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IVU News June 2007
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Table of Contents

  1. First Deadline for Discounts for IVU World Vegetarian Congress
  2. Featured Speaker at IVU World Vegetarian Congress – Jul 2008
  3. Eating Animal Products Fuels Global Warming
  4. International Vegan Fest – Karnataka, India - 30 Sep–6 Oct
  5. Vegetarian Diets and a Healthy Weight
  6. Welcome to New IVU Member Organization
  7. Back to the Vegetarian Future for Mars Bars
  8. Fund-Raising Opportunity from VegDining
  9. Poem – ‘Call Us By Our True Names’
  10. Blood Donation Star Is Vegetarian
  11. Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  12. Please Write For IVU News


First Deadline for Discounts for IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden

£ $ £ $ £ $ £ $ £ $

Register early for a discount for the IVU Centenary Congress, Sunday July 27 - Sunday August 3, 2008. If you register before July 1st, 2007, there is a discount of €50 (50 euros) (approx. UKP34 / US$64); then up to January 1, 2008, the discount is €40 and until January 30, 2008, it will be €20. After that, it will be full price:

Featured Speakers at IVU World Vegetarian Congress – Jul 2008

The 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, Germany, 27 Jul – 3 Aug, 2008, features many prominent speakers. Here is information on one of them Vandana Shiva:

Photo from the Wikipedia:

Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecofeminist, environmental activist and author. Her works include over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals.

Born to a father who was the conservator of forests and a farmer mother with a love for nature, Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, whose main participants were women, adopted the tactic of hugging trees to prevent their felling.

She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her book Vedic Ecology that draws upon India's Vedic heritage.

In 1993, Shiva received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) "...For placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse." Other awards she has received include the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1993 [2], and the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations (UN) for her commitment to the preservation of the planet.


Eating Animal Products Fuels Global Warming
Vegetarian Union Challenges Al Gore and Global Climate Activists to Acknowledge A Most Inconvenient Truth

The Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA), a network of many independent vegetarian groups, and the North American arm of IVU, challenges global warming activists and environmentalists to acknowledge that eating meat is one of the greatest causes of global warming. By eating lower on the food chain - ideally, an-all-plant-based diet -- humankind can take an essential and enormous step in reducing global warming.

"Al Gore and climate activists have consistently failed to recognize one of the most inconvenient truths of our time: that animal agriculture and animal product consumption on a global scale is perhaps the greatest (anthropogenic) cause of global warming today," said Saurabh Dalal, president of VUNA. "Given a personal choice between helping to save the planet and consuming animal products, too many people who should know better continue to gorge on their chicken wings and hamburgers."

A 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow ( concludes that global animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2 equivalents), an astonishing 18 percent of the total, more than all forms of transportation,.

The production of meat and other animal products for food contributes significantly to the primary global warming gases carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, accounting for 9%, 37%, and 65% of world totals, respectively. Furthermore, the global warming potential and effect of these gases is more striking since methane and nitrous oxide are 23 and 296 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. A University of Chicago study found that the average American diet, including all food processing steps, annually produces 1.5 tons of CO2-equivalent more than a meat-free diet.

Yet the media, public officials and even most environmentalists are failing to make people aware of this inconvenient truth, claims Richard Schwartz, a VUNA councilor and president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America. “Animal-based diets are threatening our planet, said Schwartz. “Every meal, like every trip, is a climate-change decision. Those in a position to educate the public should help people understand that their choice of diet is in fact more significant than their choice of automobile."

For these reasons and more (see BACKGROUNDER, below), VUNA is initiating a major campaign to urge Al Gore and the environmental community to transfer the meat from their plates to the center of their climate change-fighting agendas. "We will also be urging governments, corporations, educational and religious institutions, and other already progressive groups to actively promote plant-based diets and their tremendous benefits while continuing to empower individuals with information on environmentally affirming choices," said Dalal.


The world is currently raising over 50 billion farmed animals for slaughter each year and, in addition to its major impact on global warming, this is contributing significantly to the destruction of tropical rainforests and other valuable habitats, rapid species extinction, soil erosion and depletion and other environmental threats. Because of its high degree of inefficiency compared to plant protein production, animal agriculture is disproportionately depleting the planet's dwindling reserves of fresh water, land, fuel, and other resources. To make matters worse, the FAO report is projecting a major increase in the demand for animal products that will double the number of farmed animals by 2050.

This is especially alarming since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group composed of hundreds of the world's leading climate scientists, is predicting catastrophic effects if changes are not made soon, and many noted climate scientists are warning that global warming may spiral out of control within a decade if current conditions continue.

In addition to the environmental benefits, decades of research suggest that a population-wide shift away from meat and other animal foods toward plant foods would drastically reduce heart disease, cancer, obesity and other chronic degenerative diseases which currently account for trillions of dollars in global health costs. Scaling back global animal agriculture would also allow the world's limited arable land, fresh water and other agricultural resources to feed hundreds of millions more people.

