More than 70 percent of vegan pupils admit to being teased due to their beliefs, a new survey has found.
The data, collected by Vegan Inclusive Education, also found that 42 percent of respondents had been bullied because they’re vegan.
Vegan pupils ‘teased’
Moreover, 16 percent of the 250 pupils surveyed said they had been teased by teachers. More than one in ten confessed they’d been teased by other school staff.
Vegan Inclusive Education says the research shows schools need to address vegan inclusion and safeguarding.
The organization aims to ‘make sure vegan students are fully included, with suitable school meals, education and protection from harm’.
‘Ethical veganism is a protected belief’
Ruth Jenkins is the initiative’s program coordinator. According to reports, she said: “Educating about difference is a crucial cornerstone of inclusion. Only once pupils understand a belief can they value it.
“If veganism is not integrated into the curriculum or discussed as a valued belief then it is automatically placed outside the scope of beliefs that children are taught to respect. Then it’s not surprising that teasing and bullying can flourish.
“It’s essential that schools invest in training and include an explanation in their policy documents that ethical veganism is a protected belief.
“These policies need to be explained to both school staff and pupils so that there is no room for misunderstanding.”