70th Anniversary

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It was way back in 1944 when Donald Watson and a few like-minded pioneers invented the word ‘vegan’ and founded The Vegan Society. Today we are the largest vegan society in the world. The 1st of November 2014 marks both the start of World Vegan Month and also our 70th anniversary celebrations.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s coming up and how you can get involved. Remember to check out our events page to find out what’s happening in your area.

World's first vegan football match

Our 70th anniversary celebrations kicked off at Forest Green Rovers Football Club on the 1st of November.

FGR Chairman and owner of Ecotricity, Dale Vince, who is vegan himself, held the celebration for The Vegan Society’s 70th anniversary at the grounds of his home football club.

Vegan Society staff and members went along to enjoy the match and (dare we say more importantly?) the food, which was 100% vegan – a football first for players and fans. Special guests included Neil Robinson, the first vegan professional football player, who gave a speech to fans at half-time.

Our fantastic 70th birthday cake was donated by The Vegan Cakery for this special event. Vegan treats and snacks were provided by some of our trademark holders including Goody Good Stuff sweets and Ten Acre crisps.

With a little help from our 70 Friends

The Vegan Society is reaching out to vegan campaigners, comedians, chefs, authors, sportspersons, bloggers and other public figures, asking 70 of them to proudly declare themselves to be a Vegan Society Friend in our 70th year. Many great names are already on board including Philip Wollen, Dale Vince, Sara Pascoe, Neil Robinson and Christine Vardaros.

Delving into Vegan Society archives

Our researcher-in-residence, Dr Sam Calvert, has been hard at work delving into our archives at Vegan Society HQ, discovering how The Vegan Society began and how we have grown over the decades. Her findings are published as a pdf entitled Ripened by Human Determination: Seventy Years of The Vegan Society.  It is available to download here.

Want to get involved but not sure what to do?

Here at The Vegan Society offices we’ve got a lot of fundraising plans in the pipeline, including a 70 cupcake bake-athon, a pyjama day, and a sponsored bike ride.

We’ve come a long way in 70 years and we’ve got big plans for the future. Whether you’ve been supporting us for decades or would like to get involved in our work for the first time, there’s never been a better time to take action for the vegan movement.

As a thank you for helping support our work, the group that raises the most will receive a vegan hamper full of fantastic goodies worth over £100.

Here are some ideas for inspiration:

  • Potluck
  • Wine and cheese night
  • Bake-off competition
  • Information stall
  • Sponsored bike ride
  • Library display
  • Raffle / tombola
  • Movie night
  • Spa day

Ways we can help

We can provide leaflets, magazines, posters, and collection tins. We can publicise your event on the website and through social media in the build-up to it, and share your successes afterwards as well. We can also answer any questions you may have about planning or running your event, and about fundraising. Just send an email to volunteer[at]vegansociety[dot]com. Find more information on planning vegan events and fundraising for The Vegan Society.