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IVU Online News September 2008
To receive your own copy of this Enewsletter in plain text by email (better for printing) go to:

Table of Contents

  1. Fond Memories of 100th Anniversary IVU World Vegetarian Congress
  2. Congratulations to IVU on 100 Years
  3. New IVU Email Group Launched
  4. Interview with Belgian Vegetarian Leader
  5. Major New Addition to History Section of IVU Website
  6. 2010 Congress in Indonesia
  7. Vegetarian Magazine Launched in Japan
  8. Food vs Feed Petition to the UN General Secretary
  9. Announcing Vegan World Radio
  10. Welcome to New IVU Member Organisations and Supporters
  11. Upcoming Events
  12. Did You Eat Some Nuts Today?
  13. Studies Examine Livestock-Global Warming Link
  14. Olympic Medalist in Judo Goes Vegan
  15. Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  16. Other Online Sources of Veg News
  17. Please Write for IVU Online News


Fond Memories of 100th Anniversary IVU World Vegetarian Congress 
This report was written by Sebastian Zösch, vice-president of the German Vegetarian Union (VEBU), one of the Congress organisers. Photos, audio, text and powerpoint, in a mixture of English and German are available at

Exactly 100 years after the first world vegetarian congress was held in Dresden, Germany, the 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress took place in the very same city. The motto of this 38th WVC was “100 Years of Food Revolution”.  The Congress venue was the famous and impressive Kulturpalast (culture palace), right in the heart of the old city of Dresden. From July 27 to August 2, more than 700 people from more than 30 different countries gathered to learn, discuss, network and to have a great time.

Each day started with two main talks, often by internationally known personalities. Thanks to modern technology in the form of headsets, the talks were simultaneously translated, so that speakers of either English or German could fully participate.

In the afternoon, 16 to 20 talks, presentations, meetings or workshops followed at four different times, in four to five different rooms. This gave everyone the opportunity to choose among several sessions, according to their preferences. Topics ranged from health & nutrition, to environment, to legal issues, to strategies for veggie businesses and beyond. In the evening, events such as a theatre and dance performances, a classical concert and various ceremonies highlighted each day. After these events, many visitors enjoyed walking around the beautiful inner city of Dresden, recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.
In between the events and even while they were going on, Congress delegates had chances to visit any of the several dozens stalls in the Kulturpalast lobbies. Various organisations, such as the Vegan Society, VEBU and “Network for Animal Dignity all around the Universe", as well as companies, such as the new vegan fashion brand Avenging Animals and Vegusto (famous for their Swiss vegan cheese) presented themselves. It would have been easy to spend the entire week just checking out all these stalls without even attending any of the talks.

Right next to most of the stalls was the big dining room. Here, for lunch and dinner, the Hilton nicely prepared a buffet with a great variety of vegan dishes. Vegan versions of traditional German dishes, as well as exotic dishes, were on the menu. For those not partaking of the official buffet, the many restaurants near the venue also offered vegan options of all sorts.

When the week-long Congress ended, many delegates agreed that they would like it to continue for another week. Everybody seemed to have enjoyed themselves, and many are already looking forward for the next IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Indonesia.


Congratulations to IVU on 100 Years
The Dresden Congress was indeed a milestone for the world vegetarian movement and for IVU, as noted by our kind and talented hosts in this short note to IVU.

Dresden, 27, 7, 2008

The Board of VEBU (the German Vegetarian Union) and the participants of the 38th World Vegetarian Congress congratulate you on 100 years of the International Vegetarian Union and 38 World Vegetarian Congresses during this time.

All the best for the future,

Hildegund Scholvien (Congress Coordinator) and Thomas Schönberger (Chair of VEBU)


New IVU Email Group Launched
IVU has a new email group specifically for alerting activists about calls for action on issues of interest to the global veg*n community.

