Vegetarian for Life

Upholding diversity and beliefs of people with disabilities in care settings

Posted by Guest on 02/12/23 in Articles, Life After Retirement

This International Day of People with Disabilities we focus on the importance of ensuring an inclusive and caring environment for everyone.

Since 1992, this has been a day of reflection on how we all might understand disability better, and better support the rights and well-being of people with disabilities.

Disabilities encompass many physical or mental conditions that affect a person’s activities, interactions, and daily life. Although disabilities can happen at any age, they are more common as people get older, and may lead to people living in care settings to get the daily support they need. It's crucial that these care environments are inclusive and that residents with disabilities receive support in maintaining their religious and philosophical beliefs.

VfL works both with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Vegetarianism and Veganism (VegAPPG) and the Special Dietary Network (UK). Together, our mission is to promote inclusive environments within care settings, supporting older individuals to uphold their religious and philosophical beliefs, especially those rendered more vulnerable because of disabilities.

In 2021, the VegAPPG issued its Respect for religious and philosophical beliefs while eating in care report. This report revealed that some care establishments may be falling short in supporting the religious and philosophical beliefs of those they care for. Like all dietary beliefs, it is troubling when vegan and vegetarian residents are given food, drinks, and lifestyle-related items that go against their deeply-held values.

To help bridge this gap, VfL has partnered with the Care Inspectorate to co-create new guidance, aiming to improve the quality of care for veg*ns. We hope that care establishments will draw on these guidelines in their own practice, and that these good care benchmarks for vegans and vegetarians will eventually be adopted by all other UK care regulators.

One goal is to make it mandatory for care staff to have training in catering to special diets, including veganism, vegetarianism, and other religious and philosphical beliefs.

We understand, though, that this may take time.

In the meantime, to help vegans and vegetarians advocate for their rights, we have produced self-advocacy guides tailored to each UK nation.

Over 7,000 vegans and vegetarians currently live in care homes across the UK. If you or someone you know faces challenges upholding their vegan or vegetarian beliefs in a care setting or lacks the capacity to self-advocate, please reach out to VfL on 0161 257 0887 or email

Useful resources from VfL:


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