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THE VEGAN PODThe Vegan Pod Our podcast has returned for a new season! The Vegan Pod, which is hosted by Media and PR Officer Francine Jordan, delves into topical issues faced by the vegan community. Each month we are inviting guests to share their thoughts and experiences on a range of issues starting with ‘Should vegans date non-vegans?’ Shared just in time for Valentine’s Day, our first episode featured Lewis Foster, CEO of plantbased connection app Grazer, and Claira Hermet, self-love and confidence coach and BBC Radio presenter. Episode two asked ‘Is it cruel to raise a child vegan?’ Dietitian Lucy Kendrick and Danielle Saunders, parent of one and owner of vegan restaurant Dirty Kitch, unpacked the ethical, social and nutritional aspects of bringing up vegan children. Episode three posed the question, ‘Are vegans portrayed fairly in the media?’ Find all episodes on Podbean, Google Podcasts and iTunes. You can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts and opinions, as well as topics you’d like to see covered in the future. Keep an eye on our social channels, where we will be gathering our followers’ thoughts on upcoming topics to include in the discussion. Trademark milestone The Vegan Trademark was created in 1990, and since its launch we have been working tirelessly to improve vegan labelling. We want to give customers peace of mind when purchasing vegan products. Every product to carry our sunflower logo has been verified as suitable for vegans by a team of experts. In March the Trademark Team hit a huge milestone when we registered our 60,000th product. The 60,000th product registered was a first of its kind – vegan and environmentally friendly packaging developed by Smurfit Kappa. We will work with Smurfit Kappa going forwards to encourage more companies to use their plant-based packaging. Nutrition outreach The Nutrition Team has been busy this quarter. Dietitian Heather Russell visited University College Birmingham to deliver a lecture about vegan diets to their nutrition students. Heather and dietitian Chantal Tomlinson supported dietitians at University College London Hospital with their continuing professional development. They shared tips about how to provide person-centered care for the increasing number of vegan patients followed by a questionand-answer session, which was well received. We also met with the Prison Reform Trust to discuss how we can help to support vegan inmates whose needs are not being met through prison catering. Vegan-inclusive education On 10 March we got involved in International School Meals Day, an awareness day set up to encourage children and young people to connect and talk about food and the role it plays in their lives. We jumped at the chance to share the message that vegan children have the right to tasty, nutritious options at school, and to showcase how plant-based menus fully support the aims of International School Meals Day. Our new Education Officer and Chair of our Education Network, Laura Chepner, led this work. Laura’s commitment to promoting vegan-inclusive education was formally recognised via her nomination as a finalist in the Excellence in School Food Awards. Laura said, “I was so honoured to be nominated. I am extremely passionate about working with educators to explain what it means to be vegan and how to appropriately teach and treat vegan pupils. I know first-hand what it’s like to be the parent of a vegan child and worry that their needs are not being met at school. Everything I do is to help other parents experiencing the same difficulties, and so to be recognised for my work is just wonderful.” Laura’s work has recently included visiting a school in Greater Manchester to talk to teachers and pupils about veganism and inclusivity – an aspect of our Education Network which we are continuing to expand.If you are interested in joining or supporting our work in this area, please email email@example.com. LGBTQIA+ Resource Group Staff at The Vegan Society have created a resource group for LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual+) colleagues and allies. The aim of the group is to improve internal working in relation to LGBTQIA+ issues. It also exists to improve inclusivity at The Vegan Society and to foster an environment in which staff feel confident that they are welcome, whether they choose to share that they are part of the LGBTQIA+ communities with their team or not. Among its first projects, the group is working on implementing regular equality, diversity and inclusion training for staff. They are also working on running an LGBTQIA+ data collection equality and diversity survey with trademark clients who wish to disclose that information about themselves and their brands. If you have any suggestions you would like to share, or any relevant comments or ideas for the group, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Research news Our Research Team recently launched On the Pulse, a monthly webinar series in which one of our research volunteers present on their topic of expertise. The events are available to everyone and include a presentation and a question-and-answer session. On the Pulse kicked off with an initial session on the long-term health of vegans led by Paul Appleby. To find future events, keep an eye on our social media pages. You can find several new articles on the Research News page on our website. Topics covered include iron deficiency, the psychology of why people go vegan and vegan advocacy messaging. Check out vegansociety.com/researchnews to stay up to date. First vegan violin Late last year we were contacted by violin master Padraig O’Dubhlaoidh to register his violins with the Vegan Trademark. Padraig is a longstanding campaigner for sustainable and ethical violin making, committed to playing a part in helping the industry move away from the use of horsehair, hooves, horns, bones and more in the creation of instruments. Padraig says, “Apart from the benefit to animals, society and our environment, it has become very clear that animalbased glues have harmful effects on violins. The adhesive used in my vegan violins has no such effect.” We shared this Vegan Society first with the press, resulting in over 30 pieces of coverage with mentions in BBC News, the Sun and the Metro, plus an interview with Classic FM. Padraig O ’Dubhlaoidh Vegan companion animal diets Our Research Team recently released a report on vegan food for companion animals. Vegan Animal Care: Consumer Motivations, Barriers and Market Potential looks at the growing consumer interest around vegan food and other products for cats and dogs.Our survey showed that 49% of those who cared for a cat would be interested in purchasing vegan cat food, while 45% of those with dogs were interested. The publication of the report comes as a growing number of businesses have started investing in this area. These meals replace traditional animal proteins with protein-rich plants and other ingredients such as grains and certain fruits and vegetables. Fortification with vitamins and minerals ensures that the micronutrient needs of our animals are met. Andrew Knight, Veterinary Professor of Animal Welfare and Ethics, responded to the report. He said, “While we’ve known about the benefits of feeding cats and dogs a vegan diet for some time, it’s really encouraging to see interest in this area is on the rise.”