Newsletter: January 2021

New Year, new newsletter!

Welcome to our brand new Vegan FTA newsletter!  We look forward to bringing you some of the biggest and best moments of vegan advocacy each month, along with some newsletter-only exclusives from the Vegan FTA team.  

2020 – What a year that was…

The past 12 months have been tragic for both animals and humans.  Australian wildlife and habitat was plunged into crisis at the start of the year when devastating bush fires rampaged across New South Wales, destroying all in its wake and resulting in the loss of more than three billion animals’ lives across the country.  The live export trade in New Zealand made global news when a ship carrying thousands of cattle capsized off the coast of Japan.  All 7,300 lives were tragically lost and while the New Zealand Government suspended live exports for a short while, these have sadly resumed and thousands more innocent animals have since been shipped to China, where animal welfare is non-existent.  There have also been the horrendous mink culls in Europe and let us never forget the tragic and senseless death of Canadian activist Regan Russell, who was run over by a truck while peacefully attending a slaughterhouse vigil.  Regan had been a devoted voice for the animals since 1979.  All of this on top of the ‘usual’ daily cruelty and exploitation of non-human species and a global pandemic!  

It would seem as though 2020 was indeed a terrible year and one many of us would rather forget, but we would like to extend a huge thank you to all the activists who helped to make this year a terrific one for vegan advocacy.  

Despite all the trials and hardships, the vegan movement has made so much progress over the past year and whatever happens in 2021, it looks set to be an even better one for veganism.  As we write this newsletter, more than 260,000 people have already signed up for Veganuary!  And it certainly hasn’t been all bad.  Here are our top ‘good news’ picks:

Wellington Animal Rights March
New Zealand’s capital city, Wellington held its first official Animal Rights March on November 28th.  Organised by Wellington Vegan Actions, the March was attended by hundreds of vegan activists who had travelled from all over the country and a host of some of the brightest and boldest animal rights advocates addressed the crowd outside Parliament Building.  To see a video of the event, watch here.
A bold year of activism for Tash Peterson
This time last year, Australian activist Tash Peterson hit the news when she entered a supermarket solo, taking shoppers by surprise as they browsed the meat aisle, planning their traditional Christmas feast. The brilliant Tash has continued her fearless outreach all year, with her activism earning her notoriety both in her home country and around the world.  To see Tash in action, check out our Activist Spotlight video.
Launch of a global Vegan Women’s Leadership Network
The Covid lockdown, while bringing about many challenges also resulted in some fantastic and meaningful initiatives.  Vegan Business Media’s Katrina Fox encouraged hundreds of inspiring vegan women leaders from all around the world to collaborate together and celebrate and support one another.  The Vegan Women’s Leadership Network has participated in several groundbreaking events since launching earlier in the year, such as the VegfestUK Online Summerfest and most recently joining with the Jiviniti Coalition in urging Vice-President elect, Kamala Harris to go vegan.  There are so many amazing vegan women out there accomplishing huge things!  If you would like to join them – and me! – and become a leader in your field, you can learn more information here.
Successful petition to end farrowing crates in New Zealand
One of the many highlights of 2020 saw the successful campaign to end the use of pig farrowing crates in New Zealand.  While this is only a welfare reform, the campaign by SAFE and the New Zealand Animal Law Association has really helped in bringing awareness to the plight of mother pigs and the everyday struggle of their species.  
Vegan FTA ‘Activist’ series
If it hadn’t been for the events of 2020, we would never have been inspired to create this awesome resource for activists while stuck in lockdown.  Designed to be both informative and entertaining, we never imagined it would take off the way it has.  We also never imagined we would receive such amazing support from the guests on our show!  A stand-out favourite would definitely have to be our very first episode featuring vegan strongman and The Game Changers star, Patrik Baboumian.  Patrik’s strength is his compassion and as well as learning first hand just how big his heart is, we also learned a lot about both his previous forms of activism, and his latest in the form of creativity with his animal rights comic, ‘Earthraiser’.
If you haven’t seen all 20 episodes of the first season of ‘Activist’, you can catch up on them all on our YouTube channel!

Sanctuary of the Month: HUHA (Helping You Help Animals)

There are many animal rescue sanctuaries deserving of support, and we look forward to featuring many more in our newsletters.  However none have had quite such a year as HUHA animal rescue.  Founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie and her team started the year by heading to fire-ravaged Australia to assist with the recovery and rehabilitation of injured and homeless wildlife.  They had never worked with koalas or kangaroos before but that didn’t stop them!  They returned to New Zealand right as the country was heading into lockdown and in the months which followed they helped many other local sanctuaries get through when they found themselves unprepared for a crisis.  

The second half of the year was even more eventful, if that’s possible!  When another sanctuary found itself unable to cope and feed its rescued animals, Carolyn and her team once again stepped in.  They spent three-and-a-half months away from their loved ones while helping to provide food and veterinary care for all 190 cows and calves, before finding new forever homes and transporting them across both North and South Islands.  Only HUHA could have possibly pulled off a rescue operation like this and the animals are all now safe and well but the mission has cost them in excess of $80,000.  Understandably they need all the help they can get, especially when they also have two animal shelters of their own to look after and maintain!  

You can learn more about both rescue missions in our recent interview with Carolyn here and life at the HUHA sanctuary here.  You can also support their work with a donation, every cent is so appreciated!

