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IVU Online News – April 2013

Table of Contents

Malaysian Veg Soc Prez Joins IVU IC
Vegetarian Dishes Malaysian Style
Meatless Monday Endorsed by Sao Paulo Government
Obtaining Food Ingredient Information
Are You Ready for Veganomics? Vegan for a Week Challenges
Awards for Veg Restaurants
It’s Easy Being Vegan in the Kitchen
A Different World than 20 Years Ago
Defending Soy
This Month’s HCYKTASEM
Carnivore to the Max
Book News 1 – This Is Hope
Book News 2 – The Vegetarian Visitor
Upcoming Events
New Business Supporter
Other Online Sources of Veg News
Please Send News to IVU Online News

Malaysian Veg Soc Prez Joins IVU IC

Dr P. Vythilingam is president of the Malaysian Vegetarian Society, host of the 2013 41st IVU World Vegfest to be held in Malaysia, 3-9 Oct. (Dr Vythi, as he is known, is on the left in the photo with Dr Happy Tong, another prominent Malaysian vegetarian.) Dr Vythi heads the Organising Committee for the 2013 IVU event, which takes place in combination with the 6th Asian Vegetarian Congress.

In order to better coordinate with IVU, Dr Vythi was recently coopted onto the IVU International Council. Among his many accomplishments, Dr Vythi is a Life member of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Malaysia Branch and a past member of the Executive Council of the Malaysian Medical Association, as well as serving as an advisor to the Sri Sai Boys Home (home for needy).

Malaysia 2013 - Call for Speakers:

Vegetarian Dishes Malaysian Style

Multicultural Malaysia is a food paradise with lots of fresh tropical ingredients. If you’d like to try your hand at making some famous Malaysia dishes, here are recipes for such classics as rojak, laksa, gado gado and sayur lodeh (pictured here)

After you have tried the dishes at home, be sure to attend the 2013 IVU World Vegfest, 3-9 October, in Malaysia to see how the Malaysians make the same dishes. In the meantime, feel free to develop your own versions, such as substituting vinegar or broth for cooking oil or soy or rice milk for coconut.

For the latest details from the Malaysian VegSoc, go to: - see the left sidebar for more details

Meatless Monday Endorsed by Sao Paulo Government


“Segunda sem Carne” (Brazil’s Meatless Mondays campaign) recently won the support of Sao Paulo, the country’s richest and most important state. (Pictured here is Environment State Secretary of Sao Paulo, Bruno Covas, an ally in this effort.)

There´s hope that many other states will follow this step, as has happened after the Segunda sem Carne campaign was first launched in Sao Paulo in October 2009, in a partnership between the Brazilian Vegetarian Society (SVB) and the City of Sao Paulo’s Department of Environment and Green (SVMA).

The campaign, similar to others in many parts of the world, raises awareness about the impact that the use of flesh for food has on the environment, human health and our fellow animals. According to campaign data, only one day a week without meat can reduce by 5% the food-related Ecological Footprint of the average inhabitant of Sao Paulo.

More:  (Portuges)

Obtaining Food Ingredient Information

image4Do your organisation’s members feel frustrated when they see labels such as the one pictured here and they try to figure out whether they can eat the food being (loosely) described on the label? Fortunately, the Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) – – has some tips on how to contact companies to ask for more info:

VRG also has a detailed guide to many of the ingredients that we see on food labels:

Are You Ready for Veganomics?

image5Veganomics is a blog by a vegan economist. It’s worth visiting at

The blog covers lots of thought provoking topics including:

a. If Gandhi was alive today, would he drink milk?
b. Veg food in Dubai
c. What would happen to all the cows if everyone stopped drinking milk?
d. How to get good vegan food while travelling.

There’s also a cookbook called the Veganomican - but probably by different people.

Vegan for a Week Challenges

As veg becomes more popular, it’s more and more common to see meat eaters undertake various types of veg challenges, such as going veg for a week or more. Let’s hope some of these meat eaters will make a permanent switch.

Vegetarian dietician and blogger, Ginny Messina (pictured here), has tips in case you hear about anyone undertaking such a challenge for a week:

Here are a few of her tips:
1. You won’t develop nutritional deficiencies in such a short time.
2. There is no particular food you have to eat.
3. Most veg versions of animal foods dishes do not taste like the originals.
4. You will not detox or go through withdrawal.
5. Read and watch to understand the many powerful reasons for moving towards plant based diets.

Awards for Veg Restaurants

image7Meveg - – an IVU member organisation in the Middle East, has an idea that other veg organisations might like to adopt. At their 2012 Meveg Seminar, they inaugurated Nabati certificates for vegetarian restaurants

What about your organisation? How do you work with veg eateries? Do you have a guide, as do our colleagues in Vegetarian Society UK (see Book News 2, below)? Please use IVU Online News to share your good ideas.

It’s Easy Being Vegan in the Kitchen


An IVU Online News reader sent the following note:

I created a short guide in PDF format called ‘It's Easy Being Vegan in the Kitchen’. The guide is free for anyone to download. It will help readers stock their kitchens so they can make healthy vegan food at home with ease. It also includes a sample 7-day meal plan with some recipes. Please share this in your next newsletter.

Thanks, Christine Cook:

A Different World than 20 Years Ago

image9Here is a dramatic excerpt from a recent editorial in the Journal of the American Medical Association:

Notes: (1) AF = Atrial Fibrillation, and (2) the Fretts study, referred to in the excerpt, investigated the impact of diet on AF.

2013 is a different world from the 1992–1993 world sampled in the Fretts' study. There is an active and growing grass roots, patient‐driven movement underway that recognizes the health benefits of a plant‐based diet, with an increasing number of authoritative physician‐and dietitian‐led websites, recipe sites, and social media support groups available to both educate and sustain the necessary dietary changes.

