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IVU Online News – June 2012

Edited by George Jacobs

Table of Contents
News from the 2012 IVU Congress/Vegfest
Do You Want To Make History?
Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting Resources
New Blog: ‘The Future Is Vegetarian’

A Leading Food Writer on Veg and More
More Veg Vocabulary
Fruit as You Have Never Seen It Before
Book News
#1: No Happy Cows
#2: Herbs: A Global History
#3: The Ultimate Vegan Guide
#4: Humans and Other Animals
#5: Food Yoga

Welcome to New IVU Members 
Upcoming Events
Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
Other Online Sources of Veg News
Please Send News to IVU Online News

News from the 2012 IVU Congress/Vegfest

Only about four months remain till the 2012 IVU Congress/Vegfest, 5-16 October, back-to-back in San Francisco and Los Angeles, California, USA. With every passing month, new features are added to make this joint event even more unmissable.

Want to stay abreast of developments with the two-city, multi-ring circus of vegetarian virtuosity? It’s easy:
One, you can visit the event website at 
Two, you can sign up for the event’s free Yahoo Group by scrolling to the bottom of the event website and entering your email address in the box.
Three, you can find us on Facebook: 
And, of course, you can watch for updates in your monthly issue of IVU Online News.

Do You Want To Make History?
This is the title of a powerful new video - - of less than 2 minutes from the Vegan Society

In the spirit of the quote from Nobel Peace Prize winner, Martin Luther King, Jr, “The arc of history is long but bends towards justice”, the video shows how in the past 200 years, people have righted major wrongs in society, such as ending slavery and winning voting rights for women. The video then calls on us to end the unjust way that we currently treat non human animals.

One historical note for those not so familiar with the history of the US civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Rosa Parks is famous for refusing to accept the second class treatment of African Americans: 

Vegan Pregnancy and Parenting Resources

Our friends at Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG) produce research based materials that expecting and current parents and other people in children’s lives will want to know about:

 1. Vegan Pregnancy and Happily Ever After VRG's Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood -  - is included under General Educational Materials on the USDA's (US Department of Agriculture) The WIC Works Resource System -  - which is an online education and training centre for staff of the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

2. A newer, brochure version of VRG’s vegan pregnancy article is available at

3. VRG's Parent's Listserv
Are you raising a vegetarian or vegan child? If so, VRG invites you to be a part of a network of vegetarian parents interested in exchanging ideas on various topics such as creating tasty snacks for toddlers, the challenges of non-vegetarian family/friend gatherings, how to talk with your child about vegetarianism, helping kids handle peer pressure, even shopping resources for leather/wool alternatives!

The list was founded in 2000, and currently has 1742 members: 

New Blog: ‘The Future Is Vegetarian’

Tobias Leenaert is Director of the Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA) of Belgium and one of the veg world’s most energetic and effective activists. For instance, in 2009, Tobias and his EVA colleagues started Veggie Thursday -  - in the Belgian city of Ghent:

 Since then, other cities around Belgium and internationally have followed their lead. To keep up with the thoughts and deeds of the dynamic Mr Leenaert, you can read his new blog at or at if you prefer to read Dutch. Two of the May entries in Tobias’ blog are titled ‘Omnivore’ (a letter to omnivores) and ‘What every environmentalist needs to know about capitalism’.

A Leading Food Writer on Veg and More
Colin Spencer has been called, “the greatest living food author”. Among his books is Gourmet Cooking for Vegetarians. Spencer is also an artist, as seen in this painting.

Mark Bittman, the New York Times food writer, whose columns often spur non-vegetarians to rethink their eating habits, recently did a story on Spencer: (free registration may be required). Here’s an excerpt:

"Although the right to eat in any style one likes has not been a much-discussed issue, at least in huge public forums, vegetarians — along with people whose eating styles differed from the norm for religious reasons — were long treated as a minority, especially, notes Spencer, since the advent of Christianity. He’s written that the story has long been one of “persecution, suppression and ridicule,” because vegetarianism is “not simply a criticism of meat-eating but a criticism of power … Not to eat meat, or to frown on the captivity and killing of animals, went to the heart of society.”

