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IVU Online News – July 2013

Table of Contents

Updates from Malaysia
Interview with Outgoing IVU IC Member, Shankar Narayan
Vegetarian for Life Launches ‘Cooking on a Budget’
Weekly Meatless Day Movement Blooms in Canada
This Month’s HCYKTASEM For and Against Vegetarianism
Positively Engaging Your Non-Veg Family
Instead of Eggs
Visual of the Month
Book News 1 – Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition
Book News 2 – My Beef with Meat
Book News 3 – Gorilla
Book News 4 – Harmony on the Farm
Upcoming Events
Other Online Sources of Veg News
Please Send News to IVU Online News

Updates from Malaysia: 2013 IVU World Vegfest

An impressive list of local and international speakers will be featured at the 6th Asian Vegetarian Congress and the 41st IVU World Vegfest, 3-9 October, 2013, in Malaysia. Among the speakers from Malaysia are Rokiah Don, a nutritionist and director of Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (see photo); Prof Dr Lekhraj Rampal of the Malaysia Health Promotion Board; Nithiyananthan Nesadurai, President of the Environmental Protection Society, Malaysia; and Dr P Vythilingam, president of the Malaysian Vegetarian Society.

Scheduled speakers from elsewhere in Asia and beyond include Dr Art Ong Jumsai, a former NASA scientist and currently head of a vegetarian school outside of Bangkok; Dr Duo Li, professor of Nutrition, Zhejiang University; John Davis, IVU historian; Dr Melanie Joy, famous for popularising the term ‘carnism’; Dr Susianto Tseng, president of the Indonesia Vegetarian Society and a leading researcher on tempeh; Cherie Soria, founder of the Living Light Culinary Institute, a leader in raw vegan food; and Paul Rodney Turner, international director of Food for Life Global, a vegan charity.

Details can be found here.

Interview with Outgoing IVU IC Member, Shankar Narayan

Shankar Narayan, who recently stepped down from the IVU International Council, kindly agreed to share some thoughts in this interview with IVU Online News.

1. You have been on the IVU International Council since 2006. What have been some of the highlights of that time? 

During the time I was on IVU Council, I witnessed the re-organisation of IVU regions in 2006, the IVU Centenary Congress celebrations in Dresden, Germany in 2008, IVU World Veg Congress in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010 and the growth of veganism as one of the major components of vegetarianism, along with the provision of a comprehensive explanatory statement just below the definition of the word ‘vegetarian’ on the IVU website.

2. You are also head of the Indian Vegan Society. Please tell us about that.

Indian Vegan Society was founded in 2004 to give an identity and a voice for the minuscule vegan community that existed in India at that time. Since then, we have organized several events, including the 11th International Vegan Festival in 2007, primarily to help vegans come together and bond. There have been several other activities to take the vegan message to the masses. Of late, we are focusing on other moral values in addition to non eating/using animals.

3. What has it meant to you to be a leader of the vegetarian movement? How have you changed?

I don’t like to be called a leader. Rather, I would like to be called a veg worker. I work for the sake of working; it is my duty to work for a good cause. I just work without expecting any return. I need to keep working as long as my body permits.

When I started on the vegan journey, I was thinking that the veganism was the ‘summit of civilisation’. Now, after being part of the vegan movement for several years, I feel veganism is just a good beginning for those humans who want to evolve and reach the summit of civilization. Veganism can only be a good foundation on which a beautiful life can be built. To practice the essence of veganism, one also needs to practice non-violence to humans, in addition to non-human animals. To emphasise this need, I have been propagating ‘satvik veganism’, bringing together an ancient Indian way of life and modern vegan style.

4. You are planning an international event in India in September, 2013. Please tell us about that and how it links to the IVU World Vegfest in Malaysia in early October, 2013.

The India International Vegan Festival from 27 to 29 September, 2013 is being organized in India just before the IVU World Vegfest in Malaysia. Our event works more on the satvik aspect of veganism including simplicity (the festival will be in a rural place using minimum resources and mostly raw food), non-commercialisation (we don’t have registration charges) and more importantly, understanding the spiritual dimension of veganism with some well-known spiritual masters attending the event and giving talks.

5. Do you have any suggestions or predictions for the vegetarian movement in the coming years? 

I feel the veg movement will grow, with more and more people the world over embracing veganism each day, though not at the same pace, as the world population is growing. The world will, certainly, be a more veg-friendly place in the years to come than it is now, thanks to the tireless work of veg-workers and animal-people. My suggestion to all people who read my message is that one needs to keep growing in life. Never confuse veganism as a destination; realize that it is just part of a long journey with exciting opportunities to make our lives richer.