Both authors of this editorial have experienced significant weight loss and seen personal improvements in cardiovascular biomarkers while following a plant‐based diet, and have found it easy to follow. One author (D.W.K.) maintains a nutrition/lifestyle blog and Facebook page. Comments from the many visitors to these sites defy the criticism of this type of diet as “restrictive and unsustainable.” Additional benefits of these diets include weight loss and improvements in blood pressure—both of which are significant risk factors for AF.

Defending Soy

image10Especially in East Asia but increasingly worldwide, products made from soy beans form an important part of the diets of vegetarians and meat reducers. That may be why the meat and dairy industries seem to be making an effort to discredit soy. Claims that soy harms health have been around for years.

Here are some resources that suggest that soy is one of many useful plant based foods:

This Month’s HCYKTASEM


This month’s How Can You Know This And Still Eat Meat (HCYKTASEM) piece isn’t about food. It’s about the senseless deaths of animals, in this case birds, who accidentally eat the garbage that we humans are heedlessly dumping into the seas.

This hauntingly beautiful four-minute film - – was shot in the Midway Islands in the Pacific Ocean.

Carnivore to the Max

One restaurant in Las Vegas, USA proudly flaunts all the research on the health dangers of meat consumption, let alone the other dangers of animal based foods. Called the Heart Attack Grill, this eatery also offers free food to anyone who weighs 350 pounds (158 kgs)

Book News 1 – This Is Hope

This Is Hope: Green Vegans and the New Human Ecology by Will Anderson, Earth Books, 440pp, pbk; ISBN 978-1-78099-890-9, £12-99

In This is Hope, environmentalist and species rights campaigner Will Anderson asserts that the current human ecology – essentially, the way we live and the impact it has on the natural world – is unsustainable, cruel and obsolete. In its place he proposes a ‘biocentric’ new human ecology to achieve the following ‘Seven Results’:

1. Healthy, intact ecosystems that dominate global landscapes and seascapes and require little or no human intervention
2. A vegan, organic, and humane consumer lifestyle oriented to sustainable efficiencies and relationships
3. Social and economic justice for all with transparency in public and corporate institutions
4. An immediate, negative population growth based on natural attrition
5. Economic systems that are ecologically sustainable and restorative, enable social and economic justice, moral, humane, and operate within the new human ecology
6. An increase in empathy, love, and compassion towards all beings and ecosystems
7. Appropriate, sustainable, and equitable consumption of goods and services.

These are, of course, lofty aims. As such, This is Hope can easily be dismissed as hopelessly idealistic, but as the author amply demonstrates our current human ecology has manifestly failed to deliver anything like the level of social, economic, moral and environmental justice that we would all like to see. Much of the blame for this is attributed to ‘carnism’ – the underlying ideology that regards non-human animals as ‘resources’ to be exploited for their meat, milk, eggs, skins and other body parts.

Factory farming of animals is the most extreme expression of carnism, but the author also criticises ‘high welfare’, ‘organic’ and ‘humane’ rearing systems as so much ‘green washing’, asking how “omnivores who hide behind green and humane washing believe that less suffering is good, but ending it entirely is not best?”

The author is also unafraid to raise the spectre of overpopulation, something of a taboo subject among environmental groups, although expecting ‘natural attrition’ to produce a dramatic reduction in human numbers sounds like wishful thinking. Some form of economic or political coercion to limit childbirth may well be required, but how many political leaders are brave or far-sighted enough to suggest, let alone implement, such measures? Indeed, the author never fully explains how we might achieve a new human ecology. Going vegan will help, but it is unlikely to be enough while we continue to cherish our resource-hungry modern lifestyle. A Western vegan is still likely to have several times the ecological footprint of an omnivorous rural African.

There is no doubt that This is Hope carries an important message, or that Will Anderson, who is also the founder of Green Vegans, is sincere in his beliefs and well qualified to write about them after a lifetime in the environmental movement. However, at more than 400 pages, I am concerned that the book is too long to attract enough readers: a shorter book would have made a more effective manifesto.

The lack of an index (relegated to the book’s website) is a serious omission, especially given the inclusion of nearly 80 pages of references. A comprehensive index would have made This is Hope immeasurably more useful as a reference book without adding significantly to its length. Finally, the inclusion of the ‘V-word’ in the title will put off many potential readers who might have been attracted by a neutral title such as A New Human Ecology. As it is, the book may well end up simply preaching to the converted whilst bypassing those whose lifestyle it seeks to change. In summary, This is Hope is a worthwhile book that needed a clearer layout, a proper index, and some judicious editing.

Paul Appleby, February 2013

Book News 2 – The Vegetarian Visitor

For many years, our colleagues in the UK have published the annual Vegetarian Visitor Accommodation & Eating Out Guide which was distributed internationally by the British Tourism Authority:

Veg organisations in other countries might like to learning from and share ideas with our UK colleagues. One noteworthy point is that from 2013, the guide is only available in its online form.

1st International Veggie Pride - 18 May, 2013, Geneva, Switzerland -

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

41st IVU World Vegfest and 6th Asian Vegetarian Congress – 3-7 & 8-9 October 2013, Kuala Lumpur and Penang, Malaysia -

5th China Xiamen International Vegetarian Food Fair, Oct 10-13, 2013 -

image14New Business Supporter

Casa Axis Mundi
- Raw and Vegan Retreat Centre
- B&B in Valladolid, Mexico

In Yucatan, the Mayan heartland! Personalized hospitality, intimate atmosphere, raw food and healing retreats, space rental.

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 News

Please Send News to IVU Online News

image17Dear 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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