The 3rd World Vegan Organisation conference, presented by the WVO Japan, celebrated the biggest vegan festival in Tokyo in 2018. The WVO Conference 2018 took place on Saturday, October 20, 2018, at Asakusa, Tokyo. During the conference, 6 topics regarding veganism were presented: organizational structure, vegan industry, vegan education, product examination, implementing a healthy life style and promotional activities. Over 35 delegates participated from all around the world including Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Nepal, India, Thailand, the United States, China and Taiwan to discover and celebrate vegan life in Japan!
As the host of the 3rd WVO conference, WVO Japan grew in strength and cultural impact in promoting veganism both locally and globally. The opening kicked off dramatically with energetic drumming demonstrating the vitality of Japan quickly in the opening film. With a sudden quietness, Mr. Masahiro Tsukada (塚田真弘),Chair of WVO Japan, wearing a traditional kimono, commanded for his 5 right-hand men to bow to welcome all visitors. Now, the 3rd WVO Conference had officially begun! Starting with Dr. Susianto, President of the WVO, delivered a welcome speech and spoke on the topic of the Benefits of Vegan Diet for Health. He put more emphasis on how a well-planned vegetarian/vegan diets can be beneficial for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including infancy, pregnancy, adolescence and athletic endeavors. Due to higher levels of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals from increased amount of intake of fruit, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, vegetarian/vegan diets not only boost health and nutritional benefits, but also reduce levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and saturated fat (by the American Dietetic Association/ ADA). Vegan diet has the lowest risk of getting coronary heart disease, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity (journal of public health nutrition, 2012). In terms of the nutrition of tempe VS meat, he mentioned that tempe contains almost the same amount of protein as meat, but much fewer calories and less fat. Dr. Susianto forced on how protein in food, calcium in food and Omega-6 and Omega-3 in food can be easily found and are sufficient for people’s nutritional needs. There are just too many benefits to adopting a vegan diet!
Next Dr. Karunas, Co-Founder of the WVO and Chairman of the Taiwan Vegan Academy, addressed the root of thriving development lying in a strong organizational structure. Success has grown into 5 branches: Vegan Education, Vegan Industry, Product Examination, Vegan Lifestyle and Promotional Activities. Setting up a head office in every appointed chair’s country is just the first step. In addition to officials of the WVO Greater China, including China, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, having already started distribution of WVO branches, vice-chairs of Sichuan(四川) and Hainan Island(海南島) branches of WVO Greater China were appointed and were planning to setup head offices. The next step is to establish a vegan academy. We believe vegan education gives knowledge, skills, attitude and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. We all have been given an opportunity to achieve the goals of the WVO, expand knowledge, share resources, to build a network worldwide and accomplish more successful vegan organizational development together.
Remarkably, Zac Lovas, Chair of United States WVO, enthusiastically guided the audience through important USA Vegan & Vegetarian Statistics. There are approximately 5% vegetarians and vegan population risen a full 1% since 2009 (so almost a 70 % increase). The main reasons for being vegetarian: 53% to Improve overall health and 47% for environmental concerns. He spoke on making the public more aware that the majority of corn grown in the USA is for livestock, not human consumption. There are children starving throughout the world and yet resources are provided to feed for livestock. Zac Lovas encouraged all members in the WVO to keep up their passion with join efforts to demonstrate a commitment to a better the planet!
Dr. Seto Mulyadi, a principal of Homeshooling Programs in Indonesia for almost half century and one of the most respectful figures in Indonesia, delivered his speech about an active in vegan campaign. He has been a vegan ambassador in Indonesia for 7 years and has cooperated with Indonesian government, especially the Department of Health and the Department of Education & Culture to promote child protection and rights. Dr. Seto Mulyadi introduced veganism progress in Indonesia as below:
1. Vegan Festival at Grand City Mall, Surabaya in January 2018.
2. Vegan Festival at Central Park Mall, Jakarta in March 2018.
3. The 2nd WVO Conference & International Vegan Festival at Neo Soho Mall, Jakarta in April 2018.
4. Vegan Festival in Samarinda (Borneo) and Palembang (Sumatera), September 2018.
5. Vegan seminar in Riau (Sumatera), October 2018.
6. Vegan Festival at Malioboro Mall, Yogyakarta (Java) and Living World Mall, Tangerang (Java) in November 2018.
With the same goal of empowering kids, his alternative education would be integrated with veganism to the process of education, acquiring the values and knowledge to bring harmony to the society.
