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History of Danish Vegetarian Societies



From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), March 1897, 101: -

Denmark. - A Vegetarian Society has been formed at Copenhagen. At the initiatory meeting thirty members were enrolled, among the number, being the district physicians, Dr. Michael Larsen, who opened the proceedings with an interesting speech and accepted the presidency

From the VFU Annual Report, 1897:

From The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), June 1900, p280: -

"Vegetarianeren" . - This is the name of the Danish Vegetarian journal , which is published at Kopenhagen, and has just entered upon its second year. Its editor is a young physician, who conducts a sanatorium at Skodsborg, near Kopenhagen, and is a pupil of Dr. Kellogg.

The following item was contributed by the Soyfoods Center:

Egerod, Oluf. "Vegetarianism in Denmark." 1946. Vegetarian Messenger and Health Review (Manchester, England). Sept. p. 187-88. "The Danish Vegetarian Society was founded in 1896 by the physician, Mich. Larsen, a man many years before his time. In his main work, Naturhelbredelsen (The Nature Cure), all the fundamental vegetarian rules of living are laid down." The author mentions that the society publishes a monthly magazine, but does not say for how long it has been published.

A history of the Danish Vegetarian Society, from December 12, 1896, can be found at: www.vegetarforening.dk/ foreningen/historien.htm - but only in Danish so far...

from Dansk Vegetarforening:
The society began publishing a magazine in May 1907. It was at first meant to be published six times per year but seems in fact to have been published with somewhat uneven intervals in the beginning. It had the title 'Solblink' (a title which I am somewhat at a loss to translate, since I am not in fact sure what it is supposed to mean in Danish) and the phrase 'Tidsskrift for Naturlig Livsførelse' (Magazine for a Natural Way of Life) printed below the title. It ran under that title until some time in the 1920's, when it became 'Vegetarisk Tidsskrift" (Vegetarian Magazine), and it has had other titles during the twentieth century. Today it is a quarterly entitled 'Vegetaren' (The Vegetarian). There are rumours that a vegetarian magazine was also published in 1899-1900 - I am currently investigating that with the State Library.

later: A monthly magazine entitled 'Vegetarianeren' (The Vegetarian) was published in those years, some 20-odd issues - of which, unfortunately, a few have not survived. However, this magazine was not published by the society as such, although it seems the society's founder and president at the time, Dr. Michael Larsen, was part of the editorial group along with some of the Seventh-Day Adventists working for vegetarianism in Denmark at the time, such as Dr. Carl Ottosen, who had a sanatorium north of Copenhagen and had close ties to Adventist groups in America (curiously, Dr. J. H. Kellogg is actually mentioned as part of the editorial group in some issues of the magazine). Nevertheless, in many issues of the magazine there is a small column on the transitions of the Vegetarian Society.

In 1908 the Danish Society sent a letter of support to the first meeting of the International Vegetarian Union in Dresden, Germany.

The report of the 1909 IVU Congress, Manchester, England, says that a Danish delegate was present, but also say that "Mdme. Lombard spoke in a spirited way for Sweden and Norway, and also read the Danish report for Dr. Larsen." There was no mention of Denmark at the next Congress in 1910 in Brussels or the 1913 Congress at The Hague.

At the 1923 Congress, in Stockhom, Sweden, the Danish Society was represented again. Some extracts from the report:

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 : ... Denmark - Dr. Carl Ottosen (Head of the Skodsborg Sanatorium), Oluf Egerod and Margerethe Noll, Copenhagen ...

We give the full list of papers in alphabetical order :- ... Oluf Egerod " Report for Danish Vegetarian Society," ... Dr. Ottosen (Copenhagen) on " The Digestion in the Intestines," ...

Extracts from the report of the 1926 IVU 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 ... Dr. Angelo and Mr. Oluf Egerod (Denmark) ...

... A "National Day," on which meetings were held throughout each country, had been observed yearly in Denmark, Holland and Sweden....

... The following officers were elected President, Ernest Bell, Esq, M.A., England ; Hon. Treasurer, Professor Hugo Nolthenius, Holland ; Hon. Secretary, Oluf Egerod, Esq., Denmark. ...

