Million Dollar Vegan aims to significantly reduce the risk of pandemics with a menu changeThe global nonprofit organization is committed to distributing one million free vegan meals by 2022SANTA BARBARA (15 December 2020): Coronavirus has become the No. 1 killer in America, knocking perennial killers heart disease and cancer down a peg. Understanding the seriousness of COVID-19 and how pandemics originate, global nonprofit organization Million Dollar Vegan shifted their focus to educating people on how to Take Pandemics Off The Menu by adopting a plant-based diet.
As part of their mission, Million Dollar Vegan committed to deliver one million free vegan meals by 2022 to first responders and underserved communities struggling to stay afloat in the wake of this zoonotic pandemic, a consequence to breeding and slaughtering animals for food.
Having made worldwide headlines by challenging Pope Francis to Fight Climate Change With Diet Change by going vegan in exchange for $1 million donations to charity, Million Dollar Vegan has already provided more than 300,000 free vegan meals in over 14 countries. “When the pandemic started, we felt it was vital to expose the relationship between the zoonotic disease outbreaks that can lead to devastating pandemics, like COVID-19, and our disrespectful treatment of animals. We diverted our funds towards providing food aid because we saw that both people and small businesses around the world were suffering and could benefit from our support.
In addition to giving people the chance to eat nutritious vegan food, we also want to educate people about how pandemics emerge, how we can strengthen our immune system against diseases like COVID-19 with a plant-based diet, how delicious vegan food can be and also how accessible it is. We want to empower people to make better food choices so that we can collectively lower the risk of pandemics like this ever happening again,” said Naomi Hallum, CEO of Million Dollar Vegan who is pictured above left with actress, author and entrepreneur Alicia Silverstone.
Initially, Million Dollar Vegan set out with the modest goal of providing 100,000 free meals. The California-based Hallum said, “The public response to our initial food giveaways was so good that we decided we had to go further and set ourselves the challenge of delivering at least one million meals by 2022.”
The novel coronavirus is the latest mass killer spawned from animal agriculture just like its predecessors H1N1, Ebola virus, SARS, swine flu, mad cow disease, HIV and the Spanish flu of 1918. Factory farming – breeding and slaughtering animals for food – also depletes forests, displacing animals and exposing humans to their toxic pathogens. Slaughterhouses and meat-packing plants around the world have been proven to be coronavirus hot spots with workers working shoulder to shoulder amidst animal blood, urine, feces and other bodily fluids.
“Animal agriculture is making America sick, it’s harming America’s environment and it’s driving up healthcare costs, putting millions of people in the hospital with lifestyle-related illnesses. Factory farming also affects the health of those who live near slaughterhouses. They cannot move away from those areas because having factory farms nearby lowers property value and leaves you unable to sell. They’re basically trapped in places with foul air, contaminated soil and water, which is why people living near factory farms tend to have higher rates of cancer and more respiratory issues than anywhere else.
There’s a simple way to fix that: cut out as much meat and dairy as we can so that we can get rid of factory farms,” said Hallum. Million Dollar Vegan’s next free food giveaway in the US will take place in Los Angeles on December 30 when, with the assistance of over 50 volunteers on bicycles, they will deliver free meals in West Hollywood and Central Los Angeles. “We’re doing The Great Vegan Meal Train with volunteers riding through the streets to deliver 1,000 hot vegan meals freshly prepared by local vegan restaurants to essential workers and underserved communities, including people in shelters, the homeless, women’s shelters, orphanages as well as medical workers and underserved people living on the poverty line.
We’re doing that to spread awareness about how delicious vegan food is, how healthy it is and how much better it is for the environment. We want to give people a chance to try something delicious, show our appreciation for them and what they’re going through during the holiday season, which is not a shiny, happy time for everybody. We want to recognize that and try to bring a little love to LA this holiday season,” said Hallum.
For those outside of Los Angeles, Million Dollar Vegan has other opportunities to get people involved while spreading their message. “We have a lot of things happening over the holiday season across the world as well as here in the US. In addition to food giveaways abroad, there will be fun competitions on Million Dollar Vegan’s social media with chances to win vegan cookbooks to help people who want to eat more plant based,” said Hallum.
Beyond challenging The Pope to go vegan for Lent, Million Dollar Vegan challenges celebrities, influencers and the public to sign up for a free vegan starter kit and take the 31-day vegan challenge, which can be done through the Million Dollar Vegan website (https://www.milliondollarvegan.com/go-vegan/).
Participants receive daily recipes, inspiration, health and nutritional information, videos, and other guidance and support during the challenge to help make the journey easy. Hallum said, “We’re challenging people to give veganism a try to see what it’s like and what it can do for them.” For more information, please visit https://www.milliondollarvegan.com.Million Dollar Vegan Naomi Alicia HallumAbout Million Dollar VeganOperating in ten countries, Million Dollar Vegan is dedicated to educating people about the public health, environmental and ethical benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.
They provide free nutritional guidance and support for new vegans along with free plant-based meals to essential works and underserved communities in more than 14 countries. They’ve teamed with Sir Paul McCartney, Woody Harrelson and Joaquin Phoenix in challenging Pope Francis to Fight Climate Change With Diet Change by going vegan for Lent in return for a $1 million donation to the charity of his choice. Although he declined the challenge, The Pope gave the charity his blessing.
Million Dollar Vegan has inspired over 150,000 people to adopt a plant-based diet this year and are on a mission to deliver one million free vegan meals by 2022. Additional information is available at MillionDollarVegan.com.