By Taipei News Group, Formosa (Originally in Chinese)
Since Formosa’s vegans have spared no effort in promoting the vegan diet to halt the devastating effects of climate change, the growth of Formosa’s vegan population has mushroomed over the past years. Various ways encouraging the vegan lifestyle have blossomed, including vegan supermarkets, international vegan cuisine cooking competitions, online adopt veganism petitions and vegan pledge campaigns, etc., to combine veganism with green-living, hoping to build an Earth-friendly and all-vegan Formosa.
In 2013, the first “iVegan” supermarket in Taipei, Formosa officially opened. Not only do they sell fruits and vegetables, but they provide frozen foods, snacks, fresh-baked goods, and cat and dog food free from animal ingredients. Customers can buy almost 2,500 kinds of foods and 400 types of supplies without hesitation, and be assured that the items are vegan. The growth of vegan supermarkets has continued. In 2015 and 2016, two other branch stores opened in New Taipei City to expand the services for the vegan population. We hope that this growing trend prevails over the whole island so everyone can enjoy healthy, sustainable lifestyles on our precious planet Earth.
Ms. Chen Rui-Zhen, who established the “Bodhi Golden Kitchen Award” in 2007, supports the ideal of protecting life and saving the planet. She holds the Chinese vegan cooking competition annually, hoping that the vegan diet will become a new food trend. In 2011, rules were modified to open the competition to international culinary talents and their exotic vegan cuisine, which made it the only grand vegan cooking competition in the world. The 10th “International Bodhi Golden Kitchen Award” was held from November 4 to 6, 2016 in Taipei. Professional chefs from around the world and hundreds of groups of Formosan college and high school students all displayed brilliant creativity, and at the same time promoted the concept of caring for the Earth in their creations. It was wonderful to see the young generation of students advocating and supporting a world vegan trend.
Vegan diet and Earth-friendly living themes appeared in different outdoor activities in Formosa. On May 7, 2016, the Keelung Vegetarian Promotion Association and Mr. Hau Lung-Bin, the former Director of Environmental Protection and former Mayor of Taipei, jointly organized a fair to entertain senior citizens and provide them with services such as massages and haircuts in front of the Keelung Cultural Center. All the guests were served vegetarian food and encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables to promote good health. Our Keelung Association members also attended the fair, and served vegan cuisine including authentic Aulacese spring rolls, traditional cold noodles, handmade whole wheat bread, and agar jelly. We also displayed Supreme Master Ching Hai’s publications.
Adopt veganism petitions and vegan pledge campaigns have increased all over Formosa, proving that not only individuals and civil society, but also experts in various fields and government officials regard the vegan diet and Earth-friendly life as an important world trend.
On January 11, 2016, Formosa’s Tzu Chi Foundation held an event “Campaign 111: World Vegan Day,” calling on people to sign a petition online to pledge to change to a plant-based diet. During the event, meteorologist Mr. Peng Qi-Ming said, “Global warming is imminent, and I appeal to everyone to join the action of being vegetarian to save the planet.” The vice president of Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital, Mr. Lin Ming-Nan, added, “UN experts suggest that the vegan diet is an effective way to control the greenhouse gas effect. Also, from a nutritional point of view, animal products containing bad cholesterol can harm the body.” He then encouraged people to gradually change their dietary habits.
Another pledge campaign called “Vegan Fever – Taipei International Vegetarian Festival – The Night of Igniting” was co-hosted by the Asian Pacific Vegetarian Union (APVU) and the Republic of China Loving Care Association on May 7, 2016. Government groups, society leaders and 2,200 other people joined the festivities. Former President of Formosa, His Excellency Ma Ying-Jeou sent a letter of congratulations while former Vice President of Formosa, His Excellency Wu Den-Yih and Vice Mayor of New Taipei City, His Excellency Hou You-Yi came to give a speech to support the campaign.
Taipei City has many important tourist attractions for backpackers and travelers. Furthermore, CNN praised Formosa (Taiwan) in its report “10 things Taiwan does better than anywhere else:” “One of the world’s most vegetarian-friendly destinations, Taiwan offers 6,000 or so restaurants serving an impressive variety of delicious vegetarian fare…..” Therefore, “Vegan Fever” campaign participants vowed to hold Taipei International Vegetarian Carnival annually hereafter, building Taipei as “the world’s champion vegetarian-friendly city.”
During the “Vegan Fever” campaign, an eye-catching group of young people from different universities designed vegan diet-promoting T-shirts bearing the words in English and Chinese: “Vegan – Peace on Earth, Love Animals” and “Veganism.” These young people said that love and compassion were their main motivations for becoming vegan, and called on everyone to adopt the plant-based lifestyle.
In addition to vegan campaigns, the government’s positive concern for Mother Earth and sustainable development has increased. On May 20, 2016, President of Formosa, Her Excellency Ms. Tsai Ing-Wen, stated in her inaugural address that she would not ignore the issues of global warming prevention and climate change because “we have only one Earth, and we have only one Taiwan.” She emphasized Formosa moving toward an era of a circular economy in which waste is turned into renewable resources.
Bravo, Formosan government, businesses, organizations and citizens for your shining examples of compassionate living to protect lives on our precious planet! All the best for your continued success in encouraging the green and harmonious vegan diet to safeguard the planet and save beings as well as in building an Earth-friendly and all-vegan Formosa.
Veg Fair for Senior Citizens in Keelung – May 7, 2016
“Vegan Fever – Taipei International Vegetarian Festival – The Night of Igniting” – May 7, 2016