International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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IVU Online News June 2008
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Table of Contents

  1. Jashu Shah, Vegetarian Leader, Passes Away
  2. Important Meetings to Attend at IVU World Veg Congress
  3. Interview with the Chair of VEBU (Vegetarian Society of Germany)
  4. Recent Scientific Research on Vegetarianism and Health
  5. Facebook Group for Vegetarian Dogs and Their Human Friends
  6. Online Footprint Counters That Include Meat
  7. Even the US Government Says Veg Is Healthy
  8. Upcoming Events
  9. Worth-A-Look Books
  10. Maneka Gandhi on Excuses for Not Being Veg
  11. Top 10 Reasons Why It ’s Green to Go Veg
  12. Two Reports Condemn Factory Farming
  13. The Animal Inside
  14. Who Is Inside Our Circle of Compassion?
  15. Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  16. Please Write for IVU News


Jashu Shah, Vegetarian Leader, Passes Away 
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of a long-time leader of the vegetarian movement, Mr Jashu Shah.

Jashu Shah was a pioneering figure for vegetarianism, particularly in Asia. A native of India, he attended his first IVU congress in 1957 in India and gradually became more involved, eventually becoming a member of the IVU International Council in 1982, the Asia Regional Coordinator for 20 years from 1986 until 2006, when he retired during the IVU Congress which he helped organise in Goa. Jashu was also the first president of the Asian Vegetarian Union in 1999, continuing in that role until he retired last year, and Secretary of the Vegetarian Society (Reverence for Life) in Mumbai for many years.

For more on Jashu’s devotion to the vegetarian movement, including photos, please visit


Important Meetings to Attend at IVU World Veg Congress 
During the IVU World Vegetarian Congress, 27 Jul–3 Aug in Dresden, Germany, two working sessions will be held for delegates and society leaders (and other interested participants). These will be great opportunities to exchange ideas and discuss problems. Thus, please prepare yourselves with ideas, suggestions, questions, materials to show, etc.

One session will be for delegates and society leaders from all over the world, chaired by Annette Pinner, CEO of Vegetarian Society UK (Thurs, 31 Jul, 2pm).

The other meeting will be principally for European delegates and society leaders to deal with a special aim of this congress: to encourage and integrate/incorporate societies of the former Eastern European block in Central and Eastern Europe. This session will be chaired by IVU Manager, John Davis (Tues, 29 Jul, 2pm).

Three other pieces of good news from Dresden are:

  1. The (nearly) finalized Congress programme is now online: (English) (German)
  2. Contributions from delegates, especially from outside Germany, are still welcome for the cultural programme on Mon evening, 28 Jul.
  3. The deadline to register for a reduced registration fee is 30 Jun.


Interview with the Chair of VEBU (Vegetarian Society of Germany) Vegetarierbund Logo
VEBU (Vegetarian Society of Germany) is hosting the 100th anniversary IVU World Vegetarian Union, 27 Jul-2 Aug, in Dresden, Germany. Let’s learn a little about one of VEBU’s leaders, Thomas Schönberger, chairman of VEBU,

What made you decide to become a vegetarian? When did that happen? How old were you at the time?

Two reasons came together when I was about 20 years old: I had big problems with my skin, and I was informed about vegetarianism from a young activist against experiments on animals.

You are a leader of a member society of IVU. How long have you been a leader of this organisation?

I started with my work as chairman of VEBU in 1996.

What made you decide to become active in promoting vegetarianism?

My first reason was animal protection and later animal rights. But today the ecological and climate related reasons are very important as well.

What is it that sustains your desire to be active?

It helps me to know that our organisation and my work are a small but important part of a long journey to a vegetarian future for the world.

What is an obstacle that you face in remaining active in promoting vegetarianism? How do you overcome this obstacle?

An obstacle is, indeed, that the steps we can help society to take are small ones, and much patience is necessary. But as long as I am convinced that I am doing the right thing, I will continue to do it, even if I am the only one left promoting vegetarianism - just for me.

What is one of your organisation’s accomplishments that makes you especially proud?

One thing is our long tradition – VEBU has now worked more than 110 years for the vegetarian idea - and we succeed now and then in convincing young people to carry on our work.

How do you try to maintain good relations and enthusiasm amongst your organisation’s members?

We try to show our members that we are an active and engaged organisation, and we offer them activities, like Meatout, World Vegetarian Day and Vegetarian Christmas, which they can be part of. In addition, we organise meetings with a good balance of information and social gathering - for example, a big meeting every two years between Christmas and New Year's Day.

What is one way that your organisation cooperates with other veg organisations?

There are not many other active vegetarian organisations in Germany. We try to motivate other organisations with vegetarian aims to join our activities. For example, we cooperate with animal rights groups at the yearly Meatout weekend in the Spring:

Do you have any fundraising tips for other organisations

Our experiences show that you must have a good project, a clear aim (for example, a certain amount of Euros at the end of the year) and – if possible – a prominent person, to start with (“I give X Euros for this project, because ...”).

