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									     E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n

     Journal of the European Vegetarian Union (EVU)   Issue 2 / 2009

Vegetarian solutions for a
 sustainable environment
                             E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
    Welcome to „European Vegetarian“, the magazine of the European Vegetarian Union. The magazine is
    produced twice a year and distributed to our members, with the aim of strengthening the connection between
    the various member societies. We aim to report on events, news, trends, developments, initiatives and activities
    that are of interest to vegetarians. For more information on the EVU, please refer to our website at

                                                 STOP PRESS:

The EVU is an umbrella organisation for          Urgent call for donations! Help combat State terror against animal wel-
vegetarian societies and groups in Europe.       fare
                                                 The legal proceedings against the animal welfare movement in Austria are beginning
The role of the EVU is:                          soon and financial support to cover the substantial legal costs is urgently required.
◊     To support and represent member            Previous experience has shown that these costs could amount to around € 50,000
      societies on a European level, and         per person. The Austrian vegan society Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich is therefore
      to offer a platform for close coopera-     appealing to everyone to get active, start campaigning and donate to their solidarity
                                                 account. This money will help prevent the mountain of debt for the defendants
◊       To raise public awareness of, and        from becoming too large.
        promote vegetarianism, vegetarian
        issues and the benefits of a vegetar-    All donations to the following account will be gratefully received:
        ian lifestyle;                           Account number: 01910815837, Sort code: 14 000
◊       To act as a media resource for the       Account holder: Grünalternative Jugend Wien,
        dissemination of information on          Reference (important, please always state this!): Antirep 2008 vegan
                                                 IBAN: AT451400001910815837, BIC: BAWAATWW
◊       To lobby governments, European
        institutions and organisations for       Bangalore Activists 'Fast for the Animals' in front of Mahatma Gandhi's
        greater recognition of vegetarian        Statue on 4 October 2009 to protest against cruelty towards animals that
        issues in policy decisions;
                                                 are reared for consumption. The idea behind the action is to attract peo-
◊       To (co)organise and provide admin-       ple's attention and gain media coverage for the daily plight of animals like
        istrative and marketing support for
        national and international con-          cows, pigs, sheep, goats, hens, fish and the need for eliminating animal
        gresses, seminars, lectures and          products from our daily lives. As people's awareness levels increase, people
        courses and other events promoting       will be more receptive to eliminating or at least diminishing use of animal
◊       To stimulate research in the area of
        vegetarianism and distribute that
        research;                               Imprint
◊       To give advice to, promote and/or
        act as a resource for other vegetar-
        ian organisations;                      Editors and layout:                        Articles for the “European Vege-
◊       To defend the interests of vegetar-                                                tarian”:
        ian consumers; and                      Georgia Blackwell                          Take advantage of the EVU
                                                     magazine to inform Europe of your
◊       To fight against cruelty to animals.                                               successes or share your experi-
                                                Carla Van de Velde                         ences. The “European Vegetarian”
Since more can be achieved through co-
                                                      welcomes articles, reports and
operation, the EVU’s priority for the future
                                                                                           pictures from EVU affiliates, indi-
is to build an even stronger network touch-
                                                Issued by:                                 vidual members and interested
ing on all vegetarian issues within Europe.
                                                European Vegetarian Union                  vegetarians. Please send your
In addition, the EVU will continue to further
                                                (EVU)                                      texts or pictures to the editors.
promote the successful V-label scheme, in
                                                Bahnhofstr. 52                             The editors reserve the right to
the interest of all vegetarian and vegan
                                                CH-9315 Neukirch                           refuse or edit any texts as neces-
consumers across Europe.
For more information on the work of the
EVU and how you can help, please look at
our website or contact the secretariat.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                                     Page 2
                              E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                              Journal of the European Vegetarian Union (EVU)                                    Issue 2 / 2009

Inside this issue:
                              All good things come to an end as they
                              say, and it is unfortunately time for us to
                              hang up our pens. This is the last issue of
Common Press
                      4       European Vegetarian that we will write /
                              edit, as the time pressure of full-time jobs
WVD Press Re-                 and family commitments mean that we are
                      5       unable to carry on with the magazine. It is
                              sad for us to stop as we have enjoyed
                              working on the magazine and seeing it
Veggie Nuggets        6       develop from black and white to glossy
EVU Talks 2009        8
                              It is not yet clear what the future holds for
                              European Vegetarian, as discussions are                 Georgia Blackwell and Carla Van de Velde
American Dietetic             continuing within the EVU Board. Please
Association                   let us know what you think by sending              for its members, so please let us know
                              ideas, suggestions and offers of help to           what you think. We will also be looking for
Swine Flu             13 Do you look forward to             feedback and opinions at the Veggie Sum-
                              reading the magazine when it arrives or            mit Meeting in Berlin, and hope to be able
                              would you prefer an electronic format?             to take your suggestions on board when
Vegan Runners         14      What kind of content should a future publi-        planning our future communication strat-
                              cation have? Is a paper-based magazine a           egy.
                              waste of paper and postage costs, or is it
EVU Board and
                      15      an important tool to aid communication             Until then, we hope you enjoy our final edi-
Membership form                                                                  tion of European Vegetarian and look for-
                              with and between member societies?
                              Should the EVU use its limited resources           ward to hearing your comments!
Diary of a
                      16      to produce a magazine at all, or should it
                              focus on other activities? Can you help us
                              by providing us with articles, reports on
                              your society’s activities, proof-reading or          For the most recent information on
Title page picture from the   formatting skills?                                   vegetarian issues, please check out the
Swiss Vegetarian Union,                                                            EVU website at:           Ultimately the EVU and its work are here

Veggie Summit Meeting in Berlin

One idea that came out of the EVU Talks 2009 in May was to form an “Executive Working Group” of key representatives from
active veggie organisations in Europe with the objective of creating closer links between the vegetarian organisations in
Europe, enabling us to work together, share resources and achieve more than we could individually. The first meeting of this
group, now named the “Veggie Summit Meeting” has been organised with the help of Sebastian Zösch from the German soci-
ety VEBU and will take place in Berlin on 16—18 October.

Representatives will participate from various different European countries, and if this first meeting is successful, we hope to
expand the group in future. The meeting will be hands-on and interactive, with the agenda covering topics such as “Which
campaigns should be organised at an international level, and how?”, International Lobbying—How to get what we want”,
“Fundraising—one possibility for European subsidies”, ”Pooling our Resources”, “Improving International Communication”,
and “Moving forward—the future of the EVU Talks”. There will also be an opportunity for smaller discussions and workshops
on topics of interest on the Sunday.

