International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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History of Spanish Vegetarian Societies

The following items were contributed by the Soyfoods Center:

[Spanish Vegetarian Society]. 1905. New vegetarian society. Spain.
Summary: Source: Hompes, Mathilde. 1905. "Foreign notes: [Periodical received from the Spanish Vegetarian Society]." Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review (Manchester, England). May. p. 115. "We have received a copy of El Regimen Naturatista, the organ of the Spanish Vegetarian Society.

Liga Vegetariana de Cataluna [Vegetarian League of Cataluna]. 1908. New vegetarian society. Barcelona, Spain.
Summary: Source: Riera Paula, A. 1963. "Vegetarianism in Barcelona, 1907 to 1963." British Vegetarian. Sept/Oct. p. 178-81. "In 1907 Mr. Santiveri, with doctors José Falp, Joaquín Collet, Raimundo Comet, Fargas, and Salvador Badía, agreed in organising a Vegetarian Society and publishing a magazine to spread the Nature Cure Movement..." "1908.-The first Vegetarian Society was founded in Barcelona under the name of 'Liga Vegetariana de Cataluña,' and a magazine was published under the title, Revista Vegetariana Naturalista." Under the year 1919 on the timeline, it says, "Also constituted was the 'Sociedad Vegetariano-Naturista de Cataluña' at the building of the Instituto Hispanoamericano." It is not clear whether this was the Liga, reformed and renamed after World War I, or a separate society. This society began publishing a health-related magazine called Naturismo in 1920 and a physiatric magazine called Regeneracio in 1921.
Also in 1921, the "Instituto Naturista Ferrándiz was founded to give instruction in Naturism, Anatomy, Physiology, Biology, Naturotherapy, Massage, Vegetarian Cookery, Natural History, et." This institution survived World War II, unlike several other vegetarian and natural living societies of the time. "1931.-The Sociedad Vegetariano-Naturista de Cataluña is dissolved and the Sociedad Naturista de Barcelona was created." There is no information available for 1932 to 1942, but in 1961 "Professor J. Cervera succeeded in constituting the Asociacion Vegeteriana de Barcelona at the Instituto Naturista Ferrándiz's headquarters." Again, it is difficult to tell whether this association was a re-formation of pre-war societies or an entirely new establishment.

For a more detailed early history see: Vegetarianism in Barcelona, 1907-1963 - A.Riera Paula, Spain, from a talk at the 1963 World Vegetarian Congress, held in Barcelona.

At the first IVU Congress in Dresden, August 1908, a message of support was sent from the Society in Barcelona.

In January 1909, the Vegetarian Messenger (VSUK magazine) reported:

Dr Danjou [deputy president of the French Vegetarian Society] has paid a visit to the vegetarian friends in Spain. Both guests and hosts appear to have derived great pleasure and profit from the intercourse. El Regimen Naturalista, the organ of the Spanish Vegetarian Society, and Revista Vegetariana, which represents the "Lliga vegetariana de Catalunya," give long and appreciative accounts of the meetings, which Dr. Danjou addressed. ...

In the March 1909 issue the Messenger says that a full account of the festivities in connection with the inauguration of the "Lliga Vegetariana," is given in the Revista Vegetariana …. 'It is further reported that the membership has greatly increased'. This implies that the inauguration was fairly recent, but must have been far enough back for the membership to have increased.

In the December 1909 issue, reporting on the World Vegetarian Congress, held in Manchester teh Messenger says:

Mr. W. Mann read the Spanish report, which had been sent by the president and translated by Dr. Axon. The Spanish Society is young, but has the vigour of youth ; it is growing, and supports two organs [= magazines].

This seems to suggest that there was just one Society with national and Catalan sections.

Some extracts from the report of the 1910 IVU Congress held in Brussels:

Dr. Danjou spoke for Catalonia, whose Society he had the honour of founding. This Society includes among its members 40 doctors.

The Spanish President, Dr. Falp, sent a deputy, who spoke in high terms of the sobriety and general frugality of the Spanish working class. In such a country, vegetarianism should stand a chance of making its way. Or are all so near to being vegetarians already, that they see no need for conversion?

Dr Ibarra at the1923 Congress

The reports from the 1913 Congress, at The Hague, Holland, make no mention of any Spanish delegates, but they were back at the next Congress in 1923, in Stockholm, Sweden.

... After extending a hearty welcome to all, he called upon the Hon. Congress Secretary, Madame Lombard (Stockholm), to read the Roll Call of the Delegates. Each rose as his or her name was called. The following is a full list : America (South) - Dr. Ruiz Ibarra ; ... ; Spain - Dr. Ruiz Ibarra ; ...

We give the full list of papers in alphabetical order :- ... Dr. Ruiz Ibarra on "Nature Cure," ...

