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IVU Online News – December 2013

Table of Contents

Veg Assoc of Ghana Prepares for 2014 IVU World Vegfest
Online from the 2013 IVU World Vegfest
Roots of Protein Confusion
Should All Abortion Opponents Be Vegetarians?
Visual of the Month
This Month’s HCYKTASEM
What Do You Think?
Upcoming Events
Other Online Sources of Veg News
Please Send News to IVU Online News

Veg Assoc of Ghana Prepares for 2014 IVU World Vegfest

image1Here’s an introduction to our next IVU World Vegfest, to be held in Ghana’s capital, Accra (Independence Square is pictured here) with more details to come in our January 2014 issue.

The smell of okro stew with black mushrooms and local Ghanaian flavours as well as grilled tofu and wheat kebabs kissed with dawadawa and other indigenous spices were among a few of the delights that entertained the senses of guests and visitors to the Food Fair of the International Vegetarian Union’s 41st World Vegfest held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The green lawns and colourful flowers at Lake Titiwangsa Park provided the perfect setting for the culinary voyage as the Africa food stand lured curious taste buds.

The African attire of the servers at the table would have given one a good hint of where the delicious meals originated. Ghana is the lucky country to host the next IVU World Vegfest in October 2014 which will be the first time ever in Africa. The Ghana team was ably supported by Togo and Nigeria as they received the IVU flag in a colourful handing over ceremony from Dr P. Vythilingam, chair of the Malaysia Vegetarian Society.

While in Kuala Lumpur, the four member team from Ghana also paid a visit to the Ghana High Commission to Malaysia to engage with the acting High Commissioner, Mrs. Caroline Oppong-Ntri and her team. The visit was very successful, and the Vegetarian Association of Ghana, led by the Chairman of the 2014 Planning Committee, Dr. Kofi Asare, held discussions with the staff about the importance of increasing plant based food in their diets to avoid becoming part of today’s unacceptably high statistics of Ghanaians plagued with non-communicable diseases. He stressed, “Your health is your wealth and as an association we intend to play a key role in highlighting what can be done from a nutritional perspective to help curb the high incidence of diseases, such as cancer in children as well as diabetes”.

Registered in 2005, the Vegetarian Association of Ghana has become one of the most dynamic vegetarian organisations on the continent. Many visitors to the Malaysia event expressed delight that the next Vegfest will be held in Accra, and that they will use it as a great opportunity to visit the continent for the first time. The Vegetarian Association of Ghana meets every second Sunday of the month at 2pm at Asaase Pa Restaurant opposite Baden Powel Hall near the Bank of Ghana on High Street. The association website address is , and one can find more information there about leading a healthy lifestyle.

The IVU has chosen Ghana amongst several African countries as the next host due to the positive image that the nation has earned in recent times, as well as the sustained efforts by the Vegetarian Association of Ghana to inform the public on healthy lifestyle achieved through a plant based diet. There is a lot of expectation on what this great country with so much potential can achieve, and the Association invites all Ghanaians and foreigners who want to live a healthier life to contact them and attend meetings regularly to add value to the lives of their friends and families. Ahead of next year’s international festival, the 2013 annual Ghana Vegfest will be held on November 23 and 24 at the Civil Servants Association Hall from 8 am to 4 pm each day.

For the 2014 IVU World Vegfest in Accra, Ghana variety of activities will be put together for this great celebration of enlightened people. By the way, Accra happens to be the closest capital city to the geographic centre of the Earth. Ghana offers a rich culture and history as well as flora and fauna to experience. Public relations officer of the Vegetarian Association of Ghana, Edwin Baffour, stated, “We will work diligently over the next 12 months to plan a great conference in 2014, providing our famous Ghanaian hospitality to all who will be inspired to visit next year”.

Online from the 2013 IVU World Vegfest


One of the most entertaining and thought provoking sessions at the 2013 IVU World Vegfest in Malaysia was done by Hetal Doshi-Suhana Daswani, describing her happy marriage with Rajesh Daswani, a meat eater (they are seen together in the photo). Singapore participants liked the talk so much that Suhana was invited to do an encore in Singapore.

The following video - - by Maeve Lavelle of Suhana’s Singapore talk, held at a vegan ice cream parlor (, provides a taste of the talk. Sorry, but you will have to come to Singapore for a taste of the ice cream .

Another presentation in Kuala Lumpur discussed how to use Multiple Intelligences theory, a prominent theory in Education, to teach meat reduction. A written version of the paper is now available at

Roots of Protein Confusion


Our December 2012 issue carried a blurb for The Starch Solution by vegan advocate and medical doctor John McDougall: I finally got around to reading the book (and increasing my potato consumption). On pages 92-95, I found the following useful explanation of some of the roots of the public’s confusion about protein sources.

The misconception that protein from animal foods is of superior quality to that found in plants dates back to 1914, when Lafayette B Mendel and Thomas B Osborne published studies on the protein requirements of laboratory rats; specifically, the effects of animal versus vegetable protein sources on growth.

