International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

IVU Online News - November 2006

Table of Contents

  1. How the Chinese Delegation Arrived in Goa
  2. Initial List of Speakers for 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden
  3. International Meatless Day - Every 25 November
  4. Vote for 2006 Vegetarian Restaurants of the Year
  5. Welcome to New IVU Business Supporter
  6. Vegetarian Cruises with Tina Fox
  7. Free Downloads from the Vegan Society (UK)
  8. 'Love Us, Not Eat Us' Decal Available
  9. More on Genetically Modified Agriculture
  10. Vegan Justice Poem
  11. Web Resources on the Link between Global Warming and Meat
  12. Study Finds that Vegetables May Keep Brains Young
  13. Please Write for IVU News

How the Chinese Delegation Arrived in Goa

One of the highlights of the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa was the delegation of 20+ participants from the newly formed Chinese Vegetarian Union Here, long-time IVU Asia coordinator, Jashu Shah provides some background

Initial List of Speakers for 2008 IVU World Congress in Dresden

With pleasant memories of this past September's 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa still fresh in our minds, our thoughts now turn to the rapidly unfolding plans for the 2008 Congress in Dresden, Germany. Here's the list of speakers who have already confirmed their participation:

  • Carol J. Adams (Feminist-vegetarian author)
  • John Davis (IVU manager and historian)
  • Prof Dr. Eugen Drewermann (Theologian, psychotherapist, author, church critic)
  • Dr Jane Goodall (Researcher on primates, author)
  • Caryn Hartglass (EarthSave)
  • Barbara Rütting (former actress, now member of the Bavarian Parliament)
  • Dr Vandana Shiva (Environmentalist, civil rights activist, Alternative Nobel Prize winner)
  • Paul Turner (Organiser of Food For Life)

For more information, please visit http://www.ivu.org/congress/2008

International Meatless Day - Every 25 November

The featured speaker on the opening day of the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress was Dada J.P. Vaswani of the Sadhu Vaswani Mission: http://www.sadhuvaswani.org/meatlessday.html. They are the folks who originated International Meatless Day, an event held every 25 November since 1986.

Later at the Congress, Mr Pishu Murli Hassaram of Sadhu Vaswani explained the impressive efforts of himself and colleagues in organizing International Meatless Day events in Penang Malaysia: http://www.ivu.org/congress/2006/texts/meatless.html. For instance, they have organized charity carnivals and food fairs, persuaded 1000s of people to pledge to go meatless on 25 November, and involved government leaders and celebrities. For more information,

Vote for 2006 Vegetarian Restaurants of the Year

VegDining.com is pleased to announce voting is now open for its 2006 Vegetarian Restaurants of the Year. Vote for as many of your favorite restaurants as you'd like - winning restaurants will be selected for different major cities/areas around the world. Voting will run from November 1 to December 31. Special offer to IVU-News subscribers: The first 50 people who will receive a free VegDining login account (put "Login Account (IVU Offer)" in your subject line, and include your name, city, state/province and country).

Welcome Two New IVU Business Supporters

Business Supporters help provide IVU with the funds we need to function: http://www.ivu.org/members
Here are our two most recent Business Supporters.

  1. The Lodge, Grenada - A Caribbean Vegan Paradise: "The Lodge is an old Plantation or 'Great' House built in a classic Caribbean style to benefit from the cooling breezes of the Trade Winds. Set in almost 3 acres of grounds high above sea level surrounded by the mountains and rainforests of Grenada and overlooking the Caribbean Sea. It offers full board vegan accommodation for up to 6 guests.

  2. Veg Italian Style - describes itself as "for all of those who, like us, aren't satisfied by ordinary shoes, for all of those who like quality and style but first of all love life, for all of those who know that the real pomp today is the possibility to choose, for all of those who believe that great changes are gradual and pass also through minor things, also through the more frivolous ones such as pretty shoes.. because after all maybe we are ingénue, maybe we believe in that world called "Utopia" where the human race is a little bit less stupid than in reality, but we know in the end that the direction is the right one and that step by step we really change the world, also with "frivolous" shoes ..."

Vegetarian Cruises with Tina Fox

Tina Fox, IVU chairperson, would like to invite vegetarians to join her aboard The Black Watch, for a gourmet vegetarian experience. Aboard this truly world-class cruise ship, vegetarians will feel a warm sense of welcome from the very first moment.

Tina will not be receiving any payment for this project. As many people know, she is very interested in ensuring that vegetarians receive the same benefits as any other passenger or holidaymaker, and she hopes to develop this area of interest in her new-found leisure time after stepping down as Vegetarian Society UK. A generous donation will be paid to the VSUK by Didsbury Travel for every booking made.

Didsbury Travel will assist those travelling from beyond the UK with their arrangements to Dover if required.

