Black Vegetarian Society

Cassandra Wimbs here describes briefly the nature, history and activities of the Black Vegetarian Society. It was co-founded by Ms. Cassandra M. Wimbs and Mr. David C. Jones at the 1975 World Veg. Congress in Maine at Howard University. We want to thank The Hon. Jay Dinshah of American Vegan Society for his support and inspiration, who gave Cassandra a copy of “The Dreadful Comparison."

It has been renamed The International African American Vegetarian Network and Friends (IAVNF). The primary impetus is to be a friend who wants to network.

David and Cassandra have engaged in such endeavors as the Friday night, fasting functions, group fasting with Dick and Dr. Alvenia M. Fulton, plus attendance at the Hippocrates Health Institute. They, along with others, promoted antihunger and peace goals.

We are still active friends in that. David became Muhammad Ali's Nutritional Advisor. Davey also holds a Guinness World Record for boxing and fasting.

Cassandra, former health instructor at a college of New Rochelle, won Teacher of the Year for 2004, also a congressional proclamation for Educational activities around prostate cancer, plus an exemplary service proclamation to NY State.

Thanks to Beauty Without Cruelty, Cassandra proudly sports a Vegetarian Mouton fur coat. Her present vegetarian activity is evaluating Health food stores for the public.

This afternoon she rated "Elm Wellness" as recommendable. She holds another proclamation for the 125 the Street Health Food store development project. A report can be requested on 5 businesses in the Area.

As an honorary member with a Passport of Friendship Force international, Cassandra recommends their site.

Both David and Cassandra adhere to the Gen.1:29 Biblical Vegetarian verse. It asked that The Family heart public visit the on the bing search engine. Her anthology, "Traditional healing systems of the African Diaspora" is accessible on


Cassandra Wimbs Ms., MA certs
347 288 1225

The American Vegetarian Union


Until the 1960s IVU only accepted national vegetarian societies as members. The USA had several local groups which met in August 1949 at the First American Vegetarian Convention and created the American Vegetarian Union. The IVU General Secretary, and other Committee members, were present at the Convention and the AVU applied for membership on the spot.

Several Canadian delegates were also present and the Canadian Vegetarian Union followed in January 1950.

Dr Jesse Mercer Gehman was the first president of the AVU. Some background on the local groups at that time:

One of the local groups represented was probably the Vegetarian Society of the District of Columbia, founded in 1927 and still there - now the oldest Vegetarian Society in North America

The following is from The Vegetarian (VSUK magazine), Summer 1996 issue, looking back 50 years to 1946:

On the other side of the Atlantic, The American Vegetarian was a broad-sheet style monthly newspaper published by E L Pratt, Pismo Beach, California. We have a few bound copies of this, but we don't really know much about it. The 1945-46 volume was number 4 in the series so we assume it must have started around 1940. It seems to have been enjoyed by British readers as well as American - the July issue has a rather wistful letter from a Mrs Williams of Hull, musing about the many ads for nuts and tinned fruits the paper contains and wondering if American vegetarians realised how lucky they were! "American vegetarians have so vast a variety of foods to choose from. One advertisement names the Marzipaned Prunes. Couldn't I just enjoy a taste of these prunes for my birthday? Tinned fruits are such a luxury, one person out of ten will be lucky to get some. I have not tasted any since before the war." The editor, I'm pleased to say, took pity on Mrs Williams and sent her two large tins of California peaches!

1947, July 28: the American Vegetarian Party was launched.

Mrs V.W.Bricker & Mr E.A.Webbe,
both from Ohio, USA,
at the 1947 Congress

1947, July 29 - August 5, World Vegetarian Congress at Stonehouse, England. Reports include the following:

Brief speeches were made by the overseas delegates - ... Mr. E. A. Webbe (U.S.A.), ... [no indication was given of which society Mr Webbe represented]

During the course of the evening Mr. James Hough (Congress Secretary) intimated that Mr. Webbe had brought with him, by plane, direct from the States, an attractive basket of fruit as a token of goodwill from the vegetarians in America. ...

The business included reports from representatives of Societies affiliated to the I.V.U., and were given by .... Mr. E. A. Webbe as a delegate from the United States. ...

The congratulations of the I.V.U. were also cabled to the American Naturopathic Congress, celebrating its Jubilee in New York, and holding a special day devoted exclusively to the exposition of vegetarianism, ...

1948 Dr John Maxwell, age 85, nominated in the US Presidential elections by AVP. Symon Gould nominated for Vice President. Gould was also associate editor of the American Vegetarian - presumably the same one mentioned above.

In 1948 Dr. Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz formed a Vegan Society in California which ran until 1960.

In 1949 and American Vegetarian Convention was held near Milwaukee, USA, and the above groups joined to form the AVU.

The Vegetarian News (London), in a pre-IVU Congress report mentioned: "... the movement has been greatly strengthened by the emergence of an American Vegetarian Union last August and a Canadian Vegetarian Union which came into existence in January this year. "

Extracts from reports of the 1950 IVU Congress, held in The Netherlands:

SUNDAY, 16th JULY. ... 3.0 pm Lecture by American Vegetarian Union speaker....


... The Congress in Holland, however, will certainly be a turning point in the history of the Union. Chiefly as a result of the kindly interest and generosity Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.) .. [photo right].


.. English ... was the official language of this Congress - a compliment which the English and American participants greatly appreciated.

