The warmer weather is certainly making the life of the VIP volunteers easier. Having braved the Irish winter, it good to be able to take some layers off!
We have started to use two gazebos for the Vegan Information Day events now – and it’s proving to be a great success. After all, in a deeply speciesist culture, we need the vegan light to be bright and visible, and that’s always been the aim of the VIP from its foundation in 2013.
We’re also looking forward to making the most of our “tea station” in the coming months. The VIP tea station is a cafe area where members of the public can sit with a free cup of tea and a VIP volunteer to talk about veganism.
Here are some pictures from recent Vegan Information Days.
This is the Vegan Information Project’s 4th monthly video diary of 2017, featuring our double gazebo set-up. These 5-hour events run from 1-6pm every Thursday in Temple Bar Square, in the very heart of Dublin.
With our increased space under gazebos – 6x3m – we are able to experiment with different table lay-outs and features. We are pleased that the “tea station” is back, although it is not sunny enough just yet to be fully operational. The tea station (this is a cafe area where members of the public can sit with a VIP volunteer and talk over all things vegan) is something we are determined to improve in 2017.
We feel this is important because there is a growth in the numbers of “vegan curious” folks. Such people do not come to argue, or defend their speciesist practices; they are more interested in asking vegan-related questions. Therefore, having a relaxed sit down with a free cup of tea is perfect for that!
We hope that you enjoy our upbeat, uplifting, video diary!
In 2016, VIP and VEGO (Vegan Education on the Go) put together more than 50 video diaries documenting close to 400 hours of direct-to-the-public vegan education events in Temple Bar Square, Dublin, and Westmoreland Street, Dublin.
For 2017, we are producing monthly diaries, featuring a new initiative, the “gazebocam,” which shows time-lapse footage of the 5-hour events.
We’ve decided to record the VIP Video Diaries monthly this year and, so far, two have been published. We are extremely happy to report that it’s getting a little warmer in Ireland, so we can expect to be busier from now on. People tend to stop and talk for longer, naturally enough, if they are not freezing cold!
Enjoy these videos which document our events in January and February 2017.
Volunteer organiser and a spokesperson for the Vegan Information Project, Dr. Roger Yates, talks to Gerry Kelly of LMFM Radio in Drogheda, on his “Late Lunch” programme during World Vegan Month 2016 (November 9th 2016).
Gerry and Roger explore issues like the election of Donald Trump as US President, the intersectional nature of the VIP, whether the vegan message is getting across in Ireland, vegan education, Vegan Information Days, Sandra Higgins‘ awesome Go Vegan World initiative, the origins of “animal husbandry,” health, the economics of animal farming, where other animals we eat come from, honey, calf food and casomorphins, is veganism a difficult philosophy to adhere to every day, the radicalism of the origins of the vegan social movement in 1944, restaurants with vegan options, has the establishment impacted on Roger’s career, and Violife plant-based cheese.
Vegan Education on the Go and Vegan Information Project have now completely well over 300 HOURS of direct-to-the-public vegan education in Dublin. We regularly do 5-hours each Thursday in Temple Bar Square, and another 5-hours in Westmoreland Street, Dublin. We also took part in a month long arts and culture festival in Dublin, meaning that, on those weeks, we did 15 hours of vegan education outreach.
We have now also recorded over 50 Vegan Information Day Video Diaries. Here are the last two from our two usual locations – the 50th video diary was recorded in Temple Bar Square as guests of the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, and the 51st video diary was recorded in Westmoreland Street.
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…
It was my pleasure to return to Dublin VegFest in September 2016 to give a talk about a “movement issue” that concerns me: the move by “professionals” in the movement to alter the meaning of veganism to the extent that a person who eats other animals can be regarded as a vegan.
Part of this move against veganism involves suggesting to young, impressionable, vegans at conferences and other events across the globe, that the best way to promote veganism is by not being vegan yourself in dietary terms, and to reject (and even mock) the philosophy of veganism. Part of this position is to socially construct and maintain the “crazy vegan” slur, and the suggestion that “vegan” is a scare word.
I make the case that this attack on veganism should be resisted and opposed and that vegans should carry on doing what they ultimately want – the advocacy of veganism.
[There was a huge queue to get into Dublin VegFest, so the beginning of my talk was delayed – so we conducted a spontaneous Q&A before the talk – I’m blaming this for me losing my voice slightly at the end of this recording!]
Vegan Education on the Go & the Vegan Information Project have at the start of September passed a milestone of 200 HOURS of no-nonsense vegan education direct to the public in 2016. Continuing VEGO’s work which began in January 2015, these joint events represents a huge commitment to public education about veganism, which is unlikely to have been matched anywhere else.
Although not all 2016 events have been videoed, nevertheless there are close to 40 Vegan Information Day videos diaries now available. You can see them all H E R E.
This is the very latest video
Both Vegan Education on the Go and the Vegan Information Project are entirely volunteer groups and huge thanks must go to the wonderful vegan volunteers who turn out every week come rain or shine. THANK YOU!
After a successful 16-week residency in Temple Bar Square in the heart of Dublin in 2013, the Vegan Information Project are happy to announce that we are back!
The Temple Bar Cultural Trust have given VIP – along with Vegan Education on the Go – a permit to return to the square. This means that we are able to use the gazebo and all the benefits we get from that, including weather protection (what, in Ireland!) and videos etc. We are working hard to develop the video aspect of our work – and also the “tea station” where members of the public sit with a free cuppa and talk all things vegan with a VIP/VEGO volunteer.
Here’s a few video diaries marking our return to the square…