ProVeg’s co-founder named a food hero of 2023

V-Label has chosen ProVeg’s co-founder Tobias Leenaert as one of its Food Heroes of 2023 – a group of innovative individuals who are creating a better and fairer world for animals and humans alike.

The Food Heroes 2023 cohort includes twenty individuals from all over the world whose effort in transforming food systems – be it through education, activism, research, entrepreneurship, technology, or politics – has made a positive impact on the planet.

“Modern heroes don’t wear capes: they are making milk from potatoes and microbes, chocolate without cocoa, and salmon and tuna without touching as much as a scale on a fish,” says Nikolett Konkoly, Marketing Project Manager at V-Label.

This hero wears a green ProVeg hoodie

Tobias Leenaert is neither a food scientist nor a heavyweight politician – he’s an international speaker and consultant with a long history of campaigning for animal rights and food-system transformation.

From his early days working as an intern in animals-rights groups in the United States to later founding and directing his own organization in Belgium, Leenaert’s career has combined a concern for moral issues with finding pragmatic solutions for moving past outdated food systems, a practice reflected in ProVeg International’s mission.

Though working hard as a director caused him burnout and resulted in a bout of depression, Tobias managed to recover and reinvent himself as a different kind of activist. “Rather than going back to my organization, I ventured off by myself and started sharing what I had learned in fifteen years of campaigning with other activists, through my talks, and later in my book How to Create a Vegan World,” says the Belgian author, who is currently working on a philosophical, speculative fiction novel.

I try to believe in humanity, and see us as a species that is still climbing out of some primitive state and turning into something beautiful.

Tobias Leenaert

A pragmatic approach guided by a moral compass

Changing the world’s food systems is no easy task, but Tobias’s approach involves focusing on positive things and believing in humanity’s potential for good deeds and impactful change.

“There’s a lot of horrible stuff that we hear about and could watch and read if we want, but there’s also so many good deeds being done. I try to believe in humanity, and see us as a species that is still climbing out of some primitive state and turning into something beautiful.”

It’s great that Tobias and other inspiring individuals have been recognized for their work. Here’s three cheers to Tobias and all the other Food Heroes!

5 reasons to be ProVeg

ProVeg is dedicated to raising awareness of how we can tackle the world’s most urgent problems through diet and food systems change. ProVeg empowers people and institutions to transform the global food system by promoting attractive animal-free foods.

Latest updates and news

Flags in European Parliament Building in Strasbourg, France

Let’s talk about the 2024 EU Elections: Share your thoughts in our poll

With the 2024 EU elections just around the corner, we want to ask you to share your thoughts.

Healthy lunch table with vegetables and sandwiches

5 reasons to try plant-based

We’ve put together this list of five compelling reasons to explore plant-based eating. As well as being better for the planet and climate, eating a plant-rich diet can positively impact well-being.

9 Plant-Based Recipes for Eid

This year, the Muslim holy month of Ramadan comes to a close on 10 April, with the occasion…

Catch up on the latest news from ProVeg…

Subscribe now to receive…

  • Nutrition advice & plant-based recipes.
  • Updates on our work and projects.
  • And information on how you can support what we do.

Subscribe to the ProVeg Living Newsletter