This past Sunday I went to the Veggie Expo in Munich. It was my first time there and I thought it was a total success! The program was packed full with cooking demonstrations, presentations and movie showings. When I first got in I just walked around the hall and looked at all the different stands offering food, clothing, beauty items, electronics like blenders and dehydrators and even vegan related books. I tried vegan cheese, ice cream, chocolate, dips, tortellini, cake and meat. One of the stands was actually offering fake meat which looked and tasted exactly like meat, which freaked me out a bit. Usually I find that ‘fake meats’ taste nothing like actual meat which in my eyes is a good thing. I don’t usually eat any of the just mentioned imitated products but I think its fun to try them from time to time. While some vegan cheese or ice cream comes really close to the real thing, meat usually doesn’t which I don’t mind at all. Even if it’s not real meat, I think imitated meat which actually tastes like real meat is a total turn off.
Anyway, I really liked the vegan cheese I tried which was from Switzerland and bought two different flavors. I also tried delicious zoodles with a vegan Bolognese sauce, tofu tortellini, ice cream, a cake pop, a green smoothie topped with some granola and seeds and like I said also some fake meats. My favourites were definitely the cheese, the zoodles and the tortellini!
Then after all this eating I went to see a talk about animal testing and alternatives which was really interesting. The woman presenting explained that testing on animals actually makes little sense because the animals bodies while maybe similar to the human body, are still very different and react different to certain substances. Antibiotics for example are toxic to many animals. Because animals are different to humans, the illnesses that humans and animals get are different too. Scientists have to artificially cause certain illnesses (like of example strokes with dogs) in order to test substances to treat these. According to the American Food and Drug Administration 92% of all medication which was successfully tested on animals did not get past clinical test on humans – either because of too little impact or serious side effects. An article published in the ‘Proceedings of National Academy of Science of the United States of America’ in 2013 showed the enormous differences between mice and humans (http://www.pnas.org/content/110/9/3507.full). Disregarding the differences between humans and animals all new medication is still tested on animals before being tested on humans and requires so by law.
Anyone who is interested (and can speak german) check out this link with all the detailed information (http://www.agstg.ch/downloads/flyer/agstg-prospekt_tierversuche-aus-medizinisch-wissenschaftlicher-sicht_de.pdf) or the website of the ‘Doctors against Animal Testing’ which is in english (http://www.aerzte-gegen-tierversuche.de/en/).
Unfortunately this was the only talk that I could listen to because I had to leave at a certain point. I’m still happy I went though, it certainly was a very informative event with lots delicious food!