A recently reunited Catalan band has created what is believed to be the first vegan Christmas carol in the country. The band Galeria, founded by Missu Riba and Miquel Capeta, titled the song Avui es Nadal (today is Christmas). Its lyrics include “we will save the chicken,” “the broth of the escudella will not contain any animal,” and “the figures in the manger have organized themselves because they want a fairer, greener, and more sustainable Bethlehem.” 

In Catalan culture, Christmas dinner traditionally includes a broth called escudella, in which pieces of pigs in different shapes are mixed with large pieces of pasta — but, naturally, the vegan version will only have vegetables — and instead of a turkey a chicken is eaten. Each household also builds a nativity scene (sometimes a whole village around it) with lots of figurines (including the indispensable caganer, a man wearing a traditional Catalan hat defecating to fertilise the land), and there are often neighbourhood competitions about which one is the best. And on Christmas Eve, children hit a log with sticks to make it produce sweets and small presents. All these traditional elements are featured in the song. Hopefully, this song may inspire many Catalans to celebrate Christmas in a vegan-friendly way, as the number of vegans has increased in the country considerably in the last few years. 

The musicians of the band Galeria have reunited for the 30th anniversary of the publication of their first album, L’or de la República, with which they won the Manlleu Festival of music in 1992. Galeria decided to release a new album, L’essència de cada moment, with ten songs, including the new carol, in which they narrate the moments lived during the years of record silence.

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.