Vegetarian organizations in Switzerland
Switzerland has the most expensive meat in Europe and one of the lowest meat consumptions per year. This is possibly one of the reasons why vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have gained popularity in Switzerland. Over the years, the number of vegetarians and vegans has risen dramatically, resulting in hundreds of veggie/vegan-friendly restaurants.
SUISSEPIC has discovered several vegetarian and vegan organizations within Switzerland.
The European Vegetarian Union (EVU)
While Switzerland is not part of the European Union (EU), the country is headquarters for the European Vegetarian Union (EVU). Founded in 1988 and located in the city of Winterthur, the EVU is the largest association of independent organizations and societies promoting the vegetarian lifestyle.
The EVU’s aim is to make vegetarian and meat-reduced lifestyles safe for consumers, producers, and traders, and to provide adequate information and guidance on various aspects of vegetarianism. The association is primarily funded by its membership fees.
Today, the EVU has 39 national vegetarian and vegan organizations from 25 European countries, and represents about 30 million vegetarians and vegans from all over Europe.
The Swiss Association for Vegetarism, SwissVeg
The most famous vegetarian association in Switzerland is Swissveg, previously known as the Swiss Association for Vegetarism (SVV). Founded in 1993 in Winterthur, Swissveg was created to represent and promote the interests of vegetarians, defend their reputation and rights, and propagandize and distribute vegetarian ideas throughout the country.
In 1996, Swissveg and the EVU introduced a standardized label with the aim of easy identification of vegetarian products and services. This is known as the V-Label and is currently utilized by more than 100 European companies. Today, Swissveg is the largest community for vegetarians and vegans living in Switzerland and is an active member of the EVU and the International Vegetarian Union (IVU). This large association of vegetarians and vegans has its own official website, which includes a lot of information about vegetarian/vegan diets, delicious recipes and lifestyles, product and book reviews, and nutrition articles written by health professionals. The Swissveg website is also an excellent guide for vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Switzerland.
There are also several organizations and associations within Switzerland that are concerned for the welfare of animals and promote vegan ideas. One of the most well-known associations is Pour l’Egalité Animale (PEA). This association’s mission is to respect and defend the fundamental interests of animals.
PEA also favors ending the killing and exploitation of animals, organizes activities and debates on animal issues in cities across the Cantons of Vaud, Valais, and Fribourg, promotes equality for all animals, and propagandizes the vegan living as a means to no harm animals. PEA is independent and not affiliated with any political, private, or religious interests.
Stop Gavage Suisse is another animal rights association in Switzerland that condemns the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese for the production of foie gras. Despite the prohibition under federal law, Switzerland imports about 300 tons of foie gras each year. As a result, the association’s aim is to ban the practice and sale of products obtained by force-feeding animals.