Isabelle Tancioni and Silvia Neri Godoy – Vegan and Vegetarian Veterinarians Association (VEG VETS, Associação de Veterinários Veganos e Vegetarianos)
The VEG VETS – Vegan and Vegetarian Veterinarians Association is an initiative to create the first network of vegan, vegetarian and veggie-friendly veterinarians in Brazil, a country with more than 290 veterinary schools, almost 10 times as many as the US. This project connects veterinarians and students willing to oppose the animal exploitation status quo related to the veterinary profession. Most people choose to be veterinarians to help and protect animals. However, the practice of veterinary medicine involves alarming contradictions when it comes to treatments and services provided to pets vs farm animals. Starting in college, students are taught to consent to the exploitation of farm animals, with the goal of increasing profits for the animal agriculture industry. While students learn to treat pets as sentient beings, they are taught to see farm animals as merely tools. This project aims to inspire and embrace those veterinarians and students who are vegan, vegetarian and veggie-friendly. The project is committed to raising awareness and supporting students and professionals through information sharing and discussions about relevant science-based content, exposing the contradictions of veterinary practice, as well as building their capacity to spread the word and generate impact in their communities.