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Using Vegan Products Is More Popular Than Actually Being Vegan

Using Vegan Products Is More Popular Than Actually Being Vegan

A recent study into the buying habits around vegan products has concluded that just under one-tenth of British women exclusively buy vegan beauty products. The study also found that almost half of UK females that buy cosmetics have increased their purchases of vegan products. Of the ten percent that only use vegan products, thirty-nine percent of these women do not follow a vegan lifestyle.

Almost all British women (90%) that buy beauty products will occasionally check the label before purchasing. The reason? They want to make sure that the product they buy is as environmentally-friendly as possible. Moreover, around sixty-six percent stated that their motivation for buying 'green' beauty products had increased in the past five years, with half being prepared to pay more for beauty products that were 'clean & conscious.'

Cosmetify is an ongoing study looking into women's beauty habits. It studies the patterns of over 2,200 women who regularly use cosmetic products and are aged between eighteen and forty-five.
The study's initial findings were that the proportion of women who always check the label before purchasing was only 15%. However, this compares to a mere 10% of women who said they never check the labels. Those that check labels frequently were 28%, and 13% stated they were occasional label-checkers. Significantly, thirty-four percent of women surveyed said that they check beauty product labels more regularly now than previously.

Avoiding allergic reactions is the driver for around one-fifth (18%) of women to check a product's label. Another fifteen percent do it so they can choose products with the least harmful ingredients. Just under one-third of women (29%) checked because of their vegan or vegetarian lifestyle choices. Environmental protection, however, compelled one in every three women (34%) to review a product's label.
Within the 'clean & conscious' category of beauty products, the study discovered that organic products were most sought after (68%). These were closely followed by natural products (62%), with vegan products ranked third in popularity (49%).

Further investigation into this category showed 22% only buying organic beauty products, and 38% of those surveyed claiming that they buy more organic products than before. Exclusive buyers of natural products turned out to be one-fifth, with almost 30% having increased their buying habits recently. Just under one-in-ten of respondents claimed to be exclusive buyers of vegan beauty products, and nearly half of these said they are more so now than before. This trend turned out to be the highest, followed by plastic-free products, which had 39% of respondents claim an increase in buying habits.

Significantly, from the 56% of women who claimed to be exclusive users of vegan beauty products, or that use them more frequently now than before, 39% stated that they do not adhere to a vegan lifestyle.
The clean products purchased the most related to skincare, and 49% of respondents claimed that these were the products they bought most often. This figure compared to 35% who most often bought clean makeup products and a mere 10% who mostly bought clean hair care products. The proportion of women who claimed to own an equal amount of 'clean & conscious' product types was 6%.

The study concluded that there has been a significant change in 'clean & conscious' beauty product buying habits over the past decade, with sixty percent of women claiming they now look for these products. This trend compares to only fifteen percent who say their habits have not changed in this timescale, and the remaining 23% stated to have somewhat changed their habits.

Even though a product does not have to be 100% organic to be labelled as such, the majority of respondents (63%) stated that they trust the labelling used by cosmetic brands. Despite knowing a product is not as claimed, 54% said they would still buy a product labelled as vegan, organic, or natural.
A clear shift towards buying 'clean & conscious' beauty products is evident from the study's findings. This claim is backed up by 44% of respondents stating they would be prepared to pay more for clean and conscious products.

Isa Lavahun, from Cosmetify, stated that 'clean & conscious' product demand was driving many trends in the cosmetic industry. She thought that consumers are becoming more aware of the ingredients that they are using on their skin and hair. Ida concluded that this trend will continue and that more brands will offer more 'clean & conscious' beauty products.

Vegan Film Festival Announces Free Online Film Streaming

Vegan Film Festival Announces Free Online Film Streaming

With the spread of COVID-19 and the international quarantine, the International Vegan Film Festival - World Tour has come to a halt.

Starting on EARTH DAY, April 22, 2020, until June 30, 2020, eleven of the twelve short films that were available on the world tour will now be free to watch and can be viewed online at the festival’s website.
For the last two years, the International Vegan Film Festival has brought some of the world's most relevant vegan-themed stories and visual artistry to theaters around the world and in these uncertain times, the International Vegan Film Festival is proud to bring the festival’s world tour to everyone, everywhere.

Most of the films that were scheduled for touring—the only exception being “Planet Vegan”— are now available for free viewing online with no purchase necessary. The total screening time is approximately 90 minutes in length with films covering all of the four Festival categories.

