|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
Regional Report - Latin
by Marly Winckler
On May 30, after the untimely death of Luis Escala, I took over the role
of Regional Secretary of IVU for Latin America. Since then very little
could he done but we are already 'walking'.
The first thing we needed to do was to assess the overall health of the
region, and to create mechanisms of communication between the various
entities, organizations and people committed to vegetarianism. Today,
vegetarianism in this region of the world is very much isolated and aside
from IVU, does not receive the support of any international or regional
organization. As far as I understand there is no strong vegetarian society
in any Latin American country.
With the aim of establishing a link between leaders of vegetarianism
in this region I have created an online discussion group called ivu-latina.
The group is not open to the public, but is just for those committed to
vegetarianism and who are willing to do something to expand it in the
countries that compound Latin America.
Another area that I am working in is the formation of an up-to-date directory
of organizations, people, NGOs, companies, etc., In short, all groups
that in one form or another support vegetarianism in Latin America. This
project will be on-going.
The situation of vegetarianism as an organized movement in this region
is very precarious and it is at that point I think that we should centralize
our effort. i.e. in the organization of vegetarianism. The good news is
that in many countries there is a nucleus of people interested in the
creation of a vegetarian soc iety. So what we have to do is to support
these groups in the best way we can. In Argentina, we formed the Unión
Vegetariana Argentina - UVA, with the aim of uniting vegetarian people
and organi:zations. In Columbia. the Sociedad Vegetariana Colombiania
is currently discussing bylaws. In Cuba. there is also a group trying
to orrganize itself, despite many obstacles, with a very brave spirit.
In Mexico, a group of people is already meeting and they have created
a Director Council of the Asociation Mexicana de Vegetarianos.
In Panama, the Centro Naturista Mi Salud is doing a. good job in
spreading a healthy way of living that includes vegetarianism. In the
Dominican Republic, our representatives have been spreading vegetarianism
for more than 15 years and soon plan to open a vegetarian retreat.
At more or less a year ago, I've created a discussion list aimed to Latin-American
(formerly veg-latina)where the main idiom is Spanish. Today the
list has more than 70 members of various countries.
In Brazil, vegetarianism is developing little by little. We have an organization
(TAPs, in São Paulo) which has vegetarianism as one of its aims,
that owns the best library specialized in vegetarian and anti-vivisection
books in Latin America (or maybe in the world since it has books in many
languages!). We also have a discussion list, veg-brasil - with around
200 members, encompassing nearly all the states of the federation, and
some other countries, with an intense exchange of messages. On one occasion
there was more than a thousand messages in a month. The list is aimed
at Brazilian people and the idiom spoken is Portuguese. We also have a
vegetarian site at Internet, Sitto Vegetariano (http://www.vegetarianismo.com.br
) Presently we are working on developing it so that it can have a Latin-American
There is a lot to do and the challenge is a big one. So, as I said before, all the support to accomplish this hard task is very welcome.