International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress

Dresden, Germany

Sunday July 27 - Sunday August 3, 2008

Deutsch - English - Español - Français - Italiano - Português


Welcome from World Vegetarian Leaders


VEBU's Message
Dear friends of a vegetarian lifestyle everywhere in the world!

You want to get profound and actual information about all aspects of a vegetarian lifestyle? You like international exchange, meet people of the worldwide vegetarian movement? You are thrilled by the unique atmosphere of an international vegetarian congress?

Then, the 38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress will be just the right event for you! You will enjoy an extensive programme of specific information, meet people, culture and leisure, complemented by the flair of a jubilee congress: The first World Vegetarian Congress took place in Dresden in 1908, and the International Vegetarian Union was founded.

We are very much looking forward to seeing you in Dresden, in summer 2008.

- Thomas Schönberger, Germany, Chair of the Vegetarier-Bund Deutschlands e.V. (VEBU)

IVU's message
I am writing to recommend attendance at this very special congress celebrating 100 years of IVU at the historic location of the first congress to all possible participants. Attending any IVU World Vegetarian Congress is always a unique opportunity to learn and to enjoy yourself in the company of fellow vegetarians and vegans who are actively promoting a more compassionate world.

It is also an opportunity to enjoy wonderful food and pleasant excursions and tours in great company and knowing the organisers as I do I know that it will run very smoothly. Let's ensure we all work together to make sure we don't have to wait another hundred years for a vegetarian world!

I look forward to meeting you there.

- Tina Fox, UK, Chair of the International Council of IVU

EVU's message
100 years ago, the very first World Vegetarian Congress took place in Dresden. I am very glad, that this centenary congress will come back to Dresden. Times have changed since 1908. Especially in Germany during the recent years, the vegetarian lifestyle became popular and accepted like never before. Accordingly the character of these Congresse has changed: from a meeting of insiders, to encourage themselves to a big and open event, that attracts not only vegetarians.

We have better travel possibilities that turn such a congress into an event to unite the nations. Vegetarian groups live almost everywhere in the world. The IVU World Vegetarian Congress is supposed to unite and strengthen this movement. You are invited to celebrate this event together with the International Vegetarian Union, the European Vegetarian Union, the German Vegetarian Society and the participants from all over the world, be part of a movement that promotes not only human health but also the welfare of animals and the environment.

Don't miss this unique event!

- Renato Pichler, Switzerland, President of the European Vegetarian Union (EVU)

Messages from the leaders of IVU Member Societies

Vegetarian Union of North America and VSDC

On behalf of the Vegetarian Union of North America (and also the Vegetarian Society of DC [Washington DC]), I'd like to Congratulate the organizers of the VEBU in their planning of what will be a spectacular Centenary Anniversary of the World Vegetarian Congress! The message of compassion, well-being, and respect for all - the basis of a vegetarian diet and lifestyle - is so important and relevant today. Come to this unique world congress and learn about the tremendous impacts that food and our systems of food production have on us and the world around us - you will be amazed. You'll be surrounded by progressive people from all over the world and make friendships that transcend borders and politics. And don't forget that the all-vegan food will be incredible.

As we look to celebrate this remarkable achievement, we must also pause and reflect on the state of the world, the challenges and difficulties that so many face, and the vital work that needs to be done for a more sustainable and harmonious future. This is one global and integrated solution that is so easily within our reach. So let's meet in Dresden and work to change the world.

- Saurabh Dalal, Deputy Chair of IC of IVU, President of VUNA, and President of VSDC

Sociedade Vegetariana Brasileira
To attend any IVU World Vegetarian Congress is an unforgettable experience. To attend its centenary is a must - and every vegetarian around the world should make an effort to participate, collaborate and congratulate.

We are living crucial times - war, exploitation and unprecedented deterioration of natural resources. There is famine in the world - and violence. But how to reap peace if we practice violence every day at the moment we eat? Never in human history were animals treated and killed in so many quantities and in so appalling condition, prevented from expressing their more basic instincts, prevented from living among their natural family groups, treated as an item in the production-line. Human health is also not good around the world. Scenery is desolated. The main factor of the destruction of the Amazon forest is beef rearing and soy plantation. Soy to whom? To turn into cattle feed - answering to a world demand for more and more meat. It is proved that a meat centered diet is linked to the main illnesses that affect western societies. The standard Western diet exhausts and contaminates natural resources; generates illness, and causes terrible suffering to the animals.

To all these serious problems vegetarianism has a message. And it is all this that we will be addressing during the 6 days we will be gathered in beautiful Dresden. But it won't be just problems - vegetarianism is after all a very positive way of life, a culture of peace, joy, compassion and respect for all forms of being.

Come to give your contribution. Come to enjoy with us.

- Marly Winckler, President, Brazilian Vegetarian Society ; IVU Regional Coordinator for Latin America; Organizer of 36th IVU WVC in Brazil.

Indian Vegan Society
Dresden 2008 : 160 years of The Vegetarian Society and the word 'vegetarian', 100 years of the International Vegetarian Union, 60 years of The Vegan Society and the word 'vegan', and 10 years of totally vegan food at IVU Congresses - what an occasion to celebrate! So many milestones in the annals of the World Vegetarian Movement really give us reasons to rejoice. While we count the achievements made, we will chalk out the path to achieve a 'complete vegetarian' world too. In the backdrop of the world famous German efficiency and European beauty, there is no doubt this event will be a great success!

One who can dream it, can do it! Whatever may be the constraints, if you start dreaming from today, you will be there on that day. Dresden is centrally located in the globe and after the event, one can cover many European countries and make it a tour of the life!

I welcome everybody who cares for the 'health of the earth' to be there at Dresden for the Centenary Celebrations of the IVU.

- Vn.Shankar Narayan, President - Indian Vegan Society; IVU Council Member

Triangle Vegetarian Society (North Carolina, USA)
Welcome! For those of you considering attending the 38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, I send my words of encouragement to join in on what promises to be a historic, educational, and fun event. Dresden had a vegetarian society as far back as 1881 and was the site in 1908 of the very first World Congress, where IVU was founded.

If past Congresses are any measure, you should expect great camaraderie and networking among kind people from around the world, speakers on a variety of topics to help you in your move toward or interest in a plant-based diet, tasty vegan food (afterall, the theme is "100 Years of Food Revolution"), and an unbeatable opportunity to recharge yourself in a week of vegetarianism. Please join me in supporting Hildegund Scholvien and the organizers of this Congress!

Dilip Barman, President, Triangle Vegetarian Society (North Carolina, USA) ; IVU Councilor, Vegetarian Union of North America Vice-President

Young Indian Vegetarians (UK)
The IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, Germany will be a truly Historic event. Like the early founders of Vegetarian Society of UK, many German vegetarians were inspired by the vegetarianism as praticed in India as well as the philosophical and moral arguments of Ahimsa. In Dresden we will have the opportunity to appreciate the tremendous work done by so may in the 1900's and we will commit ourselves to this cause with greater vigour so that vegetarianism once again becomes the normal diet for the human race. It promises to be a great event.

- Nitin Mehta, Founder Young Indian Vegetarians, UK


If leaders of other IVU Member Societies would like to send a (brief!) personal message with a small photo we will be happy to add more here! Send to John Davis, IVU Manager :

Back to the 2008 Congress Index