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IVU Online News April 2009
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Table of Contents

  1. Interview with IVU International Council Member David Roman
  2. Animal Welfare Workshop in Mumbai
  3. Welcome to New IVU Full and Associate Member Societies and Business Supporter
  4. Don’t Eat the Planet – A Musical Video
  5. Dr Pachauri’s Blog
  6. Worth A Look Books
  7. I Can’t Believe I’m Still a Vegan
  8. Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
  9. Upcoming Events
  10. Other Online Sources of Veg News
  11. Please Write for IVU Online News

Interview with IVU International Council Member David Roman

David Roman, from Spain, is an IVU International Council member and our Deputy Webmaster. David kindly agreed to be interviewed for ‘IVU Online News’.

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

I turned vegetarian in 1989, when I was 22 years old. So, this year is my 20th anniversary as a vegetarian! It all began when, moved by a curiosity to improve my diet and health in overall, I read the Spanish edition of Vic Sussman’s ‘The Vegetarian Alternative’. It showed me some unquestionably clear reasons that fully motivated me to change to a vegetarian diet almost overnight. Later on, I had the opportunity to meet Francisco Martin, who taught me the fundamentals of veganism, and then I made a shift to being vegan together with my wife Estrella.

What made you decide to become active in promoting vegetarianism?

Well, it was partly because I felt the ideas behind vegetarianism were so important that I had to make a point in sharing them with others. Also, seeing the work of other activists has always influenced me a lot and pushed me to help.

When and how did you first hear about IVU?

I think it was through Francisco Martin, who at the time was the Secretary General of IVU. After that, I began to work with him and also with IVU.

You are one of the people who maintains the IVU website. What are some of your favourite places on the site?

There’s so much valuable information that it’s hard to choose. The IVU Database is a great source of references from all over the world. The History section is also of great value, as well as the recipes page. I find particularly valuable the FAQ section. The Spanish part of the website has also raised a lot of interest amongst Spanish-speaking communities.

In addition to your role with IVU, you are also active in promoting vegetarianism in Spain. Please tell us about that.

Yes, back in 2003, along with a group of good friends, I promoted the creation of a national veg society in Spain, because we thought there was a lack of coordination between the different vegetarian groups. The Unión Vegetariana Española (Spanish Vegetarian Union) was then formed, and we’ve been working hard ever since to spread vegetarianism all.

Is promoting vegetarianism a full-time job for you, or do you have another job too?

I earn my living working as a computer technician at the hospital in my hometown. So, promoting vegetarianism is not my full-time job, but I devote most of my spare time to it, indeed! – and to my family, of course.

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

Our task is not easy in the society we live in, certainly. But the main thing that overwhelms me is that there’s so much to do. We really have to be constant and always try to get the most out of our time.

What is one piece of advice that you have for fellow vegetarian activists?

I would encourage all of you to keep on working for these wonderful ideals we have in common. It’s well worth doing. But also never let yourself go; it’s important that we take care of ourselves, so that we can be in good shape and stay fully active.

Please share a vegetarian joke with us.

In Spain, it’s a typical (and disgusting) local custom in some pubs to hang cured hams from the ceiling. I love a cartoon by Quino showing a ham which has come off the ceiling and fallen on a man at a table… the title says something like “meat can kill”.

Animal Welfare Workshop in Mumbai 

On 8 March, an Animal Welfare Workshop was held in Mumbai by the newly formed Indian Animal Federation with support from Humane Society International and Sharan. More than 30 representatives from such organisations as People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (Peta India), Beauty Without Cruelty, People for Animals, In Defence of Animals, Plant & Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Karuna Society, Animal Aid Charitable Trust, Actasia for Animals, TSPCA, Indian Vegan Society and International Vegetarian Union came to discuss various animal issues in India.

There were presentations on animal issues by Mr. Arpan Sharma, Dr. Nandita Shah of Sharan, Mr. Jayasimha of Peta and Ms. Chetana Mirle of Humane Society, followed by a lot of time for discussion among the delegates. Mr. Shankar Narayan, representing Indian Vegan Society and International Vegetarian Union, spoke on the diet angle of the animal issues. He received a lot of support from the delegates when he said that ‘animal welfare is only a journey and not a destination’, and the animal movement in India has to abstain from using animals (go vegan) as a first step.

During the lunch and tea breaks, delicious vegan food was served by Ms. Meghna Raj of The Farm, Mumbai.