... More than all else, the Congress was noteworthy for the participation, for the first time, of delegates from North America. The new American Vegetarian Union was represented by Mrs. Clarence Gasque (widely known as Mother Gloria) who for sheer eloquence and vitality is not easily to be surpassed, and by Mrs. Sorge and Mr. and Mrs. Henry Sorge. ...

...there were interesting lectures from ... Mrs. Gasque on "The Vegetarian Movement in North America "....

... Brief speeches were made by delegates from the countries represented. Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.), in speaking on behalf the American Vegetarian Union, brought with her a huge banner which was inscribed: "Vegetarians of all nations unite; you have a world to gain for justice, kindness, health, happiness, peace, progress and prosperity." ...

... Messages and greetings were read from the Los Angeles Vegetarian Society and from the President of the American Vegetarian Union (Dr. Gehman). ...

... Brief reports of work accomplished in the various countries -given by delegates from America, ...

... The following applications for membership of the International Vegetarian Union were confirmed: (1) American Vegetarian Union, ...

... The officers of the I.V.U. were elected as follows-- ... Vice-Presidents: Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.) ....

....Mrs. Gasque offered to subsidise an I.V.U. office and Secretary, provided it was in London, and suggested that the Secretary should be a woman. The Committee will decide about the Secretary at a meeting in September....

... The President announced that through the generosity of Mrs Gasque it would be possible for the I.V.U. to appoint a paid Secretary, with Headquarters in Gt. Britain, ... and that such an appointment would be made by the officers of the Union by the end of 1950. ...

... Mrs. CLARENCE GASQUE (U.S.A.) said that she did not recognize nations as such - she was more concerned with human life and with whatever was noble - in that she was interested. She referred to the many phases of our vegetarian philosophy-humanitarian, economic, psychological, physiological, health, philosophical, religious, no less than the important aspect of the treatment-or maltreatment--of the soil. Speaking of America, she said that the advertizing companies required to he called to a halt : they were "psuchologizing" the human mind, and had reached a stage which made her refrain from turning on her radio. She described an incident in Kashmir in which the carrots, potatoes and other garden produce had been grown on foul land, and where it was necessary to cleanse the soil before the vegetables were fit to eat. If this were done, she said, the soil could live naturally and healthily, and nature would be certain to give her best in return. Mrs. Gasque stressed the great importance of demonstrating vegetarian meals. She had, herself, done much in that direction but she made it clear how vital it was to present those dishes in a nice and attractive form, and how necessary it was for us to be reasonable in our approach, other-wise we should never get adherents to our cause.

Mrs. Gasque concluded, as she had begun, on a high level, emphasizing the fact that our object as vegetarians was to ascertain our relationship with life at every stage. ...

... At the concluding session Mr. Sibly, said that the Congress had been a very successful and happy one and that it had been distinguished for the first time by the presence of delegates, as distinct from visitors, from North America and Canada. .... Mr. Sibly was followed, in his expression of thanks to our Dutch hosts, by Mrs. Gasque (U.S.A.), ...

From 1950 -1956 IVU had a salaried seretary, and an office in London, all of which were financed by Mrs Gasque.

The minutes of the IVU Executive Commitee, July 17, 1951, record:

The nomination of the I.V.U. for the Nobel Peace Prize by Symon Gould was discussed and not taken seriously. The feeling was that this was possibly a publicity stunt for his newspaper.

Symon Gould was a controversial character, adopting a much higher profile than most vegetarians at the time. Which did not go down well with the traditionalists but perhaps he was just ahead of his time considering some of the campaigns in the US today.

The minutes of the IVU Executive Committee meeting, April 10/11, 1952, held near Haarlem, Holland record:

On hearing that no fees had been paid by the U.S.A. for the preceding year Mrs Gasque immediately handed the Treasurer a ten dollar bill and explained the present position of the Vegetarian movement in the U.S.A. saying that the vast distances prevented easy co-ordination & that no real degree of organisation had yet been achieved ....

... The Secretary reported that he had received an invitation from the American Vegetarian Union to undertake a 2/3 month lecture tour of the United States to stimulate interest & learn the extent of the movement. He had communicated this suggestion to the President who had given his approval if the financial question could be met. On hearing of the proposal Mrs Gasque had stated her willingness to finance the tour & all arrangements had been made for the secretary to leave England on 7th May to fulfil an extensive tour terminating in mid July. The Committee warmly expressed its gratitude at this further most generous support of Mrs Gasque. [ Mrs Gasque seems to have been paying the AVU subscription, but unaware of their invite to the Secretary.]

...The secretary reported on ... the important forward steps taken by the I.V.U. in Holland in 1950 backed by Mrs Gasque's generous support. [ refers to the 12th World Vegetarian Congress, in Oosterbeck that year. ]

... Mrs Gasque said that she might consider inviting Dr Szekely to the Congress. [ refers to the plans for the 1953 Congress in Sweden - Dr Szekely was, since 1940, running a vegetarian health resort in Mexico, 3 miles from the California border; see: ]

... Mrs Gasque had compiled a very suitable form to be used in notifying air companies that a vegetarian would be using their service. It was decided that this form should be printed not only for use with air companies but also for rail, coach & sea services. On account of the large number required to distribute to all I.V.U. connections the secretary was asked to obtain estimates & report at the next meeting.

... it was agreed that in view of the establishment of a permanent international office the £200 ... by Mrs Gasque's London Brokers chould in future be paid direct into I.V.U. funds and be administered by the treasurer.

At the 1953 IVU Congress, in Sigtuna, Sweden, Mrs Gasque was elected President of IVU.

