animal welfare compassion Cruelty-free Food and Drink News/Blog plant-based diet Promoted Uncategorized vegan vegetarianism

Meatless Monday Goes To School


School is back and we at VHS couldn’t be more excited (sorry, kids)! You’ll recall we launched our Meatless Monday program this past spring, which even as the school year was winding down, was well-received by students in the Lower Mainland. Three post-secondary schools (Langara, BCIT and Trinity Western) joined the growing movement and multiple secondary schools expressed interest in bringing the initiative to their cafeterias this fall.

Over the summer we worked with the Vancouver School Board (VSB) to develop a flyer that served as a “how-to” guide for bringing Meatless Monday to school cafeterias. The flyer also draws attention to society’s over-consumption of meat, which has forced animals into factory farms, where their lives are characterized by intensive confinement, cruelty and suffering. Educating and empowering the public through an initiative like Meatless Monday is an important step toward reducing that suffering and creating a more humane society.

As the new school year kicked off, the VSB shared the flyer with every school administrator and teacher across the district! VHS commends this support for Meatless Monday by the VSB, as it provides individual schools the tools and confidence in implementing their own Meatless Monday initiative to better the treatment of animals, the well-being of the planet and of course, the health of the students.

We look forward to helping more students take action to reduce animal suffering by bringing Meatless Monday to more classrooms and cafeterias this year! If you’re interested in implementing Meatless Monday at your school, workplace or in your community, contact Emily Pickett. Don’t forget to take the Meatless Monday pledge and receive a weekly recipe/tip to help you start your week off right!


Cruelty-free Food and Drink News/Blog plant-based diet Promoted Uncategorized vegan vegetarianism

Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies: Building a cruelty-free community on the North Shore

Geremie Voigt and Kyla Rawlyns of Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies. photo: Stephen Hui, the Georgia Straight

Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies represents an ethical, 100% animal friendly, community-based environment. Geremie Voigt and Kyla Rawlyns opened the café in North Vancouver five years ago. Buddha-Full proudly serves organic fresh juices & smoothies, raw organic cuisine, organic gluten-free baked goods, a full local retail section, and locally roasted coffee from Moja.

VHS supports the growth of cruelty-free businesses and we were interested to find out more about Buddha-Full. Here’s our Q&A with Geremie and Kyla.

VHS: What inspired you to open Buddha-Full Fresh Juice & Smoothies?

G&K: We both have been vegan for many years and have always been inspired by educating our community, family and friends on veganism and a conscious living dynamic.

VHS: How have you found the reaction from the community?

G&K: Our community tells us Buddha-Full is a staple in the lower Lonsdale area.  People tell us every day it is like going to their church!

VHS: What do you enjoy most about running Buddha-Full?

G&K: Standing by our initial mission of educating our community and holding a space where people can come and feel welcome. It’s important to us that our customers feel comfortable and know they are taken care of.

VHS: What do you find is the hardest part?

G&K: Challenges will always come up. The hardest part is having some customers coming in and asking for dairy products or meat products and educating them on why we choose to maintain our animal friendly selection.

VHS: How do you stay positive in a world where animal-based products are still so predominant?

G&K: Considering that veganism has doubled since 2009 in the U.S., we know things are changing and we are making a difference in the world.  We are proud to be standing by our ethics.

VHS: What is your most popular menu item?

G&K: The Lobo Smoothie (hemp protein, dates, peanut butter, banana and almond milk), it’s a Buddha-Full staple.  Also, the Pesto Vegan Sausage wrap is one of our absolute favourite items and we make it all in house!

VHS: Who are your customers? Is there a predominant demographic?

G&K: Upwards of 60% of our customers are female. The majority of our customers are not vegan, however they are interested and curious about veganism and feel welcomed in our space!

VHS: What do you think is the best way to encourage consumers to make more ethical choices? 

G&K: Leading by example is a great way to encourage ethical choices by others.  Be the change you want to see in the world!

VHS: Do you think veganism is becoming more mainstream?

G&K: We think the world is becoming increasingly educated about and involved with animal liberation.  Everyone we meet seems to have one at least one person in their family who is vegetarian, if not vegan.  Half of Kyla’s family is now vegetarian – Now that’s progress!