Wong Kai Jun, Vice Chair of WVO Singapore, subbed for Jennifer Tan Soklim, Chair of WVO Singapore, and introduced the development of the WVO Singapore. With the great accomplishment of setting up vegan outreach, a cooking academy, promoting veganism in Toastmaster Clubs by William tang Loon hui and 5 Year MOU signing between the Government College University of Faisalabad and WVO, the WVO Singapore also presented Dr. Umair Arshad Bajwa’s appointment as Chairperson Of WVO Pakistan, Dr. Lucy Haurisa as Chairperson of WVO Cambodia and Mr Andres Ou Hung Ting as Chairperson of WVO Argentina. The outstanding accomplishments of WVO Singapore in its first year is extraordinary, and thank you so much for your hard work！
Afterwards, by Lilong Lai, the chairperson of Youta Corporation, the largest vegan food factory in Thailand, Chair of WVO Thailand, interpreted spiritual health and physical health. Physical health is based on maintaining a healthy diet and life-style, but to achieve spiritual health is abstain from eating abused animals’ flesh. Chairman Lai gave many examples to distinguish herbivores and carnivores from intestinal length, stomach acidity to our teeth, which all indicated that humans were highly likely to have originated as herbivores. The consequences of a high meat consumption do not only cause major impact on our spiritual growth, but also damage the environment. Therefore, he strongly encouraged that we should recreate and refine our food culture. Let’s call it “Humane Food,” the most appropriate food for humans, animal-welfare and Mother Earth.
The next speaker, R K Singh, Chair of WVO India, congratulated the big success of the 3rd WVO Conference and announced the 4th WVO Conference next year in India. He is conducting vegan tours basically in India, South East Asia, Nepal and Sri Lanka. He has encouraged restaurants in India to add vegan options on their menus and introducing veganism into schools in India are works in progress. He is looking forward to working with worldwide WVO chairs, directors, members and volunteers, connecting all scattered power integrating a greater network of WVO.
We were next introduced to Mr. Takaaki Ichikawa (依知川高明 ), a Japanese vegetarian chef, who designed the luxurious vegan meals for all delegates on conference day. Mr. Takaaki Ichikawa started learning Japanese food at the age of 18 and is now starting his career as a Japanese vegetarian chef.
Mr. Suresh Sharma, Chair of WVO Nepal, touted the increasing number of vegan population in Nepal. Many animal right movements have been initiated, such as the Animal Sacrifice Campaign, the Anti Animal Sacrifice Rally, the Animal Rights March and the Temple Cleaning Program. Mr. Sharma has proactively organized vegan events: Vegan Trail, Nutrition Counseling and Vegan Home Stay. Spreading healthy messages from village to village, his dedication demonstrated his care for people and love for the earth.
Mr.Masahiro Tsukada (塚田真弘), Chair of WVO Japan, President of the Japan Health &Vegetable Academy Association, gave a brief introduction about his restaurant which has been in existence since 1923. With almost 100 years history, the restaurant has always been surrounded with temple visitors and Buddhist masters with desires for light vegetarian meals. Mr. Masahiro Tsukada wisely added vegetarian dishes on the menu and nowadays has integrated vegan cuisines with various flavors and healthiness. Although there might be different definitions of veganism in the world, everybody transforms by a different path and pace. Whether you are an occasional vegetarian, a vegan beginner or a total vegan, most importantly, you have our full support. Lastly, Dr. Susianto and Dr. Karunas, President and Vice President of the WVO, thanked the organizer for conducting such a successful conference, gathering vegan power alongside.
Regarding health, animal welfare, global warming or even world hunger, what’s driving people to embrace a vegan lifestyle? Everyone in WVO has an urge to know because people’s awareness is powerful. Following the 6 goals of WVO, organizational structure, vegan industry, vegan education, product examination, adopting a healthy life style and promotional activities, we made a commitment to raise awareness in any valuable capacity. This power can ultimately become action, which is embedded in every single choice in life. The more you align your compassion with your conscious choices, the better self-image and the environment will be! The World Vegan Organization strives to empower individuals to take personal responsibility for their actions to protect our Mother Earth together!