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The 42nd IVU World Vegfest earlier scheduled to hold in Africa will now take place in Dubai & India.This became necessary because of the outbreak of the Ebola disease in W/Africa. Click here to have more information and register.


We will provide details on the 43rd IVU World Vegfest  - which will still take place in Africa but now in 2015.  We want to take this opportunity to thank the organisers in Ghana & Togo for all their efforts to ensure that Africa will still host their 1st ever IVU World Vegfest next year.

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Eggs and Dairy

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- for more items see the menu on the right

    What's wrong with free range eggs?
    and normal (battery) eggs?
    What's wrong with dairy products?
    But don't I need eggs and dairy products?
    What can be substituted for eggs?
    Are soy/soya cheeses vegan?
    Are any non-dairy cheeses/ice cream available?
    Are there any types of eggs that can be purchased which do not come from situations such as battery eggs?
    What is rennet? (in cheese)
    Is the animal killed in order to produce the enzyme rennet?
    Is there is an alternative to animal milk other than soy milk or rice milk?
    Is there a council or advisory board to have a food product certified as vegan for retail sales?

What's wrong with free range eggs?
In order to get laying hens you have to have fertile eggs and half the eggs will hatch into *male* chicks. These are killed at once or raised as table birds (usually these days in broiler houses) and slaughtered as soon as they reach an economic weight. So for every free-range hen happily scratching around the garden or farm who, if she were able to bargain, might pay rent with her daily infertile egg, a corresponding male from her batch is enduring life in a broiler house or has already been subjected to slaughter or thrown away to die. Every year in Britain alone more than 35 million day-old male chicks are killed. They are mainly used for fertiliser or dumped in landfill sites. The hens are also culled as soon as their production drops. Also be aware that many sites classed as free range aren't really free range, they're just massive barns with access to the outside. Since the food and light are inside the chickens rarely venture outside.

and normal (battery) eggs?
The battery hen, from which the vast majority of all eggs are produced and almost all products containing eggs (especially cakes) suffers an even worse fate. The battery hen is an anxious, frustrated, fear-ridden bird forced to spend 10 to 12 months squeezed inside a small wire cage with up to nine other tormented hens. There are usually many tiers of these cages in gloomy sheds which hold a total of 50,000 to 125,000 birds. Caged for life without exercise while constantly drained of calcium to form egg shells, battery hens develop the severe osteoporosis of intensive confinement know as caged layer fatigue. Calcium depleted, millions of hens become paralyzed and die of hunger and thirst inches from their food and water. Battery hens are debeaked with a hot machine blade once and often twice during their lives, typically at one day old and again at seven weeks old, because a young beak will often grow back. Debeaking causes severe, chronic pain and suffering which researchers compare to human phantom limb and stump pain. Between the horn and bone of the beak is a thick layer of highly sensitive tissue. The hot blade cuts through this sensitive tissue impairing the hen's ability to eat, drink, wipe her beak, and preen normally. Debeaking is done to offset the effects of the compulsive pecking that can afflict birds designed by nature to roam, scratch, and peck at the ground all day, not sit in prison; and to save feed costs and promote conversion of less food into more eggs. Debeaked birds have impaired grasping ability and are in pain and distress, therefore eating less, flinging their food less, and "wasting" less energy than intact birds.

What's wrong with dairy products?
Dairy cows are made pregnant yearly to ensure they produce adequate milk. In nature the calf would suckle for almost a year but nature, like the calf, is denied by the dairy industry. Some calves may be separated from their dams on the first day of life; others might remain for just a few days. But as the inevitable by-products of relentless milk production each will have to endure one of several possible fates. The least healthy bobby calves will be sent to market to be slaughtered for pet food; to provide veal for veal & ham pies; or for rennet to be extracted from their stomachs for cheesemaking. Some females will be reared on milk substitutes to become dairy herd replacements and begin, at 18-24 months of age, the cycle of continual pregnancies. Some will be sold at market at 1-2 weeks of age for rearing as beef in fattening pens and slaughtered after 11 months, often without sight of pasture.

Up to 80% of the beef produced in the UK is a by-product of the dairy industry. Over 170,000 calves die in the UK each year before they are three months old, due largely to neglectful husbandry and appalling treatment at markets. A few will be selected for rearing as bulls, spending their lives in solitary confinement serving canvas 'cows' and rubber tubes. Artificial insemination is now responsible for 65-75% of all conceptions in the dairy herd. In the US the vast majority of unwanted calves are reared for veal, all but around 12% of them spending their short miserable lives in narrow crates (5'x2') on wooden slats and without straw. Whilst none suffer such a fate in Britain they are now exported for the purpose. In solitary confinement, unable to turn around or groom themselves they must drink the only diet they are allowed - a milk substitute gruel. Deliberately kept short of the iron and fibre which would redden their fashionably white flesh, they will suffer from sub-clinical anaemia and gnaw at the crates and their own hair for the roughage they crave. Fed large doses of hormones and antibiotics to promote growth and prevent the onset of infections caused by the stress of confinement and malnutrition, they will suffer scours, pneumonia, diarrhoea, vitamin deficiency, ringworm, ulcers or septicaemia. After 14 weeks, barely able to walk, they are taken over long distances to slaughter.

