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IVU Online News - Issue 3, 2014

Table of Contents

Oct, 2014 IVU World Vegfest - Ghana Update
IVU International Council Elections
International Vegan Festival – June 2014
Veg History and a Veg Historian
Debunking Low Carb Diets

Alternative Farming vs Factory Farming
Great Visuals
Vegan Lifestyle Magazine
Taxing Meat To Slow Climate Change
Silent Video on Factory Farming and Its Consequences
Only One Minute But Can You Stand To Watch?
Helping Wild Animals and Farmed Animals
Book Review: Nuts: A Global History
Upcoming Events
Other Online Sources of Veg News

Oct, 2014 IVU World Vegfest - Ghana Update


by Edwin Baffour, for the Vegetarian Association of Ghana

There are lots of exciting events coming up in 2014 for Ghana. The west African country is not only preparing feverishly to field another world class football team at this year’s world cup competition in Brazil, but is also busy preparing to host a large community of the world’s vegetarians as the country fulfils another pioneering first. Since the inception of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU), the World Vegfest has been celebrated in cities all over the world; however, for the first time ever, Ghana will host the 42nd IVU World Vegfest from October 1st – 6th at the Accra International Conference Center.

The Vegetarian Association of Ghana (VAG) has launched its website to engage the general public worldwide in this upcoming amazing experience. The association is also organising a fundraising dinner at the Accra International Conference Center to sensitize key stakeholders of the agricultural, health and tourism sectors of the economy on the sponsorship opportunities that will be created out of the event.

Ghana, like many developing nations, is saddled with the burden of an alarming increase in the number of non-communicable diseases, which in the past were the preserve of the rich in society. Due to fast changing lifestyles and values, local forms of traditional health have been abandoned for more “convenient” diets that lack the nutritional value their ancestors enjoyed. A spice like “dawadawa” which is made from the fermentation of leaves of the locust bean tree has been replaced in many kitchens by powdered spices high in salt and monosodium glutamate.

Indigenous healers in Africa use different parts of the locust bean tree for health benefits. In a survey conducted with healers in Togo, Parkia biglobosa was one of the most frequently cited plants used for treating hypertension. The tree was also one of two plants listed as having real wound-healing properties in South-Western Nigeria. In a similar survey conducted in Guinea relating to healers’ use of antimalarial plants, Parkia biglobosa was cited among those most often successfully used. In an analysis of the antibacterial properties of the plant, another study found that “these properties compare favourably with those of streptomycin, making it a potential source of compounds used in the management of bacterial infections”.

Among the special guests at the conference in October will be traditional Chiefs and Queen Mothers, as well as government dignitaries and members of the diplomatic and press corps. “We will use this opportunity to host this world conference to showcase to both Ghanaians and visitors alike the many vegetarian dishes that have been enjoyed for centuries but are quickly being lost in the global melting pot”, said Edwin Baffour, VAG’s Public Relations Officer.

Tour packages for visitors to Ghana in October will include trips to the other regions of Ghana with unique tourist attractions perfect for icing off an educational and entertaining experience as the 42nd IVU World Vegfest. More detailed information about the optional travel possibilities will shortly be available on our website at

IVU International Council Elections


Every two years, IVU holds email elections for its International Council. All IVU full member organisations are eligible to vote. Ballots have already been sent to the email addresses we have for the member organisations. If, by some chance, your IVU member organisation has not received a ballot by email, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The deadline for voting is 30 April, 2014. Thanks.

International Vegan Festival - June 2014


The 14th International Vegan Festival will be held 1-8 June, 2014 in Varna, Bulgaria, on the Black Sea. For details, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;

The Festival includes full board at the festival hotel (breakfast, lunch and dinner), with a varied vegan menu (including a lot of raw food). The Festival motto is “For People, For The Planet, For The Animals”, and the programme will cover all matters relating to vegan nutrition, its benefits and its positive social and environmental impact, including the ethical, ecological, educational and scientific aspects of veganism, in stark contrast to the cruel unsustainable model of animal-food production and the health and environmental problems of the consumption and exploitation of animals.

 Veg History and a Veg Historian


Here’s some veg history from 1850 and a tribute to the late vegetarian historian and activist Rynn Berry (pictured here with some of the excellent books he wrote):

Debunking Low Carb Diets


Here, two vegan health experts explain why low carb diets are an unhealthy fad.

From NutritionFacts by Dr Michael Greger:

From Dr John McDougall:

Also, Dr Greger has a new volume (#18) in his highly informative series of short (about 3-5 min) videos. More info: Volume 18 is free to IVU member organisations. Just email Tommasina at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and specify if you would like the new DVD as a video download or physical DVD (or both). 

The Human Hoax


Factory Farming vs. Alternative Farming: The Humane Hoax by Hope Bohanec, Projects Manager of United Poultry Concerns and author of The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?

Here is a brief excerpt from the article.