We will make sure that our members are informed of the outcome of the meeting, but if you are interested in receiving more
detailed information, or participating in a future meeting, please let us know at We hope that this meeting
will be the first of many and will help us move the vegetarian movement forward together.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                                 Page 3
Press Releases               E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                             FAO warning: ‘1.020 million people going hungry every day’
                             Common Press Release
                             In spite of various important international        Indeed, it cannot. Sidelining this drama has
                             treaties with the noble intent of affirming        been going on for far too long.
                             everyone’s right to food, we are now being
                             confronted with the stunning fact that one         However, it is somewhat surprising that the
                             sixth of all of humanity is starving.              FAO press release avoids addressing the
                                                                                impact which around 56 billion animals, fed
                             This catastrophe is an indication that in our      to be slaughtered worldwide each year, are
                             global village something has obviously             representing for the problem of food secu-
                             slipped out of the balance of ethics and           rity.
                                                                                Where is the social justice?
                             - Hunger and malnutrition are killing nearly
                             six million children each year, whilst for         Especially in times of great suffering, de-
                             their peers in other parts of the world meat-      cency calls for a thorough and objective
                             laden diets lead to obesity and a wide vari-       investigation of all possible means suitable
                             ety of diseases, thus shortening their life        to lighten the burden, and that in interest of
                             expectancies and putting increasing bur-           all, poor and wealthy alike. After all, when
                             dens on public health systems.                     starving people refuse to carry their load
                                                                                quietly any longer and instead decide to
                             - The inefficient meat trade expansion con-        shatter systems of injustice, the resulting
                             tinues to spiral out of control, but still deci-   social unrest may bring danger and hard-
                             sion makers like the FAO continue their            ship for everyone.
                             efforts to accommodate the gruesome
                             trend even at great environmental cost to          Vegetarianism offers a multitude of benefits
                             soil, air and water, instead of trying to halt     and this compassionate lifestyle represents
                             it, or at least slow it down.                      also the ideal way to ease the hunger
                                                                                drama. A meatless diet or even a reduction
                             -Social justice is compromised by the fact         in meat consumption will quickly free an
A complete list of the       that even when confronted with so much             enormous amount of food resources: If
organisations that have      misery, huge shares of available food              Americans reduced their intake of meat by
signed this press release    stuffs (even 95% of soy) are still siphoned        merely 10%, 100,000,000 people could be
can be found under:          off for farm animals.                              fed!
index.php?id=45849           FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf: "The           Each vegetarian is a living proof of solidar-
                             present situation of world food insecurity         ity and a silent hero who contributes greatly
                             cannot leave us indifferent."                      to the new fair and compassionate society
                                                                                we so urgently need.

                             One of the EVU’s major projects has been           The V-label is still the official European
                                          the European Vegetarian La-           Vegetarian Label and is supported by the
                                          bel project, which has in-            EVU with its name on the label.
                                          creasingly grown year after           This does not affect you as a member. It is
                                          year. However, this partly            only the organisations representing the V-
                                          commercial project is now too         Label in their country that will now have a
                                          big for the EVU, so we de-            new contact for this project (label@v-
                                          cided last year at the AGM to project will still be managed
                                          outsource the V-label-project         in the same office and will be dealt with by
                                          to a separate organisation.           the same people within the EVU in Switzer-
                                          This step has now been com-           land.
                                          pleted. The V-label is now
                                          outsourced to the V-label Inc.        We hope that this change in the structure of
                                          (which shares the same ad-            the project         will s et the     base
                                          dress      as    the    EVU-          for further development of this important
                                          secretariat).                         project in the future.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                               Page 4
I ss u e 2 / 2 0 0 9

On World Vegetarian Day, veggie days are sprouting up all over

October 1 is World Vegetarian Day and the start            Thursday Veggie Day in Antwerp. The
of World Vegetarian Week. The initiative of the            city of Antwerp will take part in the World
Belgian city of Ghent to install one official weekly       Veggie Day and places vegetarianism in
vegetarian day is meeting with more and more                                                                           Press release from
                                                           the spotlights during the annual month of
enthusiasm, both nationally and internationally.
On this day, the Belgian vegetarian society EVA
                                                           energy and environment. The local cam-                      the EVA
presents some exciting new Veggie Day activi-              paign includes talks, vegetarian work-
ties and proclamations.                                    shops, and vegetarian specials in 15 res-
Thursday Veggie Day at the city schools
of Ghent. In May the city of Ghent officially              Thursday Veggie Day at Ikea. At Ikea in
declared Thursday to be vegetarian days.                   Ghent the Veggie menu will receive extra
Starting this week, 35 city schools (counting              care and attention. Costumers will be in-
for 11.000 pupils) will participate. The stu-              formed through panels and displays and
dents will be served vegetarian lunches on                 can win a veggie cookbook.                                 Contact
Thursdays, every week of the year. Affected                                                                           Tobias Leenaert
are the daycare centers, preschools and                    Veggieday in Sao Paulo. Even Sao                           EVA (Ethical Vegetarian
                                                           Paulo (Brazil) got inspired by Ghent’s ex-                 Alternative)
elementary schools, and even the hotel
                                                           ample and will start their weekly veg-           
school. Teachers receive educational mate-                                                                            0032 0494 64 69 38
rial and an educational package is being                   gieday-campaign (for Mondays) on the 1st
developed for the students. The campaign                   of October. Other cities and organisations
image for the students features Little Red                 will investigate the idea and in the mean-
Riding Hood, saying “thank God it’s Thurs-                 while EVA keeps receiving questions from
day,” as the big bad wolf is on carrots.                   international sources for information.

Thursday Veggie Day in Hasselt. Hasselt                    A weekly veggie day is the best step to-
is the second Belgian city to launch a                     wards a solution to one of the world’s big-
weekly veggie day. The councilman for                      gest problems. The livestock sector is re-
health Toon Hermans is already convinced                   sponsible for 18% of global greenhouse
of the campaign’s merits. Hasselt’s restau-                gas emissions and high meat consump-                         Tobias Leenaert at the
                                                           tion increases the risk of cancer, diabetes,                 launch of Thursday
rants have already received a ‘Veggie for
                                                           obesity and heart disease. 60 billion ani-                   Veggie Day in Ghent
Chefs’-brochure, and all 40.000 families in
the city will receive a free vegetarian recipe             mals a year are killed
booklet in their mail.                                     for food, and 40% of
                                                           grain is fed to live-
Thursday Veggie Day in Mechelen. The                       stock. The production
city council of Mechelen declared on the                   of one kilogram of
25th of September that they were ready to                  beef requires 15.000
support the Thursday Veggie Day-                           litres of water. Nothing
campaign. Their office for sustainability was              a consumer can do for
given the assignment of working out a pro-                 a better world is as
ject to inform the citizens about the benefits             powerful as eating
of eating less meat.                                       less meat.

