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2nd EVU Talks 2007 - Vienna, Austria

from EVU news:
EVU Talks 2007: “The Veggie Answer to World Hunger”

A lot of the discussion focussed on the question of how best to get the veg’ism message across. The following issues were discussed:

  • Put pressure on scientists who know the facts to bring our points across, especially regarding global warming and meat consumption. The public may trust them more than veg’an organisations;
  • Link up with organisations in countries that are most likely to be affected negatively by climate change (such as Bangladesh) and encourage them to bring pressure on the west to change. One good way of making governments listen is by the threat of legal action (i.e. global warming as a Human Rights Violation). However, there may well be no organisations in these countries that are strong enough to take on governments in the west;
  • Grassroots activism in environmental and animal welfare groups to encourage them to see the necessity of veg’ism for the protection of the environment and animal wellbeing. Possible allies could be Friends of the Earth in the UK and the Green Party. Engaging with these groups, responding to what they have done so far and creating significant numbers of veg’ans within these organisations could bring pressure on them to change their views, rather than criticising them from the outside;
    • Another discussion leading on from this was whether we should work with organisations that support things we do not. Should we work with them on issues that both parties agree on in order to present a united front, or does this compromise our position and go against our beliefs?
  • Use the new EU Equality laws to gain more rights and prominence for veg’ans;
  • Emphasise the fact that methane emissions are turned over much faster in the atmosphere than CO2, which is positive for the veggie argument;
  • We need to use self-centred arguments to persuade people to give up meat and animal products, we cannot expect the whole world to suddenly be shocked into eating less meat through a report on climate change;
  • Although we cannot expect meat to be banned, we can ask governments to stop unfairly promoting the production and consumption of meat and animal products;
  • “Saving the Climate with a knife and fork”. Barbara Ruetting explained that she has managed to ensure that 2 vegetarian dishes are available every day at the building of the Bavarian parliament. Encouraging people to try veg’an food is a very good way of getting them to reduce their meat consumption.

The question of whether the discussion should focus on European solutions or worldwide solutions was also raised. The following suggestions were made:

  • There is no hunger in Europe, but a reduction in meat consumption within Europe would mean that less plant-based foods would need to be imported into Europe from poorer countries to feed cattle. Instead this plant-based food could be consumed directly in the country of origin, thereby reducing the number of hungry / malnourished people;
  • India is an important country to focus on, and can be seen as the “front-line”. China has already been “lost” as meat consumption there is practically at a Western level. However, cultural differences in India mean that meat consumption has not risen as much as the available money would allow. It is very hard to change cultural links to meat in the West (i.e. turkey for Christmas);
  • Poorer and developing countries tend to see richer countries as role models: rich countries consume large quantities of meat and see animal products such as fur as status symbols, so developing countries follow;
  • Problems of global warming are going to be experienced by countries that haven’t created the problems – the poor, undeveloped countries will be hit most.

One solution put forward to reduce the consumption of animals was to grow meat from stem cells. There were strong opinions both for and against this option, as some people saw it as simply reinforcing the myth that meat is necessary, whilst others felt that it provides a viable solution without causing pain or suffering.

EVU Talks 2007

The EVU Talks are an annual opportunity for people and societies interested in vegetarian issues to come together and discuss topics relevant to vegetarianism. The topic for 2007 is “The veggie answer to world hunger” and anyone interested in these issues is welcome to join us in Vienna.

Venue: Austria, Vienna Sport Inn/Sport- und Seminarzentrum im Prater Vienna (Leopoldsstadt/City Center)

Outline Programme:

Friday, 27 April 2007 Lunch time arrival, registration Free time Dinner in town Vienna by night
Saturday, 28 April 2007
08:00 Breakfast in Conference Centre
09:00 EVU Board Meeting
10:30 EVU Annual General Meeting
13:00 Lunch in Vegetasia (7 minutes walk, meals as of 4,80 EUR)
15:00 'The veggie answer to world hunger' - Renato Pichler, Switzerland President EVU
15:30 Cooperation: "The synergy of vegetarian und animal rights activism" - Dr. Martin Balluch, Austria President of Verein Gegen Tierfabriken (Association Against Animal Factories)
16:30 presentation of the Video ‘Devour the Earth’, which has been translated from English into 14 more languages - Thomas Cuk, Slovenia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. -
18:00 Dinner in Conference Centre

Sunday, 29 April 2007
08:00 Breakfast in Conference Centre
09:00 Meeting
13:00 Lunch in Vegetasia (7 minutes walk, meals as of 4,80 EUR)
15:00 Brainstorming and drafting of Resume / Press Release
Followed by: Invitation to the 38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, Germany Hildegund Scholvien, European Vegetarian Union Treasurer and IVU liaison officer for Europe
18:00 Dinner in Conference Centre

Monday, 30 April 2007

08:00 Breakfast in Conference Centre Sightseeing

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

The EVU Talks 2007 are being organised by VEGANE GESELLSCHAFT �STERREICH together with the EVU.
Costs: Reservation ‘all inclusive’ (accommodation, meals in the ‘Sport Inn’, registration)
Double room occupancy - including 4 breakfasts and 2 dinners per person 230 Euro for ‘early bird’ bookings until 1 January 2007 250 Euro for bookings as of 2 January 2007
Single room - including 4 breakfasts and 2 dinners 250 Euro for ‘early bird’ bookings until 1 January 2007 270 Euro for bookings as of 2 January 2007
Please let us know if you want to: - Book only accommodation (arrange meals yourself) - Are interested in free private accommodation (arrange meals yourself) - Make arrangements for a longer stay in Vienna - Arrange a shorter stay or only certain days
We’ll do our utmost to organise your stay to Vienna according to your wishes.
Address of Venue: Sport Inn/Sport- und Seminarzentrum im Prater Rustenschacherallee 3 – 5 Vienna (Leopoldsstadt/City Centre), Austria Tel.: +43(1)720 84 91, Fax: +43(1)720 16 91 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Website:
How to get there: cheap bus tickets: cheap train tickets: available at most national train companies, in Austria:
Payment: to the European Vegetarian Union Account Kaiserslautern IBAN: DE85 5405 0220 0000 9991 51 (for Germany: Konto-Nr. 999 151) BIC: MALA DE 51 KLK (for Germany: BLZ 540 502 20, Kreissparkasse Kaiserslautern)
OR: Via Paypal on the EVU website: (credit cards accepted).

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