Vegetarian for Life Launches ‘Cooking on a Budget’


Since its start up in 2007, the charity ‘Vegetarian for Life’, headed by former Vegetarian Society UK and IVU chair, Tina Fox, has produced a number of useful publications covering catering and nutrition. The latest publication is 'Cooking on a Budget'.

The booklet is 32 pages long and has detailed guidance on how to save money while helping the environment by cutting your energy use and food miles. It contains many tips on how to plan and to use food gluts and cheap supermarket offers, together with a whole raft of inexpensive but tasty recipes.

“We realised that many people are struggling in today’s economic climate, particularly older people. We thought a few helpful tips and recipes would be a useful resource. The booklet is aimed at older vegetarians and vegans but will be helpful to anyone wanting to save money at the same time as enjoying their food,” said Amanda Woodvine, VfL Co-ordinator and author of the booklet.

Further information and preview copies of the booklet can be obtained from Tina or Amanda on 01683 220888 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the website

Weekly Meatless Day Movement Blooms in Canada

image4Vancouver, British Columbia, joined cities everywhere, from Asia to South America to Europe and Africa, in endorsing a weekly meatless day. According to an article in the Vancouver Courier newspaper,

The concept was first cooked up during the First World War, when the U.S. Food Administration told citizens that “Food Will Win the War” and introduced both Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays. The nonprofit group Healthy Monday resurrected the idea in 2003 in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

More info here.

This Month's HCYKTASEM

image5The pig on the left in this photo was not properly stunned before her throat was cut. She struggled so violently that she slipped her shackles and fell into the blood pit below.

The slaughterer laughed as he shackled her back up. She was disembowelled, cut into pieces and packaged for the supermarket shelf.

The photo and the information about it comes from a website called British Meat, which also offers 49 more reasons to go veg.

Why either of the two pigs had to die makes one want to ask meateaters, “How Can You Know This and Still Eat Meat (HCYKTASEM)”.

For and Against Vegetarianism


It is not uncommon for IVU member organisations to receive requests from students and others for background information on vegetarianism. In addition to the 49 reasons provided in the previous article, a reader suggested the following link, which comes from a website that provides pros and cons on a range of controversial issues:

The webpage contains 23 arguments in favour of veg and 22 opposed. Each argument contains about a paragraph of explanatory text as well as one or more citations. Background information and videos are also included.

Positively Engaging Your Non-Veg Family

The VegFund provides money for events that educate the public about vegan food. They also provide useful information with tips on how we can communicate with family members who are not vegetarians

Among the tips are that we: (a) openly discuss our food choices, even if the discussion may be uncomfortable; (b) expose family members to a variety of veg foods, not just two or three; (c) involve family members in preparing veg food; and (d) let family members eat veg food as we tell them about our reasons for eating it.

Instead of Eggs

image8As awareness grows of the damage egg consumption and production does to human health, the environment and the billions of chickens trapped in short, miserable lives, more people are open to using egg substitutes. By the way, these substitutes are often cheaper, too.

Here’s an article about a company whose egg substitute is creating some buzz. Plus, here are two sources of egg substitutes:

Visual of the Month


Book News 1 - Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition

image9Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition by T Colin Campbell and Howard Jacobson, 2013, published by BenBella Books, ISBN 13:9781937856243

‘Whole’ in the book’s title has two meanings. First, we need to avoid reductionism that looks only at individual nutrients:

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but why? What happens when you eat an apple? The answer is vastly more complex than you imagine.

Every apple contains thousands of antioxidants, and each of these powerful chemicals has the potential to play an important role in supporting our health. Because almost every chemical can affect every other chemical, there is an almost infinite number of possible biological consequences.”

Second, we should eat whole foods:

“The ideal human diet looks like this: Consume plant-based foods in forms as close to their natural state as possible (“whole” foods). Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Avoid heavily processed foods and animal products. “

By the way, Professor Campbell has a foundation with a free electronic newsletter. A recent issue offers this simple guide to good eating

Book News 2 - My Beef with Meat

image12My Beef with Meat: The Healthiest Argument for Eating a Plant-Strong Diet by Rip Esselstyn, 2013, published by Grand Central Publishing, ISBN-13: 9781455509362

Rip Esselstyn is a former firefighter, author of The Engine 2 Diet (about how he convinced his firefighter colleagues to move towards a plant based and the great results of that move) and the son of Caldwell and Ann Esselstyn, authors of ‘Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease’. Here are excerpts from an interview about his new book ‘My Beef with Meat’.
Why did you choose the title “My Beef with Meat”? 
I wanted a title that would shake things up a bit, didn’t take itself too seriously, and was representative of the ethos of the book. I could have easily made the title Engine 2.0, Plant-Strong Nation, or Why Plants Rule, but I wanted the book to have a larger reach than vegetarians and vegans.

