interview of a Tornoto vegetarian, Mr. Choo
- Read the interview near the middle of this post from International
At the end, it tells you how to join this free email list.
Get active with your community !
From: george@... [mailto:george@...]
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 9:33 AM
To: Sunny Outdoors
Subject: IVU ONLINE NEWS MARCH 2007
IVU ONLINE NEWS MARCH 2007
the illustrated web version of this newsletter is at
Table of Contents
Dresden 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress Update
More Videos from the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Goa, India
International Meatless Day
Bristol Vegan Fayre
Livestocks Impact on the Environment
Organizing Potlucks: An Interview with Garry Choo of the Toronto Vegetarian
Sitio Vegetariano (Brazil) Celebrates 8th Anniversary
VegDining.com Increasing Support for Vegetarian Groups Worldwide
New Book on the Emotions of Our Fellow Animals
DRESDEN 2008 IVU WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS UPDATE
Printed invitation brochures for the 2008 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in
Dresden, Germany are available now. If youd like an invitation mailed to
anyone, please contact Hildegund Scholvien (Hildi) at hscholvien@...
Recently there have been a few changes, above all for the hotel
reservations. They are worth a look at the internet page:
And a reminder: the first deadline for early and cheaper booking is 30th
MORE VIDEOS FROM THE 2006 IVU WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS IN GOA, INDIA
The folks at Veg TV have recently uploaded more videos from the 2006 IVU
World Vegetarian Congress in Goa, India, including an interview with the
former IVU Regional Coordinator for Asia, Jashu Shah:
Meatout is an annual event held to encourage meat eaters to give
vegetarianism a try for a day or more. On (or around) March 20 the first
day of spring in the northern hemisphere thousands of people in all 50 US
states and around the world will hold informative and educational Meatout
events. To find out more:
INTERNATIONAL MEATLESS DAY
Another annual event celebrated in countries around the world is
International Meatless Day, which is held every 25th of November. In 2006,
millions of people signed a pledge to go meatless that day. Among the
signers was Megawati Sukarnoputri, the immediate past president of
Indonesia. To find out more:
BRISTOL VEGAN FAYRE
June 9-10, 2007 are the dates of the Bristol Vegan Fayre to be held in
Bristol, England. Among the speakers is Dr Stephen Walsh, author of Plant
Based Nutrition and Health. For more information:
LIVESTOCKS IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT
An important document for promoting vegetarianism was published by the
United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. It describes the many
ways that meat production is doing increasingly serious harm to the
ORGANIZING POTLUCKS: AN INTERVIEW WITH GARRY CHOO OF THE TORONTO VEGETARIAN
Potlucks are one way for vegetarians to get together, enjoy each others
company, show off their culinary skills and try new dishes. In the interview
below, Garry Choo (garrychoo@...), of the Toronto Vegetarian
Association (http://www.veg.ca), shares his experiences organizing potlucks.
Q: Lets start with a little biographical info. What is your occupation?
Have long have you been veg? Why did you go veg?
A: I was born and raised in Toronto, ON Canada. I am a manager in the IT
department for a Canadian retailer. My primary job function is long term
Ive been veg since 2001. I became veg as a result of reading Fast Food
Nation by Eric Schlosser. Three things about the book stuck in my mind:
1. The wastefulness of raising animals for food. Especially the
clearing of the Amazon rainforest to grow soybeans for feed;
2. That animals were treated in such a manner and also that they did
not come from farms, but from factories; and
3. The treatment of people in the related slaughter and fast food
After reading FFN, I began reading other publications to ensure the facts
were, well, factual. I read Beyond Beef by Jeremy Rifkin, Diet for a Small
Planet by Frances Moore Lappe, Silent Spring by Rachel Carson and many
others. These books cemented my resolve to stay vegetarian.
Q: How long have you been organizing potlucks?
A: Ive been organizing monthly potlucks since January 2005. It started as a
vegan and raw-food potluck. It is now only a raw-food potluck.
Q: What led you to start organizing potlucks?
