About IVA – Unity, Equality, Health & Justice
About IVA Broader Than Broadway
About time, for us the concept of ‘interfaith’ should not be thought of as concerning only people of religion but rather the unity of all people regardless of their beliefs or disbeliefs and building trust between them and working towards making the world a better place.
What We Do
The Interfaith Vegan Alliance is a non-profit charitable organisation centred on interfaith mediation, environmentalism and ‘vegucation’ for the 21st Century. We are a strategy that seeks to unify the diversity and increase solidarity between socially divided groups. We seek to elevate conscious awareness about ethical issues such as the impacts of consumerist culture on ourselves and the rest of the world. We seek to help empower individuals by distributing information that is culturally relevant to members of the particular social group receiving our information, hence helping people make informed choices about what they consume. We promote food empowerment initiatives and provide opportunities for people to help grow and distribute healthy food to some of society’s most vulnerable people. We discourage dependence on mainstream food suppliers and support the boycott of any corporation whose operations have a significant negative impact on the planet.
We are developing a community kitchen garden on Woodhouse Moor where we aim to grow fresh organic food to help provide healthy cruelty free food those less fortunate members of the community be it the homeless, or refugees and asylum seekers. Locals are welcome to lend a hand and help us keep the garden productive. We also seek to promote good mental health and physical fitness by providing a range of eco-thereputical activities which we understand are particularly beneficial for people who may experience mental health issues or learning disabilities.
While we abhor all the commonly known forms of prejudice which typically involve the discrimination of others on the basis of skin colour, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, social-economic status, age or nationality, and seek to support the resistance against them, we are particularly concerned with the discrimination of someone on the basis of their species (Speciesism). We feel that none of these forms of prejudice should exist in this day and age, and that we should seek to create a fertile future by which we no longer harbour prejudice. Nevertheless, we recognise that the extent of inequality that exists renders some more able than others to lead by example and take affirmative action against these complex phenomena, but at very least we plea to those who are more able to avoid participating in them, to do precisely that. Speciesism is a prejudice, an attitude, and form of ignorance which implies a lot of needless pain, suffering and destruction in the world.
The reason why our primary concern is speciesism, is because we feel that it is the one denominating factor that gives rise to all the commonly known forms of prejudice that we experience. It is the one often goes unrecognised by many of its participants, it is the one that silently justifies the existence of the others, or that continuously erodes any progress that we make against these prejudices. It is deeply rooted in our identities, and embedded in our social structures to the extent it is taken as the norm, the status quo.
Speciesism is the denominating factor, to the extent that what we find is that even those groups who are discriminated against are often themselves participants in speciesism which as noted renders us almost as silent as ‘our’ victims and oppressive as our oppressors. However, whereas our oppressors carry multiple prejudices, we have only a small step to make to break free from the mental shackles and reclaim for itself what is neither ours or theirs, but what rightly belongs to the future.
We are not suggesting that Vegans are without fault or any degree of prejudice, but the difference is that they have put their ‘weapons’ down, and renounced violence at a grass roots level, usually combining compassion and action, which is itself considered to be an expression of love. And so what we find is that by refusing to participate in the violence and oppression of those who seem weaker than us, that we ourselves begin to become physically, spiritually empowered and liberated.
Hence, we seek to further understand and explain speciesism and how it underpins our behaviours and attitudes towards each other (in group prejudice). We seek to disseminate as much practical information as possible and as far as possible provide practical support to interested parties, but in particular to ‘minority’ groups and those less exposed to this critical concept.