News – December 2008
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Table of Contents
- Interview with IVU Regional Coordinator for Africa
- Computer Help Needed for IVU Africa
- Older Vegetarians – Holiday Advice
- Parent Support Group Launched
- Welcome to a New IVU Members and Supporters
- Upcoming Events
- More Veg Podcasts
- Hypospadias in Boys Born to Vegetarian Mothers
- Egypt's Meat Economy Being Built by US Grains Sales
- Book Notes
- How Many Words Can You Make From the Word ‘Vegetarian’?
- Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
- Other Online Sources of Veg News
- Please Write for IVU Online News
Interview with IVU Regional Coordinator for Africa
Emmanuel Eyoh - firstname.lastname@example.org - is IVU’s Regional Coordinator for Africa. Here is an interview with him. The next item in this newsletter asks for your support for Emmanuel’s efforts.
When and why did you become a vegetarian?
I studied Religious Studies in school in Nigeria, and in our classes on Eastern Religions, we learnt about such concepts as vegetarianism, karma, and reincarnation. As someone brought up in an entirely Christian environment and family, I was surprised to hear about others’ religions, and I was fascinated by these new teachings and concepts.
While reading more about Eastern teachings, I came in contact with the Hare Krishna movement. I visited their temple to obtain some publications. As fate would have it, my visit was during a festival period, and I was served vegetarian food for the first time in my life. I had never seen such a wide variety of food. I later joined the Hare Krishna organization and started the Food For Life programme - www.ffl.org - in Nigeria and West Africa. That was about 23 years ago.
You are the IVU Regional Coordinator (RC) for Africa. How were you involved in vegetarianism before that?
While I was organizing the Food For Life programme in Nigeria, two leading newspapers in Nigeria contacted me to ask if I could contribute articles on vegetarianism to their papers. That was how I began writing on vegetarianism for various publications in Nigeria. Soon, I began receiving enquiries from members of the public wanting to know more about vegetarianism. That was when I thought of forming the Nigeria Vegetarian Society.
How did you first learn about IVU?
When I was writing for newspapers on vegetarian issues, I needed some materials to back up what I was writing. I had a copy of the New York newsletter of the Hare Krishna Centre, and there were some addresses on the back of the newsletter; so, I wrote to the Boston Vegetarian Society and the Vegetarian Times for help. I think it was Vegetarian Times that directed me to IVU in 1991. I wrote immediately to Mr. Maxwell Lee, then the IVU Honorary General Secretary and he promptly replied. He told me there was already a vegetarian society in Eastern Nigeria, that I should contact the group and that he had written to the leader of the group to contact me. I wrote to the group, but there was no response.
A little while later, a magazine did a feature on me and vegetarianism. I posted a copy of the article plus my other write-ups to Mr. Lee. He wrote back to say that if I could organize a vegetarian society in Nigeria, he would support my efforts. I told him I would try my best. So, the Nigeria Vegetarian Society (NVS) was formed with encouragement and support from IVU.
Do you do your RC work full-time, or do you have a regular job, too?
I spend much of my time working for the vegetarian/animal and related causes. I am also in publishing and marketing, which I use to support the Vegetarian Society, the feeding programme and the Society’s office.
Please tell us something about some of your projects?
When NVS was started, we soon discovered that just holding meetings and annual events was not enough. There was the criticism that vegetarians isolated themselves from the larger society. Also, some people felt that the vegetarian way of eating was strange, secretive, expensive and not possible for the common person. Since I had some experience in organizing Food For Life events, I started the SEVA Vegetarian Feeding Project, a project of the NVS, as way of rendering some service to the community, as well as strengthening the vegetarian cause in Nigeria. The project serves free vegetarian food to needy and homeless persons. ‘SEVA’ is an Indian word meaning selfless service. We felt the name was catchy and would broaden NVS’s base of support, which it has done.
A few years ago, we extended the programme to other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, especially the Niger Republic. Sub-Sahara Africa is home to the largest concentration of poor and hungry people on Earth. We hope to have a bus with kitchen equipment that can travel around Sub-Sahara Africa to serve free vegetarian food.
Can you relate some of your experiences in serving free vegetarian food in Africa?
