In October 2023, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), the biggest animal protection organisation in the UK, announced that its members voted in favour of all food and drink at future internal and external catering, meetings, and events being 100% plant-based. However, member resolutions passed at the RSPCA’s AGM are not binding and will have to be approved by the board of trustees. The motion was passed with 76% vs 24% of the members’ votes
This move follows calls from the animal rights organisation Animal Rising, which occupied the RSPCA’s head offices to urge the organisation to “transition to a plant-based food system and programme of rewilding”. If this resolution is implemented, it would be a step in the right direction, but it will fall short of stopping supporting animal agriculture as the charity continues an “RSPCA-Assured” scheme to rubber stamp those animal farms that have managed to hide better the suffering of the animals they exploit.
Robert Gordon, a spokesperson for Animal Rising, said to Vegan Food & Living about the resolution, “It’s an empty gesture when the RSPCA continues to put its seal of approval on animal and fish farming through its RSPCA Assured scheme…“As a nation, we pride ourselves on our love for animals. So, how is it that our leading animal charity has overseen and supported the mass expansion of animal and fish farms in the UK over its 200-year history? An expansion that has come at the cost of our climate, the countryside, and the well-being of animals.”
An RSPCA spokesperson said, “Our current policy is to provide plant-based and vegetarian options at events along with dairy or meat which meets RSPCA welfare standards. This is only at events where catering is required as in most instances staff bring their own food.”