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The Forest Green Rovers, an English soccer team, officially became the world's first vegan football (soccer) club on Oct. 31.The Forest Green Rovers, an English soccer team, officially became the world's first vegan football (soccer) club on Oct. 31.

Meet the World's First Vegan Soccer Club

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The Forest Green Rovers, an English soccer team, officially became the world’s first vegan football (soccer) club on Oct. 31.

The team, which had already dropped meat from its menu back in 2011 and recently did away with fish this past July, completely dropped all animal products, including dairy and honey, on the weekend to give their fans a total vegan experience.

“We stopped serving meat to our players, fans and staff about four seasons ago,” the club’s owner, Dale Vince, told the Rovers’ website. The next step to veganism was a natural one for Vince, who himself is a vegan. It’s not surprising then, that when Vince took over the club in 2010, that he changed the team’s colors from black and white to green and black.

“The gap between vegetarian and vegan food is actually quite small; it’s a step rather than a leap to take,” Vince said. “A lot of our food has been vegan for some time now, and this season we’ve taken the last small step.”

The step is fitting, too, since it occurred just in time for World Vegan Day on Nov. 1.

“We’ve been on a mission since then to introduce our fans to this new world. When you drop the ‘meat and two veg’ approach, a whole new world of food options opens up.”

Those options include sweet potato burgers, fajitas and pizza, as wel as vegan beer and cider, which are all available on the team’s menu.

“The meat and dairy industry is responsible for more emissions than all the world’s planes, trains, cars and boats put together,” Vince added.

“It involves incredible animal cruelty and staggering numbers: in Britain alone, over one billion animals are eaten each year — three million per day — and that’s not even counting fish. Each of these animals lives a short and awful life, and each of them consumes more food than their bodies provide us with.

“Cows, for example, can take up to 10 times more high-quality plant protein — grains and soya — than they produce: 10 kg goes in, 1kg comes out, which is madness. And, of course, as the WHO report this week makes plain, meat is bad for human health, being a major cause of cancer.

“Making these facts plain and demonstrating what a plant based diet looks, and tastes like, is an important part of our work.”

Hear, hear! We congratulate Vince and the Forest Green Rovers’ vegan efforts, and we can only hope that other sports clubs will soon follow suit.


Photo: Forest Green Rovers

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