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October 2009

Healthy Living Handbook for Older Vegetarians/Vegan Debuts
To celebrate World Vegetarian Day 2009, Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is launching its second publication, Vegetarian Living – A healthy-living handbook for older vegetarians & vegans, or those who care for them.

The handbook is aimed at individual older vegetarians and vegans and their changing needs. It offers advice on subjects such as a positive approach to retirement, ‘simple tips to sharpen wits’, housing & care, diet & cookery, and it includes a section of ‘easy recipes-for-one’.

6,000 copies of Vegetarian Living have recently been distributed, and thousands more are available on request – free of charge – to individuals, care organisations and similar. Vegetarian Living is also downloadable from the charity’s website

Feedback from Last Issue 
The September issue of IVU Online News stated that “Ghent, Belgium has the distinction of being the world's first city to have a Meatless Day.” A reader wrote in to say the following:  

I thought I should point out a correction to your line as follows - Ghent, Belgium has the distinction of being “the world's first city” to have a Meatless Day. Cities in Asia, especially China and India, have long had the distinction of celebrating (numerous) meatless days (every year) for thousands of years. Chinese have two meatless days every (lunar) month.

The statement in error is no more true than the statement that Columbus “discovered” America (the Red Indians preceded him) or Sir Edmund Hillary was the “first” to scale Mt Everest (at least the Sherpas who took him there preceded him). The erroneous statement might perpetuate unfair stereotypes and notions of superiority by any one over another.

New Member Society:
Vejetaryen Kulubu, Turkey - - the only and the most comprehensive sharing platform especially for the vegetarians in Turkey. VK is a member of EVU and IVU.
New Business Supporter
Eau+ Ltd - - V-Pure - The 1st EPA & DHA Omega3 supplement from algae. The only true vegetarian alternative to fish oil and has become a brand consumers trust.

V-Label - Vegi-Label - V-Logo - Vegi-LogoThe European V-Label Project 
One of the European Vegetarian Union’s (EVU) major projects has been the European Vegetarian Label project, which has grown year after year. As this partly commercial project is now too big for the EVU, they decided to outsource it. The V-label is now outsourced to the V-label Inc. The V-label is still the official European Vegetarian Label and is supported by the EVU with its name on the label.

For more information, or

Famous Dancers – New Additions to the Veg History Archives 
Thanks to IVU Manager and Historian, John Davis, for the addition of two renowned dancers to the rich history collection available on the IVU website.

Isadora Duncan (1878-1927), American born but made her name in Europe, seems to have been a sometime vegetarian of one type or another:

Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) - Ukrainian born of Polish parents, but made his name in Paris, was more consistent about vegetarianism:

EVU/VEBU Veggie Summit Meeting – 16-18 Oct, 2009, Berlin, Germany

This meeting is an initiative of the EVU (European Vegetarian Union) and will be organized by VEBU (German Vegetarian Union). The aim is to exchange ideas and create closer links between vegetarian organizations in Europe. Since all NGOs are constantly suffering from a lack of people power and resources, a well planned cooperation offers a promising path towards greater efficiency and gives additional clout to our projects.
For further information please contact Sebastian Zoesch of VEBU at

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

FRANCE: La Hierbabuena - vegetarian B&B, Midi Pyrénées-Aude  -
ITALY: Italian Vegetarian Paradise -
UK :
Animals Count - a political party for people and animals -
Guernsey Vegetarian Group -
Off The Hoof magazine -

September 2009

Interview with a Vegetarian Leader from Austria 
Mag. Felix Hnat is president of Vegan Society Austria
He kindly agreed to be interviewed for IVU Online News.

Update on Meatless Thursdays in Belgium 
Ghent, Belgium has the distinction of being the world's first city to have a Meatless Day. We asked Tobias Leenaert of the Belgian organisation EVA (Ethical Vegetarian Alternative) for more on what’s happening there.

Please tell us the history of how Meatless Thursday came to be. What was your society's role in making this happen?

EVA started its "Thursday Veggie Day" campaign at the end of 2007. Last year, we managed to convince IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) chairperson, Dr Rajendra K. Pachauri, to come to Ghent and give a talk about meat and global warming:

Tom Balthazar, the Ghent councilman responsible for the environment, was there, and, after that, he became more and more convinced of the importance of meat reduction. We made contact with two of his staff who were also enthusiastic, and we suggested that they ask Balthazar if he would be prepared to officially proclaim Thursdays to be veggie days in Ghent. Apparently, he didn't need much convincing, and he managed to get his colleagues on the executive council of the city to go along with him.

How does the city government support the Meatless Thursdays? Is it just lip service?

