38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress - Delegates' Stopover In Berlin

Published: 28.07.2008
Updated: 30.07.2015

38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress - 100 Years of Food Revolution

A joint event of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU), and the Vegetarier-Bund Deutschlands e.V. (VEBU)


How people living thousands of kilometres or miles away from each other can be considered as friends by only meeting once (but hopefully will more often in the future)? There is a very simple, typically 21st-century answer to this question. In times of globalisation, it is possible. It does not happen every day, but it can happen in everyone’s life. Because of common interests & sharing same beliefs & values of life, never minding the cultural background one has been brought up or actually is living.

Our friend Dr. Atul Shah, London, is a long time friend of Saurabh Dalal, president of Vegetarian Union North America (VUNA) & deputy chair of International Vegetarian Union (IVA) & animal rights activist in Washington DC. When Atul heard that his friend would participate in International Vegetarian Union’s World congress 2008 in Dresden and plans to first visit Berlin, he introduced us to each other last week via email. When Saurabh Dalal arrived in Berlin he gave a phone call to us & we met in the lobby of his hotel. His friend Kay Sheenan a psychologist from Denver, Colorado, one out of ten counsellors of Vegetarian Union of North America, also was eager to visit Berlin. During her study period some years ago she had spent 6 months in Germany, but then had not come to Berlin. So the four of us spent Kay’s and Saurabh’s first eve in Berlin together. Kay had arrived many hours later as intended because of bad flight weather at her departure in the United States. But she was very far from looking tired after these 10 hours of delay! This is due to her vegan lifestyle I think. I always am surprised how energetic & ageless vegan living people are looking - Saurabh does so as well - who are following vegan lifestyle, which last not least was indicated by the shiny red t-shirt he wore this evening.


Saurabh Dalal & Kay Sheenan in Berlin

We went to a veg restaurant where all dishes also were available vegan and exchanged views in enjoyable discussions on subjects of mutual interest. Saurabh works for a telecommunication company, as he is an engineer & also a physicist. His many other activities are dedicated to promote vegan lifestyle & to his work as an animal rights activist. Both subjects mutually are interrelated & also interrelated with spirituality. According to him, showing compassion & respect for animals is realisation of spiritual consciousness in daily life as well as belonging into the realm of responsibility we have towards all facets of life as human beings.

Saurabh moreover is convinced that following the teachings of Lord Mahavira nowadays includes a vegan lifestyle, which is a very conscious step out of the food & use chain towards recognition of every living being’s right to live and not to die, as propounded by Lord Mahavira. Many of his lectures are aiming to bring this near to the members of the Jain community in North America. Saurabh is a lifelong vegetarian and follows vegan lifestyle since more than 10 years. Kay also has become totally vegan in the last years, being veg since more than 20 years.

After the congress, Saurabh and Kay together with 2 more VUNA counsellors also attending the IVU world congress will go to Prague for a short visit.

Yesterday, Sunday 27th July they went from Berlin to Dresden by train, enjoying funny German train rates that allow to traveller groups of 5 people to go nearly for the price of one. For our American friends this is balancing the actual high exchange rate from $ to €…

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Atul Shah
  2. Berlin
  3. Consciousness
  4. Globalisation
  5. IVU
  6. International Vegetarian Union
  7. London
  8. Mahavira
  9. Prague
  10. Saurabh Dalal
  11. Vegan
  12. Washington
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