Extract from the reports of the 1926 Congress, held in London, England:

... the delegates were introduced to the assembly, and the following is the order in which they responded to the roll call ... Professor Conde and Dr. Ibarra (Spain),

The reports for the IVU Congresses between 1929 and 1950 make no mention of Spain.

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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: Asociacion Pena Vegetariana (Society of Madrid), Sn Inchaustegui Pizzaro 19 Centro Riojana, Madrid.

The minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting in Paris, June 4, 1960, record: '1962 Congress: It was agreed that the invitation of Spanish vegetarians to hold the next Congress in Madrid, Spain, be accepted.'

1960 - Peña Vegetariana (Spain) mentioned

The minutes of the IVU General Meeting at the World Vegetarian Congress in Hannover, August 1960 record that at least one representative from Spain was present. It was the practice at the time for each member society to nominate a Vice-President of IVU, the minutes state:

Permission was granted to the committee to accept the delayed nomination of new Vice-Presidents from the Federated Vegetarian Societies of Spain and the Vegetarian Union of Israel. (Note: Dr O Robinson and Mr B Niedzwidz were subsequently nominated by the Israel Society - nominations from Spain awaited).

1963 - Asociacion Vegetariana de Barcelona first mentioned

The 'note' was added some time after the meeting. The Congress planned for Madrid in 1962 actually took place in Barcelona in 1963. The minutes of the Business Meeting at that Congress note that the meeting was being 'held in Barcelona under the auspices of The Spanish Vegetarian Societies'.

During the meeting Prof D Manuel Cervera Cebolla and Dr D Vicente L Ferrandiz were elected as Vice-Presidents for Spain. This suggest that they represented two separate societies. The minutes conclude:

Thanks were given to the Spanish Vegetarian Societies for their kind hospitality, and to commemorate the occasion the president of The IVU presented a silver bowl suitably inscribed to the president of the Asociacion Vegetariana de Barcelona (Prof D M Cervera Cebolla), who expressed the pleasure of the Spanish Vegetarian Societies at being hosts for the 17th World Congress. Special thanks were expressed for the work of Dr D V L Ferrandiz (Asesor del Congreso) and Mr D Jose Del Arno Ribera (secretary or the Barcelona Society).

The minutes of the next IVU Committee meeting, November 10, 1963, at The Hague note: 'Affiliation of the Asocicion Vegetariana de Barcelona was reported and welcomed.' Which suggests that they were not members of IVU when the Congress was being organised.

1964 - Madrid Vegetarian Society mentioned
1964 - Federacion Vegetariana Española first mentioned

The minutes for November 1964 note that Dr Ferrandiz had accepted an invitation to be a speaker at the 1965 World Congress in England The same minutes state: 'FEDERACION VEGETARIANA ESPANOLA was reported to have been formed during the year and since the last Congress in Barcelona. A letter was read from S del Amo (Secretary) and its Affiliation welcomed. '

The minutes of the Business Meeting at the 1965 World Congress in England record: 'a warm welcome was given to Societies which had Affiliated since the last Congress. Madrid Vegetarian Society, followed by the Spanish Vegetarian Union ...' The same minutes note that the President of IVU, Mr Woodland Kahler, the Marquis de St.Innocent, was now living in Spain. Vice-Presidents include: Prof D M Cervera Cebolla and Dr V L Ferrandiz from Spain (but apparently not present). In the 'Society Reports' : 'The President spoke of the situation in Spain and how through a misunderstanding a large group from Spain had not attended'. There was a represetave from Spain at the Congress but not an official delegate of any society.

1971 - Spanish Vegetarian Naturist Federation frist mentioned

Following the 1971 World Congress at The Hague: 'In the March-1972 Newsletter from the Spanish Vegetarian Federation, appears a report about the XXI World Vegetarian Congress, on data given by the official Spanish delegate, Agustín Belda.'

At the 1975 World Congress in Maine, USA: Mr.Enrique Bueno & Mrs Pardo Inchategui are listed as Vice-Presidents along with the two already mentioned above. At the 1977 Congress it was just Mr.Enrique Bueno and Prof D M Cervera Cebolla, however the membership lists for 1977 and 1979 (the only two such lists to survive) both show no members societies in Spain.. The 1979 records list just Prof.D.M.Cervera Cebolla as a Vice-President (it appears to have been possible to elect a VP to represent any country where there was no member society). The next Congress, 1982, has no mention of Spain at all.

1980 - Asociación Vegetariana Canaria, Spain frist mentioned.

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At the 1986 World Congress, in Yugoslavia, Francisco Martin was elected to the International Council. The Asociación Vegana Española was founded in 1993. For current IVU Members and Supporters in Spain see

2003 - Unión Vegetariana Española formed
2003 - Fundacion Shakahari Vegetariana (Spain) joined IVU

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