In a dispute about the status of eggs, the Indian Vegetarian Congress has split from the International Vegetarian Union. As part of the breakaway, the Indians have created a World Veg Council.
As reported by Chennai Online, the new organisation representing global vegetarianism was launched by the Governor of Tamil Nadu, Dr K Rosaiah, in Chennai, claiming the transformation was necessary due to the need to propagate the health and environmental benefits of vegetarianism to the people of the world.
However, the Daily Telegraph reports that the schism in the global vegetarian movement was due to a dispute about the status of eggs. According to the Telegraph, the Indian Vegetarian Congress objected to a ruling by the London based International Vegetarian Union that eggs are vegetarian.
For many in the West, where different forms of vegetarianism are the norm, the distinction may seem arcane. Yet, many of India's 400 million vegetarians would disagree. In India many people are vegetarian for religious reasons. All restaurants are therefore required to have separate vegetarian and non-vegetarian menus, and, as New York Daily News points out, eggs are on the non-vegetarian menu. Vijay Kumar Bafna, World Veg Council Vice President, expressed fear that westerners were corrupting the purity of vegetarianism.
The newly created World Veg Council International President, Mr. Tarachand Dugar, said the launch of the new organisation provided an opportunity to charter more than 3,500 World Veg Centres across the world over the next three years.