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News/Blog

Check out our new Go Veg Ads!

The following advertisements are part of VHS’s Go Veg program, which focuses on educating and empowering individuals in making the transition toward a plant-based diet and vegan lifestyle.

Please help us share the “Go Veg” message by sharing the ads to your social media pages.

When you share, feel free to tag us on Facebook (@VancouverHumaneSociety), Instagram (@VancouverHumane) and Twitter (@VanHumane).

Visit our Go Veg homepage to learn more about the program!

Just like our pets, farmed animals love to play

Just like our pets, farmed animals love to play. Just like our pets, farmed animals deserve our kindness. Visit goveg.ca to learn more.

Just like our pets, farmed animals are problem-solvers

Just like our pets, farmed animals can think through problems and find solutions. Just like our pets, farmed animals deserve our kindness. Visit goveg.ca for…

Just like our pets, farmed animals form social bonds

Visit act.goveg.ca to take action.

Just like our pets, farmed animals are curious

Visit act.goveg.ca to take action.

Plant-based benefits

Visit goveg.ca for support.

Plant-based diet – did you know?

Visit goveg.ca for support.

Improve your health with a plant-based diet

Visit goveg.ca for support.

Categories
Media Release

Thought-provoking billboard urges Vancouverites to “Go Veg”

New Vancouver Humane Society ad campaign promotes kindness to all animals

Media release
July 23, 2020

Vancouver – A striking new billboard in downtown Vancouver is encouraging Vancouverites to treat farmed animals with the same compassion as other animals by transitioning to a plant-based diet. The billboard is part of The Vancouver Humane Society’s (VHS) new Go Veg campaign.

The billboard, which shows the faces of a cow and a dog with near-identical markings, states: “Animals are the same in all the ways that matter” and urges people to “Be kind to every kind.”

“Farmed animals are thinking, feeling beings, with complex emotional lives – just like the pets we open our homes and hearts to,” said VHS campaign director Emily Pickett. “They suffer greatly under today’s industrial animal agriculture system. Our Go Veg billboard calls on society to recognize that animals, regardless of the label they are given – farmed or companion – are the same in all the ways that matter.”

Pickett said that, in 2019, more than 830 million land animals were raised and slaughtered for food in Canada. “Our overconsumption of animal products has led to the rise of the industrial animal agriculture system, characterized by large numbers of animals confined in cramped, barren and unnatural environments and subject to painful procedures, lengthy transport journeys and frightening slaughter conditions.”

The billboard ad will run in select locations in Vancouver throughout the summer. In addition, VHS is running ads in 24 Vancouver condo buildings, also promoting a plant-based diet.

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Vancouver Humane Society billboard near the intersection of Georgia & Richards in Vancouver.
Categories
News/Blog

COVID-19 exposes problems in Canada’s food system, groups call for change

The Vancouver Humane Society (VHS) is joining other animal protection, environmental and food advocacy groups in calling on the federal government to direct any financial aid for Canada’s agriculture system toward transitioning to a safe, equitable and sustainable plant-based food system that improves food security, protects animal welfare, public health, worker safety and the environment on which we all depend.

The joint letter highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed serious problems with Canada’s food system and supply chains, particularly in the meat industry. Industrial livestock operations are a leading source of greenhouse gas emissions and environmental degradation and are characterized by the confinement of large numbers of genetically-similar animals in unnatural and unhealthy environments. These conditions significantly compromise their welfare and could lead to the rise of new zoonotic diseases that threaten public health.

Meanwhile, the consolidation of the meat industry into the hands of a few multi-billion dollar corporations makes supply chains vulnerable to unexpected disruptions. For example, the pandemic has prompted some pig farmers in Canada to cull animals in response to reduced processing capacity at slaughterhouses, after they were forced to suspend or slow operations following COVID-19 outbreaks among workers. A large number of COVID-19 cases have been linked to slaughterhouses and employees have spoken out about the lack of protection for workers and the dangerous, fast-paced, and unhealthy environments. 

The joint letter encourages the federal Minister of Finance and Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food to dedicate any emergency funding for the agricultural sector, as well as any future funding, on phasing out industrial livestock operations and assisting farmers in transitioning toward a sustainable, ethical and equitable plant-based food system. COVID-19 is an unprecedented wake-up call and policy-makers must take action to ensure that we emerge from this crisis with a more resilient food system that is respectful of the inter-connectedness of human, environmental, and animal health.

