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About VEGA

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VEGA (Vegetarian Economy and Green Agriculture) is a registered charity,
also called VEGA Research.
 
What we do   Research   Information   Campaigning   Background   What’s 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:

    1. Involvement from the start with Professor James and since on the foundation and workings of the Food Standards Agency (FSA).
    2. 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 Curry Commission.
    3. 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 food policies.

  • 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:

    1. 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).
    2. 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 stock").
    3. Transportation in all forms - food miles have live and dead measures in these assessments.
 

Research 

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.


 

Information 

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.

 

Campaigning 

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.

 

Background 

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... What’s 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.

VEGA’s scientific mission informs the general public on all the relevant issues over which the consumer/customer/citizen can make a well-versed individual choice.

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