What is one thing that other veg organisations might be able to learn from your organisation?

Try to combine good and effective work with a good feeling and a good working atmosphere for the active members.

How does your organisation reach out to people who are trying to become veg or who are newly veg?

We try to offer them a way towards a vegetarian life, step by step, and we suggest that “every change more than zero is appreciated“. We don't believe in putting pressure on people saying, for instance, ”A vegan life is the only right way of living”. But – naturally – we are happy when people adopt a vegan way of living later on.


Recent Scientific Research on Vegetarianism and Health
Here’s one way to keep updated on the latest veg-related health research. It comes from a contributor to the IVU’s Science email group.

Abstracts of the articles listed on this webpage are usually available free, but to read an entire article, some form of payment or subscription is often required: . . /vegetarian


Facebook Group for Vegetarian Dogs and Their Human Friends 
Someone with the colourful name of Pauline Vegemight, has started a new Facebook group, "Vegetarian Dogs Singapore". Despite “Singapore” being in the group’s name, the group is open to people anywhere in cyberspace. A related book is “Vegetarian Dogs: Toward a World Without Exploitation”.

Here’s what Ms Vegemight has to say about this new group:

“Many vegetarians who live with pets feel that feeding meat to their companions is a contradiction to their beliefs. In my case, I adopted my dog 7 years ago when he was five, so changing his diet seemed drastic and harsh. 

Dogs are apparently omnivorous, just like us. I only wished I had learnt about vegetarian pet nutrition back in 2001 when my darling dog came into my life, but I’m glad to have chanced upon a vegan dog product recently. It’s still too early to see what long-term effects it has on my four-legged friend’s health, but my now 12-year old canine co-habitant is definitely loving his new diet, and cleaning up after him is no longer an offensive smelling task! I’m so proud of him for going veg that I’m making him a T-shirt that says: “I Am Vegetarian”! 

There are numerous on-line claims that a vegetarian diet boosts the health and longevity of pets, but as with any new exercise regime or change in diet, it is best to do some serious research, consult your vet and monitor your dog’s health regularly. 

I'd love to share about all this with anyone with a dog as a companion, anyone things about bringing a dog into their life and anyone else interested in this topic over an open Facebook Group I just created, ‘Vegetarian Dogs Singapore’.

To view anything on Facebook, you'll first need to join it.  Joining is free, fast and easy - you just need to get onto and enter some personal particulars like you're setting up an email account.  Thereafter, to search for any interest groups, you just need to type in the "search" box that always appears on the left hand side of the screen. If you have difficulty finding the group "Vegetarian Dogs Singapore", please contact me at with your Facebook name and the email address you used to register Facebook with.

Let’s be conscientious and informed consumers – let our demand direct the supply.” --Pauline Vegemight


Online Footprint Counters That Include Meat
Our environmental footprint is one way to measure our impact on the environment. There are now many online footprint calculators that include meat consumption as one factor in calculating our environmental impact.

Here are a several (some are more fun than others):


Even the US Government Says Veg Is Healthy
Here from the home of the hamburger, the McMother of all meat-eating countries, comes word that yes indeed, veg is healthy. The following is a page on the US Dept of Agriculture website:

Here’s a quote from that page: “Protein needs can easily be met by eating a variety of plant-based foods. Combining different protein sources in the same meal is not necessary. Sources of protein for vegetarians include beans, nuts, nut butters, peas, and soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers).”


Editor’s Notes:

(a) Even if many of these events are far from where you live, you might be inspired by the idea and want to organise a similar event nearer to home.

(b) Please use IVU Online News as a way to spread the word about your event.

1. The Unhuggables, Storytelling – Jun (various dates)

Public Eye: Artists for Animals’ "The Unhuggables": Stories Teaching Empathy & Respect For Local Wildlife. A storytelling performance about less-than-cuddly animals to foster empathy and respect for local wildlife. Professional storytellers, puppeteers and musicians will perform for family audiences at local libraries--free and open to the public. Sun, 8 Jun, 2-3pm, Free Library of Philadelphia, USA, Central Library, Skyline Rm 4th Fl, 1901 Vine St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Sat, 14 Jun, 2-3pm, Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia; Sat, 21 Jun, 2-3pm, Falls-Schuylkill Library, 3501 Midvale Ave, Philadelphia. For information, call 1-215-620-2130 or email

2. Vegetarian Summerfest – 18-22 Jun  Vegetarian Summerfest masthead

34th Annual Vegetarian Summerfest, Wed, 18 Jun to Sun, 22 Jun, Conference Center at University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown campus, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA. Sessions on health, nutrition, fitness, compassionate living, animal rights, earth stewardship; with doctors, dietitians, other experts. Vegan meals and social activities. For more info contact: North American Vegetarian Society, PO Box 72, Dolgeville New York, USA 13329, Ph: 1-518-568-7970,

3. World Peace Diet Retreat – 18-20 Jul

Dr. Will Tuttle will lead a weekend retreat with intensive exploration of the "benevolent revolution" discussed in his book, The World Peace Diet. Organic, vegan meals will be prepared by Deer and Justice Fields who have taught vegan cooking throughout the world along with their experiences in their own restaurants. Suggested donation for the weekend is $150 which includes all meals from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon and camping on the sanctuary land.

