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Welcome to our comprehensive summary of the year's key developments in veganism, environmental advocacy, animal rights, health and sustainability, and the transformative events shaping the landscape of 2023! Over the past twelve months, a wave of innovation, awareness, and collective action has risen across the globe, shaping a period characterized by significant steps towards a more conscientious and sustainable future. We have compiled some prominent developments and initiatives on these important interconnected issues.


  • Lidl Reveals Intentions To Cut Down On Meat In Stores

  • Lidl has declared its intention to reduce the quantity of livestock products it sells as part of a company-wide initiative to promote sustainability. It is anticipated that vegan substitutes will gradually replace animal-based products on the shelves of the German discount retailer. This aligns with Lidl's pledge to significantly expand its selection of plant-based products by 2025 and beyond. Lidl specifically highlights that food resources must be prudently managed, and less flesh should be consumed if feeding 10 billion people in the future is a reality.

  • In the US, animal testing is no longer necessary for the development of new drugs

  • Novel legislation in the United States has rendered the precondition that pharmaceutical candidates be subjected to animal testing before their administration to participants in human trials unnecessary. There has been a longstanding advocacy for animal rights regarding this matter, with certain individuals within the pharmaceutical sector contending that animal experimentation is both costly and ineffective. The sponsor of the FDA Modernization Act 2.0, Senator Rand Paul, stated in a statement that the new legislation will expedite the introduction of safer, more effective drugs to the market and put an end to the "needless suffering and death of animal test subjects" by eliminating "red tape that is not supported by current science."

  • Edinburgh became the first European City to sign the Plant-Based Treaty

    Edinburgh has become the first European capital to endorse a plant-based diet to combat the climate emergency. Edinburgh is the 20th city to ratify the treaty, joining Los Angeles, Boynton Beach in Florida, Haywards Heath in the UK, Didim in Turkey, and 15 Indian cities. The Plant-Based Treaty, an initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from animal agriculture, has received the support of the city council. The council may ultimately implement carbon labeling on menus and transition to a greater variety of plant-based dishes in schools and council buildings as a result of the treaty. 


  • Funga, a company that leads the world’s first fungi-powered microbiome restoration project, raised $4 million in a seed funding round

  • The FUNGA project, which utilizes fungi to produce biomass and sequester carbon, is the first endeavor of its kind to remove carbon using fungi. Fungi are cultivated on an agricultural waste substrate in this endeavor; they sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during their development. Fungi are harvested and processed into a highly valuable biomass product suitable for animal feed, fuel, and soil amendment, among other applications. By providing sustainable products that can substitute for fossil fuels and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, Funga intends to aid in the fight against climate change.


  • A greener choice for air conditioners has been developed 

  • Scientists at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom have developed an environmentally sustainable film alternative made from plants that retain their warmth when exposed to sunlight. In the future, the material may be utilized to chill automobiles and buildings without requiring external energy. Featuring an assortment of textures and vivid iridescent hues, it is also visually appealing. This film, constructed from eco-friendly materials, alters color in response to temperature and can substantially cool interiors. The innovation presents a sustainable substitute for conventional air conditioning, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.


  • A new technology using sound waves to remove microplastics from wastewater was announced

  • To address the existing challenges associated with collecting microplastic waste in water systems, The Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has devised Acousweep. This innovative and environmentally friendly wastewater treatment technique effectively segregates microplastics while substantially safeguarding water quality using sound waves. Acousweep efficiently captures and retrieves microplastic fibers by employing sweeping acoustic waves and a unique chamber with a unique configuration. In contrast to conventional filtration methods, the system's acoustic manipulation technique facilitates the accumulation of microplastic fibers and allows continuous water treatment.


  • Sea turtles are granted legal protection from hunting and pollution in Panama

  • A new law in Panama now protects the right of sea turtles to live and move freely in a healthy environment. According to Callie Veelenturf, founder of an organization that protects leatherback turtles and advocates for the law, this law will enable any Panamanian citizen to defend and legally represent sea turtles. Under this law, sea turtles have the legal right to an environment free from pollution and other harmful human activities that affect their health or well-being, such as unregulated tourism, coastal development, climate change, and incidental capture.


  • UN finally reached a deal on the High Seas Treaty to defend international waters

  • On Monday, June 19, the United Nations ratified the first worldwide accord to preserve the high seas. The goal of this historic environmental deal is to safeguard isolated habitats that are essential to human survival. Scientists are beginning to realize how vital the seas are—they are the main supply of oxygen, absorb CO2 to slow down global warming, and support a wealth of life, often at the microscopic level. However, international collaboration is essential to maintaining the high seas because a large section of the planet's oceans reside beyond individual nations' exclusive economic zones and, thus, beyond the jurisdiction of any one state.


