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IVU Online News March 2008
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Table of Contents

  1. Dresden: Get Ready!
  2. Communiqué from 1st West Africa Vegetarian Congress
  3. Save the Planet Petition from Argentina Vegetarian Union
  4. Interview with IVU Regional Coordinator for North America
  5. Entertaining Non-Vegetarians
  6. Welcome to New IVU Business Supporter
  7. Upcoming Events
  8. World Clock Charts Incidence of Disease
  9. Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  10. Another Professional Athlete Goes Veg
  11. VegDining Reviews Please
  12. Please Write for IVU News

Dresden: Get Ready!

Everything is coming together well for a great IVU World Vegetarian Congress, 27 Jul- 2 Aug, 2008, in Dresden, Germany. Here are some updates on what we have to look forward to.

1. The tentative programme is ready at

2. The Post-Congress Tour is open for registration:

The registration deadline is 30 April. The tour is definitely worth joining. You will see the new capital and the biggest city of Germany, Berlin, the historic town of Potsdam with its famous architectural and artistic treasures from the days of the Prussian kings, and the Spreewald - - one of the most wonderful nature reserves in all of Europe.

3. To further entice you to come to Dresden, there will be a raffle of three silver V-pendants. All those who have paid their Congress registration fee before 30 Jun will be eligible for the raffle.

For more information on this 100th anniversary Congress:

Communiqué from 1st West Africa Vegetarian Congress

The first West Africa Vegetarian Congress was held last year in Lagos, Nigeria, 7-10 December. Here, thanks to Korblah Korbla-Wisdom, are excerpts from the communiqué issued by the conference delegates.

  1. IVU Africa should try to establish contact with religious groups, because they have the people who are vegetarians, so that they can become members of the IVU Africa group, This will help to promote vegetarianism in Africa.
  2. We will endeavour to establish cooking school/classes as means of teaching people good methods of preparing vegetarian and vegan foods.
  3. To be recognised by the IVU Africa, each association in Africa should register with its government or government agency responsible for registration of companies.
  4. We must try to separate religion from vegetarianism, especially at congresses to let people know that vegetarianism is a way of life. (It has been observed that in Africa about 90% of vegetarians are vegetarians because of religion.)
  5. Vegetarian organisations should link with health professionals like such as doctors, nutritionists, and nurses, to help explain the benefits of vegetarianism, because health professionals have direct contact with people with health related problems, people might accept or believe them easily if they recommend or tell them the benefits of vegetarian diets.
  6. Every organization should at least have a website, and should organize events and outreach programmes.
  7. There is the need to have an Africa Vegetarian online newsletter with contributions from each country.
  8. Each country must have an active coordinator. The country coordinators will work with the IVU Regional Coordinator for Africa.
  9. IVU Africa should have regular congresses, a secretariat and a constitution.
  10. A Fund for Africa should be established.

It was resolved that Ghana should host the 2nd West Africa Congress in 2008 and that Cameroon will host the event in 2009.

Save the Planet Petition from Argentina Vegetarian Union 

The Argentina Vegetarian Union - - has started a petition to the UN, entitled Save The Planet - Change Your Diet. Here is the explanation.

According to UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow - . ./A0701E00.pdf - the meat industry is the one of the main producers of greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation states that ranching is “the major driver of deforestation worldwide”, and overgrazing is turning a fifth of all pastures and ranges into desert. Pesticides used to grow cattle feed and antibiotics and hormones used to treat cattle get into drinking water and the food supply and endanger human health.

The Argentinean Vegetarian Union (UVA) asks the United Nations and, through this organisation, every government in the world to sensitize the world population about the importance of basing our diet on plant foods and to promote a dietary change as the main measure to diminish greenhouse gas emissions.

The UVA calls on every sensitive person interested in preserving life to sign this petition. The collected signatures will be sent to the United Nations.

Join this initiative! Save the future of our planet for future generations:

Interview with IVU Regional Coordinator for North America

This interview with Gerry Coffey - - is the fifth in a series of interviews with IVU representatives in various parts of the world. To find the contact information for the IVU representative in your part of the world, visit

1. When and why did you become a vegetarian?

I became a vegan in 1984 for selfish reasons. It saved my life. In my early years I knew nothing about nutrition and thought exercise was the key to health and fitness. After giving birth to 4 babies in 4 years, I wondered if I would ever see my feet again;-).

My body was pretty depleted when we moved to Thailand in 1966 at the height of the Vietnam War and I worked as a journalist.
I didn't smoke but often went for days with little food or sleep, living on strong, syrupy coffee laden with sugar and powdered milk. When a rare break in schedule occurred, I indulged in wild binges of "eating, drinking and making merry." Only my youth allowed such abuse and after nearly a decade my body cried out with a vengeance.

