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Vegetarianism in the agenda of Rio+20

As it was expected, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development failed in its main purpose of establishing a global project to effectively tackle the current environmental and social crisis. The international organized civil community however participated in the multiples events all over the city of Rio de Janeiro. People´s Summit  - the nine-day gathering was being held as a side event to the UN summit in Rio de Janeiro, taking place especially in the Aterro do Flamento, a large urban park, extending eight km by the sea.
During a good part of June activists of IVU, SVB and some other 25 veg organizations - who joined to support the Rio+Veg movement – made their presence felt in the most important events around the Rio +20 Conference, making sure that the issue of vegetarianism was not ignored. Interventions were made at the People´s Summit, the Agriculture and Rural Development Day, the Youth Conference for Rio+20, the official United Nations Conference, and various other events.
Besides giving talks, workshops and participating in the open air actions and the Marche of 80 thousand people, one of the achievements of the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB) in Rio was receiving the support of the Environment Department of Rio de Janeiro State to the Meatless Monday campaign, represented by the head of the department and former Minister of Environment Carlos Minc. The campaign also received the support from the State Secretary of Environment of Sao Paulo during the launch of an “Ecological Footprint” study made by WWF Brazil. The recommendation of the Meatless Monday campaign is clear in the study, as it found that meat consumption is responsible for a large share of São Paulo’s Ecological Footprint.
Tatiana Carvalho, manager of the campaign Zero Deforestation of Greenpeace also worn the T-shirt of Meatless Monday campaign on a visit we did to their ship which was docked in Rio de Janeiro during the conference.
Although much has to be done to take the vegetarian message to mainstream (a place it totally deserves) one thing is certain: there is an increasing number of vegetarians, especially young people, participating of this kind of event all over the world. We need to do much more, in a united and creative way, sending a clear message to those who have not yet realized all the benefits of vegetarianism: for people, for the animals, for the Planet.

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