WHEN:          18-20 Jul
WHERE:         The Tibbits Nature Sanctuary, Columbiaville, Michigan (southeast Michigan, USA)

4. World Animal Day – 4 October

World Animal Day

14 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 6AA Telephone: 01242 252871
Email: ; Website:

Worth-A-Look Books
Here is a book that you might want to check out.

“The Marriage of True Minds” by Stephen Evans is, according to the publisher, a quick and fun read about love - love for people and love for our fellow animals. Animal rescue is an important theme in the book, and the author is a vegetarian who is donating a portion of his proceeds to Best Friends Animal Society and other animal rescue groups.

In response to the question, "How did this story start for you?", Stephen responded:

"When I learned about the issue of euthanasia in animal shelters. There are millions of dogs and cats every year who are perfectly healthy and don't have homes, and they are euthanized after just a few days of being there. I had not known about that problem, and I wanted to write something about it. I knew that if I wrote a non-fiction book about it, it would be a very difficult thing to read and wouldn't have the reach that it would have if I wrote it a different way, so that was the genesis of trying to imbed the issue within in a different kind of story that would be a little more uplifting."

You can read the first two chapters, read reviews, listen to an interview with the Stephen Evans, etc. at


Maneka Gandhi on Excuses for Not Being Veg Official website People For Animals - Animal Walfare organization in India
Maneka Gandhi is an Indian politician and an outspoken activist for our fellow animals. She is a vegan and chairperson of the organisation People for Animals:

Here are her views on her interactions with non-vegetarians . . 4722


Top 10 Reasons Why It’s Green to Go Veg
From a TV station in Hawai’i, is a great list of green reasons to be veg. Please share it with your green friends, and please ask them to share with you their list of other ways to be green. We can learn from each other.

And, from the Swiss Vegetarian Union comes a fact-filled report covering much of the same meat-blighted landscape:


Two Reports Condemn Factory Farming 
Factory farming comes under scrutiny in two recent reports.

1. Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, conducted a 2.5-year study of American animal agriculture. The report condemns factory farming as hazardous to our fellow animals, to humans and to the environment.  Read the report or an executive summary at
or newspaper article based on the report at . . 2602.html or . . 4683.html

2. According to a new Union of Concerned Scientists report, the true cost of meat and milk produced in massive CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) includes billions in unaccounted-for taxpayer dollars that pay for the economic, health, and environmental problems CAFOs create.

CAFOs are supported by misguided government policies. Meanwhile, modern, alternatives are already in practice today that can produce the quantity of food we need, often without government subsidies. These alternatives can safeguard our health while protecting the foundations of our food supply--like healthy soil
and fresh water.

The report, "CAFOs Uncovered: The Untold Costs of Confined Animal Feeding
Operations", can be viewed at . . /cafos-uncovered.html


The Animal Inside
‘The Animal Inside’ is the name of a recent edition of the BBC radio programme "Something Understood". The BBC describes ‘The Animal Inside’ thusly:

"Poet Christie Dickason reflects on that magical world where humans lived as equals with animals, reflecting on our debt to animals and asking whether we acknowledge our shared past.

Featuring poetry by David Grubb and Simon Armitage, Adam Douglas's study of
the myth of the werewolf, and music by Taraf de Haidouks, Olivier Messiaen
and Flanders and Swann."

available online at . . /somethingunderstood.shtml

To listen, you will need Real Player. If you don’t have Real Player, you will be given directions for a free download.


Who Is Inside Our Circle of Compassion?
This is the question asked in the new video “Liberation-Its All Connected” from PETA. The video dynamically explains what vegetarians have been saying for years – humanity has made progress in its treatment of our fellow humans, such as curtailing slavery and child labour, and now is the time to include our fellow animals in our circle of compassion. Vegetarianism is one potent way to do this. Watch the video free online at . . Player=wm


Welcome to Organizations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

My Body, Mind & Soul -

Veganic Agriculture Network, serving North America -
Réseau d'agriculture véganique -

Blue Spice Restaurant & Art Gallery! -

Aktion Umwelt -
CocoVida - Natürliches Kokosnussöl -

The Happy Veganarian! -

Korea Vegetarian Union -

El Futuro Es Verde -

inSpiral Lounge, Camden -
Kalpna - Indian Vegetarian Restaurant in Edinburgh since 1983 -

Mate Factor Organic Herbal Coffee Substitute -
Mona Vie -
Living Compassionately in Alabama -
vegetarian_group - email discussion -


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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