The description of the group:

Occasional vegetarian/vegan/AR news items about anything where specific action is invited. Such actions might include:
- sending protest letters/emails
- contributing to online petitions and polls
- forwarding urgent info by email

Notices about offline actions, such as demos, might be appropriate, but this is a global group, so the relevant country must be stated in the subject line.

There will be a complete ban on promoting any action which might be in any way illegal.

The group is fully moderated to ensure high quality and low mail volume.

To subscribe go to:


Interview with Belgian Vegetarian Leader
Continuing our series of email interviews with leaders of IVU member societies, here is an interview with Mr Tobias Leenaert, a leader of the Ethical Vegetarian Association of Belgium: 

If you would like to suggest someone (including yourself) to be interviewed, please send the person’s name, organisation, post and email address to

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

I was about twenty-two at the time I went completely vegetarian. Two years later, I was vegan. Actually, I had been thinking for years, since I was fifteen or so, about becoming vegetarian. That was because basically I couldn’t explain the difference of treatment between our dog, sleeping peacefully near the fireplace and the cow in the meadow that had to be out in the rain and that people would eat later. It was only several years later though, that I put my thoughts into practice.

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

I am founder and director of EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative). I have been leading this organisation for 8 years now, the entire time of its existence. EVA is the vegetarian society of Belgium, or at least the Flemish part of it.

What made you decide to become active in promoting vegetarianism?

I read Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, then wrote my university dissertation about the human-animal relationship. Then, I interned for half a year at American animal rights organisations. When I came back, I was convinced – and have become even more convinced along the way – that being active for vegetarianism is one of the single most effective things you can do to make the world a better place to live for every living being, including the Earth itself.

What is it that sustains your desire to be active?

I can’t imagine another life. We’re on this planet to help each other and to make things better. It is also what gives me most joy in life.

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

Running an organisation can be stressful sometimes, and dealing with many people can be hard. But basically I guess the main obstacles are usually within ourselves ;-)

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

I think we must be one of the only veg organisations in the world who have managed to obtain long-term structural support from its government (without compromising on anything, of course). We have organised several scientific congresses, one together with the Belgian Society of Dieticians. Also, we have a unique and spacious vegetarian information centre with a nice kitchen for cooking demos, a library and a room for lectures. Recently for the first time, we received a grant from the Ministry of Health to teach food service professionals.

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

One of our principles is that we are always very positive. People say our organisation has a nice feel and is very open and tolerant towards anything and anyone. For instance, we avoid talking about vegetarianism but rather talk about vegetarian food, so that people don’t feel pushed towards an all or nothing situation. Everyone is welcome, no matter what he or she eats. We just provide the information so that people can make an informed (as opposed to a blind) choice. We don’t push; we just give the facts, in as objective a way as possible.

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

I think that our cooperation with other organisations could actually be much better. For instance, we could work together internationally on compiling the best info about meat and health, global warming, the world food situation, etc., and share it amongst each other. The same with a professional picture database (food pictures are very expensive to do professionally) or videos…

Do you have any fundraising tips for other organisations?

Yes, what we are trying to do is to be mainstream, professional, positive and trustworthy, so that people, big organisations, politicians, etc. think of us as a good partner to do business with. We attach a lot of importance to a professional image in all our communication, including the layout of our publications. I think it’s important to appear very normal, even if you are not ;-)

Show potential partners that you are serious, professional, not fanatic. When you bring your message to anyone, always remember that most people have very severe prejudices and fixed opinions against vegetarianism and vegetarians. Make sure you don’t confirm these.

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

Our main campaign is the Thursday Meatout campaign (this exists in the US too, on Monday). It is, I think, a very good way to approach new people and stimulate them to try vegetarian. From there, they can go wherever they please.


Major New Addition to History Section of IVU Website 

Last year Edgar Crook, of Canberra, Australia, published his book 'Vegetarianism in Australia: 1788-1948 - a cultural history'. This is an excellent, fascinating, and very readable account of the long struggle for acceptance of vegetarianism in a country that exports huge quantities of meat.