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Uncategorized

A sneak peak at our new Go Veg ads

While COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on our work with schools to put more plant-based options on cafeteria menus, we’re continuing to speak out and work behind the scenes to support food system change that will benefit animals, the planet and public health.

We’re excited to share a sneak peek of our brand new Go Veg ads, which build on our popular “Food vs. Friend” bus ad campaign that we’ve run the last few years. The ads will touch on the benefits of a plant-based diet and will be running online and in public spaces (see billboard above) throughout Metro Vancouver in the coming months.

VHS also participated in the City of Vancouver’s Climate Emergency survey and advocated for climate actions that include transitioning public menus toward fewer animal products and more plant-based options. The consumption of food makes up nearly half of the City of Vancouver’s ecological footprint and animal products have a larger environmental impact than plant-based foods, making this an opportunity to change the food system to help protect both animals and the planet.

VHS executive director, Amy Morris and projects and communications Director, Peter Fricker also recorded a podcast in which they discuss local plant-based foods and food sustainability. You can hear their discussion here.

Categories
News/Blog

The big, challenging questions about plant-based foods with Peter Fricker

What plant-based foods are produced in Canada? Do you have to farm animals to produce enough food for Canadians? Would our economy fail if we stopped slaughtering animals? What’s the deal with vegan junk food? Learn about all of this and more by listening to our interview with VHS’ Projects and Communications Director, Peter Fricker.

Upcoming talk

On June 24, we are hosting an online presentation with Dr. Lisa Kramer, a behavioural economist at the University of Toronto, entitled Is the Future of Meat Plant-Based?. It is a free presentation and Dr. Kramer will be answering questions live! We have scheduled it for 12pm and 7pm to accommodate for different schedules.

Categories
Opinion Editorial

COVID-19 exposes another dark side of Canada’s meat industry

Article originally published on Daily Hive.

COVID-19 has created a crisis for the meat industry, with workers falling ill, slaughterhouses shutting down, and fears of meat shortages emerging. The virus has also exposed the industry’s deep flaws, including an ethical vacuum at its core.

Disturbing reports that meat companies failed to protect employees and allowed them to work while sick with the virus offer the most likely explanation for COVID-19 outbreaks in meat plants across North America.

In BC, Vancouver Coastal Health was critical of one Vancouver plant’s safety measures after 28 workers tested positive for the virus, finding that “the plans that were in place were inadequate or were not appropriately executed.” Outbreaks have since occurred in three more local poultry operations.

In Alberta, a slaughterhouse operated by meat giant Cargill is now the largest single-site outbreak of coronavirus in Canada, with more than 900 cases. The company is facing criticism that it failed to put in place appropriate physical distancing measures and provide personal protective equipment to its employees. Meat industry workers in several US states have protested against slaughterhouses staying open over safety fears. There have also been outbreaks in meat plants in Ontario and Quebec.

The meat and livestock industry’s apparent lack of concern for the welfare of its employees is no surprise to animal advocates who have long decried the appalling treatment of animals in intensive agriculture. Despite an endless parade of undercover investigations and media exposés revealing cruel practices and animal suffering, the industry has resisted change. Instead, it has lobbied for “Ag-gag” laws to keep its operations hidden from public view.

The industry’s exploitation of animals and workers has been ruthlessly efficient, providing cheap meat while squeezing every last penny of profit from its industrialized feeding, confining, transporting and slaughtering of billions of cows, pigs and chickens. That same concentration on profit and efficiency has also squeezed the humanity out of the industry. It is no wonder that renowned historian and author Yuval Noah Harari has described industrial animal agriculture as one of the worst crimes in history.

But it doesn’t end there. Beyond the cruelty of factory farming are the equally well-documented harms it inflicts on the environment and our health.

The United Nations Environment Agency has said “meat production is known to be a major contributor to climate change and environmental destruction…” and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) continues to call for a reduction in global meat consumption to protect the planet. A 2019 study by the World Resources Institute found that: “For every food calorie generated, animal-based foods — and ruminant meats in particular — require many times more feed and land inputs, and emit far more greenhouse gases, than plant-based foods.”  And, in the irony of ironies, factory farming risks causing future pandemics — just like the one currently shutting down its slaughterhouses — by confining thousands of stressed, genetically-uniform animals into crowded barns.

Despite endless debates in the media about meat consumption and health, major studies continue to show links between meat consumption and higher risks of heart diseasecancer, and diabetes.

With modern animal agriculture clearly unsustainable, it is no accident that the plant-based protein industry has grown in recent years.  Now, the coronavirus crisis may have provided it with an opportunity to demonstrate its advantages, with US sales of plant-based meat substitutes recently jumping 200%.

