Hapoel Tel-Aviv basketball team goes vegan

In another first for the country with the highest number of vegans per capita, the Hapoel Tel Aviv basketball team will be called Hapoel Vegan Friendly Tel Aviv for the upcoming season.

It’s a slam dunk for Israeli vegan advocacy and education organization Vegan Friendly, whose stamp of approval appears on 10,000 Israeli food products and companies, and a growing number in the UK as well.

This purple seal will appear on team uniforms and around the new Shlomo Group Arena. In addition, the arena’s VIP suite menu will only offer vegan dishes.

Vegan Friendly and Hapoel are planning joint activities to promote a healthier lifestyle, aiming to encourage the team’s one and a half million fans to reduce consumption of animal products for the benefit of the environment, health human and animal welfare.

About 6,700 members of Vegan Friendly’s Vegan Active activist group have collectively donated nearly NIS 1 million for the Hapoel Tel Aviv season sponsorship.

Omri Paz, who founded Vegan Friendly in 2012, said the connection between Vegan Friendly and Hapoel Tel Aviv is natural, as “we and the team are always working to achieve the next greatest achievement, to break down boundaries and make ‘impossible-possible’.

“Animal food consumption causes serious climate damage, and we believe that strong public awareness of this issue can drive change,” Paz said.

Animal agriculture, he said, is responsible for around 18% of greenhouse gas emissions, more than all means of transport in the world combined. And about 80% of deforestation is for grazing or growing animal feed in the agricultural industry.

Rami Cohen, chairman of Hapoel Tel Aviv, said the team “welcomes this important cooperation, which aims to deliver a better future for all of us.”

In June, around 100,000 people came to Vegan Friendly’s Vegan Fest in Tel Aviv, the largest of its kind in the world.

This article was first published by Israel21c.

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