Vegan pies to the rescue of University of Aberdeen students

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Vegan groups and actor Alan Cumming have joined forces to deliver vegan pies and environmental education to students.

Campaign groups Million Dollar Vegan and Vegan Outreach Scotland, and vegan actor Alan Cumming delivered hundreds of vegan pies to students of the University of Aberdeen last week, working with the charity The Care Hub, which supports vulnerable and homeless people.

The vegan pies were provided by Vegan Bay Baker, which is Aberdeenshire’s first vegan bakery. Owner Steve Buchan, who set up his company in July 2019, saw demand for home deliveries shoot up with the onset of the pandemic, enabling him to work full-time.

The Press and Journal reported he has plans to open by Christmas this year, having “secured premises in Newburgh, which will see him open a factory with a 30 feet-trailer outside, which will house a shop and cafe area, ahead of the festive season.”

Buchan provided 800 pies to students of the University of Aberdeen, who have been struggling due to the effects of the pandemic, “whilst also taking the opportunity [alongside the vegan groups and Cumming] to highlight the risks of animal agriculture to human health and the planet”.


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Vegan Food and Living reports that “it is estimated that three-quarters of all newly emerging infectious diseases are coming from animals, and pandemic experts are expressing serious concern about the dangers of intensive animal farming. Million Dollar Vegan is encouraging the public to #TakePandemicsOffTheMenu and instead try their free Vegan Starter Kit available on their website.”

It referred to an Oxford University report that “concluded that eating a vegan diet is the ‘single biggest thing’ we can do as individuals to help mitigate climate change, and as evidenced by the Arctic Sea yet to freeze this year, this shift to a global plant-based diet is needed now”.

Cumming went vegan in 2011, and has been a vocal advocate and campaigner ever since, supporting a campaign to end horse-drawn carriage rides in New York and a campaign to free Tonka, a chimpanzee he worked with in the film Buddy in 1997, from a Missouri facility.

Cumming said: “The consequences of trashing the natural world are already around us: climate change, deforestation, species loss, pandemics. We have the power to change this, to protect the earth and ourselves. And we can start right now, simply by changing the way we eat. All power to the vegan pie.”

Speaking to Vegan Food and Living, Kate Fowler, communications director at Million Dollar Vegan said: “What we choose to buy and eat has profound consequences that go way beyond our taste buds and waistlines. It affects both our short-term and long-term health, the health of our landscapes, how long we will have workable antibiotics, when another pandemic will come and whether we will be able to slow down climate change.

“These are the biggest issues we face, but we are not helpless. We can each play a part in protecting ourselves, our planet and our future. What are we waiting for?”

Rebecca Knowles, the founder of Vegan Outreach Scotland, said: “A global shift from current diets to diets that exclude animal products would reduce food’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 73% and food’s land use by 76#. Meat from cows and sheep has up to 100 times the environmental impact as plant-based foods.

“In Scotland, rewilding the land formerly used to graze these animals would offset the equivalent of 35.5 years of Scottish CO2 emissions. We know that we have enough arable land in the UK to grow food to meet the nutritional needs of our entire population, the lentils and sweet potatoes in these pies being two tasty examples.”

Jessica Fox
Jessica Fox
Jessica has been vegan for nearly 20 years; over the past 8 years, she has been actively involved in the London vegan community, organising and hosting a variety of vegan events.She also regularly hosts walks, potlucks, and art/creative writing workshops. Jessica is an artist, writer, and genealogist; she loves photography, swimming, and walking in the countryside and seaside.