International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1975
Orono, Maine, USA

from Vegetarian Voice Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec 1975:

XXIII WORLD VEGETARIAN CONGRESS
Vegetarianism Around The World

One of Several Purposes of the World Vegetarian Congress held every 2 years by the International Vegetarian Union, is to provide for an exchange of information among the national and regional vegetarian societies or associations from all parts of the world.

In this report, Paul Obis (Editor of Vegetarian Times magazine - a NAVS affiliate) gives some samplings of these international reports, presented at the Congress:

AUSTRIA: Increasing interest among all ages; a youth group "Austrian Reform Youths" is actively involved in organic gardening, yoga, as well as vegetarianism.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Organized veg-etarianism is 25 years old; many people do not want to belong to a vegetarian organization, but there is interest in the movement. Progress is slow.

HOLLAND: Dutch Vegetarian Society was founded in 1894, celebrated 80th anniversary last year, with good press coverage (the 1971 World Congress was held there); they published a book on Simple Vegetarian Cooking; and they succeeded in convincing the Dutch government to permit synthetic rennett (nurrie) in domestic cheese (the syntethic had been banned. There are increasing numbers of health food stores and veg. restaurants; veg. food is available in hospitals and prisons. There are an estimated 12,000 vegie people in Holland.

SWITZERLAND: Very active; community dinners are very popular. The Center for Research and Community Action serves vegetarian dinners every week and operates an organic-food outlet. The Vegetarian Society is actively involved in selling 3rd-World exports.
Swiss Air serves vegetarian food on request.

SWEDEN: Publishes a periodical with 4,000 circulation. Sends veg. recipes to influential chefs and youth newspapers.
(The 1973 Congress was held in Sweden.)

SOUTH AFRICA: Publishes a journal, 1,000 circulation. Has 3 regional offices in Johannesburg, Capetown, & Durban. Has veg. contacts also in Ghana, Nigeria, Rhodesia, and Liberia.

UNITED KINGDOM (Great Britain): Very active. Publishes many books, a comprehensive booklet on foods has sold out. "The Vegetarian" (tabloid newspaper - see page 1)has 55,000 distribution monthly. A research center was founded in 1974 to study veg. vs. animal protein sources.
(The World Vegetarin Congress was held in England in 1965.)

ISRAEL: Progress in spite of national problems. There are 7 branches of the Israel Vegetarian Society; they conduct symposiums and lectures. The monthly magazine has a 1500 circulation.
A vegetarian. village, Amirim, was established 16 yrs ago.
(The World Vegetarian Congress was held in Israel in 1969.)

ITALY: A vegetarian conference was scheduled to be held September of 1975, in Florence. There is a small organized membership in 15 cities, due to "closed" membership in the society, which is now open to the public. So although the beginning was relatively poor, the future looks better.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Increasing interest, despite continuing civil disturbance. A new veg. center and yoga institute has opened recently, affording improved office facilities for the General Secretary of the IVU.

PORTUGAL: The press has been repressive, but the struggle is being made to increase interest in vegetarianism anyway.

NEW ZEALAND: There is a huge meat business to contend with (the country is a major exporter of mutton). There is some interest, but "we need 'vegetarian missionaries' " - Dr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, Lake Tekapoe, Mt. Cook Station, New Zealand. They publish a veg. journal.

TURKEY: "Most Turkish people eat a vegetarian diet, without even having a concept of vegetarianism . . . very little meat is found in homes or restaurants . . .but there is no vegetarian movement . . . none is necessary."

INDIA: Vegetarianism is wide-spread, but many young people are adopting a "Western" diet. The biggest problem to to counteract this and to coordinate the many widespread vegetarian activities and societies that now exist.
The Bombay Humanitarian League has succeeded in stopping animal sacrifices in 5 states.
(Two of the finest, most interesting and successful World Vegetarian Congresses were held in various major cities of India, in 1957 and 1967. The next World Congress is now scheduled for India in late 1977.)

(NIGERIA: A late report was also given by a representative of the S.O.U.L. vegetarian group of Nigeria. They have made much progress in 1974/75, with a great increase in membership. They now have between 300-400, both young and old.)