French Vegetarian Society

The French Vegetarian Society (also known as Vegetarian Society of France) was a vegetarian organization, formed in 1882 by G. Goyart. The aim of the Society was to "propagate vegetarianism and assert the benefits of any order it presents."[1]


In 1880, Abel Hureau de Villeneuve founded the Sociéte Végétarienne de Paris (Vegetarian Society of Paris), in Paris.[2][3] The Society had its own journal, La Reforme Alimentaire. The original Society merged into the Sociéte Végétarienne de France (Vegetarian Society of France) in 1882, which was organized by Goyart.[2][4][5] In 1899, President Jules Grand reconstituted the Society with thirty initial members.[2] Membership consisted of doctors, industrial workers, lawyers and soldiers. Their members were dedicated vegetarians but they also allowed associate members to join.[2]

In 1906, the Society had 800 members and collaborated with the Belgian Vegetarian Society on their journal, La Reforme Alimentaire.[6] Ernest Nyssens, from Brussels, was editor of the journal.[4] Historian Ulrike Thoms has noted that "its membership actively sought to influence the population through the dissemination of magazines, tracts, pamphlets, and public lectures, so the society was more publicly present than the small official membership lists suggest."[6]

Elisée Reclus' essay Le Vegetarisme (On Vegetarianism) was published in La Reforme Alimentaire, 1901.[7]

During the early 20th century, physicians such as Fougerat de David de Lastours, Eugène Tardif, André Durville, Gaston Durville, and Albert Monteuuis were members of the Society.[8] In 1909, the Society reported having 1,175 members.[8] The Society published La Reforme Alimentaire every month until it ceased in 1914.[4] The Society published the Bulletin de la Société végétarienne de France (Bulletin of the Vegetarian Society of France) from 1916 to 1920.

After the decline of the Society, new food reform groups emerged. Paul Carton who had been a member of the Society since 1909 formed the Société Naturiste Française (French Naturist Society) in 1921.[9]

Selected publications

The Society published the following books:[2]

  • Ernest Nyssens, Du traitement alimentaire du diabete par le regime vegétarien (1900)
  • Jules Grand, La Philosophie de I' alimentation (1901)
  • Louis Pascault, Le Regime vegétarien consider e comme source d'energie (1902)
  • Carlotto Schulz, La Table du végétarien (1903)
  • Jules Lefèvre, Examen scientifique du végétarisme (1904)[10]
  • Henri Colliere, Végétarisme et longévité (1905)

See also


  1. "Société végétarienne de France". Retrieved July 26, 2019.
  2. Crossley, Ceri. (2005). Consumable Metaphors: Attitudes towards Animals and Vegetarianism in Nineteenth-Century France. Peter Lang. pp. 241-243. ISBN 978-3039101900
  3. Puskar-Pasewicz, Margaret. (2010). Cultural Encyclopedia of Vegetarianism. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-313-37556-9
  4. Fenton, Alexander. (2000). Order and Disorder: The Health Implications of Eating and Drinking in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. Tuckwell Press. pp. 209-226. ISBN 978-1862321175
  5. Brauer, Fae. (2015). Becoming Simian: Devolution as Evolution in Transformist Modernism. In Fae Brauer; Serena Keshavjee. Picturing Evolution and Extinction: Regeneration and Degeneration in Modern Visual Culture. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-4438-7253-9
  6. Thoms, Ulrike. (2017). Of Carnivores and Conquerors. In Elizabeth Neswald, David F. Smith, Ulrike Thoms. Setting Nutritional Standards: Theory, Policies, Practices: French Nutritional Debates in the Age of Empire, 1890-1914. University of Rochester Press. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-58046-576-2
  7. Clark, John P; Martin Camille. (2004). Anarchy, Geography, Modernity: The Radical Social Thought of Elisée Reclus. Lexington Books. p. 171. ISBN 0-7391-0805-0
  8. Lummel, Peter. (2016). Food and the City in Europe since 1800. Routledge. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-7546-4989-2
  9. Ouédraogo, Arouna P. (2001). Food and the Purification of Society: Dr Paul Carton and Vegetarianism in Interwar France. The Society for the Social History of Medicine 14 (2): 223-245.
  10. Translated by Fred Rothwell as A Scientific Investigation into Vegetarianism. London: John Bale, Sons & Danielsson, 1922.
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