vegan movement

The Vevolution Topics Events Are Back!

Vevolution Topics are an intimate experience with opportunities to connect with like-minded people and learn about important issues. 

World Vegan Day 2017 - Moments That Defined This Year

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It's World Vegan Day 2017 and a time for the vegan movement around the world to celebrate achievements and look to the future. 

Below our Founders Damien and Judy share their views on some on the moments that defined veganism in 2017.


Mainstream Restaurants Putting Veganism On The Menu (Kinda)

2017 has seen chain restaurants get involved in the plant-based revolution in a big way. Recently the likes of The Diner, Wagamama and Carluccio's have started promoting veganism heavily. Joining over 21 high-street chains in offering vegan options.

This said there is still room for improvements. Most chain restaurants require people wanting vegan options to request a special menu treating veganism like it is some kind of allergy. At Vevolution we believe it won't be long before plant-based options are front and centre of most restaurants main menu. 

Our friends at Bright Zine recently wrote a great article on the high street vegan revolution which you should all check out for a more in-depth look at what is happening.


Game Changing Films: OKJA, What The Health, Carnage

It was tears we experienced when we watching OKJA, laughter when we saw Carnage and shock and sadness when we saw the documentary What The Health.

It has been incredibly interesting to see the likes of Netflix and The BBC invest in films with distinctly pro-vegan messaging. At Vevolution we see this as a sign that the mainstream consensus is that veganism is an emerging key issue of our time worthy of serious reflection and discussion. A sign of this was the Guardian newspaper recently coming out with a pro-vegan editorial stance, calling the movement: "high in moral fibre".

The success of these movies undoubtedly will see production companies continue to fund projects with vegan messages especially when it comes to productions with subtle subversive messaging like those found in OKJA and Carnage. 


Marching For Change

2017 has been the year of the march in the vegan world. London held The Official Animal Rights march followed by an even bigger pro vegan march in Israel which saw 10,000 people take to the streets.

Undoubtedly these marches will continue to grow in size as veganism becomes an increasingly popular in mainstream society.

The big question is will these marches be able to impact government policy makers? All great marches of the past had very clear goals and a pragmatic approach to achieving their aims. At the moment the vegan marches feel very passionate but perhaps lacking in pragmatism needed to influence politicians and business leaders. Time will tell...  

Photo credit: Bright Zine, SoapBox & Plant Based News


Investment Starts Pouring Into Vegan Startups

The world of investment has well and truly been cracked by vegan businesses in the UK. Plant-Based News, allplants, SpiceBox have announced they have raised rounds of funding. Whilst the likes of Vurger.co and Pomdoro E Basilico have raised huge rounds of funding on equity based crowdfunding platform Crowdcube. 

It has been exciting to see so many businesses raising rounds of funding. Crowdfunding platforms are enabling both ethical investors and people passionate about veganism to unite in order to give the world more vegan choices. We think this is certainly a good thing and something that looks set to continue in 2018.

It's also been exciting to see Tesco hire the incredibly talented chef Derek Sarno, as their Head Of Plant-Based Food Innovation. The future is definitely bright for those businesses wanting to meeting the growing demand for vegan food products. 


Vegan Events Continue To Educate And Inspire

As event organisers it has been amazing to witness the growth in people coming together to celebrate vegan food and thinkers. VegFest held another record breaking event in London and secured a huge new venue for Bristol VegFest. Vegan Life launched a incredibly successful event packing Alexandra Palace in London in the very first week of January. And the Vegan Campout saw thousands of people come together for a weekend of talks and food.  

Our very own Vevolution events have continued to prove popular and to date have held 7 sold out events with next month's Vevolution festival selling out over a month in advance of the event.

New events for next year that already have us excited are FITVELOVE and Our Vegan Weekend

We've got some exciting new plans we will be sharing with you regarding out 2018 events in the not too distant future. 


Of course we could talk about the plethora of celebrities who went vegan in 2017 but honestly that will happen every year from now on until the end of humanity. Because veganism is an unstoppable force, people are choosing to eat plants because it feels good not to eat animals. It's nice to do a bit to protect our beautiful planet for future generations and we want to live happier and more fulfilled lives and ditching animal products helps all of us all to do that. 