VHS: What are some of the lessons you’ve learned about running a vegan business?

G&K: Having a space where everyone feels welcome is crucial. People want some sort of familiarity and seem to frequent spaces that provide that on a consistent basis.

bfull collage


Buddha-Full is located at 106 West 1st Street – Suite 101, North Vancouver.

Tel: (604) 973-0231


Cruelty-free News/Blog plant-based diet Promoted

The five best places to get vegan ice cream in Vancouver

Warm weather is here, and with it an excuse to indulge in a scoop or three of ice cream. Although supermarket freezers are exploding with delicious vegan ice cream choices (Luna & Larry’s salted caramel & chocolate is a personal favourite), sometimes we all want to let someone else do the scooping while we enjoy a new flavour with friends.

Fortunately, there’s no shortage of mouthwatering, cow-approved vegan ice cream options in Vancouver. Here are five of our favourites:

1. Chau Veggie Express, 5052 Victoria Drive


Caramelized Banana and Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough; Image Chau Veggie Express

Chau Veggie Express offers a wide variety of ice creams by the scoop and pint, all of which are vegan. Current flavours include: coconut vanilla bean, Vietnamese coffee chocolate, Thai iced tea, chocolate hazelnut praline, caramelized bananas and cookie dough, coconut vanilla bean and lemongrass, and coconut pandan leaf and kale.

Andrew, Chau’s pastry chef and the genius behind Chau’s innovate vegan ice cream offerings, says: “I developed the recipes based on my favourite childhood memories. The ice creams are salted. The ice cream base is seasoned to reflect a very traditional Vietnamese style preparation of coconut cream used in Vietnamese desserts as well as savoury dishes, and I love it. It gives the ice cream another dimension and depth of flavour, and this is the way I grew up eating desserts at

Vietnamese shops and cafes.”


2. Earnest Ice Cream, Multiple Locations


Mint Chip; Image Earnest Ice Cream

Earnest Ice Cream serves up rotating, seasonal flavours alongside classics. Scoops and pints are available in their two shops, while their pints can be found at distributors all over the city.

Earnest Ice Cream says, “We change our vegan flavours weekly. We try to have two offerings, but depending on popularity sometimes one sells rather quickly.” Past vegan offerings have included coconut-lime sorbet, café au lait, chocolate, cookies + cream, lemon, maple walnut, and mint chip. Check out their website for what’s currently available in their scoop shops!


3. Rain or Shine, 1926 West 4th; 3382 Cambie


Coconut Chocolate Chunk; Image Rain or Shine

Rain or Shine has on its regular menu a vegan sundae: the Yumaste! It’s made with coconut chocolate chunk ice cream, seasonal berry compote, chocolate sauce and candied hazelnuts. All of their sundae toppings are made in house; other vegan offerings include fig balsamic reduction and eureka lemon olive oil.

While the coconut chocolate chunk ice cream, made with organic coconut milk, is always available, Rain or Shine also rotates through seasonal offerings. Josie from Rain or Shine says, “Currently we have an organic cucumber lime sorbet but we will be making a mint strawberry sorbet soon. We may also do a grapefruit IPA sorbet for craft beer week.”


4. Bella Gelateria, Yaletown and Coal Harbour


Orange & Vanilla Creamsicle and Chocolate Sorbetto; Image VHS

While sorbet is typically vegan and can be found at gelato joints all over town, Bella Gelateria is worth a special visit. In 2014, its proprietor won “International Gelato Master of the Year.” What does this mean? We have no idea, but Bella Gelateria’s array of sorbettos—ranging from the familiar to the exotic—are smooth, creamy, and flavourful.

On a recent visit, their Yaletown location featured eight non-dairy sorbetto flavours: cantaloupe, chocolate, creamsicle (orange & vanilla), faloodeh (rose water & rice noodles), lemon & basil, mango mango mango, rambutan, and yuzu citrus (Japan).


5. What’s Shaken Milkshake Bar, 586 Davie Street


Banana, peanut butter, and chia protein shake; Image What’s Shaken

Okay, so this one is shakes, not ice cream, but it’s too good not include.