EVANA interviewed Tobias Leenaert to find out about getting veggie day off the ground. Here are some excerpts from the interview:

How did you manage to get such a constructive first contact with the administration of Ghent? Was there immediate official interest or did you
have a lot of convincing to do? What helped was that last year, we managed to convince IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri to come to Ghent
(we just asked him, if you want to know how we did that), where he talked for the very first time at length about meat and global warming.
Tom Balthazar, the councilman responsible for the environment, was there, and he got more and more convinced after that. We made contact
with two of his staff who were also enthusiastic, and we suggested that they asked Balthazar if he would be prepared to officially proclaim
Thursdays to be veggie days. We’re also proud to say that Dr. Pachauri got inspired by our veggie day idea and has been spreading it around
the world.

Are your political partners mainly from the public health sector or are also experts on ecology involved? Tom Baltazar, the councilman, is actu-
ally responsible for the four domains that we usually name as the four good reasons to be a vegetarian: health, environment, animal welfare
and north-south relationships. So he was the one we had to get to.

One German paper declared Ghent as ‘capital of vegetarians’. Your officials must be most pleased about this kind of PR for their city? Yes, they
seem thrilled. Actually I just heard the mayor on the radio and he pretended the campaign was all part of his big city marketing plan :-)

What is your advice for every vegetarian organization interested in following EVA’s example to establish decisive contacts with the world of
decision makers? The climate is good for vegetarianism (no pun intended), but on the other hand, as an organisation you need to be credible. I
think we are also the only vegetarian organisation in the world which is structurally funded by its national government (we started as a volun-
teer organisation and got funding later – we are entirely independent, mind you). We have worked for years on a credible and professional
image. It helps to not be an animal rights organisation, as mainstream organisations and institutions are more likely to be interested in health
and environmental arguments.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                                                 Page 5
Veggie Nuggets         E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                       Veggie Nuggets

                       I’m McLoving It!
                       April 2009. An activist from Animal Rights       paigners was then arrested under Section 5
                       Cambridge arrested under Section 5 of the        of the Public Order Act. The case finally
                       Public Order Act for a protest inside the        came to an end with the magistrate finding
                       McDonalds restaurant in Cambridge in June        the defendant not guilty. “Animal rights ac-
                       2008     was    found       'not  guilt y' .     tivism may have been covertly outlawed in
                                                                        the UK” said the activist “but it seems not
                       The protest was in commemoration of the          everyone has read the memo yet!”.
                       now famous Mclibel cases anniversary,
                       which was a huge PR disaster for                 The campaigners Barrister put forward an
                       McDonalds. The protesters entered the res-       excellent case with the help of the brilliant
                       taurant and informed customers about is-         defence witnesses. As the Not Guilty verdict
                       sues regarding McDonalds corporate prac-         was read out, supporters in the public gal-
                       tices on a range of issues. One of the cam-      lery began to applaud.

                       Healthier cow farts
Short pieces of         Cows at 15 farms across Vermont have had        the spring. The answer, the scientists deter-
news about              their grain feed adjusted to include more       mined, was that spring grasses are high in
vegetarianism,          plants like alfalfa and flaxseed that mimic     Omega-3 fatty acids, which may help the
veganism, ani-          the spring grasses that the animals evolved     cow’s digestive tract operate smoothly.
                        long ago to eat. The 75 dairy cows are at       When the scientists began putting high con-
mal rights or
                        the heart of an experiment to determine         centrations of Omega-3 back into the cows’
general interest        whether a change in diet will help them         food year-round, the animals were more
                        belch less methane, a potent heat-trapping      robust, their digestive tract functioned better
                        gas that has been linked to climate change.     and they produced less methane. As of the
                                                                        last reading in mid-May, the methane output
                        Scientists had been studying why cows           of the herd had dropped 18 percent, while
                        were healthier and produced more milk in        milk production has held its own.

                       Canada won’t ban cat and dog fur imports
                       The government of Canada will not join the       revelation is especially surprising in light of
                       United States and Europe in barring cat and      the fact that Prime Minister Harper and his
                       dog fur imports, in fear such action could       wife are known cat lovers who support and
                       weaken Canada's position against the ban-        participate in the Ottawa Humane Society's
                       ning of seal products by other countries. "It    Foster Program. The European Union re-
                       is absolutely appalling that Canada's gov-       cently implemented a ban on seal products
                       ernment remains willing to engage in the         in response to demand from its citizens,
                       trade of cat and dog fur simply to protect the   who did not want to provide a market for
                       cruel and unnecessary seal slaughter," said      products arising from inherently inhumane
                       Sheryl Fink, Senior Researcher with the          commercial seal hunts.
                       International Fund for Animal Welfare. The

                       Vegan Prisoners
                       After a 15-year-campaign by the Vegan            for vegan prisoners the VPSG is now nego-
                       Prisoners Support Group (VPSG) the UK            tiating for them to be supplied with “vegan
                       Prison Service has now allowed prisoners         shoes”, which are made from a combination
                       to order ethical food and toiletries by mail     of natural and synthetic materials instead of
                       order if there are none in their prison shop.    animal hides.
                       They will be allowed to buy in products in-
                       cluding nuts, seeds, dried fruits, vegan         Orders will be supplied by the High Street
                       chocolate bars, soap, shampoo, deodorant,        health store Holland & Barrett, which sells a
                       sunscreen, lipstick and facial scrubs.           wide variety of nuts and seeds, and the eco-
                                                                        friendly outlet Honesty Cosmetics.
                       After securing access to food and toiletries
European Vegetarian Union                                                                                       Page 6
I ss u e 2 / 2 0 0 9

Vegan Café opens near Brighton
The animal rights campaigner Heather            not what being vegan is about. 'It's about
Mills opened her own vegan cafe VBites at       being animal friendly, saving the environ-
Hove Lagoon in England this July after          ment and the planet. The biggest contribu-
refurbishing a former fish cafe. To help        tor of global warming is the consumption of
launch her new restaurant Sir Paul              meat and dairy, but of course they are not
McCartney's ex-wife gave a live culinary        going to tell you that.'
'masterclass' inside a packed marquee at
the Brighton Foodies Festival in East Sus-      Dishes on the 'masterclass' menu included
sex.                                            a leafy green and beefy stir fry (no beef,
                                                soy bean patty instead) and creamy sweet-
Commenting on some people's percep-             corn chowder. Audience members in Jubi-                    Heather Mills
tions of vegan food she said: 'They just        lee Square were given small plates of food
think that it's boring nut roasts and lots of   to sample as Mills took several cooking
hippy people who they think haven't             related questions from the floor.
washed for months but they do, but that's