The city supports the campaign in several ways: we receive financial support; several city employees have already spent many days on the campaign; we have developed and distributed campaign materials together; we organized the launch event together; and from October, 2009 onwards, city funded schools will have vegetarian dishes by default on Thursday. The latter was decided by the councilman for the environment. So no, it’s definitely not just lip service.

What is the public reaction? What percentage of people would you estimate are reducing their meat consumption?

We haven't done any research yet; we plan to that in October. But so far we have heard many, many positive comments, and many people tell us they are participating.

Are other Belgian cities or towns thinking of following Ghent's example?

The town of Hasselt has already declared that it will start in October. There have also been some other towns expressing an interest, and we will start working on the bigger cities, like Antwerp and Brussels. Internationally, Sao Paulo, Brazil is already convinced, and they're working on it in France, UK, Austria, Israel, etc.

Has your organisation grown as a result of the success of Veggie Day?

We have certainly received a lot of attention and inquiries, and we have attracted new advertisers and interested potential partners. We recently also received a national sustainability award. I can feel that the whole campaign has brought us a lot of recognition and that the road is wide open for further growth. We have also received a lot of international inquiries from sister organisations all over, and it's particularly rewarding to see that our campaign has inspired other people.

What is being planned to broaden and deepen Veggie Day?

We are now trying to organize something on the European level, and are checking if we can collaborate with the Meatless Monday campaign by Paul McCartney. We are also getting the support again of Dr. Pachauri, who will urge other cities to follow Ghent's example. . . article&id=792 Furthermore, we want to make sure Ghent succeeds as a pilot city and serves as an example for other cities to follow.

Any advice for organisations hoping to do something similar?

My main advice would be to take this from the environmental and health angle, not from an animal rights angle. The meat reduction angle is also much more successful than the all-or-nothing vegetarian angle. Obviously, it's good to present the benefits for the city or the city official involved. Make them concrete (CO2 saved, health benefits…). In general, I think it is fruitful to work at a city level rather than a national level.

Some material can be found at People are also welcome to write me at for more info.

A Taste of Meat Eater Logic         
This article is written by someone from Ireland who keeps pigs as both pets and as a food source. The first sentence says it all: “The best thing about keeping pigs is, of course, the pork, but the companionship runs the meat a pretty close second”. You can read the rest of the sentences here: . . /The-joy-of-pigs.html
A lively debate among readers can be found below the article.


Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU

GERMANY : Veganes Leben -
IRELAND : Donegal Veg Group -
- Vegetarian Kilkenny -
ITALY : Casa del Sole - rural hospitality in Valgraveglia - Liguria -
UK : Valley Forge Native Wildlife Refuge (Scotland) -
- Vegans 4 U (online dating) -

August 2009

Centro Vegetariano - Vegetarianismo e VeganismoInterview with Cristina Rodriques of Centro Vegetariano - Portugal

Cristina Rodrigues is leader of Centro Vegetariano - - a vegetarian organisation in Portugal. Cristina kindly agreed to be interviewed for ‘IVU Online News’.

Sweden: Draft Guidelines Urge Citizens To Eat Less Meat   
Momentum towards eating less meat grew recently when the Swedish government issued draft guidelines suggesting that people can reduce global warming by cutting back on meat: . .food_choices_proposal. . .pdf . . /visionary_sweden.aspx

However, a Swedish vegetarian who used to live in Singapore is sceptical:
The text is very vague. It puts all the work on the reader (=public) to reduce the carbon footprint, while it offers no legislation/taxes/subsidies to facilitate this effort. I suspect very little will change due to this report, except a few upset farmers as usual. Alas, the world will not be saved by individuals, because far too many don't care about it.

Finally, the EU and Sweden speak with double tongues, as always. On one hand, they talk about greenhouse gas reduction, environmentalism, support to developing countries, and, with the other hand, they pay billions and billions to EU farmers and fishermen to continue producing greenhouse gas, polluting the environment and driving African/Asian farmers out of jobs. Just now, the EU has agreed to pay out enormous sums of money to European dairy farmers, because not enough people are buying "their" milk, despite the already substantial subsidies. 
It's a good first step, but sadly much more is needed.

New Book: ‘Why Animal Suffering Matters’      
Professor Andrew Linzey is Director of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a Member of the Faculty of Theology in the University of Oxford. He has published more than 20 books including: Animal Theology, Creatures of the Same God, and The Link Between Animal Abuse and Human Violence.

His new book is ‘Why Animal Suffering Matters: Philosophy, Theology, And Practical Ethics’. [link to] The following thought-provoking information was provided by the publisher, Oxford University Press.