What’s Shaken generally carries a non-dairy base of almond or coconut ice cream. You can design your own drink from the many offerings, or choose from the menu.

Xiomara at What’s Shaken says, “A few favorite non dairy shakes are Oreo, Chocolate Peanut Butter, Mango, Strawberry, Creme Latte, Blueberry, Coconut Nutty and Kale Colada. Our protein and superfood shakes can also be made with Vegan protein powder and we carry almond milks and coconut water.”

What’s your favourite vegan ice cream in Vancouver? Did we miss anything great? Let us know in the comments!

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Nice Shoes: a pioneer in cruelty-free, compassionate shopping

Joanne Chang and Glenn Gaetz of Nice Shoes
Joanne Chang and Glenn Gaetz of Nice Shoes



Nice Shoes, Vancouver’s only vegan shoe store, was opened in 2011 by animal advocates Glenn Gaetz and Joanne Chang. The store carries 100% vegan shoes as well as purses, bags, belts, wallets and other cruelty-free products.

VHS supports the growth of cruelty-free businesses and we were interested to find out more about how Nice Shoes is faring in Vancouver’s competitive retail market. Here’s our Q&A with Glenn and Joanne.



VHS: Can you say a bit about what motivated you to open Nice Shoes?

G&J: As shoppers, we were motivated by the anxiety and frustration we felt every time we walked into a shoe store knowing that the salesperson couldn’t answer our questions about materials – or even cared to try. As activists, we were motivated by our desire to normalize the vegan lifestyle.

VHS: How difficult was it to start a business that was the first of its kind in Vancouver?

G&J: Starting a business was the easy part! Vancouver has a vibrant vegan and animal rights community and everyone is excited when a new vegan business opens. The challenge comes in maintaining a profitable business and growing our customer base.

VHS: How is the business going now and how do you feel about the future of Nice Shoes?

G&J: We think there’s a bright future for Nice Shoes as veganism seem to be going through a growth spurt. We know this because a large portion of our customers are new vegans who have only made the transition within the last couple of years.

VHS: Who are your customers? Is there a predominant demographic?

G&J: Our main customers are vegans and vegetarians, but that in itself encompasses a huge range of people. We see vegans of all ages and professions. We also get quite a few non-veg customers who simply like the styles we carry.

VHS: Some vegan shoes are not cheap. Is affordability an issue?

G&J: Since our main goal is to normalize veganism, we are very thoughtful in selecting brands that are familiar and affordable to most people. We do carry some exclusive vegan brands (which tend to be pricier), but they are a small percentage of what we carry. Most of the shoes in our current spring/summer collection range from $30-$150. We also have great sales throughout the year and a student discount program.

VHS: Do you think the market is growing for cruelty-free products?

G&J: Absolutely! We find that “vegan leather” is now a popular term used proudly by mainstream brands to sell products. And a lot of these brands are rolling out vegan product lines and marketing them as such.

VHS: What do you think needs to happen to encourage consumers to make more ethical choices?

G&J: Consumers want nice looking things that are decent quality at a reasonable price. If the products can match what they are looking for, they will switch without even trying. We have a few loyal non-veg customers who might not even know that our products are vegan. By offering alternatives that look great and are equal to, if not better than, their animal product counterparts, we are lowering the barrier of entry to a vegan lifestyle. All things being equal, who wouldn’t choose the cruelty-free option?

VHS: How do you stay positive in a world where animal-based products are still so predominant?

G&J: We’ve been vegan for 18 & 20 years. In that time we’ve seen a lot of change. Twenty years ago, vegan shoes were horrible plastic things that looked atrocious and felt like cardboard. When we look at the selection and the quality of products available nowadays, we can’t help but smile. Animal products may still be predominant, but the alternatives are gaining ground every day.

VHS: What’s your most popular product?

G&J: Since the weather is getting nicer, women’s sandals are flying off the shelves. And hiking shoes are in high demand as people are starting to hit the trails.

VHS: What do you find most rewarding or satisfying about running Nice Shoes?

G&J: Nothing makes us happier than getting a positive feedback from our customers – it really makes all the hard work worth while. And of course, all the adorable dogs who visit us in the store.

