International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Report from the UK

from EVU News, Issue 2 / 1996

In a country with so many organisations, both large and small, working for animal rights and vegetarian/vegan world, it is hard to single out particular items. Major campaigns continued against live animal exports and speakers from many groups went into schools and other institutions to spread the veggie message.

Of particular interest among so many impressive campaigns was the visit of Howard Lyman of the American Humane Society, a forth-generation cattle rancher turned vegan activist who came to give evidence in the so-called McLibel trial, now in its second year, in which McDonalds is spending vast amounts of money and attracting vast amounts of adverse publicity trying to sue two Londoners for publishing a leaflet stating that burgers are bad for your health and bad for the planet. Howard's arrival coincided with the outbreak of BSE (mad cow disease) crisis, which meant that there was unprecedented media interest and all his engagements were extremely well attended.

The BSE crisis led to large numbers of people turning vegetarian and vegan, which meant a lot of work willingly undertaken by the various societies. Vegetarian Members of Parliament joined People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in giving away free vegan food in Westminster. The Young Indian Vegetarians mourned the slaughter of so many thousands of cattle when they held their traditional summer picnic in Hyde Park and pledged to send every parliamentary candidate a questionnaire on green issues and to publish the responses during the national election campaign.

In Scotland, George Rodger co-ordinated the production of a vegan passport in 38 languages covering 95 per cent of the worlds population. This pocket-sized publication, available early in July and priced at around 6 Sfr, will enable vegetarians and vegans to avoid dishes containing undesirable animal remains wherever they travel, from Toronto to Timbucto, from Barcelona to Bejing.

For further details, phone or fax Vanessa Clarke, +44-181 265 3277.