The common people are not keen on eating meat. All they want is food, because they are hungry. Meat eating is actually a status symbol. That is why in some places when people eat meat, they make a big show of it to indicate that they are rich. The common people get to know us. As soon as they see us, they know we are bringing food to them. When they ask for meat, we tell them that we don’t serve meat because it is not good for their health. The people are more interested in the food than in thinking of meat.
How do you raise funds for events and projects?
Initially, I was funding everything by myself. Later, when I began the SEVA Vegetarian Homeless Feeding initiative, I began getting some support from the Indian community in Nigeria. In recent years we have been getting support from organizations such as HIPPO - www.ivu.org/articles/net/hippo.html - Sabina Fund - www.sabinafund.org and Food For Life Global - www.ffl.org Our major supporter has been HIPPO. And, of course, IVU sponsored the 1st Vegetarian Congress in Africa which we organized in 2007.
What are some of the challenges vegetarians face in Africa?
I think the two major challenges are lack of facilities and weak vegetarian organizations. There are very few vegetarian restaurants and outlets in Africa, and this creates lots of problems for vegetarians, including vegetarians visiting Africa. Most hotels don’t have sufficient information on how to cater for vegetarians. There is also the problem of lack of availability of vegetarian food products, and when they are available, they are very expensive. Many vegetarian societies in Africa are very weak and some have no programmes and activities.
What is the way forward?
I think there is the need for vegetarians and vegetarian groups in Africa to step up their activities and for people to come forward to help by volunteering their time and resources to advance the vegetarian cause in Africa.
Can you share a vegetarian joke or food for thought from Africa?
This is a real story. Two families in Lagos are embroiled in a serious legal struggle over the ownership of a python. About 15 years ago, a trap caught the python in the bush. The python escaped, only to be killed by a village chief. The chief gathered other elders in the community for a celebration to eat the python. As they were about to slaughter the python, the owner of the trap came and arrested all the elders, accusing them of stealing his python.
Since then, the two families and their elders have been in and out of court. Though the two principal characters and some of the elders are dead, their children and other family members are still in court over the matter, which has gone before seven different judges. And each day when they go to court, they carry the skeleton of the python with them. No one knows when the case will end. At vegetarian meetings, we now joke that those that love animal flesh will be bound to carry the skeleton of that fellow animal to court as a punishment for his greed.
Computer Help Needed for IVU Africa
Last year, we asked for your help in supporting the first West African Vegetarian
Congress in Nigeria, and received a very generous response, enabling the
congress to go ahead with visitors from several neighbouring countries.
Since then Emmanuel Eyoh (see interview above), president of the Nigeria Vegetarian Society (NVS), has been appointed IVU Regional Co-ordinator for Africa, but his work is hampered by the fact that neither he, nor the Nigeria VS, owns a computer.
Emmanuel has to visit a local cybercafe, paying by the minute and queuing at
busy times - and he has a lot of email to deal with.
We would like to ask your support in buying a computer for the Nigeria
Vegetarian Society - more details about them can be found at www.ivu.org/nigeriaveg - they have an office at the address given,
but only with very basic facilities, including the cooking equipment they
use to provide food for the homeless and other needy people.
Computers are slightly more expensive in Africa than they are for the rest
of us, as confirmed by Prof. P.K. Jain in Botswana, recently co-opted back
onto the IVU Council. We need at least UKP500 (about US$1,000) for NVS to
buy a suitable machine, peripherals, internet connection, etc.
With this assistance, NVS and Emmanuel will be in a stronger position to promote vegetarianism across the continent. If you are able to help, and every
small contribution will add to the total, please go to:
Older Vegetarians – Holiday Advice
Vegetarian for Life (VfL) has produced a new four-page leaflet giving catering advice to those caring for older vegetarians and vegans at Christmas. It includes recipes for a specially developed Christmas dinner menu and other ideas to help care homes provide seasonal fare that ensures a merry Christmas for all their residents – including those who are concerned about animal welfare.
“We know if only one or two vegetarians and vegans are in care homes they can be seen as a bit of a problem at this busy time of year. Our aim is to support the caterers and show how it is relatively easy to please their vegetarians and vegans – with ‘different’ and healthy food that may well appeal to other residents too. We are delighted that our patron, Rose Elliot, has developed a special menu on our behalf” says Tina Fox of VfL.