It's an exciting time to be at the heart of a movement for positive change but challenges lay ahead. The world is a murky place and it will be easy for the vegan movement get dragged down into the gutter. We need to all make the effort to ensure sure our intentions and actions remain above reproach.

Thank you to everyone who made it this far down the article. If you are vegan enjoy World Vegan Day and if you're not thanks for reading this article and perhaps give that veggie burger you've been meaning to try out a go. 

All Aboard The Vegan Express

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Everyone’s Talking About The C-Word!

With our first event of 2017, Vevolution Topics: Vegan Food Innovation happening tomorrow (7th February) we have asked vegan foodie blogger & chef Kind State Of Mind aka Ellie Phoebe Brown to be our guest blogger and talk about the hot topic of cheese! 

Tickets are still available for our Food Innovation tomorrow at The Trampery. Ellie will be there giving out samples of her incredible food. To help get you in the mood for some food innovation inspiration we will leave you with Kind State Of Mind...over to you Ellie!  


Everyone’s Talking About The C-Word!
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind

Oh but I could never give up cheese!" If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard that phrase in response to any mention of being vegan, well ... I’d be paying myself actually because even I’ve uttered those - now clichéd - words. I was a major cheese lover for years and although my reliance on dairy is over, it seems cheese is still a hot topic with both vegans and non-vegans alike. 

Why is cheese such a big deal? You may remember the headlines a few years ago stating that cheese is as addictive as hard drugs. While the attention seeking articles were referencing genuine research into “addictive-like eating”, the actual journal (published in early 2015) unsurprisingly concluded that matters were in fact - as ever - far more complex than the simplistic, and awry conclusion spun by the media. 

If it’s not purely biological, what else makes us crazy about cheese? I think there’s a compelling argument to be made for the role of psychological factors in our apparent cheese dependance. Cheese is, by and large, a comforting food. Its high fat and calorie content render it synonymous with special occasions, treats and well, really tasty things! Cheese on toast, macaroni cheese, pizza, the Christmas cheese board, it’s all about pleasure and indulgence (which helps somewhat in explaining why the cheese salad never caught on!) No wonder our brains tell us we love it. Cheese is also often a food we are brought up eating, so it additionally has positive associations from our childhood. Growing up as a vegetarian I ate a lot of cheese and therefore it’s linked to many of my happiest food-related memories from home. Bearing in mind the comfort and memory associations that people have with cheese, on top of possible biological reasons, we can begin to understand the hold it has over people’s eating habits. 

So if you’re vegan you’re just supposed to give up all that good stuff then? Nope! You just have to make a few changes. There is a whole world of dairy free cheeses out there, and it’s growing at a fast pace! With availability increasing in response to growing demand it’s easier than ever to get your hands on some vegan cheese. Large retailers such as Ocado and Holland & Barrett sell vegan cheese products, and last year Sainsbury’s brought out their own range of vegan cheeses in collaboration with Vevolution's sponsor Bute Island Foods. The latter has proved so popular that it exceeded their sales expectations by 300% in its first month, a sign if there ever was one of how mainstream the desire to ditch dairy has become. 

It’s not just large retailers either. There are now many smaller suppliers emerging too, selling their own tasty hand-crafted cheeses. Companies such as Mouse’s Favourite, a London-based company making artisan nut-based cheeses, and Nutcrafter Creamery from Glasgow, who make an impressive array of aged and organic vegan cheeses. International companies are also looking to get in on the UK’s booming vegan cheese market. The American company Follow Your Heart recently launched a small selection of their vegan cheeses over here, which I personally really love. I hope more companies follow suit, to increase the selection of products available to U.K. vegans as The States seem to be streets ahead of us in the product development stakes and this, in turn, will generate some healthy competition and innovation between brands. 

For many people giving up cheese is the main barrier to becoming vegan. However, with more and more vegan cheeses coming on to the market all the time, with even better textures and flavours than before, this last hurdle to becoming vegan may soon be a thing of the past! 

