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International Vegetarian Union

Published: 14.09.2008
Updated: 17.12.2012
History and Objectives

The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) was founded in 1908 when the first World Vegetarian Congress was held in Dresden, Germany.

The idea for IVU came from the French Vegetarian Society, the first Congress was organised internationally by the British Society and locally by the Dresden Society with support from the Deutsche Vegetarier-Bund.

Since then a series of World Congresses have been held all around the world.

The aim of the IVU is to promote vegetarianism throughout the world.

In order to achieve this aim the main objectives are:

  • To encourage the formation of local, national and regional vegetarian organisations, and co-operation between them.
  • To promote both World and Regional Vegetarian Congresses to publicise and develop interest in the vegetarian cause and to give opportunities for vegetarians to meet together.
  • To raise funds to support member societies wherever possible.
  • To encourage research into all aspects of vegetarianism and the collection and publication, in all media, of material on all aspects of vegetarianism, by IVU itself and by all member societies.
  • To represent the vegetarian cause on appropriate international bodies and to speak on behalf of the global cause when appropriate.

The activities of IVU are regulated by the General Meeting of Members held at each World Congress. Between Congresses the responsibility for the day-to-day running of IVU is undertaken by the International Council, the members of which are elected at each Congress.

The International Vegetarian Union is a "not for profit" company limited by guarantee and registered in the United Kingdom, (Reg No 4213430). The registered office is Parkdale, Dunham Road, Cheshire, WA14 4QG, UK.




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  1. Vegetarian Society
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