International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Congress Logo 33rd World Vegetarian Congress
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 4 - 10, 1999
'Vegetarianism is the Way'
an unforgettable visual, cultural and gastronomic experience

I guess there are a few people who haven't yet introduced themselves, including me, so here goes...

(gulp)

I'm Frank, from (Bonnie) Scotland. I currently live in an absolutely wonderful, veggie-friendly city called Edinburgh, but life is too easy here, so after Thailand I will move to a vegan desert called Dundee :-( My heart will still remain in Edinburgh though, so I'm happy being called "Frank from Edinburgh" :-) I was an omnivore from age zero to 19, vegetarian from 19 to 38, and have been vegan for five years. At age 57, I expect to eat only bacteria :-)

I'm not a very active vegan. I did help to research and write the "cruelty-free guide to Edinburgh", and I quite like gently destabilising non-vegans by showing that a vegan life is easy and that the only vegan they have probably met (me) is healthy. Other than that, I'm pretty lazy. I feel humble in the company of those who have done so much to improve the lives of animals.

My main reason for going to the Chiang Ma is to relax in the company of like-minded people, get fed heaps of lovely vegan food, get in touch with myself after weeks of hectic work, and generally mellow out. Part of me is also a little Buddhist, so I'd also like to visit some Buddhist temples and maybe try and get in touch with my feelings more (maybe even go to a meditation class?). Emmersing myself in nature would be lovely too (though preferably without the mosquitoes emmersing themselves in me!). I'm hoping to go sea canoeing in the week before Bangkok/Chiang Ma. I have about 10 days after Chaing Ma too - I'm still undecided how to spend that time.

I'm a scientist, specialising in Genetics and Statistics, and work at a plant breeding institute. My major research interest is producing tree-like diagrams of how species are related (evolutionary trees) and I am in awe that we can reconstruct the relationships between all species alive today despite the long time since life on earth started. My working life, however, is largely unconnected with my vegan world, but recently as a vegan scientist, I've started to consider how I could contribute to the vegan cause. I have just joined the UK vegan society and IVU.

But my main reason to the Congress is to hang out with you guys :-) So say hello - I'll be the very pink, overheated person wishing he was back in the cold European winter!

See you all in 5 weeks...
Frank

p.s. I have just started wading through the accumulated "congress" email, so apologies for the delay in saying hello.

Frank Wright
Edinburgh/Dundee
Scotland