Looking for a bit of inspiration or motivation? Here are just a few examples of great vegan provision.
Vegan food for everyone in Portugal
We want to see vegan food offered to everyone, everywhere across our public services. This might seem like an ambitious goal, but an example of a change in the law in Portugal shows how we can achieve this.
While the number of vegans living in Portugal had been increasing, there was little effective protection from discrimination based on their ethical beliefs. This all changed in 2017 with the approval of a ground-breaking law that established mandatory vegan options in all public sector canteens, following a petition effort initiated by the Portuguese Vegetarian Association.
The petition was launched in early 2015. Before this, vegans and vegetarians alike were subject to various forms of discrimination such as:
- the inexistence and lack of access to vegan food in public institutions;
- bullying and psychological abuse relating to their personal beliefs;
- exclusion and stigmatisation at work and schools.
The petition was promoted through social media and quickly gained a lot of support, amassing over 5000 signatures in just a couple of weeks. By February 2016, it had amassed over 15000 signatures, through some successful campaigning efforts on social networks and with the support of print media, substantially increasing the visibility of the petition.
The petition attracted cross-party political support which was one of the keys to getting it into law. Portugal has a ‘People Animals Nature’ party which naturally got on board with the campaign. Despite achieving general consensus among parties in the Portuguese parliament that implementing vegan options across public catering was a good idea, the bill still faced many hurdles on its route to becoming law. Eventually, the law was approved by parliament last March. Portugal had made history, and provided an inspiration to vegans all around the world.
West Lothian College
One of the Vice Principals of West Lothian College in Livingston, Scotland, decided to get the college involved in our Plate Up for the Planet campaign.
Plenty of staff members were enthusiastic and keen to get involved in providing education about the benefits of veganism. Vegan options were introduced to the canteen, alongside information about the environmental impact of non-vegan diets and samples of different products such as vegan cheese.
Meals provided were generally vegan versions of everyday dishes, such as cauliflower curry, soup, tortillas, a Mexican bake and a Greek dish. These went down very well with the pupils, who gave glowing reviews:
- I loved the broccoli soup!
- It was really good to see some healthy food choices at last, and really tasty too.
- I’m usually a meat eater but the two meals I had were very tasty. I had the hot meal one day and a vegan pasta salad on another. I would definitely choose both again. Well done to everyone involved. Great promotion and a real buzz around the food choices!
Due to this positive response the college has kept up the vegan options. They have done this largely by replacing dairy and eggs in the vegetarian dishes, so the switch has been relatively straightforward.
Laura Murray, teacher and chair of the Carbon Reduction Sub Committee at the college says, “It was a real success for us here,” and encouraged others in a similar position to, “Go for it!”
Hillstone Primary School
Hillstone is a primary school in a deprived area in Birmingham that has taken the decision to offer plenty of vegan food. Matthew Knight the Head of Catering at Hillstone explains the ethos behind this:
“Here at Hillstone we take good food seriously. We feel it is as important to teach children about nutrition and making smart food choices as academic attainment.
We have at least three choices a day on our menu sometimes five choices, we do specials everyday depending upon ingredients available and these are either vegetarian or vegan. These dishes are promoted on our menu as standalone dishes equal to any meat dishes we serve. A lot of the time students who do not have dietary or religious considerations choose to eat a non-meat or plant-based meal. On a popular day we can serve up to 80 non-meat, plant-based meals.
Plant-based meals are not only tasty and healthy but contribute to us looking after the earth and environment for generations to come, an issue our students are very interested in. At the end of the day anyone can enjoy a plant-based meal regardless of allergens, dietary or religious considerations.”
Hillstone is a great example of how vegan provision can be done well by schools. See some of their delicious offerings below; stuffed peppers, vegetable skewers, roasted vegetable pot and fruit/cakes for pudding!
Bwyd fegan i bawb ym Mhortiwgal
Rydym ni am weld bwyd fegan yn cael ei gynnig i bawb, ar draws y gwasanaethau cyhoeddus. Efallai bod hyn i weld yn amcan uchelgeisiol, ond mae newid yn y gyfraith ym Mhortiwgal yn enghraifft o sut all hyn ddigwydd.
Tra bod nifer o`r feganiaid yn byw ym Mhortiwgal wedi tyfu, nid oedd ganddynt lawer o ddiogelwch rhag anffafriaeth ar sail eu cred. Mi newidiodd hyn yn 2017 gyda’r gymeradwyaeth o gyfraith arloesol a sefydlodd opsiynau fegan gorfodol, ar ôl ymgyrch ddeiseb gan Sefydliad Llysieuwyr Portiwgal.
Lansiwyd y ddeiseb yn 2015. Cyn hyn, roedd feganiaid a llysieuwyr yn wynebu sawl ffordd o anffafriaeth fel:
- Diffyg bodolaeth a mynediad i fwyd fegan o fewn sefydliadau cyhoeddus.
- Bwlio a cham-drin seicolegol yn gysylltiedig â’u credo personol
- Gwaharddiad a stigmateiddio yn y gweithle a`r ysgol.
Hyrwyddwyd y ddeiseb drwy’r cyfryngau cymdeithasol a chofiwyd llawer o gefnogaeth yn gyflym; enillwyd dros 5,000 o lofnodion mewn dwy wythnos. Erbyn Chwefror 2016, llwyddwyd, trwy ymgyrchu llwyddiannus ar rwydweithiau cymdeithasol a chyfryngau’r wasg, i gael dros 15,000 o lofnodau.
Roedd y ffaith bod gan y ddeiseb gefnogaeth drawsbleidiol yn allweddol yn yr ymgyrch i lwyddo i newid y gyfraith. Mae gan Bortiwgal blaid o`r enw, “People Animals Nature” a fu’n gefnogol yn ystod yr ymgyrch wrth gwrs. Er i’r mesur dderbyn consensws bod cynnig dewis fegan ar draws arlwyo cyhoeddus yn beth da, ymhlith pleidiau yn Senedd Portiwgal, mi wynebwyd llawer o feini tramgwydd cyn iddi ddod yn rhan o`r gyfraith. O`r diwedd, cymeradwywyd y gyfraith ym mis Mawrth diwethaf gan y senedd. Mae Portiwgal wedi gwneud tipyn o hanes, a rhoi ysbrydoliaeth i feganiaid ar hyd y byd.