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IVU Online News – December 2012

Table of Contents

IVU World Vegfest Can Change Your Life
Are You Brave Enough To Try Durian?
This Month’s HCYKTASEM
Gangnam Goes Vegan
Can You Be Veg in Mongolia?
Netherlands Welcomes Vegetarian Agriculture Minister

Stop Wasting Food
Book News
Upcoming Events
Other Online Sources of Veg News
Please Send News to IVU Online News

IVU World Vegfest Can Change Your Life


Here’s an inspiring story about an activist for the animals, Alex Hershaft. The article recounts his life journey from the horrors of the Holocaust before and during World War II in Europe to becoming an activist for humans and our fellow animals

According to the above article, Hershaft decided to devote his life to ending meat consumption after attending the 23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress in 1975: Nowadays, IVU has taken to using the term ‘IVU World Vegfest’ for these powerful events. Plus, IVU now plans the World Vegfests to occur every year, rotating between different regions.

In 2012, the 40th IVU World Vegfest was in North America, while in 2013 we’ll be in Asia (Malaysia to be specific) and 2014 is scheduled for Africa. For updates, visit IVU’s Facebook page: or join

Are You Brave Enough To Try Durian?

image2  greger
photo right: Dr. Michael Greger, USA, at the 40th IVU World Vegfest, San Francisco, with Marly Winckler, Brazil, Chair of the IVU International Council

The 2013 41st IVU World Vegfest will be held in Malaysia. Malaysia’s most famous fruit is the durian. Here’s an amusing story about an initial encounter with durians, told by the founder of Nutrition Facts, Dr Michael Greger, who lives in the U.S., and went to medical school near Boston:

My big break [his first encounter with durians came when I moved to Boston to attend medical school at Tufts University [near Boston, USA], right smack in Chinatown. The durians were sold frozen. (I would soon realize why.) I hacked off a piece; it tasted like a caramelized onion popsicle. I left the rest in my locker—mistake!

I arrived the next day at school to find an entire floor of the medical center (including the dean’s office) cordoned off. They were going locker to locker, cutting off all the locks, searching in vain for the cause of a stench so overpowering you couldn’t even locate it. It was like a fog of stink. They seriously thought someone was stealing body parts from gross anatomy lab. And then it struck me. Uh oh. The durian had thawed. When I realized it was all my fault, I crawled to the dean and I’ll never forget what he said: “Why am I not surprised you had something to do with this.”

This Month’s HCYKTASEMimage3

This month’s How Can You Know This And Still Eat Meat (HCYKTASEM) piece comes from Dr Michael Greger’s Nutrition Facts website, which features videos reporting on recent research:

One of the arguments raised against plant based diets is that the plants most people eat are loaded with pesticides. Two arguments to counter this are:

1. We can eat organic plants (which also saves the lives of non human animals and protects the health of agriculture workers) or use various methods to remove some of the pesticides from plants
2. Non human animals whom are eaten for meat also eat plants, and the pesticides on those plants concentrate in the animals’ tissues.

Recently, Dr Greger reported research which provides another means of countering the ‘pesticides on plants’ argument: According to Dr Greger, “Phytonutrients found in certain foods may protect against the toxic effects of industrial pollutants such as dioxin and DDT, suggesting a dual role for plant-based diets to reduce both exposure and subsequent damage”.

A related Nutrition Facts video is, which explains that the build up of industrial toxins in the meat and dairy supply may in part account for the relationship between animal fat consumption and disease.

Gangnam Goes Vegan


As anyone who follows (or can’t escape from) pop music knows, one of the biggest songs and most imitated dances of 2012 is Gangnam Style. This song and the accompanying dance have spawned many parodies.

Our favourite Gangnam Style parody was put together by some Israeli activists and is called ‘Vegan Style’. You can view their video at English subtitles make the clever words easier to catch.

Can You Be Veg in Mongolia?

The traditional image of Mongolians pictures a nomadic people who eat a mostly animal based diet. However, as this article from a Mongolian newspaper shows, times are changing:

The accompanying picture shows Nominjin, a Mongolian singer-songwriter, urging other Mongolians to join her in moving towards a plant based diet:

Plus, here are two other Mongoli related sources, courtesy of our friends at the European Vegetarian Union:

Netherlands Welcomes Vegetarian Agriculture Minister

image6The European Vegetarian Union is happily spreading the news that the Netherlands’ new Minister for Agriculture, Co Verdaas, is a vegetarian:

Are there vegetarian government leaders in your country? If so, how do you work with them?

Malaysia, the location of the 2013 IVU World Vegfest, has a vegetarian as Health Minister, but national elections are likely to take place in Malaysia prior to our October, 2013 event. Thus, we’ll have to check back to see whether any Malaysian vegetarian government officials will be addressing us at our 2013 World Vegfest.

Stop Wasting Food


Meat production wastes huge amounts of food, because so much food must be fed to the non human animals whom are later killed for meat.

The estimated ratios of kgs of plant food fed to the animals to kgs of meat produced vary with the type of meat and who is doing the estimating, from about 17 kgs of plant food to 1 kg of beef to about 2 kgs of plant food to 1 kg of chicken. Regardless of which estimate is used, the waste is there.

The amount of food wasted by meat production could easily feed the approximately 1 billion people in the world who suffer from hunger.

However, even vegetarians waste food. Thus, Vegetarian Society (Singapore), an IVU member organisation, is supporting a local initiative called ‘Save Food Cut Waste’ Here are links for similar organisations, in case you would like to learn more:

Book Newsimage8 

McDougall, John A. (2012). The Starch Solution: Eat the foods you love, regain your health, and lose weight for good. New York, New York: Rodale. ISBN: 9781609613938

One of the featured speakers at the Los Angeles stop of the 2012 40th IVU World Vegfest was John McDougall, MD, a long time vegan advocate. His most recent book is ‘The Starch Solution’, which he describes as based on a truth that is simple and easily explained:

You must eat to live. The human diet is based on starches. The more rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans you eat, the trimmer and healthier you will be – and with those same food choices you will help save the Planet Earth too.

You can watch a video of the ideas in the book, as well as order a copy of the book, at


Vegfest - 21-22 December, 2012 - Dubai - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

India Vegan Festival 27-29 September, 2013 -.Details of the venue and programs will be soon available at

6th Asian Vegetarian Congress and 41st IVU World Vegfest – October 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -


Other Online Sources of Veg News


In addition to IVU Online 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. European Vegetarian Union
  2. Meatout Mondays
  3. Vegan Outreach
  4. VegE-News
  5. VegNews
  6. VegSource
  7. doesn't have a newsletter, but they post stories daily at
  9. IVU-Veg-News E-Mail List
  10. Vegetarianism in the New


Please Send News to 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 – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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