The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism has just launched a report on the protection of philosophical or religious beliefs in care, specifically when providing food. The report highlights cases where individual diets have been misunderstood or even ignored.
A short video featuring actor and Vegetarian for Life ambassador Peter Egan and Vegetarian for Life Patron Rose Elliot MBE explaining more is here:
While the report will raise these issues, Vegetarian for Life, the leading advocacy charity for older vegans and vegetarians receiving care and one of the organisations behind the report, is keen to work with care providers to make sure that standards are maintained throughout the sector.
To help this happen, the report makes recommendations that will start the process of improvement and set minimum standards for care, with a specific focus on food. The report calls for:
Strengthening care regulations and related guidance – By recognising that philosophical beliefs are as important as an individual’s religious beliefs or cultural background.
Introducing mandatory training – Helping carers to learn more about, and fully understand the importance of, religious and philosophical beliefs.
Dietary guides in kitchens – Ensuring that dietary practices arising from protected philosophical beliefs such as veganism and vegetarianism are easy to understand and accessible for chefs.
Chair of the APPG on Vegetarianism and Veganism, Christina Rees MP said, “The report sets out some shocking and deeply upsetting failures in the care of vulnerable people who have not had their rights protected. This is clearly unacceptable and those of us who express our philosophical beliefs through our choice of diet will rightly feel saddened. However, everyone should be appalled by the failing to protect basic dignity that the report highlights.
“It is right that these examples are highlighted but I am also proud that the report sets out recommendations that will see improvement across the care sector. Some of those recommendations are simple and could be implemented easily. Others are more wide-ranging and will require support from all sides with the help of organisations such as Vegetarian for Life and The Vegan Society.”
Published on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism, ‘Respect for religious and philosophical beliefs while eating in care’ is available now.
The Inquiry report is hosted at https://vegappg.org.uk/inquiry
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism provides a forum for discussing issues around vegetarianism and veganism. The group is funded by The Vegan Society and Vegetarian for Life. The Vegan Society serves as secretariat.
- Christina Rees MP
- Baroness Anita Gale – Vice-Chair
- Darren Jones MP – Vice-Chair
- Seema Malhotra MP – Vice-Chair
- Kerry McCarthy MP – Vice-Chair
- Henry Smith MP – Vice-Chair