Minutes of a meeting of members of the Executive Committee held in Hampstead, London on the 18th October 1953

President Mrs Gasque in the Chair
Vice President Mr Scott Nearing
Committee members Messrs Kahler ...
[these three were all Americans, though they were meeting at Mrs Gasque's home in London. Mr Kahler, who also had homes in other countries, appears to have been elected at the 1953 Congress, but it is unclear whether Scott Nearing was already a VP before that event.]
Messrs Nussbaum [France] & Kahler were asked to find a suitable location in Paris for the [1955] Congress and the President would visit it with them on her forthcoming visit to France. [one of Mr Kahler's homes being in Paris]
In connection with this expedition to Israel [by the Secretary] Mr.Woodland Kahler expressed his willingness to accompany the secretary at his own expense and the offer was gratefully accepted.

1953 US Presidential elections, General Herbert C. Holdridge nominated by the American Vegetarian Party.

In the IVU Council minutes of 1954 the American Vegetarian Unon is referred to as having 'petered out'. Vice President Scott Nearing (from Maine, USA) had sent some suggestions for furthering the work of the IVU.

1955, at the IVU Congress in Paris, France, Mr.Curtis Freshel (USA) was elected as a Vice-President of IVU. Mr Freshel and his wife, Emarel were good friends of George Bernard Shaw and had founded the 'Milennium Guild', a vegetarian group in the US which had been represented as far back as the 1926 IVU Congress.

In 1957 Dr.W.McGregor (USA) was elected as a Vice President of IVU.

In 1958 Dastur F. Bode became the first 'IVU Regional Secretary for the Americas', succeeded in 1960 by Dr Jesse Mercer Gehman until 1975 (if Dr Gehman was still there, what happened to AVU?).

1960 H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society.

By 1963 there were eight Vice Presidents from the USA: Mr Lowell Fillmore, Dr Jesse Mercer Gehman, Dr W Mc Gregor, Mr S H Linnio, Dr J Maxwell (if this is the same Dr J.Maxwell that stood or US President in 1948, he would now be 100 years old...), Mr Curtis Freshel, Prof Scott Nearing, Prof H B Stevens.

The American Vegetarian Union appears to have closed in the early 1970s, by that time IVU was accepting local groups as members, making the AVU a littel redundant. The Canadian VU appears to have closed around the same time.

In 1974 the North American Vegetaran Society was founded and became the IVU Regional Organisation for North Americ until 1987 when the Vegetarian Union of North America was formed.

!975 saw North America's first ever World Vegetarian Congress in Maine , followed by Baltimore 1984 and Johnstown, PA, 1996.

If you have any more information about anything on this page please contact John Davis - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


History of Vegetarian Societies in Africa

gandhi11894-1903 - the earliest references we have to vegetarianism in Africa are several letters and articles sent by Gandhi to The Vegetarian (London). See Mohandas K. Gandhi for the complete collection, below are the items from South Africa:
To Indians in England (from South Africa) - April 28, 1894
A Band of Vegetarian Missionaries, and their work in South Africa - May 18, 1895
Vegetarianism in Natal - December 21, 1895
Vegetarianism - copy of a letter to the Editor of the Natal Mercury - March 28, 1896
Facts for Emigrants to South Africa- April 25, 1903

1957 - the minutes of the IVU General Meeting, during the Congress in India, record the presence of one or more delegates from South Africa, but no details were given.
- A Vegetarian in Central Africa - written in 1956 by an Englishman, published in the Souvenir book of the 1957 Congress.

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:
West African V.S., Mr. E. M. Affram, P.O. Box 671, Accra, Ghana
West African V.S., Mr. T. C. K. Osuji, P.O. Box Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Johannesburg V.S., Mr. J. Idelson, P.O. Box 5119, Jo'burg, S. Africa

1960 - the General Secretary's report states: "The following societies and organisations are now affiliated to The I.V.U. . . . Nigerian Vegetarian Society . . . West African Vegetarian Society . . . " (from a total of 48)

1966 - From a piece written by Jan Beeldman, former Chairman of the Vegetarian Society of South Africa: "In 1966 letters appeared in the press from vegetarians enquiring if there was a vegetarian society and if not, if it wasn't time that such a society should be founded. Jeremiah Idelson who had been a foundation member of a vegetarian society in earlier years responded by inviting those interested to write to him and in due course a meeting was held when about 30 people 'gave birth' to what was then called The Johannesburg Vegetarian Society. One of the first steps the society took was to draw up a constitution, join the parent body S.A.V.U. (South African Vegetarian Union) and to become affiliated to the International Vegetarian Union."

1969 - an article by Woodland Kahler, President of IVU, describes the 'recent' formation of the South African Vegetarian Union (last paragraph)
From The Humanitarian and Vegetarian World Forum, Oct.-Dec., 1969:
Durban From Durban we have the good news that up until May, 1969, Mrs. van Loon's vegetarian booklet had sold 6,000 copies. She is the wife of Louis van Loon, the founder and organizer of the Vegetarian Society of Durban that began four years ago [ie 1965] and developed into the South African Vegetarian Union which now has its own excellent "glossy" magazine called MAN, the first number of which was reviewed in World Forum.
Mrs. van Loon evidently won the approval of her interviewer from the Natal Mercury of May 30th, 1969, by giving her an appetising meal consisting of Soya Bean rissoles, cauliflower, mashed potato with mint, beans and salad. The long article she reported covered most arguments for a harmless diet and was liberally illustrated, by pictures of convincingly hale South African vegetarians of both sexes, young and old. It also quoted Mr. van Loon as giving the acid test of whether flesh-eating was right or wrong in the observation: "People will take their children to a farm and let them see fruit and crops growing, but how many will take their children to an abbatoir to see cattle being slaughtered?"

