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

Fox Earth
by Tina Fox (extract from her regular column in The Vegetarian)

Greetings from a very harassed CEO! I am writing this from the Congress helpdesk as I am afraid I missed my deadline with our Editor. Fortunately everyone is eating now so it is nice and quiet. I am very pleased to report that all is going well - the talks are well received, everyone seems to like the venue and, most importantly, the food is really excellent! The excursions also seem very popular with nice locations and good lunches, so although I am run off my little feet I am a very contented person.

We have also had a very manic lead up to National Vegetarian Week so all in all quite a buzz at present. On Sunday I am off to look after the post-Congress tour - I feel like a bona fide tour guide. I would like to be able to report how good the speakers were, but I hardly managed to see any of the talks, so I will have to take the word of the delegates who did.

All the best -
Tina Fox Chief Executive

View From the Chair
by Mick Collier (extract from his regular column in The Vegetarian)

I have just returned from a very enjoyable few days at the International Vegetarian Union Congress in Edinburgh. It was the first time I had seen so many vegetarians in one place (and hardly a beard or a sandal among them)! It was nice to meet up with old friends from across the UK and to make acquaintance with people from the USA and Canada with whom I had corresponded. What made my stay extra special however, was meeting vegetarians from countries where being a vegetarian is so much more difficult than in the UK. People had travelled from places such as Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, South Korea and Uganda, sometimes travelling for many days, just to get to the Congress to meet like-minded souls and share their experiences. I learnt that in Russia, vegetarianism was banned for many years under the Communist rule as it was seen as a 'western ideology'. In Singapore, you can be arrested for promoting a compassionate vegetarian lifestyle. And in many parts of the Third World, meat eating is on the increase as people become more affluent and move from a vegetarian diet to one that copies the west.

One of the key themes of the week was learning from each other. In this area I was really pleased that all the Societies around the world wanted to learn from the UK. In my many discussions with individuals and at the workshops/presentations I attended, we were always held up as the most effective vegetarian society in the world. People across the globe are interested in adopting our approach (to be helpful, informed, supportive and non-confrontational) as they have seen the results we have achieved in the UK. People were amazed at the quality and quantity of vegetarian food in Britain, both in restaurants, pubs and shops and the growth of our Seedling Symbol. They were very impressed with the way that we work in schools, with the Health Service and other parts of the Government. They also liked our literature with its focus on humour - past copies of the magazine and promotional literature disappeared as soon as we put it on our stand. And what did I learn? That there are some amazing people around the world of all ages who care passionately about vegetarianism, animals and the environment. And that there is so much more to do both in the UK and even more so overseas.

Mick Collier Chair