International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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History of Vegetarian Societies in South & West Asia



  • See the separate page on The History of Vegetarian Societies in India.

  • 1952 - (via soyinfocenter.com ) Vegetarian News Digest (Los Angeles). 1952, winter issue (vol. 2, no. 17, p. 19): A letter from a vegetarian in Israel states:
    "There are about 8,000 vegetarians in Israel and their number is steadily increasing. On the 17th of October the Vegetarians of Israel had a meeting in Jerusalem. There is already a vegetarian settlement in Mishmar Hashivah. The founding of a new vegetarian village has begun, also a Vegetarian Home for Children; also every effort will be made to open vegetarian restaurants in Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv and Haifa."

  • 1953 [minutes of IVU Executive Committee] The secretary stated that his travel plans for the ensuing year included visits to . . . Israel, for the last country a joint mission having been planned with Richard St.Barbe Baker, founder of the Men of the Trees. In connection with this expedition to Israel Mr.Woodland Kahler expressed his willingness to accompany the secretary at his own expense and the offer was gratefully accepted.
  • 1957 - 15th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India
    Report from Israel - Mr. Pinehas Nasich of Rishon Le Zion, from the Souvenir Book of the Congress
    The Hebrew Religion of Israel - from the Souvenir Book of the 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:
    - Universal College, Mr. W. S. Fernando, Panadura, Ceylon
    - Ceylon Vegetarian Restaurant Proprietors Association, Mr. A. Coomaraswamy, 149, Maliban St., Colombo 11.

    - Israel V.S., Dr. O. Robinson, 3 Shmaryahu Levin St. Haifa, Israel

  • 1960 - 16th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Hannover and Hamburg, Germany
    Minutes of the Business Meetings representatives from . . . Israel,
    Permission was granted to the committee to accept the delayed nomination of new Vice-Presidents from . . . the Vegetarian Union of Israel. (Note: Dr O Robinson and Mr B Niedzwidz were subsequently nominated by the Israel Society . . .).
    list of Member Societies from the General Secretary's Report
    - Ceylon Vegetarian Society
    - Israel Vegetarian & Hygienist Union

  • 1963 - 17th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Barcelona, Spain
    Official Delegates from . . . Israel,
    - Report from Israel, by Dr Otto Robinsohn
    Vice-Presidents elected: Mr B Niedzwiedz and Dr Otto Robinsohn (Israel)

  • 1965 - 18th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Swanwick, England:
    Minutes of the Business Meetings delegates from . . . Israel, . . .
    Vice Presidents: . . . Mr B Niedwietz (Israel). . .Dr O Robinsohn (Israel), . . .
    The President announced that he and the General Secretary would be visiting . . . Israel early in 1966 to help arouse a greater interest in the vegetarian movement..
    . . . reports of activities in various Member countries.. . .Dr O Robinsohn (Israel),
    The news that the newly formed Vegetarian Society of Iran was applying in due course was also welcomed.

  • 1969 - 20th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Jerusalem, Israel
    From the minutes of the Business Meeting The Secretary said that he . . . did not know why Mr Pick, who had been invited as Representative of the Israeli Organising Committee was absent.

  • 1971 - 21st World Vegetarian Congress The Hague, The Netherlands
    from a Congress report: . . . delegates . . . Turkey, . . . Lebanon. . . .

  • 1973 - 22nd IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Ronneby Brunn, Sweden
    With One Voice
    - article from the UK magazine includes extracts of the talk by Dr O Robinsohn (Israel),
    from a Congress report: VEGETARIAN Essence in Comparative Religions was the subject of a working party headed by Philip Pick, (right) President of the Jewish Vegetarian Society. Among their findings . . . "Vegetarian propaganda of a general nature, however efficient, appears to affect only that proportion of the population that is totally uncommitted; the remainder, in their traditional beliefs, consider that this must compromise all that is required of them in the way of ethics." Among their recommendations . . . a campaign directed to religious leaders, and research to be carried out to support the original doctrines embracing vegetarianism.
    The list of participants at the Congress gives - Israel: Mrs. Zilla Zippora Reznik, Mr. Otto Robinson, Mrs. Blanka Robinson, Mrs. Batia Vexler, Mrs. Genia Wolf.

