News – October 2009
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Table of Contents
- Interview with a Vegetarian Leader from Argentina
- October - Vegetarian Activities Taking Place All Over
- Put Your Event on the IVU Website and Register with IVU
- Leaflets from IVU
- Healthy Living Handbook for Older Vegetarians/Vegan Debuts
- Feedback from Last Issue
- Do Hens Suffer
- New Member Societies, Associate Member and Business Supporter
- The European V-Label Project
- Famous Dancers – New Additions to the Veg History Archives
- What Veg Activities Might Learn from the Gay Rights Movement
- Fish Farming Now Accounts for 50% of Fish Production
- Vegetarian Society Memberships for Members of Other Species?
- ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ Tours Film Festivals
- Upcoming Events
- Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
- Other Online Sources of Veg News
- Please Send News to IVU Online News
Interview with a Vegetarian Leader from Argentina
Manuel Alfredo Martí is founder and leader of the Vegetarian Union of Argentina (UVA). Manuel kindly agreed to be interviewed for ‘IVU Online News’ as part of our series of interviews with leaders of vegetarian organizations.
What made you decide to become a vegetarian? When did that happen? How old were you at the time?
One day, in 1974, when I was 18 years old, I was reading a book titled, ‘Course in Naturalist Medicine in 40 Lessons’, by the famous Spanish naturalist, Dr Alfonso. While reading what Dr Alfonso says about carnivorism, I suddenly understood in a single click. Previously, I had never made the connection between meat and the animals from whom the meat comes. My decision to go vegetarian was immediate and absolute; I felt like this is how I should have been eating my entire life. Since that day, 35 years ago, I’ve never eaten meat again.
What made you decide to become active in promoting vegetarianism?
I had long felt that I should do something for the planet, and that something, I decided, would be working to promote vegetarianism. Fortunately, in 1999, I discovered the IVU website. Upon making contact, I came to know David Roman [IVU IC member and webmaster for the Spanish language pages on the IVU website]. David and I began exchanging emails. Due to his fervent activism, I was inspired to found the Argentine Vegetarian Union (UVA). All vegetarians in Argentina owe David a great debt of thanks for all his help. For example, in the early days of UVA, he designed and maintained our website, which IVU hosted. With fellow activists like David, it is easy to feel inspired.
What is it that sustains your desire to be active?
Three goals sustain me: to confront the growing danger caused by global warming, to protect the animals and to care for human health.
What is an obstacle that you face in remaining active in promoting vegetarianism? How do you overcome this obstacle?
There are two main obstacles facing vegetarianism in Argentina. First, we lack economic resources. Second, we face a boycott by the media. Argentina is the country with the world’s highest per capita meat consumption, 70kgs per year. This high rate of meat consumption has a broad impact, above all in the lack of space available to promote and develop our work. We are patiently, very patiently, struggling to overcome this.
What is one of your organisation’s accomplishments that makes you especially proud?
We are especially proud of our public outreach. In this regard, without doubt, pride of place goes to our hard copy magazine, ‘The Vegetarian/Vegan’ which we have brought out for eight years now and is the first magazine in Argentina and Spanish-speaking countries of America that specializes in vegetarianism. Also, we feel proud to have held four national congresses and are currently organizing the fifth. Additionally, we have a website with between 2500 and 3000 visitors daily - a blog various email groups. Plus, we conduct courses and workshops. Last but not least, we have brought out the Western Hemisphere’s first Spanish language books on veganism.
How do you try to maintain good relations and enthusiasm amongst your organisation’s members?
We communicate regularly with our members, the general public and the media. It is very important to be thorough and to reflect on what we do in order to find even better ways to impactfully disseminate ideas and information about vegetarianism. The spirit of UVA is to unite with other vegetarians, and with anyone interested in this form of life. We encourage everyone to participate in our activities and to feel a part of the work of UVA.
What is one thing that other veg organisations might be able to learn from your organisation?
We are only too happy to connect with other vegetarian organisations, especially new organisations just starting out who might be in special need of advice. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We believe that it is very important to establish fraternal ties in order to strengthen all of us to continue onwards.
How does your organisation reach out to people who are trying to become veg or who are newly veg?
