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[photo: Howard Lyman]The IVU Council
IVU News - Issue 1-96

From the President

Vegetarians as Viewed by the President

Vegetarians are sprouting up all over the planet. It is an idea whose time has come. Whether the concern is about health, animal suffering, rain forest destruction, soil depletion, water contamination, or feeding the world's growing population, a vegetarian lifestyle answers all the questions.

Vegetarian living in the modern world is growing by leaps and bounds. However, some parts of the world are adopting the western meat-based diet where vegetarianism had been normal for hundreds of years. The answers are obvious even though they are hidden behind slick public relations campaigns. This battle is being waged in every developing nation around the world today.

Nature has designed humans to flourish on a plant-based diet. As vegetarians we live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives. The data is overwhelming and indisputable. The only problem is that most of the information has been gathering dust on the shelf because wellness only benefits the individual. The profits of the medical stablishment, the meat producers, and the chemical industries, will plummet if people adopt a humane, sustainable, plant-based diet.

We have a time bomb ticking. The human population doubles every fifty years. How will we feed those growing millions? Every calorie of meat produced in factory feedlots requires over seventy calories of energy. Grain production in a chemical, mechanical form of agriculture requires sixteen calories of energy for every calorie of edible grain. We are spending our children's inheritance to produce food for diets that are killing our people in the prime of their life.

We know the solution. Diet is the key to our future. We must walk our talk. When our friends and families see how enjoyable our lives are, they will be open to hearing how we have achieved that joy. The glow of our enriched lifestyle will interest others in adopting the same. Education flourishes when joy and happiness fertilise the arena.

- Howard Lyman

Howard Lyman, a fourth generation cattle rancher turned vegetarian and vegan, was elected President of IVU at the last World Vegetarian Congress in Johnstown, Pennsylvania (USA).

The Honorary General Secretary

Farewell! & Hello!

After 17 years as Hon. General Secretary, I stepped down from the post during the World Vegetarian Congress in Johnstown, USA in August. I am happy to hand over to my successor, elected by the International Council, Francisco Martín of Spain.

I would like to thank members everywhere for their help and support during my period as Hon. General Secretary. I have enjoyed working with everyone and hope to remain active in IVU. Having been elected as Deputy President at the world congress, I hope to continue to work with you all to promote vegetarianism worldwide.

- Maxwell G. Lee [photo: Francisco Martin]

Francisco Martín is a long time vegetarian and vegan activist. He has campaigned internationally for over twenty years to promote a non violent diet and lifestyle and has played an important role in the animal movement in his opposition to animal exploitation; bullfighting and all forms of cruelty to animals.

Francisco - who lives entirely on a diet of raw fruits and vegetables - organised the VII International Vegan Festival, held in Spain, in July 1993. In recent years he has formed and led the Spanish Vegan Society (AVE) and publishes the magazine "Veganismo".

Apart from English and Spanish, he also speaks French, German and Italian. All communication intended for the Hon. General Secretary should be sent to Francisco Martín at the following address:

Francisco Martin, IVU Hon. General Secretary
P.O. Box 38.130, 28080 Madrid, Spain.
Telephone (34) 1-331 99 60, Fax (34) 1-332 14 16

IVU Elections 1996

The congress in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA, saw a number of changes in the IVU Council and the administration of IVU.

[photo: IVU Council]

Howard Lyman of the USA was elected President.
Maxwell Lee of the United Kingdom was elected Deputy President.
Francisco Martín of Spain was appointed Hon. General Secretary
Hiren Kara of India was appointed Hon. Assistant General Secretary.
Juan Manuel Lozano Tapia of Spain was appointed Hon. Treasurer.
Juan Francisco Pérez Prieto Auditor-Censor Jurado de Cuentas of Spain (Registry Number 4737) was appointed Hon. Auditor.

The outgoing president, deputy president and treasurer, Surendra Mehta of India, Marcel Hebbelinck of Belgium and Bernard Colvin of the United Kingdom, and the previous auditors, Drake & Co. of the United Kingdom, were thanked for their valuable contributions.

International Council of IVU

The following were elected as members of the International Council:

Igor Bukovsky (Slovakia), Patricia Carney (USA), Marcel Hebbelinck (Belgium), Alex Hershaft (USA), Mitsuru Kakimoto (Japan), Kevin Pickard (Canada), Hildegund Scholvien (Germany), Pornthep Srinarula (Thailand).

Retiring members of the International Council were thanked for their service and efforts on behalf of IVU.

The International Council is the ruling body of IVU between congresses and consists of the Officers, President, Deputy President, Hon. General Secretary, Assistant Hon. General Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and the eight elected members. The meeting of Member Societies during each congress is responsible for determining IVU policy, approving the actions of the International Council and for the election of the International Council.

What is IVU?
Why IVU?

There is only one worldwide body aiming to promote vegetarianism and that is the INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION.

IVU is the successor to the Vegetarian Federal Union which was established in 1889 with the aim of bringing together vegetarian societies from all parts of the world.

The first world vegetarian congress was held in Chicago, USA, in 1893 with others following in London, England, in 1897, 1901 and 1905. The name was changed, as a result of discussions between a number of societies and individuals, to International Vegetarian Union in 1908, when a congress was held in Dresden, Germany. Since that time there have been thirty two world congresses, many of them in Europe but in recent decades also in the USA, India and Israel. The next, world congress will be held in Thailand in January, 1999, and the decision to hold the following world congress in Toronto, Canada, in the year 2000, was taken at this year's world congress in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA.

The last decade or so has seen several regional congresses in Europe, North America and Australia and it is to be hoped this trend will continue and grow. Such congresses help to give media publicity to the organising society and brings vegetarianism more prominently before the general public.

Regional organisations play an important part in the development of vegetarianism throughout the world, and as they become stronger, IVU's role will change as it becomes more and more of an umbrella organisation. Where a regional organisation exists, societies and individuals are encouraged to join IVU through the region. IVU and the regional organisation receive half the subscription fee each while the member enjoys the benefit of dual membership of both IVU and the regional organisation and receives both their newsletters. People write to the Headquarters from everywhere and look for information about vegetarianism and ask to be put in touch with their local vegetarian organisations.

Strange as it might seem, people find IVU's address in directories in their local library but do not find the address of their national regional or local vegetarian society there. The growth of E-mail and the internet has led to more people contacting IVU for help and advice. There are also queries from the media and from developing vegetarian societies. New societies look to IVU to put them in touch with other societies.

IVU is able to give limited financial support to help the new societies get off the ground, helping them to publish material and providing funds to advertise for members and support.

Demand for visiting lecturers, and the need for IVU to establish a role for itself as a non Governmental organisation recognised and consulted about relevant issues by the United Nations and similar regional bodies, represent other areas where IVU's role is growing in importance.

by Maxwell Lee


Contributions to IVU News are welcomed. Material published does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the policy of the International Vegetarian Union.