1971 - Mr. Louis H. van Loon, President of the South African Vegetarian Union elected to the IVU International Council. SAVU bid to host the 1973 Congress, but the members voted to go to Sweden.

1973 - from a list of particpants at the IVU Congress in Sweden - South Africa: Mrs. Claire Cullen, Mrs. Margaret Newby, Mr. Solomon Stein, Mrs. F. Stein.

1975 - Mr. Evan P. Morkel, of Cape Town, appointed as the first IVU Regional Secretary for Africa, and joined Mr. van Loon on the Council. South Africa proposed for the 1977 IVU Congress, but the members voted to go to India.
- records show a donation from: "Mr.H.Levenberg (S. Africa) £2.12"
- from reports by Member Societies at the 1975 Congress in the USA, quoted by the Vegetarian Times: "S. AFRICA: Publishes a journal, circ = 1,000. Has 3 regional offices in Johannesburg, Capetown, & Durban. Has veg. contacts in Ghana, Nigeria, Rhodesia, Liberia."

1977 - The IVU Membership records show that the South African Vegetarian Union paid subscriptions of £4.00 in 1975 and 76, but nothing from 1977 onwards. S.O.U.L. Vegetarian Soc. (Nigeria) paid £5.00 in 1975, '76 and '77. - from the 1977 General Secretary's Report: "The African Region is keeping close contact in 3 countries but conditions militate presently against a Regional Congress there. "

1979 - the minutes of the General Meeting, in England, record: "Regional and National Society reports were read out at two following sessions of the Congress from 30th Aug. 1979:- Egyptian Vegetarians - Prof.T.Magalid . . . Nigerian (S.O.U.L.) Vegetarian Society - Mr.Gunn-King read report . . . South African Vegetarian Union - Mrs. Pamela Solarsh "

1982 - Mr. Jan Beeldman appointed Regional Secretary for Africa. (Mr. van Loon left the Council at this point after having "not been active in IVU for some years". Mr. Morkel's last involement was in 1980, and he had also left by 1982, which suggests that SAVU had closed by this time)
The minutes of the IVU General Meeting record: "Reports were presented from the following societies:- Ghana - Pan African Vegetarian Union - Dr O.A.Gyan; South African Vegetarian Society - Mr Colin Rood "

1984 - Jan Beeldman attended the IVU Congress in Baltimore, USA, and gave a report from Africa: "Mr Beeldman commented on Africa's food problem and the relevance of the vegetarian answer to it. There was growing interest in vegetarianism in South Africa and the Society was becoming more active [presumably the South African Vegetarian Society]. He explained the lack of contact with other parts of Africa."
He remained as Regional Secretary until 1997, but did not attend any further Congresses. An offer was made to host the IVU Congress in 'West Africa' in 1988, but the members voted for Mexico (which was later cancelled...)
Reports were presented from the following societies:- South Africa: South African Vegetarian Society - Mr.C.Rood

1989 - the minutes of the IVU Council meeting record that Mr. Beeldman was not present but reported: "Africa - a national meeting had been held in South Africa but, due to political problems, no regional congress had been possible."

1990 - from the minutes of the IVU General Meeting at the Congress in Israel: "Reports were presented . . . on behalf of the regional secretaries of . . . Africa, . . ." "Reports of Member Societies - . . .the South African Vegetarian Society, . . ." - Nigeria Vegetarian Society founded (presumably the earlier one mentioned in 1960 had closed)

1993 - minutes of the IVU Council meeting, during the Congress in India record: "Mr Jan Beeldman of South Africa had indicated he wished to retire from the post but had agreed to continue until a suitable replacement were found."

1994 - from the minutes of the General Meeting in The Netherlands: "Africa - The regional secretary, Mr Jan Beeldman, was unable to attend the congress and sent his apologies. He reported the developments in South Africa since the liberation and the prospects for growth in the vegetarian movement. He received little from other parts of Africa but looked forward to increasing co-operation between African vegetarian societies as time progressed. Mr Maxwell Lee, the Hon.General Secretary, reported in contacts he had with vegetarian societies in Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In addition he heard periodically from vegetarian groups in Mauritius."
IVU Membership Records show that the S.O.U.L. Vegetarian Soc. (Nigeria) paid subscriptions from 1991 to 1994, but in steadily decreasing amounts - the subs were related to numbers of members, suggesting a declining membership. The South Africa Vegetarian Society paid a subscription in 1991, then less in 1992, but nothing after that. The Nigeria Vegetarian Society paid a subscription in 1993. Vegetarian Society of Mauritius was listed, apparently with free membership.

