Tim Barford, manager of VegfestUK messaged the activists in late December and said: "That's a hugely impressive year's work from the [Irish] team - incredible shift from some very dedicated peeps."
It is heartening that Earthlings Experience Dublin has emerged in recent weeks too.
On December 22nd, the VIP group organised a "Vegan Street Party" as a way of saying thank you to each other, having turned out week after week for this important vegan education work. Of course, the work of educating the public was not forgotten either, as you can see from the Video Diary of the day.
Over the year, again in both locations, we lost count of the number of new vegans who announced themselves to us. Indeed, VEGO have a bell to ring when new vegans appear and, on some occasions, that bell went off 15 times.
Nowadays, we meet entire families who are vegans.
We recognise, as do many others, that grassroots campaigning is the backbone of the animal advocacy movement. It remains the case, even though there has been an unfortunate shift in recent years to corporatise the movement, which has lead to duplication and the waste of a great deal of money which should be spent on animal campaigns, not on duplicated wages and buildings.
The VIP have a current appeal to cover its operational funds - vehicle (a van called Neville, who is needed because the VIP events are so large) costs: insurance, tax, testing, etc - and public liability insurance. The address of the appeal is: https://www.youcaring.com/veganinformationproject-686025 - or click HERE.
We have some great plans for 2017, not least major improvements to our unique "tea station" where members of the public sit with VIP volunteers talking about all things vegan. This is why we would like help to pay for the basic operational costs of the group. 2,000 euros each year will more than cover these costs and that means we will be much freer to develop our campaigns and improve the vegan education outreach that we do.
Some people in the animal movement (usually its paid staff) claim that the word "vegan" is a scare word. This is not accurate. There are many groups engaged in no-nonsense, straightforward, vegan education. As you can see from the following pictures, the VIP regularly have crowds of people talking to us, and sampling the vegan-friendly samples we have. People are "vegan curious" now and this is certainly not the time to shy away from advocating philosophical veganism.
Please don't be fooled by this nonsense claim that veganism is a scare word. And please seek out and support your local grassroots groups. Why send money to already rich groups instead of the grassroots? In the grassroots, your donations mean something: they mean an awful lot - for the corporate national groups, it amounts to a drop in the ocean.