International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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IVU Online News – December 2006

Table of Contents

  1. Two More Societies Join IVU
  2. Registration Opens for IVU World Vegetarian Congress 2008
  3. IVU India Yahoo! Group Launched
  4. Veggiedemic Starts at IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa
  5. Another Convenient Global Warming Website
  6. Flyer on Global Warming Available for Downloading and Easy Printing
  7. Vegetarian TV on Your Computer
  8. International Vegan Festival in India, Sep-Oct, 2007
  9. Asian Vegetarian Congress, 3-7 November, 2007, Taiwan
  10. Bird Flu Book
  11. Coming Attractions – Must See Movies
  12. New Animal Ethics Centre at Oxford
  13. The Obvious Becomes More Obvious, and More People Act on the Obvious
  14. Please Write for IVU News

Two More Societies Join IVU

IVU warmly welcomes two societies to the IVU family:

The Chinese Vegetarian Union has joined as a member society. The contact person there is Ying Huang.

Pax Africa has joined as an associate member society. The contact person is .

Registration Opens for IVU World Vegetarian Congress 2008

Do you like to plan ahead? If so, the good folks organizing the IVU World Vegetarian Congress 2008 in Dresden, Germany, Sun, 27 Jul – Sun, 3 Aug, 2008, have a pleasant surprise for you: you can now register online for the Congress. While you’re there, check out all the information available on the Congress, including an online tour of Dresden, the Congress venue, and some of the planned trips.

IVU-India Yahoo! Group Launched

Interested in vegetarianism in India? To build on the momentum from the IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa in Sep 2006, IVU has launched a Yahoo! Group which allows people to email each other to discuss vegetarianism and related issues as they impact India and the Indian diaspora.

To sign-up (it’s free), go to groups.yahoo.com/group/ivu-india and follow the steps. The group is moderated by IVU Coordinator for India : Contact him if you have trouble subscribing yourself to the group.

Veggiedemic Starts at IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa

One person from Hong Kong who attended the IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa was so switched on by the experience that he decided to start his own blog, with the great name of Veggiedemic

Here’s how he explains it: 

Where previously I kept a low profile about my food choice, I have now become more open in discussing vegetarianism with my family and friends. Another thing I have done, in consultation with two other conference participants (we didn’t know each other before the Congress but travelled together afterwards and have become good friends) is to create a blog which I hope will get people to share ideas and experiences about promoting vegetarianism.

Another Convenient Global Warming Website

Last month’s IVU News listed websites with information on the global warming-meat connection. Here’s one more, thanks to our friends at the Toronto Vegetarian Association. “Global warming: The inconvenient truth about what we eat” by Stephen Leckie, July 4, 2006, provides an overview of various greenhouse gases and how human actions generate them via our food choices, including eating food that is transported long distancesl. BTW, the film An Inconvenient Truth is now available on DVD.

And, just (29 Nov) out is a UN report linking cattle to global warming and other env damage - For instance, the report states that 33% of global arable land is devoted to growing plant food for livestock. However, it seems that when it comes to remedies, the reports authors don’t mention eating less or no meat.

Flyer on Global Warming Available for Easy Printing

Paul Appleby of Oxford Vegetarians, UK, created an A5-size leaflet on the Global Warming – Meat Connection which IVU member societies are welcome to adapt for their own use. The text of the leaflet is as follows. When printed as a Word document, it gives two identical leaflets side by side.

Q. What has my diet got to do with climate change?
A. More than you might think!

A study by researchers at the University of Chicago compared the amount of fossil fuel needed to cultivate and process various foods, and factored in emissions of methane and nitrous oxide produced by livestock.  The researchers found that the typical US diet, to which animal foods contribute about 28% of the energy intake, generates the equivalent of nearly 1.5 tonnes more carbon dioxide per person per year than producing the same amount of food energy from plant foods alone.  (Carbon dioxide is the main ‘greenhouse’ gas responsible for the global warming that is driving climate change.  Animal products contribute 30 per cent of dietary energy intake in the UK.)  In comparison, the difference in annual carbon dioxide emissions between driving a typical saloon car and the most energy-efficient car on the US market, based on average annual mileage figures, was just over one tonne.  Therefore, by choosing a plant food or vegan diet, containing as much locally produced organic food as possible, individuals can significantly lower their ‘carbon footprint’ and help prevent the climate change that threatens our survival.