... The BANQUET on Wednesday evening was well attended: In addition to the delegates, the guests included ... Dr. M. Hindhede (Director Laboratory for Nutrition Researches, Copenhagen), ... [the author of the wartime research linked above]

... Dr. M. HINDHEDE (Director of the Laboratory for Nutrition Researches, Copenhagen), who arrived from the Continent while the banquet was in progress and who received an ovation on entering, referred to the record of his assistant, Frederick Madsen, who had been twenty-five years a vegetarian, and who, for fifteen years, had been assisting the speaker in his researches. Herr Madsen's example of what could he achieved by sound nutrition had made a great impression upon the people of Denmark, and undoubtedly helped to convince the people of the value of the food measures that had saved Denmark in the crisis brought about by the War. ...

... Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Denmark) urged that notwithstanding the criticisms of some of their supporters the term ''vegetarian " should be retained, since its use had already secured for it a certain definite signification which, if the word were now discarded would necessarily he lost. ...

... Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Denmark), in the course of a Paper on "The Work of Dr. Hindhede in Nutrition Research, and its bearing on Vegetarianism," said that the laboratory established in Copen-hagen, of which Dr. Hindhede was the head, had, since its inception in 1911, given an impetus to nutritional research all over the world. For a year or more, potatoes and margarine were the sole foods of some of the helpers who, for three months, were engaged in hard work for fourteen hours daily. For another six months they lived upon barley-porridge, sugar, and margarine ; for a further nine months upon oatmeal-porridge, sugar, and margarine ; while for two years they lived upon cabbage-soup, potatoes, and bread, mostly of whole-rye or of whole-wheat, and without fats of any kind. The results had been tabulated and went to show that health and strength were not only well-maintained, but were actually increased in each case, on what was a cry low protein standard. The English were accustomed to take too much animal protein. A great defect in the average English dietary was the use of white bread.

Dr. HINDHEDE said that his endeavour had been for many years to try to ascertain what food would give the best results so far as health was concerned. When he lived on meat it made him ill. On the other hand, when he lived on potatoes he felt well. Frederic Madsen, a patient, who afterwards became his assistant, lived on a diet consisting only of potatoes and margarine, and worked long hours of hard manual labour, and was quite well. He did not feel so well on a raw fruit diet as he did on a potato diet. Twenty years ago he (Dr. Hindhede) announced that he himself could live on 3d. a day, and the statement made a great sensation in Denmark. After alluding to the experiences of Denmark during the rationing period brought about by the War, the speaker said that the farm labourers, who were supposed to live on a starvation diet, had the lowest death-rate of all, while the death-rates for doctors and butchers were among the highest of all! It was a true economy to live long and healthily, but it was a sheer extravagance to eat and drink and smoke oneself to death. ...

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

... Thirteen nations in all were represented at the Congress - ... Denmark, ...Gratitude and courtesy alike demand that warm thanks should be tendered to the retiring Hon. Secretary of the Union, Herr Oluf Egerod, of Copenhagen, to whose efforts so large a share of the success of this year's Congress is manifestly due, and who rendered invaluable service throughout the Congress as interpreter-in-chief on every occasion. As a result of the lamented death of Professor Nolthenius, elswhere referred to, Herr Egerod will now take over the position of Hon. Treasurer of the Union. surrendering the duties of Hon. Secretary to Herr Hans Erwin Feix, Secretary of this year's Congress. ...

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

... the Treasurer, Mr. Oluf Egerod (Copenhagen) gave a detailed account of the financial position. ...A proposal from Holland resulted in the formation of a small international committee which would meet whenever there was important business to transact. The appointed committee consisted of the new President, Mr. C. J. van Borrendam (Amsterdam), the Treasurer, Mr. Oluf Egerod (Copenhagen), the General Secre-tary, Mr. Hans E. Feix (Warnsdorf), together with Mr. K. Bartes (Eden-Berlin) and Mr. Frank Wyatt (London). ...

The 1935 World Vegetarian Congress was hosted by DVF in Daugaard, Denmark. Follow the link for full reports and photos.

