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History of Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Asocio

Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Asocio (TEVA) began life as 'Internacia Unuigo de Esperantistaj Vegetaranoj' (IUEV) in August, 1908, just after the first IVU Congress in Dresden, Germany.

From TEVA The Esperantist Vegetarian Movement celebrates its 90th year - EVU News 98/1:

The year 1908 saw three important events in the history of the vegetarian and Esperanto movements. In Geneva, Switzerland the ‘Universala Esperanto-Asocio’ (Universal Esperanto Association) was established; in Dresden, Germany, the International Vegetarian Union (IVU) and the “Internacia Unuigo de Esperantistaj Vegetaranoj” (IUEV) were founded. IUEV changed its name to Vegetara Ligo Esperantista (VLE), and later to the Tutmonda Esperantista Vegetarana Asocio (TEVA) ...

The decision to hold the first IVU meeting in Dresden almost certainly came from a suggestion by Mr J A Gill, from Tunbridge Wells, England, who was Secretary of the Friends (Quakers) Vegetarian Society at that time. Mr Gill was a keen Esperantist and therefore already planning to visit Dresden for the International Esperantist Congress being held there in August 1908., He knew that quite a lot of other esperantists were also vegetarians and that the Esperanto Congresses always make sepcial provisions for vegetarians (Tolstoy was the Esperantist Hon.President in 1908). He also knew that there was an active Dresden Vegetarian Society and four vegetarian restaurants in the city. Holding the two Congresses at the same time allowed Esperantists two Congresses for the price of one.

The following extracts are from the Vegetarian Messenger (VSUK magazine):

November 1908

International Union of Esperantist Vegetarians. - There was founded at the close of the International Esperantist Congress in Dresden an International Union of Vegetarian Esperantists. The meeting was attended by 19 people, but a number of friends who could not attend the Congress had sent their names, and the Union at the beginning of September had a membership of 37, from ten different nations. The Esperantist Union has decided to co-operate with the International Vegetarian Union, and will do all it can to assist in the propagation of ideas for which the both Unions are working. The Esperantists at Dresden crowded out all the vegetarian cafés, and had menus printed in Esperanto. Their Union at future congresses can do much good in this direction. Esperantists are the most sane and practical of enthusiasts, and we heartily welcome their co-operation in our movement. Those of our readers interested in Esperanto should communicate with the secretary of the Union, Mr. R. de Ladevèze, Altonaerstrasse 67 m, Hamburg.

December 1908

Vegetarianism and Language. - Mr. J. Arthur Gill writes :- "At the recent International Congress in Dresden there was opportunity for observing the part which language can play in the spread of a movement.. The present writer is an Esperantist and a vegetarian who attempted to attend both series of meetings. After one of the vegetarian meetings, he found a German regarding him with friendly eyes, and at once tried to fall into conversation with him. But no! after each had cudgelled his brains for a few stray words in the other's language, the whole and sole result was the following scene : - 'Vegetarian? Yes!' 'Vegetarian? Yes!' violent and delighted handshake. When this had been repeated two or three times, one began to feel a need for further details, and the interest waned. How different was the case with a charming vegetarian, who, oh joy! Spoke also Esperanto! It was a noticeable thing, too, that whereas the day meetings consisted largely of just the delegates who had come to lay down the foundations of the future International Vegetarian Federation, the four vegetarian restaurants were filled day by day with Esperantists, who were actually vegetarians, or that way inclined. What delightful places those Dresden restaurants are! Picture a little group of half-a-dozen sitting round a table and vastly amused with everything around, and especially one another, all speaking with interest and animation. From the conversation it was impossible to learn of their nationality, yet one would be a Finn, another a Tyrolese, another a Frenchman, and so on. The function of the Internacia Unicio de Esperantistaj Vegetaranoj, is to supply services to vegetarians, through the instrumentality of their International language. If any vegetarians in England, for instance, desires to travel, or desires to correspond, he will write to Sinjoroèze, Hamburgo, Altonaer starsse, 67 III, who will give him addresses of vegetarian restaurants, pensions, etc., or will put him into communication with kindred spirits for the interchange if ideas."

