About Us

‘Veganism in Education’ (VinE) is a Community Interest Company committed to education which encourages children’s spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, health and well-being, and academic attainment. We believe the inclusion of veganism in education will make a valuable contribution towards realising these objectives.

We are forming an exciting collaboration of professional educators and academics from various fields to provide learning resources and articles on animals and interrelated health, social justice and environmental issues.

There is often misinformation about veganism and plant-based diets circulating in the public domain. Our organisation has the knowledge and expertise to provide age-appropriate, evidence-based information on veganism and plant-based diets to ensure teachers, parents and governing bodies can include vegan topics in the curricula with total confidence.

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Franz Kafka

“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you any more.”

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L.N. Tolstoy

“When a person freely and honestly seeks a moral path, the first thing he must turn from is meat. A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.”

Our Ambassadors / Contributors

Veganism and mental health

Dr. Shireen Kassam

Founder of Plant-Based Health Professionals, UK
MBBS, FRCPATH, PHD, DipIBLM

Teaching children to live kindly and compassionately is key to our future existence on this planet. We are facing a number of interrelated crises that ultimately relate back to how we live our lives. Understanding how our collective actions and behaviours can impact personal health, wider society and affect the lives of non-human animals with whom we share this earth is crucial. This is why the mission and work of VinE is so important and why I am delighted to be an ambassador and support their work.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Dr. Richard Twine

Senior Lecturer in Social Sciences, Co-Director of Centre for Human-Animal Studies, Edge Hill University, Lancashire

I applaud and endorse the aims of VinE which are exactly in line with the necessary transition to a sustainable society premised upon a deep reflection and engagement with our prevalent human/animal relations.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Dr. Matthew Cole

Lecturer in Criminology, The Open University
Co-author, with Dr Kate Stewart, of Our Children and Other Animals: The Cultural Construction of Human-Animal Relations in Childhood

The VinE initiative is emblematic of the best that education can offer, enhancing children’s skills in critical thinking at the same time as it encourages empathy and compassion. This is crucial for empowering future generations to lead us into a more peaceable, sustainable future, one in which we are better able to respect and care for ourselves, as well as all the inhabitants of our fragile planet. In a media context which is still dominated by messages that overtly or subtly distract children (and adults) from the harms that humans inflict on other animals and our shared environment, VinE is exactly what’s needed to cut through the obfuscation and resonate with the yearning for solutions that is evident among young people today.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Prof. Andrew Knight

Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, and Founding Director of the University of Winchester Centre for Animal Welfare
Author of ‘The Costs and Benefits of Animal Experiments.’
www.andrewknight.info
BSc.(Vet.Biol.), BVMS, PhD, MANZCVS (Animal Welfare), DipECAWBM (AWSEL), DipACAW, FRCVS, PFHEA

I was once an Australian human rights activist, concerned with increasing our foreign aid budget, the international campaign to ban landmines, and victims of torture. I still support humanitarian causes, but switched my primary focus to animal welfare issues, when I realised that the number of animals harmed by our actions is unfortunately millions of times greater.

I fully endorse VinE’s aim of teaching children empathy and compassion for all sentient beings because human and non-human animals share the same potential to be victims of suffering, injustice, violence and abuse. The solutions to combat these problems are universal. With the current crisis facing our planet from animal exploitation, human injustice and ecological degradation, we need to provide young people with the knowledge and skills to become the ethical decision makers and problem solvers of the future.

Vegan childrens books, School curriculum

Dr. Laila Kassam

Co-editor of ‘Rethinking Food and Agriculture: New Ways Forward’ and Co-Founder of Animal Think Tank
PHD

VinE is a timely and much-needed initiative which I wholeheartedly support. Young people face an impossible future and they are clearly hungry for solutions. We need to give them as much support and information as we possibly can. Including veganism in the school curriculum would be a massively impactful start, not just for them but for all of us.

Surveys show the high levels of climate anxiety among children globally. At the same time in the UK, a significant proportion of children and young people are taking action for the climate and the majority have adopted or want to adopt vegan and vegetarian diets.

Read more

Raising awareness amongst everyone, especially young people, of more compassionate, just, inclusive, responsible and sustainable ways of thinking, being and living such as veganism, that can address the roots of these crises and benefit the Earth and all her inhabitants, is an absolute imperative at this point.

Children and young people all over the world are facing the existential threats of ecological and climate breakdown with no guarantee they will inherit a habitable planet. In addition to these threats younger generations are facing a future of increasing: pandemics; antibiotic resistance; lifestyle diseases linked to unhealthy animal-based and processed diets; hunger; inequality; and the list goes on.

All of these crises are connected and all of these are driven by an unjust and unsustainable food system that exploits humans, other animals and the planet for the sake of profit. A violent and inefficient system that kills nearly 80 billion land animals and over 1 trillion aquatic animals every year for ‘food’, that drives deforestation and biodiversity loss and that uses 83% of farmland for animal agriculture while producing only 18% of calories.