“We teach what we need to learn,” the saying goes, so on returning to the United States, I became a Health Educator in the High Risk Maternal and Infant Care Unit at a major metropolitan hospital. I was also a reporter with access to the world's authorities on health, as well as a fitness instructor, so I thought I had an edge on health. That illusion came to a halt with the diagnosis of an ovarian cyst that eventually grew to the size of a cantaloupe.

Much to everyone's concern, I refused the surgery and immersed myself in study which eventually led me to embrace a strict vegan diet and fasting to overcome disease. It took 3 major fasts over a 3 year period and a close bout with death before my body had the resources to resolve the cyst (minus drugs or surgery) and rebuild health through a strict, uncooked vegan diet of fruits and vegetables.

2. You are the IVU Regional Coordinator (RC) for North America. How were you involved in vegetarianism before that?

The prospect of death is a great motivator. My husband, Ray, and I spent the next 2 decades investing time, energy and finances to learn from the few world luminaries who truly practice health promotion, not disease treatment. When my early demise proved GREATLY exaggerated, we were urged to start consultations and had great success with those willing to change to a vegan lifestyle. Wishing to share more, we offered free monthly classes at the regional library called Healthy Alternatives: Disease-Free-Living-Through-Nutrition & Fitness. For those wanting intense counselling we conduct Learn-to-Live-Weekend-Retreats to teach practical, hands-on methods on how to live a more health-oriented lifestyle.

3. How did you learn about IVU?

As our knowledge and experience grew, in 1996, we were invited to lecture and present a food demonstration at the North American Vegetarian Society’s (NAVS) annual “Summerfest” at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. NAVS was also hosting the IVU World Vegetarian Congress which was taking place at the same time.

4. On one hand, North America has among the world’s highest per capita rates of meat consumption. On the other hand, vegetarianism is growing there. How do you explain this contrast?

Some might recall the words to a once-popular song: “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do,” by Neil Sadaka. It is also difficult to break firmly established habits. Most Americans are brought up to believe they live in the “Land of milk and honey,” and that means consuming cow’s milk, dairy products and the cow itself, in addition to all manner of fish, fowl and other health-demoting fast foods.

Those early lessons to ‘Drink your milk,” and “Eat your meat so you will grow up big and strong,” left (nearly) indelible marks on our consciousness.

However, the compelling scientific data being released daily is starting to make a dent in society’s thinking. For example, 2/3rds of the American population is overweight and sickly, many of them mere children. And every day, more information comes out supporting the need to consume more fruits and vegetables. It’s up to us to lead the way by showing them a plant-based diet is a reward, not punishment.

5. What are some of your plans for promoting vegetarianism in North America?

Sometimes an indirect method can be more effective than confronting people with the facts. A good teacher knows one has to “reach people where they are before you can lift them up.”

Some indirect points we make are that becoming vegetarian saves forests, enhances sports performance, and melts away pounds.

6. Do you do your RC work full-time, or do you have a regular job, too?

I am a free-lance writer - “More free than lance,” as my spouse likes to point out ;-). I’m also a CAJA (Court Appointed Juvenile Advocate: a voice in court for abused and neglected children), and do Public Relations for three other non-profit agencies aside from VUNA and IVU.

7. What is one idea or strategy that vegetarian activists elsewhere in the world can learn from what our North America colleagues do?

I believe the single most important and greatly overlooked issue facing the world is Genetically Modified Organisms. I cannot speak for my respected VUNA/IVU colleagues, however I felt it vital enough to take part in Pure Foods National Supermarket Campaign to alert the public they are being used as human guinea pigs. Without their knowledge or consent (now) 80% of the food they buy contains untested, unlabeled GMOs. For our efforts, my 80 years-young-“accomplice” and I have the dubious distinction of being the only two in the nation to be arrested and convicted for doing so. (Info at:

Being vegetarian does NOT protect us: GMOs are in almost ALL PROCESSED foods, as well as grains, corn, wheat, soybeans, soy products; vegetable oils; soft drinks; salad dressings; vegetables, fruits and even infant formula plus a vast array of hidden additives and ingredients in processed foods (like in tomato sauce, ice cream and peanut butter).

The public is unwittingly committing “Genetic Roulette,” notes author, Jeffrey Smith. Make no doubt about it: Humans consuming GMOs are as susceptible as the Lab animals tested with GM foods that had stunted growth, impaired immune systems, bleeding stomachs, potentially precancerous cell growth in the intestines, impaired blood cell development, misshapen cell structures in the liver, pancreas, and testicles, altered genes and cell metabolism, liver and kidney lesions, partially atrophied livers, inflamed kidneys, less developed brains and testicles, enlarged livers, pancreases, and intestines, reduced digestive enzymes, higher blood sugar, inflamed lung tissue, increased death rates, and higher offspring mortality.

