International Vegan Society
Work continues to network and create an International Vegan Movement through efforts such as the Vegans World Network, the World Vegan Day, World Vegan Directory. and the International Vegan Festivals organised by the ‘Serena Coles International Vegan Festivals Committee’ (see below).
‘Vegan World Network’© is a non-profit group formed in 1997, to provide a global vegan network for Vegan Groups, Country Coordinators, Country Contacts, Individual Members and Vegan Businesses.
Vegan World Network is continuing the global role initiated by the former ‘Vegans International’©, created by Vegan groups in 1992.
Vegan Activities and Resources
A major purpose is to provide a focus for global vegan activities and resources. Vegan World Network promotes Country Vegan Festivals, International Vegan Festivals, major vegan events and regular activities.
The aim of these are to assist in the unity and viability of Vegan groups and to quicken the creation of a gentle and compassionate planet. Participating Vegan groups are encouraged to be involved in these events.
Current, rather than be an “International or World Vegan Society”, the Network consists of independent Vegan groups in many countries creating a “flat” structure which allows for the strength and talents of Vegan leaders, and a diversity of activity, relevant to each county or region.
The nature and structure of Vegan Societies is to serve their local members who have a direct say in the management of the society and its local activities. To be effective, their sphere of influence is essentially local. Participating countries are listed in the World Vegan Directory.
Vegan World Network is a non-profit, non-political, non-religious network and is not funded by any government or political group. Funding through sponsorship and advertising on this site is accepted only from businesses or groups whose philosophy and objectives are consistent with the Vegan Philosophy.
Why Vegan and not Vegan and Vegetarian
Leaders of Vegan groups make all kinds of vegetarians and omnivores feel welcome to learn more about the Vegan lifestyle. Such individuals do attend Vegan group meetings, providing the leaders and members of the group make them welcome.
It is not possible to be “Vegan” and “Vegetarian” at the same time. The best way to help Vegetarians to become Vegan is to promote “Vegan”, not by trying to proclaim that we are both “Vegetarian” and “Vegan”.
Vegan groups and businesses are encouraged to avoid the use of the word “vegetarian” in their names and websites. It helps vegetarians and omnivores to become Vegan the most by clearly stating and promoting that we are “Vegan”.
Experience shows that many vegetarians aspire to become Vegans and seek out vegan groups, vegan restaurants, vegan foods and goods.
While the Network’s objective is to promote Vegan, it may publish vegetarian links, surveys or publications, where they are part of a vegan article or a necessary description of a Vegan business or event.
|Think Globally, Act Locally
The philosophy of, “Think Globally, Act Locally”, if done on a global scale, appears to be the most effective way to create global change. Evidence of this is the increasing number of local vegan societies and groups with a focus on serving their local city, town or community and addressing local issues.
A good example of this is England. In 1944, the first Vegan Society was formed. Now there are at least ten Vegan societies and groups in England acting independently to serve their local communities. Vegan Meetup groups are another example of locally focused groups.
An ideal way to advance the prospect of a Vegan world is to support Vegan enterprises financially therefore individuals are encouraged to support Vegan businesses, whenever possible. Vegan World Network promotes vegan societies, groups, restaurants and events whose philosophy and objectives are consistent with the Vegan philosophy.
13th International Vegan Festival
The next and 13th International Vegan Festival will be held between June 4 – 12 2011 in Málaga, Spain.
International Vegan Festivals first started in 1981, when an event was organised in Denmark by Kirsten Jungsberg. Kirsten is the only individual who has attended all of the first ten events. She has been involved in the organisation of every one.
Kirsten Jungsberg is Chair of the Serena Coles International Vegan Festivals Committee (S.C.I.C.). Committee Members include eminent Vegan Leaders, representing the world vegan movement, who are familiar with the functions and organisation of International Vegan Festivals. The SCIC’s major tasks are to assess Proposals to host International Vegan Festivals and decide on the successful applicants.
Previous events have taken place in: Denmark (1981 – 1985), Bringhausen, Germany (1987), Nordhem, Sweden (1989), Hengelo, Holland (1990), Bedfordshire, UK (1995), Costa Brava, Spain (1993), California, USA (1995), (1999) Hepburn Springs Australia, Skagen Denmark (2006), Karnataka, India (2007), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2009). They have attracted up to 400 people.
Apartado Postal 478,
29740 Torre del Mar
Payments for the 13th International Vegan Festival may be sent to the Spanish Vegan Society´s account in IberCaja, indicating the IBAN number and BIC identification for international money transfers:
Serena Norah Coles
Serena Norah Coles was actively involved in The Vegan Society from 1953, when she established the ‘Vegan Baby Bureau’, through to her resignation as President in 1987. She died in 2005, aged 95, having been vegan for 60 years.
Across the years she served as Distribution Secretary for The Vegan (magazine), as Honorary Treasurer, on the Editorial Board, and as Deputy President and President. She was made an Honorary Patron in 1993.
Serena’s service to the Society was not only in committee meetings, she would travel anywhere to speak about the Vegan lifestyle and many people came to know Serena from her heartfelt and authoritative speeches given at meetings, festivals and congresses across the world. She is probably best known from the BBC TV programme ‘Open Door’ from 1976, one of the first TV features on Veganism, which was broadcast to one of the biggest ever audience.
Few have done so much for the Vegan movement worldwide. It is also certain that it is due, in no small part, to the trails blazed by vegan pioneers such as Serena that the modern-day Vegan movement exists.