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News from Germany

from EVU News, Issue 1, 1996

New Year Meeting of the Vegetarier-Bund Deutschland from 28.12.95 to 2.1.96

Members and friends of the Vegetarier-Bund Deutschlands met at the end the year once again for their meeting at Kloster Höchst in the Odenwald.

The topic of the meeting, "We are not alone on the planet", provided a rich source of fascinating, current lectures, dealing not only with the far-reaching implications of meat consumption - or rather, the benefits of the vegetarian way of life for the Earth and all its inhabitants - but also other problems, such as homelessness, altruism and its eradication in our time, electro smog and electronic stress.

In their third strategy meeting, particularly active members of the Society discussed specific plans for 1996 under the direction of chairperson Rudolf Meyer. The priorities identified are to put vegetarianism and related issues of conservation and animal welfare on both public and political agenda, and furthermore, to intensify collaboration with young people, in particular the Deutsche- Reform-Jugend e.V.

The climax of the meeting was the General Meeting of the membership, in which the new national executive committee, chaired by Rudolf Meyer and vice-chairperson Hildegund Scholvien, was elected. It is gratifying to note that there are three new faces on the six-strong committee, who not only represent young blood in the membership, but also amply demonstrated their active involvement in the before-mentioned strategy meeting.

[image: new year meeting] As in previous years the conference formed the centrepiece of an extensive and diverse programme of events. There were plenty of opportunities for everyone to take part in a wide range of activities, including hill-walking, yoga, dance, music and choral singing (pictured right). In a mood of promise and optimism, the conference was brought to its official close with a New Year's Eve party, celebrated, as ever, without the customary props of alcohol, nicotine and fireworks.

- Barbara Heinze

Restaurant Guide from Germany

New Edition 1995, 2,-DM plus postage.

Write to: Geschätsstelle Vegetarierbund Deutschlands, Blumenstr. 3, D-30159 Hannover.

"I won't kiss a meat eater any more!"

Many university students abstain from everything that originates from animals.

These are the titles of a two page article published in a free German university magazine distributed in all universities in 330,000 copies.

Students talk about their reasons for their choice to live without meat: better health, dreadful conditions for animals in factory farms and on transports throughout Europe, environmental problems, the girlfriend is vegetarian (I won't kiss a meat eater any more!) etc.

Internet and the Homepages of English and American Vegis are indicated as well as famous vegetarians like Meat Loaf, Kim Basinger, Richard Gere, Shirley Bassey and Julian Cope. To invalidate the prejudice that vegetarians are weak, narrow-chested and pale there are given the examples of Carl Lewis, Boris Becker and Martina Navratilova. Thomas Schönberger from the Vegetarische Initiative Hamburg is cited: "Last year the meat consumption in Germany dropped from 70kg a person to 60kg." According to Schönberger not only thanks to the work of enlightenment of vegetarian groups but as well due to the many scandals in the meat industry.

From Unicum 2/96 - Bochum

Dangerous Veterinary Medicine

In German stables the use of medicines, especially antibiotics in the fattening of turkeys, chicken and pigs has risen since the eighties in an alarming way. In the intestinal flora of the treated animals there are growing more and more resistant bacteria. At a meeting of the WHO in Hannover /Germany doctors of human as well as veterinary medicine warned against dangers deriving from medical resistant germs which can be transmitted even to humans. They can be in the defrosting fluids of chicken, in raw mince as the Robert-Koch-Institut / Wernigerode has proved last year.

The treatment of heavy inflammation with antibiotics is put in question. "A horror vision for all medicines", said Dieter Bitter-Suermann, micro-biologist from Hannover.

For the first time in Europe the regional government of Weser-Ems presented figures about the amount of medicines used in the stables. In the region of Weser-Ems, the most important fattening region of Europe, the farmers add annually for more than 3 million turkeys about 12 tons of pure medicines to the mixture of fodder. In addition there are medicines given in water and injections. The huge amount is needed because in the unnatural factory farms the infectious diseases spread always quicker. In addition antibiotics are used for a quicker fattening.

Translated from 'Spiegel', 4.3.96 by S. De Leo