|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
Message from the Chair
of the International Council
As this is my first time in this position, I feel that it is appropriate
that I introduce myself.
I have been a vegetarian for over 17 years. I have served on the IVU
council since the 32nd World Vegetarian Congress in Johnstown, PA, USA
in 1996, and have also been President of the Toronto Vegetarian Association
(hosts of the 34th World Vegetarian Congress) since 1993. In addition,
I have been the Vice-President of the Vegetarian Union of North America
since 1995. Although I am a computer consultant, I consider my volunteer
work for the cause to be my real job.
Now that that is out of the way, I would like to look at how things are
shaping up for the future. I have always been a strong believer in doing
whatever is necessary. Rather than look at why we can not do something,
I prefer to look at what needs to be done so that we can figure out how
we can do it.
Our world is changing. and IVU is adapting to those changes. The recent
constitutional changes are just part of that. We are still adjusting to
those, as well as looking at new ways of doing things better and making
our actions more effective. One of these changes has been making the IVU
a more open organization that is subject to the scrutiny of its member
societies. After all it is you, our member societies, who decide how IVU's
energies should be directed.
One thing I have always felt is very important is communication within
the vegetarian movement. IVU's continued expansion onto the Internet and
the easing of communication between member societies has helped us all
to share our successes, jointly solve problems and make a stronger, more
international front representing the vegetarian cause. One of the main
objectives of IVU is "To encourage the formation of local, national
and regional vegetarian organizations, and cooperation between them."
I feel we are very much on track with that.
One of the key words in that objective, in my mind, is "cooperation".
For without cooperation, we expend a lot of energy on internal battles
that only divert our attention from the real issues. We are all in this
for the same reason, which happens to also be the aim of IVU, that being
"to promote vegetarianism throughout the world."
reflecting on my earlier comments, I feel we should find ways that we
can all contribute and work together in whatever way we can rather than
to find reasons why we can not do it. It is good to see the renewing of
old ties so that we can get back to the business of promoting the vegetarian
cause. We all have something to contribute and we should all be given
the opportunity to help in whatever way we can.
For a vegetarian world,