Charity & Campaigns

Vegetarian Society of Ireland Renamed to Vegan Society of Ireland Following Unanimous Vote

Over 40 years after it was founded, The Vegetarian Society of Ireland has become The Vegan Society of Ireland after members unanimously voted in favour of the change.

The organisation, which is a registered charity, said that most members were already vegan and interest had dwindled, indicating that a rebrand was needed. However, vegetarians are still welcome to join, and all members can benefit from a number of discounts.

The Vegan Society of Ireland plans to raise awareness of veganism in Ireland by running campaigns and events, along with gaining media exposure. The group already has 50 volunteers, and expects to gain more following the transition.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we have finally reached the stage where we are about to launch the Vegan Society of Ireland,” said Bronwyn Slater, a spokesperson for the new organisation. “It has taken a long time, and vegans in Ireland really need an organisation like this to represent them and to stand up for veganism in Ireland.”

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“We are not anti-farmer”

Interest in plant-based diets is increasing significantly in Ireland; an Oatly study last year found that a third of Irish consumers were buying more meat and dairy alternatives than they were three years ago, with the shift particularly noticeable among younger consumers. Other figures from 2023 indicate that 16% of Irish consumers identify as flexitarian.

However, there has been some backlash against the rise of plant-based diets; last August, the Irish Environmental Protection Agency was forced to delete a tweet encouraging followers to reduce their meat intake after complaints from animal agriculture groups.

The Vegan Society of Ireland says it believes animal exploitation can be eradicated without harming farmers.

“We are not anti-farmer,” said Slater. “We want the government to encourage and financially support farmers who want to transition to either plant-based farming or other livelihoods that don’t involve animals. We would love to see Ireland become a hub for plant-based startups and a major producer and exporter of plant-based foods.”

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