The leaflet was produced specifically to support the 200 plus care homes on the VfL UK-List, who subscribe to the VfL Code of Good Practice. But, as a useful resource, it is also being made more widely available. As well as the three course Christmas menu, the leaflet contains simple tips and advice to ensure a truly veggie festive period.
Copies of the Christmas leaflet and the VfL Guide, Catering for older vegetarians and vegans, are available, free of charge, to individuals caring for older vegetarians as well as to care homes, retirement complexes, meals on wheels services and others catering for older people.
Vegetarian for Life is an information and advocacy charity working on behalf of older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK. Further information about VfL can be found on our website www.vegetarianforlife.org.uk
Parent Support Group Launched
Moving from the older generation to the younger generation, last month, Vegetarian Society (Singapore) launched a Parent Support Group to help parents who are trying to raise their children as vegetarians. Present at the first meeting was a dietician and a counsellor who offered advice. Additionally, the making of a tasty, healthy smoothie was demonstrated. To learn more, including to view a survey used by the group, visit www.vegetarian-society.org/?q=node/936
Does your organisation have such a Parent Support Group or something similar? Please let this newsletter be a forum for exchange of ideas on this important topic. To contact one of the organisers of the Singapore group: email@example.com Ask for Pauline Vegemite.
Welcome to a New IVU Associate Member Organisation, Business Supporter and Individual Supporter
Associate Member Society:
Society for the Teachings of Sadhu Vaswani (organisers of the World Meatless Day), Malaysia - www.meatlessday.com
Sri Karpaga Vinayagar Vegetarian Village, Chennai, India - www.tnagarhousing.com
Christine Tatro, USA - www.rabbitandcrane.org
1. 25 Jan, 2009 (Sun) - Vegan Musical Evening in Kundapur, India with two artists performing Karnatic and Hindustani classical vocals. This event will also feature an interactive session on Vegan Diet followed by vegan dinner at Kundapur. All are welcome!
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org
2. The Green Lifestyle Film Festival is now open to receive submissions for the Green Lifestyle Film Festival, 13-15 Mar, 2009 held in Los Angeles, USA. All films need to be submitted by 31 Dec, 2008.
Details are www.greenlifestylefilmfestival.com
3. ‘Meet Animal Meat’ conference, 21-23 May, 2009 at the Center for Gender Research, Uppsala University, Sweden. Informed by feminist investigations of embodiment and bodiliness, the conference asks: How do we understand our bodily relationship to other animals? How do we embody animals, and how do animals embody us?
For information: email@example.com and www.genna.gender.uu.se/meetanimalmeat
More Veg Podcasts
A reader recommends Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcast ‘Vegetarian Food for Thought’ www.vegetarianfoodforthought.com
Colleen is the founder of Compassionate Cooks, the author of the award-winning Joy of Vegan Baking and a columnist for VegNews Magazine.
Hypospadias in Boys Born to Vegetarian Mothers
[To understand about hypospadias, please visit:
Paul Appleby sent along the following article, along with this commentary:
A new study has provided more evidence linking a vegetarian diet during pregnancy with a higher risk of hypospadias in baby boys. However, it should be noted that only 22 mothers (14 mothers of boys with hypospadias and 8 mothers of boys without the condition), representing just 3% of the 719 mothers in the study, were not eating meat or fish, so the statistically significant result is based on a small number of vegetarian women. However, the fact that the result agrees with that of a previous study suggests that this might be a real finding. Whether the cause is a high intake of phytoestrogens from soy foods (which could affect the masculinisation of the male foetus) or some sort of nutrient deficiency during pregnancy is uncertain.
Although vegetarian mothers-to-be should be aware that they might be at greater risk of having a son born with hypospadias, it should be remembered that hypospadias is a rare condition (affecting approximately one in 400 newborn boys in the UK, for example) and one that is routinely corrected by surgery during infancy.
Environ Health Perspect. 2008 Aug; 116(8): 1071-6.
Maternal and gestational risk factors for hypospadias.
