The VIP Blog

VIP stall, 9th Oct 2013 – more pigeon drama!


Just another day for the Vegan Information Project’s “Vegan Information Day” stall (13th week stall, 9-10-13). A few weeks ago, we helped to free the legs of pigeons who had become entangled in string. A further pigeon was taken to the Back Into Daylight Animal Sanctuary for “fattening up.” He was released back into Temple Bar Square today.


Apart from that, all the other VIP activities took place on the day.


At one time a group of teenagers came to the stall asking for vegan recipes they can use in their home economics class. Maps of the vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants were popular as ever.


VIP Community Spirit (Vegan Information stall 2-10-13)


It rained – it rained a lot – on the day of the 12th Vegan Information Day stall in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, which ran from 11-7.15 on the 2nd October, 2013.


It was an interesting day, for one thing, there was an unusually large gardai (police) presence in Temple Bar Square on the day – they were offered tea from the VIP stall! A person came up to the stall and said, in effect, “thanks for being here, doing what you do,” something that has happened before, while a vegetarian woman declared that she will be vegan from that moment on after talking to some of the stall “staff.”


During the day, a total of 9 “staff” members ran the stall, so a big thanks to all yet again for this brilliant commitment. Another three vegan activists also attended – at times, the Vegan Information Day stall was “Vegan HQ!”


We tend to be aware in the 21st century, that the “problem” of veganism is not health, and not nutrition, it is the social aspects of living vegan. In this sense, then the VIP stall has provided a great focal point for vegans to gather, do vital public vegan outreach, and support one another. There is a strong feeling that this particular type of vegan information is particularly valuable. It is not based on moral shocks (there are no graphic pictures on the stall); it is not about single-issues; and it is not about hiding the fact that veganism is the basis of our claims: it is about being honest and open that we feel the solution is the abolition of animal use and the adoption of veganism.


In another blog entry, we noted that stall staff members became involved in freeing the feet of pigeons who had their feet entangled by string and other items casually discarded by humans. We tried to capture another such pigeon this time but without luck – we’ll be back with our expert “pigeon catcher” to sort her out!






Vegan Information Day, 25-9-13

Today’s Vegan Information Day stall was one of the best ever. First of all, many thanks to all the volunteers who helped in all the ways that they did – the Vegan Information Project is an all-volunteer group.


As ever, 4.30-6.30 was the busiest time for us. Lots of interest – especially in the free vegan food sample. At least nine full larger plates of samples were given out. This may seem like less that revolutionary stuff and yet, vegan baking is breaking many of the conventional “rules”  – can you make cakes and biscuits without eggs and cow milk?


Some of the people are wary of the samples when they realise that they are vegan samples – but no-one has ever said they weren’t less than lovely. Some express open surprise that vegan food can be so nice, revealing some prejudice from who knows where.


We’ll use the takings from today’s vegan education stall to fund the buying of a second “pump pot” (large flask) because the “tea station” cafe area of the VIP seems to be a unique feature – members of the public can sit over a free cup of tea and discuss all issues vegan with the stall “staff.”


Another great day of vegan education in Ireland!






When the VIP Information Day stall turned into Animal Hospital

Cities can be dangerous places for pigeons. Pigeons with missing toes – or even missing feet – are seen frequently. VIP stall volunteers have had their share of pigeon encounters, which usually involve helping the individuals who have become entangled in string or some type of thread.


Vegan Information Project (VIP) on Wild Time Radio

The very first Vegan Information Project’s media interview was with Thomas Janak’s Wild Time Radio show.

WILD TIME’s Thomas Janak welcomes back sociologist Roger Yates who has been on the show numerous times. Today we talked about the Vegan Information Project (VIP), a project dedicated to run and organise vegan-based educational events in Temple Bar, Dublin / Republic of Ireland.

Vegan Information Project – in conversation with sociologist Roger Yates by Wildtimeradio on Mixcloud


We’ve moved the Vegan Information Day stall back to the centre of Temple Bar Square. One of the burger bars had complained that the stall was putting their customers of “their meat,” despite the fact that we do not show graphic pictures, for example of animal slaughter.


Help was on the way, however, in the shape of McDonald’s who have opened up a store in Temple Bar (they fit into TB in the same way that a brick floats). Apparently the burger bar is now complaining about McDeath rather than the vegan stall!!

Mould Breaker

Hi, and welcome to the first Vegan Information Project blog entry.


The formation of the Vegan Information Project (VIP) resulted from a desire to try something other than the prevailing types of animal advocacy outreach in Ireland. On-the-street outreach has been largely limited to a small pasting table, leaflets, banners, and some chanting.

VIP’s “Vegan Information Day” stall in Temple Bar Square, Temple Bar, Dublin, Wednesdays, 11 am to 7 pm, breaks out of that convention and brings together several outreach elements.

  • Literature distribution (leaflets, booklets, and an especially made map showing the vegan-friendly cafes and restaurants in the Dublin area)
  • A cafe area (“Tea Station”) where people can sit and talk about veganism, have any of their questions and concerns addressed. Often people will just sit with a free cuppa reading the free literature they have just picked up
  • “Pay-to-View.” This is an element we are still working hard on improving. The traditional Pay-to-View idea involves giving people money to entice them to watch a very graphic piece of footage lasting for about 4 or 5 minutes. Our P2V is different in the sense that we “pay” people with a cupcake/similar and a cup of tea and have a range of film clips of differing lengths they can watch. In the future, we hope to develop this aspect of the Vegan Information Day stall by purchasing a super quiet generator to run a whole bank of screens
  • The distribution of free vegan food samples
  • In exchange for reasonable donations: vegan food portions (cupcakes, brownies, apple pie (and vegan cream), focaccia, biscuits and banana cake), home-crafted necklaces, bracelets, and rings, badges, and coming soon, a range of T-Shirts
  • Occasionally we also feature guest groups who bring their own information literature, for example, anti-vivisection petitions, etc
  • 3x3m weather-proof gazebo stand with strong “catering” tables

While the traditional “small table” outreach is flexible and quickly set up and taken down, and so has a continuing value and utility, the Vegan Information Day stall offers a new experience of outreach for both the public and the people who staff the stall.

The Trust that runs the Temple Bar area has extended our contract into 2014, meaning that we should be able to be a regular presence on the streets of Dublin over the Christmas period and into the New Year. The weather-proof gazebo stand will mean that we should be able to cope with most of the weather Ireland will throw at us! For example, the gazebo has 3 side panels which can be attached, one solid “wall”, one with a large window in it, and one with a large door in it. We’ll be experimenting in the coming weeks in terms of how to arrange the “furniture” inside the gazebo when the sides are used. In fine weather, we use the gazebo in a diamond shape, increasing its size and visibility.

Leaflets and Booklets.

One unique aspect of the stall is that people will sit and read the literature given to them. Animal advocates have often wondered, and indeed worried, about what happens to the literature they give to people on the street. We do know that a percentage always ends up in waste bins and on the ground – how many are actually read is unknown.

It is gratifying, therefore, to see that the literature given free at the stall is being read. Not everyone immediately sits and reads their newly-acquired leaflets, of course, but some do – and that’s good to see.


At present the Vegan Information Day stall is being funded by the private funds of its staff. The Vegan Information Project is entirely run by grass roots volunteers. Everything raised thus far is used to repay those private monies, and also used to develop the stall with the purchase of necessary items such as pump pots, printer, laminator, etc.


Roger Yates
for the Vegan Information Project