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…
Sociologist and volunteer for the Vegan Information Project (VIP), Dr. Roger Yates, was the guest of the Dublin Animal Rights Group who showed the film Cowspiracy in Dublin on 18th February 2016.
Roger Yates answered the following questions..
Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you got involved with the animal rights movement?
From your experience what methods are most effective in the promotion of veganism and animal rights be it publicising the movement on the streets, single issue campaigns or means such as social media and documentaries
You have had well publicised disagreements with vegan public figures who advocate the likes of reducetarianism, meatless Mondays, etc. Can you share with us your views on this?
Recently, there has been an upturn in the public’s interest in vegansim and we are seeing campaigns such as the vegan advertisements run by Eden Farmed Animal Sanctuary and an increase in vegan dairy and meat replacement products. Do you envision an end or significant decrease in industrial animal farming and slaughter over the coming decades?
…and then questions from the audience.
There were some technical problem on the day – but a good deal of the Q&A survived!