Today, we are ALL lab rats in an uncontrolled, unregulated mass human experiment with risks beyond measure, and when the truth is finally known, it might be too late to reverse if it's proved GM products harm human health as independent experts strongly believe.

Look around you: It is my contention that the diseases once restricted to the elderly that are now rampant in our young, like cancer, diabetes, asthma, arthritis, heart disease, sterility, obesity, AND YES, GLOBAL WARMING, are all linked to these bastardized “Terminator Seeds” wreaking havoc in our environment and poisoning our food supply. We truly are what we eat.” GMOs threaten the world’s food, air and water supplies and, to my way of thinking, pose the biggest world catastrophe of all. BAR NONE. We must UNITE and stop this aberration that is “CONSUMING” our world.

And last but not least, although I became a Vegan for physical reasons, the healthier I became the more I realized that only when we embrace ALL reasons: physical, mental, emotional, ethical, spiritual, economic, and environmental do we reap the full benefits that make our world better.

8. Please share a vegetarian joke from North America with us.

Question:       What are the ingredients in a Honeymoon Salad?
Answer:        Lettuce alone with no dressing.

Entertaining Non-Vegetarians     

You’ve got guests. They eat meat. You don’t. And the stress hits. What to serve? What to serve!? Will everyone be happy? Will they nod and smile politely and then go out for a steak after the dinner? Maybe they won’t even nod and smile politely. The terror. I know. I’ve been there, especially when I first became vegetarian. However, with over a decade of being vegetarian and several years experience being a vegan chef, I’ve learned a few things about serving meat-eaters.

Serve hearty food.
A smoked portabella mushroom with a sundried tomato tapenade is way more appealing than a bean sprout and avocado wrap. Not that I have anything against those, but I know my meat eating friends would do the wrap a nod and a smile and then run out to the nearest Burger King as soon as they made their escape from my dining table. Serving a hearty dish, that is to say, one that has a deep, dark, rich taste and a filling quality like the portabella mushroom example above, will leave your guests satisfied and addresses one of the primary concerns meat eaters have when dining at a vegetarian table.

Be bold!
I sometimes liken eating meat to having a strobe light flashed in one’s face. It’s hard to notice the contours of light and shadow in a room in such an intense environment and likewise with taste, it’s hard to notice the subtlety of flavor that many vegetarian meals carry. Choose something that’s going to cut through the “strobe light effect” and make your diners jump out of their seats with surprise, delight, and ecstasy. Using chili peppers is a wonderful way to accomplish this, as are caramelized onions, roasted garlic, cumin, fresh peppercorns, smoked paprika, dark herbs like thyme, oregano, and marjoram, and salt, since meats are generally well salted, and that means your meat eating diners will be accustomed to saltiness.

Avoid meat substitutes (especially tofu), unless the recipe is amazing.
Vegetarian cuisine is certainly good enough to stand on its own, though when a mock meat is used, particularly tofu, it usually doesn’t taste as good to the meat eaters. These styles of food often leave guests thinking that perhaps you do, in fact, miss eating meat! Fortunately, if you’ve got a bold, hearty food at the table, you won’t need the meat substitute at all. I have discovered a couple caveat recipes, however, like my barbequed shredded seitan, which is always a winner. I think a large part of that has to do with the fact that it is disguised in an incredible barbecue sauce. Regardless, some recipes like that simply bust the rule.

I have included a list of sample recipes (chipped porcini sandwich, roasted red pepper beer beans, smoked portabella with sundried tomato tapenade, chipotle aioli potatoes, sweet potato satay, shorba Addas, and shredded seitan barbecue sandwiches to name a few) you can use at to help you plan your next dining experience with your meat eating friends. Eat healthy, eat compassionately, and eat well!

Chef Jason Wyrick is the editor and executive chef of The Vegan Culinary Experience (, a free vegan culinary magazine designed by professional vegan chefs. He operates a successful vegan catering and culinary instruction company in the United States and has taught alongside doctors Neal Barnard, John McDougall, and Gabriel Cousens and is the first vegan instructor to teach in the Le Cordon Bleu program. You can reach Chef Wyrick at

Welcome to New IVU Business Supporter

ECOCLUB, International Ecotourism Club - ECOCLUB®, the International Ecotourism Club, is an award-winning, private online media & network for Ecological Tourism with members around the world.

