2023: Viva! Review

Although 2023 was a tumultuous year for the UK and the world, at Viva! there were many reasons to genuinely celebrate.

Thank you for being such an important part of our movement, building respect and compassion for animals and all life. Vegan is a state of kind. It is also essential for protecting our planet.

Read on to find out how Viva! has continued its fight for animals, nature and public health and emerged triumphant at the end of our 29th year of campaigning!

We started the year with a bang, hosting a Hogwood: a modern horror story exclusive screening and Q&A in London with Jerome Flynn, with subsequent screenings in Bristol and Exeter.

Viva!’s Killer YogHURTS ad was seen by more than 3.5 million people, and while eventually banned by the ASA, this meant we were seen by millions more. Viva! received phenomenal levels of coverage from media outlets including the New York Post, the Daily Mail, and I was a guest on Uncensored, Piers Morgan’s show, to battle the man himself.

Viva! launched a Müller Killer campaign in Leicester Square, London. Matt Pritchard, aka Dirty Vegan, was the face of the campaign, and he helped expose the horrors on dairy units. We toured many cities, explaining to the public how one in five dairy cows are zero grazed, spending their entire miserably short lives locked indoors, and handed out thousands of vegan yoghurts as an accessible alternative to dairy versions. It was a huge success.

Viva!’s Vegan Recipe Club produced a stunning new cookbook, Everyone Can Cook Vegan, packed with more than 100 easy yet imaginative recipes. It has had many rave reviews and if you haven’t got your copy yet I can’t recommend it enough.

While it’s notoriously difficult to secure coverage for fish, our salmon investigation made waves when it appeared in The Observer. It exposed how farmed salmon are riddled with lice infestations when reared intensively for UK supermarkets.

Viva!’s tv ad, Take Away the Meat, was so popular in 2022 that we crowdfunded to broadcast it again on national tv. You smashed the target and it was shown to another 18 million people! That means we reached almost 40 million in 2022 and 2023 with this epic ad! Thank you to everyone who donated and helped us get this back on air for a second time!

– Juliet Gellatley

Viva! Animals

Viva!’s ‘Takeaway the Meat’ TV Advertisement

“With everything else that’s going on in the world, seeing this going to air in so many slots lifted my heart so much. Well done.”

“This was the prompt I needed to go vegan – explaining the ad to my six-year-old!”

– two of the hundreds of positive responses Viva! has received from our Takeaway the Meat advert


Thank you so much for donating to the distribution of our ‘Takeaway the MeatTV ad. Viva! crowdfunded £40k to raise the funds to broadcast the high value TV ad. With the help of 795 generous crowdfund donors, and a kind match-funder, plus Channel 4 partially matching our total we were able to reach an additional 18 million people with 531 ad slots on TV. The response has been incredible! Together with the airtime in February 2022, the ad has now been seen by 40 million people on national TV.

Press Coverage

Our ad reached another 9 million via the press and impacted our social media channels organically, engaging with a broad audience across platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and X, formerly Twitter. Notably, influential figures in the vegan community also magnified our reach. For instance, during the last run of the advert, renowned social media influencer Joey Carbstrong posted a YouTube video with commentary that now garnered over 19,000 views. This video continued to receive ongoing engagement through this stretch of the advert’s run, demonstrating its lasting impact and relevance.

True Costa Dairy

An undercover investigation of a large dairy farm in Kent by Viva! Campaigns exposed multiple incidents of cruelty and neglect. We discovered that the farm supplies cow’s milk to Freshways – “the UK’s largest independent processing dairy”. Freshways customers include Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero, Budgens, Iceland, Nisa, Londis and British Airways.

Viva! achieved a powerful exclusive in The Independent with the headline: Undercover video finds cows on dairy giant farm that supplies Iceland and Costa Coffee ‘in filthy conditions’. One cow ‘hit in the udder’ and others struggled to walk, footage shows.

This is now the largest quality digital news brand, reaching about 800,000 people a day.

In true Viva! style we organised not one, but two, nationwide Days of Action outside Costa Coffee in order to urge their customers to choose plant milks instead. On 28 January and 11 March, Viva! supporters organised almost 100 events across the UK. We reached thousands of people, encouraging many to make more ethical choices and go vegan.

Müller Killer

Viva! Campaigns Investigations

Viva! Campaigns’ undercover team visited multiple farms supplying dairy producers Müller and Arla. The four farms investigated were all Red Tractor assured. At these farms, we discovered a horrifying truth – all the cows are zero grazed. This practice is commonly used in the US and has massively increased in popularity in Europe. It’s estimated that around 20 per cent of UK dairy cows never go outside, one in five living their entire lives in a filthy shed with no access to green pasture.

The Observer featured an exclusive of the investigation. Our investigation page gives more detail.

Müller Corner Parody

Viva!’s Killer YogHURTS video ad was launched online as part of our Müller Killer campaign and quickly reached 3.5 million people.

