The All Party-Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianiam and Veganism’s inquiry report: Respect for religious and philosophical beliefs while eating in care, was on published 24 November 2021. The report was written by Vegetarian for Life (VfL) on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism.
The report itself highlights instances where individuals receiving care have not had their religious, ethical or philosophical beliefs respected. Despite following diets based on life-long and deeply held convictions, many individuals in care were not supported to practice these beliefs.
The right to hold and practice beliefs is a basic human right. The beliefs and values we hold are central to our identity. It is of fundamental importance that those in care live according to their values.
To help this happen, the report makes recommendations that will start the process of improvement and set minimum standards for care, with a specific focus on food. The report calls for:
- Strengthening care regulations and related guidance – By recognising that philosophical beliefs are as important as an individual’s religious beliefs or cultural background.
- Introducing mandatory training – Helping carers to learn more about, and fully understand the importance of, religious and philosophical beliefs.
- Dietary guides in kitchens – Ensuring that dietary practices arising from protected philosophical beliefs such as veganism and vegetarianism are easy to understand and accessible for chefs.
We are working to make sure that these recommendations have an impact.
The more awareness that we can raise, the more likely we are to convince decision makers to think seriously about the rights of those in care and take appropriate actions.
Information regarding the VegAPPG can found at https://vegappg.org.uk/
VfL’s research and policy team can be reached at [email protected].