Vegetarian for Life set to launch new self-advocacy pack to mark National Older Vegetarians and Vegans Day 1 October 2021


Vegetarian for Life (VfL), the leading advocacy charity for older vegans and vegetarians, is calling on everyone following a meat-free diet to plan now to ensure that they receive the correct care in later life.

Although many of us would assume that our dietary and ethical choices would be respected throughout our lives, research commissioned by the charity shows that this isn’t always the case.

VfL’s Chief Executive, Amanda Woodvine said, “Needing care can be a worrying experience. Among the challenges may be a sense of losing control over our diet. With less independence, we may be unable to shop, cook and ensure that our values and beliefs are being met. If we are experiencing capacity issues, or cognitive losses, we may be unable to explain our dietary beliefs or have periods where we cannot remember our values. In these circumstances, we need to know our rights and how to get our voices heard.”

The charity’s Self-Advocacy Pack outlines the legislation and regulations designed to protect dignity and choices in care. It also details the steps we can take to ensure that we are cared for in line with our beliefs.

Included in the pack will be a Statement of Wishes, allowing us to set out the ethical choices we want to follow in care. This is particularly important if we get to a stage where we are unable to communicate our own wishes or we become confused about our dietary preferences.

Ms Woodvine added, “We wanted to create something that could provide peace of mind for people receiving care, and really help them, their loved ones, and care providers. We hope that the Self-Advocacy Pack can bring everyone together to ensure that the best and most appropriate care is provided.”

  • National Older Veg*ns Day was founded by Vegetarian for Life as a day dedicated to celebrating the older vegans and vegetarians in our communities. It falls on 1 October, which is when International Day of Older Persons and World Vegetarian Day collide.
  • Later in 2021, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism will launch an Inquiry Report in Parliament into ‘Respect for Religious and Philosophical Beliefs While Eating in Care’. The Inquiry will detail some of the many testimonies received by Vegetarian for Life from care home residents, families of those in care and even care staff, that show a real need for change.
  • Alongside these harrowing testimonies will be some clear recommendations, including some suggested changes to the wording of relevant legislation, to encourage regulatory bodies and care establishments to give protected philosophical beliefs the same weight as they would religious beliefs. There will also be some simple actions that care establishments can take to make themselves more futureproof when it comes to catering for vegans and vegetarians, both now and in the future.

Email [email protected] or contact VfL on 0161 257 0887 to pre-order a self-advocacy pack. Hard copies will cost just £2.75 including postage.