Nice Shoes is located at 3568 Fraser Street (between E 19th & 20th) in Vancouver.
Tel: 604-558-3000

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Buy an Animal Cruelty Awearness Band and support VHS

Awearness bandVHS is partnering with Animal Rescue Crusade (ARC) in its effort to bring attention to animal issues through International Animal Cruelty Awearness Bands – cool wristbands with a message.

Just visit the ARC/VHS partner page to purchase a band.  For every awearness band purchased, VHS will receive $5.00 toward our work to help animals.

The mission is to bring awareness to all animal cruelty issues. These bands were created to inspire others to speak up and be a voice for animals by wearing awearness bands wherever they go.  By purchasing a band you’ll help VHS and animals everywhere.

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Overwaitea first in North America to introduce store-wide Cage Eggs signage


OFG Egg Labels
New labels at Save-On-Foods, at Cambie & 7th Avenue in Vancouver

BC’s Overwaitea Food Group (OFG) has just become the first grocery chain in North America to feature ‘Cage Eggs’ signage on all of its stores’ shelves. OFG operates 140 stores in B.C. and Alberta under the banners Overwaitea Foods, Save-On-Foods, Urban Fare, PriceSmart Foods, Coopers Foods and Bulkley Valley Wholesale.

The labels will also clearly indicate which eggs are free-run, free-range and certified organic, and how the label relates to the hens’ housing and welfare.

VHS initiated the first pilot of the improved egg labels in 2011, and thanks to the ongoing support of our donors, we have been working with OFG ever since to improve the labels’ wording and format.

“Polls have shown the majority of Canadians want more humane treatment for farm animals, with 78 per cent saying they would support a requirement to label eggs as “eggs from caged hens,” said Leanne McConnachie, VHS’s Director of Farmed Animal Programs. “Placing VHS’s colour-coded, easy-to-read labels on the shelves in the egg display case will help consumers make more humane choices as they shop.”

animal welfare compassion Cruelty-free Food and Drink News/Blog

Shop and eat cruelty-free this Christmas

If you’re looking to do some cruelty-free Christmas shopping or stock up on vegetarian or vegan goodies, here are a few excellent businesses we recommend.


Vegan Yarn StudioVegan Yarn Studio logo

Vegan Yarn Studio is a local business that hand dyes and sells their own cruelty free vegan yarn in their home studio.  Not to be missed if you’re part of Vancouver’s knitting community!

422 Fader Street New Westminster, BC
V3L 3T1
(778) 232-6752


Nice Shoes

Nice Shoes Nice Shoes is Vancouver’s only vegan shoe store.  You can find other accessories as well as shoes: purses, bags, belts, wallets, guitar straps, and vegan cookbooks.  Check it out for cruelty free accessorizing!

3568 Fraser Street Vancouver, BC
V5V 4C6
(604) 558-3000



Karmavore is a 100% vegan owned and operated specialty shopKarmavore2 featuring its own deli café, bakery, eco-friendly shoes, cosmetics, cookbooks, personal care items, and animal rights gear.  An essential place to visit for any animal rights enthusiast.

610 Columbia Street New Westminster, BC
V3M 1A5
(604) 527-4212


Elephant in the RoomElephant in the Room 2

Elephant in the Room is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that believes in “compassion shopping.” On their website, you can buy things like apparel and accessories for men and women, facial, body, and hair care products, and “eco-friendly pillows in whimsical designs.” Of course, all of the products are 100% vegan.

Vancouver, BC
(604) 355-1442


3G Vegetarian Restaurant
3G Vegetarian Restaurant

Voted “Best in the West” by VegNews Magazine, 3G Vegetarian Restaurant is the place to go for vegan Chinese food in Vancouver. With a full menu that includes dim sum, homemade gyoza, and  fried udon, it’s a cruelty-free dining experience not to be missed!

3424 Cambie St Vancouver, BC
V5Y2A9 (604) 568-9008


Fairy CakesFairy Cakes

Fairy Cakes sells delicious cupcakes and other baked goodies made with the highest quality ingredients; it’s 100% vegan, dairy- free, egg -free, and nut-free. The place to go if you’ve got a sweet tooth.