1995 - from the minutes of the IVU Council meeting "Regional Secretaries' Reports - Africa - Mr Jan Beeldman reported the development of the South African society and the hope for the future of a regional organisation now the political changes in South Africa had taken place"
- Vegetarian Society of Botswana

1996 - Global News Roundup - includes an item about the newly formed Botswana Vegetarian Society (IVU Newsletter, May 1996)
- Out of Africa - report from Jan Beeldman and 'Botswana's President attends Vegetarian Gastronomic Dinner' (IVU News 1996)
- Reports from Botswana & Zambia - Vegetarian Society of Botswana and The Zambian Society of Vegetarians (EVU News 1996)

botswanaSeated (L to R): Dr. P.K. Jain; Sir Q.K.J. Masire, President of Botswana; Madam G. Masire, First Lady; Mrs. S. Seligman. Standing: Mrs. P.Jain

1997 - Dr. P. K. Jain, of the Botswana Vegetarian Society, appointed as IVU Regional Coordinator for Africa
- the IVU African Recipes website created, with many contributions from people across Africa

1998 - Jan Beeldman welcomes Dr. P. K. Jain as new IVU Regional Secretary for Africa (IVU News 1998)
- Reports from Zimbabwe and Nigeria (IVU News 1998)
- On the Milk Issue - article by PK Jain (IVU News 1998)

1999 - Promoting Vegetarianism in Botswana - talk by PK Jain at the IVU Congress in Thailand

2000 - Jan Beeldman elected a Fellow of IVU, he died in 2002.
- Dietary code of practice amongst Jains - talk by PK Jain at the IVU Congress in Toronto
- HIPPO - Food Aid with a Purpose - IVU Member Society, working mostly in Africa
- Vegetarian Relief at the Mozambique Floods - IVU News

2002 - Health Minister Guest at Botswana Vegetarian Dinner (IVU News, 2002)
- the IVU Congress in Edinburgh had a speaker, Lisa Hattingh, from South Africa, and a delegate from Uganda.

2004 - Lwere Alexander Kasibante - Secretary of the National Union of Vegetarians-Uganda, elected to the International Council

2005 - Lwere was appointed as IVU Regional Secretary for Africa.
- the ivu-africa email group started
- Vegetarianism in Africa and Vegetarianism: The Ideal and indispensable lifestyle in the new age of aquarius - talks by Isaac Dikeocha, President of the Vegan Society of Ghana, at the European Vegetarian Congress in Italy (Word - .doc - files)

isaac62006 - Isaac Obiora Dikeocha, (right) now in South Africa, appointed IVU Regional Secretary for Africa.
 - a provisional offer was made to host the 2010 IVU Congress in South Africa, but was unable to be followed through at this time.
- Report from the Vegetarian Society of Uganda
- International Animal Rights Day 2006 in Nigeria

For events from 2007 onwards see: IVU Africa


Kayastha Vegetarian Society


Kayastha or Kayasth is a Hindu caste in South Asia, whose place inside the four Varnas or main castes is disputed. Most Kayastha are non-vegetarian, unlike other Hindu castes. (Wilkepedia)

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), July 1896, p.238/9:

THE KAYASTHA VEGETARIAN SOCIETY.- Abstract of rules and regulations of the Kayastha Vegetarian Society (India). -

  1. The aims and objects of the society shall be -
    1. to induce the members of the Kayastha community in general to abstain from using fish, flesh, fowl and eggs;
    2. to discourage the use of meat in public caste-dinners given by members of the brotherhood
    3. to make tentative efforts towards realization of the aim of the Society from a social point of view, and to studiousl avoid all questions of religion and politics in connection with the Society.
  2. The working of the Society shall be carried out through the medium of its branch societies and agencies.
  3. The duties of the branch societies and agencies shall be briefly:-
    1. To devise all such steps as may tend to realize the aim and objects of the Society;
    2. to obtain pledges, submit them to the general society, and deliver certificates of enrolment issued by the head office;
    3. to keep a register of members, correspondence register, account register showing the operations of the Society in connection with local festivals held in the year;
    4. to submit the half-year and yearly reports to the head office
  4. Any member of the brotherhoodnot below the age of twelve years is eligible for membership.
  5. Payment of subscription and other pecuniary contributions by the members is optional.
  6. A consolidated report, showing in detail the operations of the Society throughout India for the last preceeding year shall be laid before the annual meeting, and shall be subsequently published among the brotherhood.
  7. The annual meeting of the Society shall be convened simultaneously with the Kayastha conference at such place where that body holds its session.
    - Sanval Sahai Varma, Secretary

Proceedings of the 4th annual meeting of the Kayastha Vegetarian Society, India (Aligarh), held at Moradabad (N.W.P.), in the Kayastha Conference Pavilion, on the 29th December, 1895, at 8 a.m. Audience 700.

  1. M. Indarjil (Shahjahanpur) recited prayers to God, and denounced the use of flesh in a short speech.
  2. M. Munno Lal (Cawnpore), President of the Society, delivered the inaugural speech, in which he congratulated the members of the Society on the success which has attended their maiden efforts.
  3. B. Atal Bebars Lal Varma (Aligarh), General Secretary of the Society, read the annual report for 1895, which was adopted at the motion of B. Mata Prasad (Lucknow), seconded by M. Kalicharan (Cawnpore).
  4. The following gentlemen appropriate and eloquent speeches on vegetarianism: -
    1. M. Ram Dayal;
    2. B. Narain Prasad, M.A., LL.B. (Agra)
    3. B. Gorind Prasad (Cawnpore)
    4. W. Ganga Prasad, pleader (Mainpuri)
    5. M. Raghhir Prasad Biryan (Moradahad)
    6. B. Horgovind Dayal, M.A., Government pleader (Lucknow) founder of the Kayastha Conference
    7. Mr. Naud Kishone Kakkar, barrister-at-law (Barielly)
  5. B. Sanval Sahai Varma (Aligarh), Assistant General Secretary, read a letter dated the 6th August, 1895, from the Secretary of the Vegetarian Society, Manchester, together with its enclosures. "Resolved that the Kayastha Vegetarian Society, India, should be affiliated to the Vegetarian Society, Manchester, if the affiliation does not interfere with its own rules and regulations." Moved by Saural Sahai Varma (Aligarh), and seconded by Horgovind Dayal M.A. (Lucknow)
  6. The General Secretary pointed out the great necessity of having an organ solely devoted to the cause of the Society. "Resolved that the Kayastha Patrika Lucknow be made the organ of the Society with effect from the 1st January, 1896." Moved by Mata Prasad (Lucknow), seconded by S. S. Varma (Aligarh), and supported by B. Horgovind Dayal, M.A.
  7. The Secretary laid the budget for 1896, which was sanctioned.
  8. M. Sankata Prasad, honorary lecturer of the Society, made an effective appeal for subscriptions, which was liberally responded to by the audience.
  9. After a vote of thanks to the chair the meeting dissolved. Sanval Sahai Varma, Assistant General Secretary.

