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IVU ONLINE NEWS - January, 2005

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  • John Davis
    INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION IVU ONLINE NEWS - January, 2005 ... ASIAN EARTHQUAKE We usually start the January issue by wishing all our readers a happy new
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2005

      IVU ONLINE NEWS - January, 2005



      We usually start the January issue by wishing all our readers a happy new
      year, and indeed we do, but it doesn't seem quite the same this year.

      IVU has many friends in the areas affected by the recent disaster and it is
      almost certain that some subscribers to this newsletter are now homeless,
      and quite possible that some are amongst those missing. Most of us in the
      rest of the world are left feeling a little helpless, all we can offer is
      our sympathy - and our money.

      However one IVU member organisation - Food For Life - is directly involved
      and was very quick to respond last week, setting up emergency food kitchens
      to help where they could. FFL has an impressive record but always needs more
      support to continue their work. The hardest time for any aid agency is when
      the headlines begin to fade and the world's media moves on, as they soon
      will, but help will be needed long after the rest of the world has

      Food for Life says: "We are currently serving more than 10,000 freshly
      cooked vegetarian meals per day, consisting of rice, dhal and vegetables,
      directly to the victims. We plan to increase as we get more resources and
      travel to different affected areas. Food for Life guarantees that 100% of
      the donations will be given to the tsunami victims, and also supply medical
      items, sleeping mats, bed sheets, etc, as needed. The refugees have taken
      shelter in hospitals, schools and temples. Hospitals have been washed out
      along with the patients and doctors. In such a situation with millions of
      displaced people suffering in need of food and clothing it seems an
      impossible task, but we should not let this discourage us. Let every one of
      us help in whatever little way we can."

      Please visit the FFL website at http://www.ffl.org and give them whatever
      support you can, there are possibilities for practical help as well as
      financial - and do forward this message to other vegetarians everywhere.

      If you have website please copy the FFL banner/link at http://www.ivu.org
      onto your main page.


      LET'S TALK

      IVU now has some new email discussion lists for different regions of the
      world. These are intended for general discussion of vegetarian issues in
      each region, with a particular interest in how IVU can more effectively help
      to meet local needs, but any topics relevant to vegetarianism are welcome.

      If you are in one of these regions, or simply interested in supporting them,
      do join us:

      IVU-ASIA - moderated by Violet Lee, Singapore
      - to subscribe go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ivu-asia

      The timing is co-incidence, this was planned a while back, but we hope that
      this will provide Asian vegetarians with a forum to discuss responses to the
      current crisis.

      IVU-AFRICA - moderated by Lwere Alexander Kasibante, Uganda, and PK Jain,
      - to subscribe go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ivu-africa

      Even the east coast of Africa was hit by the tsunami, they need help too.

      IVU-ANZVEG (Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific) - moderated by Lisa
      Green, Western Australia
      - to subscribe go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ivu-anzveg

      - and don't forget veg-latina - the long running group for Latin America,
      discussions in Spanish and Portuguese, which is the role model for the new
      See: http://www.ivu.org/veg-latina



      Many of us are now re-adjusting to our cold northern climates after the trip
      to Brazil in November, and looking forward to some sunshine again. And,
      despite the far more urgent problems currently facing India, the planning
      for the 2006 IVU World Vegetarian Congress, in Goa, must proceed.

      India has played a major role in the history of IVU, see 'The Fabulous
      Fifteenth - how India transformed IVU in 1957'
      (http://www.ivu.org/congress/2006/fifteenth.html) for the story of an
      extraordinary congress. One of the speakers at the opening ceremony was the
      highly respected Indian politician, Smt. Rukmini Devi Arundale MP, who said:

      "Questions have been asked as to the necessity of having a Congress such as
      this in India where vegetarianism is a well established way of life. It is
      true that some millions of our people do not eat meat. We have a larger
      proportion of vegetarians to the population in this country than anywhere
      else in the world. It is also true that our great Teachers as well as the
      ordinary men have accepted the superiority of vegetarianism to all other
      methods of supporting life. Therefore, we should be in a position to teach
      rather than be taught. Yet, strangely enough, at the present moment, we need
      friends from afar to help us to re-discover our ancient ideals and to put
      them into practice with a greater conviction and knowledge than ever before.
      In the recent past, India has had a system of education alien to this
      country, providing a definite break with our old traditions. As a result of
      this, a large number of people, especially among the young, even in families
      hereditarily vegetarian, do not know why they are vegetarians. Many of them
      consider it to be an outworn habit, born of an old-fashioned superstition.
      This lack of knowledge and proper education, whether in the home or in the
      schools, has led to a new materialistic attitude that is spreading all over
      India. In trying to keep in line with the rest of the world, we have come to
      believe that only by copying the Western outlook and by accepting Western
      scientific concepts can India achieve a place of distinction in a highly
      competitive world. Indians who hold such a belief have yet to discover that
      there are great pioneers in all countries, in all fields of thought,
      including science and medicine, who are presenting a new way based on

      It would be interesting to hear from our friends in India about whether you
      think the situation for vegetarians in India is better or worse than in
      1957, when that was written.

      Either way what should IVU be doing to help? In particular how can we make
      the most effective use of the opportunity presented by the Goa Congress in
      2006? But do remember that IVU has very limited funds so simply handing out
      more money is not realistic (and at the moment we would prefer donations to
      go to Food for Life...) - we need something more creative, and it needs to
      be in tune with local cultures and traditions which means we need ideas from
      Indians and others in the region. If you would like to share your thoughts
      simply reply to this email and we'll include some in the next issue.

      The Goa Congress website can be found at http://www.ivu.org/congress/2006



      Vegetarian Society of Nepal - rabin_dahal@...

      VegVoyages - Adventure...the vegetarian way! - http://www.vegvoyages.com

      Union Vegetariana Uruguaya (UVU) - miguelfacal@...

      Jumchab Metta Foudation, India - http://www.jumchab.org

      Yes Future! - Russia - yesfuture@...



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