Part one of the interview with William Paul, a student at Selwyn College in Auckland, New Zealand, in which he relates the events that occurred the day he informed the school he was an ethical vegan and therefore would not be wearing the footwear dictated by the mandatory school uniform policy. This is a very important issue and I hope William's story inspires other young people not only to go vegan and to stay vegan, but also to demand the respect their decision is entitled to, to teach them how to represent themselves properly in order to be taken seriously by those who have authority over their lives, and to inspire the educational institutions these young people attend to give a student's decision to go vegan the respect and consideration it truly deserves, which is as much respect and consideration as is given to religious students to allow them to be true to their beliefs. We need awareness that veganism is a serious, ethical decision, and has a right to be respected. We need to get through to them, and I think William's is a good example to show how important that is. I hope he is part of the beginning of a new awareness in schools, and this is a great opportunity to capitalize on his unwavering strength in the face of overwhelming opposition. We need to work with the schools, I want their understanding and support, so I am trying to create a positive environment for discussion. I want to help any future students who may face the same reaction, and the more it happens, the more proof we will have that it is an issue that needs to be addressed, with mutual respect and understanding. Also, as a bonus, it creates awareness about veganism and that is always a good thing.
William also talks about his methods of educating the other students about veganism, his views on how young children are influenced, and generally shares his own passionate and well informed views about why veganism is the way to go. He is a very inspiring person and I hope you enjoy the interview.