- the earliest references we have to vegetarianism in Africa are several
letters and articles sent by Gandhi to The Vegetarian (London).
See Mohandas K. Gandhi
for the complete collection, below are the items from South Africa:
To Indians in
England (from South Africa) - April 28, 1894
A Band of Vegetarian
Missionaries, and their work in South Africa - May 18, 1895
in Natal - December 21, 1895
- copy of a letter to the Editor of the Natal Mercury - March 28,
Facts for Emigrants
to South Africa - April 25, 1903
- 1957 - the minutes of the IVU General Meeting, during the Congress
in India, record the presence of one or more delegates from South Africa,
but no details were given.
Vegetarian in Central Africa - written in 1956 by an Englishman,
published in the Souvenir book of the 1957 Congress.
- 1958 - The Vegetarian World Forum, July 1958, carried
a complete list of IVU " Affiliated Societies - and others in association
with the I.V.U." These included:
West African V.S., Mr. E. M. Affram, P.O. Box 671, Accra, Ghana
West African V.S., Mr. T. C. K. Osuji, P.O. Box Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Johannesburg V.S., Mr. J. Idelson, P.O. Box 5119, Jo'burg, S. Africa
- 1960 - the General Secretary's report states: "The following
societies and organisations are now affiliated to The I.V.U. . . . Nigerian
Vegetarian Society . . . West African Vegetarian Society . . . " (from a total of 48)
- 1966 - From a piece written by Jan Beeldman, former Chairman
of the Vegetarian Society of South Africa:
"In 1966 letters appeared in the press from vegetarians enquiring
if there was a vegetarian society and if not, if it wasn't time that
such a society should be founded. Jeremiah Idelson who had been a foundation
member of a vegetarian society in earlier years responded by inviting
those interested to write to him and in due course a meeting was held
when about 30 people 'gave birth' to what was then called The Johannesburg
Vegetarian Society. One of the first steps the society took was
to draw up a constitution, join the parent body S.A.V.U. (South African
Vegetarian Union) and to become affiliated to the International
- 1969 - an article
by Woodland Kahler, President of IVU, describes the 'recent' formation
of the South African Vegetarian Union (last paragraph)
From The Humanitarian and Vegetarian World Forum, Oct.-Dec.,
SOUTH AFRICA : Durban
From Durban we have the good news that up until May, 1969, Mrs. van
Loon's vegetarian booklet had sold 6,000 copies. She is the wife of
Louis van Loon, the founder and organizer of the Vegetarian Society
of Durban that began four years ago [ie 1965] and developed
into the South African Vegetarian Union which now has its own
excellent "glossy" magazine called MAN, the first number of
which was reviewed in World Forum.
Mrs. van Loon evidently won the approval of her interviewer from the
Natal Mercury of May 30th, 1969, by giving her an appetising
meal consisting of Soya Bean rissoles, cauliflower, mashed potato with
mint, beans and salad. The long article she reported covered most arguments
for a harmless diet and was liberally illustrated, by pictures of convincingly
hale South African vegetarians of both sexes, young and old. It also
quoted Mr. van Loon as giving the acid test of whether flesh-eating
was right or wrong in the observation: "People will take their
children to a farm and let them see fruit and crops growing, but how
many will take their children to an abbatoir to see cattle being slaughtered?"
- 1971 - Mr.
Louis H. van Loon, President of the South African Vegetarian
Union elected to the IVU International Council. SAVU bid to host
the 1973 Congress, but the members voted to go to Sweden.
- 1973 - from a list of particpants at the IVU Congress in
Sweden - South Africa: Mrs. Claire Cullen, Mrs. Margaret Newby,
Mr. Solomon Stein, Mrs. F. Stein.
- 1975 - Mr.
Evan P. Morkel, of Cape Town, appointed as the first IVU Regional
Secretary for Africa, and joined Mr. van Loon on the Council. South
Africa proposed for the 1977 IVU Congress, but the members voted to
go to India.