We created a powerful, gripping advert to reach the public with the truth about dairy, parodying the popular Müller Corner. Instead of frut we used blood and gore in a corner yoghurt prop to replicate the violence involved in this industry. Viva! Campaigns footage of cows on zero grazing farms contracted to Müller and Arla is also shown to remind the viewer of the individual animals and their suffering.

Shown across social media platforms, the ad was banned by the ASA after just seven complaints. This triggered international coverage and the video being embedded on the Mail Online and shown in an interview with our founder, Juliet on Piers Morgan’s, Uncensored.

“Whatever your views on a vegan diet, the shock treatment is enough to make even the most carnivorous viewer sit up and take notice.”


The video was the starting point, which led to a gruesome Müller Killer campaign stunt in Leicester Square, London. With the help of Matt Pritchard, aka Dirty Vegan, we exposed the horrors on dairy units. People were outraged by the reality of dairy farming, and we handed out lots of vegan Alpro yoghurts as an accessible alternative to dairy yoghurt.


During this campaign, we toured major cities around the UK, handing out 3,000 vegan yoghurts, having conversations with thousands of individuals and showing them the footage.

We set up our eye-catching ‘Experience the Future of Dairy’ tent and invited members of the public inside to watch footage and see some of the tools used within the dairy industry.

The revelation was clear – the public have an idyllic image of what dairy farming is, perpetuated by adverts from dairy giants such as Müller and Arla and they were shocked to learn the truth.

At each of these events, we were joined by our amazing Viva! volunteer supporters, as well as activists from other groups.

Tafarn Dairy Investigation

Viva! Campaigns investigated a large dairy farm in Wales, recording some of the worst cases of physical violence we have ever seen. At the time of filming, the farm, Tafarn Y Bugail, supplied one of the largest dairy cooperatives in the UK, which has long-standing partnerships with major retailers and milk brands.

Shortly before the exposé was published by the Metro.com, the dairy cooperative dropped the farm.

Christmas Outreach

We ended 2023 with our wonderful campaigns team and outreach hosts organising Christmas stalls in towns and cities across the UK. We were on the streets in major UK cities to encourage shoppers to choose cruelty-free this festive season. With a Christmassy feel, we offered free mince pies and showed footage from undercover investigations. We also hand out out  leaflets and our Christmas guide with ideas on how to transition to a vegan way of life for Christmas and beyond.

University campaign: Would You Swap?

Viva!’s Freshers Tour 2023 took place across three weeks in September and October, and we handed out 5,500 vegan food samples to students. Introducing the new universities campaign, Would You Swap?, which focuses on the pig meat industry, the Viva! team brought along Gregg’s vegan sausage rolls, Oggs cupcakes and Vegolino praline chocolates to educate students on all things vegan.

The Would You Swap? campaign focuses on exposing the atrocious conditions factory farmed pigs are forced to endure through the use of our new VR headset technology. This immersive experience allows students to view a 3D 360-degree video from inside a UK pig factory farm guided by me. After viewing the footage, students were asked whether they would swap places with a pig and, if not, whether they would swap their diets. With free vegan food as an incentive to view the footage, the headsets proved immensely popular. Would You Swap? campaign materials were produced, and thousands given out.

Students with headsets immersed inside a pig factory farm guided by founder inside the farm – the headsets definitely attract more students to the stall and had a massive impact

Viva! Planet

Eating the Earth

Viva! was named a finalist in the Best Environment Cause Campaign category in this year’s Purpose Awards, for out Eating the Earth wildlife campaign.

Carbon Labelling

Our initiative to get carbon footprint labelling on restaurant menus also won a Not-for-Profit Silver Award at the CIPR awards.


Viva! once again took part in COP, the annual United Nations climate change conference. This year’s COP28 took place at Parliament Square and Viva! was joined by like-likeminded organisations: Plant Based Treaty, Plant Based Universities, PETA, Animal Aid, WTF, Vegan Land Movement and Four Paws.

How YOU Can Save Wildlife

Viva!’s How YOU Can Save Wildlife video was shortlisted as a finalist at Small Axe Radical Short Film Awards and it received an Honourable Mention at Greenwich Film Festival. The film has been viewed and shared by 1.2 million people.


In November, we launched the exciting initiative 50by25, collaborating with the food industry, but especially national chain restaurants so that they commit to making their menu 50 per cent plant-based by the end of 2025 for the sake of the planet. Together we are shaping a plant-forward and internationally pioneering hospitality sector in the UK that is both good for our planet and good for business.

50 by 25 logo

Viva! Health

Viva! Health continues to feature in the national press, commenting on all things related to vegan diets and health, from dispelling myths about bone broth in the Metro in January to suggesting low-cost, low-calorie lunches in October’s Bella magazine.

We had 20 features in the Express this year, discussing topics from blood pressure and cholesterol to bird flu and vitamin B12, gaining exposure to hundreds of thousands of readers.

We continued contributing two health features each month to Vegan Food & Living magazine, covering topics as diverse as how to deal with kind people with cruel habits, to biodiversity and how eating animals will be the death of us.