  • 1975 - 23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Orono, Maine, USA
    from Vegetarian Times, no.12 ISRAEL: Progress in spite of national problems. A veg. village was founded 16 yrs ago. There are 7 branches of the Israel Veg. Soc., they conduct symposiums & lectures. Monthly mag, circ 1,500.
    from the General Meeting minutes Members of the International Council . . . Mrs L.Raaf (Lebanon);
    Hon.Corr.Sec. for the Middle East: Mr. P. L. Pick (England)

  • 1977 - 24th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Delhi/Bombay/Calcutta/Madras, India
    from the General Meeting minutes Members of the International Council . . . Mrs L.Raaf (Lebanon);
    Hon. Vice Presidents:- . . . Israel - Mr.Alex Hary, . . . Sri Lanka - Dr.Jaysuria;
    from the list of Member Societies 1975-77: Israel Vegetarian Movement

  • 1979 - 25th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Loughborough, England
    INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL: . . . Mrs Louise Raaf (Lebanon);
    HON.Vice-Presidents: . . . Mr.P.L.Pick (U.K.); . . .
    HON.REGIONAL SECRETARIES: . . . Middle East: Hon.Corr.Sec. Mr.P.L.Pick
    reports were read out : Jewish Vegetarian Society - Mr.P.L.Pick
    from the program: Mr.P.L.Pick "Future trends in I.V.U."
    from the list of Member Societies 1977-79: Israel Vegetarian Movement

  • 1981 - {minutes of International Council] World Congress 1984 . . . A suggested venue for the Congress was Israel . . .
    Middle East: The report from Mr Pick indicated that, apart from in Israel, there is a lack of vegetarian achievement in the region. There was a possibility of some progress in Egypt soon and the way in which animals are treated there makes such development very desirable.
    In Israel interest in vegetarianism is growing and the Israeli Vegetarian Union has recently become a member of I.V.U. There are three vegetarian orientated magazines and the Jewish Vegetarian Society is working to set up a Vegetarian Naturopathic College

  • 1982 - 26th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Neu-Ulm, West Germany
    Middle East Mr Philip Pick, who was unable to attend the Congress, sent a written report. He commented on the problems associated with the attitude to animals in many countries in the area. In Israel interest in vegetarianism had continued to grow and the movement was flourishing.
    Venue for the 1984 World Congress: There were three offers to host the 1984 World Congress, . . . one offer for Israel. (it went to the USA)
    Reports were presented from the following societies:- Israeli Vegetarian Society - Mr.A.Beharav
    - Sri Lanka Vegetarian Society
    from the General Meeting minutes: Elected Members of the International Council: . . . . Mr Moshe Stolov, (Israel)
    Hon. Regional Secretaries . . . Middle East - Mr Philip Pick,

  • 1984 - 27th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Baltimore, USA
    Minutes of the IVU General Meeting Middle East: In the absence of Mr Pick, the Hon.General Secretary reported that the situation in the Middle East was still difficult due to political problems. Only in Israel was vegetarianism a force. There was growing interest in vegetarianism in Israel and there were a number of vegetarian communities and societies.
    Reports were presented from the following societies:- Israeli Independent Association of Vegans and Vegetarians - read
    Hon.Vice Presidents: . . . Mr Philip Pick,
    Hon.Regional Secretaries: . . . Middle East - Mr Philip Pick;

  • 1986 -28th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia
    Reports were presented from the following Societies:- Israel Vegetarian Movement, Israeli Nature and Health
    Venue for the 1990 World Congress: Offers to host the Congress came from Israel and India. There was a vote of delegates and it was decided to accept the offer of Israel.
    1988 World Congress: . . . .It was agreed that should it not prove possible for the congress to continue in Mexico then either Israel or India should be asked to put on a congress in 1988.
    Hon.Vice Presidents: . . . Mr Philip L.Pick,
    Hon Regional Secretaries: . . . Middle East - Mr Philip Pick,

  • 1989 - Minutes of a Meeting of members of the International Council and represetatives of the Israeli Vegetarian Society at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel, Ramat Gan, Israel on 1st April, 1989.