Edgar has now revised and extended the book, bringing it right up date - and has made the entire book freely available on IVU. It is divided into 19 PDF files for ease of downloading and reading. See

We're looking forward to meeting large numbers of Australians when the IVU
World Vegetarian Congress is held in Jakarta and Bali in 2010, and we will
now expect them all to be well informed about their own history!

Many thanks to Edgar for this highly impressive book, and for making it free for all on IVU.


2010 Congress in Indonesia 
The 2010 IVU World Vegetarian Congress, 1-7 Oct, is being hosted by the Indonesia Vegetarian Society (IVS). Here’s the start of the Congress website, featuring 2007 and 2008 IVS events: 

IVS plans to open the Congress in Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital, before moving to Bali, the country’s most famous tourist destination. Both places have hosted domestic IVS events with 1000 and more participants.


Vegetarian Magazine Launched in Japan 
The first vegetarian magazine in Japan, titled "Veggy Steady Go", was launched this past June.  It's a beautifully designed quarterly magazine sold in bookstores nationwide. The magazine not only features Japanese vegetarian and vegan lifestyles and trends but also offers lots of veggy information from all over the world. The Fall 2008 issue will include a feature story on the 100th anniversary IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, with reports on IVU history, the programme, food, delegates, and lots of pictures.

The publisher and editor-in-chief is vegetarian and wants to raise awareness and to foster an environment for veg-related businesses. She realizes that it will take a while for this kind of magazine to become profitable in Japan, but she believes that her magazine meets the needs of the times. The website is in Japanese at


Food vs Feed Petition to the UN General Secretary 
The petition’s title says it all very concisely: How can we continue diverting plant food to the meat industry for use as feed when millions of people die every year for lack of food?

The petition appeals to the United Nations and its agencies to channel available food resources to needy people and not to farm animals.

The petition is being disseminated by EVANA (European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance). You can sign the petition online at


Announcing Vegan World Radio 
Radio show Go Vegan Texas! celebrated six years of broadcasting the vegan message in May, 2008.  On July 14, Go Vegan Texas! became Vegan World Radio, telling the story of the vegan revolution that's saving the animals, the planet and our health. The programme is produced and hosted by a collective of four people: vegan lawyer Anuj Shah, J.D., Ph.D.; founder and president of Society of PEACE Kristen Lee Ohanyan; vegan and animal rights documentary film maker Jerrilyn; vegan chef, founder of the Lone Star Vegetarian Network and co-founder of the radio show Shirley Wilkes-Johnson. Houston's Pacifica KPFT 90.1 FM, in the heart of cattle country, is home to this show. Vegan World Radio airs Mondays from 10-11am CT and can be heard on the internet at and also at

Contact Person: Shirley Wilkes-Johnson
Tel: 1-800-864-3501


Welcome To New IVU Member Organisations and Supporters

Member Societies:

Business Supporter:

Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort & Nature Reserve, Guatemala  -

Individual Supporter:

Marti Kheel ( ) is a prominent writer and activist in the areas of ecofeminism, animal liberation and environmental ethics, and author of the recently published Nature  Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective (Rowman & Littlefield). Her articles have been widely published in journals and anthologies both within the United States and abroad. Over the years, her primary goal has been to develop an ecofeminist philosophy that is capable of bridging the seemingly disparate movements and philosophies of feminism, animal liberation, and environmental ethics. In her advocacy work for veganism, she eschews an orientation that seeks to rationally defend the choice to be a vegan, instead urging meat eaters to examine the social and political factors that support their choice to eat meat. She co-founded Feminists for Animal Rights in 1982 and holds a doctorate from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, where she is currently a visiting scholar.


