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Strategies for Promoting Vegetarianism

from EVU News, Issue 2 / 1996

During the AGM 1996 in Trogen point number 14 of the agenda was treated in a special session in order to dedicate more time to the subject. The participants from various countries and societies spoke about their experiences, their activities and gathered ideas.

Thomas Schönberger (D) from Vegetarische Initiative Hamburg presented the activity Advertisements and Posters. Procedure:
A) They address letters to supporters asking them to give financial help for the carrying out of the event.
B) The advertisement is published with name and profession of the sponsors.
C) Report and thanking to the participants after the advertisement has been published.

Max Molteni (CH) a new member from Centro di Documentatione Animalista, Bellinzona /Ticino presented the Campaign throughout Europe against Poultry in Batteries. Delegates from various countries should demonstrate to governments.

Erwin Laupert, president of Österreichische Vegetarier Union, said that because of growing interest of the media the activities have to become more and more spectacular and aggressive.

Aversion to Meat - Public Opinion. Thanks to the many scandals in the meat industry there is a growing aversion to meat in the public. We should take advantage of the moment and make known, how delicious vegetarian meals can be.

European Meat out - It was suggested to launch a meat out day in Europe, f.e. on October 16th, the World Food Day. The idea was to produce a short and simple leaflet with practical hints. A rich documentation for all member-societies should be given. Renato Pichler and Sigrid De Leo will, with the help of others, put together the information for a meat out day. Vanessa Clark and Francisco Martin will translate it into English. Erwin Laupert also suggests preparing medical information about vegan lifestyle, for there has been a lot of wrong information in the media lately.

Addresses - The most important addresses of the media (especially agencies) from the European countries should be available to the EVU office. Therefore you should send all available addresses of media with Fax numbers to the office (If possible on diskette).

Letters to the Editor - Letters to the editors are very important, because they are read with interest by many people and give information to journalists. Erwin Laupert said that writing to individual politicians can be very useful.

Children Camps - Sigrid De Leo reported on her long experiences in working with children. Camps can be very instructive for children as in a group it is easier to change eating habits. Experiences show that children can even change the eating habits of a family. If children live on a more or less vegan diet without sugar and processed food even children difficult in their behaviour become quieter and more peaceful.

Christina Mayer (CH), from Lausanne, secretary of the new member-society ARA (Action pour le Respect des Animaux) reports on their idea to launch vegetarian menus in public places in Lausanne and Geneva, the two biggest towns in the French speaking part of Switzerland. A letter has been sent to 370 restaurants in Geneva and 375 restaurants in Lausanne asking the owners to prepare vegetarian dishes. There has also been an article in the biggest newspapers. In Geneva the mailing has been extended to hospitals, refectories of schools, social services, prisons and old peoples homes.
35 restaurants and institutes answered and sent their menus. Note: in Geneva as well as in Lausanne McDonalds answered, for since the 1st of May all 64 Swiss McDonalds serve a Vegi-Mac, a vegetarian Hamburger.
Migros School the biggest private school for further education in Switzerland is offering for the first time courses on vegetarian cooking.

Carmen Somaschi (I), secretary from AVI (Associazione Vegetariana Italiana) spoke about her experiences at fairs. The AVI is participating in all the fairs and exhibitions in Northern Italy with a stand. She estimates that they reach about 30,000 people per month.

Francisco Martin (E) reports from Spain that offering vegan meals to the public has been very successful.

Sigrid De Leo (CH) made further suggestions at the end of the session. She reminded us of the project of Charlotte Probst (A) Animal Protection at School, exhibitions at Schools, Universities, Shopping Centres and Childrens camps, Lectures, Spectacular Activities, (See Bicycling for Recycling from the Swedish Vegan and Vegetarian Societies), telephone chains for local groups in order to react quickly in newspapers, TV programs etc. and last but not least quotations of famous vegetarians on writing paper.

For the minutes: Renato Pichler, president of the Swiss Union for Vegetarianism.