Why did you write this book?
I’ve discovered that there is a huge disconnect between what people think is healthy and what medical science knows to be healthy. For example, people have been bamboozled into thinking olive oil, Greek yogurt, chicken, and fish are healthy. Many people think the diet of the day is salmon, low fat dairy, and olive oil, washed down with a glass of red wine and a Lipitor pill for good measure. We are confused, distracted, and off course.

This book explains to plant eaters and meat eaters alike why a whole-food, plant-strong diet rocks on a jillion different levels. The primary driving force behind the book was to delve deeper into the major myths that keep surfacing about eating plants, such as “you won’t get enough protein,” “you won’t get enough calcium,” “eating plants is too expensive,” “real men (and women) eat meat,” “olive oil is heart-healthy,” and “moderation in everything.”

The book shows how these myths are so far away from reality. It gives the reader real science, not fad diet talk. And once you armed with the knowledge to improve your health (or to win an argument with a meat eater!), you can start cooking up any one of the 140 lip-smacking, rib-sticking, outrageously good recipes to prove that a plant-strong diet is the best way to go.

Book News 3 - Gorilla

image11Review of Gorilla by Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir, Reaktion Books, 232pp, pbk, 123 illustrations, 91 in colour; ISBN 978-1-78023-029-0, £9-99

Gorillas are the first of the great apes to be granted a title of their own in Reaktion Books' Animal series, although Ape, published in 2009, covered non-human apes (orangutans, gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and gibbons) as a whole.

There are two species of gorilla, Eastern and Western, further divided into four subspecies: the Western lowland gorilla (the most numerous but still critically endangered with up to 200,000 individuals), the Eastern lowland gorilla (less than 5000 animals), the iconic mountain gorilla and the very rare Cross River gorilla with populations of a few hundred each.  All of them live in the forests of central Africa.

It is surprising to learn that gorillas did not attract the serious attention of naturalists until as late as 1847 when the first scientific description of the animal was published. Unfortunately, this was to lead to a mid-century collecting frenzy as a motley assortment of adventurers fought and haggled over the acquisition of a selection of inevitably dead gorilla ‘specimens’ that gradually found their way to the museums of Europe and North America. Worse was to follow as big-game hunters, attracted by lurid and wholly inaccurate stories of the animal’s supposed ferocity, went on to kill hundreds of gorillas over the following decades for ‘sport’ and scientific study.  However, attitudes gradually changed as taxidermist-turned-conservationist Carl Akeley, who had killed several animals for display at the American Museum of Natural History, persuaded the Belgian authorities to open Africa's first national park in the Belgian Congo in 1925, providing much-needed protection for mountain gorillas. Although this did not stop the decimation of wild gorilla populations to supply zoos, circuses and laboratories, a process generally involving the slaughter of several animals for every live animal captured, it paved the way for zoologists such as George Schaller and Dian Fossey to conduct the first serious field studies of gorillas, giving us a clearer understanding of their behaviour and drawing our attention to their plight.

Like other titles in the Animal series, Gorilla describes the cultural rather than the natural history of the species. Gorillas have featured extensively in cartoons, comic books and especially the cinema (witness the three film versions of King Kong and its many spin-offs), often caricatured as brutish, sexual predators (as in Emmanuel Fremiet’s dramatic and much-parodied sculpture Gorilla Carrying off a Woman of 1887) or as figures of fun, several suitably-attired Hollywood actors having made a good living as gorilla impersonators. The authors describe all this in considerable detail, but a concluding chapter reviewing the current status of wild gorillas and the threats they face from habitat loss, human conflict and the bush meat trade would have made a welcome addition to the book, and much more could have been written about the work of conservation bodies and campaign groups such as the Gorilla Organisation and the Great Ape Project. Nevertheless, Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir have produced a fascinating account of these largely peaceable, mostly vegetarian and, sadly, increasingly rare animals.

Paul Appleby
May 2013 

Book News 4 - Harmony on the Farm

image13Harmony on the Farm by Sean B Smith, with illustrations by Jess Yeomans, 2010, published by Harmony Prime, ISBN 10: 0374523908

This vegetarian-themed children's book tells the story of a girl named Harmony who spends an idyllic day on her grandfather's farm befriending cows, chickens, pigs, and turkeys. Later in the day, Harmony and her mother go shopping for groceries, and Harmony learns a valuable lesson that helps her become a vegetarian. 

To order or to learn more:



World Weeks for the Abolition of Meat  - 18-26 May and 21-29 September, 2013 – various locations -

11th Congress of the European Society for Agricultural and Food Ethics – ‘The ethics of consumption’ – 11-14 September, 2013, Uppsala, Sweden -

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 -

British Animal Studies Network meeting – Theme: Winged Creatures - 11-12 October, 2013 – Glasgow, Scotland -

College Art Association conference – Theme: Unbecoming Animals – 12-15 February, 2014, Chicago, USA -

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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