How it became a subculture? American vegetarianism has existed for more than 200 years and the American Vegan Society was founded February 1960, in Malaga New Jersey. Throughout recorded history there have been individuals and groups teaching the complete non-use of animal-source food and clothing. The practice of this lifestyle achieved varying degrees of success, and some failures. Veganism was defined and the first Vegan Society formed in 1944 in England. This society was to become the inspiration for others to follow. In the U. S. , Dr.
Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz formed a Vegan Society in California (1948 to 1960). When H. Jay Dinshah founded the American Vegan Society (1960), it became a dynamic force spreading the vegan message at a propitious time in world history. Highlights of the American Vegan Society’s early activities were: a Coast to Coast Crusade across the U. S. and into Canada 1961, North Atlantic Lecture Tour (Iceland, Britain, Europe) 1965, Round the World Lecture Tour 1967 and 1968. The society’s magazine was published under the title Ahimsa 1960 to 2000.
In 2001 the name was changed to American Vegan and is quarterly. American Vegan Society Annual Conventions have been held in New Jersey and other states, including New York, Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington. In 1995 American Vegan Society hosted the 8th International Vegan Festival in San Diego California. Local and regional vegetarian societies have shared responsibilities for some of these events. These conventions have provided a valuable forum. Since 1989 videos of convention proceedings have taken the vegan message into living rooms across the USA, and a few years later, around the world.
Since 1969 American Vegan Society has held educational programs, including cooking classes, at its Malaga New Jersey headquarters. The present day vegan community in the U. S. involves many individuals and organizations. Besides the American Vegan Society, there are Gentle World, Vegan Outreach, Vegan Action, and vegan. com. A vegan diet is promoted by other organizations such as Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, the National Health Association and Institute for Plant Based Nutrition.
Increasingly, animal rights organizations, anti-vivisection societies, and farm animal reform and rescue groups have advocated the compassionate vegan lifestyle. Vegetarian Resource Group has provided an abundance of vegan information since the mid 1980s. Of strategic importance were health studies done on vegans in England, and in the U. S. on vegans within the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and at The Farm, Summertown Tennessee. They proved the adequacy and advantages of the diet that, combined with growth of nutritional knowledge, helped others to avoid potential pitfalls.
Very helpful also were the experiences of U. S. followers of Dr. Herbert M. Shelton and others in their rediscovery of ancient truths about human health. A history of veganism would not be complete without commenting on the health food stores (many run by Seventh Day Adventists) that have sustained vegans with foods outside the mainstream through the years. There is also an increasing number of food products now available that have added the convenience factor needed to persuade increasing numbers of people to go vegan.