- records show a donation from: "Mr.H.Levenberg (S. Africa) £2.12"
- from reports by Member Societies at the 1975 Congress in the USA,
quoted by the Vegetarian Times: "S. AFRICA: Publishes a
journal, circ = 1,000. Has 3 regional offices in Johannesburg, Capetown,
& Durban. Has veg. contacts in Ghana, Nigeria, Rhodesia, Liberia."
- 1977 - The IVU Membership records show that the South African
Vegetarian Union paid subscriptions of £4.00 in 1975 and 76,
but nothing from 1977 onwards. S.O.U.L. Vegetarian Soc. (Nigeria)
paid £5.00 in 1975, '76 and '77.
- from the 1977 General Secretary's Report: "The African Region
is keeping close contact in 3 countries but conditions militate presently
against a Regional Congress there. "
- 1979 - the minutes of the General Meeting, in England, record:
"Regional and National Society reports were read out at two following
sessions of the Congress from 30th Aug. 1979:- Egyptian Vegetarians - Prof.T.Magalid . . . Nigerian (S.O.U.L.) Vegetarian Society - Mr.Gunn-King read report . . . South African Vegetarian Union - Mrs. Pamela Solarsh "
- 1982 - Mr.
Jan Beeldman appointed Regional Secretary for Africa. (Mr. van
Loon left the Council at this point after having "not been active
in IVU for some years". Mr. Morkel's last involement was in 1980,
and he had also left by 1982, which suggests that SAVU had closed by
The minutes of the IVU General Meeting record: "Reports were presented
from the following societies:- Ghana - Pan African Vegetarian Union
- Dr O.A.Gyan; South African Vegetarian Society - Mr Colin
- 1984 - Jan Beeldman attended the IVU Congress in Baltimore,
USA, and gave a report from Africa: "Mr Beeldman commented on Africa's
food problem and the relevance of the vegetarian answer to it. There
was growing interest in vegetarianism in South Africa and the Society
was becoming more active [presumably the South African Vegetarian
Society]. He explained the lack of contact with other parts
He remained as Regional Secretary until 1997, but did not attend any
An offer was made to host the IVU Congress in 'West Africa' in 1988,
but the members voted for Mexico (which was later cancelled...)
Reports were presented from the following societies:- South Africa:
South African Vegetarian Society - Mr.C.Rood
- 1989 - the minutes of the IVU Council meeting record that Mr.
Beeldman was not present but reported: "Africa - a national meeting
had been held in South Africa but, due to political problems, no regional
congress had been possible."
- 1990 - from the minutes of the IVU General Meeting at the Congress
in Israel: "Reports were presented . . . on behalf of the regional
secretaries of . . . Africa, . . ." "Reports of Member Societies
- . . .the South African Vegetarian Society, . . ."
- Nigeria Vegetarian Society founded (presumably the earlier
one mentioned in 1960 had closed)
- 1993 - minutes of the IVU Council meeting, during the Congress
in India record: "Mr Jan Beeldman of South Africa had indicated
he wished to retire from the post but had agreed to continue until a
suitable replacement were found."
- 1994 - from the minutes of the General Meeting in The Netherlands:
"Africa - The regional secretary, Mr Jan Beeldman, was unable to
attend the congress and sent his apologies. He reported the developments
in South Africa since the liberation and the prospects for growth in
the vegetarian movement. He received little from other parts of Africa
but looked forward to increasing co-operation between African vegetarian
societies as time progressed. Mr Maxwell Lee, the Hon.General Secretary,
reported in contacts he had with vegetarian societies in Nigeria, Kenya,
Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition he heard periodically from
vegetarian groups in Mauritius."
