We have a number of exciting projects for development:
2023 SPIRITED ARTS & POETRY COMPETITION
This year VinE & AIA are jointly sponsoring the theme “All God’s Creatures?” to highlight the importance of animals.
Get involved in the 2023 Spirited Arts & Poetry Competition, run by NATRE (the National Association of Teachers of Religious Education and join hundreds of schools from around the world taking part in this year’s competition.
All God’s Creatures?
Do animals belong to God? Are they part of a divine plan? Do animals have souls? The beauty and sheer awesomeness of non-human animals with whom we share planet Earth is celebrated in many of the world’s religions. Some worldviews see all living beings as interconnected, yet others emphasise the separateness and superiority of humans over other animals. Animals play a huge part in all our lives, whether we realise or not. How humans interact with other animals and the natural world impacts on all living beings and the planet. This theme invites exploration of ideas and beliefs about non-human animals. Great work will show originality and flare coming from deep consideration of the issues. Challenge learners to engage thoughtfully with scripture, philosophy, and scientific enquiry to write an inspiring passage to accompany stunning images. VinE is delighted to partner with NATRE and the Animals Interfaith Alliance (AIA) to bring you this theme.
NATRE welcomes entries in (almost!) any art form, including:
- Art (painting, drawing, sketching etc)
All entries must be received before Monday 31 July 2023.
Full details can be read on the NATRE’s Website here.
Veganism In Religious Education
We’ll be working together with the Animal Interfaith Alliance to provide children and young people with engaging opportunities to explore ethical veganism as a worldview/philosophical conviction in Religious Education. We endeavour to work across all four nations of the UK and beyond. It is notable that in Scotland the equivalent of Religious Education is Religious and Moral Education, and in Wales the subject will soon be called Religion, Values and Ethics.
The AIA is a highly regarded organisation which brings together diverse faith-based animal advocacy organisations to be a united voice for animals. Its Founder and CEO, Barbara Gardner, is author of The Compassionate Animal: an Interfaith Guide to the Extended Circle of Compassion (Animal Books & Media 2013). Among AIA’s esteemed members and Patrons, is its President, Dr Richard D. Ryder (Ethicist). He became a key figure in the animal rights revival of the 1970’s, coining the word ‘speciesism’ and playing a leading role in its rise to international and political recognition.
VinE is delighted to play a part in achieving AIA’s Vision of ‘a peaceful world where people of all faiths and none work together to treat animals with respect and compassion.’
As part of our first initiative, we’re working with RE Today to produce learning resources for inclusion in Religious Education. Thanks to all who participated in the survey which will help shape this.
The new guidance and legislative summary for Religion, Values and Ethics in Wales has been published. The legislative summary specifically mentions veganism as a recognised philosophical conviction. VinE will be advocating for the right of vegans to sit on Standing Advisory Councils and will be involved in encouraging and recruiting vegan representatives.
VinE has been working with AIA to support RE Today in creating materials for spiritual and moral education as part of the school curriculum, encouraging children to be compassionate towards animals.
The Materials: The materials highlight how all the main religions teach us to be compassionate towards animals – to practice ahimsa (non-harming) towards them and to extend the Golden Rule to them (to do to others as we would wish others to do to us).
The materials explore Ethical Veganism as a worldview and a philosophical conviction. In the UK, veganism is a protected characteristic and a protected philosophical belief under the Equality Act 2010, so we believe that vegan children should have their beliefs included in the education system and not feel excluded by it. Religious Education is required to critically explore worldviews as well as traditional religions.
Launch: We are due to launch the materials in January 2023, during Veganuary.
Watch this Space!
Sustainability From A Vegan Perspective
We are bringing together a core team to work on learning resources covering a range of sustainability issues viewed from a vegan perspective, these will include topics such as the climate crisis and loss of biodiversity.
The Benefits Of Plant-Based Diets
Learning resources will focus on the benefits of plant-based diets for healthy living and the associated benefits this brings for animals and the health of the planet.
“I have always eaten animal flesh with a somewhat guilty conscience.” … “Nothing will benefit health or increase chances of survival on earth as the evolution to a vegetarian diet. Our task must be to free ourselves by extending the circle of compassion to all living beings and all nature and its beauty.”
Dr Albert Schweitzer
“By ethical conduct towards all creatures, we enter into a spiritual relationship with the universe.”