Please complete email to Tina at tinari@btinternet.com to register your interest or to ask questions.

Itinerary 1
28th August 2007 'Museums and Czars'
13 night Baltic cruise departing from Dover, the highlight of which is an overnight stay in St Petersburg. Our other ports of call are Mariehamn & Helsinki in Finland, Gdynia in Poland, Sassnitz in Germany, Copenhagen in Denmark and Oslo in Norway. This cruise also has an antiques and music theme, giving you lectures and four concerts open to all passengers.
Prices from £1,430 per passenger

Itinerary 2
7th July 2007 'Celts and Vikings'
8 night Norwegian Fjord cruise departing from Dover and visiting Kirkwall in the Orkney Isles, Alseund, Fjaerland, Balestrand, Bergen and Jondal in Norway.
Prices from £915 per passenger

Free Downloads from the Vegan Society (UK)

The Vegan Society (UK) has recently published a free 16-page full colour booklet on Healthy Eating Without Animal Products.

Based on the ever popular Plant Based Nutrition and Health by Stephen Walsh PhD (see www.vegansociety.com/shop), the booklet can be obtained from The Vegan Society, 7 Battle Road, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex TN37 7AA, United Kingdom or download from

http://www.vegansociety.com/html/publications/leaflets.php

Other free booklets available are Why Vegan and the recent environmental booklet Eating the Earth. Both can also be downloaded from the website.

All three booklets are free of charge, though donations from those who can afford it are always welcome. For permission to quote or translate, contact

'Love Us, Not Eat Us' Decal Available

Editor's Note: T Y Lee is a Singapore vegetarian who came up with a great idea for spreading the word about going veg to help our fellow animals. T Y conceptualized, designed and printed the colourful decal that you can view and order at http://www.loveusnoteatus.com. He works with Vegetarian Society (Singapore), an IVU member.

The design juxtaposes non-human animals who we often eat with ones who we often bring into our lives as companions. Via this juxtaposition, T Y challenges meat eaters to ask themselves why they treat some of our fellow animals so nicely while treating others so cruelly by subjecting them to factory farming and an early death.

Below is an online interview that T Y did with IVU Online News.

  1. How long have you been a vegetarian?
    Not long at all, just coming to two years.

  2. Did you go veg overnight, or was it a longer process? What is your favourite vegetarian dish?
    It was very much of an overnight thing. Once I made up my mind to become vegetarian, it took me just a few days to get over not eating animals. I like Indian vegetarian food, in particular the dry and spicy Potato Massala.

  3. What gave you the idea for the sticker?
    Shortly after I became vegetarian, I thought it would be nice to have some kind of decal to stick on my car to promote vegetarianism but I couldn't find any nice ones. Therefore I decided to make my own! I figured that there are also many other vegetarians that would like something like this, so I decided to produce and distribute them for free.
    The idea came from the irrational thinking of most people that while they agree it is cruel to eat dogs and cats, it is okay to eat, for example, cows and pigs. People are conditioned to think in this way from a very young age. By mixing 'food' and 'non-food' animals together in the design of the decal and showing how lovable all these animals are, the intention is to break down this kind of conditioning. I hope that the design and the positive and direct slogan, will enable more people to see and realize the truth of meat-eating.

  4. Have you ever had any pets/companion animals?
    Yes, I have two cats. I love cats!

  5. How big was the original sticker? Why did you start making the smaller size? Which size is more popular? Why?
    The original was a car decal about 32cm in length. The new version is slightly more compact at about 30cm long. There is also a sticker which is 20cm long. The car decals seem to be more popular in places like Europe, Australia and the USA. The stickers seem to be more popular here in Singapore and the Asian region.

  6. How do you promote the sticker?
    Mainly through my website: www.loveusnoteatus.com. I also use Google Adwords, which enables me to reach out to people in countries all over the world. I now get many requests from people who have told me that they have either seen the decal on a car or a sticker around somewhere.

  7. To date, how many have been sent out?
    I really don't keep track of any numbers but I think they number in the tens of thousands.

  8. In what languages is the sticker available?
    Right now in English and Chinese as far as I know. I have made the design free from copyright so that anyone can reproduce and translate the decals if they wish to do so.

  9. To how many countries has the sticker been sent?
    As of now, to more than 40 countries all over the world.

  10. What are your favourite stories about people's reactions to the sticker?
    I've been told more than once that cats and dogs should not be included in the design as people don't usually eat them. I just ask them to think about why they are included, and quite often the reason dawns on them as if they have suddenly become enlightened. I have also received more than a few letters from people telling me that they have decided to become vegetarian after seeing the decals!
    What is really satisfying is the positive response from people all over the world. I have had people from diverse places like Bulgaria and Bhutan, Cyprus and Chile, Finland and Ghana, Mauritius and Latvia, South Africa and Sweden, etc. writing to me requesting for the stickers and telling me how much they like it. This kind of international reaction and popularity is truly way beyond what I could ever have expected when I first started this project.