In January, we published The Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Nutrition to support people signing up to Veganuary with advice and guidance on how to make that all-important first step towards going vegan. In February, we launched Balanced Vegan, a new page designed to offer reassurance and combat claims that a healthy balanced diet should contain meat and dairy. It features our new Vegan Eatwell Plate – this colourful graphic explains what a balanced vegan diet looks like:

Balanced Vegan Eatwell Plate

One of our most popular stories, featured in Viva!life magazine, was Viva! supporter Kate Dunbar’s incredible and inspiring account of how she overcame arthritis using a wholefood vegan diet.

We also kept you up to date with the latest health research, covering topics such as how our ancient ancestors ate a plant-based diet, how a few nuts a day keep the doctor away and how a healthy vegan diet may help combat dementia.

The science supporting a vegan diet for health is overwhelming!

We expanded our A to Z of Foods to include many more plant foods, including spinach, carrots, celery, chocolate, walnuts, cucumber, parsley, goji berries, sweetcorn and more.

Finally, we responded to news stories covering issues such as how bird flu is now spreading in mammals in the UK and other countries, how antibiotic use in farming is set to soar despite superbug concerns, and the hidden health hazards of meaty sausages.

Viva! Health are the experts in vegan nutrition and in 2023, continued to be the number one place to go for information on diet and health!

Viva! Lifestyle

Viva! had many tv interviews, some highlights include: campaigner Rory spoke to Jacob Rees-Mogg on GB News about whether the world should go plant-based, Head of Comms Faye spoke to TalkTV about intensive octopus farming, senior environment campaigner, Jasmine appeared on GB News to discuss 650 academics calling for 100 per cent plant-based catering on university campuses. Lex, head of investigations, was interviewed with Al Arabiya, an international Arabic news television channel currently based in Riyadh and operated by the media conglomerate MBC. I spoke to GB News on the topic of ‘Will veganism decline?’ — spoiler alert, it won’t. Oh, and I took on Piers Morgan himself, to discuss our banned Killer YogHURTS advert on his show: Uncensored.

I attended a five-course charity dinner by Bristol’s best vegan chefs: Michelin Star chef Liam Penn, The Cooking Flea, Koocha, Green House, and Eden. A few Viva! staff members volunteered at the event, and proceeds went to Viva!

Three Vegan Now billboards were posted in Swindon and Truro, paid for by Viva! supporters.

Sleaford Mods’ Andrew Fearn (aka Infant) wore a Viva! top on Later with Jools Holland and a Viva! Hogwood t-shirt when they supported Blur at Wembley Stadium.

Viva! Podcast

The Viva! Vegan Podcast had a revamp, with episodes released in a video, as well as audio format, and as a series to enable people to browse more content. Series one saw guests such as Sam Ryder, Romesh Ranganathan and Victoria Moran make appearances.

Goodpods also ranked it as #19th in the Top 100 Activist Podcasts of All Time.

Stay tuned for Season 2 early in 2024! You can hear/see the podcast on most platforms such as Spotify, YouTube and more.

My Vegan Town

This year, we have added hundreds of new businesses to My Vegan Town. We have also greatly improved the design of the events pages, and this has become one of the most visited sections.

We have been working on a new app for My Vegan Town. This will greatly improve the use of the geolocation tools on mobile devices, and we will launch next year.

Vegan Recipe Club

Maryanne spent 2023 working on the new Viva! cookbook, Everyone Can Cook Vegan. It launched in October and we couldn’t be happier with the result! From recipe creation and development to design, styling and photography – it’s been a jam-packed year of creativity and project management. The Viva! team has certainly benefitted from the recipe trials – the prosecco fondue being a particular favourite! We’d also like to thank Dean Purnell for his fabulous graphic design and Niki Webster for her stunning food photography.

The Vegan Recipe Club’s Facebook followers grew to 189,000 and reached 8.5 million users, meanwhile VRC’s Instagram followers grew from 5,000 in 2022 to 14,300 and reached 6.6 million users. Over 20,000 visitors have been referred to our VRC webpage from social media and the traffic to our V7 webpage has increased by over 1,700 per cent.

Not a bad year!

Gifts for Life and Viva!life

In 2023 Viva! rolled out four issues of our popular supporter’s magazine, Viva!life including many features on campaigns, vegan news and people such as Romesh Ranganathan, Moby and Sam Ryder. You can get your copies by joining.

Another amazing Gifts for Life catalogue was produced with a range of great new vegan designs, yummy chocolates and sweets and gifts. We also launched our brand-new adoption scheme with Viva! Poland’s sanctuary and Beneath The Wood.

We are really proud of this year’s collection, and we hope you loved it too.

And finally – thank you for all of your support throughout this incredibly rewarding, yet difficult year. Our work would not be possible without you.

Yours for the animals

Juliet Gellatley
Founder & Director, Viva!

Juliet sitting on the grass with a pig

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