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MILITANT VEGANISM: British soldiers moan about a lack of plant-based options in the Armed Forces

An Israeli soldier eats a piece of watermelon near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip in 2014. As more Israelis go vegan, the country's military has made dietary and clothing accommodations for soldiers.

It is understood that while the Armed Forces do cater for vegans, those on the frontline are faced with much less options than those who follow Halal and Kosher diets.

WILLIAM COLE: Soldiers are complaining about a lack of vegan options for meals – and even uniforms – in the Armed Forces, a charity has claimed. Plant-based servicemen and women claim they are having to purchase their own ‘vegan leather’ Doc Marten boots because they refuse to wear the commissioned cow-hide clobber. Some troops complained about having to opt for vegetarianism because cutting out all animal products while serving was ‘too hard’…

The Vegan Society … said they have ‘dealt first-hand’ with complaints from vegans serving across the Army and the RAF. The soldiers and airmen want more options to follow a plant-based diet and lifestyle, the society claims… It is understood that while the Forces do cater for vegans, those on the frontline are faced with much less options than those who follow Halal, Kosher and vegetarian diets…

A Vegan Society spokesperson said: ‘Vegans in the UK, whether they serve in the British Forces or not, have the protection of human rights and equality law.’ ‘And it is vital that employers understand that they are under a statutory duty to examine how their policies and practices might have a negative impact on vegan employees.’ ‘They must do everything they can to remove any observed disadvantages faced by vegans.

The Vegan Society has heard first-hand from those serving in the Army and RAF who have struggled. ‘Not only when it comes to the food on offer but also with uniforms, with some having to buy suitable vegan footwear at their own expense’… The problem is said to be more prevalent in the RAF and Army, whereas the Royal Navy successfully trialled a new range of vegan meals that could be served at sea in 2019… Pro-vegan Jo Foster, who claimed to have inside knowledge of the Marines, said one Royal Marines training exercise ends with the slaughter and eating of a live rabbit or chicken…

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: ‘The health and wellbeing of our personnel is a priority and individual dietary requirements are catered for where possible. ‘As an inclusive employer we are exploring strategies to diversify Operational Ration Pack offerings and clothing options’… There was an estimated 600,000 vegans in the UK in 2019, but the charity says this number continues to grow, including in the Armed Forces. SOURCE…


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