Question your candidates on vegan issues
Veganism is growing, but do our elected representatives reflect this in their views and policy positions?
There are many vegan issues that politicians have the power to change, such as:
- Guaranteeing plant-based food on public sector menus
- Legislation around the labelling of vegan products
- Support for animal farmers converting to growing crops
- Veganism to continue to be a protected belief
- Including plant milks in schemes designed to boost children's nutrition
- Increasing provision of animal-free medicines
For each election we will compile a list of questions you can ask of your local candidates, so you know their position on vegan issues and to highlight to them that vegan issues matter to their constituents.
- Local elections 2020
- Scottish Parliament elections 2021
- National Assembly for Wales elections 2021
- Local elections 2021
- General election 2022
Around half of public authorities in England failed to publish specific, measureable equality objectives by April 2012 (EHRC). In 1993, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed (W v UK 18187/91) that vegans enjoy rights to freedom of thought and conscience and the right to manifest beliefs in teaching and practice. They also have the right to avoid indirect as well as direct discrimination. This includes schools, hospitals, the justice system, employment and elsewhere.
“Will you pledge your support to uphold equality, particularly for those holding legally recognised philosophical beliefs, such as veganism?”
Research suggests that people are consuming too much saturated fat, and not enough fruit, vegetables and fibre (Public Health England 2014). When compared to other lifestyle factors affecting long-term health, poor diet is thought to have the greatest impact on the National Health Service’s budget (Scarborough et al. 2011).
“Will you pledge your support to promote plant-centred diets for public health?”
Climate change and stock-free farming
Moving away from animal farming, to plant crops for food, fuel, fibre and other direct human uses, can significantly cut UK greenhouse gas emissions. The UK is a world leader in proven environmentally, economically and socially sustainable horticulture, arable farming, agro-forestry and other crop farming. Yet we only produce 11% of our fruit, and 55% of our vegetables.
“Will you pledge your support for animal farmers converting to growing crops?”
Free school milk
The School Food Plan in England recognises healthy fortified plant-milk drinks in schools, and around 17% of UK residents regularly buy plant milks. Yet, the EU free school milk scheme explicitly excludes plant milks, despite the UK topping up EU money with 25p to the pound.
“Will you pledge to support an end to discrimination in this scheme, and fund free fortified plant milk in UK schools?”
Non-human animals in testing, science and education
Research on non-human animals frequently fails to predict the actual effects on humans. New animal-free alternatives can significantly improve the quality of testing, science and education.
“Will you pledge your support for animal-free testing?”
Non-human animals in sport and entertainment
Animals suffer needlessly even in so-called ‘good’ zoos, circuses, race-tracks and other entertainment venues. We also must oppose any motion to legalise fox hunting.
“Will you pledge to support an end to the use of non-human animals in sports and entertainment?”
Around 75% of the most commonly prescribed medicines contain animal derived ingredients. This is not only a problem for the UK’s 1.7 million vegans and vegetarians but also for the millions of others who do not consume or use animal-derived products for medical reasons (e.g. allergies) or due to religious, cultural or ethical concerns.
“Will you pledge to support the provision of animal-free alternatives to commonly used prescription products?”
Public Sector Catering
With over half a million vegans in the UK and a growing popularity with veganism, vegan meals should be provided in every public institution. In 2016 Portugal introduced a law which compels all canteens in public institutions to provide a vegan option.
“Will you pledge to support the provision of vegan meals in all public institutions?”