Activist of the Month: Matthew Glover, Businessman Activist

Matthew Glover is a humble and unassuming chap who has saved the lives of literally hundreds of millions of animals through his many initiatives.  The first, Veganuary, which he co-founded with his wife Jane is about to start its eighth year and recently celebrated its millionth participant.  Matthew also went on to co-found Million Dollar Vegan, which saw young activist Genesis Butler requesting the Pope to go vegan.  From there he launched Veg Capital in 2020, helping vegan start-up businesses achieve their goals in securing investors and creating a plant-based revolution.  In December however, Matthew also launched a plant based product of his own and went about it in a very different and impactful way.  Rather than purely focusing on his new vegan fried chicken alternative as a product, he and business partner, chef Adam Lyons instead focused on why it was needed, exposing the reality of chicken farms in the UK in this heartbreaking and powerful video.

After confessing to Matthew she had been ‘ugly crying in front of the laptop for 15 minutes’ after watching the seven-minute video, Matthew informed Jackie ‘That’s nowhere even near the worst type of farm, and what I’ve seen in egg farms and pig farms are worse’. The video has been viewed over 200,000 times since being launched 10 days ago and we encourage all our followers to watch it and share, to open the eyes of consumers as to where their ‘food’ really comes from.  Online orders for the new plant based VFC exceeded 550 boxes in the nine days leading up to and including Christmas and there has already been a huge amount of interest overseas, especially from the US, Scandinavia and the Middle East.  ‘We aim to put broiler farms out of business.  We intend VFC to be part of the movement that puts an end to factory farming for good’, Matthew said in a recent statement.

Matthew Glover is a top bloke and is without a doubt our top pick for ‘Activist of the Month,’ for all his incredible work and for making his latest venture about the animals.  We wish him all the best with his exciting and delicious looking VFC!  If you live in the UK you can get your hands on it direct from their website, or from TheVeganKind supermarket, you lucky people!

Watch our full ‘Activist’ interview, ‘Veganism’s BIG Issues with Matthew Glover’

Kickstart your Veganuary with our FREE full colour recipe e-book!

At the time of writing, over 260,000 people have signed up for Veganuary 2021!  We want to make it easier for everyone to be vegan by providing people with the tools to succeed.  One of the biggest hurdles for new vegans is often ‘What can I cook?  What should I eat?’  Our gorgeous FREE full colour recipe e-book can help with that!  ‘Everyday Veganuary’ was created by Gareth and Jackie, who have developed some delicious and easy recipes for vegans both old and new!  As well as being completely vegan, all the recipes are gluten free and even allium free, for those who are intolerant to onion and garlic.  Discover how great vegan cooking can be by downloading your free copy.

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY – Win a copy of ‘Easy & Delicious: Everyday Vegan!’

Vegan FTA’s Jackie Norman and Gareth Scurr are two adventurous vegans – when it comes to life and food! For four years they lived a nomadic life in a small van, travelling all over beautiful New Zealand, conjuring up amazing food along the way. Earlier this year they released their very own cookbook, which demonstrates just how delicious and easy it really is to be vegan – even when your kitchen is only 1.6 metres wide!

With 80 lip-smacking recipes, which are both all vegan AND gluten free, you can merrily cook your way into 2021 and beyond. All you need to do to be in to win a copy is tell us, who is your favourite guest on our ‘Activist’ series this year?


  • Follow us on Instagram @vegan.f.t.a
  • Like this post
  • Answer the question above
  • Tag a friend in the comments 

Multiple entries accepted.  Each comment is a new entry.  Bonus entry for story shares!  Competition closes 11pm December 31st, so get in quick to be in to win and enjoy your prize in Veganuary!

‘Activist’ Season 2 – it’s on the way!

We’re super excited to bring you a brand new season of ‘Activist’ in 2021.  Here’s a heads up – it’s going to be awesome!  Season 2 is due to launch in February so not long to wait.  Season 1 saw some amazing guests and the new season promises to be even bigger!  We’ve got a brilliant line-up of acclaimed activists from all around the world, such as Sea Shepherd found Captain Paul Watson, Seb Alex, anti-poaching warrior and Akashinga trainer, Damien Mander and many more.  If you’re not already subscribed to our Vegan FTA YouTube channel, make sure you do, so as not to miss a single episode!

Vegan FTA Merchandise is HERE!

Yes, you read right!  We’ve teamed up with our friends at Defender of Animals Clothing to bring you an exclusive range of t-shirts designed by us, as well as an awesome tote bag so you can carry us wherever you go!  If we say so ourselves, they all look great – the hardest part is choosing which one to wear first!  Better still, Defender of Animals is very kindly donating all profits from the sale of these unique products to Vegan FTA, to help us in the work we do.  All products are made from organic cotton and printed in the UK in a renewable energy powered factory.  Top quality apparel made by activists, for activists. Getting your hands on one (or more!) is only a click away!  Check out the order page – and while you’re at it, be sure to check out the rest of their awesome designs too!

Become a Vegan FTA supporter!

Vegan FTA is currently completely unfunded and we need all the support we can get!  By becoming a Vegan FTA supporter, you can help to make our work even better and ensure its continuation. We have so many goals and dreams of bringing you the best possible and exclusive content over the coming year and beyond.  Here are some super easy ways you can help us achieve that:

However small your donation may be, any help you are able to offer Vegan FTA is hugely appreciated and keeps us going! Thank you!