IVU Membership Records show that the S.O.U.L. Vegetarian Soc. (Nigeria)
paid subscriptions from 1991 to 1994, but in steadily decreasing amounts
- the subs were related to numbers of members, suggesting a declining
The South Africa Vegetarian Society paid a subscription in 1991,
then less in 1992, but nothing after that.
The Nigeria Vegetarian Society paid a subscription in 1993.
Vegetarian Society of Mauritius was listed, apparently with free
- 1995 - from the minutes of the IVU Council meeting "Regional
Secretaries' Reports - Africa - Mr Jan Beeldman reported the development
of the South African society and the hope for the future of a regional
organisation now the political changes in South Africa had taken place"
- Vegetarian Society of Botswana founded
- 1996 - Global
News Roundup - includes an item about the newly formed Botswana
Vegetarian Society (IVU Newsletter, May 1996)
- Out of Africa
- report from Jan Beeldman and 'Botswana's President attends Vegetarian
Gastronomic Dinner' (IVU News 1996)
from Botswana & Zambia - Vegetarian Society of Botswana
and The Zambian Society of Vegetarians (EVU News 1996)
Seated (L to R): Dr. P.K. Jain; Sir Q.K.J. Masire, President of Botswana;
Madam G. Masire, First Lady; Mrs. S. Seligman. Standing: Mrs. P.Jain
- 1997 - Dr. P.
K. Jain, of the Botswana Vegetarian Society, appointed as IVU
Regional Coordinator for Africa
- the IVU African Recipes website created,
with many contributions from people across Africa
- 1998 -
Jan Beeldman welcomes Dr. P. K. Jain as new IVU Regional Secretary for
Africa (IVU News 1998)
- Reports from Zimbabwe
and Nigeria (IVU News 1998)
- On the Milk Issue
- article by PK Jain (IVU News 1998)
- 1999 - Promoting
Vegetarianism in Botswana - talk by PK Jain at the IVU Congress
- 2000 - Jan Beeldman elected a Fellow of IVU, he died in 2002.
- Dietary code
of practice amongst Jains - talk by PK Jain at the IVU Congress
- HIPPO - Food
Aid with a Purpose - IVU Member Society, working mostly in Africa
Relief at the Mozambique Floods - IVU News
- 2002 - Health
Minister Guest at Botswana Vegetarian Dinner (IVU News, 2002)
- the IVU Congress in Edinburgh had a speaker, Lisa
Hattingh, from South Africa, and a delegate from Uganda.
- 2004 - Lwere
Alexander Kasibante - Secretary of the National Union of Vegetarians-Uganda,
elected to the International Council
- 2005 - Lwere was appointed as IVU Regional Secretary for Africa.
- the ivu-africa
email group started
in Africa and Vegetarianism:
The Ideal and indispensable lifestyle in the new age of aquarius
- talks by Isaac Dikeocha, President of the Vegan Society of Ghana,
at the European Vegetarian Congress in Italy (Word - .doc - files)
- 2006 - Isaac
Obiora Dikeocha, (right) now in South Africa, appointed
IVU Regional Secretary for Africa.
- The IVU in Africa website created.
- a provisional offer was made to host the 2010
IVU Congress in South Africa, but was unable to be followed through at this time.
- Report from the
Vegetarian Society of Uganda
Animal Rights Day 2006 in Nigeria
- 2007 - First West African Vegetarian Congress held in Lagos, Nigeria, fully funded by IVU, organised by Emmanuel Eyoh.
- 2008 - Emmanuel Eyoh (right) elected to the the IVU Council, then appointed as Regional Co-ordinator for Africa.
- Prof. PK Jain elected a Fellow of IVU, and co-opted back on IC to take a particular interest in Southern Africa.
Since the mid 1990s, many Vegetarian and Vegan Societies in Africa have
been given free membership of IVU, but it has often been difficult to
maintain contact with them and to establish whether they still exist.
For the current membership, and details of many related organisations,
see the database at IVU in Africa
If you have any more information about anything on this page please contact
John Davis - email@example.com