VEGA (Vegetarian Economy and
Green Agriculture) is a registered charity,
also called VEGA
|What we do
||Whats in a name?
What we do
We are a research, information,
and campaigning organisation
focusing on farming, food, health
and the land.
VEGA is campaigning for kinder farming
(i.e. without exploitation of animals or the environment)
and improved human health, nutrition and
welfare (for all animals).
We supply information to the public, government,
the media, schools, universities
and anyone who is interested in the subjects we cover.
VEGA attends meetings and conferences
(e.g. at independent government advisory organisations
such as the Farm Animal
Welfare Council and the Food
Standards Agency), to raise questions and to comment
on the issues raised. For instance:
- Involvement from the start with Professor James and
since on the foundation and workings of the Food Standards
- Submission of material in answer to the Cabinet Office's
request in 2002 for comments and policies for Farming
and Food. These consultations lead to formation of the
- Frequent consultations and stakeholderships with the
FSA, DEFRA, and other government departments and agencies
on definitions, claims, and labelling of foods, supplements,
toiletries, pharmaceuticals, household goods, and clothing.
We inform the media about new research
and have regular contact with journalists, papers, radio
and TV to influence the media.
We campaign for a reduction in the consumption
of animals (in any shape or form).
We aim at raising all standards of food production so
that it is at all stages a cause for respect and dignified
employment, devoid of the harm done by meretricious cheap
VEGA was among the defence's team of advisers and expert
witnesses in the McLibel trial. The judge's verdict included
the statement that McDonalds had been "guilty of
culpable cruelty" to animals.
We support a vegan lifestyle; we encourage a reduction
in animal consumption, which is at least better for immediate
remissions of cruelty to farmed livestock, rather than
no change and no practicable reforming initiatives.
We endeavor to end the misery of farmed animals
(which extends to fish).
We have a database of articles and papers on subjects
we research available for free to anyone interested and
you can search this database on our website.
Some issues that VEGA has been involved with in 2005/2006
and is continuing with:
- Appraisals of provenance and traceability of live animals
and of other crops and harvests and the consequent claims
and labelling in terms of welfare, agronomy, environment,
ecology, organic, fairtrade, and GM, with corollaries
in by-products and co-products (and further consequences
in production of sources of energy, such as biofuels).
- The fate of by-catches and "spent" animals
(i.e. from breeders, the fishing, egg and dairy-industries
- notably calves and cast cows - and "sports"
- notably hunts, shoots, and racing - and "fallen
- Transportation in all forms - food miles have live and
dead measures in these assessments.
VEGA provides funding for research projects (projects with
no animals or animal suffering involved only) at universities
and hospitals. Research topics include the GI diet, iodine
and selenium status of vegetarians, finding practicable alternatives
to the live/deadstock industry, and investigations of the
dairy/beef/veal business. The epidemiological studies we have
been and are involved in represent one of the best ways of
avoiding experimentation on animals.
VEGA is a scientific body and the aim is to produce rational,
well founded and accurate information. VEGA is used as an
information source by journalists, government bodies such
as DEFRA and the Food
Standards Agency, NGO's and other interested groups. We
have a vast database of articles and can hence provide accurate
and referenced information covering a wide range of topics
within our purview, such as: associations between diet and
disease, nutrition for mothers, GM crops, pesticide use, climate
change, farm animal welfare and husbandry, and wildlife conservation.
VEGA is representing the consumer by supplying comments to
e.g. the Food Standards Agency on matters of food labelling,
marketing, ingredients, claims, supplements & nutraceuticals.
VEGA contributed to the BSE Inquiry where we were able to
emphasise welfare issues. When attending conferences and debates
on the latest scientific developments in nutrition, medicine
and agriculture VEGA is constantly raising issues of animal
welfare, health and diet.
VEGA started life as the research wing of the Vegetarian
Society and reformed as a separate organisation in 1991. VEGA
relies on donations and legacies as well as voluntary effort
for its work. It has no commercial involvements; it offers
information to consumers and manufacturers freely and unconstrained.
The organisation is run from a residential location.
VEGA (Vegetarian Economy and Green Agriculture) is sometimes confused with the Vegan Society (of St Leonards, Sussex), which appears to share some common interests in VEGA's purview of farming, food, health, and the land and corollaries in diets and consumption directed to ever-decreasing recourse to foods and other commodities derived from non-human animals and consequent abuse of the environment).
Vegetarian/Vegan/Vegetalian... Whats in a name?
A real vegetarian lives with no dietary exploitation of animals
and avoids their abuse for other purposes. The coined word
vegan from the 1940s (and also in some languages the word
vegetalian) is sometimes applied, in various pronunciations,
to emphasize the number of demis and semis who should be styled
with appropriate prefixes, e.g. lacto-ovo-vegetarians (who
would compromise the principles by eating dairy-produce and
eggs). VEGA campaigns against these shifts, which blunt or
retard understandings of the production, description and labelling
of foodstuffs and household goods, and lead to approvals bestowed
on the payment of fees to manufacturers, retailers, and caterers
of questionable commodities.
VEGAs scientific mission informs the general public
on all the relevant issues over which the consumer/customer/citizen
can make a well-versed individual choice.