Those advantages are significant. There is strong evidence that a plant-based diet is healthy, beneficial to the environment, and, of course, good for animals. And, because it is more automated and less reliant on labour, the plant-based protein industry is less vulnerable to staff shortages caused by the pandemic.

The development of plant-based protein offers the world a chance to turn away from an industry that has demonstrated little concern for the welfare of animals, the planet or the people it employs. With the coronavirus exposing the vulnerability of this unsustainable sector, it calls into question our individual food choices. If we can eat well without cruelty, slaughter, environmental degradation and needless risks to our health, why wouldn’t we?

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

Larry’s Market: the new vegetarian grocery store with a mission to provide “Healthy Food Conveniently”

Larry’s Market owner Ryan Dennis has brought in chef Haley Parrent to prepare menus for specific dietary needs. Photo by Mike Wakefield/North Shore News 

Since opening it’s doors this July, vegetarian grocery store Larry’s Market, located at North Vancouver Shipyards, has been a big hit with Vancouverites looking to buy healthy food, conveniently!  VHS asked Ryan Dennis, the owner of Larry’s Market, what inspired his new venture, after spending the past 25 years in the grocery industry, before deciding to open his own store. 

What inspired the opening of Larry’s Market?

My wife was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2017.  We had to make some decisions on what healthy eating looked like for our family after this health scare.  After researching, we decided that a plant-based diet was the way to go.  We weren’t able to find a lot of options in grocery stores, so we decided we would create an option.  We are happy we did and now we successfully serve North Vancouver’s Shipyards District with Vegetarian groceries, coffee and grab and go restaurant food.  My wife is now healthy and is helping me run Larry’s Market.

Why do you think it’s a good time to open a plant-based business?  

We feel that communities are shifting to more plant-based diets.  People are eating less meat and seafood.  The timing is great because people are being educated by the many documentaries and reports that are continually being released that support plant-based diets.

What demographics will you be targeting? 

The demographic is all across the board.  We are seeing young people that are educating themselves and retired folks that are looking for “food as thy medicine”.  The professionals that are on the go and looking for a convenient meal are returning for their favourite salad, sandwich or pizza daily.

What has the response been so far from Vancouver consumers?

Vancouver has accepted us very well.  We are seeing people from all over the Lower Mainland that are making us a destination.  People are always asking us to expand to their neighbourhood so they don’t have to drive over to the North Shore.

Everything in your store is vegetarian or vegan, how will you win over carnivores?

Our store is all vegetarian and our menu is over 75% vegan.  We are accepting of all people.  We want to be the bridge between the vegan and the carnivore.  More people are looking to decrease the amount of meat they eat and we want them at Larry’s. 

What challenges do you think you will face?

Most commonly asked question at Larry’s Market.  How do I get enough protein?  We answer with the solutions that we have in store that have been designed to increase the amount of protein that a person gets in their diet.

What has been the biggest challenge in launching your business?

The biggest challenge in launching is providing the customer with different products than they can get in a regular supermarket.  The product range that we are building is very unique and we continuously get people telling us our products are very cool and unique.

Do you think the market for plant-based food will continue to grow?

We know that the market will continue to grow.  We know that this isn’t a trend it is a way of life that more and more people are taking on.  On the daily we have people coming in saying that they have just started their new plant-based way of life.

What’s on the menu in your store? 

Our store is famous for our salads.  We have teamed up with Brian Skinner, famous for the Acorn Restaurant and now in Kelowna for Frankie we Salute you, to get recipes that are amazing and taste great.  Vegetarian Pizza’s are unique and our best seller is our Spicy Cauliflower pizza.  Sandwiches are led by our Chickpea Tuna which outsells our other sandwiches by quite a bit.

If Larry’s Market North Vancouver is a success would you consider expanding to more locations?

We will be expanding Larry’s in the near future.  Stay tuned.

Larry’s Market is located at: 140-125 Victoria Ship Way, BC V7L 0G5
(604) 999-0998  https://www.larrysmarket.ca


 

 

 

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

Help the world go veg with our amazing bumper stickers!

Debra promotes veg bumper stickers 2
VHS executive director Debra Probert LOVES our new bumper stickers!

We’ve got two great bumper stickers you can use to support our efforts to promote a plant-based diet.

The stickers, which can be ordered on our merchandise page, promote our Meatless Monday and Go Veg campaigns. They cost $1.50 each, or $2.00 each with a magnet.

