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History of the Austrian Vegetarian Societies

Some individual Austrians:

Hugo Wolf (Mar. 1860-1903) Austrian composer.

Gustav Mahler (Jul. 1860-1911) Bohemian-Austrian composer and conductor.

Arnold Schoenberg (Sep. 13, 1874-1951) Austrian/American composer. Disciple of Mahler, teacher of Cage.

Georg Tintner (1917-99) Viennese born conductor, worked mainly Australia & Canada

Kurt Schwertsik (1935-) Austrian composer

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), February 1879, p41:

VIENNA - We have received the statutes of the Vienna Vegetarian Club (a union for diet comfortable to nature). The aim of the club is the care of the bodily and spiritual health of its members by means of a diet agreeable to nature on the ground of experience and science in the sense of Vegetarianism, and to promote the diffusion of appropriate fundamental propositions by special examples, by suitable books and tracts, by public addresses, and above all by teaching oral and written. The cardinal priciple is abstinence from all nourishment derived from dead beasts which become food for plants, especially to adopt farinaceous products and fruit, considered as the soundest kind of aliment and most worthy of mankind, and as the main condition for bodily, spiritual, and moral welfare. The club is open to all, without distinction of sex, on acceptance by the officers of the association and payment of the contribution.

The club consists of - (a) Ordinary members who follow the priciples of Vegetarianism; and (b) Extraordinary members, who apporve and promote the principles but are unable to follow them. To vote on practical questions, to elect or be elected, belongs to the ordinary member alone. Every member pays one florin on admission, and two florins quarterly.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), September 1881, p193:

A vegetarian Society has recently been formed at Mürzzuschlag, in Autsria.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), December 1881, p270:

According to La Réforme Alimentaire [France], local Vegetarian Societies exist in . . . and in Austria at Vienna, Gratz, and Murzzuschlag.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), February 1882, p44:

We have received a copy of the statutes of the recently-established Vegetarian Society in Vienna, which seem admirably adapted to their intended purpose.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), March 1882, p70/71:

A letter from Gratz in Styria, states that a Vegetarian Society has been founded in that city.

Accounts from Vienna report that the Vegetarian Society there has commenced work in earnest, new members joining every day, the library being considerably increased, Vegetarian literature freely disseminated, and the Vegetarian dining-room at times crowded.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), August 1882, p180:

A tract has been issued by the Gratz Vegetarian Society, containing directions for a preparation of the more simple Vegetarian dishes, with the cost per head.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), April 1883, p96:

VIENNA (VEREIN FÜR NATURGEMÄSSE LEBENWEISE) - The Vegetarian Society of Vienna begs to send compliments to the Editors of The Dietetic Reformer, and to ask this favour: Our members, numbering eighty, frequent the only eating house for Vegetarians in Vienna, which is, however, insufficient for their needs. they would like a larger room and better locality, a better and more tasteful manner of cooking, also an enterprising manager for such an establishment, partly for their own comfort, partly for the purpose of propagating the new mode of living by an inviting model restaurant. We cannot find a suitable and trustworthy man for such an establishment, and, aspiring to open a Vegetarian Hall like some of your institutions, we have agreed to look out for someone amongst the English friends of our principles, if our communication in your widely read periodical. We shall be much indebted to you if you can assist us. - The "Vienna Vegetarian Society" - J. L. Heild, Librarian.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), April 1883, p107:

VIENNA - at the second general meeting of this Society, it was announced that during the year 1882 twenty lectures, besides those of Dr. Dock, had been given under its auspices, and more than 17,000 publications given away. The accounts show a small balance, and the library has been increased and freely used. The Committee were directed to promote a conference of Vegetarians resident throughout the Empire, with a view to forming an Austrian Vegetarian Society.

From the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), May 1884, p129:

Verein für Naturgemasse Lebensweise in Wien (Society for Promoting Natural Diet in Vienna), had on 9th February a lecture from the President, Mr. F. W. Kubiezek on "Vegetarianism in Vienna since Gustav Struve." Mr. Kribiezek also briefly sketched the character and work of Gustav Struve, of whom he was an intimate acquaintance.