From The Vegetarian Messenger and Review (Manchester, England), July 1898, p.325:

THE KAYASTHA VEGETARIAN SOCIETY. - The following letter has been sent to the Kayastha Vegetarian Society, India, in answer to the kindly greetings of that Society read at the May meetings :-

To Sanval Luthia Varma, Esq., Joint General Secretary

Dear friend and brother, - The Vegetarian Society send their warm congratulations to the Kayastha Vegetarian Society, and rejoice that in the effort to promote humane diet and kindness to animals, the East and the West can find a common ground of co-operation and brotherhood. In this message the Vegetarian Society is heartily joined by the Scottish Vegetarian Society, at whose headquarters in Glasgow the May Meetings have been held.

We trust your gathering in December will be highly successful, and that our noble cause may prosper in an ever increasing degree, since its triumph means the advance of health, peace, and kindly feeling for all sentient creatures.

We are, dear brother, yours fraternally,
Wm. E. A. Axon, Honorary Secretary, Albert Broadbent, Secretary, The Vegetarian Society
John P. Allan, Wm. Scott, Honorary Secretaries, Scottish Vegetarian Society

Back to the history of Indian Vegetarian Societies


History of Vegetarian Societies in Asia-Pacific

The obvious irony in considering the history of organised vegetarianism in this region is that there have always been millions of Buddhists practising varying degrees and types of fleshless diet. But, inevitably, the vegetarian societies began in Australia and New Zealand, where the vegetarians were a tiny minority, copying the European model. The idea of secular organisations is relatively recent in East and SE Asia.

1882 - The earliest record we have is from the Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), August 1882, p181:
CHRISTCHURCH, N.Z. - Before leaving Christchurch I had the satisfaction of founding in that colony an association entitled the Canterbury Dietetic Reform Association, established 16th January, 1882, and of which my son is secretary. The number of members is small as yet; but this young offshoot may, I hope, become the stalwart oak, and so rescue multitudes from an untimely grave, for there is much sickness. I think I am within the mark when I say that more than two-thirds of the people are suffering in some degree from ill-health, while the rate of mortality among the children is very heavy. - H.S. [Dietetic Reform was an alternative name for a vegetarian society and was common in England at that time, this one in NZ does not appear to have lasted long as there were no further reports from it].

1886 - Australian Vegetarian Society(article by Edgar Crook with links to more articles)- this one lasted until about 1900 with some local groups in various parts of Australia at the same time.

1889 - China & Vegetarianism - a history by Ting Jen, Indonesia; and 'China and the Mongols' - from the The Vegetarian (London), November 9, 1889

? The Burma Humanitarian League was in existence before WWII, precise dates not known.

1943 - New Zealand Vegetarian Society founded

1947 - Humaneness, an assurance of health & happiness - Geoffrey Hodson, President New Zealand Vegetarian Society
- News from the Burma Humanitarian League and the New Zealand Vegetarian Society
(both above from the Vegetarian World Forum, Winter 1947)

1948 - Australian Vegetarian Society re-founded "It appears to have stemmed from a lecture given in Sydney in April 1948 under the title of 'The Humane Aspect of Vegetarianism', under the auspices of the local branch of the World League for the Protection of Animals. The speaker at that meeting was a bishop of the Liberal Catholic Church, Sten van Krusenstierna. Sten was the former Vice-President of the Malayan Vegetarian Society in Singapore."
- from The Australian Vegetarian Experience by Robert Fraser
- New Zealand Society expanded nationally (scroll down)
- The Slaughter House - Sandra Chase, Vice-President, New Zealand Vegetarian Society, Auckland Branch
- Animal Protection in the East - Rie von Krusenstierna, Hon. Sec. Malayan Vegetarian Society (all above from the Vegetarian World Forum, Spring 1948)
- Letter about the founding of the Australian Society - by Sten van Krusenstierna
- A Vegetarian Housewife in Singapore - by the wife of the above letter writer (both above from the Vegetarian World Forum, Summer 1948)

1953 - Geoffrey Hodson, New Zealand, elected as an Honorary Vice-President of IVU. This was a non-executive advisory role, representing his country. He remained in the role in his death in the early 1980s.