Where does all our money go?
The largest beneficiaries of European Un-       Under pressure from the 27-nation Euro-
ion farm subsidies include an Italian bank      pean Union, 26 countries published the
in Milan, a French chicken giant and an         information., a nonprofit      Sources:
Irish producer of Weight Watchers meals         group that campaigns for transparency in
and Yorkshire pudding, according to previ-      the reporting of subsidies, compiled a list
ously undisclosed data for 2008. The sta-       of the top recipients in 18 of those coun-
tistics, for subsidies in 2008, show that an    tries. The group said it could not include
elite class of beneficiaries got more than      data from nine countries for technical rea-
700 payments of at least 1 million euros        sons. Germany has not disclosed recipi-
($1.33 million). An Irish agribusiness called   ents.                                
Greencore, which produces Weight Watch-
ers meals in the United States and Europe,      The list reflects the way huge agribusi-
received more than 83 million euros in          nesses in the European Union receive the
                                                                                               natürlich vegetarisch
2008, the fourth-largest subsidy. The           biggest slices from a farm subsidy pie that
                                                                                               magazine (VEBU)
French chicken giant Doux earned almost         is worth more than 50 billion euros a year
63 million euros.                               across all member nations.           

Clever people reject meat
Historically it was always the other way        increases. One reason for this is the sev-
around: meat was a luxury product that          eral scandals involving the meat industry in
only the rich could regularly afford to eat.    Europe in recent years. If the trend contin-
However, according to the latest national       ues, meat may well become a lower class
German consumption report, the amount of        product.
meat eaten sinks as the level of education

Luxury at Lake Constance
After nearly a year of renovations, the         ing of their guests while offering the maxi-
newly transformed Dr. Baumann “Hotel            mum possible pleasure and luxury, protect-
Swiss” and restaurant “Schillinger+Co”          ing the environment and climate, promo-
have opened their doors at Lake Con-            tion of animal protection and rights and
stance with a brand new, unique concept:        creating awareness of the links between
the Hotel Swiss is the first vegan luxury       individual consumer behaviour and human
hotel in Europe.                                rights.

The restaurateur Karl Schillinger creates       The hotel and restaurant aim to offer luxury
the culinary delicacies, and the doctor and     hotel accommodation at fair prices and
nutritional specialist Dr. Baumann takes        healthy plant-based gourmet cuisine. More
care of guests’ health. The aims of the pro-    information is available on their website:
ject are to promote the health and wellbe- (in German).

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                          Page 7
EVU Talks 2009             E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                           EVU Talks 2009—Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment

                           The EVU Talks for this year, between             slices, tofu, pates, breads, dips, cereals,
                           Thursday 30th April and Sunday 3rd May           soya milk, herbal teas and juices. We also
                           2009, were held in the great city of Zagreb,     had a vegan buffet lunch there on Friday
                           the capital and largest city of Croatia, for     and Saturday. The catering was prepared
This article was written   the first time. It was organised with the help   by local Hare Krishna restaurant and cater-
by Shabari Monica Saha,    of Animal Friends Croatia, who did an            ing business Vegehop.
EVU Secretary General      amazing task of arranging the event for the
                           four days and making sure it was a big suc-      Friday 1st May – presentations and work-
                           cess. There were people who came from            shops
                           different countries including England, North-    The meeting on Friday started off with an
                           ern Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria,      introduction to the vegetarian movement in
                           Italy, and Slovenia.                             Croatia, presented by Anita Euschen, the
                                                                            International Campaign Co-ordinator of Ani-
                           On Thursday evening, we had the opportu-         mal Friends Croatia. Animal Friends Croatia
                                                       nity to meet the     is a non-profit nongovernmental organisa-
                                                       organisers from      tion, established in 2002 with the goal of
                                                       Animal Friends       promoting animal rights, animal protection
                                                       Croatia in their     and vegetarianism. It currently has almost
                                                       office, who pre-     3,400 members worldwide and over 24,000
                                                       pared delicious      supporters, and has organised around 250
                                                       vegan       local    campaigns, including lobbying to change
                                                       dishes for dinner.   bills and legislation regarding animal suffer-
                                                       I thought the bur-   ing.
                                                       gers made from
                                                       soya protein with    This was followed by an interactive work-
                                                       nett le    s auc e   shop on “Let’s Eat Our Way to a Sustain-
                                                       were truly exqui-    able Future”, which I facilitated. In this work-
The Animal Friends         site. It was exciting to find out more about     shop, I covered a number of issues such as
Croatia office in Zagreb   Animal Friends Croatia and the actions and       what do we mean by a sustainable future,
                           campaigns they are involved in, such as          how this is affected by climate change, facts
                           having their own educational channel on          about the environment, disasters from the
                           YouTube on            meat industry, and so on. I also got the at-
                           On the wall in the office, I also noticed a      tendees to consider the popular perceptions
                           poster of a famous Croat, Goran Visnjic,         of the causes of climate change; assump-
                           star of US hospital drama ER. It was for an      tions people have about the environment;
                           anti-fur campaign by
                           PETA, which Animal
                           Friends Croatia were
                           given the rights to
                           translate to Croatian.
                           This was also the case
                           for a PETA anti-fur
                           billboard that showed
                           Tamara Ecclestone,
Right: Participants        daughter of Formula
enjoy the workshops        One mogul Bernie Ec-
and presentations          clestone and Croatian
                           model Slavica Ec-
                           clestone, wearing a
                           Formula One flag
                           across her body.

                           The venue for the EVU
                           Talks was the Human
                           Rights Centre. The
                           organisers of Animal
                           Friends Croatia had arranged breakfast           environmental reasons to go vegetar-
                           there for three days, which was a wonderful      ian/vegan; and what you can do as an indi-
                           selection of vegan ‘meat’ and ‘cheese’           vidual or group. There were many sugges-

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                            Page 8
I ss u e 2 / 2 0 0 9

