Kirsten Jungsberg (24 February 1938 - 11 November 2023)

Kirsten Jungsberg was a pioneer of veganism in Denmark - and the world. She started (or founded we could say) the "International Vegan Festival" in 1981. Her idea was to offer vegans - who were not that many in 1981 - an opportunity to meet other likeminded individuals, activists, defenders and friends of the animals, fellow vegans, not just within their own region or country but worldwide (think big). Not just did she think it up but she made it happen. And not just right around the corner of her home in Frederiksberg (Greater Copenhagen) but in the small town of Hadsund, in Jutland, northern Denmark, the 1st International Vegan Festival took place in July (12th to 19th) 1981 (see below).

Kirsten remained active in the vegan movement until at least 2016 when the 15th International Vegan Festival took place in Austria.

The 16th International Vegan Festival was meant to take place in India in 2021 but was permanently cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Kirsten died at the age of 85, peacefully in her sleep it seems, on Saturday, 11 November 2023.

A funeral service was held for her at Flintholm church in Frederiksberg (Greater Copenhagen) on Wednesday, 22 November 2023. I'm assuming she was buried near that church, maybe in Solbjerg Park Cemetery (Solbjerg Parkkirkegård)?

Her children wrote: "Kirsten dedicated her life to the animals and the vegetarian movement. [...] She will be missed by all who knew her."

Below are some pictures of Kirsten from the summer of 2007 during which we spent a lot of time together in India. The locals naturally assumed she was my mother.

28 August 2007

29 August 2007

1 September 2007
Kirsten channelling the friendly spirits
Kirsten with a 103-year-old gentleman

12 September 2007
Kirsten with the priest, important guy, and wondrous Shankar

1 October 2007 (World Vegetarian Day!)
Kirsten with a volunteer and the Iranian delegation

3 October 2007
Kirsten in the background with the (mostly) vegan international crew. Headmaster (with sunglasses) in the front. 


The 1st International Vegan Festival, Hadsund, Denmark, 12-19 July 1981 ... a note about the festival by Serena Coles, in The Vegan magazine (Autumn 1981 issue):

The 2nd International Vegan Festival, Klint, Denmark, 3-10 August 1985 ... a note about the festival, mentioning Serena Coles, in the "News" section of The Vegan magazine (Autumn 1985 issue):