We have only 6 DAYS left to gather signatures on this one-off petition calling on the Scottish Government calling for plant-based options, suitable for vegans, to be guaranteed in every state entity, every day.
This is a one-off opportunity to push our Government to take this crucial step to ensure that vegans can continue to live vegan when in hospital, school etc, and to make a significant step towards embracing plant-based agriculture and consumption.
The Proposed Law
The law would apply to hospitals, schools, care homes etc, places where vegans rely on state provision in order to avoid the consumption of animals and things taken from animals.
Veganism is already protected under Human Rights and Equality law, but that is not well known or understood. This is partly because the protections stem from previous court decisions interpreting the general human rights provisions. For more information on the protections see: https://www.goveganscotland.com/living-vegan At a local level there is a real lack of understanding about the legally protected status of veganism. As a result:
(i) Scotland's schools generally do not provide vegan food, even refusing to do so in many one-off cases where vegan parents push for this for their children. This means vegan children miss out on free school meals and are not supported in their moral decision to live vegan, and
(ii) many of our hospitals are failing to provide vegan food leaving patients recovering from serious illness, operations or childbirth having to try to sustain themselves on things like crisps or discharge themselves early from hospital.
See the results of our survey for more detail: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/d95b36_f4bccc9845854533ba8aea3cf8e590b2.pdf
Generate Discussion and Draw Attention to the Issues
Discussion of this proposed law in the Scottish parliament will draw attention to the moral conviction that is at the heart of veganism, explaining that it is not a personal choice to follow a restrictive diet but rather a moral requirement for vegans that they cannot abandon when they are in hospital or at school. This discussion will inevitably encourage non-vegans to consider their own participation in using and killing animals.
It will also create an opportunity to highlight the urgency of the need to switch to plant-based agriculture if we're to have any hope of addressing climate change, along with the benefits of moving away from animal use in terms of the environment, sustainability, global hunger and health.
We are running this petition along with The Vegan Society which has a wealth of resources on plant-based nutrition and agriculture we can reference in those discussions.
We need as many signatures as possible to persuade the Scottish Government to put this to Parliament.
At the time of writing there were 7,646 signatures on the petition, which is an impressive number for a Scottish petition.
This has been achieved through a collective, community effort, with many Scottish vegans sharing the petition regularly on social media, vegan advocates collecting written signatures at events and Scottish vegan cafes collecting in their venues. It has been great to see the Scottish vegan community working together to support this. We have also had a lot of support from around the world, with signatures coming through from many different countries. This is all worthwhile as the Scottish petition system allows anyone to sign and the Scottish Government pays attention to global developments and its own standing internationally.
Expressions of Support
At the time of writing 443 people have added personal comments to the petition, explaining why they support the proposed law. These comments will be read by those considering the petition. You can view them all if you scroll down the petition page and hit “view more comments”:
Here are just a few examples:
"As a doctor working for the NHS, I frequently hear from vegetarian and vegan patients that their options are limited, uninteresting and often repetitive - and have heard of vegan patients being offered plain potatoes or toast as a meal. In addition, I find the options for vegan and vegetarian staff are no better. The evidence is abundant that a plant-based diet offers numerous health benefits (as well as having a major positive environmental impact) - therefore we owe it to members of the public, including patients who are in need of good nutrition during a period of illness, to offer adequate plant based options."
"As a teacher, it upsets me that any children who are or may want to go vegan are not able to get a school meal."
"Please make this important change and step in the right direction of ending animal exploitation!"
"As a disabled vegan hospital meals are so important and so often I'm unable to eat a proper meal in hospital!"
"As a teacher, I believe that we must make improvements to school meals by including plant-based options on menus in order to improve the health of our children, to become a sustainable nation and to align our moral values with our actions."
"Lack of vegan or even vegetarian options during my school years left me severely malnourished and underweight. I had to starve myself over lunch times and because I depended on free school meals and came from an impoverished background, I suffered greatly. Lack of adequate and healthy nutrition from my schools has affected me my whole life."
"I was overnight in Forth Valley Hospital. No vegan option. Ended up with 4 small new potatoes and boiled cabbage."
"Scotland could be a leader in terms of providing exploitation-free, environmentally-friendly, and healthful meals at the institutional level and can only make our country stronger. I absolutely support the action proposed by this petition!"
"Going vegan is the single largest change anyone can make towards cutting climate change and something that should be encouraged as part of a healthy diet. It's a small step to make the current vegetarian meals on offer vegan. A small step that saves the lives of countless animals."
"Veganism is the only way to save our planet, end cruelty and abuse to animals and improve our health. However, vegans are not fairly represented when it comes to food choices and this simply has to change."
"Wholesome nutritious meals without harming animals should be the norm in a civilised society. They should be provided for those who do not want to be complicit in unnecessary abuse and violence. The world should be vegan."
"Promoting plant-derived food in place of animal products is a great public service as it is better for human health, animal well-being, and the environment."
"This could be a major break-through and other countries could follow."
"The destruction of Earth’s resources and the exploitation of sentient beings should not be mandatory. Humans should have the right and opportunity to live a compassionate life a leave less of a footprint on the earth."
"Having a vegan option in every institution es a huge step forward for everyone, not only is it extremely helpful for us vegans but anyone can enjoy a vegan meal. Not only that but it’s usually cheaper, healthier, better for the environment and over all, it is what’s right for the animals, the planet and ourselves."
"Considering the latest IPCC report and considering that animal products cause many times more carbon emissions than plant based food, I'd say that this is a moral obligation for the sake of the entire planet."
"With more people switching to a plant-based diet & as veganism is a protected philosophical belief, healthy, nutritious plant-based options on all public sector menus in Scotland and the rest of the UK is now the logical step forward. As with the smoking ban, minimum alcohol pricing and other legislation it would be great to see the Scottish Government take the lead on this issue. We are at the start of the curve. The revolution will be veganised."
"Vegan options should be available to everyone where food is available, especially in schools so a healthier more environmentally friendly, cruelty free option is available to all."
"It is only fair for their to be a vegan option at all major institutions. People should have a choice to not eat animal products and still have a delicious meal. Aside from basic human rights, it will also help our environment to support a plant-based diet."
"Fantastic!!! Do it for health. Do it for the animals. Do it for the environment. Do it for a better future for all."
"Hopefully this goes through, so other countries, including my own can follow the lead!"
If you haven't done so already, PLEASE SIGN to support this essential law, and
PLEASE SHARE on your own page and in any groups you are in.
Thank you :-)