International Rights Conference 2022 | The Vegan Society

International Rights Conference 2022

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The BIG Veganism in Education Conference 

Saturday 1 October 2022 
9am – 4.30pm 
 

Tickets are available at Eventbrite 

 

This year, The Vegan Society’s Education Network and its International Rights Network join forces to host The BIG Veganism in Education Conference. We will be asking:

  • What are the existing challenges to successful vegan-inclusive education? 
  • What are the experiences of vegan educators, pupils, and their parents/guardians?  
  • What is the value of existing rights, equality, and inclusion principles for vegan-inclusive education? 

What is veganism?

Veganism is a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude – as far as is possible and practicable – all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment.1

What are the issues?

The vegan philosophy is not routinely taught in schools and many educational resources and activities overlook the exploitation of non-human animals and perpetuate prejudice against them. Prejudice against other animals is (perhaps inadvertently) embedded in the majority of teaching and learning practice and we know from experience that many vegan parents and pupils feel frustrated about how their needs are overlooked. This is evidenced by their struggle to obtain vegan food, a free healthy drink on par with the free provision of cow’s milk, and the lack of vegan-friendly resources, activities, and excursions. For example, in class, vegan pupils are often expected to uncritically discuss drinking cow’s milk, handle meat and dairy products, use materials derived from non-human animals in textile and art, dissect dead non-human animals, participate in keeping chicks, butterflies, and other non-human animals in captivity and are given uncritical reading resources that overlook and misrepresent the suffering of farmed non-human animals.

While individual vegans are sometimes successful in their attempts to obtain accommodation of needs, we argue that prejudice towards other animals and its apparent normalisation is at the root of the marginalisation of the needs of vegan pupils. Our conference this year will, therefore, bring this into focus and advocate for the development of policies and practices that embed respect and compassion for non-human animals which contributes to vegan-inclusive education and helps support the needs of vegan learners.

How does our conference support and help facilitate necessary change?

Understanding vegan-inclusive education requires educators to understand more about veganism and the needs of vegans. They also need access to training, teaching resources, and ongoing support. To this end, Laura Chepner, members of The Vegan Society’s Education Network, and our valued speakers will explain the relationship between prejudice against other animals and hostility towards vegans, discuss evidence of exclusion and the impact on vegan pupils and parents, the principles of vegan-inclusive education and promote various education initiatives including our CPD accredited teacher training programme.

Successful inclusive education requires school transformation and systems change, and one key element is understanding existing structural, educational, and cultural challenges.2 Our conference will discuss the role of law in dealing with these issues, and lawyers from our International Rights Network will explain:

  • The International and European human rights provisions that mandate respect for the right of parents to education and teaching that aligns with their own religious, moral, and philosophical convictions.
  • That in the UK, veganism attracts protection under human rights law, and ethical veganism is a protected characteristic for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.
  • The Public Sector Equality Duty (Britain) requires schools to eliminate discrimination, harassment, and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not, and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
  • How they have brought about successful policy changes through the legal cases they have won in court.

Join us!

We aim to support vegan parents/guardians, pupils, and educators by explaining veganism, what vegan-inclusive education is about, signposting useful resources, and the ongoing support we can offer. We will also explain the legal rights of vegans, how supporting vegan learners comes within the scope of educators’ equality obligations and reflect on this in relation to example legal duties and standard education policies on diversity and inclusion.

We cordially invite vegan parents, educators from across the education sector, and all interested parties to join us for this important, informative, and inspiring day. Tickets available at eventbrite.

Location 

Partnership for Learning Charity: Training Conference Centre 

South Road 
Speke 
Liverpool 
L24 9PZ 

(Free parking) 

Map 

Schedule 

Please visit our Big Veganism in Education Conference programme webpage for a full schedule of the day. 

Speakers

Please visit our speakers page for a full list of who will be delivering talks at the conference. 

Accommodation 

The Conference venue has kindly provided the following information: 

 Local Hotels to Partnership for Learning Charity 

Local Hotels within 1.5 miles: 

  • Hampton by Hilton Liverpool Airport Hotel: 08451226787 
  • Premier Inn: 08715278626 
  • Holiday Inn: 01514482000 

Recommended City Centre Hotels (Approx. 5 Miles): 

  • Hilton Hotel Liverpool One: 7084200 
  • Radisson Blu Hotel Old Hall Street Liverpool: 9 661500 

Important travel guidance 

If you are unfamiliar with the area and are driving to the conference venue, please check your route as there is a toll bridge operated by Merseyflow. People travelling from the east or south of Cheshire may not be able to avoid this bridge without incurring a long diversion. It is important to note the following:   

  • There is no means of paying the toll at the bridge. Users can pay in advance or must remember to pay online by midnight the day after using the bridge. Please read more details about fees, payments and penalties here:  https://www.merseyflow.co.uk/  
  • Some satnavs do not recognise the bridge and will continually try to re-route drivers causing immense frustration. For those of you approaching the conference venue from the M56/Runcorn area, you should keep following signs to the airport. Your satnav should pick up the route again once you leave the bridge. 

Lunch 

  • Homemade Mixed Hummus & Flat Bread/Crudités (n) 
  • Trio of Salads (Mixed Leaf Feta Salad, Baby Buttered Potatoes, Tabbouleh) 
  • Plant Based Chilli & Rice 
  • Falafel Wraps with Roasted Veg (n) 
  • Sweet Potato Wedges or Chips 
  • Vegan Sausage Rolls  
  • Fruit Bowl 
  • Selection of Vegan Cakes (n) 
  • Tea, Coffee & Orange Juice 

(Allergens: ’n’= nuts. Please let us know if you have any specific requirements) 

Contact 

References

  1. The Vegan Society. ‘Definition of Veganism’.
  2. Dr Matthew J. Schuelka (2018). ‘Implementing inclusive education’.
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