From The Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), December 1886, p375:

Germany.- The Veriensblatt for November gives a gratifying account of the annual meeting of the German Vegetarian Society in Vienna, which took place on the 25th September last. It was the first meeting which had been held in Vienna, and every endeavour was made to secure success for the gathering. We are pleased to note that the result was all that could have been desired. On the evening of the 25th the members from all parts of Germany, gathered in the hall, and when at a quarter to eight Herr Fr. Eckstein took the chair about 250 persons were present. After a few preliminary words of welcome he introduced Frau Lesser, of Darmstadt, with a paper on Vegetarianism, which proved of uncommon interest to her hearers, the lady chiefly confining herself to the humanitarian aspect of her subject. Her most touching appeal was greatly helped by her excellent delivery.

On the following morning arrived Mr. Herring, of Leipsic, who was to conduct the rest of the proceedings. His introductory address dealt with the necessity of union. The compnay then dispersed to the banquet, which was splendidly served in the "Indian" room of the third coffee house. One hundred and twenty persons of all ages were present, and an address was given by Herr Eckstein. After dinner, an amateur concert was heartily enjoyed, very good music, both vocal and instrumental, being rendered by the members; and after a short dance the party dispersed about eight p.m., well pleased with their day's entertainment.

On the following day Herr Eckstein conducted the visitors over the town, and the evening again saw the large hall of the Engineers and Architects Society well filled. Herr Herring dwelt on "The meaning of Vegetarianism as a sustainer of the national strength," in a lucid, impressive, and impartial manner, and was greeted with hearty, yea stormy, applause.

The Vienna press - the whole Austrian press indeed - have taken a keen interest in the meeting, and have spoken with great respect of the proceedings. Next year the gathering is to take place at Leipsic.

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), November 1893, 422 [extracts]:


From the 20th April until 10th June next there will be held at Vienna, . . . a Universal International Exhibition ofr Popular and Military Alimentation, Economies &c.

Certainly all Vegetarians will be glad to hear that in conformity with the official programme of the Exhibition "a special section will be accorded for the demonstration of the principle of fleshless diet" (Vegetarianism), where its partisans will find ample opportunity for propagating the advantages of their method of alimentation in a theoretical as well as practical way. The Vienna Vegetarian Society therefore consider it as their bounden duty of honour to make the necessary preparations and arrangements for this section. [further details followed]

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), February 1894, p65/69:

[from Die Vegetarische Rundschau, November 1893] A committee has been formed at Salzburg for the formation of a Vegetarian Athletic Club. This has, no doubt, been called forth by the recent success gained by Vegetarians in the long distance walking matches. It is intended that this club shall from time to time organise competitions, that it shall support the expenses of any member, unable to do so for himself, who wishes to enter into any outside competition, and it shall give prizes of honour to its successful members, and, in short, encourage any sport of which the committee approve.
At its meeting, held on the 15th December, 1893, the Vienna Vegetarian Society unanimously resolved to join the Deutsche Vegetarier-Bund.

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), September 1895, p65/69:

Austria.- Vegetarianism does not seem to thrive in Austria. Outside of Vienna no vegetarian society seems able to live on its own footing. Several unions of hygeine have been established, which advocate a vegetarian mode of living, but per se our teaching has so far not found favourable soil.

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England),October 1896, p342

An excellent paper on "Richard Wagner and his attitude to our Endeavours," was read before the Vienna Vegetarian Society, by Frau Ebert-Stokinger. [details followed]

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England),October 1899, p304:

Vienna Vegetarian Society.- This Society reports good progress after four months of existence.

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), June 1900, p180:

Vienna Vegetarian Society. - The Lokal Anzeiger gives a full and appreciative report of an address in favour of our cause, delivered in Vienna by Herr Benno Buerdorff, and states that the address was well received and frequently applauded. This argues well for the advance which our brethren are making in Austria. It is not long ago that vegetarianism was barely acknowledged in Austria, now at least our ideas are treated with respect. There can be no doubt that the argumentative meetings to which the medical men of the city were invited, have made an impression, and we are looking forward with interest to a continuation of the same, which has been announced.

