"Why Vegan?" Symposium

Organized by Vajracaksu Dharmachari
Hello Couchsurfers,

This is to let you know about a symposium on 22nd December on 'Why Vegan?' If you have any enquiries or would like to make a reservation please don't hesitate to get in touch.

Kind wishes


Talks, Meditation & Reflection Event (English)

“...if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.” Ruth Harrison

Vegetarians don't eat animal flesh. Vegans take this further and don't eat or consume anything that comes from animals, for example, no eggs, cheese, milk, yogurt or the skins of animals. Globally veganism is becoming more widespread, especially over recent years increasing numbers of people are becoming vegan. For example recently in the United States in just 3 years vegans increased in number by 150% to over 8 million people. In Turkey just 4-5 years ago veganism was almost unheard of but now there is a small but growing community of vegans in Istanbul.

In this event 3 vegans in Istanbul will tell their stories; how and why did they become vegan? Are vegans extremists? Naive? Sentimental? Brainwashed? Are they part of a cult? Irresponsible? The speakers don’t think so! Each of the speakers will give special focus to one theme: veganism and animal cruelty; veganism and ecological practice; and veganism and health.

The afternoon will be chaired by Vajracaksu and will start with a guided session of meditation and include a short tea break. There will also be time for reflection and an opportunity to ask the speakers questions. The event will finish with one of the speakers singing the first ever vegan song in Turkish.

Cost: Free
Location: The Ortaköy Meditation Studio
Date: Sunday 22nd December 2013
Time: 3pm to 6.30pm (Afterwards vegan food will be served.)
Maximum: 20 places


GÜLCE ÖZEN GÜRKAN is a musician, music teacher, and an animal liberation activist. She studied audio design in Yıldız Technical University, and thereafter received training in pedagogy. She’s sung jazz, funk, contemporary and pop music on stage for over 10 years. Now she's giving piano, singing and world music lessons. She’s been a vegan for 3 years and works for an animal liberation organization called ‘Diren Vegan’, writing articles, giving presentations and writing songs about veganism and animal liberation, including the first ever vegan song in Turkish, called ''Ne Ayaksın'' which she’ll sing for us at the event.

REFİKA KORTUN is a young activist who is a vegan for the benefit of animals and the earth. She's a graphic designer and does the graphics for some of the non-governmental liberation organisations in Istanbul. She is interested in permaculture and other ways to live without waste and sustainably in the city.

VAJRACAKSU has been a Buddhist for over 22 years. In London he studied social sciences at university and he has worked as a cashier, butcher's assistant, shop worker, gardener’s assistant, residential social worker and in both England and Turkey as an English language teacher. He now teaches mindfulness, meditation and Buddhism mainly in Istanbul. He's been a vegan for the past 17 years and before that he was vegetarian for 9 out of 10 years. He has a strong feeling for ecological concerns and loves encouraging people to grow and develop.

For more information & to make a reservation send an email to Vajracaksu at vajracaksu2@gmail.com
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