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IVU News September 2007
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Table of Contents

  1. IVU Supports West African Congress - But More Help Needed!
  2. World Vegetarian Congress Devotes One Day to Vegetarian Nutrition
  3. Esperanto and Vegetarianism
  4. Presidents of Japan and China Vegetarian Societies Meet
  5. More Than 1400 IVU Registered Groups
  6. Winners of Tofu Haiku Contest Announced
  7. Welcome to New IVU Business Supporters
  8. Interview about ‘Vegetarian For Life’, An Organisation for Older Vegetarians
  9. UK Academic Conference to Debate Animal Abuse - Human Violence Link
  10. Book Review – Beans: A History
  11. Another Book Recommendation
  12. Drawing Sought for Education Project
  13. First Annual Meat-Free Business Conference, Cologne, Germany, Sep, 2007
  14. Free Online Game Highlights Chickens’ Plights and Spoofs Super Mario Bros
  15. Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered With IVU
  16. Upcoming Events
  17. Eel Farming
  18. Please Write For IVU News

IVU Supports West African Congress - But More Help Needed!
The Nigeria Vegetarian Society is planning to host the first ever African Vegetarian
Congress on December 8-10, 2007. All the food at the Congress will be completely vegan.

Emmanuel Eyoh, NVS President writes: "I am in touch with vegetarians & groups in the following countries in West Africa who will be taking part in the summit: Mali, Benin Republic, Ghana, Togo, Cameroon, Cote D'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Nigeria plus others outside the subregion."

IVU Funds are very limited, but the International Council has agreed to put up half of the estimated cost of US$6,000 (UKP3,000 / Euros 4,500). We have been given a very detailed breakdown of all expenses, which include helping delegates to attend and some food for local homeless people. It is being very well organised but, as always in Africa, funds are desperately short.

Thanks to the wonderful response to our email appeal for donations to support the first ever veg congress in Africa, we have already raised over half of the target amount in just one week! - but we still need more help from vegetarians and vegans in the richer countries to make up the rest of money. If everyone reading this Online News donated just US$2, there would be more than enough...

There is now lots more info about the congress at:

Donations can be made by credit card/Paypal at:

IVU guarantees that *ALL* money sent from that page will be used in Africa, regardless of how much is given.

Isaac Dikeocha, IVU Regional Co-ordinator for Africa, based in South Africa, writes: "I have been to Vegetarian Society of Nigeria. The executive members hosted me during my West African tour, and I saw the good work they are doing. They are active and have organized major vegetarian events in Africa.

There have been financial aid requests from many African groups in the past which I did not approve. The fact is that I only try to approve the request of societies I know that are active and that can use the money wisely in promoting vegetarianism in their locality."

Many thanks to those who have donated so far - we hope that others will also be able to help.

World Vegetarian Congress Devotes One Day to Vegetarian Nutrition

The 100th anniversary IVU World Vegetarian Congress, in Dresden, Germany, 27 July – 3 August, 2008, will devote an entire day to each of five key topics:

For example, on Tues, 29 July, the topic will be Vegetarian Diet, Health and Sports. Below is information on two of that day’s featured speakers: Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina.

  1. Brenda Davis, registered dietitian and nutritionist, is a leader in her field and a dynamic, internationally acclaimed speaker. She is co-author of six books: Becoming Vegetarian; Becoming Vegan; The New Becoming Vegetarian; Defeating Diabetes; Dairy-Free and Delicious; and The Raw Food Diet Revolution. Also, she is a past chair of the Vegetarian Nutrition Diabetic Practice Group of the American Dietetic Association. Brenda is currently working on a diabetes intervention research project in Majuro, Marshall Islands. She spent 8 months in Majuro in 2006 and returns to the Marshall Islands for 4-6 week periods 2-3 times a year.
  2. Vesanto Melina, MS, Registered Dietitian, did her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of London, England and the University of Toronto. She has taught nutrition at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and at Seattle’s Bastyr University. She co-authored the 2003 Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian Diets and the Vegetarian Nutrition section (Chapter 10) of the American Dietetics Association's Manual of Clinical Dietetics. Vesanto is widely known in the media - press, TV and radio - and regularly consults for government and industry.

We plan a plenary session with both of them on the topic of vegan nutrition, plus two sessions in the afternoon: Brenda Davis, Defeating Diabetes; Vesanto Melina, Surviving and Thriving Despite Food Allergies.

Esperanto and Vegetarianism

Esperanto is a language created in the 19th century with the specific purpose of promoting harmony among people from different backgrounds. According to IVU Historian, John Davis, the Esperanto movement played a significant role in the creation of IVU in 1908 and appears to have been an IVU member ever since. Thus, it is no surprise that at the 2007 Esperanto Congress, held last month in Yokohama, Japan, a vegetarian lunch was organised for anyone interested.

