International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Vegetarian Societies in the United Kingdom

Some individuals from the UK:

Sir Thomas More 1478-1535
Philip Stubbes pub. 1583
Francis Bacon 1561-1626
Thomas Moffet M.D. 1553-1604
John Milton 1608-1674
Abraham Cowley 1618-1667
John Evelyn 1620-1706
John Ray 1628-1704
Thomas Tryon 1634-1703
Sir Isaac Newton 1642-1727
George Granville (Lord Lansdowne) 1667-1735
George Cheyne 1671-1743
John Gay 1685-1732
Alexander Pope 1688-1744
Philip Dormer, Lord Chesterfield 1694-1773
James Thomson 1700-1748
John Wesley 1703-1791
Soame Jenyns 1704-1787
David Hartley 1705-1757
John Hawkesworth 1715-1773
Adam Smith 1723-1790
John Howard 1726-1790
Oliver Goldsmith 1728-1774
John Oswald 1730-1793
William Cowper 1731-1800
Edward Gibbon 1737-1794
William Paley 1743-1805
Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832

Lord (Thomas) Erskine 1750-1823
Sir John Sinclair 1754-1835
George Nicholson 1760-1825
Joseph Ritson 1761-1803
John Abernethy M.D. 1763-1831
Rev. William Cowherd 1763-1816
Dr. William Lambe 1765-1847
Sir Richard Phillips 1767-1840
John Frank Newton 1770-?1827
Robert Southey 1774-1843
James Pierrepont Greaves 1777-1842
Lewis Gompertz 1779-1865
Joseph Brotherton 1783-1857
Lord (George Gordon) Byron 1788-1824
Thomas Forster M.D. 1789-1860
William Harvey 1789-1870
Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792-1822
Georgiana Fletcher Welch (nee Ford) 1792-
Sophia Chichester (nee Ford) 1795-1847
Mary Wolstonecraft Shelley 1797-1851
Thomas Hood 1799-1845
William Horsell 1807-1863

Prof. F. W. Newman 1805-1897
Sir Edwin Arnold 1832-1904
Howard Williams 1837-1931
Anna Kingsford M.D. 1846-1888
Annie Besant 1847-1933
Henry Salt 1851-1939
Arnold Hills 1857-1927
Dr.Josiah Oldfield 1863-1953

General William Booth 1829-1912
Rev. John Todd Ferrier 1855-1943
George Bernard Shaw 1856-1950
Cecil Sharp 1859-1924

The dates below are when the Society was formed, where known. If the date of formation is not known then it is the date they joined IVU. The links go to historical details about each society. Details are taken from various issues of the Vegetarian Messenger:

  • 1843 - The British and Foreign Society for the Promotion of Humanity and Abstinence from Animal Food
  • 1847 - The Vegetarian Society - within a short time the Society had a network of Local Secretaries around Britain, many of them organising local meetings.
    • 1849 - Manchester and Salford Vegetarian Advocates Society
      - after this one several other Local Secretaries started organising local committees, some of them becoming formal Associations, but these were not independent societes, they were all fully integrated with the national society with joint membership. They were named in a standard format of 'xxx Vegetarian Association' which Manchester soon adopted too.
    • 1852? - Liverpool Vegetarian Association (precise date unclear but appears to have been the 2nd local Association to be formally created)
    • 1853 - Birmingham Vegetarian Association - "The first meeting ... was held Feb. 1st, 1853" - reports in the same supplement also mention Vegetarian Associations in Leeds and Glasgow, and other 'local operations' by the Local Secretaries, sometimes assisted by an informal local committee, with several in the early stages of forming Associations. These included: Accrington, Bolton, Boston, Bury St. Edmunds, Chester, Colchester, Dunfermline, Dumfries, Malton, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Ormskirk, Padstow, Salford, Sheffield, Worcester.
    • 1855 - formal local Vegetarian Associations included - Accrington, Birmingham, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Malton, Manchester & Salford (now apparently renamed as the Manchester and Salford Vegetarian Association like all the others.
    • 1856 - New Vegetarian Associations in Edinburgh, Rawtenstall & Crawshawbooth (Lancs), Boston (Lincs)
    • 1857 - Paisley Vegetarian Assocaition
    • 1858 - Brighton Vegetarian Association
    • 1860 - by this time there were more than a dozen local Associations - all sub-sections of the Vegetarian Society - and many other areas of the UK with VS Local Secretaries. It was already becoming apparent that some Associations, especially the smaller ones, were very dependent on the Local Secretary doing all the work. Even the bigger ones often had only a handful of really active people with others just attending meetings. All the above seem to have been surviving, some positively flourishing, but some were reporting difficulties if one or two key people left the area or retired. After 1860 there were doubtless many new groups being formed, but the format of the Vegetarian Society's magazine changed, with far less space for local reports, so information is very limited.
    • 1861 - Sheffield Vegetarian Association (may have been formed earlier)
    • 1868 - by this time there was no local association in London. Many areas still had Local Secretaries but the organisation of branch associations seems to have been fading away.
    • 1875 - the President of the Vegetarian Society, Dr. Newman, proposed that the society's name should be changed to the Dietetic Reform Society. The was voted down, but at least one local group was already thinking the same way.

