The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November

November has come and gone away. Now that we’re in the last month of the year (already??), it’s time to look back at the top plant-based news stories from November. Wu-Tang Clan frontman RZA explained what it means to be vegan on the Joe Rogan podcast. Wendy’s launched a plant-based burger in Canada. And a major Dutch meat processor is converting a beef facility to a vegan factory without affecting and jobs. Here’s what else happened in November.

The 16-year-old environmental activist appeared on “Ellen.” | Greta Thunberg

1. Great Thunberg Promotes Veganism

Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg promoted a plant-based diet on the “Ellen Show.” The 16-year-old told host Ellen DeGeneres the steps she’s taken to cut hr carbon footprint, including not flying, only buying new things out of necessity and adopting a plant-based diet. At the end of the episode, DeGeneres announced a new section on her YouTube channel inspired by Thunberg. The section teaches viewers how to be more environmentally friendly.

While in Los Angeles, Thunberg also met with Acadamy Award-winning actor and fellow environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio.

“There are few times in human history where voices are amplified at such pivotal moments and in such transformational ways – but Greta Thunberg has become a leader of our time,” DiCaprio wrote on Instagram. “History will judge us for what we do today to help guarantee that future generations can enjoy the same livable planet that we have so clearly taken for granted.”

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
The comedian came to Lewis Hamilton’s defense. | Russell Brand

2. Russell Brand Defends Lewis Hamilton

English comedian and actor Russell Brand defended six-time Formula 1 racing champion Lewis Hamilton. The athlete was recently criticized for promoting veganism while still participating in carbon-heavy activities like race car driving and flying.

In a recent YouTube video, Brand said that whether or not Hamilton is hypocritical is irrelevant — because most of us are. “He’s trying to communicate. Why wouldn’t he communicate?” he asked.

“It really just highlights the impotence that we all share,” he continued. “Operating within systems and cultures that, in a sense, yield continually to the invisible power of commerce.

The comedian and podcast host added, “none of us can make a significant difference as individuals.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
The Wu-Tang Clan frontman was on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

3. RZA on the Joe Rogan Experience

RZA was a guest on a recent episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast along with comedian Donell Rawlings.

In response to a question from Rawlings about what makes a “true vegan,” both Rogan and RZA agreed that it’s both to do with health reasons and animal welfare. But for the rapper, it leans more toward the latter. He said, “to be honest with you bro, I just hit you with this right here, the reality of how I feel. No animal needs to die for me to live, ok?”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
A social media user spotted advertisement of the plant-based burger. | Amanda Logan

4. Wendy’s Trials Vegan Burger Patty

International fast-food chain Wendy’s launched a plant-based burger in Canada. The company didn’t formally announce the new menu item. But, ads for the new Plantiful Burger cropped up Toronto. The sign showed a burger alongside the words: “Where’s the beef? Not here.”

The “100 percent plant-based” patty is made with pea protein. Wendy’s staff told nonprofit animal protection organization Compassion Over Killing that the burger contains egg. It’s not clear whether the egg is in the mayonnaise, which could be removed on request, or in the bun of the burger.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
Vion’s facility used to process up to 2,500 cows a week.

5. Dutch Beef Facility Goes Vegan

Dutch meat giant Vion announced that it would convert one of its beef facilities into a dedicated vegan factory.

Constructed in 2017, the Netherlands-based facility had the capacity for 2,500 cows per week. Now, Vion will transform the site for plant-based meat production. There will be new production lines, more storage, and freezing facilities. No jobs will be affected by the change. The new facility will deal with the production of Vion’s new plant-based meat range, ME-AT. The range — set to launch in 2020 — currently includes five different “high-quality” vegan meat products.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
Giacomazzi Dairy is turning its back on the industry.

6. California’s Oldest Dairy Farm Switches to Almonds

California’s oldest dairy farm, Giacomazzi Dairy, is converting to almonds,

Giacomazzi Dairy has been in the dairy industry for 125 years. According to owner Dino Giacomazzi, due to its age, operating the farm is no longer efficient. Instead of modernizing the farm as it is, the Giacomazzis are looking to almonds. They already have 400 acres of almond trees and plan to add an additional 500 in the future.

