International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Message from the Chair of the International Council
from IVU News 2001

Back in 1983 when I became a vegetarian, the biggest question I had to face when someone found out I was a vegetarian was "What exactly is a vegetarian?" This was usually quickly followed by "You don't eat meat?!?"

As the years went by, the questions became "What do you eat" and "Where do you get your protein?"

It used to he that those were the big questions that I got asked. And even better, in the last few years the questions have turned into statements. Now the discovery of my vegetarian status has solicited responses like "Oh we do not eat that much meat anymore either" or "I have a cousin/friend/co-worker who is also a vegetarian."

Finally it was looking like things were starting to improve. I could now imagine the day when the world would truly be vegetarian. We would go into the future a kinder, gentler and healthier race, living in peace with our neighbours. But now something has happened recently that makes me think it may not happen all that quickly. Now there is a whole new set of questions being asked.

Recently I have been asked questions like "As a vegetarian, will you eat a tomato if it contains fish genes" or "Do vegetarians have a problem with vegetables containing genetically engineered pestici des?"

Talk about a brave new world.

So what do you think about it? Are you happy about it or does it scare you? Are you aware it is happening right now? What exactly was in that tomato you ate today? Read on and learn more about a subject that has become very controversial. And after you have thought about it. let others know what you think.

For a vegetarian world.

Kevin Pickard
Chair of the International Council