International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo
34th World Vegetarian Congress 2000
Toronto, Canada

Short Report about the IVU Congress in Toronto
In love with Toronto By Barbara Rütting
from European Vegetarian, Issue 2/3 - 2000

I fell in love with Toronto. Everything in the town is joyful, optimistic, and generous, the broad streets, the elegant skyscrapers. Even lake Ontario, one of about 2 million Canadian lakes, looks like the ocean. Needless to say is that the Niagara Falls are the world's largest falls.
The Canadians' generosity towards all kinds of religious outsiders is astounding, that we here in the German speaking region of Europe, can only dream of: Adventists, Mennonites, Mormons, Quakers, Moslems, Jainas - more than 80 ethnic groups with about 100 languages -- all living together peacefully. They have permission to express their opinion, without being called a sect.
More than 300 participants from 20 nations came together from 10 -16 July to 'Share the Vision' of a vegetarian world. Most were Americans with a few Europeans. Old friendships were refreshed and new ones established. The programme (70 speakers) was excellent and it was difficult to chose between the numerous very interesting lectures. There was a balanced mixture of health, animal protection, ecological and ethical aspects. An exhibition, a bookshop, a cyber café, a children's corner, wonderful possibilities for excursions and of course the occasion to meet people of the same mind.
The 'cooking demonstrations' were received very well or better said the teachings on how to prepare delicious raw food.
Striking was the agreement of all speakers regarding the rejection of dairy products. 'It is absolutely possible that milk has killed more people than all wars together', I heard once. In any case in future nobody believes the myth that milk should be healthy and that it prevents osteoporosis.
And no one will doubt any more that raw food is the healthiest diet.
Never at a vegetarian congress have I met so many vegans. The delicious food was completely vegan. Only the breakfast buffet could have been more 'whole food', as cereal flakes were still predominant.
All in all, the wonderful organisation was appreciated by all present and was rounded off with an opulent farewell banquet. A special congratulation goes to Peter Mc Queen, president of the Toronto Vegetarian Society and member of the organising committee, who even succeeded to marry during the hustle-bustle.

Barbara Rutting,
EVU board member
Edelweisstr. 7,
83233 Bernau,
Germany, Tel/Fax: +49 (0) 8051 806077