It’s not just efficiency that has caused the family to change its trade. The dairy industry is suffering, said Giocamazzi.

He told ABC, “We have to either invest to upgrade this dairy or invest in something else. Over the last 5 years, it’s been very difficult to make money in the dairy industry, [due to] regulations, increased cost of labor, low milk prices.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
The former footballer praised “The Game Changers” on Instagram.

7. Jamie Redknapp Praises ‘Game Changers’

Retired English professional footballer Jamie Redknapp is a fan of filmmaker James Cameron’s new documentary, “The Game Changers.” Redknapp — the son of football manager and former player Harry Redknapp — posted the movie’s title to his Instagram Story.

The film follows elite special forces trainer James Wilks, as he travels the world on a quest to find out the truth “behind the world’s most dangerous myth:” that meat is necessary for protein.

Redknapp captioned the post, “this is one of the best documentaries I have seen in a while.”

Check it out here.

Elizabeth II breaks with tradition by ditching fur. | Wikimedia Commons

8. The Queen Goes Fur-Free

The Queen of England is now fur-free. Elizabeth II’s personal advisor and senior dresser Angela Kelly, who has worked for the Royal Household for 25 years, revealed the wardrobe update in her new memoir, “The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.”

“If Her Majesty is due to attend an engagement in particularly cold weather, from 2019 onwards fake fur will be used to make sure she stays warm,” she wrote.

Kelly noted that the Queen’s use of fur has come under fire from activists. Along with that, major names in fashion have ditched fur in recent years, including Burberry, Belstaff, and Versace. The Fur Farming (Prohibition) Act of 2000 banned fur farming.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
Cattle ranchers start fires in the Amazon rainforest to clear land for their herds.

9. NYC and LA Protect the Amazon

Los Angeles and New York City Council Members are calling on businesses to cut ties with companies responsible for the Amazon rainforest fires.

Fires burning in the Amazon are linked to the beef industry. Cattle ranchers often set fire to areas of the forest in order to clear land for their herds. There have been 41,000 recorded fire locations so far, according to the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research.

The fires are devastating for indigenous people and wild animals. Amazonian trees also absorb carbon dioxide and are an extremely helpful resource in the fight against the climate crisis.

NYC and LA are the country’s two largest cities. City Council Members hope that they can lead by example. They want to inspire the other 35,000 cities in the country to join them and introduce similar resolutions.

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
The vegan actor executive produced “The Animal People.”

10. Joaquin Phoenix Produces Animal Rights Documentary

“The Animal People,” an animal rights documentary produced by vegan Joaquin Phoenix, premiered at the Austin Film Festival.

According to a summary, the new film shows “what happens when activism rattles the institutions of power.” It features interviews with six members of the American arm of British animal rights group Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty. Interviews took place over the course of more than a decade.

The activists featured in “The Animal People” find themselves under FBI surveillance. They are deemed domestic terrorists for their involvement in protests against major animal-testing company Huntingdon Life Sciences.

“This film is about much more than just this case,” Phoenix said about the film. “It’s about fundamental questions concerning free speech, social change, and corporate power that have never been more urgently relevant in our world.”

Check it out here.

The Top 11 Plant-Based News Stories for November
Starbucks UK’s toasted marshmallow hot chocolate can be made vegan.

11. Starbucks Launches Vegan Toasted Marshmallow Hot Cocoa

Starbucks UK just launched a vegan-friendly Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate for the holiday season.

The festive new drink is a combination of mocha sauce and marshmallow syrup. To make it vegan, order it with plant-based milk and without whipped cream. The caramelized sugar topping is also suitable for vegans.

The new “toasted” hot chocolate isn’t the only festive vegan drink on this year’s holiday menu. Starbucks UK also brought back the fan-favorite Gingerbread Latte, which is vegan without the whipped cream and wafer topping. The Toffee Nut Latte is vegan if you order it with plant-based milk and sans whipped cream and toffee nut sprinkles.

Check it out here.