Saturday, January 7, 2012


UK (messengernewspapers) - A Victorian mansion just off leafy Dunham Road in Altrincham is home to an organisation whose appeal is so far and wide, it gets more hits on its website from overseas than it does at home (England). It is the Vegetarian Society - a 165-year-old charity which has always had its roots in Manchester since forming in 1847, but has been in its current home for the past 43 years.  The society’s patrons include the doyen of vegetarian cookery Rose Elliot and Paul, Stella and Mary McCartney.  It employs 30 staff - none of whom eat meat - and has an annual turnover of 1.3 million pounds sterling (US$ 2 million).  “There are vegetarian societies all over the continent, but we’re the oldest and the biggest,” said CEO Dr Jon Green. 

“We’re an educational charity and make information available so people constantly contact us asking for advice. We don’t preach to people, that would be counter-productive. I personally believe the world would be a better place if we didn’t eat meat - but our role is to show what it means to be vegetarian, how to eat vegetarian food and how great it is to eat as a vegetarian.”  As well as receiving funding from all the usual sources such as membership and legacies, it also receives a fee for underwriting vegetarian cuisine in supermarkets - you will find the logo on 8,000 products.  Today there are two million vegetarians in the UK, with the society having 12,000 members.  75 % of those members are women and most - according to a recent survey - cite animal welfare as the main reason for abstaining from eating meat.

“Vegetarianism was a bit different back in the 1800s as people’s religious views played a part as well as concern for animal welfare, health and the environment. However, the basic principles are the same today - eating as a vegetarian is good for us and the environment and causes minimal damage to the animals we share the planet with,” said CEO Dr Jon Green from The Vegetarian Society, in Altrincham England.

Until around the mid-twentieth century, most of us were taught that meat contains essential amino acids that could not be obtained in vegetarian foods. It was thus implied that a vegetarian diet was inferior and incomplete. But now the tables have turned - without any controversy, medical opinion now favors a vegetarian diet. Meat is often considered a relatively toxic substance for human consumption. Health authorities worldwide agree that heart attacks, cancers, and many other diseases are more prevalent in the meat-eating population than in the vegetarian population. ...  Vegetarian food is considered a complete diet, especially if there are sufficient dairy products and nutrient foods like soya in the diet.

Dr. Hiro Badlani:
“Hinduism - Path of the Ancient Wisdom”
Chapter 48: “Vegetarianism”
“The Compassionate Way of Living”

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