1957 - the first IVU Congress to be held outside of Europe was in several cities of India, leading to the appointment of Jayantilal N. Mankar (India) as IVU Regional Secretary for 'India and the East'. That same year saw the electtion of two further Honorary Vice-Presidents of IVU:
- U San Hla from Burma, General Secretary of the Burma Humanitarian League who contributed an article on Did Lord Buddha Countenance Meat-Eating?which appeared in the Souvenir Book of the 1957 Congress.
cambodia- and the Venerable Dr. Mazakazu Vira Dharmawara Buddhist advisor to the King of Cambodia. He is on the left in the photo, at the 1957 Congress, with Rukmini Devi Arundale from India.
We know nothing more of these two except that they remained in those positions until the mid-1960s.
Further items from the Souvenir Book of the 1957 Congress:
Vegetarians in Japan - an article by a visitor from Austria, with a reference to 'Masakazu Tada is the founder and leader of a small vegetarian school of life'.
hodsonGreetings from New Zealand (scroll down) - by Geoffrey Hodson (rght), President of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society and of the Council of Combined Animal Welfare Organizations of New Zealand; Theosophical Lecturer and writer
Greetings from the Hon'ble U Nu - Prime Minister of Burma

- 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:
- Australian V.S., Mr. W. H. Reynolds, Box 821 G, G.P.O., Adelaide, South Australia.
- Australian V.S. (Sydney), Mrs. K. Morrison, Suite 21, Paling's Buildings, 2 Ash St., 2nd Floor, Sydney, N.S.W. Branches at - Adelaide: 16, Pirie St. Brisbane: 364, Queen St. Melbourne: c/o, Caris Club, 343 Little Collins St. Perth: Overseas Club, Orient Buildings, William St.
- Australian V.S., Mrs. Shirley Chatfield, 75 Arabella St., Longueville, N.S.W., Australia
- International Buddhist Mission, U Po Ka, Suvana House, Thaton, Burma
- Mandalay V.S., Mr. Kyaw-Hla, Civil Lines, Mandalay, Burma
- Malayan V.S., Mr. Charles Lee, P.O. Box 454, Auckland, C1, N.Z.

1960 - Dr. Masakazu Tada, from Japan was elected an Honorary Vice-President of IVU and remained in that role for at least 25 years, until the mid-1980s.
[from minutes of the IVU General Meeting in Germany] representatives from Australia,. . . Japan, . . .
[from the General Secretary's report] The following societies and organisations are now affiliated to The I.V.U.:
Australian Vegetarian Society
Malayan Vegetarian Society
Mandalay Vegetarian Society
New Zealand Vegetarian Society

1963 - [from minutes of the IVU Business Meeting in Spain] representative . . . Malaya, . . . Greetings were announced from Societies in . . . .Australia . . .
Mr C.D.Harding; Australia, elected as an IVU Honorary Vice President

1965 [from the minutes of the General Meeting of the IVU Congress in England] The Congress greatly appreciated the interesting reports of activities in various Member countries. From: . . .Mr Roger Boswarva (Australia), . . .

1973 - [from reports of the IVU Congress in Sweden] Dr. Masakazu Tada, heading the Japanese delegation, said that Japan was vegetarian for a 1,000 years, but westernisation and industrialisation over the last 50 years has meant a 28 per cent increase in meat-eating, but there was tadaevidence now of a reversion to their former way of life. At a display of national dance and set-dancing, Mrs. Sachiko Tada, wearing the traditional obi sash, performed the delicate ritualistic Cherry blossom dance.The photo right is Dr. Tada at the Congress, using headphones for the translations.
The list of participants at the Congress shows:
Mrs Nadine Mellenas the sole Australian; and a group of 20 from Japan.

1975 -Bruce W. Standish (Melbourne, Australia) appointed as IVU Regional Secretary for Australasia, becoming the first person East of India to join the IVU Council. He was a former Editor (1970-72) of Health and Vision."This long running journal (1948-72) concentrated on promoting vegetarianism, animal rights, religion, psychology and health (especially alternative therapies)." - Edgar Crook.

1977 [from the General Sectretary's Report] The venue for the 25th World Vegetarian Congress in 1979 has been put forward as . . . Japan by Dr. Tada . . .
Following the death of Jay Mankar just before the Congress he had organised in India, Surendra Mehta and Dr. M. M. Bhamgara (both from India) were appointed as joint Regional Secretaries for India and the East.
IVU Membership records for 1975-77 show subscriptions from::
- Japanese Vegetarian Union
- Vegetarian Society of Australia
- Vegetarian Society of South Australia
- New Zealand Vegetarian Society
- and Mr.G.Karolyi and Dr. Tada made a personal donations.

japanese1979 - [from the IVU Congress in England] Dr.M.Tada (President of the Japanese Vegetarian Union) gave a talk.Massage demonstration by Dr. H. Ohnishi (photo right), Tatsua Tada, R. LizukaSociety reports were read out at two following sessions of the Congress:
- Japanese Vegetarian Union - Mr. M. Tada
- Australasia & S.Australia Veg.Soc, by Mr Fred Whittle
George Karolyi (South Australia) appointed IVU Regional Secretary for Australasia. He was recorded as being a Professional Engineer.
Fred Whittle (Australia) was elected as an Honorary Vice President

1981 - [from minutes of the International Council] Australasia: Mr Karolyi has issued a newsletter to societies in his region and hopes to hold regional meeting before the 1982 World Congress

1982 - [from the minutes of the General Meeting] Australasia: Mr.George Karolyi reported growing interest in vegetarianism and increasing co-operation with experienced welfare groups. He pointed out the problems experienced due to the large distances between population centres in Australia.
Asia: The main centres of activity are. . . . Japan and Singapore.
m i a khalik
Reports were presented from the following societies:-
- Vegetarian Society of South Australia - Mrs E.M.Fearnside
- Vegan Society, Australia - Mr Fred Whittle
- Japanese Soto Institute & You-I Club International - read
- New Zealand Vegetarian Society - read

