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The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 9 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 6, 2010

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“Sylvester Graham was promoting brown bread and healthy eating in the 1830s in America. Along with a few others, they founded that society.”

“1867 - German Vegetarian Society followed on. That one’s still going. They organized our centenary congress two years ago. It’s gone on almost continuously.”

“1908 – International Vegetarian Union: by 1908, there was a Vegetarian Society in almost every country in Europe, as well as America, India, Australia; they were spreading around the world. So, the idea was to have a federation of all these societies and bring them together. That was the first IVU congress held in Dresden, in Germany, about 25 people there, for one day. The last congress, about a month ago, was in Jakarta, Indonesia, where we had five thousand people. So, we’ve progressed a little bit.”

“But when 1958 fell through the Indians said, ‘We’ll do it.’ And what they did, was something that no one had ever seen before. The Indians held it in Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta, and Madras, as they were, a week in each. Two thousand people attending lectures, they had speakers hanging out of the windows for the crowds who couldn’t get in. Europe had never seen anything like this before.”

“And in 1972, the first ever regional congress, in the unlikely place of Venezuela, a Latin American congress. And some Americans from the USA went down and saw this and thought, ‘We need some of that.’ They started the North American Vegetarian Society with the aim of holding a congress in 1975 in Maine.”

“Then Brazil, 2009, Marly Winckler, our regional coordinator of Latin America organized this one, and again a highly successful vegan festival. So, we’re spreading them out again around the world, instead of just Europe. Particularly trying to move towards developing countries.”
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Part  9 / 49
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