International Vegetarian Union
PredecessorVegetarian Federal Union
Formation1908; 116 years ago (1908)
Founded atDresden, Germany
PurposePromotion of vegetarianism

The International Vegetarian Union (IVU) is an international non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote vegetarianism. The IVU was founded in 1908 in Dresden, Germany.[1][2]

It is an umbrella organisation, which includes organisations from many countries,[3] and often organises World and Regional Vegetarian Congresses.[4] These alternate in two-year cycles.


Participants in the first World Vegetarian Congress in 1908

The ruling body from IVU is the International Council, and the members who form it are unpaid volunteers elected by the Member Societies at each World Vegetarian Congress.

Member organizations may be continental groups (EVU, VUNA,[5] NAVS,[6] etc.), local or other regional vegetarian organizations whose primary purpose is the promotion of vegetarianism and the support of vegetarian living (e.g. EarthSave).

The 5th World Vegetarian Congress was held in India, in 1957. It has been described by historians as bringing together Hindu nationalism and internationalism.[7]

The IVU also encourages regional and national organizations to run vegetarian festivals, such as the 43rd World VegFest in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia, on 25 October 2015[8] and the hundreds of currently organized vegetarian festivals on many continents.

The organization's 1975 World Vegetarian Congress in Orono, Maine, has been called the most significant event of the vegetarian movement in the United States in the 20th century and led to the 1974 founding of the North American Vegetarian Society.[9]

Notable members

Regional groups

See also


  1. ^ Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret, ed. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-313-37557-6.
  2. ^ "IVU Welt-Vegetarier-Kongress 1908". International Vegetarian Union. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  3. ^ Dia mundial dels veganisme 01/11/2005 Vilaweb (in Catalan)
  4. ^ Monday 8 UK 8 November 2004 Financial Times
  5. ^ "Vegetarian Union of North America". International Vegetarian Union. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ "NAVS Programs". North American Vegetarian Society. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  7. ^ Hauser, Julia (2021). "Internationalism and Nationalism: Indian Protagonists and Their Political Agendas at the 15th World Vegetarian Congress in India (1957)". South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. 44 (1): 152–166. doi:10.1080/00856401.2020.1861757.
  8. ^ "IVU World Vegfest in Australia". IVU World VegFest. 19 May 2015. Archived from the original on 11 June 2016. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
  9. ^ Kamila, Avery Yale (16 August 2020). "Vegan Kitchen: Exactly 45 years ago, Maine hosted a historic 2-week conference for vegetarians". Press Herald. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  10. ^ The American Vegetarian Union