A: I became vegan and then a raw foodist because of potlucks. I became
vegetarian on my own, but I do not think I could have become vegan or raw on
my own. There was a great sense of community at the potlucks, and the people
in attendance also were a great support network.
In the fall of 2004, Anson DePezia, a raw foodist in Toronto who organized
monthly potlucks in his home, was discontinuing them because he was moving
away from the city for several months. I became a raw foodist as a result of
With him gone, there was a void that needed to be filled. The first potluck
I organized was in January 2005, one month after Ansons final potluck.
Q: How do you publicize the potlucks?
A: Anson provided me with his mailing list of raw-foodists. I used that as a
start. I also had a large list of emails of vegetarians that I knew. The
potlucks were also promoted on the website, meetup.com, where there were
several vegetarian groups (vegetarian, vegan, raw). It was also posted on
the Toronto Vegetarian Associations website, http://www.veg.ca
At the point when meetup.com started charging for their services, people
migrated to Yahoo groups. Several groups were formed including:
Toronto Vegetarians; http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/torontovegetarians
TVA Singles: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/tva_singles
I also discovered the Raw Food Toronto group, which I now moderate:
Also, in the fall of 2006, Sandra McKeown, another Toronto raw foodist,
revived the raw food meetup group and that brought some new people to the
Q: How did you begin? What was the first potluck like?
A: The first potluck was great. There was about 30 or 40 people in
attendance. We get from 20-60 people at the potlucks.
Q: What venues do you use? What are some other possibilities?
A: I use the party room in my condo building. It is about 3000 square feet
in size so it can hold over 100 people. In the summertime, we can expand it
into a courtyard off of the party room. Ive held it in my apartment (once),
but it isnt that big and can only accommodate about 20 people comfortably.
Q: How do you deal with plates, forks, spoons, etc.?
A: We have a collection of reuseable plates (donated by the TVA), cups and
utensils. People are encouraged to bring their own reuseable plates, cups
and utensils. We also request that people bring their own napkins.
Q: Do people have to sign up ahead of time?
A: I dont have people sign up. I dont find it useful. I only let people
know when the event is and they can show up if they like.
Q: Do you ask people to list the ingredients in their dishes? For example,
what if some people dont take garlic or onion, or some are allergic to a
A: Yes, ingredients are always listed in case of allergies and for general
Q: How long do the events usually last?
A: People start showing up at 6pm, eating starts at 7pm and its gone as
late as 11pm.
Q: Other than eating, do you have any scheduled activities, such as ice
breakers or screening a video?
A: In the past, we have had food preparation demonstrations, singers and
Q: Do you ever have special themes for the potlucks, such as Asian food?
A: We had a dessert theme once. It was very popular and the food didnt last
very long from what I remember! Regardless, the theme is always raw food
Q: Do you ever have a problem with not having enough food?
A: Maybe during the dessert themed potluck! There always seems to be just
the right amount of food. More often than not, we have food left over at the
end of the evening.
Q: Can someone show up without food and offer to clean-up or do some other
A: I dont really care if people show up without food. Its more about
learning about raw food. Some people are nervous or do not know what raw
food is. I always encourage people to show up, even if they are not bringing
anything with them.
Q: Are there any legal issues involved, such as what happens if someone
suffers food poisoning?
A: Ive never really thought about it because its an informal event. Ive
never known of anyone getting sick from one of the events. Im not worried
about any legal aspects. Vegetarians (Canadians, at least) arent very
Q: What are some problems that youve encountered or might encounter, and
how do you try to avoid them?
A: People that show up with animal-based products because they do not know
what raw food is. There is some information on the respective web sites.
People list the ingredients so its eater beware.
SITIO VEGETARIANO (BRAZIL) CELEBRATES 8TH ANNIVERSARY
Sitio Vegetariano, the website founded by the people who helped organize the
2004 IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Brazil, was a pioneer veg website in
the Portuguese language and has been a leader in terms of visits since it
was launched in 1999: http://www.vegetarianismo.com.br/sitio. It now
receives a million clicks inside the site every month.
