FW: Vegan Society End of Year Report
- As a valued supporter of The Vegan Society we should like to provide you
with a summary of some of our work in 2008 and some of our plans for the
Our 2008/2009 theme is improving the quality and availability of vegan food.
As part of this The Vegan Society is working with many catering groups
including restaurants, catering colleges and universities. In 2008 Pembroke
College, Cambridge, registered with The Vegan Society and now carries The
Vegan Society sunflower logo: this means that vegan staff and students are
well catered for. They join Glasgow University, which was already carrying
Our Vegan Catering for All Challenge was widely publicized to chefs and
caterers, who were challenged to create a delicious, nutritionally balanced
vegan menu. Six shortlisted entrants battled it out in our Vegan Catering
Challenge cook-off final. The winner, Paul Russell of University College
Birmingham, declared that "Vegan food can be just as exciting and diverse as
any other cuisine", and followed up his new-found enthusiasm for vegan food
by inviting our CEO to speak to students at his catering college.
The Vegan Society attended the Restaurant Show in London and the Hotel and
Catering Show in Bournemouth, giving out hundreds of vegan catering guides
to a wide variety of caterers including pubs, hotels, restaurants and
The Plant Based Nutrition booklet was published in German and Spanish and
has been extremely popular abroad. We gave talks and workshops at the World
Vegetarian Congress in Dresden and we worked with groups and other vegan
societies around the world and supported the international campaign of
solidarity for the Austrian prisoners in 2008.
Our Education Officer (Rob Jackson) has been busy promoting veganism in
schools through talks and cookery demonstrations, reaching an estimated 2500
schoolchildren in 2008. We've spoken at climate-change events, to veggie
groups and to catering staff. We even got vegan items onto the menu at one
school! Copies of our Educational CD-Rom continue to be sent to teachers
and educators free of charge. Rob also ran a training day for school
speakers. (If you would like to be a school speaker then please contact
The Vegan Society was represented at education exhibitions at London Olympia
and the NEC in Birmingham and at the Westminster Forum education seminar,
demonstrating to teachers and educators that veganism is well and truly here
to stay. The Vegan Society is keen to work with colleges and universities
too, especially student societies. (Get in touch if you can help.)
We continue to extend our advocacy work. In 2008 we sent out and gave out
thousands of copies of our Catering Guide for Hospitals and Care Homes. We
introduced an award for hospital caterers and have been working with
meals-on-wheels providers. Our Plant Based Nutrition booklet was posted to
every doctor's surgery in the country with a covering letter. Our Catering
for Diversity seminar in Birmingham brought together doctors, pharmacists,
midwives, dieticians, caterers and care-home managers to discuss the need
for animal-free food and medicines.
We also attended the Hospital Caterers' Association conference in Birmingham
and the Westminster Food and Nutrition forum, taking the opportunity to
raise the profile of The Vegan Society to government and civil servants. We
continue to work alongside the Vegan Prisoners' Support Group to help vegans
The Vegan Society trademark is now used by companies in 26 different
countries. In 2008 we registered companies in Canada, Greece, Israel, The
Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Brazil and India.
The Vegan Society trademark team ran a stand at the Natural and Organic Show
in London, speaking to companies about our trademark. They also attended
the Restaurant Show in order to help promote vegan food through our
trademark sunflower standard for caterers.
Our PR/Media Officer (Amanda Baker) continues to challenge the media to give
proper coverage to the vegan message. (Get in touch to find out how you can
In 2008 Amanda worked on articles published in Lifescape, Telford 24/7
magazine and The University Caterer magazine. She was also interviewed on
Gateway FM Community Radio, LBC Radio, BBC Radio Wiltshire, Northampton,
Tees and Newcastle and on the CBC Radio programme The Current which is
Canada's equivalent of the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
New publications in 2008 included a new Why Vegan leaflet, a Vegan Catering
for All booklet and our Vegan Recipes leaflet, which has now become our most
popular leaflet. We published the 8th edition of the Animal Free Shopper,
an indispensable guide to all things vegan. The Animal Free Shopper is also
online at <http://www.animalfreeshopper.com/> www.animalfreeshopper.com,
where you can find updates at any time.
Our Vegan Society Vegan Pledge was launched at the London Vegan Festival.
The Vegan Pledge offers new vegans or those curious about veganism the
opportunity to receive the support of a mentor so that they don't have to go
it alone. Pledges can last for a week, two weeks or a month. We'll be
running the pledge all year round and we've already received lots of
positive feedback from pledgers telling us that the extra support really
helped them to stick with it. If you are interested in becoming a mentor
please contact info@....
World Vegan Month
Awareness of World Vegan Month continues to grow and began brilliantly in
2008 with The Vegan Society sponsoring the West Midlands Vegan Festival on
November 1st. Every year we supply leaflets and posters for World Vegan
Month stalls and events all around the country.
The Vegan magazine won the Best Vegan Publication award in the Vegan
Environmental Awards 2008, which is confirmation that Vegan Society members
receive an excellent read. Our editor considers all submissions, letters
and comments. Why not subscribe your non-vegan friends to the magazine as a
Work with Other Organizations and Government
The Vegan Society works with government bodies and other vegan societies
around the world. In 2008 our Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Winter,
participated in a DEFRA workshop on food security, contributed to the
Cabinet Office Strategy Unit Consultation on Food Policy, was interviewed by
the Green Alliance think tank and was interviewed for the Young Green
Newsletter (the youth newsletter of the Green Party).
Supporting and working with others
We continue to fund vegan events both locally and nationally including the
London, East Midlands, West Midlands and Bristol vegan festivals as well as
international and local vegan events that might not otherwise get the
financial support they need.
Our next theme
Our theme for the year starting July 2009 and ending July 2010 is Global
Food Security. We hope to be able to report on plans for this soon.
We have been asked if we can assemble a vegan team for the Eggheads quiz on
In Eggheads, the challenging team competes against general knowledge
'Goliaths' (past winners of Mastermind, Brain of Britain and other quizzes)
for a cash prize.
If you are interested and can answer at least three of the following
questions (WITHOUT CHEATING) and have a track record of winning pub quizzes,
please email <mailto:editor@...> media@...:
1) Identify the author of the poetic extract "The best lack all conviction,
while the worst are full of passionate intensity."
2) To which London restaurant did Tony and Cherie Blair take Bill and
Hillary Clinton in 1997?
3) Which stage musical featured the songs 'Electricity' and 'Expressing
4) In mythology the griffin has the head and wings of an eagle and the body
of which other animal?
5) Which other planet in the solar system is closest in size to the earth?
6) Whose horse was called Bucephalus?
7) What is the name of the world's highest waterfall and in which country is
Your support is vital!
It is members such as you who give strength to the vegan movement and who
help us push forward and make important gains, so please continue to support
our vital work in order that we can do even more in 2009.
With best wishes for the New Year from all at The Vegan Society
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