When you make big shifts in your life — like switching careers, following a new religion, or adopting a different lifestyle — it’s helpful to have somewhere to turn for vetted information, support, and guidance. The Vegan Society can be seen as precisely that — a reputable organization spearheading vegan initiatives and campaigns, promoting sustainable eating and living, and helping new vegans get their foothold on the vegan lifestyle in an approachable and supported way.
Whether you’ve been committed to plant-based eating for years or are just becoming curious about venturing into veganism, keep reading for an introduction to the Vegan Society and learn how this organization is actively promoting and championing the vegan lifestyle.
The Vegan Society is a registered charity in the United Kingdom and the oldest vegan organization in the world. Founded in 1944 by a group including Donald Watson, Elsie Shrigley, and George and Fay Henderson, among others, the Vegan Society was the organization that initially defined the term “vegan.” Veganism was defined to be “the practice of living on fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and other wholesome non-animal products,” and the Vegan Society was established to advocate that our food should be derived from fruits, nuts, vegetables, grains, and other wholesome non-animal products and devoid of “flesh, fish, fowl, eggs, honey, and animal’s milk, butter, and cheese.”
Today, the Vegan Society has grown to be heavily involved in promoting the vegan lifestyle and speaking out about the rights of animals, the need for food sustainability, and the benefits of veganism. The Vegan Society seeks to eliminate all exploitation and cruelty towards animals for our food, clothing, or other purposes and to promote the development and implementation of animal-free alternatives for the betterment of the environment, our health and social justice, and animal rights. Essentially, the primary mission of the Vegan Society is to encourage more people to give veganism a try and make the vegan lifestyle easy to follow so that people will stick with it.
One of the wonderful aspects of the Vegan Society is its transparency and directness with its aims and objectives. This makes it clear to consumers what its campaigns and efforts are striving to achieve. The overriding aim of the Vegan Society is to help create a world where humans do not exploit animals so that animals can have their own rights, including freedom from our exploitation of them for food, clothing, beauty products, testing, or other needs. An additional aim of the Vegan Society is to create a world in which all resources are utilized in a sustainable way and where there is food justice and security for all through veganism.
The Vegan Society explicitly states two long-term goals:
- To improve vegan food offerings, nutrition, education, and agriculture and encourage government and public and private sector companies to adopt and reward the vegan lifestyle due to its health, sustainability, and compassionate benefits.
- To significantly increase the number of people actively committed to and practicing veganism due to their belief that animals deserve rights, animal exploitation leads to food distribution and justice issues, animal farming is unsustainable, and a balanced vegan diet is healthy.
So, how exactly does the Vegan Society work towards its goals? What does the Vegan Society do? Here are some of the practical things the Vegan Society does to try and make the world a more vegan-centric place:
Increasing Awareness and Animal Exploitation and the Vegan Lifestyle
The Vegan Society tries to raise awareness about the problems with the non-vegan lifestyle — animal cruelty and exploitation, resource misuse, food injustices, etc. — while simultaneously sharing research backing the benefits of the vegan diet and vegan lifestyle. Some of the ways the Vegan Society raises awareness is through its informative app, podcast, public talks, initiatives, and public events.
Making Vegan Products Easier to Find and Identify
The Vegan Society issues a vegan trademark on vegan products to help consumers easily find vegan products when shopping.
Informing Consumers and Policy Makers
The Vegan Society has a very informative website, podcast, and blog to help consumers learn more about veganism. It also actively engages with policymakers to try and effectuate change in terms of incentivizing local farmers to shift away from animal farming to plant proteins and sustainable food production.
Supporting People Through the Vegan Pledge
The Vegan Society runs the Vegan Pledge, a supported 30-day entry into the vegan lifestyle challenge. Participants receive informative, motivating guidance along the way.
Making the Vegan Lifestyle More Approachable and Sustainable
The Vegan Society takes great strides towards trying to make the transition and maintenance of the vegan lifestyle easier for everyone. Its website has tons of vegan recipes, tips for parents, a teen corner, advice for navigating social situations as a vegan, cleaning and beauty products that are vegan, vegan alternatives for all sorts of common animal products, and more. This information helps remove some of the perceived barriers to the vegan lifestyle.