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News, Blogs & Press Releases » A New Year message from Rich

A New Year message from Rich

Richard McIlwain, Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society.

Our Chief Executive Richard McIlwain outlines what you can expect to see from the Vegetarian Society in 2024.

I’d like to wish all of our supporters old and new a heartfelt Happy New Year!  

Attention naturally now turns to what 2024 will bring: almost certainly a new government, and quite probably another ‘hottest year on record’. One thing is for sure: with your support, we’ll continue to develop and adapt our Society to meet all future challenges head-on. 

We have several new animal-focused campaigns planned for 2024. National Vegetarian Week is moving to start on 1st October to coincide with World Vegetarian Day. We have existing policy campaigns in development, the rollout of more new member benefits, and new initiatives aimed at improving the quantity and quality of vegetarian food when eating out. We also have a new office and teaching kitchen to open – hopefully by the middle of the year if all goes to plan.

It’s with the future in mind that we’ve decided to evolve our brand, in line with a Society that wants to be far more outwardly focused on creating real change – for the rights of animals, for the sake of our own health, and of course for the future of the environment on which we all depend. While our traditional ‘V’ symbol has evolved to reflect a more confident and assertive organisation, we’ve been mindful not to lose sight of our heritage. After all, no one else can claim more than 175 years of campaigning on vegetarian issues.

We recognise and value the symbiotic relationships that humans and animals have built over many years. But what we should be aiming to do is reset these relationships, putting animals’ welfare front and centre – particularly when it comes to farmed animals.

As a nation, we all need to eat more plant-based foods, but there is a clear role for ethical and sustainable eggs and dairy as nutritious wholefoods. I firmly believe it is incumbent on us to challenge existing modes of production and explore whether kinder systems of farming are possible, including whether non-slaughter approaches to farming are scalable.

Why not join us in our mission and become a member in 2024? Our magazine is full of great long-read articles on animal welfare, diets and environmental issues, and interviews with leading lights in the vegetarian and vegan community. We have a range of member benefits including discounts when shopping and on our cookery classes, plus access to our qualified dietitian for advice.

By joining us, you’ll become part of a welcoming and diverse community focused on creating a better world for humans and animals alike!

Best wishes for 2024!

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