|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
News – June 2007
Table of Contents
Register early for a discount for the IVU Centenary Congress, Sunday July 27 - Sunday August 3, 2008. If you register before July 1st, 2007, there is a discount of €50 (50 euros) (approx. UKP34 / US$64); then up to January 1, 2008, the discount is €40 and until January 30, 2008, it will be €20. After that, it will be full price: www.ivu.org/congress/2008/registration.html
The 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Dresden, Germany, 27 Jul 3 Aug, 2008, features many prominent speakers. Here is information on one of them Vandana Shiva:
Photo from the Wikipedia: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vandana_Shiva
Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecofeminist, environmental activist and author. Her works include over 300 papers in leading scientific and technical journals.
Born to a father who was the conservator of forests and a farmer mother with a love for nature, Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s. The movement, whose main participants were women, adopted the tactic of hugging trees to prevent their felling.
She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, (along with Jerry Mander, Edward Goldsmith, Ralph Nader, Jeremy Rifkin, et al.), and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the alter-globalization movement. She has argued for the wisdom of many traditional practices, as is evident from her book Vedic Ecology that draws upon India's Vedic heritage.
In 1993, Shiva received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) "...For placing women and ecology at the heart of modern development discourse." Other awards she has received include the Global 500 Award of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1993 , and the Earth Day International Award of the United Nations (UN) for her commitment to the preservation of the planet.
The Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA), a network of many independent vegetarian groups, and the North American arm of IVU, challenges global warming activists and environmentalists to acknowledge that eating meat is one of the greatest causes of global warming. By eating lower on the food chain - ideally, an-all-plant-based diet -- humankind can take an essential and enormous step in reducing global warming.
"Al Gore and climate activists have consistently failed to recognize one of the most inconvenient truths of our time: that animal agriculture and animal product consumption on a global scale is perhaps the greatest (anthropogenic) cause of global warming today," said Saurabh Dalal, president of VUNA. "Given a personal choice between helping to save the planet and consuming animal products, too many people who should know better continue to gorge on their chicken wings and hamburgers."
A 2006 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report entitled Livestock's Long Shadow (www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000448) concludes that global animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gas emissions (in CO2 equivalents), an astonishing 18 percent of the total, more than all forms of transportation,.
The production of meat and other animal products for food contributes significantly to the primary global warming gases carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, accounting for 9%, 37%, and 65% of world totals, respectively. Furthermore, the global warming potential and effect of these gases is more striking since methane and nitrous oxide are 23 and 296 times more harmful than carbon dioxide. A University of Chicago study found that the average American diet, including all food processing steps, annually produces 1.5 tons of CO2-equivalent more than a meat-free diet.
Yet the media, public officials and even most environmentalists are failing to make people aware of this inconvenient truth, claims Richard Schwartz, a VUNA councilor and president of Jewish Vegetarians of North America. Animal-based diets are threatening our planet, said Schwartz. Every meal, like every trip, is a climate-change decision. Those in a position to educate the public should help people understand that their choice of diet is in fact more significant than their choice of automobile."
For these reasons and more (see BACKGROUNDER, below), VUNA is initiating a major campaign to urge Al Gore and the environmental community to transfer the meat from their plates to the center of their climate change-fighting agendas. "We will also be urging governments, corporations, educational and religious institutions, and other already progressive groups to actively promote plant-based diets and their tremendous benefits while continuing to empower individuals with information on environmentally affirming choices," said Dalal.
The world is currently raising over 50 billion farmed animals for slaughter each year and, in addition to its major impact on global warming, this is contributing significantly to the destruction of tropical rainforests and other valuable habitats, rapid species extinction, soil erosion and depletion and other environmental threats. Because of its high degree of inefficiency compared to plant protein production, animal agriculture is disproportionately depleting the planet's dwindling reserves of fresh water, land, fuel, and other resources. To make matters worse, the FAO report is projecting a major increase in the demand for animal products that will double the number of farmed animals by 2050.
This is especially alarming since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group composed of hundreds of the world's leading climate scientists, is predicting catastrophic effects if changes are not made soon, and many noted climate scientists are warning that global warming may spiral out of control within a decade if current conditions continue.