1. International Day of Solidarity with the Jailed Austrian Animal Protection Activists

Date: Sep 5
Location: Everywhere possible  Repression

The nightmare continues for the 10 Austrian animal protectionists who have been jailed since May, although one has been released, at least temporarily. Because the activists have refused to renounce animal protection, their remand in custody has been extended on the grounds that there allegedly remains the risk they will perpetrate ‘criminal offences’.

The following message was sent to Austrian government officials by the IVU General Meeting, held during the Dresden congress:

This is written to inform you that at the IVU World Vegetarian Congress, held 27 July-2 August in Dresden, Germany, the International Vegetarian Union voted to express concern and sympathy for our colleagues in Austria who could not be with us in Dresden because they are imprisoned without evidence and without trial.

Learn more about the situation and how you can help at

October is a month resplendent in special days on the veg calendar. IVU has listed some of these at

2. Vegetarian Week including World Vegetarian Day (1 Oct) and World Animal Day (4 Oct)

  • EVANA (European Vegetarian and Animal News Alliance) - - calls upon all the organisations, companies and individuals to promote a "Vegetarian week", from Oct 1 to Oct 7, 2008.

    Why a Vegetarian Week?
    Everyday is an excellent day to be a healthy and conscious vegetarian, but October 01 to 07 is a nice opportunity to double our efforts and campaign towards a better world:

    October 01 is World Vegetarian Day
    October 04 is World Animal Day.

    What you can do:

    As a non-profit organisation:
  • Send a press release about this week and your efforts to promote it
  • Invite other organisations to get involved
  • Invite health stores, supermarkets, restaurants and other businesses to
    promote the vegetarian week, e.g. having discounts or offering some
    vegetarian items for free
  • Organise cooking demonstrations, talks, conferences or workshops
  • Create leaflets and posters and distribute them
  • Send a newsletter about the week to all your members.

    Note: For those already running vegetarian events during that time, please let us know so that we can include your campaign in the international list.

    As a company:
  • Offer some vegetarian gifts to your employees or customers (e.g., a veg cookbook);
  • Promote a workshop, talk, cooking demonstration or other activity related to vegetarianism
  • Promote a vegetarian lunch or dinner for all your employees.

    As an individual:
  • Participate in leaflet distributing events
  • Invite your friends or family to a vegetarian dinner
  • Join your local vegetarian organisation
  • Ask for vegetarian meals and talk about the vegetarian week at your local restaurants.

3. World Farm Animals Day - takes place on or around October 2nd.

It is a time dedicated to exposing, mourning, and memorializing the needless suffering and slaughter of the more than 50 billion cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens, and other sentient animals in the world's factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Join in this global outcry by hosting an event in your community. Observances are held in all 50 U.S. states and two dozen other countries. Worldwide participation is crucial to this campaign. Animal agriculture is a global problem, and we need global partners to be most effective. Together, we can send a message of justice and compassion to our neighbours and to the world!
Activities range from simple outreach to creative, attention-grabbing events: leafleting, information tables, video screenings, lectures, vigils, marches, protests, cage-ins, die-ins, and much more. See photos of past activities at:

4. World Vegetarian Restaurant Month

Date: October 2008 is proud to announce they're turning 9 years old on September 1, and are the longest running internet guide to the world’s veg restaurants!   They're also getting ready for World Vegetarian Restaurant Month (October): Contact them by visiting their website, or by e-mail at

If your veg group would like to host a dinner in October at a local veg restaurant, contact VegDining to help co-sponsor the dinner.  They're willing to help with providing prizes (VegDining Cards and restaurant gift certificates), promoting the event, profiling the restaurant, etc. They're hoping to have over 100 veg restaurants around the world participate, including one in Indonesia, host of the 2010 World Vegetarian Congress.  

5. Speaking Their Truth: The 23rd Annual International Compassionate Living Festival

Date: Oct 3-5, 2008
Location: Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina, USA

6. Green Lifestyles Film Festival

Date: Mar 13-15, 2009; Location: Los Angeles
Howard Lyman and Jeffrey Smith will be the keynote speakers

7. Animals: Past, Present and Future conference

Date: Apr 16-17, 2009
Location: Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA

This conference will explore the past, present and future roles animals play in human histories.

