|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
35th World Vegetarian Congress
'Food for all our futures'
Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
July 8-14, 2002
The Vegetarian Society
of the United Kingdom
Countdown to Congress
by Tina Fox, Chief Executive of The Vegetarian Society UK
When the Society won its bid to hold the Congress in 2002 it seemed like a very long time away. Now however with only a little more than twelve months to go the action is hotting up and a progress report to whet your appetites is in order.
The Congress will take place on the delightful campus of Heriot Watt university eight miles from the city centre of Edinburgh. Those of you who attended our AGM in 1999 I am sure would agree that this is very pleasant site with a woodland trail, sculpture trail, a loch and many fat rabbits playing on the lawns. It is also within easy and inexpensive reach of the city centre with its wonderful museums, shops, gardens , castles etc. The event will start on Monday 8th July and end on Sunday 14th after a gala dinner and ceilidh the night before.
During the six days there will be a variety of presentations, workshops, cookery demonstrations etc from guest presenters from all corners of the earth including the UK, USA, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, Luxembourg, Hong Kong etc. So far eighteen speakers have been confirmed including such well known speakers as Rynn Berry, Dilip Barman, Sigrid De Leo, Hans Diehl, Rose Elliot, Ruth Heidrich and Claude Pasquini to name a few. Of course we also have our own home grown talent such as Paul Appleby who is famous with regard to the ongoing Oxford vegetarian study, Joyce de Silva from CIWF, Juliet Gellatly from Viva!, and George Rodger Chair of the Vegan Society. Subjects will all obviously be related to vegetarianism but will cover aspects of health, animal welfare, the environment, cookery and philosophical matters. There will be approximately fifteen choice sessions each day and during the congress four plenary sessions will be held on the key areas of animal welfare, environment, health and the past and future of the movement. Despite such an action packed programme there will be time off for good behaviour! Each evening after the meal an entertainment will be arranged and each morning it is aimed to organise a run, yoga or some other kind of physical activity.
As part of the Congress a day and half will be devoted to optional excursions. For those wanting to explore a bit of wonderful Scottish history or countryside there will be choice of three half days covering a whisky distillery, the exciting New Lanark experience and a tour of Edinburgh to include the excellent Dynamic Earth which impressed our members last time we visited. For the full days we will be going further afield and the choices include a visit to the border to Traquair House ( the oldest inhabited house in Scotland, and one of my favourite places to visit) and Rosslyn Chapel; to the Wallace memorial and the castle in Stirling for all Braveheart fans, or a journey to the Trossach area and a cruise of the lovely Loch Lommond. All tours are in modern air conditioned coached and full days will include lunch. After the congress there will be an optional 5 night tour of Scotland taking in both Skye and Findhorn, on a bed, breakfast and evening meal basis and to include all entrance fees, more on this in a future report but do send for details if interested. Dependent on space available it may be possible to offer this as a holiday to those not attending the congress but initially only on a reserve basis. All tours will be accompanied by a member of the Society's staff to ensure any little problems are ironed out so you can just enjoy yourself.
The congress is organised on a full board basis with all food vegan and naturally supervised by our own Cordon Vert Cookery School. We have no booking forms available yet but hope to provide some soon, there are discounts for early booking and you can reserve a place with an initial deposit prior to the official forms. I could carry on and wax lyrical but the editor won't let me have more space!