It was another banner year for veganism. From a long-awaited dairy-free ice cream announcement to a truly gross find in 100 percent of ground beef, vegan living was more popular than ever in 2015. In honor of this exceptional year, here are our most popular news stories on VegNews.com so we can look back at all that’s been accomplished—and look forward to even more to come in 2016.
1. Vegan Meat Brand Acquired by Birds Eye Parent Company
Popular Gardein brand of vegan protein products sells to Pinnacle Foods for a whopping $155 million.
2. Veganz Supermarket to Open US Shopping Center
Reason #1,456 to move to Portland, OR: The German-based vegan shopping mecca, Veganz, is opening up shop in the City of Roses.
3. New York Named Most Vegan-Friendly City in America
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says there is no better place for meat-free eating than NYC.
4. Vegan Bakery Launches National Franchising Program
Northern California-based Cinnaholic offers franchising opportunities to potential business owners around the country.
5. Acclaimed Los Angeles Restaurateur Passes Away
The vegan community lost a great activist this year in Molly Anderson of the award-winning Madeleine Bistro.
6. Vegan Cheese Company Wins Big on Shark Tank
Heidi Ho Organics walks away with an investment deal after appearing on the popular ABC program.
7. Vegan Bakery Cinnaholic Company Wins Big on Shark Tank
Popular cinnamon roll bakery, Cinnaholic, gets funded to the tune of $200,000 on national television.
8. Native Foods Café to Open First East Coast Location
Washington, DC becomes the 21st location for the award-winning vegan restaurant chain.
9. China’s Vegan Population is Largest in the World
50 million vegans call China home—the largest number for a single country on the planet.
10. Samuel L. Jackson Goes Vegan “To Live Forever”
The Hollywood star gives up meat and dairy to live long and healthfully.
11. Ellen DeGeneres’ Personal Chef to Open Vegan Restaurant
Celebrity chef Roberto Martin plans to open a plant-based eatery in Los Angeles in 2015.
12. Veggie Grill Opens 26th Location
Corte Madera—just north of San Francisco—is the newest home of the all-vegan restaurant chain.
13. NFL Defensive Lineman Cites Reasons for Going Veg
Pro athlete David Carter says veganism is a key component to optimal health and high performance.
14. Whole Foods Market Arrests Renowned Vegan Activist
Vegan and social-justice advocate, Lauren Ornelas, is arrested during peaceful protest over rabbit meat.
15. Zagat Names Vegan Restaurant #1 in Philadelphia
The worldwide dining guide names Vedge the top-rated dining spot in Philly.
Don’t miss our list of Top 15 Vegan Recipes of 2014 and our Top 15 Vegan Stories of 2014 (coming next week!).