Akre O, Boyd HA, Ahlgren M, Wilbrand K, Westergaard T, Hjalgrim H, Nordenskjöld A, Ekbom A, Melbye M., Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska, University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden. firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: An increase in the prevalence of hypospadias has been reported, but the environmental causes remain virtually unknown.
Objectives: Our goal was to assess the association between risk of hypospadias and indicators of placental function and endogenous hormone levels, exposure to exogenous hormones, maternal diet during pregnancy, and other environmental factors.
Methods: We conducted a case-control study in Sweden and Denmark from 2000 through 2005 using self-administered questionnaires completed by mothers of hypospadias cases and matched controls. The response rate was 88% and 81% among mothers of cases and controls, respectively. The analyses included 292 cases and 427 controls.
Results: A diet during pregnancy lacking both fish and meat was associated with a more than 4-fold increased risk of hypospadias [odds ratio (OR) = 4.6; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.6-13.3]. Boys born to obese [body mass index (BMI) > or = 30] women had a more than 2-fold increased risk of hypospadias (OR = 2.6; 95% CI, 1.2-5.7) compared with boys born to mothers with a normal weight (BMI = 20-24). Maternal hypertension during pregnancy and absence of maternal nausea increased a boy's risk of hypospadias 2.0-fold (95% CI, 1.1-3.7) and 1.8-fold (95% CI, 1.2-2.8), respectively. Nausea in late pregnancy also appeared to be positively associated with hypospadias risk (OR = 7.6; 95% CI, 1.1-53).
Conclusions: A pregnancy diet lacking meat and fish appears to increase the risk of hypospadias in the offspring. Other risk associations were compatible with a role for placental insufficiency in the etiology of hypospadias.
Another source of information on this topic is the Vegan Outreach website: www.veganhealth.org/articles/hypospadias
Egypt's Meat Economy Being Built by US Grains Sales
This article provides further evidence that the non-human animals, including fishes, whom humans eat are fed with grains that potentially could feed the approximately 1 billion humans without enough to eat.
The original article is at
US Grains Council, Global UpDate,
06 November, 2008
Market Development, Expansion Opportunities in Egypt
The U.S. Grains Council vies to expand demand of U.S. feed grains and their co-products in Egypt by working hands-on in the country's vibrant livestock and poultry industries and the growing aquaculture sector.
Dr. Darwin Britzman, USGC consultant, traveled to Egypt Oct. 22-26 to provide training to feed mill operators and endusers regarding the actual feeding of co-products and coarse grains, and modern handling methods. In the livestock sector, Britzman said Egypt must continue to encourage the development of the smaller feedlots (200-500 head).
"The Council has been instrumental in encouraging the building of smaller feedlots in Egypt," Britzman said. "These are, of course, more affordable for more Egyptian investors than the larger feedlots. There are now about 400 of these smaller feedlots in Egypt.
These could eventually become reliable customers of U.S. DDGS (distiller's dried grains with solubles). We are working to educate beef and dairy producers that DDGS can be fed at levels as high as 30 and 40 percent." In the poultry industry, the common practice in Egypt is to start the birds on low levels of DDGS, 5 percent, and to increase it to 7.5-10 percent as they get older. "By continuing education efforts, Egyptian poultry producers will likely begin using high levels of DDGS at the very beginning, one day of age," he said.
Market development opportunities, according to Britzman, can be found in Egypt's growing aquaculture industry. He foresees "excellent potential" for U.S. DDGS in Egypt's aquaculture (fish farming) sector.
Fish consumption in Egypt is approximately 13 to 15 pounds per capita. There are 970,000 metric tons of fish processed in Egypt, of which 61 percent are produced locally, mostly tilapia.
"Production is expected to double in the next 5 to 10 years," Britzman said. "Currently 150,000 tons of aquaculture feed are being manufactured by four companies. Much more is needed for more intensive aquaculture production."
According to Britzman, some manufactures are incorporating DDGS into fish rations. However, he cited a lack of knowledge on what the maximum amount is of DDGS recommended in the commercial fish feeds.
"There are markets for U.S feed grains and co-products in Egypt that have plenty of room for expansion. There are also markets such as the aquaculture and pet food industries that need extensive educational efforts put into play in order to develop reliable, consistent customers."
