Vegans of Color

Because we don’t have the luxury of being single-issue

Asia for Animals Conference in Bali July 31, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — johanna @ 2:16 pm
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The fifth Asia for Animals conference will be held in Bali, Indonesia August 27-29th. It is billed as an “animal welfare” conference, so I’m guessing there will be talk of “happy meat” & the like (the menu will be “vegetarian — mainly vegan with the exception of certified free-range eggs in some dishes”). I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, given that Humane Society International is one of the sponsors, although perhaps they are more radical than the Humane Society in the US (hey, one can dream…).

I’m really interested in hearing more about who the primary attendees of this conference will be: Local Asian AR activists? Foreigners who don’t live in Asia? Expatriates from Western countries like the US who now live in Asia? And who will be on the panels?

I noticed in the conference description that the location is described as “until recently an idyllic fishing village on the eastern coastline of Bali.” There are many things that could explain the “until recently”; excuse my cynicism in wondering how much tourism has to do with it. It seems like the phrasing is geared towards appealing to tourists, as is the longer description of the area. The FAQs seem similarly aimed, with questions like: are there doctors or pharmacies near the conference? (In case you get sick from the weird Asian food, right? Or in case you’re worrying about your health just going to one of those funny countries?)

I was excited to hear about an Asian animal issues conference. I’m disappointed that the publicity for the conference seems aimed at foreign tourists, & that it fails to problematize the issue of tourism, though. If any VoC readers attend, please do let us know how it goes.


4 Responses to “Asia for Animals Conference in Bali”

  1. moonbug Says:

    Hi, I bounced here from the veganabouttown blog.

    I just attended the International Vegetarian Union congress in Dresden last week and have attended other animal/environmental/vegetarian meetings in the past.

    My experience of these types of congresses are that whilst a large number of overseas people attend and often there are touristy things that cater for them (eg a vegetarian trip to see the sights) the vast, vast majority of people who go are locals. And whilst there is often translation into English, there is also translation into the local language and alot of the speakers present in whatever the local language is. At the 2004 Brazil congress there were talks in Portugese, English and Spanish due to the large number of people coming from other South American countries.

    Next year the Asian Vegetarian Congress will be in Indonesia and the year after (2010) the International Congress will be held there as well. The International Vegan Festival is being held in Brazil next year. After speaking to the organisers of these events they do expect alot of people from the region to turn up (the Indonesian Vegetarian Society does have 60,000 members!). They will still cater for people who may come from different areas and may not know the region (so things like bus and train information, local places to eat, touristy things, medical stuff etc is available).

  2. johanna Says:

    Thanks for your comment, moonbug. My issue isn’t w/acknowledging that people not from the area may attend — that is, I don’t object to posting bus or train information. It’s the tone used to write about the attractiveness of the area — how they try to make it appealing as a tourist destination. There are a lot of privilege issues at work in their phrasings, I feel, like they’re appealing to (say) US vegans who think, “Oooooh, exotic!”

  3. Hi ,pls reply.
    sanjib kumar das

  4. jowly yao Says:

    After successfully hosting the 4th Asian Vegetarian Congress on Batam Island last November, Indonesia Vegetarian Society is back again with its nationwide spirit to hold the 39th World Vegetarian Congress in Jakarta from 1 to 7 October 2010.

    And yet to come is another piece of good news. Indonesia is going to establish the so-called Vegan Society of Indonesia (VSI) very soon this year.

    There are more and more people committed to organising vegetarian movements for the sake of countless lives and Mother Earth. But what counts the most is the pure, honest universal brotherhood that binds all creations together – equally and indiscriminately. If not, in a human case, we will be good-natured only in the fact that we don’t kill for food.

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