Given recent social media statements, members of The Vegan Society and interested observers might be forgiven for thinking that Council has been immobilised. They should, however, be reassured that despite the mayhem that has surrounded us all in 2020/21, every one of us has been working tirelessly to hold meetings, make decisions, support staff, prepare for the AGM, ensure that resourcing and staffing are fit for purpose, prepare and read documents and statements, robustly debate society courses of action, deliver on promises and commitments made, and more.
Everyone standing for and duly being elected by the membership of the society, does so to serve. And during these unprecedented times, that is what we have done: we have kept our silence as the Society has requested us to do, we have kept to our task, and we have kept the wheels turning.
Nevertheless, as everyone can see from the social media postings around the TVS and its upcoming AGM, there are certainly diverse views in council. Currently, we have huge amounts of expertise in the way things have always been, but we are at a place which provides enormous opportunity: to make our organisation more inclusive; to update our participation in the broader vegan movement which extends compassion, rights and justice for animals to many other areas; to stand alongside newer vegan organisations and other partners to try and make the world a better place. We want to look anew at our society objects and make sure that they are still enough for this strange new world, we want to renew our commitment to the animals and to each other through a new statement of values, we want to ensure that the structures and process of our organisation are agile and collaborative, and we want to engage young, vibrant and energetic hearts and minds to help us navigate the future.
Yes, we need to build on the solid foundations of the past, but we need to face firmly forward and to do this, we need new vision and new visionaries. We need excitement and energy and links with vibrant, new ideas and thinking.
The Vegan Society has over 8,000 members. We would urge every member to read all the AGM documentation, consider the rhetoric around them and, most importantly, vote.