  • 1875 - London Dietetic Reform Society (also referred to as London Food/Diet Reform Society, and later as the National Food Reform Society) - this was the first specifically vegetarian organisation to be independent of the national Vegetarian Society, a significant development which caused some controversy. Shortly after this many more local societies began to appear, some still an integral part of the national Vegetarian Society, but now using the term 'Society' as well as 'Association', and some of these seem to have been more independent. There were also several groups calling themselves Food/Dietetic Reform Societies. The first detailed reports that we have are from the 1878 issues of 'The Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger' which started a new 'local' section, though there were obviously developments in the intervening years. The system of Local Secretaries also appears to have continued, with many of them contributing local reports. There is some confusion as these reports do not always make clear whether there was a formal local group, or just the secretary and friends.
  • 1876 - The Order of Danielites
  • 1877 - Manchester (not clear whether this was the same Association as above or a new group, or just local meetings of the national society whch was still based in Manchester. Those below appear to be all new, some replacing earlier groups which had closed.)
  • - Leicester Vegetarian/Dietetic Reform Society; Barnard Castle VS
  • 1878 - Birmingham Dietetic Reform Club; Gloucester VAssoc; Rochdale VS; Dundee Dietetic/Food Reform (Vegetarian) Society; Newcastle VS (revived from the earlier Association); Leeds VS ('Auxiliary of the Vegetarian Society'); Whaley Bridge VS; Belfast VAssoc/S (branch of the national VS); Great Horton, Bradford - local 'auxiliary'; Nottingham Branch of the 'National VS'; Oxford VS (branch or auxiliary society); Plaistow (branch or auxiliary society)
  • 1879 - Liverpool Vegetarian Association ( a new group, the one above having closed some time earlier); Bristol Food Reform Society; Scottish Food Reform Society (Glasgow); Middlesborough VS; Hull (& District) VS/Assoc ('auxiliary')
  • 1880 - Birmingham VS; Nelson and District VAssoc (Lancs); Cambridge Diet Reform Society; Leamington VS; Warrington VS
  • 1881 - Cotswold Food Reform Society; Newcastle and Gateshead Diet Reform Society
  • 1882 - Akreophagists Cycling Club (London) [= anti-kreophagy or anti-flesh-eater]; Exeter VAssoc; Northampton VS; Bath Food Reform Society; Edinburgh Food Reform Society; Dumfries, local branch of the VS; The Order of the Golden Age
  • 1883 - Batley and District Food Reform Association; Manchester and Salford VS (earlier versions of this must have been closed for some time); Brighouse Food Reform League ('auxiliary of the VS'); Merthyr [Tydfil] Food Reform Society
  • 1884 - Vegetarian Society of West Cumberland
  • 1885 - London Committee of the Vegetarian Society; Greenwich and West Kent Food Reform Society (branch of the national VS); Leeds and District Food Reform Association
