|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
| IVU News|
Out of Africa
From South Africa, Regional Secretary Jan Beeldman reports that although Africa has been known as the "dark continent" and still faces many problems in terms of poverty, unemployment, malnutrition and civil strife, finally "the giant is stirring, albeit hesitantly."
He notes with pleasure the formation of vegetarian societies in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe and stresses the need to help and nurture these young societies. He states that he is now able to share the burden of administrative work with his new assistant, Dr. Peter Dowling, and thanks the former IVU Hon General Secretary for his understanding and encouragement over the years.
The Vegetarian Society of Botswana hosted a Vegetarian Gastronomic Dinner at its first annual function, on Saturday 28th September 1996 at the Sanitas Tea Garden, Gaborone. His Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Sir Q. K. J. Masire, and the First Lady, Madam G. Masire were the guests of honour. The dinner was attended by 150 dignatories and guests. Five vegetarian dishes from different cultural backgrounds were served. They included a French starter, Chinese, African and Indian main courses, and a Hawaiian fruit salad.
Welcoming the guests, the Chairman of the Society, Dr P. K. Jain, said that although vegetarianism had traditionally been practised for cultural and religious reasons, during the past half century or so medical, environmental and ethical reasons have resulted in a fast growth in the number of vegetarians globally. His Excellency the President, who himself is a vegetarian, in addressing the guests emphasised the physical benefits of a vegetarian diet. "A vegetarian diet is good for the body and for the mind," he added. Other speakers included Dr K. Seligmann, a physician with long experience in Botswana, who spoke on the medical aspects of a vegetarian diet. Miss Nancy Horenburg, a teacher of Tai Chi and martial arts for young people, addressed the issue of protein.
The Thorn Hill School Band provided music for the evening.