International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

Vegetarian Federal Union 1889-1911

From The Vegetarian (London) August 1, 1896:

By the Way

The Federal Union meeting on Friday was agreat success. The provincial societies sent up their representatives in great force, and when from far-off Ireland there came three delegates to help by counsel and wisdom, it is easy to understand the amount of interest and enthusiasm that had been evoked!

The spirit of the meeting, too, was worthy of the greatest organzation that the Vegetarian movement has yet seen. It was a gathering of senators rather than of quibblers, of men and women who recognized that the cause of Vegetarianism was the thing dearest to their hearts, and that the suggestions ans schemes and plans of others were as well worthy of careful consideration as the cherished ideasd that had come into their own minds.

There was plain speaking and keen criticism, but underneath there was a current of kindliness and loyalty which augurs well for the future working of the Union.

To my mind the most important manifestation was the unanimous recognition of the value of the Federal Union and its work. Not so long ago it seemed o be the fashionable thing amongst many Vegetarian Societies to ask what was the good of it, and to query the necessity for its further development, but now that we have just passed through a time of stress, when to some minds there seemed the possibility of the total collapse of this organization, there comes the serious examination of its claims, and the thought of what we should do without it.

And when we begin to think of the Vegetarian movement without our great linking federation, we remember the sporadism of the past and call to mind the isolation of the struggling new society of years gone by, and we feel that there is great need for the Central Council, which will bind together, which will encourage and advise, and which will form a bridge between the superfluity of the strong and the penury of the weakling societies.

The item of the most practical value, the one thing which proved by deeds the truth of the spirit which breathed through the speeches, was the resolution that all affiliated societies would pay to the central fund a capitation on all their adult members and associates.

This idea originated with the Executive, who proposed that each Society should pay an annual subscription to the Union of 1s. per head on each of their members and associates.

There was considerable discussion as to the amount, but a general consensus of agreement as to the principle. Many felt that poor societies could not afford 1s. per head, when the membership of the Society itself was only 1s. At the same time it was agreed that in the past the tendency had been too much to neglect the duty of alms-giving, and to expect that manna would be provided free for ever.

It was therefore resolved to aim at raising the subscriptions of members and associates, and to give as high a capitation fee as possible to the Union.

The Vegetarian Federal Union

The following official report of the Semi-annual Meeting of the Vegetarian Federal Union is communicated by the Secretary :-

The Semi-annual Meeting of the above Union was held on Friday, July 24th. The gathering was the largest and most representative ever held in the history of the Vegetarian Federal Union.

The following delegates were present :- America, Miss Yates and Mr. T. A. Hanson ; Bolton, Messrs. W. M. Farrington and C. W. Forward ; Brighton, Mr. Wm. Slatter ; Dereness, Mr. C. W. Forward, Devon, Messrs. I. J. Pengelly and T. W. Richardson ; Dunfermline, Miss E. E. Cole ; Holland, Mr. A. C. Field ; Germany, Mr. W. Becker, Ham (West), Mr. Geo. Boden ; Ireland, Messrs. J. S. Herron, J. Straiton, R. Semple ; Kilburn, Mr. W. C. Forward ; London, Messrs. J. Ablett, Miss C. B. Cole, J. Oldfield ; Miss E. Tegetmeier ; Newcastle, Mr. Geo. Whitfield ; Northern Heights, Mr. J. Sidley ; Paddington, Miss Hopper ; Reading, Mr. D. W. Bishop Ackerman ; Sheffield, Mr. G. W. Mottram ; Women's Vegetarian Union, Madame Veigelé.

The minutes of the Annual Meeting were read by the secretary (Mr. F. P. Doremus) and confirmed.

The financial statement was read by the hon. treasurer (Mr. Wm. Theobald) and accepted.

The delegates discussed a "suggested scheme of organization and finance for the Vegetarian Jubilee, 1897."

The proposals of the Devon Vegetarian Society were fully and freely discussed, and were adopted with a view to being incorporated in the rules.

The following gentlemen were appointed to consider the present constitution and rules, and, after revising them to report :- Messrs. Forward, Hills, Nayler, Oldfield, Pengelly, Richardson, Theobald, and Miss Yates.

It was resolved that a general appeal be made by the Vegetarian Federal Union, to be signed by the Presidents of all existing societies, on behalf of the work of the Vegetarian Federal Union in all parts of the country.

The following resolution was also adopted:- "That the principle of a capitation grant from each society to the Vegetarian Federal Union, upon the basis of their membership and associateship be adopted and that each society be invited to state the grant it is willing to make."

A scheme for forming a "circulating library" for the union was placed before the meeting by C. W. Forward and adopted in principle. A vote of thanks to Mr. Hills for presideing was moved by Mdlle. Veigelé, seconded by Madame Veigelé and carried unanimously.