The 2008 Esperanto Congress will be held in the Netherlands just a week before the IVU World Vegetarian Congress, which will be held 27 July-3 August, and we hope that some people will choose to attend both events. For more on the Veg-Esperanto link:

For more on Esperanto:

Presidents of Japan and China Vegetarian Societies Meet

Dr Mitsuru Kakimoto, president of the Japan Vegetarian Society (JVPS) as well as a former IVU councillor, visited Beijing recently and met with Ms Sayila Ma, president of the Chinese Vegetarian Union (CVU), on August 20. They had initially met at the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa.  At their August 2007 meeting, which was also attended by two council members from each organization, the two presidents agreed that JPVS and CVU will work together to promote vegetarianism in East Asia through educational activities. 

More Than 1400 IVU Registered Groups

Groups which are not formal members or supporters of IVU can nonetheless obtain a simple, free listing on the IVU website. Currently there are a total of 1,423 such groups, some businesses, some non-profits, with a huge variety of particular interests.

The only requirements are that they must be relevant to veg*ism, and they must have a valid email address for the annual check on the details. Unlike many online databases, which have vast amounts of outdated junk - IVU requires each Registered Group to confirm every year that they still exist and that their details are correct. The full database can be searched at

Here is a listing of the number of Registered Groups currently in each country:

  • over 50: USA 572; UK 179; Canada 98; India 57
  • 20-49: Australia 45; Germany 44; France 24; Italy 22; Brazil 21
  • 10-19: Spain 18; Argentina 17; Austria 16; Ireland 16; China 14; New Zealand 14; Netherlands 13; Poland 13; South Africa 12; Chile 10; Russia 10; Switzerland 10
  • 4-9: Portugal 9; Sweden 9; Belgium 8; Czech Republic 8; Japan 7; Malaysia 7; Norway 7; Philippines 7; Singapore 7; Colombia 6; Thailand 6; Mexico 5; Peru 5; Puerto Rico 5; Turkey 5; Vietnam 5
  • 1-4: Bolivia 4; Bulgaria 4; Croatia 4; Denmark 4; Hungary 4; Taiwan 4; Finland 3; Ghana 3; Kenya 3; Lithuania 3; Malta 3; South Korea 3; Nigeria 3; Uganda 3; Venezuela 3; Costa Rica 2; Ecuador 2; Greece 2; Indonesia 2; Iran 2; Israel 2; Mauritius 2; Moldova 2; Pakistan 2; Slovakia 2; Slovenia 2; Ukraine 2; Albania 1; Bangladesh 1; Botswana 1; Cameroon 1; Cote D'Ivoire 1; Egypt 1; Gambia 1; Grenada 1; Guatemala 1; Jamaica 1; Kuwait 1; Nepal 1; Romania 1; Serbia 1; Sri Lanka 1; Tanzania 1

shirtWinners of Tofu Haiku Contest Announced

The Toronto Vegetarian Association has announced the winners of its Tofu Haiku Contest. The contest attracted more than 300 entries from places as far away as Argentina and New Zealand. To read the winning haiku,

Welcome to New IVU Business Supporters



E-INN (We make business a healthy affair), Bangalore India -

Sai Vishram: A Vegetarian, Non-alchoholic Beach Resort, Karnataka, India -

Interview about ‘Vegetarian For Life’, An Organisation for Older Vegetarians

Tina Fox - - is a long-time IVU Council member who recently became the first manager of Vegetarian for Life, an organisation that promotes the interests of older vegetarians. In this interview, Tina explains more about the organisation and why it is needed.

1. Congratulations on being the first manager of Vegetarian For Life, an organisation dedicated to improving the lives of older vegetarians and vegans in the U.K. Why is such an organisation necessary?

We feel that no one is really focussing on this issue as it is not sexy or exciting. We all get old one day, but most people prefer not to think about it, and it is rather the Cinderella of the veggie movement.

2. Can you please share a story of a typical older vegetarian?

I think there is no typical older vegetarian or vegan! Many folks are fit and active well into the 90's on such a diet, but others are not, and as many do not have children, they can be very vulnerable if they end up in residential care. We have heard of a few cases where older folk, particularly those with no relatives and perhaps failing mental capacities, were force fed meat, as the home couldn't be bothered. My own father when in hospital told me the tale of the elderly Hindu man in his ward who they would not feed and who became very distressed. That is a worst case scenario, but even best case can mean an unhealthy diet of constant pizza and macaroni cheese!

3. Are you mostly dealing with people who have been vegetarian for many years, or are there also many older people who have only recently decided to become vegetarian or to go from vegetarian to vegan?

Mostly long term vegetarian or vegan - you do get some older converts, but generally people get more set in their ways as they age. Some older veggies have worked hard for the movement in the years past when things were more difficult; we should look after their interests in return.

