"The Intersection of Law and Vegan/Plant-Based Food Accessibility"

30th June 2018 - 1st July 2018, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The IVRA Conference 2018

Our conference this year is sponsored by The Vegan Society and joins forces with Go Vegan Scotland and Plant-Based Health Professionals UK.Symposium 2017

The location of our forthcoming conference has changed from Edinburgh to Glasgow to enable collaboration, better travelling options for our international visitors and competitive accommodation options.

On the weekend of Saturday 30th June/Sunday 1st July, the IVRA will hold its conference at the same venue as Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, who will hold their one-day conference (on plant-based nutrition) on Saturday 30th June. Sharing the venue gives our participants the opportunity to network and benefit from knowledge exchange.

Our choice of theme this year takes advantage of this opportunity. Of particular significance is that Go Vegan Scotland organiser, Solicitor and IVRA network member, Barbara Bolton will be holding a drop-in legal clinic for vegans and plant-based start-up businesses. Attendees will be able to discuss any legal issues they are facing related to their veganism / the plant-based nature of their business, and Barbara will be able to help them understand how current law relates to marketing plant-based products. Jeanette Rowley will also be leading a joint focus group to establish the foundational principles and facts that can inform campaigns for the mandatory provision of healthy plant-based vegan food in all public institutions.

Call for Papers

A well-planned, plant-based, vegan-friendly diet supports healthy living in people of all ages and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. On these grounds, The British Dietetic Association (BDA) has a constructive working relationship with The Vegan Society.

Symposium 2017The BDA is not the only organisation to recognise the benefits of the plant diet of vegans. The American Dietetic Association has long since noted the immediate and long-term health benefits of the vegan diet and declared that it is suitable for all age ranges. Recently, the Canadian government has issued new guidance, detailing the benefits of a plant-based diet, and the recent Scottish Consultation Document promotes better access to fruits and vegetables, acknowledging that poor diet is associated with significant harms to public health and wider socioeconomic performance. In addition, schools around the world are providing children with plant-based foods, doctors are encouraging people to adopt a new approach to eating, and the market is becoming saturated with plant-based food options. Our conference partners, Plant-Based Health Professionals UK, are no strangers to the health benefits of eliminating animal products from the human diet, and although this knowledge has been around for some decades, it is only just beginning to enjoy a mainstream profile.

This support for the dietary aspect of veganism draws attention to the long-standing concerns of vegans and highlights the problematic nature of dominant food norms. For example, vegans have long campaigned for clear food labelling and suitable food provision in public authority institutions, such as schools, care homes, hospitals and prisons. Vegans have also contested the idea that their diet is restrictive, represents an ‘extreme’ worldview, or is a manifestation of eating disorder. How food is promoted and advertised is recognised in the recent Scottish Consultation document as a significant driver of consumer behaviour but there are EU restrictions on the use of words to describe plant-based ‘milk’ and ‘cheese’ products: restrictions that support the promotion of unhealthy ‘food’ products and perpetuate animal exploitation. In this illogical context, the British Advertising Standards Authority upholds that advertisements highlighting the inhumane facts of dairy farming are not misleading.

The Vegan Society identifies that eating and its relationship to animal exploitation is, in broad ways, a matter of social justice. The vegan conviction that nonhuman animals have a right to life and freedom is protected in the UK by laws that originate from international human rights: The Council of Europe and the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission recognise this fact. In addition, the case law of the European Court of Human Rights makes it very clear that food accessibility, in relation to ethical orientation, is no trivial matter. Judges have decided consistently that the right to be provided with food according to one’s ethical conscience concerns an important principle of human rights.

In the light of the health sector’s promotion of the vegan diet and the recognition of veganism in the European system of human rights, our conference this year seeks to explore the intersections of food accessibility. Our aim is to critically assess gatekeeping and identify the openings and barriers to the successful transition to plant-based eating norms. We invite relevant papers on these issues, including, but not limited to:

  • The legal status of veganism in your country and its relationship to vegan food accessibility in public institutions.

  • Veganism and the EU principle of non-discrimination.

  • The obligations of food service providers.

  • The regulations that prohibit marketing vegan products using words such as ‘milk’ and ‘cheese’

  • Food labelling, including critical perspectives on the way ‘meat’ is labelled and advertised.

  • The EU REFIT Platform and action under Priority 4 to begin preparatory work to establish a legal definition of vegan food.