1. Giving Voice to Other Beings Conference

This conference will be held May 2-4 at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA.
In the case of the non-human stakeholders on the planet, we never had the illusion of democratic participation, but the possibilities of informal listening, noticing, engagement, conversation and even representation are no less compelling. We may not be able to establish a parliament of all beings, or an ecological democracy, but other species, tribes of a quite different ilk, make claims on us for systematic respect and consideration. As the rate of species extinction accelerates, and the web of life begins to come apart, what once looked like an ethical option is starting to look like a condition for our own survival. This interdisciplinary conference will look at questions of representation (religious, legal, literary, philosophical), along with the whole range of our communication and engagement with non-humans, and with the ethical and even 'spiritual' dimensions of these questions.
Inquiries to

2. First Veggie Pride Parade in America

The First Veggie Pride Parade in the US will take place in Greenwich Village, New York City, on May 18:
Parade participants are encouraged to dress up in costumes and to wear sign boards announcing their pride in their vegetarian lifestyle. Local restaurants will represent themselves with banners. And otherwise, contingents from all walks of life are encouraged to get involved. The parade culminates with a festival of music, speakers, and exhibitors. Plus, the winners of a costume and poster-slogan contest in various categories will be announced.
Also on stage will be a 7-foot-tall human pea pod, Penelo Pea Pod (long-time mascot of parade sponsor VivaVegie Society). Penelo Pea will be married at the event in an open wedding ceremony. The lucky guy (ur, animal? vegetable?) has yet to be identified.
The parade is fashioned after, and will take place the same weekend as, the Veggie Pride Parade in Paris. The Parisian parade was the first of its kind ever to take place in the world and has been going on annually since 2001.

3. UK National Vegetarian Week

The UK Vegetarian Society holds its annual National Vegetarian Week May 19-25:
The event features something for everyone, including a form for people to pledge to go veg during the week. It’s impressive to see how our UK colleagues have organised this large scale event.

4. 2009 International Academic and Community Conference on Animals and Society

The University of Newcastle and the Society and Animals (Australia) Study Group have just announced their hosting of the 2009 International Academic and Community Conference on Animals and Society: Subtitled Minding Animals, the Conference is bound to be a benchmark event in the study and interpretation of human nonhuman animal interrelationships. It will be held between 13 and 19 July, 2009, at Newcastle in Australia.

The conference will have six major themes and objectives:

  • To reassess the relationship between the animal and environmental movements in light of climate change and other jointly-held threats and concerns
  • To examine how humans identify and represent nonhuman animals in art, literature, music, science, and in the media and on film
  • How, throughout history, the objectification of nonhuman animals and nature in science and society, religion and philosophy, has led to the abuse of nonhuman animals and how this has since been interpreted and evaluated
  • To examine how the lives of humans and companion and domesticated nonhuman animals are intertwined, and how science, human and veterinary medicine utilise these important connections
  • How the study of animals and society can better inform both the scientific study of animals and community activism and advocacy

And how science and community activism and advocacy can inform the study of nonhuman animals and society

World Clock Charts Incidence of Disease

A world clock at provides constantly updated info on world population, births, deaths and much more. One memorable feature of the clock is the way it documents the rapid rise of the numbers of sufferers of diet-related diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This is just one more reason we urgently need to convince people that meat is harmful.

Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

Emerald Harvest Inc -
Green Leaf Vegan Distribution -
Tiende sante & vegetarian, QC -

Comida Vegana Artesanal -

Fédération Nationale du Végétarisme -
Hôtel Pension Prasada, Département Drôme -
La Source, Rhone Alpes, Drome, Valence -

Staðurinn-náttúrulega - vegetarian restaurant -

Earth cafe Marrakech, vegan, vegetarian and organic café -

Dr. Wendy's Botanical Skin Care -

El Piano, Granada -

VegieVegie - Premium Meat Alternative –

222 Veggie Vegan Restaurant -

Middle East Vegetarian Association (MEVEG) -

Healthy Palate Restaurant, Santa Maria, CA –
Mediterranea foods USA LLC -
The Annapurna Center for Self Healing -
PinkVeg - For gay & bisexual vegetarians/vegans -
Raw InTen -
Sapthagiri Taste of India - pure vegetarian, north & south Indian restaurant (NJ) - -

Another Professional Athlete Goes Veg 

US baseball is not very popular in other countries. So, few around the world would have heard of the 23-year-old US professional baseball star with the unusual name of Prince Fielder, but a lot of people can identify with his reason for going veg:

"After reading that [a book on the horrors of meat production], (meat) just didn't sound good to me anymore. It grossed me out a little bit. It's not a diet thing or anything like that [in other words, he didn’t go veg for health reasons]. I don't miss it at all."

VegDining Reviews Please 

Longtime IVU member asks you to send in your mini-reviews of your recent visits to veg restaurants and food stores. For every submission, you'll be entered into their draw for veg prizes. Last date for entries is March 20, Meatout Day. Such reviews can be very useful to vegetarians traveling to new locations.

VegDining is also pleased to announce the launch of its new Facebook Group and invites everyone to join. One of the main objectives of the group is to help promote newly established veg restaurants around the world.  For more info, visit their website at

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. -–george jacobs –

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