Vietnam goes Vegan! Schoolchildren learn to cook plant-based food in exciting project from Animals Asia

02 October 2020

Earlier this year, an innovative project was launched in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet to local schoolchildren and residents, by encouraging them to “eat vegan with the bears!”

The project is the brain-child of Animals Asia and Vietnamese plant-based chain restaurant Loving Hut, who joined forces to demonstrate how easy it is to cook vegan food, and illustrate its benefits to our wellbeing, the health of the planet and to animal welfare.

The 30 residents and schoolchildren who attended each cookery course - run for free in Ho Chi Minh City by chef and animal lover Le Nguyen Bao and by Loving Hut’s chef in Hanoi - learned how to veganise their favourite recipes and use everyday staples to create delicious plant-based dishes from sauces and stews to decadent desserts.

Attendee Bich Hanh, a yoga teacher from Ho Chi Minh City, thanked Animals Asia on her Facebook page for “sharing the meaning of nutrition and vegan cooking” and concluded that “eating vegan is not difficult if you know how, I am living proof!” 

Hai Yen, who attended the Hanoi session told us, “what was special about the course is that we were given scientific-based nutritional information and taught how to turn healthy food into tasty animal-free dishes.”

Both Vietnam and China have long-standing traditions of vegetarianism, due to its links with Buddhism. And now, with increased awareness of the impact of meat and dairy on our planet, our health and on animals, more young people in particular are embracing an animal-free diet.  

The project has laid to rest the question of whether the carrot or the stick is more successful in encouraging change: the delicious and healthy carrot wins every time!