We make a variety of materials available to anyone who requests them. Our magazine and books are important tools to encourage people who are transitioning towards vegetarianism or who are already vegetarian but are feeling social pressure. These hard copy materials are in addition to our web based resources. For instance, our email groups provide support to those who are taking the first steps towards vegetarianism.
Any final thoughts?
Today, vegetarianism is the most powerful and effective tool that humanity has to confront global warming, to help the animals and to safeguard our health. Therefore, UVA invites our vegetarian friends from around the world to join our campaign: Save the Planet – Change Your Diet .
Perhaps, together we can realize our dreams!
October - Vegetarian Activities Taking Place All Over
World Vegetarian Week Arrives
October and November are great months to be vegetarian because of all the many activities that activists organise for this special time. World Vegetarian Week is one of many examples. Here is a media statement from the organisers.
October 1-7 is World Vegetarian Week (WVW), supported by vegetarian, animal rights, environmental and other groups. The goal is to reduce the environmental, medical and many other problems associated with meat, milk and other animal products.
This period was chosen because it includes several annual related celebrations,” stated WVW organizer Mateus Mendes. “These include: World Vegetarian Day on October 1, World Farm Animal Day and International Day on Non-violence on October 2 and World Animal Day on October 4.”
For more information about WVW and getting involved visit: www.vegetarianweek.org / www.vegclimatealliance.org
Meatless Mondays To Begin in Sao Paulo, Brazil
Led by IVU member society, Vegetarian Society of Brazil (SVB), one of the world’s largest cities, Sao Paulo, with 11 million inhabitants, kicks off a Meatless Mondays campaign on 3-4 October: www.svb.org.br/segundasemcarne
The kick off to Meatless Mondays involves seminars, food demonstrations and a big event in the city’s main park, Ibirapuera. Four stations will be set up in the park, Health, Environment, Ethics and New Tastes, each one symbolized by one of the ‘toys’ of the campaign (pictured above).
SVB is launching Meatless Mondays in partnership with the Sao Paulo city government’s Green and Environment Department, along with NGOs, such as Greenpeace and Slow Food. Plus, another Brazilian city is joining the campaign, Sao Lourenço da Serra. The mayor there is vegetarian and a SVB member. Congratulations!
. . . and in Paraguay
our friends in Paraguay - a country not generally associated with vegetarianism - planned so many activities for October that they had to start in September in order to fit them all!
Here's their programme of activities:
Sep 19: First-time course on vegetarian nutrition in Paraguay
Sep 29: Nature outing
Oct 03: 1st General Assembly of the Paraguayan Vegetarian Union
Oct 10: Special women’s event with the participation of the Paraguayan Vegetarian Union
Oct 27/29: Film screening, vegetarian cooking classes, and discussion
Oct 31: ‘Naturalmente’ in its second edition with lectures on nutrition-related subjects, climate change, and kindness towards our fellow animals, plus a food fair and a bazaar.
For further information, contact www.uvpy.org (currently under construction) or email@example.com
See the IVU Diary for lots more happening around the world in October.
Put Your Event on the IVU Website . . .
- just to let everyone know that if you have an annual event, with its
own web page it can be added to the new IVU Diary.
. . . and Register with IVU
- a free service for any organisation, business or non-profit, that would like a simple text link on the IVU website and have a one-time listing in IVU Online News.
- you can add it to the IVU database at www.ivu.org -
click on the link at the bottom of the page.
You'll just get an annual auto-email asking you to confirm that the
details are still correct. Any events sent that way will be copied to other parts of the IVU website and/or IVU Online News as appropriate.
Even better, become an IVU member (open to any non-profit group whose primary purpose is to promote vegetarianism/veganism) or associate member (open to any non-profit organisation which advocates vegetarianism/veganism - could include groups primarily concerned with Animal Rights, Health, Environment, Religion, etc.). Additional options are to become a business supporter, individual supporter or patron. All these options involve a fee, which goes to support the life-saving work of IVU. The page to visit for these options is www.ivu.org/members
Leaflets from IVU
Recently, IVU Regional Coordinator for South and West Asia, Shankar Narayan, distributed newly designed IVU flyers at events in India. Please have a look at the gorgeous educational materials, designed by IVU’s Deputy Webmaster, Spanish Webmaster, and International Council member, David Roman: www.ivu.org/resources
Healthy Living Handbook for Older Vegetarians/Vegan Debuts
To celebrate World Vegetarian Day 2009, Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is launching its second publication, Vegetarian Living – A healthy-living handbook for older vegetarians & vegans, or those who care for them.
