Something that it’s a pleasure to report some positive news on. The Vegan Society have the fifth edition of the Vegan Passport scheduled for publication on 1 July. Even better the new edition is already available as an app.
For anyone unaware of what the Vegan Passport is:-
* The Vegan Passport is aimed at helping people obtain vegan food when in areas that the person(s) doesn’t speak the local language
* Different pages in the passport cover different languages of the world
* 78 languages are now covered including English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese, Bengali, Russian, Japanese, Punjabi, German, Malay, Indonesian, Telugu, Vietnamese, Korean, French and many more…
* The passport now covers languages spoken by 96% of the world’s human population
There are also a couple of useful pictorial food pages:-
* A smiley face and a ‘tick’ with images of different kinds of fruit, vegetables etc
* A sad face with a diagonal cross and images of eggs, dairy products, honey, different sorts of land & aquatic animals
There’s also a page to help explain the VGML vegan airline meal code.
There is some history on the development of the new edition:-
* Previous editions of the passport were too often inconvenient to use
* At the top of each page was a propagandist statement about veganism being ‘for the benefit of animals, people and the environment’.
* While agreeing with the benefits of veganism the statement was completely mispositioned
* Too often when trying to use this in an omnivorous restaurant in some far fung corner of the globe, the server’s eyes would glaze over and lose interest
This was taken up with The Vegan Society in the first half of the last decade. The reply that came back was an aloof remark about being, ‘Proud to carry this propagandist statement’. Nowhere in the advertising for the Vegan Passport did it say the objective was to carry a propagandist statement. The stated objective of the passport was to help people obtain vegan food. Thus the reply from The Vegan Society at the time was very disappointing. All the more so since the propagandist statement being at the top of each page indicated the publisher regarded that as higher priority than the subsequent wording intended to help obtain vegan food.
At a veg fair type event in Hong Kong in February 2015 this was discussed with Ken Spector from HappyCow (not the HK ice cream brand). Ken agreed with everything put to him re the passport. So the agreement was made we would each approach The Vegan Society separately.
What a difference in response this time. A gentleman named Spencer Harris was back in touch. Spencer’s reply was fabulously oozing the confidence of a man accomplished in dealing with the public. His very up tempo ‘can do’ reply demonstrated clear:-
* interest in the highlighted concern
* understanding that the concern were justified
* statement of taking personal ownership that come the next print run the concern would be tackled
Knock me over with a feather at the wonderful PR friendly revolution that has taken place in The Vegan Society. And cometh the hour, cometh the man. Spencer has been true to his word and project managed the new edition to completion. As well as the paper copy publication in July the app launched on 1st May.
Thanks Spencer and the rest of your team at The Vegan Society and also Ken for helping make this happen.