International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

2nd International Vegetarian Congress 1890
London, England

from The Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester), November, 1890, pp.315-317:

PETITION TO PARLIAMENT. - In connection with the International Vegetarian Congress, recently held in London, a petition was prepared by the Vegetarian Federal Union in support of the Bill brought before the House by Mr. Plimsoll, in which provision is made for prohibiting theimportation of live cattle, in addition to clauses against deck-loading and for the division of iron ships by bulk heads ; the objects of the bill being the protection of human life and the suspension of the horrors attending the transit of cattle by sea. The petition further asks the abolition of private slaughter-houses.

A similar petition has been prepared by The Vegetarian Society, and may be signed by all Vegetarians and friends of Vegetarianism in the United Kingdom who have not signed the one prepared by the Federal Union. Printed copies of the petition, with sheets for signatures, may be had from the office of the Society by friends who can assist in getting signatures attached. The sheets, when signed, should be returned to the office to be appended to the original petition.

The petition is as follows :-

TO THE HONORABLE THE COMMONS OF THE UNITED KINGDOM OF
GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND IN PARLIAMENT ASSEMBLED.

The humble petition of the undesigned VEGETARIANS AND FRIENDS OF
VEGETARIANISM, of Great Britain and Ireland,

SHEWETH

THAT your petitioners, while desiring to help forward that time when man shall cease to procur supplies of his food through the destruction of animal life, recognises the imperative need in the meantime of reducing to a minimum the sufferings attending the transit and slaughter of animals and more particularly the atrocities pertaining to the transit of cattle by sea.

THAT there is great loss of life at sea from British ships, a large part of which is wholly needless. That whereas four of the European Maritime countries, namely Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, and Italy give an average loss of life of 1 in 271, the loss of life in the English Mercatile Marine is 1 in 66, or more than four times the average of the above mentioned Countries of Europe.

THAT there is an enormous amount of indescribable cruelty inflicted upon tens of thousands of sentient creatures in te transport of live cattle for human food.

THAT this fearful cruelty, and the moral degredation it necessarily entails upon those engaged in the traffic, who in part are compelled to inflict these horrifying tortures, is quite unecessary, inasmuch as the traffic can be wholly carried out in dead meat instead of in the impotation of live animals for food.

THAT there is a well considered and very moderate Bill before your Honorable House, called the Merchant Shipping Act Amendment (No.2) Bill, which is calculated to abate much of the afore-mentioned loss of life, and put an end to the unspeakable cruelties which transit of live cattle for food necessarily entails. Your petitioners pray earnestly that the bill may be passed into law this session.

THAT there is no adequate and efficient supervision of slaughter-houses, and that such supervision cannot properly be exercised so long as private slaughter-houses are permitted.

THAT owing to this absence of proper supervision many cruelties are perpetrated by which the sufferings of animals are increased, and much diseased flesh finds its way into the market and is used for food, to the detriment of the health of the people of this Realm.

YOUR petitioners pray that immediate steps may be taken to bring in a Bill for the abolition of private skaughter-houses, and the substitution of public abbatoirs, and to ensure such efficient supervision as shall prevent needless cruelty, and also minimise the risk of diseased flesh being supplied for food.

AND your petitioners, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.