of its kind in the nation. Lowell Farms is backed by a number of celebrities, including Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson. While cannabis-infused food can’t be served due to California law, Executive Chef Andrea Drummer developed a menu to complement bud. Drummer has appeared in the Stage 13 cannabis cooking series, “Cooking on High.” Vegan options include nachos, a black bean burger, and banh mi

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
The first moment of freedom. | Rachele Totaro

3. Photographer Captures Lab Animals’ First Moments of Freedom

Vegan photographer Rachele Totaro uses her camera to show others that animals are someone, not something. She is a volunteer for Italian charity La Collina dei Conigli, which rescues and rehabilitates former lab animals. In a series of photographs, the 37-year-old captured the first moment of freedom for rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and mice. The photos are used in a fund-raising calendar.

“I decided to show the reactions of the little rescues seeing what was outside of their cages for the first time,” Totaro told LIVEKINDLY in an email.

“The warmth of the sun, the smell of fresh grass, the first steps on the ground, and at the same time to show the close relationship between non-human animals and their human rescuers,” she continued. “Human hands were no more a source of pain or fear. They became a safe nest.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Tesco’s vegan food commercial caused a stir.

4. Tesco’s Controversial Vegan Commercial

A Tesco commercial promoting vegan sausages struck a chord with the National Farmers Union (NFU). In the commercial, a girl tells her father that she doesn’t want to eat meat anymore. So, he serves her vegan sausages from Tesco’s own-brand range, Wicked Kitchen.

NFU President Minette Batters wrote to Tesco stating that the commercial “demonizes” meat and causes trouble for the UK’s struggling beef farmers. “We believe it is vital that children do not establish misleading views of food groups, which may later affect their health and diets,” she wrote.

Vegan chef Derek Sarno, Tesco’s Director of Plant-Based Innovation, called the commercial honest. Rather than demonizing meat, it’s simply truthful about where it comes from. He praised Tesco “for being brave and bringing up the conversation every family should have.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Meat is off IKEA’s Christmas menu this year.

5. IKEA’s Christmas Menu Goes Meat-Free

Swedish furniture giant IKEA revealed that its Christmas menu in UK stores is meat-free this year. The festive meal consists of a Root Vegetable Tart Tatin with a flaky puff pastry, glazed veggies, and Brussels sprouts on the side. Vegan mince pies will also be available. The lunchtime offer costs £5.

The meat-free menu is part of IKEA’s mission to offer more sustainable food. “We know that Christmas Dinners are an important part of the festive season, and we really want to encourage our customers to try something new this year. Both our meat-free dishes are packed full of flavour, to showcase how more sustainable options can be just as tasty,” the brand said in a statement.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
“Meat the Family” makes families question their ethics.

6. New Reality Show: Eat Your Pet or Go Vegan

A new British reality series called “Meat the Family” encourages families to make a choice: eat their pet or go vegetarian. The controversial show will feature four meat-eating families who are assigned a farm animal as a pet. They must care for the animal as they would a cat or a dog.

For three weeks, the families will learn about animal agriculture and how eating meat affects animals, the planet, and individual health. According to the synopsis, once three weeks are up, they must “go vegetarian forever and send the animal to a sanctuary, or remain meat-eaters and kill their new best friend.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Iceland’s vegan Christmas range ditched most plastic this year.

7. Iceland Unveils Vegan Christmas Range

Affordable supermarket chain Iceland revealed its vegan Christmas range, featuring no palm oil and mostly plastic-free packaging. The festive range includes vegan party platters with meat-free sliders or spring rolls. For dessert, it offers dairy-free snowflake-shaped puddings featuring a hard chocolate shell and gooey center. The entire range is palm oil-free following Iceland’s decision to remove the ingredient from own-brand products last year.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Joaquin Phoenix went vegan at age three.

8. Why Joaquin Phoenix Thinks Eating Animals Is ‘Absurd’

“Joker” star Joaquin Phoenix called eating animals “absurd and barbaric” in a recent video that explains why he’s been a vegan since age three.

“Me and my siblings witnessed fish being killed in a really violent and aggressive way,” he said. “It was just absolutely obvious that it was something that we didn’t want to participate in and we didn’t want to support. To me, it just seems obvious. I don’t want to cause pain to another living empathetic creature.”

Talking about factory farmed chickens, who have been bred to grow fast in a short period of time and often suffer from health issues as a result, Phoenix said: “I don’t want to force it to be indoors and fattened up just to be slaughtered. It is absurd and barbaric.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
A plant-based diet might make erections stronger.

9. Plant-Based Diet = Better Erections?

A scene in James Cameron’s new documentary “The Game Changers” suggests that a plant-based diet may help erections grow stronger and last longer. The film dismantles the myth that athletes need meat to be at the top of their game.

In one scene, three college athletes took part in an erection-focused study. Each athlete wore two rings around their penis — one at the base and the other at the tip — that measured strength, longevity, and frequency of the erections experienced over two nights. On the first night, they ate a beef burrito and on the second night, a vegan burrito. One athlete, named Blake, experienced a 477 percent increase in how long his erection lasted. The others experienced an 303 percent and a 312 percent increase in duration.

Former lead delegate of the American Urological Association and study leader Dr. Aaron Spitz explained that the study shows how the more meat someone eats, the shorter their erections last.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Modern technology will change the future of food.

10. Beef and Dairy Industries Headed Toward Collapse

“Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030,” a new report, predicts that the beef and dairy industries may collapse as soon as 2030. Released by the thinktank RethinkX, the report analyzes how technology will topple beef and dairy, followed by other forms of animal agriculture. It believes that a new production model called Food-as-Software will advance the food industry. The program allows scientists to work like software developers, uploading engineered food at a molecular level that anyone with access to the database can use.

“Instead of growing a whole cow to break it down into products, food will be built up at the molecular level to precise specifications,” says the press release.

According to the report: “This will result in a far more distributed, localized food-production system that is more stable and resilient than the one it replaces.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
Oprah will try eating one plant-based meal a day.

11. Oprah Tries Vegan

Oprah is on board to try one plant-based meal a day. The mogul recently featured an interview with MUSE School co-founder Suzy Amis-Cameron in “O Magazine” and on OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network). The two discussed Amis-Cameron’s book, “OMD: The Simple, Plant-Based Program to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, and Save the Planet.”

“It saves 200,000 gallons of water and the carbon equivalent of driving from Los Angeles to New York. That’s one person,” Amis-Cameron told Oprah.

Oprah replied: “So you’re saying, you’re not even trying to convert the whole world, just one meal.” 

Following the interview, Oprah took to her Instagram Story to announce her plan to eat one vegan meal a day for a month. “If you’ve been thinking about going vegetarian or vegan this is a good way to lean into it, where you don’t have to give up everything you’ve been eating your whole life all at once,” she said.

Check it out here.


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The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
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The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for October
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The plant-based news from October, from Oprah's one plant-based meal a day to vegan "Joker" star Joaquin Phoenix's activism, and cancer warnings on cheese.
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LIVEKINDLY
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