Festival Director Shawn Stratton said, “Connecting with friends and strangers alike at our theater screenings is at the heart of the World Tour, however, with the current cancellation of the Tour we don't want our audiences to miss out on viewing these important films. So we are adapting and responding to “social distancing” to offer 90 minutes of films from our World Tour screening, free of charge. This is our hometown, feel-good, theater experience, streamed into the comfort of living room’s around the world.”

The International Vegan Film Festival is an annual film event. Now in its third year, the festival kicks off every October in Ottawa, Canada. The festival showcases vegan-themed films from around the world covering a wide variety of topics. Some of these include animal rights, food choices, ethics, sustainability and climate change.

Since 2018, the International Vegan Film Festival has embarked on a world tour. Anyone can sign up to be a host and then pick where and when they would like to have their own Vegan Film Festival screening. It is a great way to build the local vegan community, interact with friends, and raise money for a cause all while watching great independent vegan films.

Note: The International Vegan Film Festival screenings are primarily intended for older audiences and may include coarse language, mature subject matter, intense scenes, and other adult content. Viewer discretion is advised.

Vegan Photo Essay Contest
While the world tour has been cancelled, the IVFF Vegan Photo Essay Contest is on! Until August 31, 2020, applicants can submit a series of 3-5 images depicting vegan lifestyle, health and nutrition, animal welfare, or environmental protection. Winners will be announced during the festival in October and will also receive a $250 CAD cash prize.

The jury is seeking a sequence of images that conveys a compelling story or message – with each image strong enough to stand on its own while conveying a greater narrative when viewed in the photographer’s desired sequence.

Stratton says “The Vegan Photo Essay Contest is a great way for anyone with a camera and a story, not just professionals, to be involved in the festival.” The contest even has a Youth category to encourage young people to become more involved in sharing vegan-themed stories.

Lifestyle - Vegan choices in clothing, travel and highlighting the ways that vegans spread their message through activism, art, community etc.
Health and Nutrition - Exploring the positive benefits of a vegan diet, what's involved in "going vegan"
Animal Welfare - How eating plants can break the chain of suffering that is endemic in factory farming and the role of animal activists
Environmental Protection - How meat production harms the planet, and how plant-based eating can help to save it
Youth – Any vegan-themed subject shot by a person under 18 year of age as of August 31, 2020

Note: During COVID-19, the IVFF does not advise applicants to take photos anywhere that may pose a risk of spreading the virus. Social distancing is still strongly recommended.

Bucking Tradition takes home Grand Prize at 2019 Ottawa International Film Festival

Bucking Tradition takes home Grand Prize at 2019 Ottawa International Film Festival

The second annual Ottawa International Vegan Film Festival (OIVFF) took place at The Chamber Theatre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada this evening and the organization is proud to announce this year’s winners in the film and photo categories.

Director Sharon M. Boeckle’s Bucking Tradition won both the Best Overall Film award as well as the award for Best Animal Welfare film. Dustin Brown’s innovative Casa de Carne nabbed the Best Short Film trophy, #Powerplant won in the category of
Best Environmental Protection Film, Marcia Machado’s thought-provoking Code Blue: Redefining the Practice of Medicine won Best Health & Nutrition Film award, and director Dr. Theodora Capaldo’s expose on animal testing, Gold Doesn’t Rust, took home the Best Lifestyle Film award. The full list of winners can be found below.

Discussing the impact of the Best Overall Film, Bucking Tradition, festival judge Jim Amos states, “We often cringe in horror at the animal cruelty we see inflicted in the name of “sport” around the world such as those committed in the bullfighting ring but are blind to the blatant abuse of animals right in our own backyard on the rodeo circuit. Bucking Tradition did a masterful job at depicting the often-irreparable injuries suffered by bulls and calves at hundreds of these events across the country every year, all in the name of carrying on one of the last remaining traditions of the American West.”

The OIVFF, now in its second year, was honoured to present a diverse collection of films from around the world that made lasting impressions and ignited audience's imaginations. These vegan themed films were bursting with creativity, compassion, and inspiration.

In 2019 the festival welcomed 40 film submissions, both short and full-length features, fiction and documentary from 13 countries totaling over 15 hours of vegan-themed films in five categories. All entries were viewed by a pre-selection committee chaired by the Festival Director and Programming Director. Finalists chosen by this committee were then screened by an appointed international jury.

