The Asian Vegetarian Union (AVU) came into existence when the 33rd World Vegetarian Congress was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand in January 1999. At that time the European Vegetarian Union (EVU) and the Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA) had already been established, however, there was no apex body for the Societies of Asia. Therefore, it was natural to form one in Asia.
The First AVU President elected was the late Mr Jashu Bhai Shah of India. He was the former Honorary Consul General of Austria and a successful businessman, a Philanthrophist and a passionate vegetarian activist who passed away on 9th May 2008. During his term, the following Congresses were held:
He is a research scientist at the Dept. of Food Science & Nutrition, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou. He has also worked in collaboration with Dr Colin Campbell. He has published more than 200 articles on nutrition and health.
It was well attended by all races here and multinationals. The AVC committee made a landmark change to include the Pacific islands like Australia, New Zealand. AVU was renamed as Asia Pacific Vegetarian Union (APVU).
Prof Duo Li, through APVU, had initiated an open access scientific journal to update knowledge and publish research papers on vegetarian diet and nutrition called Vegetarian Nutrition Journal (VNJ) since 2013. He is a strong advocate of Vegetarian diet.
The Fourth President was Dr Susianto Tseng of Indonesia (2013-2015). He is a popular vegan figure in Indonesia and Internationally. He is a Nutritionist, an Educator, a researcher and a successful businessman. He appears often in print media and TV interviews in Indonesia. He is the first in the world to produce tempeh in powder form and is marketed in Indonesia and other neighbouring countries.
He is a Family Medical Practitioner based in Kuala Lumpur. He is a social worker and a vegetarian activist. He works closely with the Ministry of Health and Universities. And promoting Vegan diet to other vegetarian related NGOs.