While it’s widely known that veganism is quickly on the rise, perhaps no one would’ve suspected that veganism would enter the world of soccer. However, that is precisely what has happened, as one team is now proudly vegan.
While their name is based on the neighborhood where the club used to play soccer when it was founded, the name “Forest Green” has a whole new meaning for the team.
The Forest Green Rovers Football Club, which is based in England, is the only truly vegan football club to exist in the world. Not only that, but they are also the first in the world to become a carbon-neutral sports club as well.
The club is owned by none other than Dale Vince who is a multimillionaire eco-warrior and pioneer in his space and the founder of Ecotricity, a renewable energy company. While Vince initially didn't intend to own the then-struggling soccer club, he finally agreed to buy the Forest Green Rovers in 2010. From there, he decided to make the operate on his own terms.
According to HuffPost, Vince said, “So we said, ‘Alright, if we’re going to do this, we’ll bring our work in the field of sustainability into football, which is an untouched audience for this kind of message.”
From there, he turned the soccer club into an eco-friendly and vegan-centered group and environment. For example, their stadium is now powered by 100% green energy, which is mostly provided by solar panels installed on the roof of the stadium. Furthermore, the soccer field is organic with no chemical fertilizers and is trimmed by a solar-powered robot lawnmower. The team also collects rainwater, and the stadium staff recycles cooking oil be turned into biofuel.
As for veganism, the team has since developed a vegan catering company that provides 100% vegan and allergen-free foods to schools across England, with hopes of inspiring children to become more open to the possibilities of a vegan diet. As they move forward, they hope to expand into larger markets, including universities, international schools, and even theme parks.