Tina Fox and Vegetarian for Life

By Lindsey Siferd

Many activists dedicate their lives to educating young people about the benefits of a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. But what about older people? Tina Fox and the organization Vegetarian for Life aim specifically to help vegetarian and vegan senior citizens in the United Kingdom.

Tina Fox is the tireless Company Manager and Secretary of Vegetarian for Life (VfL). She is a prominent vegetarian activist in the United Kingdom, and her impressive résumé includes 11 years as the Chief Executive of the Vegetarian Society of the UK. She became involved with VfL because she saw a need for an organization that focused primarily on the UK's vegetarian senior citizens.

"I felt that many older members of the society had contributed a great deal to help animals and fellow vegetarians, but nothing was happening to help them in their later years when they needed support," Fox said. "They get the short shrift from the establishment. They are often [given] very poor food and limited choice, and their needs are not understood or respected."

Working with VfL allows Fox to more fully serve this senior population. Even though her job title is Company Manager and Secretary, she is involved with all of the aspects of Vegetarian for Life and really does anything and everything for the organization.

Fox and Vegetarian for Life are working on several projects that she thinks will benefit vegetarian senior citizens. The most important one is creating an extensive list of vegetarian-friendly facilities "so that no vegetarian has to go into a care home that is not prepared to cater properly to them," she said. VfL also produces a nutrition booklet for care homes, offers training courses, and administers grants to senior citizens who would rather remain in their own homes than move into a care home as they age.

"I felt that [VfL] would be able to make a real difference to the lives of older vegetarians and vegans, and this has proven to be the case," she said.

Fox believes that VfL has a lot of potential to grow in the future, and she hopes that the organization can become more influential and meet more seniors' needs. Ultimately, "we would like to see all of the UK's care homes producing good vegetarian food, not only for the vegetarian residents but also the non-vegetarian ones," she said.

Fox offers simple advice for those wishing to get involved with this often overlooked aspect of the vegetarian movement.

"Other vegetarian organizations and individuals could help by being aware of the problems, perhaps by befriending an older vegetarian in a residential setting with no relatives," she said. "Also, they could just consider this area occasionally. So many vegetarian organizations just focus on the young, and the older supporters are forgotten."

This dedication to helping the senior segment of vegetarian society is what makes Tina Fox and her work with Vegetarian for Life so important. Asked what has been the most rewarding part of her experience so far, Fox said it is "the fact that we are seen as supportive rather than critical, and we really are able to make a difference in the lives of older vegetarians and vegans, often when they are most vulnerable."

Learn more about Vegetarian for Life at the organization's website: <>.

Lindsey Siferd wrote this article during a college internship with The Vegetarian Resource Group.