To me, it is our domination of and disconnection from nature and our animal kin (and by extension our disconnection from each other and ourselves) that has got us into this mess. It is children and young people who will be leading the way out of it.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Prof. Linda M. Johnson

Author of  ‘Art, Ethics and the Human-Animal Relationship’
Curator: Hancock Shaker Village

Lecturer II: University of Michigan: Department of Art History
Ph.D. FOCAE (Senior Fellow Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics)

“Francis called all creatures, no matter how small, by the name of brother and sister, because he knew they had the same source as himself.”
– Saint Bonaventure

VinE (Veganism in Education) is such an exciting educational initiative teaching young children that animals have a right to their own lives and that they exist independently from us. Once “seen” from this deeply universal perspective there is no “unseeing.” Beholding this animal, rather than any animal, opens the “seer” to the particular-to a window into the universal story of love, compassion, and ethical formation. Education, particularly from a vegan perspective, integrates knowledge and moral reasoning with the joy of personal responsibility– that one person can contribute to healing the imbalances in the world’s environmental issues. VinE provides the tools to begin this journey that every being is integral to the whole.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Carmen Easterby

Animal advocate, director MAD Ideas: award-winning marketing communications specialist
madideas.com
MA, BA (Hons)

During the course of my career, I’ve met many young people who cite animal cruelty and the planet as their top concerns.

I am honoured to be an Ambassador for the trailblazing VinE educational initiative.

This is the first initiative of its kind in the UK; committed to removing discrimination, accelerating the progress of equality, raising people’s understanding of speciesism and how to tackle it, effectively advocate for the rights of everyone, supporting educators and the next generation to reach their potential.

VinE is not just breaking the bias – we’re working closely together to go beyond that. We’re committed to supporting the issues young people care about. We’re helping young people thrive, celebrate compassion and diversity.

Together, we’re pioneering a brave and beautiful future, where all are treated with respect regardless of the body shape or species they were born into.

I embrace this inclusive future filled with compassion. I live it. I dare to dream it.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Jamie Woodhouse

Founder of the Sentientism movement, promoting a worldview committed to “evidence, reason and having compassion for all sentient beings”.
sentientism.info

Most children start out with a generous compassion for humans and other sentient animals. Sadly most of us are then taught, both in schools and by wider society, that harming and killing other sentient beings for human pleasure through animal farming and fishing is normal – even expected.

VinE is doing important work in helping young people understand that they can instead choose to keep and develop their compassion through veganism – a positive way forward for non-human sentients, human sentients and for the planet we all share.

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Shaun Conaghan

As a teacher, I am both concerned and motivated by the statistic that 60% of Irish people are overweight or obese. This is alarming especially as our chronic disease rates related to diet and lifestyle continue to skyrocket, while our planet continues to deteriorate at an alarming pace.

I passionately believe that teachers have an incredible opportunity through education, to empower children and their families to make healthier lifestyle choices for both themselves and our planet. I am honoured to be an ambassador for the VinE vision.

Read more about Shaun’s work on our On The Grapevine page

Vegan schools near me, Vegan teacher

Jen Armstrong

Vegan Queen V – professional musician and songwriter
BA (Hons) (1st Class) Popular Music, M.Mus Performance, ABRSM Grade 8 Piano, ABRSM Grade 8 Violin

Children are quite literally the future, and it is a bleak future unless we can educate and guide the next generations to make more informed and more compassionate choices.

VinE are doing integral work to bring more awareness and education surrounding how animals are used and exploited throughout the different industries in our world, and the direct impact this has on us and our planet.

As a musician and songwriter, I know how wonderful music can be to educate and inspire and I am excited to work alongside VinE as an ambassador to help spread these important messages.

Our Partners

Animal Interfaith Alliance

The Animal Interfaith Alliance

VinE is delighted our partnership with The Animal Interfaith Alliance (AIA). AIA is a unique and inclusive alliance of diverse faith based, animal advocacy organisations. The not-for-profit works with all perspectives to speak out on the moral treatment of animals by drawing on the combined wisdom of all faiths.

Their Vision and Mission is where people of all faiths and none work together to treat animals with respect and compassion, with a united voice including the shared goals below:

1. Achieving a UN Convention on Animal Health & Protection (UNCAHP)

2. Putting Animals in the 2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals

3. Putting Animals on the Agenda of the Parliament of World Religions

4. Putting Animal Ethics on the Education Curriculum

5. Replacing Laboratory Animals with 21st Century Human Relevant Test Methods

6. Ending Factory Farming

7. Using Ethical Investments to Promote Animal Welfare

As with VinE, AIA recognises animals are sentient beings who have the right to live freely and not to be made to suffer by humans; animals exist for their own sakes and not for ours; they are emotional beings who can love us and provide companionship, and can be members of our family and community. AIA’s activities include animal advocacy and education.