  • - London Branch of the Vegetarian Society - an announcement in September 1885 stated that the National Food Reform Society (formerly the London Dietetic Reform Society) had been incorporated into the VS as the London Branch. So the British Vegetarians were united again - but not for long . .
  • 1886 - Portsmouth VS for the Promotion of Food Reform; South-West Ham VS (London);
  • 1887 - Norwich Branch of the Vegetarian Society
  • 1888 - Nottingham VS; South-East London VS; Reading VS; Cambridge VS
  • - London Vegetarian Society - the London Branch declared itself independent again with the intention, despite the name, of operating nationally from the outset.
  • - Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club - (originally London Vegetarian Cycling Club) ) the world's 3rd oldest continuously operating vegetarian organisation. The others on this page have long since folded, often being replaced by new groups with the same name, but VegCAC lives on.
  • - Brighton VS (branch of the London VegSoc); West London VS (affiliated to LVS); Guildford VS; London Vegetarian Rambling Club
  • 1889 - Bristol VS; North London VS; Liverpool VS (at least the 3rd group with a similar name); Sheffield and District VS; Sunderland VS; Southport and District VS
  • - Vegetarian Federal Union - founded July 1889 as a union of all the local societies in the UK, then expanded in October to be worldwide (the rest of the world were not asked whether they wanted such an organisation, merely informed that they could join). The VFU was run by the London Vegetarian Society from the same offices and initially with the same staff.
  • 1890 - in May a meeting of the VFU attempted to ban any local Vegetarian Society from being affiliated to any national society, only membership on VFU would be acceptable - a blatant ploy by the LVS to reduce the prominence of the original Vegetarian Society in Manchester. The VS persuaded the meeting to defer the decision and it seems to have been left off future agendas. The report of the meeting states that at this time London had 13 local affiliates and Manchester had 3 - which means that many of the societies listed above must have closed by then.
  • - Dublin VS; Hastings VS; Southampton VS; Bolton VS; Dover Food Reform Society; Vegetarian Amateur Athletic Club (London)
  • 1891 - Natural Living Society (London); The Humanitarian League (London); Stalybridge and District VS
  • 1892 - Northern Heights VS (London); Scottish Vegetarian Society
  • 1893 - Redhill Vegetarian Society (Surrey)
  • 1894 - Halifax VS; National Food Supply Assoc.; Portsmouth and Southern Counties VS (expanded from the Portsmouth VS); Teddington VS (London); Maidstone VS;
  • 1895 - Women's Vegetarian Union; Croydon VS
  • 1896 - Kilburn VS (London); Bermondsey VS (London); Islington VS (London); Lancaster Food Reform Society
  • 1897 - Southport Food Reform Association ; Maternity Society of England
  • 1898 - Oswestry Vegetarian and Food Reform Society ; The Vegetarian Club (London); The Vegetarian Choir (London) ; Cambridge VS ; East London VS; Arbroath VS; Salcombe VS;
  • 1899 - Children's Vegetarian Society for Manchester ; Manchester & District Vegetarian Cycling Club; Edinburgh VS
  • 1900 - Junior Scottish Vegetarian Society; Leeds VS; Bradford VS;

