This week — the UK government bans the use of wild animals in circuses. “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik becomes a vegan restaurant owner. Meatless breakfast sausage sandwiches launch at Dunkin’. And find out which vegan celebrity is playing the first female Thor. All that and more on LIVEKINDLY’s weekly vegan news. The British Parliament passed the Wild Animals in Circuses Bill after more than a decade of promises from lawmakers and pressure from campaigners. Circuses across the globe are notorious for their poor treatment of animals. “Trainers force bear cubs to stand on their hind legs, by chaining them upright by their necks.” Investigations into the industry have revealed that captive animals are often kept in cramped, unsanitary enclosures, fed inadequate diets, and treated violently in order to teach them how to perform tricks. “No matter how difficult it is to remain upright, if they try to go back down on all fours, they will choke, or hang themselves.” According to research from animal rights charity Animal Defenders International, 94.5 percent of UK residents were in favor of a ban. The nation has only two remaining circuses, which have 19 animals between them. Animal Defenders International has offered to help relocate the animals affected by the ban, which will go into effect from January 2020. “Big Bang Theory” star Mayim Bialik is now a vegan restaurant owner. Sheldon: “May I buy you a beverage?”
(Laughter) (Audience Laughter) Amy: “Tepid water, please.” The real-life neuroscientist and long-time vegan… “I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat, or chicken, or pork, or fish, or eggs, or dairy.” …became the co-owner of Bodhi Bowl, a plant-based restaurant in Los Angeles. The restaurant was founded by vegan chef Ali Cruddas in 2017, who Bialik has known for 20 years. She also worked with Bialik on her 2014 cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table. Bodhi Bowl follows the fast-casual format of restaurants like Subway and Chipotle, where every bowl, salad, or wrap is made fresh to order. Dishes feature fresh vegetables as well as chef Cruddas’ housemade seitan. Dunkin’ locations across New York City are the first in the nation to feature a new meatless breakfast sausage sandwich. The donut and coffee chain introduced a vegetarian breakfast sandwich, featuring Beyond Meat’s vegan breakfast sausage patty. It’s currently available at 163 Manhattan locations. “They’re even handing out free samples of Beyond Meat, um, egg and cheese sandwiches to everybody who walks in. They’re like super pumped about the roll-out and everything.” The chain plans to eventually take the vegan sausage nationwide and it may only be the beginning of a long-standing relationship with the vegan meat company. Dunkin’ CEO David Hoffman sat down with CNBC and Beyond Meat founder Ethan Brown: “We’ve co-created something that was very proprietary just for Dunkin’. We worked and we did that together, and uh… Hey look, I think this is going to be a partnership for years to come.” “The consumer has more choice, uh, than ever before, and so, um, we’re trying to stay ahead of the curve on some of this menu innovation.” Rumors that Dunkin’ would add vegan sausage to the menu emerged last May, when Hoffman teased that it could come in the form of sausage crumbles. Dunkin’ isn’t the first chain to launch Beyond Meat’s breakfast sausage. Both Tim Hortons and A&W in Canada began selling it earlier this year. COMING UP — The world’s largest ice cream chain launches its first vegan flavors. Vegan couple Joaquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara are tying the knot. Rumors of their engagement began circulating earlier this year when “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” star was spotted wearing a diamond ring on her left hand. The couple first met on the set of the 2013 sci-fi romance “Her”… “So what was it like being married?” “There’s something that feels so good about sharing your life with somebody.” …and began dating after working on 2016’s “Mary Magdalene.” Both Mara and Phoenix are vocal animal rights advocates. Phoenix appeared in a 2017 PETA campaign encouraging others to ditch wool… “…for the quantity that they are trying to gather, it’s impossible to do that in a human way.” …where he wore a suit by ethical vegan fashion brand, Brave GentleMan. The world-famous actor said he was inspired to join the campaign after viewing footage of an undercover investigation from the wool industry. Billboards read: “Cruelty Doesn’t Suit Me. Wool Hurts. Wear Vegan” The star spoke about the campaign in a PETA interview: “It seems that the only option is to not use wool. That