Today eating a vegetarian or vegan diet doesn't mean giving up the enjoyment of eating. In fact today's vegetarian dishes are every bit as flavorful as those you'd find on an animal-based diet, if not more so, and many top chefs now cook without using animal ingredients

Further information on all of the above and more, including links to other material on dietary connections to global warming, may be found at the VUNA web site ( )

Contacts: Gerry Coffey, Councilor, Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA) 256-350-2823 home 256-318-2340 cell
or Richard Schwartz, VUNA Councilor (718) 761-5876 home 917 576 0344 cell


International Vegan Fest – Karnataka, India - 30 Sep–6 Oct
From 30 Sep to 6 Oct, the Indian Vegan Society will host the 11th International Vegan Festival at the RNS Residency in Murdeshwar, Karnataka, India. For more info, visit the Vegan Festival website :


Vegetarian Diets and a Healthy Weight

Here is an interview with Stephen Walsh - - author of ‘Plant Based Nutrition and Health’.

Can you please briefly describe a couple studies which suggest that a vegetarian diet may help people attain a healthy weight?

The most usual studies compare vegetarians with non-vegetarians. Pretty consistently the vegetarians are a couple of kilograms lighter, and the vegans a couple of kilograms lighter again. A recent example of this type of study was a paper (International Journal of Obesity, 2003; 27, 728–734) from the European Prospective Investigation of Cancer (EPIC) study group in Oxford. A follow up study of the same group (International Journal of Obesity, 2006; 30: 1389-1396) looked at change in weight over five years and found that while all dietary groups gained weight with age, the average weight gain for meat-eaters was 2.1 kg while vegans gained just 1.5 kg. People who changed their diet over the five years to include more Animal products gained 2.3 kg while those who moved towards a vegan diet gained just 1.2 kg.

What aspects of vegetarian diets might explain the beneficial effect that vegetarian food might have on weight?

In the EPIC study high protein and low fibre intake were both linked with higher weight. Many other studies have supported a role of higher fibre intake from whole plant foods in avoiding both excess weight and the associated health complications such as insulin resistance and diabetes.

Is it possible that the relatively higher water content of fruits and vegetables might help people eat less because the water content decreases appetite?

It seems unlikely that the water content directly accounts for the benefit as soft drinks are associated with weight gain. However, the lower calorie density of some plant foods (calories for a given weight/ volume/ amount of fibre) may play a part in reducing calorie intake: it's easier to overeat doughnuts than apples.

Being vegetarian is no guarantee that people will attain a healthy weight. What are the other factors involved in achieving a healthy weight, and what is the relative importance of each of those factors?

The most important factor is physical activity. In the EPIC study, very active individuals (exercising for at least an hour a day) showed a weight gain of 1.5 kg while those who were inactive gained 2.4 kg. A combination of a relatively unprocessed vegetarian or vegan diet and an active lifestyle provides a sound strategy for avoiding excessive weight gain in young to middle-aged adults.

Is there ongoing research into the link between vegetarianism and weight? If so, what research questions are being investigated?

The observed differences in weight between vegetarians and meat eaters are pretty well established now. What is still in dispute is why these differences occur and what specific factors linked to a vegetarian diet affect weight. Part of the difference may simply be that vegetarians can't always lay their hands on convenient high calorie snack foods when they feel the urge. Part may simply be that vegetarians are more controlled about their food choices in general and are more health conscious. Part, however, is likely to be the relatively high fibre and moderate fat and protein content of typical vegetarian diets. Ongoing research aims to clarify the relative importance of these and other factors.

Is lower weight always better?

Anyone with a body mass index (weight in kg divided by height in metres squared) below 19 would probably be better off being a bit heavier. The statistics tend to favour a BMI of about 20-25 as best on average. Lightly built people may be better on the low end of this while heavier built people may be better on the high end. A substantial "spare tyre" of fat around the stomach is always a bad sign but so is being scrawny: "size zero" is far from ideal for health.

We should also be aware that in the elderly weight loss can be a bigger threat than weight gain. Older adults should be careful to ensure that they consume sufficient food and should emphasise protein-rich foods such as oats, soya products, beans, peas and lentils to ensure a good protein intake as calorie intake declines.


Welcome to New IVU Member Organization

Associate Member Society : India
- Rao Bahadur Sheth Curumsey Damjee Arogya Bhuvan Trust -



Back to the Vegetarian Future for Mars Bars

The maker of Mars bars and other candy has abandoned plans to use animal rennet in the bars: news. 2/hi/uk_news/ 6673549.stm The about face apparently was a result of a campaign led by the UK Vegetarian Society. Thus, Mars bars have returned closer to what we hope to see if the future: a world where our fellow animals are not killed for human food.


Fund-Raising Opportunity from VegDining

VegDining - – is a website that contains restaurant listings and other information of interest to vegetarians and meat reducers.

From now until the end of October 2007 (World Vegetarian Month), if you have an active, purchased VegDining Card or VegDining login account, you can nominate any two vegetarian groups that you'd like us to support. Groups will receive $1 US of support for each nomination received, up to a maximum of $5,000 US per group.