EVU Talks 2009—Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment

tions during the group exercises, and there      the environment,
was a debate on a number of issues sur-          for example, in the
rounding PETA’s Meat is Not Green video          f o l l o w i n g
and the vegan driving an SUV vs. meat            headlines: “Meat-
eater on a bicycle controversy. At the end       based     nutrition
of the workshop I handed out a quiz on           causes       huge
meat and climate change to the attendees         environmental
to add a bit of fun to a serious topic.          damage,       from
                                                 deforestation     to
In the afternoon, EVU president Renato           pollution”     and
Pichler presented an overview about the          “Intensive animal
topic, followed by a group discussion. One       farming is more
discussion point was about what we can           dangerous than
do to distribute facts. It was suggested that    transportation”.
showing examples to politicians and pre-
senting facts to expert committees who           After a discussion
give advice to governments would be the          about the topic, a
way forward. For example, to show that           guided        tour
enough people are interested in healthy          around      Zagreb
vegetarian food, as politicians are more         was given by one
likely to listen to what the majority of the     of the volunteers
public wants. It was also suggested that         from      Animal
we could influence environmental organi-         Friends    Croatia.
sations to encourage reduction of meat           Dinner was ar-
consumption for environmental reasons.           ranged     at   the
However, one of the problems that came           Feng Shui Centre
up was people switching from eating beef         in the evening.
                                                                                               Francesco Maurelli gave
to eating more chicken because they per-         The venue, which is in a magnificent rural    two presentations at the
ceive that there is much less impact on the      area on the outskirts of Zagreb, has a        EVU Talks
environment.                                     Vege club and holds workshops and vari-
                                                 ous personal development classes and
In the final talk for the day, Francesco         health treatments. The hors d'oeuvres and
Maurelli, Vice President of TEVA                 dishes in the macrobiotic menu were truly
(Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Aso-           superb.
cio), gave a presentation on “Sustainable
environment: a photograph of Italy”. In his
talk he addressed the current situation
about the sustainable environment in Italy
in relation to diet, transportation and en-                                                   Left: A choice of desserts
ergy. One of the shocking and amusing                                                         at the Feng Shui Centre in
things he mentioned was that the Vice Min-                                                    Zagreb
ister of Environment, Francesco Lucara,
said during an interview on Le Iene TV
show that there was “substantial proof that
CO2 increase is beneficial to the environ-
ment”. He also said “the problem is nature”
and “the ice is melting because of the
climbers”. It makes you wonder what hope         Saturday 2nd May – presentations and
is there of changing attitudes if this is what   workshops
the Vice Minister of Environment in Italy is     On Saturday morning, Sebastian Zosch
saying? However, this attitude is not            from VEBU (German Vegetarian Union)
shared by everyone. Former Italian Minis-        held a workshop on “Improving co-
ter of Health, Umberto Veronesi stated,          operation and learning from the best. What
“150 millions of tons of cereals are used        can we learn from the most successful
every year to feed the animals we eat,           vegetarian societies in Europe?” In this
instead of feeding people” and that “Every       workshop it was emphasized that it is good
year a portion of the Amazon forest, as big      to have different types of organisations,
as Austria, is destroyed to make space for       both grassroots and corporate. For exam-
animals”. In the Italian press there are also    ple, Greenpeace started off as a grass-
references to the damage meat causes to          roots organisation and then became corpo-

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                       Page 9
EVU Talks 2009            E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                          EVU Talks 2009 - Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment

                          rate, and has been successful in doing so.      Maurelli talked about the Polish-Esperanto
                                                        They have an      Vegetarian Symposium, which is an interna-
                                                        enormous          tional event being held in Bialystok, Poland
                                                        number       of   on 25 July 2009. In this talk, Francesco
                                                        supporters        highlighted the connection between the
                                                        and     mem-      vegetarian and the Esperanto organisa-
                                                        bers,    even     tions, which is about lifestyle, rights and
                                                        though they       brotherhood. An estimated 3 million people
                                                        gone down         in the world speak Esperanto, and the aim
                                                        that    route.    of the language is to break down language
                                                        There     was     barriers and have a simple and neutral lan-
                                                        also a sug-       guage. The Symposium is open to all those
                                                        gestion about     who are interested, and is a great opportu-
                                                        c o p y i n g     nity to meet local vegetarian/animal rights
                                                        PETA, who         associations, learn more about what is hap-
                                                        created      a    pening, and support a developing move-
                                                        commercial        ment.
                                                        that      was
                                                        banned from       Animal Sanctuary Visit and EVU AGM
                          NBC. However, they informed people that         After lunch on Saturday, we visited the first
                          the commercial was banned and in turn           Farm Sanctuary in Croatia in the village of
                          people wanted to know what was banned.          Kostanj. There were a number of rescued
                          In terms of what works best, VEBU               animals here, including a cow and a bull,
                          (German Vegetarian Union) had conducted         pigs, geese, and rabbits. I was particularly
                          interviews with CEOs/presidents of some of      moved by the one-eyed pig that was unable
                          the most successful European vegetarian         to walk properly on his front two legs due to
                          societies, including Vegan Society (UK),        a birth defect. The owner of the sanctuary
The visit to the Animal   Vegetarian Society (UK), Viva! (UK and Po-      said that she plans on rescuing more ani-
Sanctuary on Saturday     land), VEBU (Germany), EVA (Belgium),           mals in the future. It was really admirable
afternoon                 NVB (Netherlands), AFC (Croatia), and           and inspiring to see that she and her hus-
                          SVV (Switzerland), and had also sent out a      band were so devoted to helping animals
                          questionnaire to vegetarian organisations       and caring for them. On the way back to the
                          with regards to their strategies, activities,   city by coach, we were shown the video
                          campaigns, marketing, research, external        Truth or Dairy presented by vegan poet
                          partnerships, and so on.                        Benjamin Zephaniah.

                           Sex is one campaign that came up that cer-     After the visit to the sanctuary, we held the
 tainly attracts the public’s atten-
 tion, e.g. Rude Food, a video by
 The Vegetarian Society UK. The
 workshop got even more interest-
 ing when suddenly a debate
 broke out about the issue of
 equality and the disagreements
 among religious groups as to
 what is vegetarian, (eggs are not
 considered to be vegetarian
 within the Indian community). As
 a British Bengali vegan, I have to
 agree that if there is going to be a
 standard definition one does
 need to take into consideration
 what is acceptable in all ethnici-
 ties and not just dismiss their
 views because they are a minor-

 After the workshop, Francesco

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                      Page 10
I ss u e 2 / 2 0 0 9