1984 - [from Minutes of the International Council] - Present: . . . Mr. Tada (observer).
The meeting noted with deep regret the passing of . . . Mr Geoffrey Hodson founder of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. Hon.Fellow of I.V.U.
[from the minutes of the General Meeting] Australasia: The Hon.General Secretary read the report for Mr Karolyi in his absence. He reported that there are now five active vegetarian and vegan societies in Australasia. The growth of the animal rights movement was leading to co-operation between the societies and the animal rights movement. An Australian Vegetarian Congress is planned for 1985.
Asia: In Indonesia a vegetarian society was being developed. Interest in Singapore was very encouraging. The Japanese Society continued to flourish.
Reports were presented from the following societies:-
- South Australia Vegetarian Society - Mrs E.M.Fearnside
- Australian Vegetarian Society - Mr K.Salat
- Vegan Society of New South Wales - Mr.K.Salat
- Vegan Society of Victoria - Mr F.Whittle
- Japan: You I Club International - read
- New Zealand Vegetarian Society - read

1985 - 1st Australasian Regional Congress, Sydney, Australia

1986 - 2nd Australasian Regional Congress, Adelaide, Australia [from the General Meeting minutes] Australasia: Mr Fred Whittle gave a report in the absence of Mr George Karolyi. He reported on the growth in activity and the holding of a regional congress and brought greetings from his region.
Fred Whittle (Australia) was appointed as Regional Secretary for Australasia
Jashu Shah (India) was appointed as Region Secretary for India and the East.

1987 - a 3rd Australasian Regional Congress was planned for Melbourne, but it is not known whether it took place.

1988 - photo below from Robert Fraser of the Vegetarian Society of Western Australia: "Gina and I pretending to work on our magazine 'Western Vegetarian' in 1988. Photo taken by/for local community newspaper. Taken in pre-computer days, showing our latest proud possession, a second-hand IBM electric typewriter (real cutting-edge technology!)"

1990 - [from minutes of the IVU General Meeting in Israel] Reports were presented by or on behalf of the regional secretaries of . . . Australia, . . . Reports of Member Societies were received from . . . .Australia,

VUA-in-Adelaide-16-July-1991993 - Mark Berriman appointed Regional Secretary for Australasia
Japan Vegetarian Society founded
- right: a meeting of Vegetarian Union of Australasia in a restaurant, Adelaide, South Australia - 6 July 1993. Mark Berriman is standing at back right, Robert and Gina Fraser are front left and Mrs Emma (Mick) Fearnside is front centre.

1994 - [from the General Meeting minutes] Australasia - Mr Mark Berriman reported a very active year with increasing co-operation between societies. The magazine "New Vegetarian" was enjoying success and was supported by most of the Australian vegetarian societies. The sales were increasing and 5,500 were currently being sold. They were producing a number of leaflets and promoting the use of the VSUK sprouting seed emblem on products marketed in Australia. They had held a national meeting of vegetarian society representatives and there had been keenness to work together and looked forward to a successful congress.
Subscriptions paid to IVU between 1991-94 from:
- Australian Vegetarian Society
- Earthcare Hong Kong
- Japanese Vegetarian Society
- New Zealand Veg.Soc.
- Office of the World Peace Envoy Thailand (Assoc)
- Veg Bangkok
- Vegan Soc.New South Wales
- Veg.Soc.South Australia
- Veg.Soc.Western Australia
below: Maxwell Lee, on the left, and Robert Fraser, centre, and others at a Vegetarian Society of Western Australia seminar in 1994.

1995 - Vegetarian Centre of Thailand Founded

1996 - the32nd IVU World Vegetarian Congress was planned for Sydney, Australia, but was cancelled in 1995 and moved to the USA.
- Comparing Nutrition and Health of Japanese High School Students: SDA Vegetarians and Non-vegetarians - by Mitsuru Kakimoto, Japan, at the Congress in the USAmitsuruMitsuru Kakimoto, Japan, elected to the IVU Council photo right
Pornthep Srinarula
, Thailand, elected to the IVU Council
[from the IVU Newsletter]
Fred Whittle - We regret to announce the death of Fred Whittle, founder of the Vegan Society of Australia and former Hon. Secretary of the Australian Vegetarian Society, at the age of 93 years on 20th September, 1995 in Melbourne, Australia. A long standing supporter of IVU, he was for some time an Hon.Vice President of IVU.
A Thai Welcome - A report on the 1999 World Vegetarian Congress venue, IVU News

1997 - Subscriptions paid to IVU:
Vegetarian Society of West Australia
The Vegetarian Society of South Australia
New Zealand Vegetarian Society
Japanese Vegetarian Society
Malaysian Vegetarian Society
Alive (Japan)

Indonesia Vegetarian Society founded
Silver Dove Network, Chiang Mai, Thailand founded
Vegetarianism and Vegetarians in Japan - by Mitsuru Kakimoto, Japan, IVU News
Impressions from the Land of the Rising Sun
- Francisco Martin, Spain, IVU News
Thailand Revisited - Another Amazing Experience - Francsco Martin, Spain, IVU News
Elephants - do they have a chance to survive?
- Katharina Bless, Thailand, EVU News
Reports from Malaysia and Japan - IVU News

1999- 9th International Vegan Festival, Victoria, Australia- 33rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Asian Vegetarian Union founded
Vegetarian Society (Singapore)

Asia-Pacific in the 21st Century