Here’s what they look like up close:

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GoVeg_black_carrot

VHS-MM-Bumper-Stickers-2015-WEB

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You can also order our FREE veg booklet and Meatless Monday brochure by emailing Emily at emily@vancouverhumanesociety.bc.ca

VHS Veg Booklet - 2015 Cover-page-0small

MM brochure cover Capture

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Categories
compassion Dairy Food and Drink News/Blog plant-based diet Promoted vegan vegetarianism

Going veg? Here’s what to stock up on

 

Vegetarian Sandwich Wrap or burrito made up of saute yellow squash, zucchini, bell peppers and onions rolled in a corn tortilla with rice and diced tomatoes and goat cheese and drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette. Wrap is served with a baby lettuce salad.

 

 

If you’re transitioning to a plant-based diet, it’s important to stock up on some of the staples that are essential to a meat and dairy-free lifestyle. Below, we’ve compiled a list of key food ingredients and products that will help anyone going veg.  It’s by no means exhaustive and we encourage you to explore the many sources of information on plant-based eating available online. (At the bottom of this page we list some of our favourite sites.)

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DAIRY ALTERNATIVES

 

Alternative milks Almond, soy, rice, cashew are the most common. A new product is Veggemo, which claims to be “the first non-dairy beverage originating from veggies.”

Buttery spread (homemade): Store-bought, non-hydrogenated Earth Balance is popular. There have been concerns about its use of palm oil, which is destructive to wildlife habitat. However, the company has said it will use only sustainably produced palm oil by the end of 2015.

Dairy-free cheese: Vancouver-based Daiya melts like the real thing. Chao Slices are getting good reviews.

Cream cheese (homemade): Store-bought products include: Tofutti, Daiya, Go Veggie and Follow Your Heart all offer vegan cream cheese.

Sour cream (homemade): Ready-made brands include Tofutti, Follow Your Heart

Dairy-free yogurt (product reviews)

 

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MEAT ALTERNATIVES AND PROTEINS

 

Gardein does a range of healthy meat replacement products including veggie burgers, “chick’n scallopini”, holiday roasts and even “fishless filets.”

Tofurkey is famous for its holiday roasts but also does a range of meatless products

Field Roast is probably best known for its amazing meatless sausages but also makes roasts, slices and other products.

 

Yves does a range of meat substitutes, including burgers, sausages and bacon.

Veggie burgers (homemade) Store-bought (frozen and refrigerated) includes Gardein; Yves and Sol, which are some of the main Canadian brands.

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While ready-made meat substitutes can be quick and convenient, many people prefer less processed and more natural sources of plant-based protein.

Tofu: A long-time staple of meat free eating.

Tempeh: Soybean-based meat substitute.

Seitan: Made from wheat gluten, seitan is high in protein and has a meaty texture

Edamame (recipes): These young, green soy beans make a great high-protein snack.

Pulses (beans, dried peas, chickpeas, lentils): Dried and home-cooked are cheap and the healthiest but canned are convenient.

Nuts and seeds: High in protein and healthy fats. Cashews are especially useful as they can be soaked and used in a variety of ways.

Nut butters: Peanut butter is the best known but almond butter, cashew butter and others are increasingly popular.

Egg alternatives (for baking): Follow Your Heart has developed the VeganEgg, which can be scrambled and used in omelettes.

Mayonnaise alternatives (homemade): Store-bought brands include Vegenaise, Earth Balance’s Mindful Mayo.  The latest (and best, according to some) is Just Mayo, although it is not yet widely available in Canada (Costco has had it in stock).

 

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GRAINS

Brown rice: More nutritious than white.

QuinoaA great plant-based complete protein.

Steel-cut oats: Good for breakfast.

Whole-wheat couscous: More nutritious than regular.

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ONLINE RESOURCES (Plant-based recipes, nutrition advice):

Ohsheglows: http://ohsheglows.com/
Vegan Health: http://www.veganhealth.org/
Minimalist Baker: http://minimalistbaker.com/
Vegan Richa: http://www.veganricha.com/

 

LOWER MAINLAND GROCERS (Stocking many plant-based staples)

Donald’s Market
Parthenon
Vegansupply.ca
Whole Foods
Choices Markets
Vegan Essentials (online store)
Eternal Abundance
Sweet Cherubim
Famous Foods
 

Looking for more plant-based inspiration? Whether you’re going meatless on Mondays or every day, take our Meatless Monday pledge to receive a weekly plant-based recipe via email.