The BIG Veganism in Education Conference Speakers

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» The BIG Veganism in Education Conference Speakers

This year, The Vegan Society’s Education Network and its International Rights Network join forces to host The BIG Veganism in Education Conference

Please see below for a list of the speakers who will be joining us on the day. 

Hayley Lugassy, Vegan Society IRN Conference Speaker

Hayley Lugassy

BSc (Hons), MSc, MBPsS 

Hayley is a trainee educational psychologist and has recently completed a Doctorate in Educational Psychology specialising in the identity and educational experiences of vegan young people in England. Hayley will discuss her research on ‘the educational experiences of vegan young people aged 11-18 in England’ and the relevant implications for schools, parents/carers and professionals.

Ruth Jenkins, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Ruth Jenkins

Ruth is the co-ordinator of the highly successful service supporting vegan inclusion in education Vegan-Inclusive Education Ltd. Ruth will talk about the ‘lived experience of vegan pupils’.

Victoria Simpson, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Victoria Simpson

BSc (Hons), MBPsS

Victoria is a psychology graduate with a special research interest in school children’s attitudes towards vegan and vegetarian peers. Having found evidence of early stereotyping of male vegans as lacking in masculine traits, Victoria will discuss if ‘psychology can reveal a window of opportunity for educators to foster positive peer relations between vegan and omnivorous children’.

Laura Chepner, Vegan Society Education Officer

Laura Chepner

BA in Primary Education. Education Officer at The Vegan Society and Chair of The Vegan Society's Education Network. 

Laura is a qualified primary school teacher and well known for introducing the phrase ‘vegan-inclusive education’ to the education sector. Laura worked for several years as the UK’s only vegan inclusion education specialist under the pseudonym ‘Primary Veducation’ and continues to offer training to school staff on what it means to be vegan and how to appropriately teach and treat vegan learners in their care. Laura also empowers vegan learners and parents/guardians by facilitating the creation of peer-developed and reviewed resources and offering supportive interventions. Laura will explain ‘the meaning of ‘vegan-inclusive education, available resources, and how to adapt your teaching practice’.

Maureen O'Sullivan, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Dr Maureen O'Sullivan

(Ireland) PhD (Edinburgh) LLM (Warwick), PGCHE (UWE, Bristol), BCL (UCC), DipL (UCC), BA (UCC), Lecturer (Above the Bar) at NUI Galway, Fellow Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and Chair Vegetarian Society of Ireland 2013-9 specialising in animal rights law.

Maureen is currently introducing Ireland's first university course on Animal Rights Law at NUI Galway in 2023, has published widely on vegan rights, and is a fellow at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. She will discuss vegan rights in education: the UK, Ireland, and Europe with a special focus on the extent to which human rights law can be used to clarify and extend the vegan rights frontiers.


Richard Twine, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Dr Richard Twine

Richard is a Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences and Co-Director of the Centre for Human-Animal Studies (CfHAS) at Edge Hill University, and is well known globally for multiple publications and his work in critical animal studies. Richard has also been chair of the Vegan Society Research Advisory Committee since its creation nearly a decade ago. His website can be found at

Richard will discuss ‘a child’s right to contest meat culture’, which draws on information from his forthcoming book and considers a vegan inclusive education in light of developments in the sociology of childhood in recent decades. Richard will reflect on the rights of the child in the context of the climate and biodiversity crises and argue that children should have greater rights to determine what they eat, and thus their broader relationships with other animals and the environment. 

Lynda M Korimboccus, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Lynda M Korimboccus

Lynda is a PhD Sociology student at the University of East Anglia, Editor-in-Chief of The Student Journal of Vegan Sociology, Lecturer in Sociology at West Lothian College, and a member of both The Vegan Society’s Education Network and The Vegan Society’s Researcher Network. Lynda’s talk offers insights on the ‘hidden barriers for vegan children in education’.

Jeanette Rowley, Vegan Society vegan rights advocate

Dr Jeanette Rowley

LLM (Distinction) BA Hons. Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Member of the Equality Commission Religion and Belief Network. Long-standing member of The Vegan Society’s Academic Research Committee.  

Jeanette is well known for her specialist work and publications in the area of veganism and law, and will oversee a workshop on the Public Sector Equality Duty and vegan-inclusive education.

Ralf Müller-Amenitsch, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Ralf Müller-Amenitsch

Attorney (Germany) 

Ralf is a German lawyer who works in his own law office in Berlin. He has pioneered the development of vegan law in Germany and regularly speaks at events, publishes on vegan legal issues, and acts for vegan clients in court. Ralf will discuss ‘the discrimination of vegans in German schools and kindergartens and the range of model cases that he brought to court in Germany’.

Jess Swallow, Vegan Society IRN conference speaker

Jess Swallow


Jess specialises in animal protection law at the UK’s first animal protection law firm: Advocates for Animals, and works with a variety of clients. As a practising lawyer, Jess is well aware that vegan pupils, parents and teachers are often forced to participate in activities that violate their philosophical beliefs and that in many cases, this will be unlawful. Jess will discuss ‘the protections available to vegans under law and discuss some practical examples to demonstrate how the law can be applied to help vegans assert their rights in an educational context’.  

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