International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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IVU News – April 2007
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Table of Contents

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Update on 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden

The first world vegetarian congress took place in 1908 in Dresden (click on the photo right for a bigger version of the 1908 Congress), Germany’s city of art and culture on the banks of the Elbe.  Since then, congresses have taken place all over the world – the most recent was in Goa, India, in 2006 – returning to Dresden for the 38th world congress, from 27th July to 1st August 2008, hosted by the German Vegetarian Union (VEBU) together with the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) and the European Vegetarian Union (EVU).

The event will take place in the city’s Kulturpalast with the theme “100 Years of Food Revolution” to mark the ever increasing trend towards innovative, flesh-free eating. Thomas Schönberger, Chair of VEBU, adds:

The theme also celebrates the world vegetarian movement’s first century as a united movement and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the International Vegetarian Union in Dresden in August 1908. Whereas a vegetarian lifestyle was previously regarded as exotic and unusual and very few specifically vegetarian products were available, the world is now in the midst of a food revolution. For millions of people worldwide, mainly for ethical reasons, vegetarianism has become the natural way to live.  According to the most recent survey, in Germany 10% of the population have already adopted a meat-free lifestyle and  tasty, high quality vegetarian products are to be found in virtually every supermarket and health food store.

The week-long congress will include a varied and exciting range of talks on ethics, religion and spirituality, food, health and sport, politics and society, ecology and nature conservation, as well as world hunger and animal rights and welfare by prominent speakers committed to the vegetarian way of life in all these areas.

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Indian environmentalist, civil rights campaigner, feminist and vegetarian will be among the most prominent participants. In 1993, she received the Alternative Nobel Prize for “having placed women and ecology in the centre of current debate on development policy.” Rather than pursue a scientific career as a quantum physicist in the USA, she decided to go back to India and support the population in the fight against the clearing of vast tracts of forest.  She seeks above all to use her specialist knowledge to protect local people against exploitation by national government and international business interests.

It’s not too soon to register for the 2008 Congress. For more info: www.ivu.org/congress/2008/index.html

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New IVU Associate Member Society

Tianfoor Dharma Satharn Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand - Linda Anavachakarn - thirdavc_taiwan@tianfoor.com

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Vegan Food Drive

Salem Vegan Society (SVS), Salem, Massachusetts, USA - www.salemvegan.org - organizes an annual vegan food drive in aid of the Salem Mission - www.salemmission.org – an organisation that helps the homeless and hungry in Salem and surrounding communities. Initiated in 2006, the Salem Vegan Food Drive is the first 100-percent “vegan” food drive in New England, and perhaps in the United States. The IVU Online News conducted the following interview with SVS Founder/Director Marc Delaney to find out more about this great idea.

Q: Your first vegan food drive was in 2006. How did you get the idea to do this food drive?

Each May in the US, the National Association of Letter Carriers, sponsored by the US Postal Service and Campbell’s soup company, along with other companies and organizations, conducts the annual “Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.” Each May 13, these groups request US residents to place shopping bags filled with nonperishable food items on their front porches. The bags are picked up that day by the local letter carriers on their routes, and then distributed to the local food banks. It’s obvious that these organizations and companies have their hearts in the right place, but what inevitably ends up happening is that an awful lot of food that is not vegan ends up in the hands of the needy, who receive these donations. The Salem Vegan Society’s job – our reason for being – is to actively promote the concepts of veganism and animal rights. The annual Salem Vegan Food Drive to Benefit the Salem Mission is our response to all other non-vegan food drives held each year.

Q: How does the food drive fit into your overall efforts?

It’s been an uphill battle in Salem. The concepts of veganism and vegetarianism are not readily embraced here. When “active” membership in SVS dropped in 2004, following an initial interest, we decided to maintain the group as an online vegan and animal rights news and information source, a free service, both to the Salem community, and now, to the greater Internet community. Folks now write us from England, Canada, Russia, and various parts of the US. The Salem Vegan Food Drive is a way for our core members, and business supporters, to show Salem – and others who may be listening – what we’re made of. To show that we can work and organize effectively offline, within the community, as well as online. The Food Drive is really what we’re all about: promoting veganism – locally, regionally, nationally, and now, I guess, thanks to the IVU staff, globally.