In addition to the environmental benefits, decades of research suggest that a population-wide shift away from meat and other animal foods toward plant foods would drastically reduce heart disease, cancer, obesity and other chronic degenerative diseases which currently account for trillions of dollars in global health costs. Scaling back global animal agriculture would also allow the world's limited arable land, fresh water and other agricultural resources to feed hundreds of millions more people.
Today eating a vegetarian or vegan diet doesn't mean giving up the enjoyment of eating. In fact today's vegetarian dishes are every bit as flavorful as those you'd find on an animal-based diet, if not more so, and many top chefs now cook without using animal ingredients
Further information on all
of the above and more, including links to other material on dietary
connections to global warming, may be found at the VUNA web site (www.ivu.org/vuna/globalwarming
Contacts: Gerry Coffey,
Councilor, Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA)
256-350-2823 home 256-318-2340 cell
Vegan Fest Karnataka, India - 30 Sep6 Oct
Here is an interview with Stephen Walsh - www.ivu.org/members/council/stephen-walsh.html - author of Plant Based Nutrition and Health.
Can you please briefly describe a couple studies which suggest that a vegetarian diet may help people attain a healthy weight?
What aspects of vegetarian diets might explain the beneficial effect that vegetarian food might have on weight?
Is it possible that the relatively higher water content of fruits and vegetables might help people eat less because the water content decreases appetite?
Being vegetarian is no guarantee that people will attain a healthy weight. What are the other factors involved in achieving a healthy weight, and what is the relative importance of each of those factors?
Is there ongoing research into the link between vegetarianism and weight? If so, what research questions are being investigated?
Is lower weight always better?
Associate Member Society
The maker of Mars bars and other candy has abandoned plans to use animal rennet in the bars: news. bbc.co.uk/ 2/hi/uk_news/ 6673549.stm The about face apparently was a result of a campaign led by the UK Vegetarian Society. Thus, Mars bars have returned closer to what we hope to see if the future: a world where our fellow animals are not killed for human food.
VegDining - www.vegdining.com is a website that contains restaurant listings and other information of interest to vegetarians and meat reducers.
From now until the end of October 2007 (World Vegetarian Month), if you have an active, purchased VegDining Card or VegDining login account, you can nominate any two vegetarian groups that you'd like us to support. Groups will receive $1 US of support for each nomination received, up to a maximum of $5,000 US per group.
Groups will receive support in the form of one or more of the following:
merchandise including VegDining Cards, restaurant gift certificates, books, magazines, or other vegetarian-related items for resale/prize giveaways by the group paid advertising or sponsorship by VegDining in that group's newsletter/magazine, other publications, website, events, etc., cash donations.
In addition, VegDining will offer part of the proceeds on every VegDining Card and login account purchased until October 31 towards the International Vegetarian Union's (IVU) Regional Development fund, which assists new vegetarian groups around the world, many in poorer countries. A minimum of $500 US will be donated by VegDining to support this very worthwhile program.
Here's a poem inspired by a poem by the well-known author Thich Nhat Hanh titled Call Me By My True Names. The author of the poem below is Shen Shi'an, of Singapore, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call Us By Our True Names
Some people mistakenly believe that vegetarian diets lack iron and, thus, vegetarians are not able to donate blood. Below is an interview with Mr GOH Joo Heng ( ), one of Singapores top blood donors.
1. How long have you been a vegetarian?
2. What led you to go veg?
3. What kind of veg are you?
4. When did you first become a blood donor? What kind of blood donation do you do?
5. How many times have you donated blood?
6. Why do you donate so often?
7. Do you worry that donating so often will make you weak?
8. How do you obtain enough iron?
9. Have you ever encountered doctors or others who have counselled you to eat meat? If so, how did you respond?
10. Have you received any special acknowledgement for your donations?
11. Any advice for other vegetarians who want to donate blood?
Dear Veg Activist
Please use this newsletter as a way to share your knowledge, ideas and experiences with fellow veg activists.
IVU Online News is non-copyright. Readers are encouraged to share the contents elsewhere. If you do so, please consider including a link to www.ivu.org/news as others may wish to subscribe to this free publication.