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IVU Online News December 2007
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Table of Contents

  1. Deadlines Approaching for IVU World Vegetarian Congress
  2. Interview with IVU Liaison Officer for Europe
  3. A Major New Addition to the IVU Website
  4. Recap of Recent Veg Events
  5. Upcoming Events
  6. Saving Endangered Species from Being Eaten
  7. Sad, But Important, Video Available Online
  8. Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion
  9. Welcome to New IVU Business Supporter
  10. Genetically Modified Foods and Meat
  11. Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  12. Please Write for IVU News

Deadlines Approaching for IVU World Vegetarian Congress

Dec 31 is the deadline for applications to be a speaker at the IVU World Vegetarian Congress, 27 Jul – 3 Aug, 2008 in Dresden, Germany. If you would like to offer a speech or a workshop, please send your application via the internet:

Jan 31 is the next deadline for early booking discounts. After that date, the congress fee will be 160 EUR instead of 140 EUR:

Interview with IVU Liaison Officer for Europe

Below is an interview with Hildegund Scholvien, IVU Liaison Officer for Europe and one of the main organisers of the 100th anniversary World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, Germany, 27 Jul – 3 Aug, 2008.

1. You are the IVU Liaison Officer for Europe. How long have you held that position?

I have been in this position since 2004, and my role is primarily to liaise between IVU and EVU (European Vegetarian Union).

2. How were you involved in vegetarianism before that?

My first active participation in organised vegetarianism was in 1982, at the IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Neu-Ulm/Germany. Later, I was the German delegate to the founding committee for the EVU in 1985, I was EVU’s president for some years, and I’m now its treasurer. Also, I am deputy chair of the German Vegetarian Society (VEBU) and have served on the IVU Council since 1994.

3. Wow! That’s a lot for one person! How did you learn about IVU?

At the Congress in Neu-Ulm.

4. How is the vegetarian movement different in the former Soviet Bloc parts of Europe compared to other parts of the continent?

The Cold War was a very difficult time for vegetarians in the former East-bloc region. My family had friends in the Eastern part of Germany, and we had to use all sorts of tricks to provide them with information, food, and even simple equipment for the daily life. Vegetarian organisations were forbidden, and even now, there is a lack of organised structures to promote vegetarianism. It is hard work to bring the people together to form active vegetarian societies. Fortunately, a few societies are quite successful, such as in the Czech Republic, but most of the countries need support.

5. You are one of the main organisers of the 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress to be held 27 July to 3 August in Dresden, Germany. When did you begin organising the Congress?

My husband and I started about four years ago, allowing us enough time for the preparations.

6. What are two features of the upcoming Congress that you are especially proud of?

We are very proud that the Congress is coming home to Dresden as a jubilee congress, 100 years after the very first congress, and we are doing our best to make it an unforgettable event. At the moment, it is rather hard work to put a lot of bits and pieces together. It will only be next August (2008), when everything is over and the congress has been a success that we can be really proud.

7. As IVU liaison officer for Europe, what are some of your plans for promoting vegetarianism in your region?

Together with others in EVU and IVU, I hope to meet many people from the Central and Eastern European countries at the congress, and I would like to encourage them and find ways to build closer cooperation with vegetarian societies in those countries.

8. Do you do your Liaison Officer to EVU work full-time, or do you have a regular job, too?

Working for the VEBU, EVU and IVU is more than comparable to a full-time job. At the beginning of this year, I retired from my full-time job in our town library, in order to have enough time for the preparation of the congress.

9. Please share a vegetarian joke with us.

This is the most difficult point of the interview, but I’ll try.
Two chickens pass a house and hear the human family talking about their meals. “We are almost vegetarians by now ... . “ Upon hearing that, the chickens immediately hurry to get away from the house. While running away, one chicken says to the other, “I know that kind of talk; it’s dangerous!”

A Major New Addition to the IVU Website 

In 1981, Julia (now Professor) Twigg wrote her Ph.D. thesis, titled, ‘The Vegetarian Movement in England, 1847-1981: A Study in the Structure of its Ideology’. The thesis was never published, and only two or three copies existed, despite which all the more serious veg historians over the last 26 years have managed to gain access to it, and have made extensive use of it.

Julia recently agreed to the entire thesis, all 456 pages, being published on the IVU website, and this is now done. It covers a vast range of interests including health & nutrition, religion, organisations, sociology & politics, feminism, animal rights, education, the environment, and each of those for each of the historical periods covered. The index is at:

Recap of Recent Veg Events

Here is a recap, in some cases with video, of recent events aimed at promoting vegetarianism.