Groups will receive support in the form of one or more of the following:

merchandise including VegDining Cards, restaurant gift certificates, books, magazines, or other vegetarian-related items for resale/prize giveaways by the group paid advertising or sponsorship by VegDining in that group's newsletter/magazine, other publications, website, events, etc., cash donations.

In addition, VegDining will offer part of the proceeds on every VegDining Card and login account purchased until October 31 towards the International Vegetarian Union's (IVU) Regional Development fund, which assists new vegetarian groups around the world, many in poorer countries. A minimum of $500 US will be donated by VegDining to support this very worthwhile program.


Poem – ‘Call Us By Our True Names’

Here's a poem inspired by a poem by the well-known author Thich Nhat Hanh titled “Call Me By My True Names”. The author of the poem below is Shen Shi'an, of Singapore,

Call Us By Our True Names

The last time you ordered me for dinner,
you forgot my true name.

I am not some wonton.
Please call me by my true name -
I am “Pig”.
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some nugget.
Please call me by my true name -
I am “Chicken”.
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some burger.
Please call me by my true name -
I am “Cow”.
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.


I am not some fillet.
Please call me by my true name -
I am “Fish”.
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some foie gras.
Please call me by my true name -
I am “Goose”.
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

Before you order me for dinner next time,
please remember my true name.

Blood Donation Star Is Vegetarian

Some people mistakenly believe that vegetarian diets lack iron and, thus, vegetarians are not able to donate blood. Below is an interview with Mr GOH Joo Heng ( ), one of Singapore’s top blood donors.

1. How long have you been a vegetarian?

10 years

2. What led you to go veg?

I realised it was cruel to shed the blood of other animals to enrich my own life.

3. What kind of veg are you?


4. When did you first become a blood donor? What kind of blood donation do you do?

My first donation was during junior college about 15 years ago. I started donating frequently after becoming a vegetarian. I have donated whole blood, plasma and platelets. Now, I donate mostly platelets and occasionally whole blood.

5. How many times have you donated blood?

Around 140. 83 times through the blood bank/mobile service and around 60 times platelets at Singapore General Hospital.

6. Why do you donate so often?

To save more lives and to return to the universe as much blood as possible that I have taken.

7. Do you worry that donating so often will make you weak?

I don't feel weak so there is no reason to worry. I monitor my haemoglobin level and serum iron store. So far, I have always passed the haemoglobin level test prior to blood donation. My most recent haemoglobin level on 8 May 07 was 14.8 g/dl, well above the 12.5 g/dl required for blood donation.

Recently, I also took a serum iron test to make sure my iron store is ok. The test also turned out to be ok.

8. How do you obtain enough iron?

I don't pay particular attention to getting enough iron. A healthy vegetarian diet will take care of itself.

9. Have you ever encountered doctors or others who have counselled you to eat meat? If so, how did you respond?

No, they don't have a reason to do so, as I rarely need to visit the doctor, and I’ve passed all the haemoglobin and iron level tests.

My omnivore sister also donates blood, and sometimes she failed the haemoglobin level test and couldn’t donate. When that happened, I asked her to drink vegetable juice and her haemoglobin level increased and she could donate again.

Eating meat to boost the iron level has side effects. Meat is loaded with pesticides, antibiotics and growth hormones. It can also result in excessive iron, which is dangerous.

10. Have you received any special acknowledgement for your donations?

Yes, the Bronze and Silver Award from the blood bank here in Singapore. I have clocked 83 times at the blood bank, so I should receive the Ruby Award soon. My 60 donations at Singapore General Hospital are not recorded in blood bank database. If they are included, I am only short of around 10 donations to earn the Champion of Champions Award, which only a handful of people in Singapore have achieved. I think the number of people who have earned with award is less than 20, and they are much older than me.

11. Any advice for other vegetarians who want to donate blood?

Those with further queries can post their questions on the donorweb forum:

I am the forum moderator there and will do my best to answer the questions.


Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

- Tempeh powder supplier in china -

- VegiPyrenees -

- Center for Inner Sciences -
- Cruelty free natural fiber footwear -
- Bhagouauty Prime Waves - Dr. Harmnder Singh -

- Mary O'Sullivan - quite-contrary -

- Aroma Leaf - Bio Botanica -

- Villa Taina, beach apartment -

- -
- - Go Vegan! -

- Yo & Li Fine Vegetarian -

- Vegetarian Recipes Realm -
- Over the Rainbow Wales –

- Powdercake girl band -
- League for Earth and Animal Protection (LEAP) -
- Dr. Charlotte Laws - Directors of Animal Wefare (DAW) -
- Book Lovers Cafe, vegetarian cafe and bookstore, Gainesville FL -
- Vegetarian Society of South Jersey (VSSJ) -
- -
- Vegetarian Foodie -
- The Retreat at Washington Lake NY -
- -

- Caodaism Veg group - Ho Chi Minh City - Nguyen Chi Lan -


Please Write for IVU News

Dear Veg Activist

Please use this newsletter as a way to share your knowledge, ideas and experiences with fellow veg activists.

Thx. -

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