In 1905 the Lord Mayor's Cup at the London Dairy Show was won by a 24 year old cow. Today it is impossible to find a dairy cow of that age. The cow is usually sent for slaughter at five to six years, less than one quarter of their expected lifespan. Ketosis, laminitis, rumen acidosis, bse, mastitis, milk fever, staggers, liverfluke, lungworm and pneumonia are just some of the diseases facing the short life of the dairy cow.

But don't I need eggs and dairy products?
Just as the meat manufacturers would have you believe that you need to eat meat, the egg and dairy producers are now spending vast amounts of money promoting the healthy aspects of eggs and dairy products. Eggs and dairy products contain large amounts of cholesterol and saturated fats, which is considered a major cause of heart disease. In a 1985 study published by the J. Am. Med. Ass. dairy products were the major source of saturated fat and cholesterol for 75 adult vegetarians living in the USA, whose blood levels of cholesterol were higher than those of vegans who ate no dairy produce. Dairy products contain lactose, a milk sugar which the majority of the world's population is actually unable to digest and is often found to be the cause of digestive problems. Casein, the milk protein, has been shown to cause iron deficiency anaemia from internal bleeding in many infants and is suspected of causing juvenile diabetes. Milk products can also be a cause of eczema, rash, mucous buildup, wheezing, asthma, rhinitis, bleeding, pneumonia and anaphylaxis in children and adults.

What can be substituted for eggs?
A company called Ener-G makes a powdered egg-substitute that they claim is a suitable replacement for eggs in cooking. It costs about $5.00 (U.S.) for the equivalent of 9 or 10 dozen eggs, and it contains no animal products. It is make from potato starch, tapioca flour, leavening agents (calcium lactate (vegan), calcium carbonate, and citric acid) and a gum derived from cottonseed. It's primarily intended to replace the leavening/binding characteristics of eggs in baking, but it can be used for nonbaked foods and quiches.

Alternative replacements (quantity per egg substituted for) 2 oz of soft tofu can be blended with some water and substituted for an egg to add consistency. Or try the same quantity of: mashed beans, mashed potatoes, or nut butters.

1/2 mashed banana
1/4 cup applesauce or pureed fruit
One Tbsp flax seeds (found in natural food stores) with 3 Tbsp water can be blended for 2 to 3 minutes, or boiled for 10 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved to substitute for one egg.
1 tsp. soy flour plus 1 Tbsp. water to substitute for one egg.

Are soy/soya cheeses vegan?
Some soy (US spelling)/soya (British spelling) hard cheeses contain casein which is a milk-product. Just because something is "lactose free" doesn't mean it's dairy free. The only true VEGAN hard cheeses in the U.S. are SOYMAGE and VEGAN RELLA. In the U.K. there are vegan hard cheeses called SCHEESE and TOFUCHEESE. There is also a vegan pre-grated parmesan style cheese called PARMAZANO in the U.K.

"King Land" soya cheese is made in Australia, and is available in four flavours. Address; King International Pty Ltd, 606 Boundary Rd, Archerfield QLD 4108. Ph. (07) 3277 7899

Are any non-dairy cheeses/ice cream available?
from a reader in the UK Re non-dairy cheeses in the UK -- an amazing vegan cheese is Cheezly, made by Redwood Foods; it's virtually identical to cheddar cheese! This company also makes sandwich slices (chicken, ham, roast beef etc) and the most incredible 'roasts' - turkey and beef. In the UK also non-dairy ice cream: Swedish Glace is great, available at the Holland & Barrett chain of health food stores.

from a reader in the USA: In the U.S. (TX) there are several varieties of non-dairy ice creams, some people swear by Rice Dream (tastes kind of thin and odd to me.) My personal favorite is Tofutti. Comes in rich flavors, and Tofutti Cuties.(mini tofutti sandwiches like ice cream sandwiches)

from a reader in Canada: In terms of cheese, soy cheese tends to be a rough gamble. I've found that many taste absolutely horrible and you're better off with no cheese at all! Do keep trying, though, and let me know if you find anything good! Ice creams are easier. Many soy alternatives are available. I've found that although they taste OK, they are rather icy and do not have much of a consistency whatsoever. Soy Delicious makes a good chocolate soy dessert (I believe it's called Chocolate Velvet) I assume these will be found in the United States as well as Canada. Good luck!

Are there any types of eggs that can be purchased which do not come from situations such as battery eggs?
Yes, free range eggs, but see above.

What is rennet? (in cheese)
Rennet is derived from the stomach linings of calves. Rennet is traditionally used to make cheese.

Is the animal killed in order to produce the enzyme rennet?
from a member of ivu-sci: Rennet is obtained from a calf's stomach [in the slaughterhouse] but its essential constituent is rennin which is responsible for the clotting of milk. Rennin is an enzyme of the gastric juice (along with pepsin) which acts as an acid medium and brings about the coagulation or clotting of milk.

Is there is an alternative to animal milk other than soy milk or rice milk?
Yes there are many grain and nut milks available.

Is there a council or advisory board to have a food product certified as vegan for retail sales?

from a reader in the UK: In the UK, The Vegan Society award their sunflower symbol to selected manufacturers of foods and other items which are suitable for vegans.