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AIA

“We are part of an interconnected web. By abusing part of that web, we damage the rest of it, including the environment and ourselves”

Sustainability, Vegan school

Vegan Organic Network

Educational charity

VON is delighted to support the VinE educational initiative. We are facing a point of no return: species extinction at an alarming rate, ocean deadzones, fishless oceans and a food system which has failed to change; treating sentient animals as “products”. Do we really want future generations to inherit this broken system? VinE is a catalyst for change. It is so needed and enables everyone to take decisive action to avert the crises we are all facing and to create positive change together.

OUR SUPPORTERS

Parents, students, teachers, professionals

Veganism uk, School teachers

Vincent Cook

Boatbuilder/Yacht Surveyor and Parent

I wish this type of resource had been taught during my school years, it would have saved me a lot of heartache in later life. As a mature adult, I was horrified to learn the extent to which our society exploits animals, causing them great pain and suffering. I had unwittingly been party to this, and wished I’d known it was possible to thrive on a plant-based diet.

Veganism has shown me there is only one rule to follow in life, and that is to give ethical consideration and compassion to all living beings – human and animal. Both equally deserve respect and the right to live their natural lives in peace.

Vegan Education

Destine

VinE supporter

It’s important for children to be taught compassion for animals so they become compassionate adults. If we’re taught to be compassionate in school to animals it’ll be easier for us to learn to be compassionate to one another!

Veganism uk, School teachers

Amaya (age 13)

Advocate for animals 

It would be great to have veganism taught in schools not just for the animals, but so that everyone can better understand me. I am proud to be part of VinE for the animals and other young people like me.

After becoming a vegan I no longer felt like a hypocrite and had more of a connection with animals knowing I wasn’t harming them.

Vegan school Europe

Susanna Williams

Solicitor and Parent

Recently I realised the horrors of the egg and dairy industry. That day, I became vegan. The way humans abuse defenceless animals is heart breaking, and even more so, because it is completely unnecessary.

Read more

Children are born with a love for animals, but society tells them to ignore this and treat some with love and affection and others with contempt and indifference.

Most people would say they love animals, yet pay to have them killed and treated in the most abhorrent way. It is this hypocrisy which people are blind to.

Education is key. It can help people connect the dots so they can see this is only happening as a direct result of them buying or consuming animal products. That’s why I am pleased to support the VinE initiative: people are given all the information and tools to make the change that is so badly needed.

Vegan, Green flag

Paula Hallam

Specialist Paediatric Dietitian
RD PG Cert

I am passionate about helping and supporting families who choose to raise their children to show compassion and empathy for the other animals we share this planet with. My work is largely focused on educating and supporting parents about children’s nutrition and how to optimise this for their future health. This is why the work of VinE is so vital and I am delighted to support their mission and work.

The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society

The Vegan Society supports the great work that VinE are initiating. Education is a crucial part of building a vegan future for us all. Developing moral values in young people will encourage more understanding of the benefits of veganism, and create a more inclusive education experience for everyone.

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Greta Thunberg

“I am Vegan. I don’t eat animal products. I don’t use any animal products because of ethical, environmental and climate reasons.”

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Emile Zola

“The fate of animals is of greater importance to me than the fear of appearing ridiculous; it is indissolubly connected with the fate of men.”

Our Founder

Vegan, Eco schools, Animal ethics

Michelle St John

Founder and Director
Barrister-at-Law, BA(Hons) Social Anthropology

Michelle’s background is in law. She worked as a Crown Prosecutor, Magistrate and guest lecturer on English Law at the renowned Jagiellonian University, Krakow.

Her interest in humane education was sparked by a vegan parent seeking advice in challenging the raising of pigs for food at his daughter’s school.  Michelle was intrigued to learn that school farms in the UK actively involved children in caring for animals for slaughter. She questioned the educational merit of this practice as it appeared to go against children’s natural empathy for animals.

Michelle looked at how animals were considered across the curriculum, and found there were limited opportunities for children to critically think about the way we define and inter-relate with them. Whilst compassion for domestic pets appeared to be encouraged, empathy towards other animals, especially ‘food animals’ was not.  She felt the promotion of animals as chiefly ‘products’, seriously undermined the teaching of empathy.

Her research culminated in a paper on humane education, which she presented as an independent scholar at the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. Meeting with leading academics and teaching professionals, she found a consensus of opinion supporting a paradigm shift in the way we teach children to view animals and our relationships with them.

This shift would contribute to children’s emotional, cognitive and social development whilst bringing hope for a more empathic, just and sustainable planet.  She says, “these benefits, so passionately endorsed by educators and professionals working across the academic disciplines, inspired me to create the VinE initiative.”

Michelle lives in Cheshire with her husband Tony. She has seven rescued animals, which she thanks for teaching her empathy and the spiritual interconnectedness of all living beings.

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