Extracts from the reports of the 1938 IVU Congress, held in Norway:

Brief speeches were made by Messrs. O. EGEROD (Treasurer) [photo right at the Congress]... SÖREN EGEROD, the son of the Union's popular treasurer, who, as a life vegetarian, had just been interviewed by the press, briefly addressed the Congress and expressed grateful thanks to his parents for being in the position of not having touched tobacco, alcohol or flesh. ... Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Treasurer), who followed, said that if we wanted to work for peace we must work for vegetarianism. There could never be any lasting peace so long as we went on killing animals. Vegetarianism was not the only essential for peace but it was an important one, and even if it were not the best way for health we must live as vegetarians. ...

Apologies for absence and expressions of good wishes were read from ....Dr. Hindhede (Den-mark) ....the Treasurer (Mr. Oluf Egerod) presented his financial statement, intimating that it would be very desirable if more countries became affiliated to the Union. ...Mr. Oluf Egerod (Denmark), [was re-elected] Honorary Treasurer ...


Kaj Dessau

Mr C.J.Hansen

Mr Nielsen & Mr Egerod

From reports of the 1947 IVU Congress, held in Stonehouse, England:

... Mr.OLUF EGEROD (Denmark), the Honorary Treasurer of the Union, in a characteristic reply, thanked Mr. Sibly for the warm welcome he had given them, and also referred to the Centenary Year of The Vegetarian Society. ...

... He was followed by Mr. N. Nielsen (Denmark), ...

... Mementos of the Centenary of The Vegetarian Society [UK] were presented from Denmark, ...

... The business included reports from representatives of Societies affiliated to the I.V.U., and were given by ... Mr. Niels Nielsen (Denmark).

... The Hon. Treasurer, Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Denmark), submitted an audited financial statement which was approved. ... Mr. O. EGEROD (Denmark) was re~appointed Hon. Treasurer, ... Mr. KAJ DESSAU (Denmark) was unanimously elected. ...

... the good wishes of the Union were sent to Dr. Nolfi (Denmark), who had just been struck off the medical register in that country for insisting on the practice of natural methods of healing. ...

... An informal discussion on matters of general interest was held on the College lawn when ... Mr. C. J. HANSEN (Denmark) on his personal experience of living on uncooked foods, and Mr. N. NIELSEN (Denmark) on his life as a vegetarian in many countries.

From reports of the 1950 IVU Congress, held in the Netherlands:

THURSDAY, 13th JULY. 9.0 am. Lecture by Kirstine Nolfi (Denmark)

... Most interesting, in content as well as in their clear expression English tongue, were the lectures by Dr. Kirstine Nolfi, of Denmark, on " The Raw Food Treatment of Cancer and ....

... Brief speeches were made by delegates from the countries represented. ...N. Nielsen (Denmark), ...

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

The Hon. Treasurer, Mr. Oluf Egerod, submitted a statement of receipts and payments which was accepted and approved.

In response to a request, the President, Hon. Treasurer, and the Hon. Secretary reported upon work which they had done on behalf of the Union since the last Congress.

Election of Officers. The officers of the I.V.U. were elected as follows-- ... Hon. Secretary: Oluf Egerod (Denmark), ...

... The address of Dr. KIRSTINE NOLFI (Denmark) is printed on page 232, [to be added here in due course ]

... Mr. KAJ DESSAU (Denmark), in a vigorous call to action, spoke of "The Future of the International Vegetarian Movement." His address will be fonnd on page 261 of this issue. [see http://www.ivu.org/congress/wvc50/index.html for the full text, bottom of page]

Youth Camp. A delightful and progressive feature of the Congress was the Youth Camp, which was attended by representatives from ... Denmark,

Farewell Dinner. .. Mrs. Nielsen (Denmark), .... Mr. O. Egerod (Denmark) also spoke, ...

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: Dansk Vegetarisk Forening, Mr. H. Mosegaard, Aagade 114/2 Copenhagen N, Denmark.

Oluf Egerod (drawing right from the 1947 Congress) - IVU General Secretary/Treasurer 1926-1953. (probably a Committee Member from 1923), Deputy President 1953-63. Vice President 1963-68. He was unable to attend the Congress in 1960 - reported as the first he had missed since 1923. Died 1968.

For the current Dansk Vegetarforening website see: www.vegetarforening.dk - with a few notes in English.

 

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