3586 Fraser St Vancouver, BC
V5V 4C6
(604) 442-YUMM (9866)


Zimt Artisan ChocolatesZimt Artisan Chocolates

Zimt Artisan Chocolates is a local business that sells delectable organic, fair trade, and vegan chocolates in a variety of flavours. Next time you buy a gift, try out Zimt Artisan Chocolates.

1025 Commercial Dr
Vancouver, BC
V5L 3X1
(604) 707-0088


Dazey Dog Pet PhotographyDazey Dog Pet Photography

Tanya Halvorson, the creator of Dazey Dog Pet Photography, is a member of Vancouver’s animal rights community. Her company specializes in cruelty free pet photography.  Fun photos capturing exactly who your rescued pet is!

Vancouver, BC
(604) 730-2899


The AcornThe Acorn

Late night restaurant and bar The Acorn provides vegan, raw, and gluten free options for the vegan diner. The bar is open until 2am with a special bar menu starting at 10pm every night. With specialties that range from “Hen of the Woods” and Halloumi to their signature cocktails, it’s a must try!

3995 Main Street Vancouver, BC
V5V 3P3
(604) 566-9001


Dharma KitchenDharma Kitchen2

Dharma Kitchen is a fully vegan restaurant, which offers a nourishing diet for the physical body and a meditative atmosphere for the spiritual mind. Options include “tempeh” burgers, salads, soups, brown rice bowls, and much more!

3667 West Broadway (at Alma)
Vancouver, BC
V6R 2B8
(604) 738-3899


Edible FloursEdible Flours

Edible Flours is a natural vegan bakery offering goodies to satisfy all your sweet cravings.  Their baked goods are natural as well as dairy and egg free. They offer baked chocolate chip cookies, birthday cakes, and yummy items for special events.

2280 West Broadway Vancouver, BC
(604) 734-8351



Vegan Pizza HouseVegan Pizza House

Vegan Pizza House offers a wide variety of pizzas (including gluten-free options) in addition to donairs, lasagna, and spaghetti.  The best place to go in Vancouver for vegan pizza!

15565 Marine Drive
White Rock, BC
V4B 1C9
(604) 248-5334



Coquette Faux FurriersCoquette Faux Furriers3

Coquette Faux Furriers is a cruelty free store for burlesque dancers! If you’re in the business of burlesque, and you’re looking for that perfect classic “fur” accessory, then you’ve found the right place. All of the accessories here are animal friendly faux fur!

Victoria, BC





What is it that beautiful women have that every woman wants? Beautiful, healthy, radiant skin. Every woman can be a natural beauty with Nucelle Mandelic Marine Complex. Recapture the essence of your natural beauty.











Snail House BakerySnail house bakery 3

Vancouver’s premiere vegan bakery in Kits, Snail House Bakery has homemade vegan treats for order and pick-up. Wheat-free, gluten-free, and soy-free options are available.  They carry delicious custom cakes, cupcakes, cookies, truffles, and more!

5955 Yew St
Vancouver, BC
V6M 3Y7
(778) 230-6849



Loving Hut Express TruckLoving Hut Express Truck

Loving Hut Express, the fastest growing international vegan food chain, makes some of the best sandwiches, onion rings, burgers, and fries in Vancouver.

On the South corner of Davie and Pacific Boulevard Vancouver, BC
(604) 780-1029



Kama Natural SoapKama

100% plant-based soap and candles made with only pure essential oils. Combining different plant oils results in a soap that doesn’t melt into the soap dish and using herbs, grains and essential oils make it smell intoxicating!

Ganges P.O. Box 505
Gangex, Salt Spring Island, BC
V8K 2W2
(250) 537 8846




Tucker 1And don’t forget! – the perfect cruelty-free gift is one in honour of your loved one at Christmas! Send a donation (by cheque, credit card or online through our website) to VHS in lieu of a Christmas gift. Remember to include the name and address of your loved one and we’ll send them a card acknowledging your thoughtfulness. Questions?: 

VHS was able to save Tucker (left) from certain death thanks to the generous support of our donors.