Quantcast
Food
Suzette - www.suzette.nu / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Asheville Declares First Ever 'City-Proclaimed' Vegan Challenge in U.S.

The famously artsy and progressive city of Asheville, North Carolina declared the week of June 4-10 as the nation's first "city-proclaimed" seven-day vegan challenge.

The initiative—organized by the City of Asheville, regional hospital Mission Health and no-kill shelter Brother Wolf Animal Rescue—aims to promote the vegan diet as a means to combat climate change, mass species extinction and animal cruelty, and to improve human health, a Brother Wolf spokesperson told EcoWatch.


Mayor Esther Manheimer signed the proclamation last week. The document makes points such as:

  • More than 70 billion animals are bred and slaughtered each year, making global animal agriculture the leading cause of animal cruelty worldwide,
  • Global animal agriculture is the leading cause of global deforestation, rainforest depletion, soils degradation, water scarcity, desertification and ocean dead zones,
  • Scientists say we are in the midst of the Sixth Great Mass Extinction of Species, with more than 200 wildlife species lost daily, and humans are the leading cause due to global deforestation and climate change,
  • The leading causes of human mortality and escalating healthcare costs are heart disease, cancer and diabetes, and the leading driver of those diseases is the consumption of animal-based foods.

The Brother Wolf spokesperson said 225 citizens have already signed up for the challenge. The goal is to reach 500 participants by June 4. At the end of the challenge, the organizers will use the number of people who signed up to calculate the environmental impact of their effort. The following will be measured in terms of the amount saved: Gallons of water, square footage of forest, animals lives, pounds of grain and pounds of CO2.

"We want to show the United States that as a community, we can come together to create real change for the animals, the Earth, and us," said BWAR founder and president Denise Bitz, in a statement.

Asheville has become a plant-based haven in recent years, with more than 80 restaurants serving vegan options and not one but two festivals celebrating the lifestyle—the Asheville VegFest organized by the Asheville Vegan Society, and the Asheville VeganFest organized by Brother Wolf, according to VegNews. Mayor Manheimer even declared "Vegan Awareness Week" in 2016 and in 2017.

The inaugural vegan challenge will lead up to the three-day VeganFest from June 8-10. The organizers expect a record crowd of more than 15,000 attendees this year.

From left to right: Jason Sellars – chef and owner of Plant Vegan Restaurant; Brian Haynes, Asheville councilman; Mayor Esther Manheimer; Paul Berry, Brother Wolf executive director. Brother Wolf

Giving up meat and animal-based products might not be easy for omnivores but the organizers behind the vegan challenge have created a free and accessible guide that includes recipes and a shopping list of ingredients for the week.

The meal plan was developed by Dr. Garth Davis, the medical director of Mission Weight Management, and his team.

"I've just moved to Asheville, and I'm so impressed that the city has issued this proclamation," Davis, who was featured in the documentary Forks over Knives and stars in the TLC show Big Medicine, said in a statement. "My team and I are very excited to be working on this amazing opportunity with Brother Wolf."

Davis and his team will also stream live cooking classes and plant-based health tips on the VeganFest Facebook page.

Brother Wolf has partnered with local grocery stores and restaurants to highlight vegan options during the week.

"We are very blessed to have so many great restaurants in our community, and most all the chefs offer wonderful vegan options," Bitz added. "Our local grocery stores have abundant selections of vegan foods, too. We're working with local restaurants and local grocers to offer discounts on their vegan foods to encourage participation in the challenge."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals

Beloved Bear That Recovered From Massive Wildfire Burns Found Shot Dead

Cinder, an orphaned bear cub that was severely burned but had remarkably survived after one of the worst recorded wildfires in Washington state history was found dead, wildlife officials recently confirmed to news outlets.

She was likely shot and killed in October 2017 by a hunter, according to the Methow Valley News and a Facebook post by the Idaho Black Bear Rehab, where the famous black bear was treated.

