A growing number of businesses are making vegan options the standard choice in order to meet their climate goals. Find out how they’re doing it and what it means for animals and the planet.
Vegan Is Normal
When vegan is the default option, customers are served vegan food or drinks unless they request otherwise. Normalising vegan options helps consumers make kinder and more sustainable choices, which in turn helps animals and the planet.
Raising and killing animals for food is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, [Link to meat AND ENVIRONMENT PAGE] causes air and water pollution in the UK, and is linked to deforestation and biodiversity loss overseas. Impact assessments show that switching to plant milks can slash the carbon footprint of hot drinks by 50% to 75% and uses considerably less land and water.
These companies are championing vegan options as the norm:
- University College London has made oat milk the default option in all four cafés in the Student Union.
- The University of Birmingham ran a trial of using oat milk by default in March 2023.
- London School of Economics and Political Science serves plant-based milks as standard in the Shaw Café.
- The University of Aberdeen made oat milk the standard choice for drinks across all four of its cafés to celebrate Earth Day 2023 and has committed to expanding plant-based food options across campus.
- Sodexo made oat milk the norm at LinkedIn’s offices in San Francisco, where 65% of the food on the menu is vegan.
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters in the US switched to oat milk as the default.
- Plant milk coffee machines are popping up all over the UK and have recently been spotted at Costa Express locations, at BaxterStorey catered offices, and in M&S
- Burger King Austria’s “Normal or with meat?” campaign in 2022 made the plant-based versions of its popular products the normal choice on menus. Customers ordering the chain’s signature Whopper were offered the plant-based Whopper unless they requested otherwise.
- Burger King UK will make 50% of its menu vegan by 2030, and fully vegan Burger King restaurants have opened for one month in countries including the UK, Denmark, Germany, Spain, and Sweden.
- Hospitals in New York have made vegan food the default option for patients in order to improve health outcomes, cut carbon emissions, and decrease food costs.
- The University of Oxford’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics has served vegan food as the norm since 2021 and reported that “almost everyone opts for the default: plant-based options”.
- The BAFTAs award ceremony now uses all-vegan caviar exclusively.
- Otto’s Burger in Germany has meat-free burgers as the norm, and beef burgers are only served when customers request them. The business ran an initiative for World Vegan Month in which beef burgers were €1 more expensive to help people make climate-friendly choices.
- The Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards dinners in 2021 and 2022 had fully vegan menus.
- The O2, along with its catering partner Levy, committed to serving 100% vegan food throughout the arena for Billie Eilish’s six-show residency in June 2022.
- Kew Gardens’ Pavilion Bar and Grill went fully vegan for three months over the summer in 2022.
- TED’s first-ever in-person climate conference, the Countdown Summit, served a fully vegan menu throughout the event in 2021.
- City, county, and town councils throughout the UK, including Exeter, Hythe, Lewisham, Oxford, and Oxfordshire, have switched to plant-based food at council functions to help combat the climate catastrophe.
- The University of Cambridge’s student union has voted to transition to 100% vegan menus, and Darwin College’s May Ball 2023 will be fully vegan.
- Student unions at Queen Mary University of London, the University of Birmingham, and the University of Stirling have also voted to transition to 100% vegan catering in order to combat the climate and biodiversity crises.
- Businesses including Clive’s Pies, Pecan Deluxe, Vivera, and Candy Kittens have ditched animal-derived ingredients entirely and made their ranges completely vegan to be more animal-friendly, sustainable, efficient, and inclusive.
Make Vegan the Default Choice Every Time You Eat
Eating plants protects our health, the planet, and the animals we share it with. It’s never been easier to choose delicious vegan food and drinks. What are you waiting for? Order PETA’s free vegan starter kit, packed with recipes, meal plans, and tips to help you go and stay vegan.