06/06/09 VeggieFair in Rijeka

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On the occasion of World Environment Day, a meatless nutrition VeggieFair in Rijeka

- Animal Friends is inviting the public to taste many healthy, "green" foods and food products in the centre of Rijeka

For the first time, the citizens of Rijeka will have the opportunity of visiting a VeggieFair.

On Rijeka's Korzo on Saturday, June 6, starting from 9:00 A.M. Animal Friends organizes the health food VeggieFair. Its aim is to make both residents and tourists acquainted with the offer and the advantages of healthy, meatless foods and food products. Visitors will have the opportunity of tasting various meatless products, such as seitan (wheat meat), tofu (soy cheese), salamis, sausages, burgers, and many other delicious foods.

Apart from food tasting and special offers, the citizens will get various free info-leaflets, books, and promotional materials. Visitors will also have the opportunity of signing the petition for introducing vegetarian meals into public institutions, primarily kindergartens and schools.

Among the main health reasons for switching to meatless nutrition are the prevention of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity. Vegetarians live longer and suffer less from illness, which is attested by the fact that their rate of mortality is 20% lower with respect to those who consume meat.

Numerous investigations have linked high cholesterol levels to an increased risk of heart attack. Today, every second citizen of Croatia dies of cardiovascular diseases, which could be prevented in more than 90% of cases by healthy nutrition. Additional health disturbances are caused by growth hormones, appetite stimulants, antibiotics, and sedatives that are used in meat industry, which remain in the animal’s body and eventually end up on people's plates.

There is an increasing number of people who reject meat for reasons of compassion. According to the latest research, there are more than 150,000 vegetarians in Croatia, and this number is steadily increasing. The basis of ethical vegetarianism is the understanding that all living beings have emotions and that these emotions are very similar to ours, as well as the irrefutable fact that meat is not a necessary part of human nutrition.

Every day, we hear about the danger of ecological crises. It is precisely on the occasion of World Environment Day that everyone should become aware of the direct link between meatless nutrition and the protection of our environment. According to a report from 2006 issued by UN-FAO, meat industry has more impact on global warming than the traffic on the entire planet.

Meat industry is among the crucial factors contributing to the most serious environmental problems of today. Rajendra Pachauri, who chairs the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), stressed out the fact "that among options for mitigating climate change, changing diets is something one should consider."

The biggest source globally of carbon dioxide from meat production is land clearance, particularly of tropical forest, which is set to continue as long as demand for meat rises.

Surveys show people are anxious about their personal carbon footprints and cutting back on car journeys and so on; but they may not realize that changing what's on their plate could have an even bigger effect.

In the leading countries of the West, around 80% of produced grain is used to feed animals. Most of the poorest countries in the Third World produce grains for export to the West, since it needs huge quantities of grain to feed farm animals, instead of feeding the starving people. From this, it is easy to conclude that vegetarian nutrition helps diminish world hunger.

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