The San Francisco Vegetarian Society (SFVS) is a non-profit organization that has been working in the Bay Area for over 40 years promoting vegetarian and vegan diets as a healthful and humane way of life.

SFVS hosts events throughout the year, such as vegan potlucks, picnics, parties, dining out, films, lectures, and outreach events. Please see our events calendar for listings.


In 1970, Dixie Mahy proposed creating a newsletter to promote the Society and its goals: primarily to promote the education of a vegetarian diet, and from there the “Vegetarian Calendar” was born. This idea was adopted. Dixie was immediately voted vice president.

Long-time member (and patent attorney) Dave Pressman initiated the Society’s discount program as a way to reward members.

In 1974, SFVS President Dixie Mahy joined 2000 people at the first North American-based World Congress of the IVU – International Vegetarian Union, held in Orono, Maine. Jay Dinshah, who also founded the American Vegan Society, had founded NAVS, the North American Vegetarian Society, in advance of the World Congress expressly to host it. This Congress kicked off the organized vegetarian movement in the U.S., and groups were formed in Detroit, Los Angeles, New York, and Maryland.

Dixie Mahy and Madge Darnielle of VSDC, the Vegetarian Society of Washington, D.C., were sharing the observation that the vegetarian movement needed something akin to the environmental movement’s Earth Day. A day to celebrate vegetarianism. World Vegetarian Day!

Over the years, SFVS has hosted most movers and shakers in the movement, including John Robbins, John McDougall, Dean Ornish, Howard Lyman, Ann Wigmore, Helen and Scott Nearing, Bill Shurtleff, and many others. Many speakers had their first experience in front of a vegetarian audience with SFVS.

In early January 2015, Greg Rohrbach was elected President of the Society, with Dixie Mahy as VP. Three new board members were elected at that time.

The words vegetarian and vegan are now known popularly, and many ‘mixed’ restaurants are familiar with the terms. Professionals from many fields promote the benefits of a vegetarian diet, versus the old warnings of dire consequences. We have much to celebrate, yet much more to do. Join us!


President: Greg Rohrbach
Treasurer: Patly Rohrbach
Secretary: Janet Tom


Dan Brook
George Gibbs
Melinda Hamm
Shery Lifton
Annie Maley
Patly Rohrbach
Joyce Thornton
Janet Tom


Neal Barnard, M.D.
Gerald S. Cohen, D.C.
Ronald Cridland, M.D.
Alan Goldhammer, D.C.
John McDougall, M.D.
John Westerdahl, R.D.

SFVS is a 501-3C non-profit organization funded by members and donors, including Craigslist Charitable Funds.