Photo Essay Contest

In addition, OIVFF launched a Vegan Photo Essay Contest as part of the Film Festival in 2019. The photo contest is the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Festival Director Shawn Stratton stated, “Our photo essay is a collection of images that tell a story and propel a narrative over multiple images. Photo essays often create a series of emotions in the viewer and are a powerful way to tell a story without relying heavily on text.”

The competition's goal was to showcase the best in vegan themed photo essays – to recognize the best stories told through a series of 3-5 still images.

Awards for the photo essay contest were won by photographers from around the world including Aitor Garmendia (Spain), Noah Ortega (Spain), Ruth Montiel Aria (Palestine), and Jo-Anne McArthur (Canada) whose award-winning photos came from around the world.

When asked why Aitor Garmendia’s, Slaughterhouse was selected as the overall winner, festival judge Victoria Moran of the Main Street Vegan Podcast, said “This one spoke to my heart through the animals, their suffering and their dignity. Having spent a day in a slaughterhouse myself once, I was brought back there. Some things never seem to change. This one must. This photo essay will be a part of that change."
OIVFF is proud to have been sponsored by the VegOttawa, the essential resource for vegetarian and vegans in Canada’s national capital region and Copper Branch, 100% plant-powered food.

Photos from the award winning films can be viewed here.
The 2019 festival video trailer can be viewed here.
The award winning photo essays can be viewed here.


Winner: 2019 Best Film ‘Overall’ & 2019 Best Film ‘Animal Welfare’
Bucking Tradition, United States
Directed by: Sharon M Boeckle

Bucking Tradition explores one of America’s most iconic competitions—the rodeo. With thousands of events held across the nation and around the world every year, this “sport” is hailed by some as one of the last traditions of the American West. By others, it’s decried as one of our nation’s last legalized forms of systematic and brutal animal cruelty masquerading as sport and family entertainment. Do some traditions deserve to die? Maybe they do.

Winner: Best Film ‘Short’
Casa de Carne, United States
Directed by: Dustin Brown

On a night out with friends, Eric tries a new restaurant that takes the dining experience full circle. Set in a not-so-distant dark future, "Casa de Carne" is a thought-provoking short film about hard choices and hidden truths.

Winner: Best Film ‘Environmental Protection’
#Powerplant, Netherlands
Directed by: Robert, van Tellingen

The Nicolaas G. Pierson Foundation presents its 5th documentary with Marianne Thieme. After ‘Meat the Truth’, ‘Sea the Truth’, ‘The Pacer in the Marathon’ and ‘One Single Planet’, this new documentary explores the prospects of a plant-based society.

#Powerplant provides added insight into the link between climate change and meat consumption, a topic that Marianne Thieme was the first politician to address in the climate documentary ‘Meat the Truth’ in 2007, an issue that has become even more pertinent since then. According to Oxford researcher Marco Springmann, a transition to a plant-based diet can prevent up to 8 million deaths per year in 2050, and on a global scale, can lead to savings that have a value to society of up to thirty trillion USD (30,000,000,000,000). Adopting a plant-based menu can reduce up to 73% of agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions and can make it possible to revert 76% of all agricultural land back to nature, says Joseph Poore, also a researcher at the University of Oxford. The study is described by The Guardian as “the most comprehensive analysis to date” in this field.

Winner: Best Film ‘Health & Nutrition
Code Blue: Redefining the Practice of Medicine, United States
Directed By: Marcia Machado

Through the lens of filmmaker Marcia Machado, code blue reveals lapses in the current state of medicine and provides a common sense solution by featuring the practice of lifestyle medicine to prevent, manage and reverse nearly 80% of chronic illnesses. It presents the hurdles to the proposed shift: outdated curricula in medical schools, confusion in the media, inadequate government policies, and the underlying influences of the pharmaceutical and food industries. With a dose of lighthearted humor, combining science and common sense, code blue follows a passionate physician, Dr. Saray Stancic, as she reflects upon her journey from a multiple sclerosis diagnosis to wellness through her own adoption of lifestyle medicine. Stancic introduces us to expert physicians/scientists who are paving the way to turn the tide on the chronic illness epidemic, empowering audiences to stand up and reclaim their health.

