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VegfestUK - further clarification on criteria for 2016 events

VegfestUK - further clarification on criteria for 2016 events

| by Editor

Following the publication of our criteria for 2016, we have had considerable feedback, much of which have been very supportive of our stance and position.

However, there has been some misunderstanding on a couple of key areas which we want to clarify for the benefit of our stallholders, speakers, supporters and visitors.


Regarding campaign groups

All campaign groups are welcome to attend in 2016. We are asking that all our campaign groups develop some kind of vegan outreach and vegan position that would include things like:

  • official statements on their websites, 
  • supporting the vegan ethos, 
  • links to vegan options, 
  • how to go vegan, live vegan and stay vegan, 
  • promotion of vegan grassroots events, 
  • leaflets distributed through the stalls that help educate people on the benefits of going vegan. 


VegfestUK is offering to help our campaign groups to develop this, and we're open to suggestions on other ways. We want to be clear – we do not want to exclude any of our campaigners. Instead, it is the opposite. We want to help them develop basic vegan education as a matter of priority. For 2017, we will be reviewing our applications to see how much progress we've made in this area.

’We've already been in touch with several groups who have potentially felt excluded by our new criteria to make sure that this is not the case, and they will remain welcome at VegfestUK groups in the future. Some groups are already developing further vegan outreach and we hope their example will be followed by all other campaigners over the next 12 months.


Regarding single issue campaigns 

Currently we are not inviting speakers to speak on single issue campaigns unless it's about the vegan outreach that exists or is being developed within that campaign group. Many single issue campaigns are, in our view, problematic and counterproductive, although we do realise that there's a vast appetite for single issue campaigns in the UK currently. 

Our aim is not to exclude, but to educate, and engage in sensible, practical debates, and enhance our effectiveness as advocates for animals. We realise that this is a controversial area, but we would also ask people to consider that there are many other shows that welcome speakers on single issue campaigns and that welcome people who are not vegan to talk about these issues. 

We have re-drawn our criteria to ensure that our educators, i.e. speakers, are all vegan, and all our talks are focusing in some way on vegan education. We are doing this because we consider that this is the most effective way to bring about the end to exploitation of animals worldwide.


On the subject of visitors wearing leather shoes etc

We are emphasising our requests to visitors not to wear animal products when visiting VegfestUK events. However, this is a request only, and we will not be excluding people if they wear leather shoes or other animal-based items or clothing. Our shows remain very much welcoming to people who are yet to go vegan and will remain so. However, we are taking the step of making clear that going vegan includes not just what you eat, but also what you wear and how you treat animals generally. 

VegfestUK remains a warm, hospitable, welcoming event that is open to all newcomers and will continue to do so. However, it is true that we are tightening our criteria as we go, and we hope you will appreciate our new criteria and position even if you don't agree 100% with our policies.


If you have any direct concerns, please email 

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