The handbook is aimed at individual older vegetarians and vegans and their changing needs. It offers advice on subjects such as a positive approach to retirement, ‘simple tips to sharpen wits’, housing & care, diet & cookery, and it includes a section of ‘easy recipes-for-one’.
6,000 copies of Vegetarian Living have recently been distributed, and thousands more are available on request – free of charge – to individuals, care organisations and similar. Vegetarian Living is also downloadable from the charity’s website www.vegetarianforlife.org.uk
Feedback from Last Issue
The September issue of IVU Online News stated that “Ghent, Belgium has the distinction of being the world's first city to have a Meatless Day.” A reader wrote in to say the following:
I thought I should point out a correction to your line as follows - Ghent, Belgium has the distinction of being “the world's first city” to have a Meatless Day. Cities in Asia, especially China and India, have long had the distinction of celebrating (numerous) meatless days (every year) for thousands of years. Chinese have two meatless days every (lunar) month.
The statement in error is no more true than the statement that Columbus “discovered” America (the Red Indians preceded him) or Sir Edmund Hillary was the “first” to scale Mt Everest (at least the Sherpas who took him there preceded him). The erroneous statement might perpetuate unfair stereotypes and notions of superiority by any one over another.
Do Hens Suffer?
[E]thology (the study of animal behavior) has advanced understanding of the effects of cage confinement on the well-being of laying hens and, without a doubt, shown that there are very serious welfare consequences. Studies have demonstrated that there are two basic reasons for this: 1) the animals are deprived of the opportunity to express important natural behavior; and 2) the constraints of the cage prevent exercise, which has profound physical consequences for the health of the birds.
Read the entire article at: hamandeggonomics.blogspot.com/.../great-egg-debate...
New Member Societies, Associate Member and Business Supporter
New Member Societies
South African Vegan Society - www.vegansociety.co.za - We promote the ethical, environmental and health advantages of a vegan diet in South Africa.
Vejetaryen Kulubu, Turkey - www.vejetaryenkulubu.com - the only and the most comprehensive sharing platform especially for the vegetarians in Turkey. VK is a member of EVU and IVU.
New Associate Member
ANDA, Brazil - Agência de Notícias de Direitos Animais - www.anda.jor.br - ANDA promotes transformation with information. It's the first news agency dedicated exclusively to facts and details of the animal world.
New Business Supporter
Eau+ Ltd - www.v-pure.com - V-Pure - The 1st EPA & DHA Omega3
supplement from algae. The only true vegetarian alternative to fish oil and has become a brand consumers trust.
The European V-Label Project
One of the European Vegetarian Union’s (EVU) major projects has been the European Vegetarian Label project, which has grown year after year. As this partly commercial project is now too big for the EVU, they decided to outsource it. The V-label is now outsourced to the V-label Inc. The V-label is still the official European Vegetarian Label and is supported by the EVU with its name on the label.
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.v-label.info
Famous Dancers – New Additions to the Veg History Archives
Thanks to IVU Manager and Historian, John Davis, for the addition of two renowned dancers to the rich history collection available on the IVU website.
Isadora Duncan (1878-1927), American born but made her name in Europe, seems to have been a sometime vegetarian of one type or another:
Vaslav Nijinsky (1889-1950) - Ukrainian born of Polish parents, but made his name in Paris, was more consistent about vegetarianism: www.ivu.org/history/europe20a/nijinsky.html
What Veg Activities Might Learn from the Gay Rights Movement
This article, by Sherry F. Colb, Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell Law School, can be summarized as follows: Vegetarians should be more vocal about letting others know about our food choices and why we make them. The entire article can be viewed at writ.news.findlaw.com/colb/20090902.html
Here are some excerpts:
If inflicting terrible suffering and death on nonhuman animals who can feel pleasure, pain, and a wide range of emotions represents a real harm - and most people acknowledge, at some level, that it does - then no one should be offended by the suggestion that this harm must stop, just as other harms, once taken for granted as permissible, are now almost universally condemned. …
Like a gay man or a lesbian, a vegan can choose from a variety of ways of being a vegan. Some stay in the closet. One woman I know, for example, purchases only vegan foods for her home, but when she is out and about, she either eats what others are eating or claims that she is not hungry, so that people will not know her true identity. She explains that once she knows someone well, she will confide in him or her that she is a vegan. …
Often, when a vegan and a non-vegan go to a restaurant together, the non-vegan will ask a question like, "Do you mind if I order the cheeseburger?" The ethical vegan who says "No; go ahead" conveys the impression that being vegan is simply a personal choice, rather than reflecting a deep moral commitment. For most ethical vegans, the very question is frustrating, because it dares him or her to say out loud, "What you are doing is wrong, and you shouldn't do it." Not saying so feels like complicity, but saying so risks alienating others and putting one's own status at risk.