The following item was contributed by the Soyfoods Center:

Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England). 1902. "The movement abroad." Nov. p. 251-54. "In Austria a vegetarian magazine has been started."


In 1908 the Society in Vienna sent a letter of support to the first IVU Congress in Dresden, Germany

The next mention we have of Austria is in the report of the 1923 IVU Congress, held 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 : ... Austria - Richard Schwartz and Mrs Schwartz, Vienna.

... We give the full list of papers in alphabetical order :- ... Moriz Schnitzer [Czechoslovakia] on "The Nature Healing Institutions in Germany and Austria," ...

... The Chairman said that, owing to the great disturbance caused by the War the Committee felt as if we ought almost to make a new beginning and that the Constitution would need some alteration. He invited members for the International Vegetarian Unon and the delegates from the following countries expressed their desire to join :- ... Austria, ...

... Some discussion arose as to the advisability of admitting Nature Healing Societies as members of the International Vegetarian Union. Mr. Schwartz, Miss Hompes, Dr. Oberdörfcr, Mr. Egerod, Mr. C. W. Forward, Mr. Schnitzer, Mr. Sibly, Mr. Noithenius and Mr. Hough took part. It was resolved :- That any National Food-Reform Society whose executive power is vested only in its vegetarian members shall be eligible for membership of the International Vegerarian Union. ... [this appears to relate to the talk by Moriz Schnitzer above]

... NATIONAL DAY. Proposed by Mr. Schwartz of Vienna that a National Day should be appointed, say the second Sunday in September, when fruits are ripe, for a Vegetarian Demonstration throughout the world. Th proposal met with favour but no resolution was passed. The matter was left to the Committee, as were also details for further revision of the Constitution. ...

From the report of the 1926 IVU Congress, held in London, England:

Messages of congratulations and good wishes were received from the following Societies not represented at the Congress :- ... Austria, ...

Extracts from the report of the 1929 IVU Congress, held in Steinschönau, Czeckoslovakia:

... The very list of speakers at the Congress was impressve. Including as it did, the names of .... and, last though by no means least, Dr. Johannes Ude, Professor of Theology in the University of Graz. whose wonderful eloquence must certainly be accounted one of the outstanding features of the Congress. The present is an age of wireless, and it is customary to declare that oratory, as a fine art, in these days is sadly out of date. To listen to Professor Ude, however, on any one of the half-dozen occasions on which he spoke, was to realise - notwithstanding that his words were in an unfamiliar tongue - that the art of public speech is still a living one. Even as we write the magic of that final "Ich will," in his speech on the Tuesday afternoon, yet continues to thunder in our ears. Would that it might echo and re-echo likewise in the ears (and also in the minds) of all those whom vegetarians would fain make to understand! ...

... Thirteen nations in all were represented at the Congress - ... Austria, ...

... As already stated, the speech of Dr. Johannes Ude (Graz) delivered at the afternoon session, was one of quite amazing eloquence, so much so that we despair of conveying to the reader, through the medium of a mere summary, any adequate understanding of the extraordinary reaction it produced on those who heard it. Dr. Ude is not only a theologian, his academic quali-fications have also been earned in the field of philosophy, of natural science and of economics; and the response of his audience to what he had to say was the more remarkable seeing that it was the seemingly dry-as-dust subject of economics with which, on this occasion, he had elected to deal. Evidently, however, Dr. Ude is a teacher who finds it quite impossible to do his thinking in water-tight compartments, and so he began by laying down the principle that what is wrong ethically cannot be justified economically, and vice versa. Human well-being and ethical behaviour, he said, necessarily went together. The use of the produce of the land for the purpose of feeding cattle involved an enormous waste of material, even to the extent of 75 to 80 per cent., and an area of land capable of supporting seven vegetarians could sustain but one flesh-eater. Were all the people of Europe to become vegetarians it would be possible to support a population of almost four times the present size. Dr. Ude proceeded to quote some interesting figures showing the waste involved in his own country of Austria as a result of pig-breeding, linking up his subject finally with the waste associated with the use of alcohol and tobacco, which substances, as he re-minded his audience, most vegetarians also forebore to consume.

