Grundtvig: A European work project
It has been two years since the SVV met for the first time with other vegan organizations from France and Denmark. Now the joint project is over - a retrospective of a stimulating project time with exciting and valuable experiences.
In December 2011, two people traveled to Paris for Swissveg. Very close to Montmartre, Société végane had rented a holiday house for us, where we would live and work together with the people of the Dyrenes Alliance from Denmark during our stay togheter with the people of Dyrenes Alliance . Our theme in this EU-funded project is "Reducing climate change, food shortages and social exclusion by adapting to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle". The goal should be to work out two different ways in which we can approach the subject theoretically and practically.
Soup kitchen in Copenhagen
We were able to implement the first practical use of vegan cooking in public during our visit to Copenhagen. There we have distributed warm soup, salads and muffins on the street to socially needy, disadvantaged and homeless people. The day before the action, some of our team set out to raise awareness of our public cooking project in front of supermarkets and ask the customers for a donation in the form of vegetables. Many customers of the supermarkets were very helpful and generously donated vegetables for the planned soup. But also the remaining ingredients like bouillon, noodles, flour, sugar and chocolate were collected this way. One customer was even so enthusiastic about this action that she left us a huge pot to prepare the soup. The action itself also came very well with the homeless. It had been rumored in the run-up that we will distribute food on the public place that day. In addition to a warm meal, they were also happy about the vegan diet. Of course, the homeless are usually just happy about every meal, but we have also experienced that surprisingly many were also open to how they can reduce the suffering of animals by simple vegetable meals.
Meeting in Zurich and a stand action on the Day of Milk in Winterthur
In May 2012 the Grundtvig participants visited us in Zurich. Here we worked mainly on the theoretical part and took up the homepage. At www.dietethics.eu not only the usual Pro-vegan arguments are to be listed; A very special part was concerned with the dietary recommendations from all European countries. By the end of the project, an overview of the official dietary guidelines of nearly 30 countries was drawn up. On the day of the milk, the project team was given an information center in Winterthur's old town, where we were also able to offer milk alternatives for tasting. Working together on a second project in the public was another important experience that strengthened the team spirit among the helpers from France (in a foreign language area) and the Swiss team at Swissveg.
The next meeting should be a while, during which we mainly worked on the website. Another task was to gather food that could be consumed by all ethical and religious groups. So the headline of the page was "Eating with pleasure", which is an indication that everyone can sit together at a table without anyone feeling excluded. Did you know that fungi - for example in a dish- are not suitable for Jaïns (members of an Indian religion)? They regard them as inferior organisms and renounce them for spiritual reasons.
Vegan Culture Festival in Bordeaux
Das nächste Treffen fand erneut in Frankreich statt, diesmal in Bordeaux. Dank grossem Einsatz der Société végane entstand ein bedeutendes veganes Festival, das den Austausch verschiedener Kulturen zum Ziel hatte. Vielfältige Vorträge, Degustations- und Infostände zogen zahlreiche Interessierte aus ganz Frankreich an – und natürlich auch die Grundtvig-Teilnehmer aus Dänemark und der Schweiz.
The next meeting took place again in France, this time in Bordeaux. Thanks to the great commitment of the Société végane, an important vegan festival was created, which aimed at the exchange of different cultures. Versatile lectures, tasting and information sessions attracted a large number of people from all over France - and of course the Grundtvig participants from Denmark and Switzerland.
Veggie Pride in Geneva and lecture for nutritionists and health care workers in Annecy (F)
The best opportunity for the last meeting in Switzerland was clearly the Veggie Pride in May 2013. Here we took the opportunity to exchange ideas with experts on the topic of nutrition and also to give a lecture on the results of our project. Afterwards, the group prepared a vegan menu for all lecturers, exclusively with ingredients that are suitable for all cultures.
Cookevent in a Danish prison
The last meeting of the group took place in Copenhagen again. And it should end with a very special action: together with some inmates we would prepare different vegan dishes - an exciting endeavor. After the eight Grundtvig participants had cooked the various menus in advance, it became serious in the prison kitchen. For about 100 people vegan delicacies were prepared in four groups. Here, too, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to be able to exchange information about herbal diet in a rather unusual socio-cultural situation. A part of the inmates of the open prison was delighted by the variety and interested in the reasons for the vegan diet.
The work on this project has now been completed. Undoubtedly, it was an exciting experience to work on a project characterized by different cultures, languages and backgrounds. The cultural differences have not always made the work easy, but it was still an exciting and unique time in which we could certainly bring people the vegan way of life that would never have heard of it without this project.