It is with great joy that I welcome all the delegates of the 40th IVU International Vegetarian Festival & Congress. Even though the Internet is a very efficient means to communicate and promulgate our ideas, nothing replaces personal contact and I am sure we will all leave this place with our motivation increased to continue with our work promoting vegetarianism.
I´d like to give a big thank to Dixie Mahy who put together this nice event – it is really a big effort and so many details to foresee and arrange. I´d like to thank also Dilip Barman – our IVU Regional Coordinator of North America for being always ready to help. I´d like to thank as well our manager John Davis who is all the time thinking and having good new ideas in order to advance IVU work around the world. And I´d like to thank all of you who came from different places around the world to be here and give your support to this noble cause.
The Mecca of vegetarianism will certainly know how to welcome us and I wish to thank everyone who worked hard to make this event successful.
Time is pressing for our message to be spread all over the world, showing the inescapable connection between a meat-centered diet and the destruction of natural resources, health impairment and ill-treatment to animals.
Humanity claims for peace, but peace is not possible as long as it remains daily associated with bloody and cruel acts that are linked to the rearing and slaughtering of thousands and thousands of helpless, sentient creatures.
It is not enough today to be a vegetarian: we must be activists. So I invite all of you to enjoy this week and gather strength to better defend and promulgate vegetarianism in each one of your home countries, according to your particular vision.
Marly Winckler - IVU´s chair