International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo 35th World Vegetarian Congress
'Food for all our futures'

Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland
July 8-14, 2002
Hosted by

The Vegetarian Society
of the United Kingdom

Alan Watson Featherstone
Monday - 3.00pm - 4.00pm : Restoring the Earth
Tuesday - 11.30am - 12.30pm : Vegetarian diet and the restoration of the Caledonian Forest

Alan is the founder and executive director of Trees for Life, a project working to restore the Caledonian Forest in the Scottish Highlands. A member of the Findhorn community since 1978, Alan is a frequent speaker at international conferences on environmental issues and is currently spearheading the Restoring the Earth project which promotes restoration of degraded ecosystems as the most important task for humanity in the 21st century.

Q. Hi Alan - sorry I couldn't make it to Congress.
Presumably, you are both a vegetarian and an environmental activist. I have rarely come across environmentalists who take their philosophies to the extent of food choices. How can we (or should we be)pressure environmental groups to include vegetarianism or veganism in their policies?
Regards - Robert Fraser
Perth, Western Australia

A. Hi Robert,

Thanks for your question, which is a very important one. I've been a vegan for 23 years and it's essential in my view to live with the qualities of integrity and coherence between a concern for the environment and the impact of our personal lifestyles. Becoming vegetarian, or better still vegan and eating only organic foods, is one of the most powerful and significant acts which anyone can make in terms of helping to make a positive difference for the planet.

I believe that it's essential for those of us who are aware of the changes we're helping to bring about by changing our diets in this way to communicate this message to environmental organisations, to stress the critical links between meat-based diets and environmental destruction, and encourage them to add the cause of vegetarianism or veganism to their campaigns. The best way to do this in my opinion is through the power of a positive example - to make the changes in our personal lives and then approach them with a positive message of encouragement, rather than just a negative and critical one.

I hope this is helpful!

With best wishes,
Alan Watson Featherstone

Alan photographing mangroves in Sumatra, Indonesia. Photo by Cornelia Featherstone.

Trees for Life

Forest Light - Alan's photo site

Restoring the Earth


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