To date we have shared more than 967,000 vegan meals with communities all over the world. We share them with people in crisis, to thank frontline workers, and to showcase the wide-ranging benefits of adopting a plant-based diet. And as we break bread with them, we talk about how our food choices impact our health and that of the planet, as well as the ethical, public health, and financial costs of farming animals. These are our latest food solidarity projects and why we planned them.
Celebrating Children’s Day in Hungary
Veganism is suitable for every stage of life, and it particularly suits children who have a natural sense of justice and fairness, and who would never hurt an animal if given the choice. And so, this Children’s Day, our advocacy partner in Hungary Raul Vida joined forces with the vegan non-profit organization Empátia Sztori to share 400 slices of cake with sweet-toothed children in Kecskemét.
Traditional brownies, cherry-chocolate brownies, brownies with extra chocolate chips, gluten-free brownies, and delicious apple pies were all offered, and it was a pleasure to see the joy these brought. We are reminded once again that choosing vegan food is not about deprivation but about pleasure and abundance. And while the children were enjoying their cakes, vstart.hu and veganuar.hu information cards were handed out to the parents to offer more information about all aspects of veganism and plant-based diets.
Says Raul who coordinated this day: “The best and most valuable gift we can give to future generations is the knowledge that it is possible to do things differently and better than we did in the past. We can live without animal cruelty and protect our Earth and health at the same time.
“I deeply believe that all children are born with a vegan mindset, but later on, society teaches us unnecessary and aggressive habits such as speciesism or oppression against humans such as sexism, racism, homophobia, and so on. All we have to do as good parents is not to deprive our children of what comes naturally to them—compassion.”
In Support of Ramadan in Gaza
This month, we once again partnered with Plant the Land Team in Gaza to support their emergency food drive for Ramadan. There are currently over 200 families living in Gaza that have limited access to food, drinking water, and other basic necessities, and fresh fruits and vegetables are particularly difficult to access. We were able to share plant-based food parcels that will provide around 400 meals to 40 families, and our Palestinian partner and Plant the Land Team co-founder Anas Arafat is on the ground delivering those parcels.
Plant the Land Team is a vegan food justice charity based in Gaza, that distributes food parcels, plants food forests, and provides Gazan farmers with seeds and planting tools. Previous fundraising campaigns have also included providing plant-based insulin to children with diabetes, providing medical treatment, distributing warm winter coats and blankets made from plant-based materials, and a yearly vegan food fundraiser for Ramadan.
If you’d like to support their ongoing work, you can make a donation at planttheland.org
In Brazil with Luisa Mell
This month, we were delighted to partner with Instituto Luisa Mell (ILM) once again. We shared vegan meals with the communities where ILM was offering essential free vet services—the neutering of dogs and cats to prevent the birth of unwanted animals who are too often abandoned on the streets.
We shared more than 3,000 meals of rice, beans, mashed potatoes, kale, and a tasty plant-based meat with the communities of Analandia, Jardim Jacira, Jardim Oratório, Jardim Germânia, and Parque Santo Antônio. And we loved the response! People were surprised at how similar the soy-based meal was to minced meat, and even more interested to learn how much cheaper and more nutritious it is too! Many people rated the meal a 10/10 on taste and we were delighted to be able to show that healthy, sustainable, and animal-friendly foods can also be delicious and satisfying.
Alongside the meals, we gave out folders containing information about vegan nutrition and how to get all the nutrients we need from affordable plant-based foods.
Actress and television presenter Luisa Mell told us: “As an animal rights and vegan activist, partnering with Million Dollar Vegan in food solidarity initiatives is a way for us to bring food to people in a vulnerable situation, and show we can have a tasty, balanced, and much cheaper meal with cruelty-free ingredients. I strongly believe in the continuity of this project, and that, as we help provide food for communities in need, we can share a little bit about why veganism is at the center of so many important issues.”
Dancing with Elders in Bolivia
This month, our partners in Bolivia coordinated an utterly joyful project as they danced and shared food with elders from Casa Amandita, a place where older people with difficulties go every two days to have something to eat.
The meals were composed of a vegetable soup, non-meatballs with pasta and red sauce, and apple panitela for dessert. We danced with the visitors, and talked to them about the food we shared, and told them how choosing plant-based foods can benefit our health, the planet and animals.
It was a wonderful experience, which both we and the visitors enjoyed enormously. One person told us they felt as if it was their birthday and they asked us to come back and give them advice on nutrition and some recipes. It was a very emotional day, reports Matilde Nuñez del Prado Alanes, who coordinated the initiative, and they hope to return soon.
Fun and Croissants for Kids in Buenos Aires
Our work with two Buenos Aires soup kitchens continued this month, as our Argentina Country Manager Jacqueline Guzmán shared 540 quinoa bowls and fruit salads with underprivileged children.
This month, we also created an artistic expression workshop for them in which we invited them to act as if they were animals, to represent their feelings and needs, and to understand the value of their existence. During the breaks, we served chocolate milk and vegan croissants.
Previously, we have played games with the children, read them stories, and sang songs with them. So, now when we go, many of them are already waiting for us, and brimming over with excitement. They enjoyed the workshop and food very much, and we could not be happier. Some of the children have a very difficult lived experience, often separated from their families due to various problems. Jacqueline reports that they are currently putting on the workshop in the street but with the upcoming cold weather, the neighbors and Million Dollar Vegan are trying to find a place inside the slum so the kids can continue this activity that means so much to them.
Three Fantastic Days in Three Indian Cities
In recent weeks, our team in India has collaborated with three vegan chefs in three different cities to reach out to hundreds of people with the vegan message and some delicious food. In Hyderabad, we connected with doctors, nurses, and other staff of Premier Hospital who were at the forefront of public care during the pandemic. They enjoyed the mock meat biryani made by Terrassen Café and were so receptive to learning about the suffering animal experiences raised for food. The family members of some of them were already vegan, too!
In Udaipur we shared delicious, sweetened coconut milk and smoothies with over 85 students of Abhilasha School, a place of education for students living with hearing – speaking disability, and we shared jackfruit biryani and coconut milk based ice-creams with 200 students and staff of MK Jain Coaching Classes for aspiring engineers and doctors. All of them simply loved the amazing food prepared by Vegan Beings and were very receptive to learning about why we need to go vegan. We also shared the excess food left over from this distribution with children from an underserved community nearby.
In Goa we shared amazingly delicious raw vegan food with 350 aspiring teachers and staff of Ganpat Parsekar College Of Education. The food that included flaxseed wraps was made by Armenian Raw Vegan Chef Arevik Apresyan and Deepak Ashwani, founder of Koshaa, who has experience designing food forests gave them information about why we need to go vegan. Darryl D’Souza who reversed his own health issues that he had suffered for 14 long years, and which resulted in his writing the book Become Healthy or Extinct shared information on how to achieve optimum health by eating a plant-based diet.