Meet the Forest Green Rovers, the world's first vegan and carbon-free football team
No matter which football team you grew up rooting for, this is going to change now. We would like to introduce you to Forest Green Rovers, a small professional football club based in a village of only 7,000 residents in Gloucestershire, England. Even though they are far from reaching the top football tier of the country, they are already champions for animals, the environment and, therefore, our hearts!
Forest Green Rovers has been named the "greenest football club in the world" by FIFA and last July they became the world's first UN certified carbon-neutral football club. They are also certified by The Vegan Society as the first vegan club in the world, as they have served vegan food to players, staff and fans since 2015.
"To start with they were a bit shocked and who were we to come along and take away their meat and burgers. But when you have such amazing food to replace it with, which is far better than the average burger or hot dog you might get at a club anyway, people don't really notice, which is the secret to it really. They just get on and eat the food", says Helen Taylor, Chief Executive.
Fans who come and watch the matches can now try delicious snacks like freshly made veggie burgers, vegan fajitas, vegan pizzas, salads and sweet potato fries.
They refuse to work with organisations "directly involved in factory farming, animal slaughter, animal testing, arms, tobacco, nuclear power, fracking, GMO’s or anything else we consider to be unethical, immoral or just plain wrong".
"FGR became the world’s first vegan football club because of the huge environmental and animal welfare impact of livestock farming, as well as to improve player performance and give fans healthier, tastier food on matchdays", they state on their website.
"Living on a plant-based diet instead of an animal one is one of the biggest things you can do to cut your impact on the planet. Livestock produces just 18% of food calories and 37% of protein, but it takes up more than 80% of farmland. We need to change that".
At the same time, they started several other eco-friendly innovations. Under the direction of Dale Vince, a green-energy industrialist, 10% of the electricity necessary to run the stadium is generated by solar panels installed on the stadium's roof. Rainwater is collected and recycled, and used for pitch irrigation; the pitch is cut by a solar-powered robotic lawnmower using GPS and the grass is free from pesticides and herbicides.
All these measures helped the team reduce their carbon emissions by nearly 30% in 2018/19, compared to last season.
Are you interested in reducing your carbon emissions and saving thousands of animals from a life of suffering? Please, consider a vegan diet. Click here to find out how to start.