For most of my adult life, I have been engaging in conversations about animals raised and killed for their meat, milk and eggs. These conversations haven’t changed much over the last 25 years. I get the same, tired questions about protein and desert islands and plants feeling pain. But recently, something has shifted. In the last few years, people have started to say things like, “Oh, but I buy free-range eggs!” or “My meat isn’t from a factory farm, my meat is local.” It’s almost as if all concern about the treatment of animals has been pacified by these new and improved “alternative” animal products.

Read entire article at:

Great Visuals



Vegan Lifestyle Magazine

A vegan lifestyle magazine, VegNews [], serves up the latest in meat-free news, food, travel, politics, and buzz. Named one of the “Best 50 Magazines” by the Chicago Tribune (#18) and the USA’s “Best Lifestyle Magazine” in 2008, 2009 and 2010, VegNews is read by more than 225,000 people in 38 countries. In addition to its flagship publication, the vegan media company also produces the award-winning along with a collection of popular e-newsletters, blogs, cookbooks, events, and vacations.

Taxing Meat To Slow Climate Change


One more time, here is one more voice linking environmental destruction to the production of animal based foods. Still, so many people talk about sustainability while heedlessly chomping away on chickens’ wings. Maybe a tax will wake them up:

Slient Video on Factory Farming and Its Consequences


This well produced 6 minute video is part of the film Samsara. The excerpt starts with factory farm footage and then moves to slaughterhouses, supermarkets, restaurants and, finally, a doctor’s office.

Only One Minute But Can You Stand To Watch?

This 58 second video from Mercy for Animals depicts some of the most horrifying, yet standard, practices used in factory farming. I only lasted 25 seconds before I had to look away:

Helping Wild Animals and Farmed Animals

Great to see this link between helping wild animals (Sea Shepherd) and helping farmed animals (vegan food).

Book Review: Nuts: A Global History

Nuts: A Global History by Ken Albala. Reaktion Books, 2014, 128pp, 53 illustrations, 51 in colour; hardback, £9-99. ISBN 978-1-78023-282-9.

When I was growing up in 1960s and 70s Britain, nuts were a commodity that miraculously appeared a few weeks before Christmas and mysteriously disappeared again once the festivities were over. Times have changed, of course, and shelled nuts are now consumed all year round, although, as the prolific food writer and Professor of History at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, Ken Albala points out in the introduction to Nuts, they “are not a staple … did not change the course of history … and they almost never form the centre of a meal.” However, it would be hard to disagree with his conclusion that nuts “are eminently charming, sophisticated and … wonderfully varied in form and flavour.” They are also surprisingly versatile, and you may be surprised to learn that almond milk is not a new product at all but was widely used in medieval Europe as a substitute for cows’ milk during Lent.

Defining what exactly are nuts is surprisingly difficult. Most readers will know that peanuts are legumes, not nuts, but it turns out that almonds, pine nuts, pistachios and Brazil nuts are, botanically speaking, not nuts either – they are all seeds. Having apparently ruled out most contenders, the author neatly brings them back into the fold with his own concise definition of nuts as “things that grow on trees, have hard shells and are edible”. This widens the field to include coconuts, chestnuts and such exotic foods as the mongongo nut, a favoured food of the San bushmen of the Kalahari Desert, providing one third of their energy intake, and nuts such as the betel nut and the kola nut that are chewed rather than eaten.

There is much that is fascinating about nuts, and it is a pity that with so much material available there is so little to read about them in this slim volume. In particular, much more could have been written about the commercial harvesting of nuts and of their many benefits to health. At just over 100 pages plus a short, mainly vegetarian-friendly recipe section [see sample recipe below], the book is more tasty snack than satisfying meal, although like other titles in Reaktion Books’ Edible series, Nuts is lavishly and attractively illustrated and makes entertaining, though all too brief, reading.

Paul Appleby
April 2014
Sun-dried Tomato Quick Cashew Cheese

1 cup (140 g) raw cashews (soaked in water for 2-4 hours and drained)
1 cup (150 g) cherry tomatoes
½ cup (120 g) sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon za’atar or oregano

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and mix them thoroughly. The final texture should not be completely smooth.
(Recipe from Nuts: A Global History by Ken Albala; reproduced with permission.)


VegFest hosted by VegMichigan – 13 April, 2014 – Novi, Michigan, USA -

Global Development Symposium: Critical Links between Human and Animal Health 
– 4-7 May, 2014 - Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada -

Viva’s 20th Anniversary Celebrations, as part of Vegfest UK – 23-25 May, 2014 – Bristol, England -

14th International Vegan Festival - 1-8 June, 2014 - Varna, Bulgaria -

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 -

IVU World Vegfest 2014 – 1-6 October, 2014 – Accra, Ghana -

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. Meatout Mondays


2. Vegan Outreach


3. VegE-News


4. VegNews


5. VegSource


6. doesn't have a newsletter, but they post stories daily at




8. IVU-Veg-News E-Mail List

9. Vegetarianism in the News



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