1. Every Creature a Word of God by Annika Spalde and Pelle Strindlund. Cleveland: Vegetarian Advocates Press, 2008, 162 pp., $18, www.vegadvpress.com
What does a spirituality that affirms God’s love for all creatures look like? Borrowing from a breadth of sources, including the Bible and Christian monks, mystics, sages, and saints, Annika Spalde and Pelle Strindlund show that God’s compassion is the core Christian message.
Perhaps the book’s most compelling argument resides in Spalde’s and Strindlund’s own activism. They have frequently exchanged imprisonment for an opportunity to inform the public about the tragic plight of animals on modern factory farms. On several occasions, they and their companions have openly liberated animals—raiding factory farms and transferring animals to safe homes—and then accepting the legal consequences of what the law regards as theft.
This book aims inform, inspire, and challenge a broad range of readers, from those dedicated to animal protectionism to those who have not yet made the connection between “loving animals” and choosing not to eat them.
2. Guided by the Faith of Christ: Seeking to Stop Violence and Scapegoating by Stephen R. Kaufman, M.D., (2008). Cleveland, US: Vegetarian Advocates Press, ISBN 9-7809716-67648, $18.00 US Paperback www.vegadvpress.com
This book defines the reasons for violence in society and why there is continual scapegoating of humans and other animals who cannot adequately defend themselves.
It is also a guidepost for teaching what needs to be done to eliminate these problems.
3. Raw Spa Cuisine with Chef Bryan Au, 2008, by Bryan Au. Bryan is author of Raw in Ten Minutes.
Among the raw vegetarian recipes in the new book are Donuts, Cupcakes, Ramen Noodles, Chocolate Fig Torte, “Teriyaki Rice”, Pesto Kelp Noodles. Read an interview with Bryan at rawepicurean.net/....-giveaway
To order the new book: www.rawinten.com
4. Animals as Persons by Gary L Francione, 2008, published by Columbia University Press.
A prominent philosopher of animal rights law and ethical theory, Gary L. Francione is known for his criticism of animal welfare laws and regulations, his abolitionist theory of animal rights, and his promotion of veganism and nonviolence as the baseline principles of the abolitionist movement. Francione maintains that we cannot morally justify using animals under any circumstances, and his theory applies to all sentient beings, not only to those who have more sophisticated cognitive abilities.
To read an excerpt:
How Many Words Can You Make From the Word ‘Vegetarian’?
Just for fun (no prize), would you like to see how many words you can make from the letters in our favourite word: ‘vegetarian’? Rules are:
- single words only
- words can be from 1-10 letters long
- no abbreviations or proper nouns
You can form at least 140 words, such as great, green, giant, air, enter, agree, vain.
To view a list: www.vegetarian-society.org/?q=node/944
Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
Compassionate Consumption - compassionateconsumption.blogspot.com
Viva Granola Vegan Store - www.vivagranolaveganstore.com
EcoVeg - ecoveg.blogspot.com
Veg-e-Que - the meat-free choice for you - www.vegeque.com
Semplicemente Vera - www.veruccia.blogspot.com
Instituto de Ciencias Curativas - www.caminoalasalud.com
Ro-Dhel - vegetarian & herbal store - www.rodhel.com
Cottonique Inc. - www.cottonique.com
Ebionite Nazirenes of The Way - Ebionite.com
Elements for Life - www.NobleLifeElements.com/tccola
Other Online Sources of Veg News
There are many other places to go online for general veg-related news, rather than news mostly about one country or one organisation. Here are some.
1. Dawn Watch www.dawnwatch.com/alerts.htm
2. European Vegetarian Union
3. Farmed Animal Net www.farmedanimal.net
4. Vegan Outreach www.veganoutreach.org/enewsletter
5. VegE-News www.vege-news.com
6. AnimalConcerns.org doesn't have a newsletter, but they post stories daily at www.animalconcerns.org/categories.html?do=shownews
Please Write for IVU Online News
Dear Veg Activist
Please use this newsletter as a way to share your knowledge, ideas and experiences with fellow veg activists.
Thx. -–george jacobs – email@example.com
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