  • 1902 - Friends Vegetarian Society (Quakers)
  • 1904 - Order of the Cross

  • 1944 - The Vegan Society
  • 1951 - Vegetarian Catering Association; Mazdaznan Movement
  • 1952 - Portsmouth Vegetarian Group
  • 1957 - Nature Cure Clinic (London)
    Greetings to India from Britain - from many local UK Societies in the Vegetarian World Forum, Summer, 1957

  • 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: Bristol V.S.; Friends V.S.; Gloucester V.S.; Liverpool V.S.; London V.S.; Newcastle V.S.; Stockton-on-Tees V.S.; Thames Valley V.S.; The Vegan Society; Vegetarian Catering Association; The Vegetarian Society; World League Against Vivisection; Ulster V. S.; Scottish V.S.; V.S. of Wales.

  • 1960 - Birmingham VS; Bristol VS; Cardiff VS; Gloucester VS; Leeds VS; Liverpool VS; Newcastle-upon-Tyne VS; Stockton-on-Tees VS; Ulster VS; World League Against Vivisection
  • 1964 - Cumbrian VS; East Surrey VS; Manchester & District VS; VS of Nottingham
  • 1965 - British Vegetarian Youth Movement; Jewish VS
  • 1967 - Oxford Vegetarian Society
  • 1969 - Norfolk Vegetarian & Vegan Society - Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom Ltd.
  • 1977 - York Natural Life Assoc.
  • 1984 - Young Indian Vegetarians
  • 1989 - Animal Concern Today
  • 1990 - Cardiff Vegetarians; Reading Veggies
  • 1991 - Chester & Clwyd; Norfolk Vegetarian & Vegan Society
  • 1992 - Bedfordshire Vegetarians; Highland Veggies & Vegans; Ipswich Animal Rights; Kingston & Richmond Vegetarians
  • 1993 - Harrow Vegetarian Group; Vegetarian Esperanto Group
  • 1994 - Wolverhampton Uni Vegan & Vegetarian Society
  • 1995 - LancsVeg; Vectis Vegetarians; Leeds Vegetarian and Vegan Society
  • 1996 - Healthy Living Supper Club; NEMSEL; North London & Barnet; University of the 3rd Age Vegetarian Study Group
  • 1997 - Gwent Vegetarian & Vegan Society; Merseyside Vegetarian Group; Peak District Vegetarians; Solent Vegetarians and Vegans; Swindon Veggies & Animal Concern
  • 1998 - BEVEG; Birmingham Vegetarians & Vegans; Bognor Regis & Chichester Vegans & Vegetarians; Croydon Vegetarians; North Riding Vegetarians & Vegans; Vegetarian Social Club; Warwick University Vegetarian Group; Wimbledon Vegetarians
  • 1999 - Bristol Vegetarian and Vegan Society; Northants Veggies; Tyne & Wear Vegetarian Group
  • 2000 - Manchester Vegetarians; Peterborough VS; Scottish VAssoc; Veggies NOSH
  • 2001 - Black Country Vegetarians; Bromley Eating Experience; Derby VS; Essex Animal Rights; Guernsey Vegetarian Group; Lakeland Living; Leicestershire Vegetarian and Vegan Group; Lewes & Hastings Vegetarian Group; Manveg; ScouseVeg; Redbridge Jewish Vegetarian Society; Sussex Vegetarian & Vegan Social Group; VS Wyre Forest
  • 2002 - Lesbian Vegan Group; Malvern Hills Vegetarian Club; Morayshire Vegan & Vegetarian Group; South East Scotland Vegetarians; Swansea Vegetarians; Veg*n Parents - North West
  • 2003 - Chiltern Veggies; Exeter University VS; Harlow Vegan & Vegetarian Network; Harrow Vegetarian Group; Newton Abbot/Torquay Vegetarian Group; Shropshire Veggies & Vegans; VegSX
  • 2004 - Forest Vegetarian & Vegan Group; Lichfield Vegetarians; Louth Vegetarian Group; Thames Valley Vegans and Vegetarians ; Veggie Snow Club; Veggiesocials; VegNE
  • 2005 - Cardiff Vegetarians & Vegans; Plymouth VS; Tees Valley Veggies & Vegans; Twickenham & Surrey Vegetarian & Vegan Group; Wolverhampton Veggies & Vegans; Tunbridge Wells Vegans & Vegetarians
  • 2006 - South West London Vegetarian Group; Medway Veggies & Vegans; Stokeveg; Tay Veggies; Grimsby Vegetarians; South Yorkshire Vegetarian Group; Redditch Vegetarians & Vegans; Manchester Vegetarian & Vegan Group (different from Manveg); Cardiff and the Vale Vegetarian Group (the previous Cardiff Group seems to have closed already); Ealing Veggie Group; Coventry Vegetarians and Vegans

If you have any more information about anything on this page please contact John Davis -