Viva! gives up charity status

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, October 2001:
BRIGHTON, U.K.–Under pressure from the British Charities
Commission, with lobbyists for the battered British meat and
livestock export industry possibly lurking in the background, the
British vegetarian charity Viva! is splitting into two separate
affiliates with a common board, both headed by Juliet Gellatley,
who founded Viva! in 1993.

The Vegetarian and Vegan Found-ation “effectively takes over
Viva’s previously charitable status,” the Viva! magazine Viva!LIFE
recently told members. The Viva! advocacy activities will be
transferred to Viva! Campaigns Ltd., incorporated as a nonprofit
company–meaning that donations to Viva! are no longer tax-exempt.
Amnesty International and Green-peace have already made the
same kind of transition, Viva!LIFE explained.
“When Viva! was founded,” the editors wrote, “we opted to
become a charity, largely because of the tax advantages it confers.
Recent changes in the way charity law is applied would, we feel,
now reduce our effectiveness. The Charity Commission has expressed
doubts as to whether vegetarianism is charitable at all. Certainly,
any future materials Viva! produced, if it were to remain a charity,
would have to be ‘toned down’, even ‘neutral’. We would have to
include elements of the meat industry’s arguments in favor of eating
meat alongside our arguments for not eating it. Not being a charity,
the meat industry of course has no such obligation.”

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