EVU Talks 2009—Vegetarian Solutions for a Sustainable Environment

EVU AGM in the Animal Friends Croatia           tos of the EVU Talks that Animal Friends
offices. At the end of the AGM it was sug-      Croatia kindly produced, as well as DVD’s
gested that the next EVU AGM and Talks          of all the videos shown during the event. It
could be in Switzerland, since a 4 star ve-     was an amazing event and so wonderful to
gan hotel will open near Lake Constance.        be with people from various different coun-
                                                tries who are relentlessly fighting for the
Meat the Truth Showing                          cause. We hope to see many more people
Later that evening we went to the Cultural      at the EVU Talks next year.
Informative Centre for an open event that
was organised by Animal Friends Croatia.        PROPOSED IDEAS
This included a presentation of the EVU by      − Creating an executive working group of
Hildegund Scholvien and the international         leaders of vegetarian organisations to
V-Label project by Renato Pichler. There          share ideas, experiences, and sugges-
was also a short lecture about the advan-                                                       For further information on
                                                                                                any of the topics men-
tages of a vegetarian and vegan diet,           − Reaching mainstream markets and col-          tioned in this article,
along with some vegan snacks. The high-           laborating with each other, establishing      please contact the EVU at
light of the evening was a showing of the         brands, working with companies and  
film Meat the Truth. Meat the Truth is a          getting sponsorship.
documentary presented by Marianne               − Campaigning both on a local and na-           You can find out more
Thieme (leader of the Party for the Animals       tional level, for example, distributing ma-   about Animal Friends
in The Netherlands), which demonstrates           terials, promoting a meat-free day, Na-       Croatia on their website:
one of the most important causes of cli-                                              
                                                  tional Vegetarian Week, Go Green Go
mate change that is repeatedly ignored by                                                       index.en.php
                                                  Vegan, etc.
films such as Al Gore’s An Inconvenient         − Using the media to share information
Truth. Meat the Truth really is an inconven-      more quickly, for example, about which
ient truth for some, including Al Gore, as it     topics are hot; showing videos that will
highlights the immense damage to the en-          grab the publics’ attention; working with
vironment caused by intensive livestock           international celebrities.
farming. It is a real eye opener for the gen-   − Researching why people don’t become
eral public and is something that everyone        vegetarian, or stay vegetarian, which are
who cares about the environment, animals          the best target groups, and how to get
and their health should watch.                    more supporters.
                                                − Lobbying for a definition of vegetarian
Dinner at Maharadja and Farewell for              and vegan on a European level, and in-
another year                                      vesting more money into promoting
Dinner on the last evening was at a local         vegetarianism.
Indian restaurant called Maharadja. I defi-
                                                − Lobbying the government and NGO’s
nitely recommend going there. The ambi-
                                                  directly to take action on the livestock
ence and decor were simply enchanting,
and the dishes were absolutely delightful. I
                                                − Showing examples to politicians and
really wish that they would open branches
                                                  presenting facts to expert committees
in the UK!
                                                  who give advice to government.
                                                − Using equality legislation for rights on
On the Sunday morning before leaving
                                                  vegetarian/vegan food, products, medi-
Croatia we all said our goodbyes to each
                                                  cine, etc.
other, after breakfast in the Human Rights
Centre. Everyone was given a CD of pho-         − Promoting the environmental and health
                                                                  benefits of vegetarianism
                                                                  and veganism to individu-
                                                                  als and organisations.
                                                                  − Influencing changes
                                                                  from within organisations,
                                                                  for example, working or          A still from the film
                                                                  volunteering for an envi-        Meat the Truth, taken
                                                                  ronmental organisation or        from www.competeto
                                                                  becoming a member.     
                                                                  − Training and building
                                                                  new leaders who can in-
                                                                  fluence change.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                          Page 11
                             E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                             Changes across the pond: ADA’s new position on vegetarian diets.

                             This year’s ADA statement on vegetarian-        news for vegans: they have lower calcium
                             ism is more evidence-orientated than in         and vitamin D intake than nonvegans,
                             2003: new research is included, and evi-        lower blood levels of a vitamin D precursor,
                             dence relating to specific questions has        and more bone fractures, most likely due
                             been graded. It incorporates a few adjust-      to calcium status. Finally, there’s a re-
                             ments in nutritional advice, reinforces         minder that some vegetarians’ vitamin B12
This article was             some major health benefits of vegetarian-       status is inadequate, despite its accessibil-
written for the EVU          ism, and expands the remit of food and          ity. Overall however, vegetarians usually
by Dr. Michael               nutrition professionals.                        meet or exceed nutritional needs.
                             “It is the position of the American Dietetic    Moving onto lifecycle, the statement con-
                             association that appropriately planned          centrates on pregnancy, observing no clini-
                             vegetarian diets, including total vegetar-      cally significant difference in macronutrient
                             ian and vegan diets, are healthful, nutri-      (protein, carbohydrate, fat) intake between
                             tionally adequate, and may provide health       pregnant vegetarians and nonvegetarians.
                             benefits in the prevention and treatment of     There are differences in intake of some
                             certain diseases. Well-planned vegetar-         micronutrients (B12, C, calcium, zinc), and
                             ian diets are appropriate for individuals       dietary standards were not met in some
                             during all stages of the lifecycle, includ-     countries for B12, iron, folate and zinc
                             ing pregnancy, lactation, infancy, child-       (omnivores also fell short on iron and
                             hood, and adolescence, and for ath-             folate), but these do not appear to affect
                             letes” (bold print indicates new wording).      birth outcome. Additional advice was that
                                  Vegans will see progress here, al-         there may be a higher rate of false positive
                                  though there is little overall change in   Down syndrome screening blood tests in
                                  the expanded statement regarding this      the vegetarians; and a firmer declaration of
                                  group. The use of “may” is a dilution      their need for DHA supplementation. No
                                  from 2003, where health benefit was        research was found relating to nutrient in-
                                  more clearly indicated, perhaps to bal-    take or birth outcome in vegan pregnan-
                                  ance the inclusion of vegans. The          cies.
                                  “lifecycle” sentence supports the safety
                                  of vegetarianism, particularly at more     Regarding other age groups, research is
                                  vulnerable times of life.                  cited which affirms that vegetarianism does
                                                                             not affect childhood growth; a query is put
Picture taken from http://   The ADA begins by informing us that in          over later menarche in vegetarian girls; the
ocdeals.freedomblogging.     2006, approximately 2.3% of US adults           similarity of nutritional intake between older
com/                         were vegetarian, compared to 2.5% in            vegetarians and nonvegetarians is re-
                             2000; but the proportion of vegans in-          stated, and the possibility raised that vege-
                             creased from 1% to 1.4%. Among children         tarian athletes in high intensity/resistance
                             (8-18), there were increases from 2% to         training may benefit from creatine supple-
                             3% in vegetarianism and 0.5% to 1% in           mentation.
                             veganism. The US market for vegetarian
                             foods actually shrank from $1.5B in 2002        Much more is included about chronic dis-
                             to $1.17B in 2006, although interest in         ease: a vegetarian diet offers protection
                             vegetarianism continues to grow.                from ischaemic heart disease, high blood
The whole position
paper can be found on                                                        pressure, insulin resistance, Type II diabe-
the American Dietetic        The paper’s discussion of nutrients flags       tes, obesity, colorectal and prostate can-
Association website:         up several issues. The ADA’s first major        cers, dementia, diverticulitis and gall- with        point is that, given potentially disadvanta-    stones. Vegans share in reduced heart
the reference Vegetar-       geous lower blood levels of important fatty     risk, exceeding vegetarians in blood pres-
ian Diets, Volume 109,       acids EPA (eicosopentanoic acid) and            sure and weight control; veganism was
Issue 7, Pages 1266-         DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) in vegetari-         superior to the ADA’s dietary guidelines for
1282 (July 2009)             ans (especially vegans), and that conver-       controlling Type II diabetes.
                             sion of ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) to
                             DHA/EPA in the body is limited, not only        Towards the end of the paper, we hear of
                             should vegetarians consume good sources         progress in provision of vegetarian foods to
                             of ALA, they may benefit from DHA supple-       low income families in the US, although
                             mentation. There is a cautionary note           schools are still not required to provide
                             about variable iodine content in sea vege-      vegetarian choices unless medically nec-
                             tables (which could lead to under- or over-     essary; prisons are only obliged to provide
                             intake as a main source), and some bad          vegetarian food to inmates on religious

