It was a game-changing year for veganism. From the introduction of Häägan-Dazs’ long-awaited vegan ice cream to the otherworldly power of gone-viral documentary What the Health, veganism was more popular than ever in 2017. In honor of this monumental year, here are our most popular news stories on VegNews.com. Let’s look back at all that’s been accomplished, and look forward to even more to come in 2018 in the world of veganism.
1. Häägan-Dazs Debuts Four Vegan Ice Creams
Iconic ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs quietly introduced four non-dairy ice cream flavors to market earlier this year. We first learned about this historic move when flavors Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge, Coconut Caramel, Chocolate Salted Fudge Truffle, and Mocha Chocolate Cookie were spotted in California Target locations. Häagen-Dazs’ entry into the non-dairy market followed the lead of other big-name brands such as Ben & Jerry’s and Breyers, which introduced almond milk-based flavors to test markets earlier this year, also to critical acclaim.
2. EPA Cracks Down on Nutritional Yeast
Vegans love their nooch, that’s for sure, and VegNews.com nearly broke the internet when we reported on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s proposal of several amendments to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for the Manufacturing of Nutritional Yeast. Meanwhile, the animal-agriculture industry continues to emit more greenhouse gases than all of transportation combined.
3. Fraud Uncovered in Target’s Removal of Hampton Creek
One of our most buzz-worthy stories this year comes from food technology company Hampton Creek, known for its eggless vegan condiment Just Mayo. This summer, Hampton Creek hired an investigative team to uncover the circumstances surrounding its products being inexplicably pulled from shelves at major retailer Target.
4. Vegan Bodybuilders Win 33 Medals at 2017 Fit Games
Vegan nonprofit bodybuilding organization PlantBuilt collectively won 33 medals during the 2017 Naturally Fit Games in Austin, TX this year, and our readers could not get enough of their gorgeous muscles and winning smiles. The games welcomed 1,000 total participants—39 of whom included PlantBuilt’s entrants—who were challenged in various fitness events, including kettlebell, powerlifting, bodybuilding, Olympic weightlifting, and CrossFit. Veganism for the win!
5. Stephen Colbert Adopts Vegan Diet
Earlier this year, during a segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert featuring long-time vegan actor Woody Harrelson, Colbert announced that he has adopted a vegan diet (caveat: he lost a bet). After the public exchange, several vegan companies took action to support the comedian on his vegan journey in hopes of inspiring him to make a long-term commitment to cruelty-free living.
6. James Cameron to Release Vegan Documentary
Award-winning director and vegan environmentalist James Cameron executively produced forthcoming vegan documentary The Game Changers, and VegNews readers have been on the edge of their seats ever since. The Game Changers will feature a wide array of elite athletes, special operations soldiers, scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes who are thriving on a plant-based diet.
7. World’s First 24-Hour Vegan Drive-Thru Debuts in June
Canada-based vegan fast-food restaurant Globally Local opened its second location in Ontario this June, featuring the world’s first vegan 24-hour drive-thru. The new eatery, which replaced a shuttered location of popular Canadian fast-food chain Harvey’s, serves vegan takes on fast-food classics.
8. Obama Says Drop Meat to Fight Climate Change
Former President Barack Obama delivered the keynote speech at the Seed & Chips Global Food Innovation Summit in Milan, Italy, during which he discussed how meat consumption affects the environment. “People aren’t as familiar with the impact of cows and methane,” Obama said, adding, “as people want to increase more meat consumption, that in turn is spiking the growth of greenhouse emissions coming out of the agricultural sectors.”
9. Ruby Rose Urges Fans to Fight Trump by Going Vegan
On March 28, Donald Trump signed an executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to overhaul former president Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. The plan mandated that states reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants by 32 percent of their 2005 levels by 2030. In the midst of a devastating move away from international cooperation toward a climate change solution, actress Ruby Rose turned to Twitter to encourage her 1.3 million followers to make the connection between animal agriculture and its negative effect on the environment. “Trump changes to climate change today have you feeling ill?” Rose asked. “May I suggest turning vegan, or at least vegetarian?”
10. Vegan Documentary What the Health Hits Netflix
In what is perhaps the most changemaking vegan-themed documentary ever, What the Health debuted on Netflix this year, changing the landscape of plant-based food for good. The film explores the connections between disease, the consumption of animal products, and the pharmaceutical industry. Since the release of What the Health, countless celebrities and athletes have gone vegan, including The Office actor Craig Robinson; NBA players Kyrie Irving, Jahlil Okafor, Damian Lillard, and JaVale McGee; world racing champion Lewis Hamilton; musician Ne-Yo; and Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams.
Don’t miss our list of Top 10 Vegan Stories of 2017!