Winner: Best Film ‘Lifestyle’
Gold Doesn't Rust: Animal Testing and its 21st Century Alternatives, United States
Directed by, Dr. Theodora Capaldo

Animal testing has been the standard of scientific research and testing for centuries, in spite of a long history of ineffective results and unimaginable cruelty. Now, emerging technologies promise to revolutionize the field of biomedical research by rejecting the failing animal model in lieu of human-based in-vitro methods. Can these new models break their way into mainstream, or will they be blocked by a scientific community so deeply rooted in animal research?

Vegan Food Consumption Growth - Passing Trend or the New Normal

Vegan Food Consumption Growth - Passing Trend or the New Normal

Even before the Covid19 pandemic struck, forcing people to lock-down at home, experts had already predicted plant-based sales growth in 2020. The pandemic has led to increased sales of food products in general, and the plant-based sector has shared in this growth.

Plant-based foods have been increasing in popularity in recent years, with a growing number of retailers selling an expanding line of products. Indeed, plant-based food is becoming more mainstream!
According to the Good Food Institute and the Plant-Based Foods Association, the sector had reached a market value of $5billion before the pandemic, an increase of almost 30% in the previous two years.

The healthy aspect of plant-based diets has also fuelled recent growth, with the pandemic making consumers more health-conscious. This attitude was evident even before the Covid19 outbreak, with a 2018 study by Dupont Nutrition & Health concluding that over 50% of consumers stated that eating plant-based meals made them feel more healthy.

The Covid19 pandemic has emphasized this attitude towards healthy eating. More people are turning to organic foods because they believe they are healthier and better for their immune systems than non-organic foods. Data from SPINS highlights the recent boom in plant-based foods, and it goes on to predict even higher demand during and following the pandemic. Key findings from the SPINS data were as follows:

• Plant-based food growth rates were higher than general food during the pandemic.
• Sales of plant-based foods in Mar20 increased by 90% on the previous year (partly attributed to 'panic' buying in Mar20).
• Sales of plant-based foods for Apr20 increased by 27% on the previous year.
• Sales for Apr20 35% faster than general food items.
• Plant-based meat sales increased by 148% compared to the previous year.
• Plant-based meat sales grew twice as fast as their conventional equivalents.
• Sales of refrigerated plant-based meat in Mar20 increased by 241% compared to 2019 (partly attributed to 'panic' buying in Mar20).
• Sales of refrigerated plant-based meat for Apr20 increased by 113% on the previous year.
• Plant-based cheese sales were up 95% in Mar20 compared to the previous year, leveling to a 54% increase in the four weeks after that.
• Tofu and tempeh sales increased by 88% in March compared to the previous year, leveling to a 35% increase in the four weeks after that.

This data is proof that consumers consider plant-based foods to come from safe sources. Compare this to the perception that meat-based foods have got at the moment. Scientists have already discovered that the virus originated in a market where animals were traded and that the virus spread from animals to humans.

Many meat processing plants have had to shut down because of crowded working conditions. This shut-down has not been the case for plant-based food production units, which need less staff and can practice social distancing. This situation has reinforced consumer faith that plant-based food is better for human health and provides better conditions for its workers. Moreover, many consumers are now starting to lend an ear to the long-held claim of plant-based food companies, that large-scale meat production poses risks to the environment and human health.

The recent growth in plant-based food sales is impressive, but it is a challenge to work out its meaning. As stated earlier, plant-based food sales were on an upward trajectory before the pandemic, so has this recent situation accelerated what would have been organic growth anyway? Perhaps the pandemic will prove to be a spike, and the market will correct itself when we get back to 'normal'?

What is for sure is that plant-based manufacturers are increasing production, new distribution channels are opening up, product choice is widening and the general public are not only more aware but also more open to the idea of buying plant-based food over meat. For instance, Impossible Foods has seen an eighteen-fold increase in sales so far in 2020, growing from having products in around 150 stores to being in 2,700 retail outlets nationwide.

Given the growth figures, it isn't easy to think anything other than plant-based food consumption will endure. The growth figures for tofu and tempeh, two stalwarts of vegan diets, indicate that all age groups are embracing the plant-based food revolution.

Of course, we will not know long-term uptake in plant-based food consumption for sure until the pandemic has passed. Only then will we know if these particular plants shed their new, quickly-sprouted green leaves of growth, or will they continue to grow and become the 'new normal?'

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