Featured speakers include: Harriet Ritvo, Dept of History, MIT; Tom Tyler, Dept of Philosophy and Culture, Oxford Brookes University, UK; Terry O'Connor, Dept of Zooarchaeology, York University, UK.


Did You Eat Some Nuts Today? 
A brief review of nuts and peanuts as part of a healthy diet has just
been published in J Nutr. 2008 Sep;138(9):1736S-1740S.

Tree nuts and peanuts as components of a healthy diet.

King JC, Blumberg J, Ingwersen L, Jenab M, Tucker KL.

Children's Hospital, Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA 94690,

Nuts have been part of the diet for thousands of years. In 2003, a Qualified Health Claim was approved, stating that eating 1.5 oz (42 g) of nuts per day may reduce the risk of heart disease. Usual intakes fall short of this recommendation. About one-third of Americans report consuming nuts (tree nuts or peanuts) on any one day. Seven percent of Europeans report eating nuts, but the amount eaten by European nut consumers (31 g/d) is larger than that of Americans (21 g/d). Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E and magnesium. Individuals consuming nuts also have higher intakes of folate, beta-carotene, vitamin K, lutein+zeaxanthin, phosphorus, copper, selenium, potassium, and zinc per 1000 kcal. Regular nut consumption increases total energy intake by 250 kcal/d (1.05 MJ/d), but the body weight of nut consumers is not greater than that of nonconsumers. Nuts are an excellent source of phytochemicals (phytosterols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, stilbenes, and carotenoids). The total phenolic constituents probably contribute to the total antioxidant capacity of nuts, which is comparable to broccoli and tomatoes. To improve guidance on the use of nuts in the diet, the position of nuts in typical food patterns needs to be addressed. The 2005 MyPyramid includes nuts in the meat and beans group. Yet, nuts are rarely consumed as meat substitutes. Because approximately 60% of the nuts consumed in the U.S. are eaten as snacks, emphasizing their use as a healthy snack may be more effective than inclusion within a food group.


Studies Examine Livestock-Global Warming Link 
Here are two more studies suggesting that going vegetarian, especially going vegan, addresses growing concerns over global warming. [in German] and


Olympic Medalist in Judo Goes Vegan 
The film Earthlings, plus the example of family and friends, convinced Ronda Rousey, who won a bronze medal in Judo in the 70kg weight class, to go veg:

In an email on 27 Aug 08 to IVU Online News, Ronda confirmed that she has kept her promise to herself and even exceeded her expectations:

Well, when i first watched it [Earthlings] i wanted to go vegan but decided to go vegetarian first cause i didnt think i had the will power. But I've been vegan for two weeks now! I love it too, usually i put on a lot of weight and feel gross after competitions, but i feel great! I'm cooking up a rice and bean burrito as we speak!

For more on Ronda:


Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

webveg email grupo -

Recettes vegetariennes -

centena - centro de tecnologia natural -

HereNow4U - Living Jainism -


shan-shayi -

UK  -

Become Vegetarian -
Honeysuckledreams - organic cotton toys, quilts and pillows -


Other Online Sources of Veg News 
There are many other places to go online for general veg-related news, rather than news mostly about one country or one organisation. Here are some.

1. Dawn Watch
2. European Vegetarian Union
3. Farmed Animal Net
4. Vegan Outreach
5. VegE-News
6. doesn't have a newsletter, but they post stories daily at

7. Last but not least, you can subscribe to IVU-Veg-News, which provides a mechanism for the exchange of news and information pertaining to vegetarianism and may be considered to be a public news wire

Plus, IVU has electronic lists for various regions around the world. Go to and scroll down to find the list that caters to your area.


Please Write for IVU Online News         

Dear Veg Activist

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

Thx. -–george jacobs –


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