Boston Vegetarian Society
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|As of September 2012[update] $52,434|
|Endowment||As of September 2012[update] $127,324|
|Affiliate member of
North American Vegetarian Society (NAVS),
Vegetarian Union of North America (VUNA), and
International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
The Boston Vegetarian Society (BVS) is an non-profit educational organization based in Boston with the purpose of promoting and supporting vegetarianism and veganism. It hosts monthly speaking events and an annual food festival in the fall.
History and purpose
The Boston Vegetarian Society began in 1986. The first activities were centered around holding potlucks in a church basement in the late 1980s. The Society has seen a steady rise in membership and attendance ever since. In 1998, it was incorporated in Massachusetts as an educational non-profit. In July 1998, it was granted 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS.
The BVS provides info on events and related organizations, hosts the annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival (BVFF), holds cooking classes, and promotes vegetarianism through mass transit advertising, outreach at fairs and festivals, and monthly free educational seminars. Their New Year’s banquet and vegan cooking classes were reported to be particularly popular. BVS "seeks to make a better world for people, animals, and the earth through advancing a healthful vegetarian diet and a compassionate ethic." BVS provides education, encouragement, and community support for vegetarians. The BVS also participates in the annual Earth Day Festival of Boston University.
Boston Vegetarian Food Festival (BVFF)
It was first held on May 5, 1996, at the Howard W. Johnson Athletics Center at MIT because MIT graduate students affiliated with the MIT Vegetarian Support Group (VSG) (as of 2010[update] renamed MIT Vegetarian Group) provided a substantial proportion of the initial organizing effort. In addition, in October of that year, they held a World Vegetarian Day celebration outdoors on the Boston Common. This is believed by North American vegetarians to be the first modern vegetarian food festival held in the United States, although the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair had been held annually since 1985. The American Vegan Society reported in January 2018 that now "Over 120 VegFests in the United States are planned for 2018", and most are purely vegan food festivals (see chart).
The second BVFF, in October 1997, was held at Bunker Hill Community College. This combined as one combined event their indoor vegetarian food festival and the sense of the World Vegetarian Day event, since the combined event would be perpetually held around October or November.
Since 1998, it has been held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in the Roxbury Crossing section of Boston, across the street from Roxbury Community College. Over the course of years, attendance grew so much that the festival was expanded from one day to two days in 2009. In October 2016, between 15,000 and 20,000 were estimated to attend the festival. The 2017 BVFF was held October 21 and 22.
Notable vegan and vegetarian speakers at Boston Vegetarian Society events
- Jonathan Balcombe, PhD
- Neal D. Barnard, MD
- Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary
- Rynn Berry (deceased)
- T. Colin Campbell, PhD
- Robert Cheeke
- Karen Dawn
- Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., MD
- Joel Fuhrman, MD
- Michael Greger, MD
- Alex Hershaft, PhD
- Ellen Jaffe Jones
- Melanie Joy, PhD
- Roberta Kalechofsky, PhD
- Marti Kheel, PhD (deceased)
- Michael Klaper, MD
- Walter 'Killer Kowalski' (deceased)
- Howard Lyman
- Jeffrey Moussant Masson
- Victoria Moran
- Isa Chandra Moskowitz
- Ingrid Newkirk
- Dean Ornish, MD
- Wayne Pacelle
- Alex Pacheco, PETA cofounder
- Colleen Patrick-Goudreau
- Paul Shapiro, HSUS
- Peter Singer, PhD
- Kim Stallwood
- Paul Waldau, JD, DPhil
- Ann Wigmore (deceased)
- Kenneth G. Williams, vegan bodybuilder
- Kim A. Williams Sr., chief of the cardiology division at Rush University Medical Center
- Steven M. Wise, JD
- Danielle Nierenberg
- David J. Hunter, past Dean for Academic Affairs and formerly Acting Dean at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and past Vincent Gregory Professor and Director of the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention, now at Oxford University.
- "NCCS Organization Profile - Boston Vegetarian Society". Nccsweb.urban.org. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "Nonprofit Organization Lookup". Melissadata.com. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "Summary for: BOSTON VEGETARIAN SOCIETY, INC". Corp.sec.state.ma.us. William Francis Galvin, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1988-10-20. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- "990-EZ Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax for Boston Vegetarian Society" (PDF). Internal Revenue Service, Dept. of the Treasury. Retrieved 2013-09-01.
- Dugan Arnett (July 7, 2016). "Forget religion and politics. Dating's newest deal-breaker? Diet". The Boston Globe. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- Nell Porter Brown (March 2017). "Animal-Free Dining. Vegetarian options sprout up throughout Greater Boston". Harvard Magazine. Harvard University. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "RESTAURANT REVIEW: A Vegetarian's Guide to the MIT Area - A Rundown of MIT Eateries, Local Grocery Stores, and Restaurants". Tech.mit.edu. 2001-09-26. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
The Boston Vegetarian Society is a prime example of this. Their web site, found at <http://www.bostonveg.org/index.html>, is a great place to find out what vegetarian-related events are going on in Boston (for example, the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival will be held on October 13th this year). The site also hosts a long list of links to other vegetarian/vegan-related web sites.
- Devra First (January 6, 2010). "Boston area are becoming a mecca for vegetarian, vegan, and raw food restaurants". Boston.com. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "Boston Vegetarian Society - Mission Statement". VegGuide.Org. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Jennifer Bates (April 21, 2016). "BU Celebrates Earth Day 2016". BU Today. Boston University. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "THE ESSENTIAL VEGETARIAN: Cheese: The vegetarian's friend in Europe - The Tech". Tech.mit.edu. 1999-09-10. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "FOOD REVIEW: The Essential Vegetarian - The Tech". Tech.mit.edu. 2000-10-03. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "Boston Vegetarian Food Festival at Reggie Lewis Athletic Center - The Boston Globe". Boston.com. 2010-10-30. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "BOSTON VEGETARIAN FOOD FEST: Don't drink the Kombucha". DigBoston. 2010-10-26. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- Weiss, Rachel (2011-10-27). "Vegetarian Food Festival in Roxbury growing in popularity". Articles.boston.com. Retrieved 2012-07-23.
- "About Dr. Attwood" (c. 1996) notes that (the late) Dr. Charles Attwood had spoken at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival 'recently' - it was 1996 - the first year of BVFF.
- VRG-NEWS: The Vegetarian Resource Group Newsletter, John L. Cunningham ( Editor), Volume 7, Issue 4, August 2003
- 1997 BVFF (2nd BVFF) Program of Speakers, hosted on MIT website
- The Growing World of Veg Festivals. VegNews, Brooke Still, August 17, 2010
- VegFests, American Vegan Society E-Newsletter, January 20, 1018, American Vegan Society, accessed January 20, 2018
- MIT-hosted archival page for 2000 BVFF says that 1999 BVFF was held at RLTAC nd that the 2000 BVFF is the 4th BVFF
- 1998 BVFF - 2nd BVFF - List of Sponsors, such a long list that it could not be held in the Johnson Ice Rink at MIT, though it could have been held in Bunker Hill Community College (1997), where the 1998 BVFF - 2nd BVFF - was spread out over four or five of its buildings - on a Saturday
- Avery Yale Kamila (May 25, 2016). "Surge in food festivals for plant eaters reflects lifestyle's growth". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- Boston Vegetarian Food Festival (BVFF)
- Great Vegan Athletes: Kenneth G. Williams
- HSPH Faculty profile for Dean David Hunter