More Veg Vocabulary
Dr Melanie Joy, a social psychologist, coined the term “carnism”, defining it as “the invisible belief system, or ideology, that conditions people to eat (certain) animals”:

Watch a 2+ minute video about carnism at

In a recent article -  - Melanie talks about “neocarnism”, which attempts to justify eating animals on the grounds that it is normal, natural and necessary.

Fruit as You Have Never Seen It Before
If you want some attention grabbing veg images to decorate your next poster, etc., here’s one place to look:

A series of photos, titled Tutti Fruitti, was created by Spanish photographer Cristina Otero. A quick look at her blog - – didn’t locate information on whether her eating habits are veg or not. Regardless, the photos are fun.

More photos at:


Book News

#1: No Happy Cows

Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution by John Robbins, published by Conari Press, ISBN: 9781573245753

No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution, is a collection of long time vegan advocate John Robbin’s recent columns along with never before published material. Here are some of the topics addressed.

• Are Factory Farms becoming biological weapons factories?
• Chocolate turns out to have startling health benefits. What’s the scoop?
• Should junk food marketing to kids be banned?
• Bitter beans: Why does fair trade coffee matters so much?
• Recent reports say soy is toxic. Is it true? What’s the real story?
• Fast food is cheap, convenient, and tasty. And you already know eating it can lead to obesity and higher rates of heart disease. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. What are the real costs?
• What’s the skinny on grassfed beef?  Is it really healthier and more sustainable?
• You may have seen some videos on how factory farms treat livestock. You may have seen how unclean, unsafe and inhumane the conditions are…  But do you know how it directly affects your health and life?
• If you care about global warming, chew on this: Cows impact our climate more than cars. What’s the most climate-friendly diet?
• Certain food policies are politically possible and would make a huge difference. What are they?
• How can you be a positive influence on others – and not a self-righteous nag?

#2: Herbs: A Global History
Review of Herbs: A Global History by Gary Allen. Reaktion Books, 2012, 166pp, hardback, £9-99. ISBN 978 1 86189 925 5.

Herbs are plants whose fresh or dried leaves and flowers are used primarily to give flavour to food but also for medicinal and olfactory purposes. As such, they encompass a wide variety of plants, each with its own characteristics, distribution, folklore and uses.

In Herbs, a recent addition to Reaktion Books’ Edible series, author Gary Allen rejects the conventional alphabetical or taxonomical arrangement of his subject matter in favour of five rambling chapters in which he jumps from one herb to the next, often within the same paragraph. References to parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, for example, are scattered across some 50 pages of the book, making it impossible to gain a clear picture of the history, characteristics and culinary uses of each of these popular (and tuneful) herbs. This is a pity, because the author clearly knows his chervil from his chives (at least, presumably so because chervil does not appear in the index). However, the average reader will not be as familiar with the characteristics and uses of different herbs as the author, so referring to the common herbs as “the usual suspects” in the title of chapter two smacks of cynicism. Sadly, much of the folklore surrounding herbs is omitted: mumbo-jumbo it may well be, but it makes for more entertaining reading than, for example, telling the reader that watercress is “another aquatic weed found in every US state except Alaska, Hawaii and North Dakota” or that “in Connecticut it is banned as an invasive species” (why don’t the locals try eating it?). In contrast, the annual watercress festival held in the town of Alresford, England, does not rate a mention.

In summary, like other titles in the Edible series, Herbs is concise and attractively illustrated, but this book makes an unengaging and unsatisfying read. If you are looking for a good ‘herbal’, look elsewhere.

Paul Appleby, April 2012

#3: The Ultimate Vegan Guide
The Ultimate Vegan Guide, 2nd edition, 2011, by Erik Marcus

Erik Marcus is a long time vegan advocate via his books, his website (, etc. The Ultimate Vegan Guide is mostly about how to be a vegan (24 chapters), with two chapters on why to be vegan and one chapter and an appendix on vegan activism. The book’s advice on how to be vegan is eminently practical, although a bit US centric (not surprising since that’s where Erik lives). While the advice is aimed mostly at people trying to become vegan, people who are already vegan will also find lots of useful ideas.

Erik has made the book easy to read electronically for only US$0.99, and the first edition is free online. See for details. Our Feb 2012 issue contained summaries of three chapters from the book. Here are summaries of more chapters.