Q: You’re now organizing your second food drive to be held in June 2007. What changes have you made based on the first year’s experience?

In 2006, we asked a few Salem businesses to “host” the drive by acting as “drop-off locations” and Raffle entry points. Salem residents used the lists of businesses published on our Web site and on posters around town to choose where to drop off vegan food donations and to enter our SVFD Raffle. In turn, this hopefully brought more customers in. In 2007, with the second annual Food Drive, we decided to try one central drop-off location, the Salem Mission itself. Since the Mission’s main lobby is staffed 24 hours a day, donors can now donate vegan food at midnight if they’d like. This year, we’re also MUCH better organized: Salem, regional, and national businesses now “Sponsor” the drive and donate Raffle prizes, which are getting quite generous. The Sweet Onion Inn in Vermont (www.sweetonioninn.com) is donating a two-night stay at their vegan inn, complete with mountain views and a vegan menu.

Q: What reaction does vegan food receive from the people served by the Salem Mission? Do you do any educational work with them on the benefits of vegetarian diets?

I met at length with the Salem Mission’s Food Director Evelyn Wayson, following the 2006 drive. As far as I know, the folks served by the Mission are not, to any extent, aware of the Salem Vegan Food Drive. I imagine they have enough on their minds, simply being homeless, or in great need. And the event is actually not outwardly advertised at the Mission. Advertising, obviously, is targeted much more to Salem businesses, on the Internet, in the community newspapers, with the Salem Chamber of Commerce. Evelyn is all for the idea of a Vegan Food Drive to benefit the Mission, though, of course, the Mission accepts all food donations, year round, vegan or not. It’s the SVS that’s advocating vegan donations. Evelyn has asked SVS volunteers to come in to the Mission and speak about nutrition in general to their residents and program participants. That has not occurred yet, but I’d like to do this as well.

Q: How do you collect the food?

As I mentioned, residents of Salem and surrounding communities drop off vegan food donations at the Salem Mission itself, which is now housed in a decommissioned church in the heart of downtown Salem. Food Drive donations are accepted throughout the entire month of June, each year. Every vegan food donation entitles the donor to an entry in our annual SVFD Raffle. If a donor donates 10 or 50 times during June, they’ll have as many chances to win from among several great prizes that are now being donated by local, regional, and national businesses, like the Sweet Onion Inn in Vermont, and the historic Hawthorne Hotel here in Salem. Even Laurie Cabot’s witch shop (www.cabotwitchcraft.com) is sponsoring this event at the top level this year. Laurie is the Official Witch of Salem. SVS is proud to have her this year as a Salem Vegan Food Drive sponsor.

Q: Do you have difficulty with people who don’t know what vegan means? What do you do if people donate non-vegan or even non-vegetarian food?

Not difficulty. Apathy, yes. But not difficulty. As I mentioned, the Mission always accepts non-vegan donations - it’s SVS that is requesting vegan donations. I guess people realize this, and those that don’t care about veganism simply donate in their own way, at other times, perhaps with cans of tuna fish, chicken noodle soup, and pork and beans. To SVS, those items are outdated, unnecessary, and a pain and hardship to animals. The Salem Vegan Society is about moving society forward, toward veganism and animal rights. Also, interesting to note, the first Vegan Food Drive in Salem was not overly successful, or not as “successful” as I had hoped. Other people I know have scoffed at me when I say this, and remind me that just the fact that we exist, and that we’re making our best effort with this drive, is our success.

Q: In addition to collecting food, do you help the Salem Mission in other ways?

We would like to eventually provide volunteers to speak to Mission residents about the importance of nutrition – though these would probably not be a lesson in veganism per se, but more about general nutrition. Veganism can be a difficult concept for even the average citizen to fully grasp. So attempting to instruct homeless and needy individuals about it might be a bit specious. But I feel that workshops about general nutrition would be just as important to Mission guests as other types of rehabilitative counselling and resume workshops are. In a larger sense, I think SVS is helping residents of Salem and surrounding communities as much, or perhaps even more than we’re presently helping the Mission. SVS, Salem residents who donate vegan, and the businesses who sponsor the drive, are offering more than vegan food to the homeless, we’re promoting a vitally important concept to the community-at-large, and this promotion is now gaining some ground. It’s a slow process, but it is very, very important.