The veg-brasil discussion list, created at the same time and associated with
Sitio, had about 90 member in 2000. Now, it has an average of 2000 members.
veg-brasil was also the worlds first veg discussion list in Portuguese.
These numbers show the great interest on vegetarianism in the world of the
On January 28, 200y the new SítioVEG was launched.
VEGDINING.COM INCREASING SUPPORT FOR VEGETARIAN GROUPS WORLDWIDE
VegDining.com has launched "Supporting Vegetarianism at the Grassroots"
Program. By years end, VegDining will be awarding support valued at up to
US$75,000 to promote the work of up to 50 vegetarian groups around the
world, as determined by visitors to VegDining.com.
"Since we launched our site in September 1999, weve been an active
supporter of vegetarian groups around the world" says Dennis Bayomi, founder
of VegDining.com. "Our new program increases our support in a very
significant way", adds Bayomi, himself a long-time vegetarian group
From now until the end of October 2007 (World Vegetarian Month), visitors to
VegDining.com with a paid-up VegDining Card or VegDining login account may
nominate two vegetarian groups that they'd like VegDining to support. Up to
fifty groups receiving the most nominations, in four different group-size
categories, will receive VegDining support.
Groups will receive support in the form of paid advertising/sponsorships by
VegDining via those groups publications/websites/events, merchandise
including VegDining Cards, and cash donations.
In addition, VegDining will offer part of the proceeds on every VegDining
Card and login account purchased until October 31 towards the International
Vegetarian Union's (IVU) Regional Development fund, which assists new
vegetarian groups around the world, many in poorer countries. A minimum of
$500 US will be donated by VegDining to support this program.
For more information about VegDinings program, visit their site at
Book on Bird Flu Available Free Online
Bird Flu has been grabbing headlines again. Fortunately, a new book by a
prominent vegetarian author, provides important insights into the topic.
Michael Greger, M.D., is Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at
The Humane Society of the United States. An internationally recognized
lecturer, he has presented at the Conference on World Affairs, the National
Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, among countless
other symposia and institutions, and was invited as an expert witness in
defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial. Dr. Greger
(http://www.veganmd.com) donates all proceeds he receives from his books and
His latest book, Bird Flu: A Virus of Our Own Hatching, can be downloaded at
no cost at http://birdflubook.com/g.php?id=5 or you can purchase a hard copy
To read an interview with Michael, visit
NEW BOOK ON THE EMOTIONS OF OUR FELLOW ANIMALS
Heres a short review of a new book which shows once again that other
animals are not mere objects but are instead thinking beings with emotions
The Emotional Lives of Animals: A Leading Scientist Explores Animal Joy,
Sorrow, and Empathy - and Why They Matter by Marc Bekoff with foreword by
Bekoff's latest book, complements other recent efforts, such as Balcombe's
Pleasurable Kingdom and Masson and McCarthy's When Elephants Weep, that
have gone a long way toward establishing, in the popular mind, the
robustness of the emotional lives of animals other than humans.
".............Based on Marc Bekoff's years of experience studying the social
communication patterns of a wide range of animals, this important book shows
that animals have rich emotional lives. Not only can animal emotions teach
us about love, empathy, and compassion, argues Bekoff they require us to
radically rethink our current relationship of domination and abuse of
animals. Award-winning scientist Bekoff skillfully blends extraordinary
stories and anecdotes of animal grief, joy, embarrassment, anger, and love
with the latest scientific research confirming the existence of emotions
that commonsense experience has long implied. The author also explores the
evolutionary purposes of emotions in a wide range of different species,
showing how science is discovering brain structures that produce emotions,
how we can track an evolutionary continuum based on shared brain structures
among species, and how new information is being revealed by noninvasive
neurological research tec!
hniques. Filled with Bekoff's light humor and touching stories, The
Emotional Lives of Animals is a clarion call for reassessing both how we
view animals and how we treat them."
PLEASE WRITE FOR IVU 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 george@...
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