  11. Do you have any plans for other stickers or other projects?
    No plans now, but I'll be open to any new ideas that will help promote or create more awareness of vegetarianism and animal rights.

More on Genetically Modified Agriculture

Editor's Note: Genetically Modified (GM) plant food is still vegetarian, but some vegetarians are concerned about it nonetheless. At the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa, Gerry Coffey on the Vegetarian Union of North America gave a paper suggesting that vegetarians might want to avoid GM foods. Gerry sent the following article on a non-food plant, cotton, which provides further evidence for her concerns: http://www.organicconsumers.org/2006/article_2920.cfm What do you think?

Study Finds Higher Yields & Lower Production Costs with Organic Cotton

With India's indebted cotton farmers taking their own lives in ever increasing numbers after being ruined by expensive Bt seeds and other input costs, here's an eye catching study on organic cotton production in India.

Over a period of two years, an Indo-Swiss research team collected and compared agronomic data on 60 organic and conventional farms.

They found the organic producers benefited from:

  • 40% lower costs for inputs
  • 13-20% lower variable production costs
  • a far lower need to take up loans
  • total labour inputs that were not significantly higher
  • and 4-6% higher average cotton yields

There were, of course, some problems to be overcome but there is now a rapidly expanding international market for organic cotton - with even the likes of Wal-Mart and Levis getting in on the act.

And this research comes on the heels of the still more striking findings of a study undertaken by the Centre for Sustainable Agriculture in India which found Bt cotton cultivation lead to 690% higher costs for pest management when compared to growing conventional cotton varieties with the help of bio-pesticides and natural control agents. http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=5172

And then there's the remarkable success of the Punukula village initiative in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, which has been so overwhelmingly successful in enabling the growing of cotton without Bt seeds or any pesticides that it is now being taken as a model to hundreds of other villages in the state


Andhra Pradesh is, of course, the same state in which farmers went on the rampage in fury at the disappointing results they had from GM cotton and where 3 varieties of Monsanto's Bt cotton had to be banned they were so problematic.

The Indian government has an increasingly clear choice. It can get behind such approaches and help farmers escape the debt-trap and end the burgeoning scandal of farm suicides, or it can continue to cosy up to Bush and Monsanto and hype expensive GM crops to its farmers.

Vegan Justice Poem
Jeffrey M. Tucker, Miami, USA

WE CAN'T HAVE A MEATING OF THE MINDS
UNLESS PEAS AND OKRA JUSTICE PREVAIL-
MAKING PEOPLE CARROT FOR OUR ENVIRONMENT,
A BERRY ROBUST DEMOCRACY
AND SPIRIT DILL FREEDOMS.

TALK SOFTLY AS IF TO A COCONUT,
HONESTLY DON'T SPIN THE SALAD,
CARRY A BIG SUGAR CANE INTO THE ACID REIGN.

YOU CAN'T GO GMO OR NUKE A CUKE WITHOUT REBUKE.
YOU CAN GET OUT AND SPROUT.
TO HECK WITH OLIVE SEEDS THAT AINT ORGANIC,
OR JUST PLAIN PATENTLY DULSE.
IF WE HEED WHAT WE HEAR
FROM THE EARTH AND SKY,
IN A HEARTBEAT OUR WORLD
COULD SUSTAIN ITS PULSE.

(Code Words: Meating = Meeting; Peas = Peace; Okra = Social; Carrot = Care a lot; Berry = Very; Spirit Dill=Spiritual; Olive Seeds = Policies; Dulse = False; Pulse = Edible Seeds)

Web Resources on the Link between Global Warming and Meat

Editor's Note: The release of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" is just one of the events that has brought increased attention to global warming. However, much of the focus in addressing global warming ignores or minimizes the role of animal-based foods. Production of animal-based foods worsens global warming in two main ways: (1) the inefficiency of meat production; (2) the methane content of the waste produced by our captive fellow animals.

Here are some web resources that may be helpful in raising this issue.

  1. Gideon Eshel and Pamela Martin are University of Chicago researchers. Their work suggests that changing to a veg diet can be as helpful in reducing global warming as changing from a gas-guzzling car to a car that burns less fossil fuel.

  2. A story from the US tv network, ABC, about the Eshel, Martin study described above in #1.

  3. Devour the Earth is a 20-minute documentary produced in 1995 (but still relevant today) by the UK Vegetarian Society and narrated by "Paul McCartney. The script is available

  4. This is a report from EarthSave, titled "A new global warming strategy: How environmentalists are overlooking vegetarianism as the most effective tool against climate change in our lifetimes."