  1. You can watch a video on International Meatless Day Carnival in Penang, Malaysia:
    The video includes brief interviews with Susianto Tseng, IVU regional coordinator for East/SE Asia and Oceania, and Secretary General of the Indonesia Vegetarian Society.

  2. You can see an interview with Shankar Narayan - IVU regional coordinator for India & West Asia – at That's the report, photos and videos of the International Vegan Festival in India. There is also an interview on there with Dr. Abdol Ghaffar Ebadi, president of the Iran Vegetarian Society (an IVU member society), and several others - all compiled by Marly Winckler, IVU regional coordinator for Latin America.

  3. Jashu Shah, outgoing president of the Asian Vegetarian Union (AVU), sent the following excerpted report about their recent AVU Congress in Taiwan:

    Congress went on very well with 7000 delegates. The opening ceremony was done like an Olympics in sports; there was a march-past with the flag of Asian Vegetarian Union. Twenty-two countries were represented. The closing ceremony was at the hall which holds 4500 people. Food was excellent. In five days more than 317 different items were served. There are 1000 vegetarian restaurants in Taiwan and more than 100,000 vegetarians.

    The 4th Asian Vegetarian Congress will be held in 2009 in Indonesia, and the flag which was hoisted at the time of Opening Ceremony of Third Asian Vegetarian Congress in Taiwan was handed over to Indonesia to be used for 4th Asian Vegetarian Congress. Lots of photos at

West African Vegetarian Congress
The Nigeria Vegetarian Society is hosting the first ever African Vegetarian Congress on Dec 8-10, 2007, in Lagos, Nigeria. Delegates from Ghana, Liberia, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire and Eritrea are planning to attend, as well as lots from Nigeria. Donations from IVU Online News readers are helping to fund the Congress. See:
Vegan Triathlon 2008
The 4th Vegan Triathlon will be held in Christchurch, New Zealand on February 24th, 2008. The triathlon is open to all vegans of all abilities. The Vegan Triathlon is a friendly event which has been designed for all fitness levels, ages and interests. Our aim is for participants to enjoy and push themselves in a safe, fun and supportive environment. It is a unique event where serious athletes participate alongside novices and everyone is a winner. Go to for more information.

EVU Talks 2008. 1-4 May, 2008
In an effort to facilitate cooperation with and between member organisations, the European Vegetarian Union is organising its annual `EVU Talks'. The 2008 theme is:
'Vegetarianism, the ultimate animal welfare'. The event is organised by Schweizerische Vereinigung für Vegetarismus (SVV). For more info: or contact Renato Pichler at

Saving Endangered Species from Being Eaten

Below is the link for an article about Thailand’s efforts to save members of an endangered species, the pangolins, from being eaten. Thailand’s efforts in this regard are great, but maybe people around the world could see it a different way. Why not see each of our fellow animals, even each one of the 40+ billion chickens whom humans eat annually, as having a right not just to live but to live as natural a life as possible? This right applies whether this individual thinking, feeling being is  one of 100 remaining members of a species or a member of a species “mass produced” in the tens of billions for human consumption.

Sad, But Important, Video Available Online

The ‘Earthlings’ video makes the important point that although we humans are earthlings, just like the other animals, rather than look out for our fellow earthlings, we abuse them for our own supposed gain. This abuse persists despite the fact that most of these fellow animals belong to species who were on the planet long before humans.

‘Earthlings’ depicts some of the many ways our fellow planet dwellers suffer at our hands. Beware, although the film is narrated by a Hollywood actor, Joaquin Phoenix (perhaps best known for his portrayal of Country-Western singer Johnny Cash), Phoenix uses a sad monotone throughout. That, combined with the film’s content, makes for rather dreary viewing.

You can watch the film online for no charge and/or you can support the production of such films by purchasing Earthlings:

"Of all the films I have ever made, this is the one that gets people talking the most. For every one person who sees EARTHLINGS, they will tell three." - Joaquin Phoenix, actor/narrator

"If I could make everyone in the world see one film, I'd make then see EARTHLINGS." - Peter Singer, author Animal Liberation

"EARTHLINGS is the definitive film of all time that Americans don't want to see." - Gretchen Wyler, The Humane Society of USA

"For those who watch EARTHLINGS, the world will never be the same." - Tom Regan, author A Case for Animal Rights

Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion  

On Nov 7, 2007, Best Friends Animal Society hosted a historic gathering of people of many diverse faiths in Washington, D.C. United by their compassion for animals, the diverse group came together to witness the unveiling and signing of 'A Religious Proclamation for Animal Compassion.' This important document, created by a group of clergy representing more than 20 of the world's religious traditions, issues calls to action for people of all faiths to reclaim a commitment to animals.