"Each of us could make a bigger contribution to reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by becoming a vegan than by converting to an eco-friendly car," Jonathon Porritt. Sources and further information:

Vegetarian TV on Your Computer

As technology marches onward, vegetarians are keeping pace. For example, one of the participants in this year’s IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa was Marie Oser who runs Vegtv.com, . Vegtv features over 220 videos promoting plant based food, health, nutrition, and the environment. Among the videos available at no cost on her site are celebrity interviews, cooking demos and travel videos, including videos Marie made in India after the Congress.

Similar to Vegtv is VeggieVision.com, an internet TV station run by Karin Ridgers, a former director of Vegan Society UK. As Karin puts it, after spending more than a year liaising with TV stations to get a healthy compassionate TV programme off of the ground and being told she's "too ahead of her time", Karin decided to produce her own internet TV station and VeggieVision.com was born.

Both Marie and Karin are experienced TV people who produce a quality product.

International Vegan Festival in India, Sep-Oct, 2007

The 11th International Vegan Festival will be held from Sep.30 to Oct.06, 2007 at Murdeshwar, Karnataka, India. It aims to bring all vegans together and give them an occasion to meet, network, enjoy and recharge in a picturesque locale and give them an identity and voice. And for the non-vegans, it is an occasion to experience and explore.

Asian Vegetarian Congress, 3-7 November, 2007, Taiwan

Jashu Shah writes with news of a successful preparatory meeting for the Third Asian Vegetarian Congress to be held near Kaohsiung City, Taiwan, 3-7 Nov, 2007. More details in future issues of IVU Online News.

Bird Flu Book

Michael Greger, M.D. is Director, Public Health and Animal Agriculture, at The Humane Society of the United States. He also has a website VeganMD.com , along with a newsletter

His latest contribution is an online book about bird flu . Bird Flu doesn’t receive the publicity that it used to, but it’s still out there killing people and other animals, as well as developing new strains.

Coming Attractions – Must See Movies

Two movies that all vegetarians will want to see are just out or are coming out soon (at least in the U.S.). Charlotte’s Web is a classic tale, an absolute must-read about a spider and a girl who save the life of a pig. This film is a new version with lots of celeb voices, including Julia Roberts, Oprah Winfrey and Robert Redford. The film’s web (pun intended) has games for kids.

The other film is Fast Food Nation , inspired by the book by the same name by Eric Schlosser. The best-selling book traces the history of fast food and its effects not just on diet but also on economics and culture. The film, on the other hand, uses fictional narrative to get across the non-fiction book’s revelations. It was already released in the U.S. to somewhat mixed reviews .

New Animal Ethics Centre at Oxford

More than 100 academics from 10 countries have agreed to become Advisers to the new Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics - which aims to put animals on the intellectual agenda.  It will act as an international, independent think tank for the advancement of progressive thought about animals.

One of the areas of research will be the relationship between animal abuse and violence to human beings. One of the world’s major writers, who has explored this link - Nobel Laureate in Literature, J.M. Coetzee – will be its first Honorary Fellow. Other projects being pursued include an online course in animal ethics, a new monograph series, and a new Journal of Animal Ethics.

The Centre’s first director, Oxford theologian, the Revd Professor Andrew Linzey, said: ‘There is a strong rational case for animals, which has been recognised over the centuries by academics and philosophers. What is needed is for this rational case to be much better known and there are now signs that progressive thinking is becoming mainstream. Importantly, animals are now recognised as sentient beings in European law; and, in the UK, the most comprehensive - and long overdue - overhaul of animal welfare legislation for almost a century is shortly to be enacted into law.’

'We must strive to ensure animal issues are highlighted and rationally discussed throughout society - we cannot change the world for animals without changing our ideas about them. The Centre will promote ethical attitudes and contribute to informed public debate.'

The Obvious Becomes More Obvious, and More People Act on the Obvious

For years, humans have attempted to differentiate ourselves from our fellow animal species, but as the Miami Herald (USA) newspaper reports , one by one, these bases for human superiority, such as tool use, have crumbled in the face of evidence. Indeed, anyone who has had the good fortune to spend time around our fellow animals, knows that they are intelligent, feeling beings.

Now, more people are insisting that our fellow animals be protected. The most recent example comes from the Netherlands, where the Party for Animals won two seats in the Nov 06 parliamentary elections .

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.