Last night we held our first online panel discussion, “Is Veganism in the Balkans possible?” with panelists from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Vildana Hrnjić, from VivaBiH Association, was the moderator and announced our respected panelists:
Luka Oman, founder and president of Prijatelji životinja,
Tamara Jevtović, Vege zajednica, Serbia,
Bojana Vušanović, vice president, NVO Galop Montenegro and
Ajdin Arnautović, VivaBiH’s president
At the panel, we had the opportunity to hear the motivating life stories of our panelists and some anecdotes which had shown us that veganism is definitely a growing movement, not only in the Balkans but in the whole world. There is a big difference between people’s opinions on veganism 20 years ago when Luka Oman became vegan, and now.
As veganism progressed, the number of vegan street activities in the Balkans increased as well, such as the Cube of Truth, organized by our association, thus Ajdin Arnautović gave us his insight into this.
Of course, even though veganism in the Balkans is much more accepted now than some years ago, there are still a lot of challenges that young vegans need to face, especially the organizations promoting veganism. Bojana Vušanović talked about the obstacles her NGO has to face and about veganism in Montenegro in general, as it is a very young country.
Since the panel was held online, via Zoom, and we also had a live on Facebook, people asked our panelists many questions which they eagerly answered.
Tamara Jevtović also talked about the new products and restaurants in Serbia. It is a fact that the number of vegan products increases with the increasing demand.
Exchanging personal experience and answering questions by our audience, we reached the conclusion that veganism in the Balkans is not only possible, but it is the future of the Balkans.
There were many interesting moments at the panel, which was confirmed by our volunteers who sent us messages full of excitement after the panel. Below are a few of them.
“I couldn’t be happier that we have such an amazing association in BiH, which constantly organizes events such as the one from today and contributes to the better future of all animals. Tonight I am even happier because I had the opportunity to hear from the representatives of associations from our neighboring countries. Everyone was amazing and it was so nice to be able to see them and listen to them in one place. They motivated me to be even fiercer in my activism and they definitely gave me hope for a better tomorrow. In the end, Luka’s words brought tears to my eyes. Sincere thanks to all of you!”
“What impressed me the most and what I’ve learned from this amazing lecture, presented by even more amazing activists is the reminder that one person really can change a lot and that we must never think that our decision in creating a better world is worthless. They’ve reminded us that we always choose the solution, not the excuse because us humans are the strongest in making excuses, and much weaker when it comes to solutions that can be achieved only if we strongly decide to find them. Amazing, educational, and I can’t wait for the next one.”
“I was happy to see unity among vegans. Something that I would like to emphasize is the comments by the representative of EVA organization. I love when we can make that parallel with the evolution of civilization and it is obvious that veganism is the right step towards the evolution of the society, civilization, and mentality. It gave me a special strength to be even stronger in my activism.”
Thanks to everyone who followed our panel for two hours and actively participated in the discussion, and special thanks to our panelists for their time.
It is important to emphasize that, in the holiday spirit, we rewarded five people with a special gift.