became abundantly clear.” The vegan power couple led this year’s Animal Rights March in Los Angeles, where they carried the lifeless bodies of animals as a representation of the trillions killed each year for food, fashion, scientific research, and entertainment. Baskin-Robbins is launching its first-ever vegan ice cream flavors. The world’s largest ice cream chain announced the addition of two dairy-free flavors, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Extreme. Made from a coconut oil and almond butter base, both are takes on classic fan-favorites. The culinary team worked for over two years to develop flavors that deliver a taste and texture similar to Baskin-Robbins ice cream. Baskin-Robbins is one of many ice cream giants to introduce vegan flavors in recent years. Ben & Jerry’s, Breyers, Haagen-Dazs, and Magnum all make dairy-free ice cream now. It’s estimated that the global vegan ice cream market could be worth $1 billion by 2024. COMING UP – vegan environmentalist Greta Thunberg lends her voice to a new climate crisis-focused song. Vegan actor Natalie Portman will play the first female Thor in the Marvel cinematic universe. Portman plays Jane Foster, an astrophysicist who has appeared in Thor comics since the 1960s. News of Portman’s role in the upcoming “Thor: Love and Thunder” was revealed during a panel at San Diego Comic-Con. The 38-year-old actor made a surprise appearance where she was handed Thor’s hammer, symbolizing that she would take up the mantle of the God of Thunder. Portman: “I always had a little hammer envy.” Hemsworth: “I’ve got plenty of hammer envy as well.” “Remember this as the before picture for when I get jacked,” she wrote on Instagram. Portman won’t be the first star to get superhero-worthy muscles eating nothing but plants. Her co-star Chris Hemsworth — aka Thor — adopted a plant-based diet while training for his role as the Marvel hero. Portman is a strong advocate for a vegan lifestyle. In 2018, she narrated and produced the documentary “Eating Animals,” an adaptation of novelist Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name, which explores how meat, dairy, and eggs are made on factory farms. Portman: “You come across these steel masterpieces, all brought together in the most ingenious ways, to produce more, and more.” She has also made the connection between veganism and feminism. During this year’s WE Day — an annual youth empowerment event — she spoke about her personal revelation before an audience of 16,000 students: “Dairy and eggs don’t just come from cows and chickens, they come from female cows
and female chickens,” she said. “We’re exploiting female bodies and abusing the magic of female animals to create eggs and milk.” Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg lent her voice to a track on the latest album from British pop-punk band The 1975. Thunberg recorded a spoken word essay for the band, which features on their new album called “Notes on a Conditional Form.” Speaking over an ambient backing track, Thunberg calls for civil disobedience. “We are right now at the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis. And we need to call it what it is: an emergency. Today we use about 100 million barrels of oil every single day. There are no politics to change that. There are no rules to keep that oil in the ground. So we can no longer save the world by playing by the rules, because the rules have to be changed, everything needs to change, and it has to start today.” “For way too long, the politicians and the people in power have gotten away with not doing anything to fight the climate crisis. But we will make sure that they will not get away with it any longer.” All proceeds from the track will be donated to climate crisis activist group, Extinction Rebellion, which uses civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance to protest the state of the planet. At 16-years-old, Thunberg is a leading voice in climate activism. She holds adults accountable, takes governments to task, and encourages immediate action to save the planet. “I want you to act as if the house was on fire… because it is.” After learning how animal
agriculture impacts the planet, Thunberg adopted a vegan diet and convinced her family to follow her lead. “You cannot stand up for human rights while you are living that lifestyle…” Thunberg’s speeches were recently collected in a book titled “No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference.” That’s it for today. Are you excited for Natalie Portman as Thor? Let us know in the comments. Remember to subscribe and hit the notification bell. We’ll see you again next week for LIVEKINDLY’s weekly vegan news.