The economic loss, said the speaker, arising from damage to health caused by tobacco and alcohol was enormous, and it was impossible to dissociate these from the question of abstinence from flesh foods. In general, it might be said that the vegetarian put into practice the important economic principle of the smallest expenditure to the greatest advantage. Vegetarianism, said Dr. Ude, always and every-where, proclaimed itself as the ideal mode of life ; and thereupon as if to gather together all the various threads of his argument. bringing the whole under the dominance of one final act of will - came the emphatic declaration already referred to in our second paragraph. ...

Extracts from the report of the 1932 IVU Congress, held in Berlin & Hamburg, Germany:

... among the speakers are Professor Ude (Austria) [photo right]... Monday morning at 9 o'clock witnessed a huge gathering in the open to hear addresses by Professor Johannes Ude, of Graz, ...

... Dr. Ude then spoke with the eloquence and charm which is the prerogative of the true orator.

He had a message to proclaim and this he delivered in a clear and decisive tone. His subject was "VEGETARIANISM AS A SAVING FACTOR IN THE APPROACHING WORLD CHAOS." Dr. Ude said that the universe was governed by certain laws, which, in order to achieve perfection, must be rigidly followed. The individual, he said, was free to accept these principles or reject them and it was because nations had ignored them that the world to-day was suffering from the effects of warfare and economic and political chaos. Professor Ude then indicated some of the laws to which he had just referred.
(1) Man's original food consisted of herbs arid fruits-not the flesh of animals-and in so far as we had departed from that type of diet so our troubles increased. (2) The world was given for the use of man, irrespective of creed or colour. (3) Every human being had a right to the land and to everything necessary for his proper development. (4) Through work the human being received his reward. (5) Everyone had a duty, and therefore, a right to work. (6) Only useful commodities should be produced. The production of luxuries tended to make necessities more expensive.

Dr. Ude dwelt at some length upon the tremendous waste involved in the production of flesh foods when contrasted with vegetable foods. Flesh food, he said, was approximately five times as expensive as vegetable foods, due, chiefly to the length of time required to produce it. At the present time the whole of Europe could only feed 452 million people, whereas, without the use of animals as food, 1,704 million people could be supported. Every country, he said, would gain enormously if it adopted a veget-arian dietary-and it would also make for peace and a better under-standing among the nations. ...

... In order to give the members of the Hamburg Vegetarian Society an opportunity of meeting the foreign delegates the concluding meetings and excursions were arranged in that city on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday. On Thursday evening, in the large hall of the Coventgarten, we met many new friends who had assembled to hear an address from Professor Ude on "Vegetarianism and the present economic chaos." Professor Ude dealt with many of the points raised in his lecture at Eden. He emphasized the tremendous waste resulting from the consumption of alcohol and tobacco (7 million marks yearly in Germany) and the vast sums spent on armaments. As before, he spoke for a considerable time on the economic argument for vegetarianism and the great waste resulting from the production of flesh foods. His final message was that the economics of any lasting system must of necessity be based on humane and righteous principles. ...

The report of the 1935 Congress makes no mention of anyone from Austria, but Dr Ude was clearly still involved as shown by extracts from the report of the 1938 Congress in Norway:

In the unavoidable absence of Dr. Johannes Ude (Austria), and Mr. Peter Freeman (Gt. Britain), the first address at the morning session was delivered by Dr. E. MÖNICHEN, ...

Apologies for absence and expressions of good wishes were read from Professor Dr. Johannes Ude (Austria), ....

The reports of the 1947 and 1950 Congresses make no mention of Austria.

- - -

  • At the 1957, 1960 and 1965 Congresses there was an official delegate from a Society in Austria, but at present we do not have a name for the Society or any further details.
  • 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: (Austria), Weltgesundheitsdient, Vienna 18, Schulg 2/1/9.

  • Österreichische Vegetarier-Union was founded 1970

  • Dipl.Jul.Fleishanderl (Austria) was as an Executive Vice President of IVU from 1971 until 1984.

  • see also: Vegane Gesellschaft Österreich - founded 1999?

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