  • 1990 - 29th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Tel Aviv, Israel
    from the General Meeting minutes: Manker Foundation and Trophy The President spoke of the work of Shri Manker and the reasons for the trophy which was awarded for outstanding work for the international vegetarian cause. He announced that it had been decided to award the trophy to Mr.Philip Pick who was founder President of the International Jewish Vegetarian Society and Regional Secretary for the Middle East. He mentioned that Mr.Pick was celebrating his eightieth birthday and that he had given outstanding service to the vegetarian cause. In reply Mr.Pick spoke of his friendship with Mr.Manker and the delight he felt to be honoured in this way.

  • 1993 - 30th IVU World Vegetarian Congress in Madras, India
    from the General Meeting minutes: The meeting noted with great sadness the death of Philip Pick . . . who had long served the vegetarian cause and who had been very active in the international movement.
    Following the death of Mr Philip Pick, the Hon. General Secretary had sought advise from the Jewish Vegetarian Society about a successor for the Middle East. It seemed that a suitable person would be found in Israel and this was approved.
    Mark Weintraub (Israel)
    appointed as Regional Secretary for the Middle East (he appears to have stood down in 1996 and was never replaced)

  • 1994 - 31st IVU World Vegetarian Congress, The Hague, Holland
    from the General Meeting minutes: Middle East - The Hon.General Secretary read out the report from Mr.Mark Weintraub who was unable to attend the congress. He reported the continuing problems of communication within the Middle East due to the political situation but hoped that the easing of tension would lead to greater association and future potential for the vegetarian movement. In Israel the vegetarian movement was growing and quite strong.
    from the list of subscriptions paid to IVU 1991-94: Israeli Movement of Vegetarians and Vegans ; Sri Lankan Humanitarian Society

  • 1996 - from IVU Newsletter: There is a small group of vegetarians in Iran but, as far as I know, there are none elsewhere in the Moslem world.

  • 1997 - Jewish philosophy of vegetarianism by Philip L. Pick. from EVU News, Issue 4 /1997
    A letter from Sri Lanka - IVU News
    Vegetarian Society of Sri Lanka formally relaunched in Colombo - IVU News

  • 1998 - Sri Lanka now has several Vegetarian Societies (scroll down) - from IVU News

  • 1999 - 33rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Chiang Mai, Thailand,
    Introduction to Natural Hygiene or Life Science as a Way of Life - A talk given by Malieh Jafari, Iran
    International Panel: Vegetarianism and Disease Prevention - Dr.Khosrow Taheri (Iran)
    Pre-Congress Press Report from Sri Lanka
    The Vegetarian Movement in Sri Lanka - Bandu Masakorala, delegate of Sri Lanka Veg. Soc.

  • 2000 - 34th World Vegetarian Congress, Toronto, Canada
    from the General Meeting minutes: new members have been recruited in Mongolia, Armenia, . . . Nepal,

  • 2001 - Ist Asian Vegetarian Union Congress, Goa, India
    Mahinda Paliwanda talked about Buddhism and vegetarianism in Sri Lanka

  • 2005 - Dan Arbel, Israel, President of the IJVS, joined the International Council.

  • 2006 37th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Goa, India
    - Shankar Narayan
    (India) (right) elected to the IVU Council and appointed as Regional Coordinator for South & West Asia and India
    from a congress report: The Vegetarian Society of Iran was also represented
    2nd Asian Vegetarian Union Congress in Bangkok :- Animal welfare/ animal rights in Sri Lanka. Mrs. Mahinda Palihawadana (Sri Lanka).
    Vegetarian Union of Iran joined IVU

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