VSA Rotterdam and its member chapters (from now on referred to as VSA) aims to build and maintain a supportive community of vegan(-minded) students, to bring veganism to the attention of students as an effective means of helping animals and the planet, and to create a facilitating environment with the purpose of making veganism easier, more enjoyable and affordable. VSA plans to achieve these goals through the following means:
Building a Community
By organising social events, such as potlucks, drinks, pub-quizzes, VSA aims to create and maintain a supportive community, so that students do not just go vegan, but stay vegan.
By hosting educational events, such as lectures, workshops, screenings, VSA aims to bring attention to the negative consequences of animal agriculture, challenges students to rethink their relations with other animals, and encourages students to choose vegan alternatives.
Creating a Facilitating Environment
By collaborating with the university, restaurants, and supermarkets in our cities VSA aims to create a facilitating environment where it is easy, affordable, and enjoyable for individuals to choose plant-based.
The following key values reflect the shared beliefs of VSA. VSA takes these values into consideration in all its actions. When collaborating with outside organisations, VSA also looks for these values in its partners. Exceptions can be made for pragmatic reasons, for example collaborating with non-vegan organisations to help VSA promote veganism. VSA is also aware that it has no power over the activities its members do in their free time, however, these activities will not be carried out on behalf of VSA.
“Veganism is a way of living which - as far as practically possible - avoids all exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or other purposes.” - The Vegan Society
Although VSA supports all different reasons for people to live a more vegan lifestyle, veganism is first and foremost about the animals. VSA aspires to promote the well-being and interests of all living beings and tries to raise awareness about the ways in which animals are being mistreated.
VSA aims to promote sustainable living by advocating for veganism, and raising awareness about the impact of animal products on the environment and the climate. VSA also aspires to promote reducing one’s ecological footprint in other ways.
VSA wants to avoid all exploitation and cruelty towards animals, which includes humans. As such VSA rejects any form of discrimination in the strongest possible terms and is committed to avoid reinforcing oppression of marginalized groups. VSA is open and welcoming to members of any biological sex, gender identity, sexual identity, age, race, ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, cultural heritage, regional origin, physical and mental abilities and disabilities.
VSA is an independent association, not affiliated with any other vegan organisations, activist groups, student associations, et cetera. This is especially the case for political parties: VSA is a politically neutral network in the sense that it is not bound to, and does not promote any specific political parties. VSA collaborates with other organisations on a regular basis, but does so while retaining its independence.
VSA neither partakes in nor promotes illegal activities. VSA recognizes that legality does not equal morality and that civil disobedience has played a historic role in various emancipation movements. However, this is emphatically not the role VSA wishes to play in the emancipation of animals. VSA is mindful that collaborations with organizations or groups that are known for organizing disruptive illegal actions (for example blocking traffic, vandalizing property, or disrupting other citizens' everyday activities) may negatively affect the reputation of all the local chapters of VSA. Therefore, VSA limits the frequency of co-hosting events with such organizations, ensures that the format of those events challenges the viewpoint of the organization (such as a discussion or a debate), and does not promote other legal events of such organizations in which VSA does not participate.
VSA understands violence to mean both violence and aggression of physical, emotional and verbal nature. VSA does not use violence to achieve its goals, does not promote violence, and does not condone violent behaviour under any circumstance.
VSA does its best to ensure that information shared online and at its events is based on reliable sources and that the environment- and health-related claims are based on scientific research. In case that VSA shares misinformation, VSA will publish a rectification.
Responsible Alcohol and Drug Use
VSA does not promote, enable or encourage overconsumption of alcohol and other drugs.