American Vegetarian Party

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The American Vegetarian Party was a United States political party formed on July 28, 1947. The party held conventions and nominated candidates for President and Vice-President in several national elections, although they never seriously pursued ballot access or official recognition as a political party by election officials.

Historical Vegetarian Party presidential tickets

1948

  • John Maxwell (Vegetarian Party presidential nominee) - Maxwell was born in England, and thus determined to be ineligible.
  • Daniel J. Murphy (1948 Vegetarian Party vice-presidential nominee)

1952

  • Daniel J. Murphy (Vegetarian Party presidential nominee)
  • Symon Gould (1952 Vegetarian Party vice-presidential nominee)

1956

  • Herbert M. Shelton (Vegetarian Party presidential nominee)
  • Symon Gould (1956 Vegetarian Party vice-presidential nominee)

1960

  • Symon Gould (1960 Vegetarian Party presidential nominee)
  • Chistopher Gian-Cursio (1960 Vegetarian Party vice-presidential nominee)

1964

  • Symon Gould (nominated as 1964 Vegetarian Party candidate for presidential; however, Gould died in 1963)
  • Abram Wolfson (1964 Vegetarian Party vice-presidential nominee)

Modern efforts to revitalize the Vegetarian Party

The "Vegetarian Summerfest 2004" (the 30th annual conference of the North American Vegetarian Society) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, held July 21–24, 2004, brought longtime peace activist and Green Party member Bob Auerbach to initiate efforts at organizing a new national political party under the name "Vegetarian Party." This effort continued at Summerfest for several years. However, unlike the American Vegetarian Party in the 1960s, which tended to be supportive of United States military action, the 2004 organizers of the new Vegetarian Party were opposed to war and supported nonviolence.

In 2002 and 2004, Auerbach ran as the Green Party Congressional nominee from Maryland's 5th district, and in the November 6, 2012, general election, Auerbach is again on the ballot as the Green nomineee for Congress in the 5th district.

Auerbach and others who sought to organize the Vegetarian Party in 2004 had not intended it to act as an electoral rival of the U.S. Green Party. One contemplated scenario was that the U.S. Vegetarian Party might work as part of a coalition within the Green Party and/or other third party organizations in order to support candidates in local and state elections. No current statistical evidence supports the notion that the U.S. Green Party might serve as an organizing mechanism for vegetarians or vegans in the United States.

Political parties in the United States are formally organized under state election laws, so it is unclear how active a new Vegetarian Party, organized as a national-level membership organization, could be electorally. Nevertheless, recurring discussion among vegetarians of running a presidential ticket mentions such candidates as Dennis Kucinich, who has committed himself to the U.S. Democratic Party.

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