Fish Farming Now Accounts for 50% of Fish Production
First, there was factory farming of land animals. Now, factory farming of marine animals now produces a significant percentage of the fish that human eat. Fish farming has all the downside to the welfare of the fish, to the environment, to resource utilization that farming of pigs, chickens and other land animals causes. www.sciencedaily.com/ . . .
Vegetarian Society Memberships for Members of Other Species?
The following question was sent to a listserv for vegetarian activists. Below the question are four replies, two which did not like the idea and two that did.
Question: Today, another member inquired about buying a membership for the dog who lives with her. Obviously, the dog wouldn't vote and wouldn't be included in official membership figures. I'm thinking of this mainly as a fundraising idea. I
wonder if any societies already include members of other species. Thanks.
Reply 1: I do not understand why we need to add other species. If we start with the animal kingdom then we will need to add the plant and mineral kingdoms to membership status to make it equal and to continue with such logic.
We use animals for so many selfish and self gratifying reasons already, Please let's just leave them in peace to live their lives as animals.
Reply 2: With due respect to the dog owner, NO, it is not acceptable even for fund raising. Let us be reasonable and put some reason in rational expectations! A people Society can not be down graded to a level where animals (with due respect to animal lovers and activists) would join members like their owners. Any effort to do so will discredit the Society and will make it a laughing stock of the world out of which it will never be able to come out. If he or she wishes to donate, it can be done in many other ways. I am also sure there are many Societies around the world which will meet the "Animals need to join Societies".
Reply 3: Sorry to disagree with the general tone, but I don't find the idea that ridiculous. Of course, animals must not have the right to vote, for the very
simple reason that they are hardly able to have their opinion or transmit them. And obviously their owners are not entitled to vote for them.
But if their owners are proud to make them members of vegetarian organisations, I definitely see no problem in creating a special class of membership for animals.
After all, many societies have honorary membership for "special" members, who often are also not entitled to vote in any issues.
Therefore, I see absolutely no problem in creating a special class of membership for animals in vegetarian organisations. This could be an interesting way to raise funds and also make pet owners happy. The "rights" and "benefits" of these non-human members, as well as the duties, would depend on the resources and goals of each organisation, but I definitely don't think that's so ridiculous.
Reply 4: Your [the author of Reply 2] explanation is understandable. It's not 'what' you said, but 'how' you said it, the words you used, to be more precise: "dog owner", "a people society", "down graded", "animals and their owners", "animal lovers", and so on.
This is just a respectful reflection. If we who respect all sentient beings don't change the way we see nonhuman animals, who will?
‘Peaceable Kingdom’ Tours Film Festivals
‘Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home’ - www.peaceablekingdomfilm.org - is a new version of a previous pro-veg film of the same title. The new documentary, as stated on its website, “explores the awakening conscience of several people who grew up in traditional farming culture and who have now come to question the basic premises of their inherited way of life.
“Presented through a woven tapestry of memories, music, and breathtaking accounts of life-altering moments, the film provides insight into the farmers' sometimes amazing connections with the animals under their care, while also making clear the complex web of social, psychological and economic forces that have led them to their present dilemma.”
‘Peaceable Kingdom’ is now touring film festivals. See the website for details.
1. EVU/VEBU Veggie Summit Meeting – 16-18 Oct, 2009, Berlin, Germany
This meeting is an initiative of the EVU (European Vegetarian Union) and will be organized by VEBU (German Vegetarian Union). The aim is to exchange ideas and create closer links between vegetarian organizations in Europe. Since all NGOs are constantly suffering from a lack of people power and resources, a well planned cooperation offers a promising path towards greater efficiency and gives additional clout to our projects.
