Sign our petitions demanding vegan options on every public sector menu

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» Sign our petitions demanding vegan options on every public sector menu

We are targeting the English, Scottish and Welsh governments with petitions calling on public sector institutions to provide at least one vegan food option on every menu every day.

There is potential for these countries to become the first in Europe to enshrine a right to good quality, affordable, plant-based food in law.

Veganism is a protected belief under the Equality Act 2010 in England, Scotland and Wales but many hospitals, schools, universities, councils and prisons fail to offer vegan food, with patients and schoolchildren "often going hungry".

Plant-based food provision is also in line with a number of government objectives highlighted in relation to the Good Food Nation Bill, including health, sustainability, the environment, affordability, local production and food security. 

Louise Davies, Head of Campaigns, Policy and Research at The Vegan Society, said: “The Government is responsible for ensuring that our public sector provides for vegans in the UK and the proposed legislation would assist in fulfilling that obligation.

Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell with The Vegan Society’s Louise Davies at last year’s Labour Party Conference 
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonnell with The Vegan Society’s Louise Davies at last year’s Labour Party Conference  

“Provision for vegans in the public sector is lacking, with hospital patients and school children often going hungry.

“We hope that vegans and non-vegans alike will agree on the importance of our petition and join us in urging institutions to provide healthy and environmentally-friendly vegan food.”

The Catering for Everyone campaign encourages public sector institutions (schools, hospitals, universities, councils and prisons) to increase their plant-based options.

An English county council, universities in Manchester and London, and a Welsh health board are among the many public sector institutions making positive changes to their menus due to this campaign.

During the Party Conferences season this autumn, we are campaigning to protect the rights of vegans and for our health, the environment and animals, as well as holding fringe events on the topic.

Research carried out by Go Vegan Scotland found instances of vegans not eating for days in hospital and children missing out on free meals due to lack of vegan options.

Barbara Bolton of Go Vegan Scotland said: "The Scottish Government has recognised that veganism is a protected moral conviction under European and international law, but has not taken any steps to ensure that vegans are provided for in our state institutions.

Vegan schoolchildren are sadly not always catered for

"The result is that many people, including children, are missing out on free meals and are being denied access to suitable food when they're dependent on the state to provide for them.

"This is not a matter of people being ‘picky’; for vegans, avoiding participation in animal use and killing is a fundamental moral conviction, protected under law."

A Welsh hospital patient we spoke to admitted to "only eating crisps" for 3-4 days and discharging herself early so that she could go home and eat - as she had no family to rely on. 

Positive examples include Portugal, which has introduced legislation compelling all public sector canteens to provide a vegan option on their daily menus.

The number of vegans in Great Britain has quadrupled in the last four years.

The British Dietetic Association says that well-planned vegan diets are suitable for every age and life stage and the United Nations has urged a move towards a meat and dairy free diet for the benefit of our planet.

Whether you're vegan or not, we're sure you'll agree that every vegan deserves to catered for, particularly in a public sector setting. Please sign and share our petitions widely so we can ensure this happens. 

You can sign the Westminster petition here, the Scottish one here and the Welsh one here.

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