Mendel and Osborne found that rats grew faster and larger from eating protein derived from animal sources than from vegetable sources. These and other animal experiments led to the classification of meat, eggs, and dairy foods as superior, or “Class A,” protein sources. Vegetable protein sources were relegated to inferior, or “Class B,” status. …

Subsequent research affirmed what should have been obvious. Even though animal products supply the ideal protein pattern for rats, that does not mean the same is true for humans. In fact, the dietary needs of humans and rats are quite different. One important difference is our relative rates of growth: Rats grow very rapidly, reaching their full adult size after just 6 months; humans take about 17 years to fully mature. …

Dr William Rose found that only eight of the 10 amino acids essential to rats were essential to these young men (the human participants in his study). The other two amino acids essential to rats were nonessential to humans because we can synthesize them ourselves. …

Other researchers have examined the capacity of plant foods to meet our protein needs and have found that children grow to be healthy and strong, and adults continue to thrive, on a diet based solely on a single type of starch [remember the title of Dr McDougall’s book]. No benefit is derived from mixing plant foods, nor from supplementing them with amino acid mixtures to make the combined patterns look more like protein from flesh, dairy, or eggs.

Should All Abortion Opponents Be Vegetarians?


Charles Camosy (pictured here) is the author of a new book, For Love of Animals: Christian Ethics, Consistent Action. In this interview, in the conservative US magazine, National Review, he discusses the link between our views of unborn human foetuses and non-human animals:

Here are two excerpts:

Interviewer: Is your book an attempt at a bridge between pro-lifers and animal-rights activists? Who is the audience?

CAMOSY: There are multiple audiences for this book, but the primary person I want to reach is the skeptical pro-life Christian. Someone who believes, perhaps, that concern for animals is in tension with traditional Christianity, and that vegetarianism is soft, sentimental, and ultimately in conflict with concern for human beings. In addressing these concerns, I also respond to the secularist who wrongly believes that Christianity is to blame for the horrific way in which we treat non-human animals. Christianity is not only not the source of the problem; it is part of the solution.

INTERVIEWER: You wrote: “About ten years ago I became convinced that, if I wanted to be authentically and consistently pro-life, I should give up eating meat.” That’s quite the leap. Do you ever worry it is a silly, unhealthy, and soft one?

CAMOSY: No, I don’t. As I show in the book, pro-lifers oppose abortion because of a prior, more general commitment to nonviolence and concern for vulnerable populations. This becomes even more important when powerful others use violence to kill certain vulnerable populations they find inconvenient, especially when they cannot speak up in their own defense. That the 1.2 million prenatal children killed in abortion every year in the U.S. need this protection rightly receives the most energetic attention from pro-lifers, but something similar should be said about non-human animals. If we carefully and rigorously apply our pro-life principles without bias, it becomes clear that we must do the hard work of resisting the sinful social structure of factory farming. And doing so could hardly be described as “soft.” Quite the opposite: It takes discipline, rigor, and substantial countercultural commitment to live in right relationship with animals.

Visual of the Month


This Month’s HCYKTASEM


Meat industry tricks are the focus of this month’s How Can You Know This And Still Eat Meat (HCYKTASEM) piece. Meat is bad enough for all the usual health, environment and kindness reasons that vegetarians mention to persuade others to move away from meat. But the ‘ingenuity’ of the meat industry in seeking ways to hide the horrors of meat and boost profitability just adds to the horror and disgust at the thought of eating meat.

Dr Michael Greger’s free video and text blog, Nutrition Facts, regularly exposes these tricks of the meat production trade. For instance, Michael’s video, Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola (, begins by linking high phosphate levels to kidney and heart problems.

Michael’s blog post then reveals that the meat industry injects meat with phosphates in order to ‘improve’ (hide) its colour and also to reduce ‘purge’, which occurs when liquid seeps from animal flesh as it ages. Many people understandably find this purge to be disgusting.

So, what’s worse: seeing the bloody looking liquid seeping out of meat not injected with phosphates, or being poisoned by high phosphate levels? That’s the choice meat eaters make. Of course, there is a third choice, a much better choice is soooooo many ways: go veg!

More on phosphates on Dr Greger’s easily searchable Nutrition Facts website.

What Do You Think?


Tobias Leenaert leads the Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA) - - in Belgium. They are the folks who helped popularise the idea of a weekly veggie day and,8599,1900958,00.html.

Here is a video of a recent talk and Q & A that Tobias did at a conference of animal activists: In his talk, Tobias advocates that activists understand YANYA (You Are Not Your Audience). For example, most activists at the conference advocate being vegan for the animals, whereas for much of the public, health is the main appeal of plant based diets, and rather than immediately going vegan, most people are more likely to start as meat reducers.

You might want to watch the video with one or more fellow activists. While watching, you might want to occasionally pause the video and ask each other, “What do you think?”


Meveg Congress 2013 - 3 December 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Centre -

Asia for Animals conference 13th –
17th January 2014, Singapore -

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

The Science of Animal Thinking and Emotion – 17-18 March, 2014 – Washington, DC, USA -

Why Do Animal Studies? - 3-4 April, 2014 – Chicago, USA -

Reading Animals: An International English Studies Conference
 - 17-20 July, 2014, School of English, University of Sheffield, UK.

The Oxford Summer School on Animal Ethics - 121-23 July, 2014 – Oxford, England -

Other Online Sources of Veg News 

pic14In 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

pic15Please 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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