Ch 19 – Meat, Dairy, & Egg Replacements
When people think about becoming vegan, a frequent stumbling block is one particular food about which they say, “I can’t give it up”. Fortunately, vegan versions of animal foods are improving in terms of variety, availability and quality. Erik lists some in this chapter. He also cautions that when looking for vegan products that replace dairy foods, such as soy cheese, we should watch out for casein which derives from milk. Finally, while this chapter focuses on replacement foods, a continuing theme of the book as a whole is that the journey to veganism works best with a focus on adding plant foods rather than eliminating animal foods. In other words, we gain much more than we lose.

Chs 20-23
These chapters look at what equipment to put in our kitchens and what easy to make foods to prepare there. Among these versatile foods are smoothies, wraps, sandwiches and salads. Erik also has advice on beverages. For example, he advises that we drink lots of water and that in many locations, it is advisable to use a water filtration system. 

Ch 24 – Animal Ingredients
Being an ethical vegan involves more than just changing the food we eat; it also concerns the other products we use, such as our clothing. Erik estimates that switching to a vegan diet eliminates 97% of our use of animal products and that dropping products containing wool, leather, silk and the like brings us to about 99.8%. However, reaching 100% is virtually impossible for anyone in normal society. Why? – because animal products show up in so many of items, for example, bicycle frames and tires.

However, Erik suggests one area where we can improve on our 99.8%: cosmetics, soaps and cleaners. Here, we want to look out for products that contain no ingredients of animal origin and are not tested on any of our fellow animals. Erik concludes the chapter by stating that rather than fretting over the very small remaining percentage of animal ingredients in the products we use, “it’s infinitely more valuable to devote your attention to getting involved in outreach and activism”.

#4: Humans and Other Animals:
Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Human-Animal Interactions Samantha Hurn
Paperback | 9780745331195 | £18.99 / $32 Hardback | 9780745331201 | £60 / $95

With references to debates about food, science, conservation and sexuality, Samantha Hurn provides a highly useful overview of the subject, connecting our mundane experiences of living amongst animals, to philosophical notions of ‘human exceptionalism’ and the heady methodological possibility of ‘multi-species’ ethnography. Hurn brings coherence to a large and diverse literature, in a clear and accessible way, that will make this book a refreshingly novel text for beginning students, as well as stimulating a wider interest in an intelligent discussion of human-animals relations. – Roy Ellen, Professor of Anthropology and Human Ecology, University of Kent Canterbury.

In his new book, FOOD YOGA: Nourishing the Soul, food yogi Priya Vrata (a.k.a Paul Rodney Turner) makes the case that if we make the effort to focus on eating with consciousness and compassion, incredible and transformative things can happen to us.

At 19, Paul left home to become a monk. He then trained in the art and science of food yoga through volunteering with Food for Life Global, the world's largest plant-based food relief that currently serves up to 2 million meals daily. Paul has led teams in responding to some of the world's major disasters, including the Asian Tsunami in 2004 and the recent Japan Tsunami.

In FOOD YOGA, Paul shares his personal experiences as a young monk and student of India's Vedic culture of hospitality, while also drawing from numerous scientific reports and spiritual traditions to provide a framework to elevate the act of eating from the dry and mundane to a soul-satisfying experience.

Order copies at

Welcome to New IVU Members 

Vegetarianos - Comunidad de vegetarianos chilenos

NUIQUE LTD - - Vegan non-fish marine oil Omega 3 &  Vegetarian Botanical Skincare


  • 2012 IVU World Vegetarian Congress – 5-16 October, 2012, San Francisco and Los Angeles (USA) -
  • 2012 West Africa Vegetarian Festival – dates to be announced – Lome, Togo
  • 4th China Xiamen Vegetarian Food Fair – 19-22 October, 2012 – Xiamen, China -
  • 5th Southeast Asian Congress – 23-25 November, Chiang Mai, Thailand -
  • 6th Asian Vegetarian Congress and 41st IVU World Vegfest – 2013, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

VeggieHotels - - purely vegetarian hotels with more than 250 hotels and B&Bs in 40 countries on all continents.

The Bhima Club - - Students' & Young Peoples' Organisation promoting Vegetarianism & Veganism

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

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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