Keep reading... Show less
Oceans
The crew of the Greenpeace ship MY Arctic Sunrise voyage into the Great Pacific Garbage Patch document plastics and other marine debris. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is a soupy mix of plastics and microplastics, now twice the size of Texas, in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean. Justin Hofman / Greenpeace

Teen Vogue Joined Greenpeace at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — Here’s What They Saw

By Perry Wheeler

Throughout this year, people all over the globe united to take on plastic pollution. Greenpeace supporters have asked their local supermarkets to phase out throwaway plastics, helped us reach 3 million signatures to companies like Coca-Cola, Nestle and Unilever demanding they invest in real solutions and participated in beach cleanups and brand audits to name the worst corporate plastic polluters.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

Advocates Shouldn’t Be Afraid to Tell the Truth About Climate Change

By Jeremy Deaton

It has been a tough few months for climate change. In October, an international body of climate scientists declared humans have a little more than a decade to make the drastic changes needed to keep rising temperatures reasonably in check. In November, federal scientists released an equally grim assessment detailing the unprecedented floods, droughts and wildfires expected to hit the U.S. Then, this month, with the world ablaze, diplomats gathered in Poland to bicker over how much water each country should pour on their respective fires and, in some cases, whether scientists were exaggerating the size of the flames.

Keep reading... Show less
Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia / CC BY-SA 4.0

The Dirty Scheme to Make Americans Buy More Gasoline

By Rhea Suh

It's not often that an industry chieftain brags to investors about picking the pockets of American families with help from the White House.

That's what happened, though, after Big Oil schemed with the Trump administration last summer to ensure higher gasoline consumption—to the tune of $16 billion a year—and more climate-disrupting carbon pollution from our cars, vans and pickup trucks.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
The planned Liberty Project is an artificial gravel island to allow oil drilling in the Arctic. Hilcorp / BOEM

Trump Administration Sued Over Controversial Arctic Drilling Project

Conservation groups are suing the Trump administration to halt construction of a controversial oil production facility in Alaska's Beaufort Sea, the first offshore oil drilling development in federal Arctic waters.

Hilcorp Alaska received the green light from the Interior Department in October to build the Liberty Project, a nine-acre artificial drilling island and 5.6-mile underwater pipeline, which environmentalists warn could risk oil spills in the ecologically sensitive area, threaten Arctic communities and put local wildlife including polar bears at risk.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
AAron Ontiveroz / Denver Post / Getty Images

5 Everyday Products Contaminated With Plastic

However, the infiltration of plastics into our daily lives goes much deeper, making it hard to avoid this polluting material which will remain in our ecosystems for centuries to come.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Fracking waste from the Vaca Muerta shale basin in Argentina being dumped into an open air pit. Greenpeace

Indigenous Group Sues Exxon, Energy Majors Over Fracking Waste Contamination in Patagonia

A major indigenous group in the Argentine Patagonia is suing some of world's biggest oil and gas companies over illegal fracking waste dumps that put the "sensitive Patagonian environment," local wildlife and communities at risk, according to Greenpeace.

The Mapuche Confederation of Neuquén filed a lawsuit against Exxon, French company Total and the Argentina-based Pan American Energy (which is partially owned by BP), AFP reported. Provincial authorities and a local fracking waste treatment company called Treater Neuquén S.A. were also named in the suit.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
A Yelp event at Rip's Malt Shop in Brooklyn, New York, which serves vegan comfort food, including plant-based proteins produced by Beyond Meat and Field Roast. Yelp Inc. / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Should Plant-Based Proteins be Called 'Meat'?

By Melissa Kravitz

Fried chicken, bacon cheeseburgers and pepperoni pizza aren't uncommon to see on vegan menus—or even the meat-free freezer section of your local supermarket—but should we be calling these mock meat dishes the same names? A new Missouri law doesn't think so. The state's law, which forbids "misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry," has led to a contentious ethical, legal and linguistic debate. Four organizations—Tofurky, the Good Food Institute, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri and the Animal Legal Defense Fund—are now suing the state on the basis that not only is the law against the U.S. Constitution, but it favors meat producers for unfair market competition.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!