Events in Chennai

42nd World Veg Fest @ Chennai: Highlights

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Union Minister for Environment, Forests, and Climate Change Mr. Prakash Javadekar addressing the crowd. 

I went to the 42nd World Veg Fest held at Anna University, Chennai, India, on 29th & 30th Nov. 2014. This is an annual event organized by IVU (International Veg Union) to promote Vegetarian/Vegan diet across the world. There were seminars and talks by veg. experts, and there was an expo. In this post, I present to you some interesting highlights from this event:

  • Theme: Freedom from diseases through non-violent food.
  • In a survey, poor people who eat millets like ragi were found to be healthier than the rich, mainly because they weren’t able to afford junk food – Prakash Javedkar.
  • Sankar Ram Singh had spent 8 years on wheel chair during his initial years. He didn’t lose hope, and today he is a world cup wrestler.
  • Padma Subramaniam, a classical dancer, has been dancing for 62 years. Even this December she will be performing six shows with non stop dancing for 2.5 hours.
  • Non Veg food and alcohol affect kidneys, I try to stay away from it nowadays – Actor Mansoor Ali Khan.
  • Vegan is a lifestyle where people, in addition to being vegetarian, avoid diary-based products like milk, butter, cheese, ghee, etc.
  • Best options for traveling around the world for vegans: Thailand, Vietnam, SE Asia, Israel, Bratislava (Slovak Republic), Glasgow (UK), State capitals of Australia, California (US), Singapore, Brazil, etc. Happy Cow site and app will help you find vegan restaurants around the world – Prof. Innes Park, Sadhana Forests.
  • Except in India, no other country in Asia uses milk in their diet (predominantly). Casein in milk is toxic, addictive, and is a carcinogen. Growth hormones maybe injected into cows for higher yield. Alternative to diary milk: Soy milk, millet milk, nut milk, etc. – Dr. R. Saravanan.
  • Cocount water, ginger, agave, lemon juice + sea salt, quinoa, dates = good foods to take before long exercises – Dr. Paula, Gaudin.
  • Meat industry pollutes more than all cars, SUV, trucks, planes, and ships put together as they clear forests by burning trees to rear cattle. To make 1 Kg of meat, more than 10,000 liters of water is required in various stages (feeding, cleaning, etc.) – Sri Hari.
  • Before we invented fire, we ate only raw food. Our body is optimized for eating raw food. Raw foods are already cooked by the sun, by cooking them again we are uncooking and depleting them of nutrients. Cooking at high temperatures kills essential enzymes. So, become a raw vegan! – Dr. Aris LaTham.
  • More than 12% of the Amazon forest has been destroyed in the last 50 years (mainly) for livestock rearing – Marly Winckler.
  • Over 20,000 drugs – steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, etc. are given to livestock animals, which in turn reach humans who consume them. 50% of antibiotics produced in US are used on animals. – S. Srinivasan.
  • Millets are gluten-free & healthy; Thinai, Ragi & Kambu are easy to digest; get more sunlight; use Indian toilet, avoid refined sunflower oil; eat ellu urundai, kadalai mittai, horsegram (kollu); nellikkai is an excellent anti-oxidant; better to use clay pots for cooking; Milk, oats & wheat contain gluten (hence limit consumption) – Dr. Shiny Chandran.

Destination Infinity

PS1: I aspire to become a vegan. But in India it’s difficult to avoid milk, so I am going to drink mixed millet kanji instead of milk in the evenings.

PS2: After the first day’s event, I met Sandhya Kumar who blogs at Maradhi Manni. I have been following her blog for more than seven years, but met her only now! The Tropicana juice I had there was very good – what flavor is it, Maami? 🙂

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23 Comments

    • Sandhya Kumar

      Guava flavour!

      I didn’t know that oats had gluten!
      We have started using millets often at home. But wheat is difficult to stop. We can’t staop from taking curd rice also. We have limited it to just afternoon lunch.

      A long list about famous Vegetarians and people who changed to vegetarianism must be in the net too.

      You are an interesting person, Rajesh. We will meet often, whenever possible in the future.

      We will meet SG, soon!

    • Rajesh K

      @SG: Yes, meeting blog friends after a long time, I am glad too 🙂

      @Sandhya: I will buy that guava flavor soon 🙂 Yes sure, looking forward to meeting blog friends frequently.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      This is a short summary of what happened over two days. But I tried to cover a few points that made an impression on me alright!

      Destination Infinity

  • Manogna

    Informative post. I am a vegetarian but vegan diet seems difficult to implement. Curd , milk are an important part of the Indian foods.
    I also love butter and shunning it seems bad.
    🙁
    I will have to try.
    😛

    • Rajesh K

      You left out cheese and ice cream! Except buttermilk/curd (which cools the body), I think I can drop others. But I will do it slowly, so that there is no adverse impact.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      I think earlier we had jobs and chores that were physically demanding. Hence, non vegetarian food may have been prescribed. But now, with sedentary jobs and comfortable lifestyles, non vegetarian foods may not be necessary.

      But that said, habits are hard to break, and the decision to convert or not is best left to individuals. If people find veg. food better and healthier, they could follow.

      Destination Infinity

  • Ordinary Indian woman

    Informative post, Rajesh. I have used the happycow site often. In the US, I have learnt over the years that in Thai restaurants, oyster sauce is added even in veg dishes. In Mexican restaurants, lard is used predominantly. But if we request them to omit the lard, they do comply. I am not sure if I can turn vegan. Never thought about it.

    • Rajesh K

      Turning vegan is difficult, especially when milk is a predominant part of our diet. But it’s possible to reduce the amount of milk/milk products we consume. In my case, one glass of milk and one glass of curd is all I need. Everything else, like butter, cheese, ice cream, etc. are unnecessary and might even be bad for health. Once we are aware, it’s possible to limit the consumption of such products to a minimum.

      Destination Infinity

  • Jeevan

    You listed some interesting facts! I know it’s possible to live without eating non-veg, and I have an example at my home, my brother has stopped eating non-veg very long back. But for me it’s quite hard to follow him or even dream and I think there isn’t a need for me to stop as I am always limited with intake of non-veg and strongly believe there’s limit for everything and going being means face the problem.

    • Rajesh K

      It’s good to know your brother stopped eating non-veg. I saw he is quite strong with veg. food, so good 🙂

      I think that’s fine – as long as we eat anything in limited quantity, it should not affect us.

      Destination Infinity

  • P.Suresh Naidu

    I have been a naturopathy follower for 25 years consuming milk products.Now I have turned vegan after I have attended IVUVEGFEST Chennai.