Last week, Dame Patsy Reddy became New Zealand’s Governor General. The first vegan–and third female—to ever hold that office celebrated with a plant-based banquet featuring menu items such as shiitake mushroom consomme, steamed buns with miso roasted eggplant and pickled cucumber, crispy fried tofu with lemongrass, chilli and black vinegar, and, for dessert, citrus syrup cake with date and cacao filo. The four chefs at the Government House where Reddy will reside revealed they will continue to create plant-based menus for the new Governor General, her visitors, and future events. In addition to playing the role of the Queen’s representative, the Governor General will serve as the Commander-in-Chief of the military group Royal Guard of Honour. “It’s just quite exciting to hear we have a vegan Governor General,” spokesperson for Vegan Society in New Zealand Claire Insley said. “I’m sure it will help to bring it into the mainstream.” Top government officials are increasingly choosing to eschew animal products and rallying for others to do the same—as evidenced in a recent lecture in Ottowa, Canada wherein the former president of Ireland Mary Robinson urged young leaders to go vegan.
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