4. What are some blind spots that younger vegetarians and the general public might have about older vegetarians?

I think people forget that needs change - older people tend to eat more often but smaller meals and have some differences in their nutritional requirements. Additionally, the food they ate when younger may now be more difficult to digest, they are likely to be less active and they may have loss of appetite and need tempting. We have to consider all this when menu planning and cooking.

Younger vegetarians may also forget what a wonderful source of knowledge older vegetarians can be - I know of plenty such people from VSUK (Vegetarian Society United Kingdom), and I am sure the movement worldwide has similar national treasures!

5. What can vegetarian organisations do to attract older members and to encourage those older members to be active in the organisation?

I think we have to offer something in return - rather like Saga in the UK (an organisation for over-50s):

We have to respect the needs of our elders and work on their behalf, and then they may take the organisations seriously. Of course, many older vegetarians and vegans are active and often more loyal than younger members who may only join an organisation for what they get out of it.

6. What future plans does Vegetarian For Life have?

We hope to have a guidance booklet available later this year primarily aimed at care homes, and we would be happy for it to be used and translated elsewhere once it is available. Thus, we encourage vegetarian organisations in other countries to stay in touch:

UK Academic Conference to Debate Animal Abuse - Human Violence Link

A groundbreaking international conference, aimed at exploring the link between cruelty to animals and person-to-person violence, will attract leading academics to Oxford University's Keble College on 18 September.

The inaugural event of the newly-founded Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics (OCAE), the conference aims to identify links between violence meted out to animals and to people in order to develop social and legal mechanisms to better safeguard the well-being of both.

The Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, director and founder of the OCAE, believes that people concerned for animals have missed something important, saying 'It isn't just that cruelty to animals is unjust to animals -- there is now increasingly solid evidence that animal cruelty harms human beings'.

The conference, which draws speakers and delegates from Europe, America, Australasia and Africa, will be opened by Erin Pizzey, the award winning humanitarian and founder of refuges for battered women and children.

Full programme and online registration available at |

Book Review – Beans: A History
Beans: A History
Two of my first vegetarian recipe books were the prolific Rose Elliot’s Beanfeast and The Bean Book. Their titles encapsulated the importance of beans in vegetarian and vegan cuisine. However, it was only when I read Ken Albala’s Beans: A History that I came to appreciate their significance to so many cultures and civilisations.

Beans: A History is not a recipe book, vegetarian or otherwise. Although it contains around fifty recipes, they are included for historical interest, rather than for culinary purposes, as few of them specify quantities or preparation times. Rather, as the title suggests, the book describes the cultural and gastronomic significance of beans from their earliest recorded use to the present day. Most Western societies have traditionally regarded beans as a food of the poor, suitable only for rustic labourers able to digest their tough, fibrous skins and unperturbed by the noisy side effects of dried beans. As the song goes, “Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart – the more you eat the more you f**t”.

However, times and attitudes change, and the ubiquitous soy bean has now become an integral part of modern European and North American diets in its many guises, whilst the UK has the highest per capita consumption of baked beans in the world. Meanwhile, countries such as China and India have embraced beans enthusiastically for centuries and show no sign of losing interest.

The future of beans seems assured, and indeed their uses may well extend to non-food items such as fuels and building materials. With their variety, versatility and virtual indestructibility in dried form, beans are likely to form an essential part of the human diet for generations to come.

Beans: A History is scholarly but surprisingly readable and full of fascinating detail. However, at roughly 250 pages of rather small print, the book is hard going at times, and it is unlikely to appeal to a wide audience: this is not a book for the coffee table or the kitchen. A major drawback is the absence of illustrations. Nevertheless, Beans: A History would make a valuable addition to the bookshelf of anyone hungry to know the cultural and gastronomic history of the food on their plate.

Beans: A History by Ken Albala, Berg, 256pp, HB 978 1 84520 430 3, £14-99

Paul Appleby, August 2007

Another Book Recommendation
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
IVU’s North America Regional Coordinator, Gerry Coffey, recommends the following coffee table style book: Hungry Planet, What the World Eats, by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluison. The book describes what people in different countries eat in the course of a typical week and their favourite foods.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly wrote, “While the photos are extraordinary--fine enough for a stand-alone volume--it's the questions these photos ask that make this volume so gripping. This is a beautiful, quietly provocative volume.”

