Saturday, 2 March 2024
Saturday, 2 March 2024

Online exhibition tells stories of veg*n pioneers, past and present

The United Kingdom has a rich history of vegetarianism and veganism, with pioneers of the UK movement residing in Manchester as early as the 18th century.

Salford’s first MP was notably a passionate vegetarian, as was suffragette Leonora Cohen. More recent advocates include British businessperson, Deborah Meaden, and racing car driver Sir Lewis Hamilton – both vegan.

It’s predicted that by 2025, a staggering one quarter of the UK is going to be vegan1. People in later life are a major part of this recent boom. A recent British Social Attitudes Survey2 suggests that older adults are twice as likely as 18–24-year-olds to have embraced meat reduction.

Amanda Woodvine, Chief Executive of V for Life, the UK charity specifically supporting older vegans and vegetarians, said:

“V for Life has been compiling a fascinating archive telling the stories of veg*ns. We will showcase this, initially online. Many members of the veg*n community have concerns around their ability to maintain their diets – which are central to their beliefs and identity – in later life. Research suggests that special diets are still not widely understood. Therefore, the opportunity to present their stories, at a time when the importance of personalised and dignified care is at the centre of social care agenda, is highly fitting.

“With the rich history along with present day popularity of meat-free diets, the exhibition will be highly relevant, giving a voice to vegans and vegetarians, past and present. We, like everyone, hold views and values that deserve to be respected.”

The exhibition is live at vforlife.org.uk/veggievoices.

Exhibition highlights:

  • Care: Stories from different perspectives of life in care for older vegans and vegetarians.
  • Rose Elliot: The celebrated cookery writer and V for Life patron on the rise of plant-based living.
  • Leonora Cohen: A vegetarian suffragette with an inspiring legacy.
  • Donald Watson: The pioneering founder of The Vegan Society.
  • Joseph & Martha Brotherton: A nineteenth century vegetarian power-couple.
  • Wendy Turner-Webster: Animal rights campaigner and writer Wendy tells VfL why veganism is so important to her.
  • Centenarian sisters: In 1956, vegetarian sisters Caroline & Jane Badland celebrated an important milestone.
  • Gary Webster: The actor explains how his outlook on life has changed since becoming vegan.
  • Carol Royle: Star of stage and screen Carol tells us why living a vegan lifestyle is more important today than ever.
  • A vegetarian record-breaker: ‘Big’ Bill Pickering, the vegetarian channel swimmer.
  • Paul Youd: Octogenarian vegan athlete: “It’s never too late to go vegan.”

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