The goal is to collect 1 million signatures in support of the proclamation:

Welcome to New IVU Business Supporter

Rangoli - Veg. Restaurant, Margao, Goa, India -


Genetically Modified Foods and Meat

Gerry Coffey, IVU Regional Coordinator for North America, passed on the following article from The New Statesman:

The secret GM invasion
Gundula Azeez, New Statesman, 20 November 2007

A Soil Association study has found that many supermarkets are selling products from animals fed on GM crops, despite having 'non-GM' policies

For over a decade, the public has rejected GM foods. Intuitive concerns had been reinforced by the highly publicised findings of the first Government sponsored animal trials, in which strange lesions were found in the guts of GM-fed rats. To their credit, the supermarkets adopted non-GM policies and, by October 2002, they were using no GM (genetically modified) ingredients in their own-brand products.

Yet, for some years the Soil Association and other organisations have been concerned about the use of GM animal feed. Due to a legal loop-hole, although foods or animal feeds that directly contain GM ingredients must be labelled as ‘GM’, there is no such requirement for meat and dairy foods produced from animals fed on GM crops.

Any use of GM animal feed could thus be kept hidden from consumers. Last year, in noticeably evasive replies to letters from our supporters, the supermarkets admitted that their non-GM policies did not cover animal feed. The Soil Association decided to conduct an in-depth investigation.

Our findings presented in our report, ‘Silent invasion: the hidden use of GM crops in livestock feed’ are deeply concerning. By testing animal feeds and reviewing the industry’s sourcing policies, we have found that high levels of GM animal feed are being used. 73% of the feeds we tested contained some GM soya and 75% were labelled as ‘GM’. Based on our findings, around 60% of the maize and 30% of the soya in the dairy and pig sectors are GM.

What this means is that nearly all non-organic milk, dairy products (such as cheese and yoghurt) and pork products sold in UK shops and restaurants are produced from GM-fed animals. So, most consumers are unwittingly eating foods produced from GM crops every day.

We also reviewed progress on the science of the safety of GM crops, since the early days of the debate when there was little to go on. The Food Standards Agency had been assuring consumers that they would not be exposed to GM material by eating foods from GM-fed animals. However, four studies by different scientific teams have now found that small amounts of GM DNA can be detected in milk and tissues from GM-fed animals.

It also turns out that the first animal feeding trials were not flukes. Very many of the animal trials carried out since then have found deeply worrying effects. These include toxic effects in body organs, allergic reactions, unexplained deaths and stunted growth in the offspring. This raises serious questions about how GM-fed animals can be considered suitable for producing human food.

In the view of the Soil Association, there has been a failure of both the market and the scientific advisory process. The biotechnology industry has managed to persuade many normally clear-minded people, sadly including many scientists, that they should support GM crops if they are 'pro-science'.

The important fact that the science has actually emerged against GM crops has gone unnoticed. Perhaps it would help to point out that genetic engineering is not a science, it is only a technique. Rejection of GM does not mean a rejection of science.

Until the scientific community come to terms with the research and supports a responsible - and genuinely science-based - approach, the Soil Association strongly recommends that people try to avoid foods produced from GM-fed animals. Among the supermarkets, Marks-and-Spencer is far ahead of the others, with all of their milk and fresh meat produced from non-GM feed. We urge other supermarkets and catering companies to follow their lead and to meanwhile to label any products from GM-fed animals so that at least people can choose.

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

Vegan Social Club of Beijing

Bioristoro - ZenZero Biorestaurant -
Centro d'Ompio - accommodation, meditation, spiritual experience -

Survival Guide for Vegetarians (not only in Tokyo) -

Green Tara Tours -

Angel Food - gluten free, dairy free, egg free, vegan -

Vegetarian Society of South Africa (new website) -

SOUTH KOREA (thanks to everyone who facilitated the recent Korea visit of the editor of IVU Online News)

Cathy’s Healing English -
Hanulvut ChaesigNara – vegetarian organization -
Sanchon – vegetarian restaurant, featuring temple food -
VegetarianKorea website – listings of restaurants and more -

Fruit Balance - the Super Fruits revolutionary drink -

GreenVee, Ethical Footwear -

Healthy Adventure -the ultimate vegetarian vacation -
Native Foods - California Vegan restaurants -
Vegan Venue, Inc., NY - - Vegetarian Videos -

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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