Formed on July 28, 1947, the American Vegetarian Party (or AVP for short) represented, quite simply, vegetarianism. The party's presidential candidate in the 1948 election was Dr. John Maxwell, the 84-year-old owner of a vegetarian restaurant, and his running mate was Symon Gould, the associate editor of The American Vegetarian magazine.

The party had several major setbacks, notably their platform, which not only emphasized a ban on slaughterhouses, but also pressed for banning liquor, tobacco, and, surprisingly, medicine. In addition, Dr. Maxwell was English-born and therefore ineligible for office even if elected. Finally, the party did not receive the required number of signatures to reach the ballot... in any state. The good doctor was entirely dependent on write-in votes. By counting the number of vegetarians in the country, Maxwell and Gould estimated on around 5 million votes. They received 4.1 Maxwell quit the race after 1948, but Gould continued to run until 1963, when he died.

These are the party's candidates during its life:

After Gould's death, the party vanished, to be replaced by the American Vegetarian Union.

1One wonders who the other two were.
2Gould was selected for the candidacy before his death in 1963.


  • mental_floss magazine, Volume 5, Issue 3.
  • "American Vegetarian Party." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 22 Apr 2006, 23:51 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 5 Jun 2006 .
  • International Vegetarian Union (

N. B. Wikipedia gives Daniel J. Murphy as the VP candidate for 1948, but other sources disagree. If anyone knows, /msg me.

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