For further information please contact Sebastian Zoesch of VEBU at email@example.com
2. 2009 Healthy Lifestyle Expo – 16-18 Oct, 2009, Burbank, California
3. West African Vegetarian Congress - 29 Oct-1 Nov, 2009, Accra, Ghana
4. 14th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival -
Saturday & Sunday,
October 31 & November 1, 2009, Boston, Massachusetts USA
5. Opening of Sthitaprajna-Vegan Life Centre – 1 Nov, 2009, Byndoor, Udupi Dist., Karnataka, India.
Here, away from the hustle and bustle of city life, one can learn how to live happy and healthy in harmony with nature without hurting or harming others. A vegan event is planned for the occasion with many important people planning to attend and endorse the vegan lifestyle. Be part of this historic moment! For more information, please write to Vn. Shankar Narayan, President, Indian Vegan Society and Councillor and Regional Coordinator for India, South and West Asia-International Vegetarian Union at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.indianvegansociety.com
6. Asian Vegetarian Congress – 6-10 Nov, 2009, Batam, Indonesia
The 4th Asian Vegetarian Congress, organised by the Asian Vegetarian Union and the Indonesia Vegetarian Society, will be held on Batam Island, Indonesia, near Singapore from 6-10 Nov. People from everywhere in the world are warmly welcome to enjoy delicious Indonesian vegetarian food.
Among those who have agreed to speak are the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, R.K. Pachauri, and IVU Regional Coordinators for India and for Asia-Pacific, Shankar Narayan and Susianto Tseng.
7. China Xiamen International Vegetarian Food Fair - 12-15 Nov, 2009
8. IVU World Vegetarian Congress – 1-7 Oct, 2010, Jakarta and Bali
The 39th IVU World Vegetarian Congress will be held in Indonesia in two places, Jakarta, the capital (and the economic centre of the country) and Bali, the country’s most famous tourist destination. An outline of the programme is available at the congress website.
Welcome to Organisations That Have Recently Registered with IVU
ANBA (Asoc. Naturista de Bs. As. y su Centro Deportivo Merlo) - www.anbadigital.com.ar
Solar D'Alcina - Pousada - www.solardalcina.com.br/...
Annual Vegetarian Food Fair - Toronto - www.veg.ca/foodfair
Chinese Vegetarian Recipes - www.chinesevegetarianrecipes.org
La Hierbabuena - vegetarian B&B, Midi Pyrénées-Aude - www.lahierbabuena.es.tl
Eshragh Vegetarians - eshraghvegetarians.orq.ir
Italian Vegetarian Paradise - www.italianvegetarianparadise.blogspot.com
Vegetarian and Vegan Chinese Food in SE Asia - verdantreports.org/.../veg...-food-chinese
Animals Safety Organization Pakistan - www.animalssafety.org
Greens Vegetarian Restaurant and Café - www.facebook.com/.../Greens - ...
Animals Count - a political party for people and animals - www.animalscount.org
Guernsey Vegetarian Group - www.veggies.org.gg
Off The Hoof magazine - www.offthehoof.co.uk
600 Million Stray Dogs Need You - www.600millionstraydogsneedyou.org
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival - www.bostonveg.org/foodfest
Food for Life, NJ - www.njfoodforlife.org
Meat Free Movement - www.myspace.com/leronr
The Veggie Space - theveggiespace.com
Veg*n Snapshots - vgnsnaps.wordpress.com
Veggie Pride Parade, NYC, 2009 - www.veggieprideparade.org
Voice4Change - working4change.blogspot.com
Other Online Sources of Veg News
In addition to IVU Online News, there are many other places to go online for general veg-related news, rather than news mostly about one country or one organisation. Here are some.
1. Dawn Watch
2. European Vegetarian Union News
3. Farmed Animal Net
4. Vegan Outreach
6. AnimalConcerns.org doesn't have a newsletter, but they post stories daily
Please Send News to IVU Online News
Dear Veg Activist
Please use this newsletter as a way to share your knowledge, ideas and experiences with fellow veg activists.
Thx. -–george jacobs – email@example.com
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