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                          Page 12
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Changes across the pond: ADA’s new position on vegetarian diets (cont..)

grounds. However, in schools, voluntary          new vegetarians, introducing health pro-
provision of vegetarian meals has in-            motion into their interactions, and a final,
creased.                                         welcome, offering: “Qualified food and nu-
                                                 trition professionals can also play key roles
Finally, the ADA summarises the roles and        in ensuring that the needs of vegetarians
responsibilities of food and nutrition profes-   are met in food service operations”. It ap-
sionals. Of note is an accent on helping         pears we have an ally across the water.

Another fine mess. (Swine flu pandemic).
On Thursday 11th June 2009 the swine flu         unknown, but it is definitely a swine flu vi-
epidemic was upgraded to a pandemic by           rus. Crucially, the evidence against the
the World Health Organisation (WHO).             huge pig farms in Mexico and the US is           This article was written by
Technically, a pandemic is when commu-           mounting. These units represent the most         Paul Freestone for OxVeg
nity-wide human-to-human transmission is         extraordinary reservoirs of viruses with the
happening in two separate regions of the         potential of producing a large scale human
world. Swine are incredible incubators for       pandemic. Un-
viruses, they are susceptible to several         sur pris ingl y,
types of flu (ie swine, bird and human).         the global pig
Transmission between pig-to-pig is rapid.        business dis-
Subsequently, pig-to-human infection is          putes any link
commonplace with the people working              between their
within industrial pig farms. Obviously, pigs     industry     and
and humans are both mammals so this              the outbreak.
transmission is highly predictable. These        In the US the
intensive units (overcrowded and filthy) are     National Pork
the perfect incubation systems for the           Council (NPC)
emergence and spread of the so-called            has success-
‘super strains’ of flu. Also, this cross con-    fully stopped
tamination between the different species         the use of the
produces new ‘novel’ viruses.                    term ‘swine flu’
                                                 in the media.
The current swine flu H1N1 virus is a triple     Instead, it is
re-assorted virus, it has components of          now referred to
swine, bird and human flu. The source is         as the more
                                                 ‘H1N1 flu’. This reaction is typical of an         Picture taken from
                                                 industry that fails to learn anything from
Diagram taken from
                                                               previous scandals such as BSE. One of the most
                                                               bizarre aspects of these epidemics is that the meat
                                                               industry continues to promote the idea that animal-
                                                               to-human infection is extremely rare. In fact, there
                                                               are about 400 diseases that spread from animal-to-
                                                               human. There is no magic ‘species barrier’ which
                                                               prevents people from getting an animal disease.

                                                               There is no other virus like influenza. The WHO has
                                                               to redesign the flu vaccine twice a year because the
                                                               virus is constantly adapting and running ahead of
                                                               the medicines. Antibiotics are increasingly ineffec-
                                                               tive. Yet again, the meat industry is culpable. The
                                                               high usage of antibiotics in factory farming has re-
                                                               duced their effectiveness in humans. Bacteria are
                                                               formidable enemies. Unfortunately, the widespread
                                                               use of an efficient antibiotic only accelerates the
                                                               build-up of resistance.

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                           Page 13
 Vegan Runners               E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                             Vegan Runners
                             Gordon Ramsay has one more reason to                        nounced that this year he is out to beat his          hate vegans now, after elite vegan runner                   personal best of 3 hours 46 minutes in his
http://results-2009.         Fiona Oakes finished more than an hour                      tenth consecutive marathon in the capital.
london-marathon.             faster than him in the 2009 Flora London                    Ramsay recently admitted to “being 17                       Marathon.                                                   stone and needing to lose weight” and “will
                                                                                         be fuelled by plenty of pasta."
Pictures from                 “I simply hate vegans,” said Gordon Ram-         say, the celebrity chef who is not well                     Fiona Oakes, however, is not the clichéd
                             known for speaking pleasantries or mincing                  image of a weak and pale vegan, starved of
                             his words. But for 39-year-old Fiona Oakes,                 essential nutrients and vitamins. At five feet,
http://                      a vegan for all her adult life, a passionate                six inches high, weighing 50 kilos, and
realitytvmagazine.           animal lover, and elite marathon runner,                    boasting muscles that could rival Popeye’s,                 Ramsey’s words stuck, propelling deeper                     this strong-willed woman was determined to
                             into her thoughts with each excruciating                    triumph in this year’s marathon, and to oblit-
                                           mile ran, sub-consciously aid-                erate Ramsay’s time. She commented be-
                                           ing her to achieve an epic                    forehand:
                                           marathon personal best of 2                   “Gordon Ramsay is like a kid in a candy
                                           hours 38 minutes, more than                   shop when it comes to sport. Why he
                                           an hour faster than her promi-                chooses to persecute a group of people who
                                           nent, male, and carnivore op-                 have done nothing to him, I will never know.
Devastation caused by                      ponent.                                       One thing I do know however, I will kick his
Hurrican Katrina                                                                         ass on Sunday.”
                                                 Ramsay’s insulting attitude
                                                 towards vegetarians and ve-             Amanda Baker, media relations officer of the
                                                 gans, and belief that “vegans           Vegan Society, underlined Fiona’s victory
                                                 are missing out on the most             further by stating: “Given that women usu-
                                                 amazing flavor you can get              ally lag behind men by 30 minutes in mara-
                                                 from meat," has sparked con-            thons, Fiona Oakes' lead is equivalent to
                                                 tention from those who ab-              plenty of time to enjoy a gourmet vegan
                                                 stain from eating animals, and          meal while she waits for Gordon to catch
                                                 has revived the “do vegetari-           up!”
                                                 ans and vegans get as many
                                                 nutrients in their diet as meat         Let’s hope that Gordon minds eating his
                                                 eaters?” debate. In character-          own words less than he minds vegan food!
                                                 istically competitive fashion,
                                                 41-year-old Ramsay has an-

Vegan runner Fiona Oakes (above) finished                                                      Results for the London Marathon 2009:
more than an hour before her meat-eating
opponent, Gordon Ramsay (below). Carl Lewis              Position                  Name                      Age                     Time
(bottom) is another world-class vegan athlete.
                                                            31                  Fiona Oakes                   40                    2:58:48

                                                           9489               Gordon Ramsay                   40                    4:05:02

                                      Fiona Oakes, it seems, is not alone in being vegan and victorious at sport. Sally Eastall, world class
                                      marathon runner and Olympian, commented on how her decision to become a vegan has affected
                                      her running:

                                      “Since becoming vegan, my running has improved considerably. Vegan food is ideal – high carbohydrate, low
                                      fat, and plenty of vitamins and iron. I’m proud that I run without exploiting animals in any way.”