In the December 1909 issue of the Vegetarian Messenger the report on the 2nd IVU Congress, held in Manchester, England in October, included:

Mr. W.M.Mann craved the attention of the Conference for Esperanto. The Esperanto Society worked like the Vegetarian Society for humanitarian ends ; it is desired to bring the peoples of the earth into closer union, and therefore the two should shake hands and join in their efforts. On his suggestion it was decided that at the Conferences of the International Vegetarian Union, Esperanto should be recognised as one of the languages in which papers may be submitted.

The reports of the 1910 Congress, in Brussels, make no mention of Esperanto. The following is an extract from the 1913 Congress at The Hague, Holland:

... Though some of the papers were taken as read on account of the absence of the contributors and want of time, all present read their papers, and they were twenty-four in number - in Dutch, German, French, English and Esperanto. ...

The next Congress was in 1923, due to the war, and the following is from the reports of that Congress, held in Stockholm, Sweden:

... The languages in which papers may he read and discussion conducted are :- Swedish, English, French, German and Esperanto....

... We give the full list of papers in alphabetical order :- ...Oscar Bünemann "Report for Esperaritist Vegetarian Society." ...

... INTERNATIONAl. CORRESPONDENCE. The Esperantist Delegates asked that the organ Vegetarano should become the organ of the International Vegetarian Union. After some discussion the matter was left for the Committee to decide later. ...

The International Esperanto League was not represented at the 1926 Congress, in London, England, but sent a letter of support. The reply quote below below is from From TEVA The Esperantist Vegetarian Movement celebrates its 90th year - EVU News 98/1:

On the occasion of the International Congress of Vegetarians in Britain in 1926, the secretary of the London Vegetarian Society, Frank Wyatt, responded to the greetings of the then VLE:
"I heartily thank you for your kind greetings to members and friends of the London Vegetarian Society who were gathered at Bexhill-on-Sea. Your greeting was read to those present and the proposal for a reciprocal greeting warmly acclaimed. We wish success to the Vegetarian Esperantist League in all its efforts to spread Esperanto and Vegetarianism. Each of our two movements, in its own way, is helping to spread the same great principles. I trust that the next International Vegetarian Congress will show to all interested people that, in their aims Esperantists and Vegetarians are essentially united”
Sincerely yours, Frank Wyatt

The same article also says:

At its beginning the official organ of the movement was, VEGETARANO. Between 1927 and 1932 VEGETARANO was the official organ both of VLE and of the non-esperantist IVU. It contained information about the worldwide vegetarian activity in Esperanto, English, French and German. Its editor was Oscar Bünemann of Hamburg, Germany. Active was the collaboration between the two organisations.

The report for the 1929 Congress, held in Steinschönau, Czechoslovakia, includes:

The same evening the Esperantists held a largely attended meeting at which Professor Batek, of Prague, was the chief speaker, ....

The report of the 1932 Congress, in Berlin & Hamburg, Germany, mentions:

It was agreed, purely on the ground of expense, to discontinue the publication of Vegetarano and to issue in its place a duplicated news sheet from time to time. At this juncture the members present expressed their grateful thanks to Mr. Oscar Bünemann for his work as Editor of the magazine.

The 1935, 38, 47 and 50 Congress reports make no specific mention of Esperantists, though it is likely that some were present.

- - -

From the agenda and progam of the business meeting at the World Vegetarian Congress 1979:

That Esperanto be considered as an alternative to multi-lingual translation for succeeding Congresses: put forward by T.E.V.A.
28th Aug. 20.00 "Esperanto" workshop by Christopher Fettes Rm.J.001T

A further extract From TEVA The Esperantist Vegetarian Movement celebrates its 90th year - EVU News 98/1:

Mr. Christopher Fettes, currently [1998] Hon. President of TEVA, was (before the foundation of EVU), the Hon. Regional Secretary for Europe of the IVU and Mr. William Parrott, currently the Hon. Treasurer of TEVA, was for several years the Hon. Treasurer of the International Vegetarian Union.

World Vegetarian Congress 1994 - TEVA Vice President addressing the Congress.

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