International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Regional Vegetarian Congresses


1980 - from 'Alive' (VSUK magazine) May/June issue

EUROPEAN VEGETARIANISM - CO-ORDINATION AT LAST?

LUXEMBOURG - the Green Heart of Europe - was recently the scene of the first attempt for some years to co-ordinate the activities of vegetarian societies on this side of the Atlantic. As the new secretary for the European Region of the International Vegetarian Union, I wrote to many of the addresses listed in the useful VSUK Handbook, and had enough repsonse to justify holding a week-end conference on neutral ground at the end of March. (Luxembourg has no vegetarian society, but we were happy to meet four residents who once tried to form one!).

The countries represented were Britain (in the person of VSUK Council member Jim Peet), Denmark, France, W.Germany, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands, and each person outlined the work being done for vegetarianism not only by his own society but also by other groups in his country. In addition, the new IVU General Secretary, Maxwell G. Lee, contributed a great deal to the success of the conference, outlined his plans for increasing the activities of the Union and suggested how we might help further them.

A great deal of enthusiasm for co-operation was shown, and a decision to meet again in a year's time seemed inevitable; besides inviting to this meeting a representative from every European Society already affiliated to IVU, we are hoping that each country with no such society will nevertheless be represented by an observer. Meanwhile a questionnaire will be sent to all societies (whether members of IV U or not) in order to collect as much useful information as possible; the results will be published in a quarterly bulletin, which will also include news of preparations for the 26th World Vegetarian Congress, to be held in Germany in 1982, and any other important news which subscribing societies would like to send me. (Or indeed anyone else; I can be contacted at St.Columbia's College, Dublin 16, Ireland.)

In addition we shall approach both the EEC and the Council of Europe in the hope of establishing an official relationship with (and thus bring pressure to bear on) these two bodies; and in 1981 we may hold a small European Congress, perhaps in association with a national vegetarian congress. On this and all other matters I shall welcome suggestions from all European vegetarians!

- Christopher Fettes