International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Congress Logo 33rd World Vegetarian Congress
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 4 - 10, 1999
'Vegetarianism is the Way'
an unforgettable visual, cultural and gastronomic experience

Arne Winqquist in Sweden, 1997
My name is Arne Wingqvist, Swedish, (male), born 1919 - still going strong. Started with a vegetarian bill of fare 1931. After about ten years I skipped the milk-products. Since about 1985 I eat mostly fresh fruit, nuts, seeds and fresh uncooked vegetables, mostly green leafy ones, veganic-organic, if possible.

We have five children 30-40 years old and five grandchildren, 9 months to 6 years old, all 10 are vegetarians/vegans.

Middle of the 1940-ies I became life-time member of the "Swedish Vegetarian Society" and "The Nordic Society against painful experiments on animals".

After WWII, in July 1945 I joined the Swedish Red Cross. I was in a convoy of about 10-12 trucks taking medicines and provisions to Prague, capital - in those days - of Czechoslovakia. After some time I changed over to World Y.M.C.A., (Young Mens' Christian Association). We were working with the displaced persons, i. e. people from earlier East European countries, who had fled over to West Germany, and lived in refugee camps waiting to be cleared to go on to relatives all over the world.

When this task was finished I was employed as a civilian in the U. S. Army in West Germany as translator German/English. I returned to Sweden in 1947, and stayed there until 1951, working with Thomas Cook & Son Travel Agency in Stockholm.

1951 I moved to New York, N. Y., U. S. A. for some months, then to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and further to San Antonio, Texas. There I studied Natural Hygiene for the late Dr. Herbert M. Shelton, who was the most outstanding representative, of our days, of Natural Hygiene and fasting.

In 1952 I went to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California, and stayed there until 1954. While in California, I went over to Sweden to participate in the IVU Congress 1953, which was held in Sigtuna, the oldest town in Sweden. I was invited to speak about vegetarianism in the U. S. A. After the congress I returned to California for another year.

Summer 1954 I moved back to Sweden and that year I took part in the "Great Fasting Walkathon" from Gothenburg to Stockholm. We fasted for 17 days, August 1-17. We were all together 11 men, and we drank only water. The first ten days we walked 50 km, about 31 miles, per day, and during the last seven days medical doctors examined us, taking all kinds of tests. They told us we were in better shape than before we started. The average loss of weight was about 9-10 kilos. We were on the front pages of many newspapers in Sweden for fourteen days. We had television in those days. Also the press in many countries all over the world were writing about the Fasting Walkathon.

1954 I also started "The National Association Against Tobacco", in Sweden, and was elected charter president. In those days about 50% of the adults were smokers, today, 1998, less than 25% are smokers.

1955 I went to North Queensland, Australia. I was part owner of a banana plantation on the Athertone Tableland, 100 kms. north of Cairns. I stayed there about a year, before returning to Sweden, where I married and was busy raising our five kids until 1986.

After all these years in Sweden, I moved to Belgium in 1986 and stayed there until August 1988, when I moved to the French Riviera. I live just outside Nice, usually spending the summer months in Sweden with my family, and the winter months in Thailand, or in other places around, or south of, the equator, where "the sun spends the winter".

During my travels I give lectures about vegetarianism/veganism. 1997 I organized an international bicycle tour in Sweden. From Kiruna in the North, above the Artic Circle, to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, 1.410 kms. (881 miles). We were all together 7 persons, some joining part of the way, according to aggrement at time of registration, but I and two more participants made it right to the finish. Among them was Sigrid De Leo, EVU Secretary. During the trip we had only fresh fruit, nuts, and fresh, raw, vegetables to eat, and water to drink. We wanted to prove that on this bill of fare one could achieve a strenuous work during a longer period, from 15 of July to 2 of August, 19 days, and still feeling in top shape. During the trip we gave lectures to people in the towns and villages we passed through. Newspapers were interviewing us and I was interviewed by the radio as well.

All since 1931 I have been a strict vegetarian/vegan, always having had a minimum of 50% of fresh, uncooked, vegetables at the meals, until I stopped destroying the food by cooking, and eating everything fresh and unadulterated instead.

My 67 years of experience of healthy living and healthy eating have taught me that uncooked food is the best for me. Fruit and vegetables, if possible veganic-organic, come ready from Nature, contain all we need, take a minimum of time to prepare, and a minimum of time for washing up after the meal.

It will suit most people, as it suits me, and if you wish to try it out, I advice you to do it very carefully. At least, it helps you to keep the waistline from bulging out as the years pass by.

I have been invited to give a lecture at the IVU Congress in January 4-10 1999 in Chiang Mai. The title of the lecture is "Dining Well the Veggie Way". I am looking forward to meeting you all. Before Chiang Mai I will stop in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for about ten days to visit friends and give some lectures in the Vegetarian Society. After the Congress I might go to Singapore and Australia. I am just busy making the plans, and if somebody is interesting to get a visit, please contact me soonest.

Please overlook the lengt of my introduction, but I have lived a long, happy, vegetarian/vegan life, of which this is only a very compressed summary.

Essene Gospel of Peace - a third century manuscript:

"Kill neither men, nor beasts, not yet the food which goes into your mouth. For if you eat living food, the same will quicken you, but if you kill your food, the dead food will kill you also....... For everything which kills your foods, kills your bodies also.... And your bodies become what your foods are...".

Yours for Frienship.
Arne Wingqvist