From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) November, 1897 p411:
La Reforme Alimentaire. - We are glad to see that the subject
of vegetarianism is attractting an increased amount of attention on
the continent. Last month we referred to the Vegetarische Bode,
the new organ of the Dutch Vegetarian Society. In October was published
the first number of La Réforme Alimentaire, the new organ
of the Societé Belge pour l'etude de La Réforme Alimentaire.
La Réforme Alimentaire is frankly vegetarian, as it lays
down in the introductory article on "our programme." The first
number includes an article by Dr. Sens, "Les dangers de la viande,"
"Conseils pratiques," and a series of "Attestations medicales
et scientifique en faveur du regime vêgétarien." We
congratulate the Societé Belge pour l'etude de La Réforme
Alimentaire, which was founded so recently as August 1897, on the publication
of so creditable an addition to the rapidly lengthening list of vegetarian
periodicals. - E.A.
From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) January, 1899 pp8/9:
La Reforme Alimentaire. - This, the only journal in the French
language which advocates vegetarianism, is just about to close its second
year. It was founded in October, 1897, and during the first year of
its life published two numbers. During the present year it has appeared
every two months, and we are pleased to learn that it has received so
much support from the general public, and through the private generosity
of one who does not wish his name to be known, that the editor feels
justified in announcing to the monthly issues for 1899. He asks for
the help of all those who have found the right way for themselves to
spread the light into a wider circle. The Belgian Society for the Study
of Food Reform, closed its year in November, with forty members. These
all reside in Brussels. There is a depot for the sale of vegetarian
goods, and the committee trust that ere long they will be able to open
a vegetarian restaurant. As there is no vegetarian cookery book in French,
a translator has been found for a German work, by Carlotto Schultz,
which will shortly appear at the office of La Réforme Alimentaire.
The committee feel encouraged by the progress of the movement.
From the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) January, 1900 p4:
Vegetarian Society of Belgium.- A few years ago there was established
the "Société Belge pour l'étude de la réforme
alimentaire." As its name implied it was for the study of the diet
question. The impartial study of rational diet having convinced the
Society of the utility of vegetarianism, the name of the Society has
been changed to the "Société végetarienne
de Belgique". In announcing the change of name the Committee say,
"We have all become convinced that vegetarianism is the diet most
favourable to health and physical and moral development," and they
will, therefore, in future take a militant attitude in favour of vegetarianism.
In 1908 the Belgian Vegetarian Society sent a message of support to the
first IVU Congress in Dresden,
On February 14, 1909, the first meeting of the IVU Executive Committee
was held in Rotterdam and Dr. Ernest Nyssens, President of the Belgian
Society became a member of the Committee.
The May 1909 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger (VSUK magazine)
Vegetarianism at Brussels Exhibition -The Vegetarian Society
(UK) has secured space at the International Exhibition to be held in
Brussels in 1910, for a vegetarian restaurant. Further particulars will
be given next month. [ this becomes more significant later ]
Mr.A.Broadbent in Brussels - On April 8th while in Brussels
on business connected with the forthcoming Exhibition in 1910, Mr.Broadbent
gave a cookery demonstration to the members of the Belgian Vegetarian
Society. Dr.Nyssens, President of the Society, took the chair, and gave
translations of the lecture at intervals.
The meeting was held
in the room of the Belgian College of Medicine. The friendly attitude
of the medical profession to Dr Nyssens and Belgian Vegetarianism is
pleasant to note. He has always discouraged offensive references to
the medical profession in the Réform Alimentaire. [ this
appears to have been the main magazine for all French speaking vegetarians,
but produced in Brussels ]
The Messenger gave an update in October 1909
Vegetarianism at Brussels Exhibition - The erection of the Vegetarian
Society's restaurant at the International Exhibition to be held in Brussels
in 1910, from April to November, has been commenced. It will consist
of two rooms, and we give a drawing of the building. [ the picture
will be added here later, it shows a building about twice the size of
an average house... it was built by the UK Society but clearly there
was a good relationship with the Belgian group ]
In December 1909 the Messenger reported on the 2nd
IVU Congress, Manchester, England, October 1909:
... Dr. Ernest Nyssens, of Brussels gave an account of the movement
in Belgium, and told how, from their very first meeting consisting of
three, they had grown to a very respectable society, which stood well
in the eyes of the medical profession. They made much of the scientific
aspect of vegetarianism. ... Next year's Congress, which it has been
decided to hold at Brussels, was discussed ... [ this was being linked
with the restaurant at the Exhibition ]
The Vegetarian Messenger, in the January 1910 issue, gave a summary
of reports around Europe about the Manchester Congress:
In La Réforme Alimentaire Dr Nyssens is hardly less enthusiastic
than our Dutch friend. He says that we "extended to all delegates
that hearty hospitality for which Englishmen are noted. Our every desire
might have been anticipated ; we were everywhere surrounded by that
hearty sympathy which should blind all who work and battle in a common
cause towards a common end. We owe them heartfelt thanks, which I here
tender in my own name and in that of the societies which I represented.
All good things come to an end, and we left the busy manufacturing city
of Manchester with deep regret as we said good-bye to our friends. We
hope to meet them again in Brussels in 1910, and I hope to give the
programme of that Congress in our next issue." Brussels is about
to open a Natura-Vigor, it is hoped on December 15 - on the model of
the Paris establishment.
and in February 1910:
Dr .Ernest Nyssens announces that the International Vegetarian Congress
will take place at Brussels from 10th to the 12th June next.
Some extracts from the reports of the 1913 IVU Congress
held in the Hague, Holland:
The following is a list of the papers:- Those marked with an * were
Mrs. E. Anldreé, of Brussels, *"Vegetarianism and Alcoholism."
Dr. Ernest Nyssens, of Brussels.
Miss Kipiani, of Brussels, *"The Place of 'Tropism' and of Symmetry
in the Integral Life of the Human Being."
The next Congress was not until 1923, due to the war. At that Congress,
in Stockholm, and the following Congresses, in 1926, 29, 32, 35, 38 and
47 the detailed reports make no mention of Belgium at all.
From the reports of the 1950 IVU Congress, held in The Netherlands: "
...A delightful and progressive feature of the Congress was the Youth
Camp, which was attended by representatives from Belgium, ..."
- - -
- The minutes of the business meeting at the 1957 Congress mention a
representative from Belgium, presumably representing a Society, but
no details were given.
- 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: Consiel Spirituel
Mondial, Mr. A. G. Toussaint, 92, rue de Locht, Brussels, Belgium
- We know that a new society was founded in 1976 and was replaced in
2000 by EVA, see: Belgium/Flanders
Vegetarian Association 20th Anniversary Year - from EVU News, Issue
- Marcel Hebbelinck
Executive Vice President 1986-90; Deputy President 1990-96; Council
- 1987 European
Congress, Ostend, Belgium
Ethisch Vegetarisch Alternatief (EVA) History (founded 2000)
For current IVU members and supporters in Belgium see: www.ivu.org/europe.html
If you have any more information about anything on this page please contact
John Davis - email@example.com