Category Archives: Advocacy

Moving Towards a Vegan Option in Canada

By Carolyn Harris

Hello everyone!

I wanted to give you all a quick update. You may remember two of my previous blog posts, letting you know about a petition calling on the Canadian government “to require public canteens under federal jurisdiction to provide a vegan option, and to raise this issue and work with provincial and territorial counterparts to require the same at all levels of government.” In practice, this means that a vegan option would be required to be served in all public schools, hospitals, prisons, and other public institutions. This is an important step that our country can take towards animal rights and vegan rights. A similar law is already in place in Portugal.

I didn’t start the petition, but I signed it and mentioned it on my blogs because this issue matters a lot to me.

In total, the petition received 3106 signatures from the public, and it was presented to the House of Commons on February 7, 2018. The government’s response was disappointing—basically, they implied that they don’t plan on taking action on this issue.

Fortunately, however, the dedicated vegan advocates who are working on this issue are not giving up! A new organization, Vegan Option Canada, has been founded to advocate for this new law. Vegan Option Canada is currently running two versions of their petition: an official paper petition and an unofficial, supplementary online petition. You can sign both, as the signatures for each petition are counted separately. You can access the online petition directly by clicking here. Check out Vegan Option Canada’s website to learn more about this issue and to find a paper petition near you. Alternatively, you can order sheets of the paper petition so that you can collect signatures yourself!

I feel quite confident that this initiative can succeed. Let’s work together and make it happen!

Update on Petition Calling on Canadian Government to Provide A Vegan Option at Public Canteens

By Carolyn Harris

Recently I received an e-mail from the House of Commons Electronic Petitions website notifying me that on February 7th, 2018, petition e-1205 was presented in the House of Commons. The e-mail goes on to say, “You will be notified once a government response has been tabled.”

This is a petition that I mentioned on this blog previously—it was calling on the federal government “to require public canteens under federal jurisdiction to provide a vegan option, and to raise this issue and work with provincial and territorial counterparts to require the same at all levels of government.” You can see the full text of the petition here, although it is no longer open to signatures.

On the House of Commons website, it is mentioned that this topic was brought up as well, but it doesn’t say if or how anyone responded to it. You can see what I am talking about here.

I am looking forward to seeing how the government responds. I will post on this blog again to let you know how they responded once I receive further information on the subject!

A Guide for Local Restaurants to Offer Vegan Foods

Did you know that the NCVA has its own e-book developed to help restaurant owners offer vegan items on their menus? The e-book, written by the NCVA’s past president Pamela Tourigny, is called “Beyond Veggies: A Guide for Introducing Plant-Based Meals at Your Food Establishment”.

Restaurant owners looking to serve vegan foods at their restaurants can download the guide for FREE from our website (see below). Additionally, individuals hoping to encourage more of their local eateries to serve vegan food can print off the guide and present it to their local restaurant owners. Basically, anyone who wants the guide can have it, free of charge!

Beyond Veggies Cover

It would be great to know who is downloading the guide and why, so we ask that interested people answer a few quick questions using the form below before getting access to the download links. Thanks!

Note: If you are interested in volunteering with the NCVA to help us reach out to restaurants and discuss the guide with restaurant owners, feel free to contact us for more information!

November 1st is World Vegan Day!

By Carolyn Harris

(A similar version of this post was originally posted
on Carolyn’s vegan advocacy blog.)

World Vegan Day takes place every year on November 1st, and the entire month of November is World Vegan Month.

The annual celebration started in 1994 on the 50-year anniversary of the first meeting of the Vegan Society in the UK, which took place some time in early November 1944.

According to the Vegan Society’s website, “In a natural progression, World Vegan Day evolved into World Vegan Week and now, what we celebrate as World Vegan Month, where vegans and veganism is celebrated in workplaces, shops, restaurants and in homes all over the world.”

In November 2017, to commemorate World Vegan Month, the Vegan Society will be releasing a new app called VNutrition, which helps people achieve their nutrition goals on a vegan diet. They also will be launching a new campaign called “Vegans on the Go”, which will aim to get more retailers to serve on-to-go vegan lunches, and it sounds like they will be doing some other exciting things during the month, as well. You can check out the World Vegan Month webpage here; here is their Facebook Page.

Of course, every day is a good day to advocate for a vegan lifestyle, but this special day is an especially useful opportunity to raise awareness about the “why’s” and “how’s” of going vegan, as well as to celebrate the lifestyle and those who follow it!

Here are some ideas of ways we can make a difference on World Vegan Day and throughout the month of November:

  1. Obviously, if you aren’t already vegan, please go vegan. You can take The Vegan Society’s 30-day Vegan Pledge to help you go vegan as quickly as possible!
  2. Share the Vegan Pledge with your friends and family, on your blog, and/or on social media.
  3. On November 1st, why not wish the people in your life a happy World Vegan Day? It may help spark conversations that could lead them to consider going vegan.
  4. On social media and/or your blog, share something related to veganism and/or World Vegan Day. For example, you could share your own story of why you went vegan; a picture of a vegan meal you made; a link to the Vegan Society’s website; a vegan recipe; or even just a quick post saying “Happy World Vegan Day!”
  5. Host a vegan meal or potluck for family, friends, your workplace, and/or your local community. If it’s a potluck and not everyone attending is already vegan, make sure that everyone knows to avoid using any animal-derived ingredients in the food they bring; it can be helpful to ask people to bring an ingredients list.
  6. Perhaps you could go leafleting, and wish passersby a happy World Vegan Day!
  7. You could even help organize a talk from a vegan speaker or a vegan-related movie screening.
  8. Bring vegan food to work or school, and share it with your peers.  You could just casually share it with them, or you could set up a table in a busy place where people can take the free vegan food and literature on veganism.
  9. Try to get World Vegan Day or World Vegan Month recognized by your school or workplace. They could introduce a vegan menu in the cafeteria starting in November, for example (if there isn’t enough time for them to plan out a complete vegan menu in time for World Vegan Day, they can still start working on it by November).
  10. If you’re a writer, write a letter to the editor, Op-Ed, or vegan recipe and submit it to a newspaper or magazine.

Have a great World Vegan Day and Month!

Petition to the Government of Canada Regarding Food Policy

Recently I found out about a new petition that was posted on the Parliament of Canada’s E-petitions website. The petition, which is being sponsored by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, is calling for all public canteens under federal jurisdiction to serve a vegan option (and for the federal government to work with the provinces and territories to implement this law at their levels, as well).

The main part of the petition reads, “We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to require public canteens under federal jurisdiction to provide a vegan option, and to raise this issue and work with provincial and territorial counterparts to require the same at all levels of government.”

Judging by the way that the petition is worded, it sounds like, if the petition becomes law, this could lead to hospitals, schools, universities, colleges, prisons, and other public institutions to be required to serve a vegan option. This would be a win for people who live a vegan lifestyle, for, as a matter of human rights, it is essential that vegans have access to vegan food.

Furthermore, this would help encourage more people to eat a vegan diet, and it could help to indirectly raise awareness about veganism and to help people realize what vegan food actually is.

In March 2017, Portugal passed a law requiring all public canteens (at hospitals, schools, prisons, etc.) to serve a vegan option. Canada needs a law like this, too!

Canadian citizens are able to sign the petition and read more about it here. The petition is open until November 29, 2017, at 2:32 p.m. EDT.