|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
35th World Vegetarian Congress
'Food for all our futures'
Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
July 8-14, 2002
The Vegetarian Society
of the United Kingdom
from the European Vegetarian, issue 3/2002:
Souvenirs of the World Vegetarian Conference in Edinburgh 2002:
We owe it to the animals to be imaginative and positive in our outreach
work and, most important, to be results orientated. This does not mean
we have to compromise our principles or sell out, but we should use the
modern tools at our disposal to sell an age old product - compassion.
We plant our seeds in dark but fertile soil and we give them sunshine
and nourishment to grow.
Moscow: 9% of the population feel pity for vegetarians
A famous modern Japanese poet and artist Kenji Miyazawa who is also vegetarian
left a message in his essay. That is "there will be no true happiness
without whole world become happy" If we consider the meaning of the
word under Relational Value, consciousness to such universal relatio invite
people to awaking to vegetarianism much deeper.
The fate of animals is also the crystal ball in which we see the reflection
of our own destiny, and the way we shape their future will also determine
the nature and scope of the path for us to follow. The struggle for animal
rights is also an affirmation of our identity, as rejection of violence
will help us to re-evaluate our lives and goals in harmony with nature
and thus guarantee the future of the planet.
"How many human genes do you inject into a pig until you send it
\\hat could possibly justify any form of animal exploitation? Who can
watch the innocent victim of a bullfight or other bloodsport die from
deliberately inflicted wounds and yet regard themselves as civilised?
What validity have religious beliefs which brand other beings as lower
or lesser creatures? How can we can we eat what was once living flesh
and yet speak of healthy living? What logic is there in willfully hurting
others while expecting treatment to cure one's own pain or sickness? Does
the use of slaughter-house by-products and substances tested on animals
really make us beautiful? Why do we speak of needs when what we really
mean is wants?
The European parliament has stated that 'Europe can feed its peo-ple
but not its animals'. Europe im-ports 70% of its protein for animal feed
- this is on top of using large proportions of its own arable land. Much
of these imported feedstuffs come from countries suffering from poverty
or environmental degradation.95% of world soya bean production is used
for animal feed. In the UK, 39% of our wheat, 51% of our barley and 75%
of our total agricultural land is used to feed animals. Worldwide one
third of grain production is used for animal feed.
70% of US grain is fed to live-stock,
All life has its language. Our challenge in this century is to understand
Civilisations die from spiritual de-cay, only civilisations that are
com-passionate can survive... People and animals have souls which are
all interconnected by the law of Karma... Our own survival and our happiness
depends on the happiness of those at our mercy.
- and a final, post-congress comment from Tina Fox, an extract from her regular column in The Vegetarian:
When I last wrote I was in the middle of our very successful and busy Congress, and still had the post-Congress tour to come to come. I had expected to have problems with the food on this as most of the group were vegan and I was not sure how the small hotels accommodating us would cope despite a lot of guidance. I need not have worried as they did an excellent job - in fact my main difficulties were to persuade people to return to the coach and and keep to the itinerary. It was also quite a challenge keeping folk from 10 different countries with an age range of 21 to 92 happy and content but we seemed to have managed, helped along by the gorgeous Scottish scenery and excellent weather (no midges!).