Vegan-Inclusive Education

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Laura Chepner, Education Office and Chair of The Vegan Society's Education Network headshot"Inclusive education is beautiful and vegan learners should not be excluded from the benefits of such a wonderful concept.”

Laura Chepner, Education Officer and Chair of The Vegan Society’s Education Network


The Vegan Society’s Education Network fulfils two main aims:

  1. To support educators and those invested in the development and well-being of their vegan learners from the Early Years through to Higher Education. This is achieved by creating, developing and providing age-related teaching and learning resources and information and guidance, all of which inform our continuing professional development (CPD) accredited, vegan-inclusive staff training and consultancy.
  2. To support vegan learners and their families when asking for vegan inclusion by acting as an intermediary between them and their institution. This is achieved by empowering vegan learners and their families by informing them of their rights and, if necessary and appropriate, lobbying on their behalf.

The Vegan Society's Education Network is a community of educators and individuals who are passionate about promoting veganism and providing resources and support for vegan education. This network primarily consists of vegan teachers, school staff, parents, and educational professionals who work to integrate veganism and related topics into various educational settings, from primary schools to higher education institutions.

Members of the Vegan Society's Education Network collaborate to develop educational materials, lesson plans, and resources that can be used to teach students about veganism, plant-based diets, non-human animal rights, and environmental sustainability. They also organise workshops, conferences, and training sessions to help educators effectively incorporate vegan perspectives into their teaching.

Vegan-inclusive education not only encompasses the comprehensive understanding of veganism but also acknowledges it as a protected characteristic that schools should accommodate under the public sector equality duty.

As a protected characteristic, veganism is on par with other characteristics such as race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Schools are required to ensure that vegan learners are not subjected to discrimination because they are vegan. Avoiding discrimination extends to ensuring vegan options are available in school cafeterias and that vegan learners do not miss out because educational activities are not inclusive, including trips and events.

Moreover, the public sector equality duty requires schools to proactively work to eliminate discrimination, advance equality, and foster good relations. These measures must also benefit vegans. This considering vegans in anti-bullying policy, curriculum development, and staff training, promoting a respectful and empathetic atmosphere.

Vegan-inclusive education, therefore, combines the educational aspect with the legal and ethical obligations of schools to accommodate the needs of vegans. It not only seeks to raise awareness and understanding of veganism but also ensures that the rights and values of vegan learners are protected and respected within the educational system. By recognising veganism as characteristics and considering the needs of vegans in terms of public sector duties, schools play a pivotal role in fostering a more inclusive and equitable society, where individuals are free to express their beliefs and lifestyles without fear of discrimination.

Our purpose

Following the Equality Act 2010

Ethical veganism is a ‘protected characteristic’ for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010. It is unlawful to directly or indirectly discriminate against ethical vegans and the Public Sector Equality Duty requires schools to routinely integrate inclusive thinking and equality into everything their institution does. In our experience a lot of educators are unaware of this duty or do not understand its relevance to veganism. We also know that a lot of educators don’t know what it means to be an ethical vegan. As a result, the needs of vegans in education are not met.

Providing useful resources

We wish to rectify that by providing useful resources that offer hints, tips, and tweaks, and share alternative teaching methods that educators can adopt to simply introduce vegan inclusion into their existing inclusive practice framework.

Encouraging vegan-inclusivity to be an everyday practice

Becoming vegan-inclusive in your everyday practice can also be of benefit to the wider cohort as well as the vegan children. Veganism promotes good health, environmentally friendly initiatives, and compassion for all.

Please email [email protected] for assistance with any of the above and any other requests.

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