International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Belgium/Flanders Vegetarian Association
20th Anniversary Year

from EVU News, Issue 1, 1996

After a modest start in 1976 we felt strong enough to organise - since 1980 - a yearly Vegetarian WorldDay. Under the good leadership of our President Jan Dries, who is an excellent organiser, we opted for the formula of a colloquium. Every year we choose a different topic. During the morning session, the public (members & visitors) is listening to 3 lectures, followed by question time.

  • 1980: "Vegetarian for Love of Animals"
  • 1981: "Living Food" Kristina Nolfi, at 100 years.
  • 1982: "Vegetarianism and Peace"
  • 1983: "Food for all"
  • 1984: "Vegetarianism and Tolerance"
  • 1985: "Herbs" Commemoration of Flemish botanist Dodonaeus (1585).
  • 1986: "Man and Nature"
  • 1987: EVU Congress Ostend: "Friendship among all Vegetarians"
  • 1988: "Vegetarianism and Stress"
  • 1989: "Vegetarianism and Allergies"
  • 1990: "Vegetarianism and Environment"
  • 1991: "Health in our own Hands"
  • 1992: "Vegetarianism and Rheumatism"
  • 1993: "Vegetarianism: a Nutrition Trend"
  • 1994: "Vegetarianism and Cancer"
  • 1995: "Vegetarianism = Health, Environment and Animal friendly"
  • 1996: ?
In the afternoon, there are workshops and simultaneous activities to choose from like: [image: preparing a meal]
  • Visiting historic cultural site or museum
  • Film, slide or video-session
  • Nature walks: dunes, forest, park, herb garden ...
  • Miscellaneous workshops e.g.: Raw food / Food combination rules / Sleeping problems / Allergies / Organic gardening and composting / Civilisation illness / Tooth-hygiene / Immunity / Pregnancy / Positive mind / Fundamentals of acid-alkali balance / Slimming / Ecological kitchen and household / Vegetarian meals in collectivities / Healthy construction materials / Man and animals ... And many more.
  • Kitchen demonstrations: preparing salads, desserts, fruit meal, sprouts, natural food, herb remedies.
A great attraction is the exhibition hall, with its many stands and booths with brochures, books, produce from 3rd world farmers, tropical fruit, non-leather-shoes ... You-name-it-they-have-it.

People are so eager to learn about vegetarianism!

[image: Diane & Marcel Hebbelinck]
Diane Hebbelinck is active in the Vegetarian
Association Belgium, Marcel Hebbelinck
(Prof. at the University of Brüssels) is former
Deputy President of IVU and together with
his wife auditor in EVU.
In order not to become too predictable for 'regulars' we always have a different surprise element like a lottery, a special guest reciting appropriate poetry, a musical performance, a nature quiz, a homage of Senior V. members, 5 o'clock herbal tea ...

In order to permit young parents to participate, we arrange for volunteers to play with the children.

We usually rent a part of a 'Cultural Centre' and make arrangements with the restaurant owners for a festive meal for up to 400 people: quite a sight in the large dining hall!

The last few years this traditional World Vegetarian Day has become famous and TV-cameramen drop in for interviews.

We have come a long way with our initially small group, but certainly it is rewarding!

- Diane Hebbelinck