And lastly…. Of course, you can make your own vegan cheese! Here’s a cheap, simple and tasty way to make your own cashew cheese. With a bit of practice, you can adjust the flavours with different herbs and spices but garlic and chive are a great place to start!\

Garlic and Chive Cashew Cheese
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind 

Makes: One round cheese
Prep time: 30 minutes plus chilling time

Ingredients:

  • 100g raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 tsp fine salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp water

  • Small bunch of chives (or other herb)

Method:

  1. In a food processor or blender place all ingredients except for the chives. Process until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy in texture. You'll need to keep stopping to scrape down the sides to ensure it all gets blended. Keep blending until it stops being lumpy and grainy and looks like a smooth soft cheese. This may take 5 - 10 minutes so keep going! You can add a little more water to get it moving in the blender if absolutely needed - but if you want to make a firm cheese try to avoid adding too much extra liquid.
  2. Finely chop the chives and stir into your smooth cheese mixture. If you add them to the blender to combine you will end up with a green cheese - so best to stir them in! Have a taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. If you want to make a soft cheese spread, like a cream cheese, then all you need to do is transfer the cheese to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. You can eat it immediately - but it will set slightly if you leave it to chill, making a slightly thicker spread.
  4. If you want to make a firmer cheese, like the one pictured above, then you'll need to remove some of the moisture from the cheese. For this you'll need a square of double layer cheese cloth, or a thin, clean tea towel. Lay out the cloth and scrape all of the cheese mixture into the centre of the square and roughly shape it into a round shape. Gather the corners of the cloth, bring together the top and fasten with a  rubber band to create a little parcel (see pics)  I tie it above my sink to drain for a few hours (you could also put it in a sieve above a bowl) and then place it in a dish lined with kitchen towel in the fridge for a further 3-4 hours or overnight. (You can also put it straight into the fridge in a sieve or wrapped in kitchen towel but I've found the 2 step process removes the most water, resulting in the firmest cheese.)
  5. Once it's been in the fridge you can gently remove the cheese cloth and there will be your little cashew cheese!
  6. The cheese will keep for about 4-5 days in the fridge, in an airtight container - but it never lasts that long around me!

For a more detailed version of the recipe with photos go to my blog post here: https://kindstateofmind.com/2017/02/02/easy-garlic-and-chive-cashew-cheese/


Be sure to check out Ellie's other recipes and food tips over at her blog Kind State Of Mind and follow her foodie adventures on her social channels - Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

Ellie will be at Vevolution Topics: Food Innovation tomorrow Tuesday 7th February and will be giving out samples of her yummy food creations so don't miss out and grab your ticket now: https://vevolution-topics-food.eventbrite.com/

Vevolution Venue and Date Annoucement

We are proud to announce that this year’s Vevolution festival will take place on the 5th November 2016 at the Oval Space in Hackney, London.


This venue will provide several spaces including a main space with a seated capacity of 400 people. We are delighted to have secured such a beautiful space to give our speakers an opportunity to step onto a bigger stage to share their stories and ideas that deserve to be heard far and wide.


The move to Oval Space really fits with our belief that veganism is a social justice movement which deserves a beautiful platform. And importantly to us it means we can accept more attendees than last year to share what we know will be an educating and beautiful celebration of veganism.


Remember to sign-up to our newsletter here: This will be the first place you will hear about early-bird tickets for the festival which will be released in the next few weeks.

Join the Vevolution Revolution

Welcome to the Vevolution website… We’re really excited about this year's festival, 2016 has already been a huge year for veganism and conscious living and we can’t wait to build upon our success of our previous festival Vegan Futures.

We are in the process of pulling together a fantastic speaker line-up and festival supporters. And please get in-touch with us to suggest speakers, collaborators or to express an interest in sponsoring.


In the meantime please sign up to our latest updates. This is where you will first hear about the early-bird tickets and exciting offers through festival partners.


Hopefully see you soon!


Damien and Judy