  5. An article from The Aquarian, titled "Another Inconvenient Truth: In the modern world, it is impossible to reconcile a carnivorous diet with

  6. "Another Inconvenient Truth" is a popular title for articles and talks linking meat and the global warming. Here an article from E Magazine, titled " Another Inconvenient Truth: Meat is a global warming issue "

  7. This webpage from Northern Territories University (Australia) explains how our fellow animals produce methane: "Emission of methane from livestock "

  8. A webpage from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: "Where does methane come from"

  9. The Meatrix is a web-based spin on the trilogy of Matrix films. Opposed to factory farming but not completely veg. This page discusses methane

  10. Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (USA) are trying to find ways to reduce the amount of methane produced by our fellow animals

  11. "Methane emissions" is the simple title of a Canadian government web document, with accompanying video and teachers' guide.

Study Finds that Vegetables May Keep Brains Young

Editor's Note: This article, by Associated Press writer Lindsey Tanner, is dated 24 Oct 06

CHICAGO (AP) -- New research on vegetables and aging gives mothers another reason to say "I told you so." It found that eating vegetables appears to help keep the brain young and may slow the mental decline sometimes associated with growing old.

On measures of mental sharpness, older people who ate more than two servings of vegetables daily appeared about five years younger at the end of the six-year study than those who ate few or no vegetables.

The research in almost 2,000 Chicago-area men and women doesn't prove that vegetables reduce mental decline, but it adds to mounting evidence pointing in that direction. The findings also echo previous research in women only.

Green leafy vegetables including spinach, kale and collards appeared to be the most beneficial. The researchers said that may be because they contain healthy amounts of vitamin E, an antioxidant that is believed to help fight chemicals produced by the body that can damage cells.

Vegetables generally contain more vitamin E than fruits, which were not linked with slowed mental decline in the study. Vegetables also are often eaten with healthy fats such as salad oils, which help the body absorb vitamin E and other antioxidants, said lead author Martha Clare Morris, a researcher at the Rush Institute for Hethy Aging at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

The fats from healthy oils can help keep cholesterol low and arteries clear, which help the body absorb vitamin E and other antioxidants, said lead author Martha Clare Morris, a researcher at the Rush Institute for Healthy Aging at Chicago's Rush University Medical Center.

The fats from healthy oils can help keep cholesterol low and arteries clear, which both contribute to brain health.

The study was published in this week's issue of the journal Neurology and funded with grants from the National Institute on Aging.

"This is a sound paper and contributes to our understanding of cognitive decline," said Dr. Meir Stampfer of Harvard's School of Public Health.

"The findings specific for vegetables and not fruit add further credibility that this is not simply a marker of a more healthful lifestyle," said Stampfer, who was not involved in the research.

The research involved 1,946 people aged 65 and older who filled out questionnaires about their eating habits. A vegetable serving equaled about a half-cup chopped or one cup if the vegetable was a raw leafy green like spinach.

They also had mental function tests three times over about six years; about 60 percent of the study volunteers were black.

The tests included measures of short-term and delayed memory, which asked these older people to recall elements of a story that had just been read to them. The participants also were given a flashcard-like exercise using symbols and numbers.

Overall, people did gradually worse on these tests over time, but those who ate more than two vegetable servings a day had about 40 percent less mental decline than those who ate few or no vegetables. Their test results resembled what would be expected in people about five years younger, Morris said, The study also found that people who ate lots of vegetables were more physically active, adding to evidence that "what's good for your heart is good for your brain," said neuroscientist Maria Carillo, director of medical and scientific relations for the Alzheimer's Association.

Please Write for IVU Online News
Dear Veg Activist

Please use this newsletter as a way to share your knowledge, ideas and experiences with the world. Here are just a few examples of the types of pieces to send to the newsletter:

  1. How to order a sticker that shows pictures of non-human animals (both ones who are often companion animals and ones who are often eaten) with the caption "Love Us, Not Eat Us".
  2. How to make a poster that shows a drawing of a slaughtered chicken with coloured water simulating blood dripping from her/his throat.
  3. How to organize a pot-luck event.
  4. Information on a speaking tour.
  5. Information on special veg days to add to one's calendar, e.g., at this year's IVU Congress is Goa, there was a talk about International Meatless Day: every 25 Nov.
  6. Inspiring stories of progress in persuading people, governments, companies, organizations, etc. to become more veg friendly, and how that progress was achieved.
  7. Scientific information on veg topics, e.g., how meat production contributes to global warming or how our fellow animals can think and feel, and how they have unique personalities.
  8. Useful weblinks.
  9. Fundraising ideas.

I realize that everyone is busy, and that writing takes time. One alternative, if you have an online newsletter, would be to subscribe me to that newsletter.

Thx. I look forward to working with you to promote vegetarianism.