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Tofu Haiku Contest

The Toronto Vegetarian Association - www.veg.ca - is sponsoring a Tofu Haiku contest: www.tofuhaiku.com

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International Vegan Art Exhibition

Ni Musculos Ni Secreciones (Neither Muscles nor Secretions) is an international art event happening in Madrid in May, 2007. The idea is to promote veganism and respect for non-human animals. On display will be art that expresses ideas of veganism and animal issues in very different ways and styles.

The fact that the artists involved are vegan is also important to the project. One purpose of the exhibition is for people to start perceiving veganism as something that can be interesting to them and even exciting and not a restrictive sacrifice.

The venue for the event is a huge space in a trendy area called Malasaña. Opening night will feature a party with free vegan food and a vegan DJ will play music. The website will later permanently showcase the art, and bigger and more ambitious art exhibitions involving more vegan artists in London, Berlin and NYC.

More info about participating artist and other details at the NMNS site www.nimusculosnisecreciones.com

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Human-Animal Studies Centre Opens at University of Canterbury, NZ

Nowadays, more and more universities are starting courses and programmes that explore the interaction between humans and our fellow animals. For instance, in our Dec 2006 edition, we reported the opening of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics - www.oxfordanimalethics.com

The latest such centre is in New Zealand at the University of Canterbury: the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies: www.nzchas.canterbury.ac.nz

As far as we know, the centre is the first of its kind in Asia/Oceania, as well as in the Southern Hemisphere.

Among the centre’s research projects is one which looks at ‘Animals in Art, Literature and Everyday Culture in Aotearoa New Zealand’: www.nzchas.canterbury.ac.nz/research/kararehe.shtml

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Vegetarian Billionaires

Recently, a list of the world’s wealthiest people was released. On the list were an increasing number of people from India. As this article, from an Indian business publication states, some Indian billionaires appear to be vegetarian: www.business-standard.com/special/billion/2005/bill05_01.htm

Thus, not only can vegetarians excel at sports and entertainment, we can also do well at making money. And, of course, every vegetarian does well at one of the toughest tests for human beings: can we be kind to those weaker than ourselves?

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Bird Flu Misconceptions

Last issue, we mentioned Dr Michael Gregor’s book on Bird Flu: birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5

As a supplement, here is a piece by Dr Gregor about common misconceptions about Bird Flu: www.ivu.org/articles/net/bird-flu-misconceptions.html

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Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

CANADA
PAWS - Peoples Animal Welfare Society, Toronto - www.pawstoronto.org 
CHILE
Almacen del Comer Sano, Chile - www.almacendelcomersano.cl 
INDIA
Misty Heights India - www.mistyheightsindia.com
Celrich Products - For a Healthy Life, India -  www.celrichproducts.com
Mundax Homestay Retreat, Kerala, India - www.mundax.com
E-Inn, Bangalore, completely vegetarian and non-alcoholic, India - www.e-inn.in
MALAYSIA
RudraCentre Malaysia - www.rudracentre-malaysia.com 
SPAIN
La Boutique Vegetariana - www.laboutiquevegetariana.com
Redwood Foods España - www.redwoodfoods.es
Fuegoblanco Small country house Hotel, Spain - www.fuegoblanco.com 
SWEDEN
Djurrättsalliansen  - www.djurrattsalliansen.org 
UK
Cultural Palace, Bristol, UK - www.cultural-palace.org 
UKRAINE
STEPS - the first Rights Protection Films Festival in Ukraine - www.cetalife.com.ua/eng
USA
Natural Living & Parenting, IL - natural-living-parenting.blogspot.com
Hot Springs Vegetarian Bed, Breakfast and Books, AR - www.hotspringsbbb.com
Supreme Master Ching Hai Television - a new satellite channel, CA - www.suprememastertelevision.com
Arbonne International- European Vegan Health & Wellness Company  - www.visiblesuccess.myarbonne.com
Honeybee Wellness - Plant-Based Nutrition & Lifestyle Education, NY - www.honeybeewellness.com
Purely Delicious - A print magazine for the raw vegan lifestyle, TX - www.purelydelicious.net
Greenfriends, USA - www.greenfriends.com/i/square 

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Dear Veg Activist

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Thx. -–

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