Welcome to New IVU Full and Associate Member Societies and Business Supporter

MEMBER SOCIETY: Plenty Food - - (based in the Netherlands). Besides education about the global food shortage, Plenty Food likes to create and support food projects in developing countries. Our starting point at the production of food is to maintain the balance between humans, plants and animals as much as is possible. This not only applies to agriculture, but also to the living climate in its entirety. We strive for biological vegetable agriculture and are against the use of genetic modified organism.

ASSOCIATE MEMBER SOCIETY: Saphal Society, Bhopal, India - - Empowering People Through Self-Development

BUSINESS SUPPORTER: Meat and Egg Free -  - based in New Zealand and of interest to all English speakers.

Don’t Eat the Planet – A Musical Video

Here’s a simple, clear 6.5 minute video from Hong Kong, entitled ‘Don’t Eat the Planet’:

Dr Pachauri’s Blog

Dr R.K. Pachauri is head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He is also a vegetarian who urges meatarians to go meatless at least one day a week. His blog features videos of his speeches, as well as interviews and articles:

Here’s one example:

Worth A Look Books 
Here are three books that will be of interest to some vegetarians.

1.  ‘The Face on Your Plate: The Truth About Foodby Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson Here is an excerpt from the following review: . ./story

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson wants to help all meat eaters wake up from the dream of denial they are experiencing. He wants to prepare us for what he describes as a "transformative moment," when we look at the meat or animal product on our plate (fish, fowl, mammal, egg, milk, cheese) and acknowledge that it came from a living being, capable, he has no doubt, of suffering and happiness. Like children when they are first told that the drumstick is actually a leg, the tongue is really a tongue, the bacon was once a pig like Wilbur in "Charlotte's Web," Masson hopes, with all his heart, that we will say, "Eeeuwww, yuck."

2. ‘Food Matters: A Guide to Conscious Eating With More Than 75 Recipes by Mark Bittman

Here is an excerpt from the following review: . . /vegan-before-dinnertime

Mark made the changes after developing high cholesterol, borderline high blood sugar, bad knees and sleep apnea, and realizing he was about 35 pounds overweight. A doctor suggested he adopt a vegan diet, which means no animal products. But for a food writer, Mark said, becoming a full-time vegan was both unrealistic and undesirable. Instead, he came up with a compromise:
I decided to do this sort of “vegan till 6” plan. I didn’t have huge thoughts or plans about it. I just thought it was worth a try. Within three or four months, I lost 35 pounds, my blood sugar was normal, cholesterol levels were again normal … and my sleep apnea indeed went away. All these good things happened, and it wasn’t as if I was suffering so I stayed with it…. I have not eliminated anything completely from my diet. I haven’t had a Coke in a while, but I didn’t drink that much Coke to begin with.

3. ‘Vegan Soul Kitchen: Fresh, Healthy, and Creative African-American Cuisine’ by Bryant Terry 

Here is an excerpt from the following review:

There was a time in high school when Bryant Terry "went off the deep end with junk food." The author of Vegan Soul Kitchen indulged an adolescent appetite for McDonalds, Burger King, and the offerings of other dreck purveyors in his hometown of Memphis. The memory of the satisfaction that came from cheap, fatty food informs Terry's work as a food writer and activist in Oakland some 20 years later. He's not judgmental when he sees a kid tucking into a bag of Cheetos. He just wants the kid to know there's a better world of food out there. … In 2006, he co-authored Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen with Anna Lappe, the daughter of Frances Moore Lappe, who published Diet for a Small Planet in 1971.

‘I Can’t Believe I’m Still a Vegan’ 
It’s always interesting to read people’s ‘How I Became a Vegetarian’ stories. Here’s on from a journalist who went vegan in his mid-50s, mostly to lose weight and to maintain a healthy weight:

Here’s the first paragraph of the article:

More than halfway through my sixth decade, I have learned to live with the routine insults and occasional horrors of passing time—the daily aches and pains, the eroding senses (say again?), the too-frequent diagnosis of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses among my peers. I accept these blows, big and small, as the price to be paid for the joys I've known and whatever wisdom I've been able to acquire over the years. I accept them because, well, I really don't have a choice. There is one thing, however I will not abide: getting fat.

