The Vegan Society is a membership organisation, with our membership holding democratic control over the governance and overall direction of the charity. On 18th May, we hosted our Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Resource for London, where our members gathered to debate and vote on motions that will affect the future of the charity.
Despite the grey skies, members came together and took part in the democratic process, having some fun along the way. We move around the UK between London, Birmingham and other varied locations to try and make our AGM as accessible as possible. This year we were in North London and we introduced some new activities for members to get stuck into on the day.
"I attended my first AGM this year where I realised just how important an event like this is to The Vegan Society. It’s a real chance for members to have their say to the Board, but also to chat with other each other.
"The only disappointing thing was the lack of younger or newer members attending. If TVS is to continue to maintain its leading position and make strong contribution to the greater good, the contribution of the younger generation can’t be underestimated. TVS needs and welcomes fresh impetus, ideas and passion so please come along to the next AGM!"
– John McLaren Stewart, Member
At events this year we have been inviting members of the public to test their knowledge about The Vegan Society, our campaigns, and veganism itself. Members took the challenge in their stride, winning prize after prize. We also had a sticky wall, inviting feedback from members on some of our core objectives and work.
"We had an excellent afternoon at the AGM with some very stimulating discussions on important topics relating to The Vegan Society's activity and future direction. It was also great to be able to meet members old and new and enjoy getting to know one another a little better. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all the staff, volunteers, trustees and members who attended and were involved in the preparations for the day. Thanks also to all the members who submitted their votes by proxy in advance of the AGM and therefore although they were not present in person, their participation in making key decisions was valued."
– Menna Jones, Chair of Council
The day was centred on debating and voting on a number of key motions that will influence the work of the society. Thought provoking and inspiring debate was had by everyone, from the newer members to our longest standing trustees. In the end, seven motions were voted on, with the results as below:
|Appointment of Auditors||Passed|
|Remuneration of Auditors||Passed|
|Cease trademarking or endorsing products that have statements on their labels that they “may contain” non-vegan items||Failed|
|Have gender non-binary language in the Memoradum and Articles||Passed|
|Make the appointment of Ambassadors the responsibility of Council rather than members||Failed|
|Remove Council’s role in appointing the Editor of The Vegan magazine||Passed|
|Increase the word limit for counterarguments in motions to the AGM||Passed|
As a result of the trustee election, our governing council is now:
- Menna Jones (chair)
- Jenifer Vinell (Vice-chair)
- Stephen Walsh (Treasurer)
- David Gore (Assistant Treasurer)
- Salim Akbar
- Eshe Kiama Zuri
- Robb Masters
- Jane McKears
- Graham Neale
- Ali Ryland
You can view their full profiles on our Council of Trustees page.
The AGM, as the name suggests, takes place annually, and really important decisions can and are made at the event, as well as being a great opportunity for members to meet and chat.
If you want to get involved, the first step is to become a member of The Vegan Society. You can read more and sign up on our join pages. If you are already a member and want to learn more, you can read the full annual report in your member area and email membership[at]vegansociety[dot]com for anything more specific.
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