Vegan Information Project, in association with Vegan Education on the Go (VEGO), have reached another 2016 milestone – passing 300 hours of direct-to-the-public vegan education on the streets in Dublin.
The numbers of people we meet every week who tell us that they are vegan is very encouraging. A sizeable percentage of the public seem to the vegan curious now-a-days, and everyone seems to have some questions for the volunteers who staff these outreach events (1-6pm every Thursday in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, and 1-6pm every Saturday in Westmoreland Street, Dublin).
In the first Vegan News, written in 1944, Vegan Society co-founder Donald Watson, famously called vegetarians “the lactos.” Of course, veganism as a philosophy is critical of vegetarianism since it is a particular form of animal use – of course, the trick is to be critical of vegetarianism without attacking vegetarians.
Our relationship to “the lactos” is to feed them!, or at least give them samples of plant-based Violife cheese (a big thanks to Art of Zen Foods for the vegan cheese samples we give out every week). Vegetarians often tell us that dietary veganism is hard for them because they feel addicted to cheeses made from calf food. This gives us an opportunity to talk to them about casomorphins, which may indeed explain their feelings of addiction.
The “Tea Station”
One feature of particularly the Thursday events is the VIP “tea station” (which we need to develop better). This is a cafe-style area where members of the public can sit with a vegan volunteer and ask all those vegan-curious questions. If you are involved in street outreach, try this. Give them a free cup of tea. We find that this friendly, no pressure, atmosphere gives people the time they may need to really explore the idea of veganism.
THIS IS THE 49th “VEGAN INFORMATION DAY” VIDEO DIARY OF 2016…