|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
For a Vegetarian
It was the aim of this event to draw the attention of the public to the re-foundation of our society after World War II and equally to the FAO summit in Rome in November 1996.
Well known speakers from home and abroad gave an impressive presentation.
Hildegund Scholvien, president of EVU, presented the eventful history of the Vegetarier-Bund, founded in 1892, suppressed during the nazi-time, re-founded in 1946 and the constant development and cooperation with international and European societies. Nowadays it is essential as never before to plan and act and develop strategies across the borders.
Barbara Rütting, a famous actress in former times, now dedicates her life to the promotion of vegetarianism, the context of nutrition, protection of animals and the environment. She quotes an American doctor: We’ll reap the revenge of the animals we ate. We feed and kill animals, and then they kill us. She does not give up hope: "If many little people take many little steps in many little places, they can change the world".
Dr. Franz Alt, the well-known TV journalist makes an appeal to the politicians to realize the dreams of alternative energy, to develop solar energy as the energy of the next century. "The sun does not send us a bill".
Prof. Dr. Marcel Hebbelinck, outgoing deputy president of IVU and actually council member of IVU, reveals the effects of our diet on the evironment and ecosystems. He points out that the mistakes in the production of food are the main causes for the hunger in the world. It must be an aim of our time to develop a new economic system and new rules of consumption with fair trade everywhere.
The last speaker, Dr. Werner Hartinger, quotes various studies on vegetarianism which all prove the advantages of a vegetarian diet. Nobody needs meat, but for many people it is rather hard, if not impossible, to change their eating habits. The circumstances around us are caused by our thoughts. We can only change the world by changing our thoughts and our lifestyle.
On the whole it was a successful meeting, with an interested audience, lots of information to take with you, and last but not least a tasty vegetarian buffet.
We hope that this conference, like many others before, was another step forward in interesting the public in our aims and perspectives. We still hope, that the cooperation of the vegetarian societies worldwide with the support of each individual vegetarian will succeed in changing the eating habits of the consumers.
The participants of the FAO summit in Rome knew very well, that you need 10 kg of grain to get 1 kg of beef, that 840 million people suffer from hunger although there is enough nutrition for all of them. But there are man-made problems of distribution and trade restrictions. Besides some half-hearted resolutions there was no remarkable change in thinking.
The 1200 NGO’s who met in Rome at the same time expressed more purposeful aims. They demanded a reform of agricultural politics to enable the poor people of this world to plant their own food.