  • Norway has made a significant mineral discovery that might supply solar panels and batteries for the next 50 years

  • A sizable phosphate rock deposit has been found in southwest Norway, according to a mining business called Norge Mining. This discovery may help lessen our reliance on fossil fuels. An important development for the green energy sector, the deposit is thought to contain up to 70 billion tons of phosphate rock, a necessary component in manufacturing batteries and solar panels. This discovery may also contribute to increased food security because phosphate rock is used to make fertilizer.


  • France stopped printing paper receipts that aren't necessary

  • In France, routinely producing paper sales receipts has been discontinued. This action, which pertains to bank card receipts as well, has been implemented with environmental concerns in mind. The receipt will not be eliminated; clients will retain the ability to request a hard copy should they require it to clarify any uncertainties regarding a price, for instance. Moreover, the printout will continue to be mandatory in specific locations (hotels, restaurants, hair salons, garages, and so forth).


  • Apple announced that all of its products will eventually stop using animal leather

  • Apple made a noteworthy decision at its recent event by announcing the discontinuation of selling leather accessories. Apple's move reflects an increasing trend towards sustainability and aligns with its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2030. Apple has taken a creative way to imitate the look of leather without harming animals by introducing FineWoven material in some watchbands and iPhone cases, which replaces cow leather. This move toward vegan substitutes not only helps the environment but also helps animals, suggesting that this is a long-lasting trend in the sector.


  • Denmark became the first country to develop a national action plan for plant-based diets

  • The Danish government has unveiled its first national plant-based action plan, outlining its strategy to gradually adopt a more plant-based diet and increase its supply of plant-based protein in the coming years. The plan focuses on two main initiatives: encouraging farmers to grow plant-based commodities and allocating $100 million under the Plant Fund until 2030 for sustainable plant-based food development. 

  • In Germany, Lidl and Kaufland declared that the costs of their private-label vegan products would be reduced

  • Two of the biggest shops in Germany, Lidl and Kaufland, have lowered the costs of goods from the vegan brands Vemondo and K-Take It, which are licensed under the V-Label program. Both merchants intend to offer their goods at prices comparable to or less expensive than those of animal-derived goods. According to the consumer survey results, 59% of customers who are concerned about the V-Label believe that items with the label are more reliable, and 69% believe that they are healthier. Additionally, these numbers offer valuable information to companies and brands on what makes forty percent of European customers prepared to spend more for a product with the V-Label.


  • Corn waste is transformed into detachable, zero-waste, environmentally friendly tiles

  • CornWall, a reusable and removable carbon-neutral tile, is made entirely from corn cobs, considered waste. As part of the initiative, StoneCycling, a materials producer, and Circular Matters, a consulting firm, upcycle and recycle this organic biowaste, producing reusable interior walls. By simply pulverizing the cobs, the upcycling process also allows the material to be used as a furniture covering. CornWall is climate-positive as corn absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere in production, and the stored carbon is retained in the tiles.

  • AHA Suggested Eating an Impossible Burger to Protect Your Heart

  • Impossible Foods was just granted Heart-Check Food Certification by the American Heart Association (AHA) for their plant-based Beef Lite product. This accomplishment draws attention to the nutritional benefits of Beef Lite, a product designed especially for people who eat meat but are looking for a plant-based substitute for beef because they are health-conscious. Besides having a high protein, fiber, iron, B vitamins, zinc, and potassium content, Beef Lite has zero trans fat grams, no cholesterol, and 75% less saturated fat than lean ground beef. The product, therefore, complies with the American Heart Association's (AHA) recommendations, which suggest reducing trans fats and minimizing saturated fats to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.


  • Chicken Run 2: Dawn of the Nuggets is released, delving into the grim realities of chicken-rearing

  • In Chicken Run 2, released on Netflix on December 15, a gang of poultry challenged the chicken farming industry to prevent other chickens from being turned into nuggets. The movie is set in the 1950s when food scientist Robert C. Baker invented the chicken nugget. Writer Jon Ronson also wrote the screenplay for the vegan Netflix movie Okja. Ronson said the new movie could profoundly impact people, noting that many creatures are kept in confined spaces around the world. 

  • The British Fashion Council (BFC) announced a fur ban for the next London Fashion Week

  • Fur will no longer be permitted in the LFW program starting in 2024, as verified by the London Fashion Council (BFC); this condition was part of the trademark application procedure. Even though the first-ever fur-free LFW occurred in 2018, there was no formal prohibition then.


    As we pull back the curtain on the milestones and breakthroughs we witnessed in 2023, we can see that this year was a testament to innovation and a growing awareness of the interconnectedness of our actions. Advances in veganism, environmental initiatives, animal rights, health innovations, and sustainability efforts are crucial to laying a foundation for the years ahead. Together, let us carry forward the spirit of progress, collaboration, and unwavering dedication as we march into the future, determined to nurture a world in harmony with nature, prioritizing the well-being of all living beings and sustainable practices for future generations.



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