Here are some data from the book:

Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide
Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07 - Favorite foods: fried potatoes with onions, bacon and herring, fried noodles with eggs and cheese, pizza, vanilla pudding
United States: The Revis family of North Carolina
Food expenditure for one week: $341.98 - Favorite foods: spaghetti, potatoes, sesame chicken
China: The Dong family of Beijing
Food expenditure for one week: 1,233.76 Yuan or $155.06 - Favorite foods: fried shredded pork with sweet and sour sauce

Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo
Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53 - Family recipe: Okra and mutton
Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo
Food expenditure for one week: $31.55 - Family recipe: Potato soup with cabbage
Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp
Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23 - Favorite foods: soup with fresh sheep meat

Drawing Sought for Education Project

To encourage people to eat less or no meat, Vegetarian Society (Singapore) – - has started a project that requires drawings, and the Society is offering token cash subsidies of US$200 and US$100 for two drawings that the Society’s appointed judges believe would be useful. Vegetarian Society (Singapore) is an IVU member and a non-profit charity. Here’s the concept.

Humans eat other animals for food, even though we humans can be perfectly healthy without eating meat. We continue to eat other animals despite the fact that these fellow animals are thinking, feeling beings who suffer greatly, who are deprived of any semblance of a natural life. Why do we humans do this to other animals? One reason we continue to unnecessarily use other animals for food is that we have the ability to do so; our intellectual gifts have allowed us to achieve dominance over other animals.

One way to help humans empathize with the plight of our fellow animals would be to encourage us to imagine another species coming to Earth, a species more intelligent than humans, a species who decide to eat us because we taste so good, a species that can do with us what they want because they are more intelligent. The members of this species don’t hate humans; in fact, they think we’re cute, at least some of us. Furthermore, this species aren’t monsters, any more than we humans are monsters [no monster drawings, pls] because we eat other animals. It’s just that eating humans has become a tradition for them; it’s what they’re accustomed to. It’s easy and convenient; plus, many of their doctors tell them that human meat has lots of essential nutrients.

Vegetarian Society (Singapore) is looking for a drawing of this super species to use in their education project. The target audience is the general public, with an emphasis on people from 15-30 years of age. Colour drawings are not necessary; Black and white will suffice. Multiple entries up to three are permitted.

Please submit your drawings via email; no hard copies, please. Drawings can be done in any medium including charcoal, pen, ink, pencil, pastels, and digital art. You can draw the figure only or you can provide background. Original drawings in hard copy can be done in any size, but all submitted drawings must be in soft copy of A1 size, 300 dpi, sent as 100 dpi via a jpeg file of not more than 2MB. If you would like to submit drawings but are not interested in being considered for the cash subsidy, please let us know.

Deadline:                12 November 2007 (early submissions encouraged)
Decision by:             31 November 2007
Send attached file: (no files over 2MB, pls)
Please include:         (1) your name, (2) postal address, (3) email address, (4) a statement that the drawing is your own original work

Entries will not be returned and become the property of Vegetarian Society (Singapore).
The judges’ decision is final. The top drawings may become the basis for sculptures and other works. These will be used strictly for educational, non-profit purposes. Vegetarian organisations in other countries are free to use the idea without acknowledging or informing Vegetarian Society (Singapore). Indeed, it is not an original concept.

First Annual Meat-Free Business Conference, Cologne, Germany, Sep, 2007

In another sign of the times, what is being billed as a first of its kind conference, the organisers are attempting to bring the meat-free industry together to share experience and chart a future course of further expansion. The conference will be held 11-12 Oct in Cologne, Germany:

Free Online Game Highlights Chickens’ Plight and Spoofs Super Mario Bros

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has produced a free online game to draw attention to the terrible lives chickens suffer on factory farms. The game parodies the Super Mario series of computer games:

Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered With IVU

Upcoming Events

Editor’s Note: IVU Online News is happy to run a short announcement of your local or international event. It’s best to include a web link so that people can visit your website to learn more about your event.

  • Charlottesville (Virginia, USA) Vegetarian Festival
    The 11th Annual Charlottesville Vegetarian Festival, one of the largest vegetarian festivals in the United States and recently voted one of the top two outdoor events in Charlottesville, Virginia, will be held Sat, 29 Sep - 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM.
  • Raw Spirit Festival 
    Billed as ‘The Grandest Raw Vegan Eco-Peace Celebration on Earth’, the 3rd annual Raw Spirit Festival will be held 12-14 Oct in Sedona, Arizona, USA. For info: 1-928-776-1497 or 1-928-708-0784
  • Boston Vegetarian Food Festival
    The 12th annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival will be held 20 Oct, 10am-6pm at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center, 1350 Tremont St., Boston. Info:  617-424-8846,
    Organized by the Boston Vegetarian Society, the event offers free admission, free food sampling, free parking, discounted shopping, children’s activities and educational talks and exhibitions.

Eel Farming

Some people think that it’s only land animals who suffer the horrors of factory farming, but such practices are increasingly being used with marine animals as well, as is shown in the article from The New York Times. Free registration may be necessary to view the article:

Please Write for IVU Online News

Dear Veg Activist

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

Thx. -–george jacobs –

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