Lots of people are disturbed by animal suffering, but hard pressed to say why it really matters. It is still sometimes supposed that caring for animals is just an ‘emotional’ issue with no rational basis. Our exploitation of animals rests on a range of ‘differences’ that are supposed to justify their inferior treatment. But when analyzed, these very differences, so often regarded as a basis for discriminating against them, are the very grounds for discriminating in favor of them.

When reconfigured, these considerations include:

    • The inability of animals to give or withhold their consent
    • Their inability to verbalize or represent their interests
    • Their inability to comprehend
    • Their moral innocence or blamelessness
    • Their relative defenselessness and vulnerability

When these considerations are taken fully into account, it becomes as difficult to justify the infliction of suffering on animals as it is to do so in the case of human infants. In ‘Why Animal Suffering Matters’, Andrew Linzey offers a radical new paradigm for our treatment of animals, maintaining that animals, like young children, should be accorded a special moral status. The argument is buttressed by a detailed analysis of three practical issues: hunting with dogs, fur-farming, and commercial sealing. After reading this book, it will be difficult for anyone to argue that any of these practices is morally defensible.

Survey on the Status of Vegan and Vegetarians in UK Care Homes   Vegetarian for Life Home Page
Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is an advocacy and educational charity working on behalf of older vegetarians and vegans throughout the UK.

In 2009, VfL commissioned a survey of care homes, which was completed during May and June 2009. From a database of all the UK’s 12,500 care homes, a representative sample of 1,000 were surveyed.

Findings included:

  • 22% of care homes have one or more vegetarian residents
  • Care homes with vegetarian residents are heavily weighted to the southern half of England (72%)
  • 1.25% of care home residents are vegetarian or vegan
  • Of the 410,000  care home residents in the UK, around 5,250 are vegetarian
  • Vegetarians make up around 3% of the whole population, according to the Food Standards Authority, so, proportionately fewer vegetarians are in care homes

We can only speculate why:

  • there are probably more vegetarians in the younger age ranges
  • older vegetarians and vegans may be generally healthier than meat-eaters, so less likely to need a care home
  • vegetarians are more likely to make ‘lifestyle’ choices that are ‘healthy’ e.g. not to smoke
  • older veggies may be more likely to be independently-minded and try to remain in their own homes for longer, especially if they feel catering in care homes will not include good vegetarian provision

The reality is probably a combination of these reasons. However, staying in a care home is expensive, so most people delay moving into care until absolutely necessary. Therefore, it seems reasonable to speculate that part of the explanation of why older vegetarians and vegans seem to have less need of care homes is that they are generally healthier than the whole population.

  • VfL works on behalf of the 5,000+ vegetarian care home residents – a significant minority – and was pleased to find a high degree of interest from care home managers in its publications and catering training courses (organised in conjunction with the Cordon Vert Cookery School of the Vegetarian Society), together with a high approval rating for its website

For a more detailed summary of the survey results or further information please contact Tina Fox in the UK on 0151 608 1595 or

Vegan Music and Arts Festival - 19-26 Aug, 2009, Largentière, Ardèche, France.
There will be concerts, discussions, food and more at this first ever event. They are looking for volunteers and associations/groups to get involved.

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
GERMANY : Forever-Vital -
ITALY : Hotel Kadampa Italy -
NETHERLANDS : Delicias Veganas - (Espanol)
UK :
My Vegan Planet - -

July 2009

Report from EVU Talks 2009 
Shabari Monica Saha, European Vegetarian Union (EVU) Secretary General and IVU Liaison Officer for Europe, submitted the following report.
The EVU Talks for this year, between Thursday 30 April and Sunday 3 May 2009, were held 30 Mar-3 Apr in the great city of Zagreb, the capital and largest city of Croatia, the first time the event had been hosted by Croatia. Titled ‘Vegetarian Solutions For A Sustainable Environment’, EVU Talks 2009 was organised with the help of Animal Friends Croatia, who did an amazing job of arranging the event for the four days and making sure it was a big success. There were people who came from all over Europe including England, Northern Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Slovenia.
For more information:

Welcome to New IVU Member Society and Supporters

Eau+ Ltd - V-Pure - The 1st EPA & DHA Omega3 supplement from algae. The only true vegetarian alternative to fish oil and has become a brand consumers trust.

