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Sparking up controversy

Did you know that most energy providers aren’t vegan?

As vegans, we are always conscious of how all of our actions and choices impact the planet and its many inhabitants. Although information regarding ingredients in food and health and beauty products is, slowly but surely, becoming more accessible, there is still a lack of clarity when it comes to energy production. In fact, there is actually very little information known about how many energy providers exploit animals in producing energy, and what actually constitutes as green, renewable, nonvegan and vegan energy.

Currently, energy providers are required by Ofgem (ofgem.gov.uk) to declare the fuel mix of the energy they supply, however, they are not obligated to declare whether animals are used in its production.

In the UK, there are two main sources of energy generation: anaerobic digestion (AD) and biomass. Both types of energy production can contain by-products of animal farming, such as factory farmed livestock, slaughterhouse waste, animal slurry and fish parts. AD involves a series of biological processes that break down material in the absence of oxygen — the end product is biogas. This is then used to generate electricity, heat and fuel, or as a renewable natural gas. The microorganisms used during anaerobic digestion are typically derived from animal by-products or from actual dead animals, with most originating from factory farms wanting to get rid of and profit from their ‘waste’.

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About Vegan Life

I count my lucky stars every day to do a job that I love. But, the best part of it- is being surrounded by likeminded people. Working at a vegan-run company, alongside passionate staff who care about animals and the environment, not only means I am constantly inspired, but also supported in my own ethics and principles. Sadly, for so many people, this isn’t the case. Many companies struggle to support, from not providing plant-based milk alternatives in an office or forcing vegan staff to wear animal products as part of their uniform. Fat Gay Vegan gives some great advice on negotiating being a vegan in a non-vegan workplace on p32 and we’ve rounded up some great vegan-friendly career ideas on p106. We also spoke to two entrepreneurs who have bit the bullet and set up their own vegan businesses — they give us their tips on p112. I was contacted a little while ago by the talented vegan photographer Jordan Hall, who was working on a project called What does it look like to be vegan? Jordan’s goal was to highlight the diversity and individuality within our community and hear some of the stories of fellow passionate vegans. We’re delighted to showcase her work on p34. Also, we have a brilliant interview with the inspiring Joey Carbstrong on p18, we chat to campaigner Nina Jackel, the powerhouse behind Lady Freethinker, on p28, and Maria Slough meets artist and ethical influencer Emily Lamb on p96. Enjoy the issue

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