                                      Perhaps most surprisingly, is Carl Lewis, one of the most successful sports personalities in history.
                                      The nine time Olympic gold medalist once commented on his dietary choice:

                                      “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover by continuing to eat a
                                      vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look, I enjoy eating more, and I feel great.”

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                                                 Page 14
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The Board of the European Vegetarian Union

President                                Treasurer                                Hon. General Secretary

RENATO PICHLER                           HILDEGUND SCHOLVIEN                      SHABARI MONICA SAHA
Bahnhofstr. 52                           Friedhofstr. 12                          Surrey,
9315 Neukirch (Egnach)                   67693 Fischbach                          United Kingdom
Switzerland                              Germany
Phone: +41 (0)71-477 33 77               Phone: +49 6305 993108
Fax: +41 (0)71-477 33 78                 Fax: +49 6305 5256                       Vice Hon. General Secretary

                                                                                  CARLA VAN DE VELDE
Vice President                           Honorary Board Members                   Gent,
Frankfurt am Main                        Edelweißstr. 7
Germany                                  83233 Bernau                             Board Member
                                                                                  CARSTEN SCHOLVIEN
All Board members can be                                                          Fischbach,
reached via email using the              MARCEL HEBBELINCK                        Germany
following format:                        Merellaan
                                         10 - 1150 Bruxelles            Belgium
                                         Phone: +32 2 673 8437                    EVU Secretariat
                                         Fax: +32 2 629 2736                      Bahnhofstr. 52
                                                                                  CH-9315 Neukirch


  EVU Membership Form
  Application for:
                                             Further information about the types of
  - INDIVIDUAL MEMBERSHIP                    membership of the EVU, including the
                                             new gift membership is available on the
  - LIFE MEMBERSHIP                          EVU website at:
  - FAMILY MEMBERSHIP              
  (Delete as appropriate)

  Name of Organisation or Individual: ………………………………………………………………………………………..

  Number of Members: …………………………………………………………………………………………………………

  Address for correspondence: ………………………………………………………………………………………………..


  Name of contact person: …………………………………………….. Position: …………………………………………..

  Telephone and/or Fax number: ……………………………………………………………………………………………..

  Email address: ……………………………………………………. Website: ………………………………………………

  Please send the completed form to: European Vegetarian Union, Hildegund Scholvien (Treasurer), Friedhof-
  strasse 12, D-67693 Fischbach. Fax: +49 6305 5256, Email:

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                  Page 15
The last laugh                E u ro p e a n Ve g e t a r i a n
                              Diary of a Vegetarian

                              It seems that everywhere I look there is        do my best to keep my impact on the planet
                              gloom and doom. There are food scandals         to a minimum.
                              coming to light with worrying regularity all
                              over the place (and probably many more          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not superwoman
                              that we don’t know about yet). New dis-         and I’m not single-handedly saving the
Dear Diary........            eases and mutant strains of existing ill-       planet. Nor am I denying that there is much
                              nesses are spreading across the globe           more to do before we can all sit back and
                              faster than we can develop vaccines or          know that the world is in order. But I do
                              cures for them. We are being constantly         have the pleasure of feeling that I am doing
                              reminded that the planet cannot cope with       my bit, and can see some of these ominous
                              the number of people on it, the drain on its    messages without guilt.
                              resources that we represent and the life-
“I do have the pleas-
                              style choices that are being made. At some      One (small) example: Germany has re-
ure of feeling that I         point we will run out of water and food; that   cently had elections and there were election
am doing my bit               is if the food we are eating hasn’t killed us   posters everywhere. One political party was
(and) consciously do          beforehand or turned us into genetically-       using a picture of a cute, fluffy calf to get its
my best to keep my            modified mutants.                               election message across. I had been out for
                                                                              lunch with a group of friends, and on our
impact on the planet          And yet, in the midst of all this dire news,    way back we passed this poster. A couple
to a minimum”                 there is a part of me that doesn’t feel that    of my friends stopped walking and started
                              bad. Why? Because I know that I person-         cooing over the calf, exclaiming how cute
                              ally am doing my bit for the planet, for the    he was. Having partaken of a lovely, vege-
                              animals and for my health. I haven’t yet        tarian jacket potato for lunch, I was able to
                              heard of a food scandal that involved vege-     look that calf in the eye and agree, knowing
                              tables or legumes being fed other vegeta-       full well that he had not been transported in
Cartoon taken from            bles or legumes. Carrot flu hasn’t hit          appalling conditions or butchered horribly
http://                       Europe (or anywhere else) yet, and nothing      on my behalf. And yes, I did feel just a tiny
artnexus.files.wordpress.     has been slaughtered or murdered to fill my     bit smug and self-righteous as I pointed out
com                           stomach. The chickpeas that I make my           to the others (who had all just had burgers)
Picture of a calf taken       houmous with weren’t raised in a battery        that they had actually just eaten him for
                              cage or transported across Europe in awful      lunch. Now every time I’m made to feel like
(not the calf in the poster   conditions. Yes, I’m a drain on the planet’s    a freak for scrutinising the ingredients of
but just as cute!)            resources, as we all are, but I consciously     everything I eat, or leaving the pub my
                                                                                    friends are in to go and get something
                                                                                    veggie to eat, I just walk past that
                                                                                    poster and know that I am making the
                                                                                    right choices.

                                                                                   And in a world as pessimistic as ours
                                                                                   sometimes is, knowing that I am doing
                                                                                   the right thing is worth an awful lot!

                                 And you tell your
                                   friends, it isn’t
                                 Mad Cow Disease
                                 anymore. It’s Be-
                                 yond-Pissed-Off –
                                  Disease! Got it??

European Vegetarian Union                                                                                             Page 16

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