The Gentle Gourmet B&B, Paris - The Gentle Gourmet is the vegan place in Paris for a green and gourmet travelling experience. Vegan, organic dining and B&B and kitchen garden tours 

Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
GERMANY - Edith Hallberg -
UK - -


Seminar for Vegetarians and Esperantists – Poland, 25 Jul, 2009
On the first Saturday of the World Esperanto Congress, the World Esperantist Vegetarian Association (TEVA), is organizing a seminar for vegetarians and others interested in the ethical treatment of animals. People from various countries will be giving short talks, followed by discussions, on the following themes:
-  History of TEVA; Vegetarianism and Esperanto: what have they in common? ;   Vegetarianism in Poland ; The first meatless city: Ghent, Belgium ; Meat and its consequences for the environment
Venue: Bialystok Technical University (Politechnika Bialostocka), Wiejska 45, 15-089 Bialystok
Time:  14.30 to 17.00
What to bring: An open mind, and a willingness to share opinions
Languages to be used: Esperanto, Polish (translation will be provided), English
Registration: Heidi Goes -

June 2009

logo DVBelgian City Goes Once A Week Veg

The damage done by meat calls louder and louder for a response, and more people the world over are responding. A great example is the city of Ghent, Belgium. From May, government staff and elected officials will go veg once a week and from Sep, schools will follow suit. The goal is to protect the environment and to guard against obesity.

Here’s a PowerPoint file on the idea presented at the 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress by Tobias Leenaert of Ethical Vegetarian Alternative (EVA), Belgium’s biggest vegetarian organisation:

And, here’s an FAQ by EVA:

Government Regulator Backs Animal Cruelty Advertisement

The intensive pig farming industry in the UK lodged a complaint against an advertisement by Compassion in World Farming (CIWF). However, the complaint backfired when the UK’s advertising regulator, the ASA, backed CIWF’s claim that piglets feel pain just like a human would when their teeth are clipped without anaesthetic.
The advertisement appeared in the national press earlier this year, including in the magazine of food celebrity Jamie Oliver. The ad shows a picture of a pig and asks: “What noise does a piglet make when its teeth are cut off with pliers – without anaesthetic? Same as you.”
A farmer complained stating that piglets don’t get distressed if their teeth are clipped properly without anaesthetic. The ASA looked at the scientific evidence and concluded that Compassion in World Farming was truthful in stating that piglets squeal in pain when they have their teeth clipped without anaesthetic. This is because piglets’ teeth contain nerves and they feel pain as a result of tissue damage just like humans would.
Routine clipping of the teeth of young pigs is banned under EU legislation, yet it happens regularly in most standard intensive pig farms in the UK. Despite the ban, the British Pig Executive (BPEX) reported last year that 57% of pig farmers in the UK clip the teeth of all of their pigs.
View the advertisement

New Registered Groups:

GERMANY - Dr. Goerg Premium Coconut Products (Deutsch) -
IRELAND - Vegan Future -
ITALY - Cascina Rosso, Piedmont Italy (Enlglish page) -

India Cultural Center -
International Federation of Classical Yoga -

A veggie food connoisseur in London -
border_veggievegans email group -
heavymetalveg -
The Best Vegetarian Recipes -

May 2009

Welcome to New IVU Full Member Societies
Following the decision last year to offer free membership of IVU to all Full Member Societies of EVU (European Vegetarian Union), we have now updated the IVU database to include many new societies and we are delighted to welcome them to IVU. As a result of this agreement IVU now includes 63 European organisations in Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and Ukraine.

For details on these societies, go to and then:

  1. select any European country from the drop-down menu
  2. select the appropriate language at the bottom, many Euro groups only have a website in their own language and will not appear if you search in English
  3. select 'Vegetarian & Vegan organisations' on the right.

Member Societies will appear near the top with a * in front of the name.

Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
ITALY: Azienda Agricola TERRA LIBERA / Natural Cure Center (Portugese/English) -
PORTUGAL: Alvorecer - Centro de Cura Natural (Natural Cure Center), (Portuguese/English) -
UK :
Jinga Shoe Retailers -
MuLondon - Natural Organic Skincare -
The Best Vegetarian Recipes -
Wessex Tales Vegetarian Vegan Restaurant, Bournemouth -

Veggie Pride events – 16 May, 2009 – Lyon, Milan and Prague; 17 May 2009 – New York

Other Online Sources of Veg News - European Vegetarian Union:

April 2009

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’.

- read full interview

NEW 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.

Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
IRELAND : Lake Isle Retreats -
ITALY : The Cascina Rosso Organic Farm & Guest Apartments -
UK :
Fair Trade Batik Cards from Africa -
Ki Publishing Cooperative -
Ki Therapies -
The London Biorhythm Company -
The Meeting Point -
Tinnitus and Diet -

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.

Read the complete latest issue of IVU Online News