  • Advertising challenges for the vegan community.

  • The right to culturally acceptable food and the (lack of) provision of vegan infant formula.

  • Problematic background discourse to vegan legal cases.

  • The intersection of human and nonhuman rights in food discourse.

Click here for background reading.

Submission guidelines

  • Papers are to be written in English.

  • Please use the OSCOLA referencing system.
    Website: Oscola
    Guide: Click Here
    Quick guide: Click Here

  • Abstracts of 200 words should be sent to Jeanette Rowley by 28th February 2018.
  • Full written papers between 2500 and 5000 words must be sent to Jeanette Rowley no later than 31st May 2018.

Publication of papers

  • Selected papers will be published in the open access International Journal of Veganism and Law.

  • Please let us know if you need help with written English.

  • Please ensure your paper for publication has no copyright restrictions.

  • Author retains copyright.

  • No fees are payable for publication of papers.

  • There is no charge to publish.

  • Please email Jeanette Rowley directly if you have any submission or publication queries.

The conference presentation

  • Presenters will have 50 minutes in total and should plan to speak for 30-40 minutes to leave time for questions and discussion.

  • Presentations can be given with or without PowerPoint slides. If using PowerPoint, please keep accessibility principles in mind and avoid the use of small or light/faint fonts on a light background. If using PowerPoint, please plan to send your slides to Loukas in advance so that we can save time on the day by conveniently ordering the presentations on the computer.

  • Please let us know in advance if you have any specific needs that need to be taken into consideration and we will do our best to accommodate.

The drop-in legal clinic

The drop-in legal clinic is free of charge for conference participants. If you are a UK vegan who would like to discuss a specific legal issue or plant-based start-up business professional requiring information about marketing, please feel free to use the drop-in which will be signposted within the conference venue. Please note that the service may get busy so if you are very keen to make use of this facility please let us know in advance and we will endeavour to slot in a number of personal appointments. Jeanette will also be on hand to support the service.

The focus group session

This year’s conference includes a specific focus group session that will be composed of legal and health professionals. The group will exchange knowledge, thoughts and opinions on the most important content required for robust campaigns for mandatory healthy vegan food in all public authority establishments. The agreed content will inform a post-conference press release and IVRA campaign material. Participant places are limited, so please register your interest as soon as possible.


Tickets for the conference are free. The cost of food at the conference is £12 for the whole two days. Please pay for food in advance by PayPal if possible to Go Vegan Scotland (please use as the recipient). If you do not have a PayPal account and do not want to sign up for one, please let us know and we will send you online payment details.


The conference is sponsored by The Vegan Society.

Speakers and schedule

You can read and download the schedule of the conference and the speakers' bios from here


(speaker and non-speaker participants)

Places are limited, so please book your tickets here as soon as possible. Once you have booked through Eventbrite please pay for your food using PayPal or let us know if you want to pay by online bank transfer and we will send you the details. By booking, we assume you give permission for us to hold your data for conference purposes. Data will be deleted following the conference. We will not use your data for any other purposes and we do not share your data with third parties.


Food at the conference will be provided by vegan food caters Hygge Food. You will not be disappointed! As mentioned above, please pay for your food (£12) in advance through PayPal to Go Vegan Scotland. (please use as the recipient). If you do not have a PayPal account, and do not want to sign up for one, please let us know by email and we can send you online bank transfer details.

Early arrival socialising

There will be an opportunity to meet socially on the Friday evening, 29th June. Details of the venue will be posted on this page later.

Conference social event

On the evening of Saturday 30th June, all participants are cordially invited to join us for an informal social gathering over food and drinks. The venue will be announced later.

IVRA Conference, Glasgow 2018

2017 Conference Photos


New Lister Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary
Glasgow Royal Infirmary, 8-16 Alexandra Parade, Glasgow G31 2ER


About Us

The International Vegan Rights Alliance is a grassroots, not-for-profit network of vegan legal professionals and the foundational and leading authority on the subject of veganism and law. The principles and facts that ground the existence of the IVRA have been promoted since 2012 to encourage the growth of a network that can advocate in a new way for nonhuman animals. This knowledge base is enhanced by network members from around the world, who have unique and specialist knowledge of the relationship of veganism to law in their respective countries. The core mission of the IVRA is to promote the legal protection of veganism to contribute to dismantling speciesist prejudice by encouraging changes in law and social policies and practices that marginalise and supress veganism.