Four decades of veg*nism: Therese’s story

Posted by Marguerite on 04/01/18 in Articles, Life After Retirement

At V for Life, we are constantly inspired by the energy and commitment of the older vegans and vegetarians that our charity supports. And one of them wants to wish you the best for 2018.

Therese Kearton is an inspirational vegan from Bolton in the North West, and she will be a grand 70 years old in June. She is a primary school music teacher, grandmother of three, and lives with her rescue cat.

Therese became vegan 7 years ago. Having already been vegetarian for 30 years, she became vegan almost overnight when her colleague talked to her about veganism, and she has never looked back.

As a healthy and active woman in her 60s, Therese has taken part in many public demonstrations and protests over the past few years. These include protests against fox hunting, greyhound racing and animal testing. She stands up for the rights of animals used for entertainment in circuses, participates in vegan outreach events, and volunteers at vegan fairs among much more. As the years go by Therese is getting increasingly involved in the animal rights scene, not less. Check out this photo of her donning a chicken costume to give out samples of Cheatin Fried Chik’n in Manchester!


Therese’s social life is also very active, in great part because of participation in local veg*n groups. She goes to socials organised by Vegan Manchester Social Group and local groups in Bolton and Wigan. Events she has been to include a Christmas meal, potluck suppers, and food fairs with other likeminded people in the group. Therese says that she has made lots of friends this way.


Although Therese’s health now means she has had to quit running, up until recently she was running on a regular basis. She trained for a year and completed a marathon to raise money for Brooke Hospital for Animals, and running is still a big part of her identity.

For Therese, veganism is a strong belief. She says that she would be horrified if anyone were to feed her meat (as unfortunately sometimes happens) if she became more vulnerable in the future with age. She recognises how important it is for vegans to plan for the future in this way, and has made it clear in a Power of Attorney and to her daughter that she never wants to eat meat, even if she reaches a point where she lacks capacity to say so herself. If you would like more information about what you can do to make sure your beliefs are protected as you get older, feel free to contact us, or download our free advance-care planning supplement inside Vintage magazine

So Therese is one of the people who inspires us to do more in 2018, and to keep supporting the people who support animals. While she is definitely a source of inspiration, Therese could even be a nice reassurance for some of us that it’s okay to take things slower sometimes. Maybe it’s still too cold to get out of the house every day, maybe we’re worn out from Christmas… it’s great to know that people like Therese have got our back, showing the world that older veg*ns are loud and proud!


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