Various vegan associations from four countries have united to form the Vegan World Alliance to create a shared vegan vision and promote veganism not just in the partnered countries, but globally. The Dutch Association for Veganism, Vegan Australia, the Vegan Society of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Vegan Society of Canada have joined forces to address worldwide challenges and share initiatives to fulfill their individual and collective missions.
Launched at the end of August, the collaborative group’s vision states:
“We envision a world in which all people agree that all animals (human and non-human) are or may be sentient beings who are subjectively aware of, and able to value their own lives. Everyone understands that animals therefore should not be treated as property and that every form of use or exploitation of, or harm to, animals is morally wrong.
All of humanity respects and cooperatively protects the rights of animals, perceives and treats their similar needs and interests as equal, and enables them to live their lives without being used by humans.”
The alliance plans to share resources, develop new programs and run joint campaigns. As one of its first projects, the Alliance has begun work on drafting a standard for foods suitable for vegans. They say that at the moment there are a multitude of conflicting definitions, which create confusion for consumers and vegan food makers. This is certainly the case for the Bute Island Foods’ products shipped around the world, with labeling, nutritional values and even some ingredients having to be adjusted for each country. Any standardization can therefore only assist our exporting activities, thus reducing costs.
As we have previously discussed, there can be a myriad of definitions of veganism and, in many countries, there is no legal definition of the word vegan, which means that certifications are often issued when indeed the product is not vegan. The Alliance is therefore working with the International Organisation for Standardisation to clarify the definition of the word vegan to resolve this issue.
The Alliance of course invites other organisations with a shared vision and mission to join them in “shaping the future of veganism”. With the organisational structure already in place, this is a perfect opportunity for vegan societies worldwide to unite to promote healthier living for all, protect animal rights and help alleviate the effects of climate change.
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