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Words of Wisdom

The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 8 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 6, 2010

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A little bit about John: John Davis was the pioneer of vegetarianism on internet, from the first days of WWW, or the World Wide Web, in 1994. The result of this now runs to about ten thousand historical files on the IVU website. Over the years, the IVU, John has attended congresses and other events in many countries, including Brazil, California (USA), China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Scotland, Singapore, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

“Hallo. now for something completely different. Nothing about fresh fruit or vegetables, nothing about doing exercise, just about organized vegetarianism around the world and what’s happening.

So, we’re going back a long way, two thousand, two and a half thousand years in both Europe and India. The big question is, who thought of it first? The academic view is that we don’t know. The Indians will tell you, ‘Of course, it started in India.’ Maybe it did. We don’t really know for sure.

So, we are going back a very long way, and then we’re going to do a big jump into organized vegetarianism. What happened in Europe, vegetarianism almost disappeared after the first century of the Roman Empire; as Rome became more and more Christian, so, vegetarianism declined. In the East, of course, it continued. In India, east Asia, for religious reasons, it just carried on right through the centuries. But we jump here right up to 1847, in England, where the first vegetarian society was formed by two groups – in London, in the Southeast, Manchester in the Northwest. They got together and formed this society, which was completely independent of any religious views at all. There were a lot of different people involved in it.

I did this talk in San Francisco last February and asked them there, when did they think the first ever American Vegetarian Society was founded, and they all said, ‘[In the] 1960s, hippies, that’s where it all came from.’ It was a long time before that.”
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Part  8 / 49
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