Please send ‘How I Became a Vegetarian’ stories your own country to ‘IVU Online News’:  

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

Narayana Project, Casterton, Victoria (Espanol) -

sq-ss - vegetarian restaurant -

The Bhima Club -

Lake Isle Retreats -

The Cascina Rosso Organic Farm & Guest Apartments -

Silver Crystal Kalahari Gourmet Salt -

Fair Trade Batik Cards from Africa -
Ki Publishing Cooperative -
Ki Therapies -
The London Biorhythm Company -
The Meeting Point -
Tinnitus and Diet -

The Vegan Soul Food Guide to the Galaxy -
Vegan Chic -

Isabel Struve, Maracaibo -

To view a listing of international upcoming events online, visit

1. Animal Care Expo – 6-9 Apr, 2009, Las Vegas

The Humane Society of the United States is organising this event on animal protection and emergency services.

2. EVU (European Vegetarian Union) Talks - 30 Apr – 3 May, 2009 - Croatia

Vegetarian Solutions to a Sustainable Environment
The EVU Talks for this year is not one to be missed! It will take place in the great city of Zagreb in Croatia for the first time. A joint event of the EVU and Animal Friends Croatia, the Talks will be held over the long weekend of Thursday 30 April to Sunday 3 May 2009, and will include a visit to an Animal Sanctuary.
This year's theme is 'Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment', which is highly topical and so you can look forward to a lively and exciting time that will be inspiring and thought-provoking.
As with all EVU (and IVU) events, all catering is vegan. It is also a wonderful opportunity to network and socialise with like-minded people from all over Europe and to make new friends. The city of Zagreb has many attractions too and the weather there is always lovely at that time of the year.

3. Veggie Pride Parades and Carnivals – 16 May, 2009 – Multiple Countries

Veggie Pride is an opportunity for everyone following vegan and other vegetarian lifestyles to come together for a fun, carnival style event whilst also raising awareneness of the many benefits for human health, our fellow animals and the environment of changing our diets.

4. 4th National Vegetarian Congress, organized by the Vegetarian Union of Spain -
Santander (Spain), 26-28 June

5. NAVS (North American Vegetarian Society) Summerfest – 8-12 Jul, 2009 - Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA

6. FARM Animal Rights Conference – 16-20 Jul, 2009 - Los Angeles

7. 12th International Vegan Festival - PUC University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 22-25 Jul, 2009

The world longs for peace, respect and dignity. The Environment is being mercilessly destroyed and gives back its answer. Natural resources are being exhausted by the unsustainable exploitation imposed by a wasteful mode of life. We lose species diversity without even knowing it. Diseases, obesity, suffering and hunger abound.
After so many years of ideals of 'peace and love', 'gender and ethnic equality', ‘freedom of speech' and 'respect for nature' we still crawl on, delegating to others the task of bringing about lasting, real changes. By changing our life style we can play a vital role in the construction of the better world we all want, where the white dove of peace can rest her tired feet.

8. Asian Vegetarian Congress – 6-10 Nov, 2009

The 4th Asian Vegetarian Congress, organised by the Asian Vegetarian Union and the Indonesia Vegetarian Society, will be held on Batam Island, Indonesia, near Singapore from 6-10 Nov. People from everyone in the world are warmly welcome to enjoy delicious Indonesian vegetarian food.
Among those who have agreed to speak are 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, R.K. Pachauri, well-known vegetarian crusader Maneka Gandhi, and IVU Regional Coordinators for India and for Asia-Pacific, Shankar Narayan and Susianto Tseng.

9. China Xiamen International Vegetarian Food Fair, 12-15 Nov, 2009

Where: Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center, China
Who: Xiamen Municipal Government, Xiamen General Chamber of Commerce, Xiamen International Chamber of Commerce, Xiamen Jinhongxin Exhibition Co., Ltd.
With: Vegetarian materials, vegetarian food, organic food, natural food, healthy food, vegetarian snacks: fruits, vegetarian books, vegetarian restaurants, and other vegetarian products - Plus: International Vegetarian Forum, a million signatures for vegetarianism, food tasting, cooking competition.

10. IVU World Vegetarian Congress – 1-7 Oct, 2010, Jakarta and Bali

The 39th IVU World Vegetarian Congress will be held in Indonesia in two places, Jakarta, the capital (and the economic centre of the country) and Bali, the country’s most famous tourist destination. The Congress starts in Jakarta and then moves to Bali. An outline of the programme is available.

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

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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