|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
In Switzerland there are some very active groups, in general composed of young vegan animal activists, who are doing a rather effective job in making the public more sensitive to all the problems connected with the exploitation of animals.
In this edition of the EVU News I would like to introduce you to two member societies: one from the French speaking part of the country "Action pour le Respect des Animaux" (ARA), where Christina Maier (named the "Swiss Brigitte Bardot" by some newspapers) is very active and the "Centro di documentazione Animalista" (CDA) in the Italian speaking Ticino where Max Molteni and Tanya Tralamazza are also heavily involved in doing similar work.
Max Molteni works with the state radio of the Italian speaking part of Switzerland and has done some very informative programs on such themes.
Both groups were present at the AGM in Trogen
where valuable contacts for collaboration were created.
Centro di documenzione Animalista (CDA)
Vivisection is one of the most horrible (and most unnecessary) crimes which man commits against his fellow creatures. Thatís why in October 1994 we founded a Centre, where we collect information material (books, newspapers, videos,etc) about vegetarianism, furs, bullfighting, circuses, zoos, hunting etc.
We active members meet once a fortnight in order to co-ordinate our activities. We are working together with several Italian groups - In our Centre there is a place where we sell shirts, stickers, books and posters. The sale of these articles enables us to cover our expenses.
Nearly every week there are students coming to the Centre who are looking for information and material for their school theses. More and more students are choosing a theme which is connected to animal rights and for those we are a very effective help, thanks to the material and our knowledge which we give most willingly for nothing.
The CDA in Lugano (Via Sonvico 1) is open to the public every Monday from 8:30pm to 10:30pm. For any contact please use the address of our office in Bellinzona:
Action pour le Respect des Animaux
The Swiss group ARA (Action pour le Respect des Animaux/Animal Rights Action) known in the French speaking part of Switzerland, especially in Lausanne, for its leading role in a recent successful anti-fur campaign and whose members are all vegetarian, has focused most of its actions on vegetarianism since the release of information on the 'mad cow' epidemic last April.
"Vie aux vaches" (long life for cows)
This crises was amplified in Switzerland where the government proposed to slaughter 230,000 cows in order "to erdicate BSE and restore consumer confidence".Following this appallling decision ARA launched a petition "Vie aux vaches" in Lausanne to collect signatures in favour of a green sanctuary for these innocent cows. This action recieved support from the French (and vegetarian) philosopher Florence Burgat and the World Hindu Federation (WHF) contacted by ARA. The WHF did much more in offering to the Swiss government to take the 230,000 cows to Nepal. This proposal had a strong mediatic echo in Switzerland. On this occasion, ARA was interviewed on TV. ARA also took part in a demonstration organized by OIPA against the slaughter of the cows.
"Itís so easy to cook without meat"
Simultaneously ARA took the initiative to promote vegetarianism and organized several street-counters, where pro-vegetarianism leaflets and anti-meat stickers were distributed in large amounts. ARA also supported activities of other organizations in favour of vegetarianism. One of ARA's most successful propaganda materials was the list:
"cuisiner sans viande c'est facile" (Itís so easy to cook without meat), which is a compilation of substitutes to meat (veggie-burger, tofu sausage etc.) available on the market. This list was especially appreciated by mothers who feel very concerned about health problems related to meat consumption and who want to find alternatives. Several newspaper articles reported these activities and ARA had an interview on vegetarianism on Swiss radio.
André Gasser, the president of ARA, also a member of the Canton de Vaud Parliament, made a speach in Parliament to promote vegetarianism, so that at the official dinner there will be at least one vegetarian dish.
Please contact: ARA, c/o Christina Maier, 5 Chemin Pidou, 1007 Lausanne, Switzerland, Tel./Fax: +41 21 616 8182.