International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Congress Logo 33rd World Vegetarian Congress
Chiang Mai, Thailand, January 4 - 10, 1999
'Vegetarianism is the Way'
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Historic Declaration for a Compassionate World in the 21st Century

On 4th January 1999 in Chiang Mai Thailand, at the innauguration of the 33rd World Vegetarian Congress, a statement of intent - a mission statement of historic importance - will be made to delegates brought together by the International Vegetarian Union from every continent on Earth. The statement sets a goal for the human race to create a world which is compassionate, merciful and planet friendly. The declaration will inspire and motivate generations of people throughout the world in the coming century until the goal is achieved. The text is as follows.


We hereby pledge to bring about a 21st century in which the human race will finally make peace with the animal kingdom. Human beings will no longer kill, maim, torture or exploit fellow beings for food or other purposes. Animals will have fundamental rights which will be internationally recognised.

It is clear beyond any doubt that the survival of the human race depends upon the survival of the forests and other natural resources and of the animals with whom we share this planet. We pledge to protect all of them. We oppose the introduction of animal genes into human beings and the genetic manipulation of animals and plants.

The human race will reach the pinnacle of civilisation when it extends the hand of friendship and compassion to the animal kingdom and returns to the healthy plant-based diet best suited to the moral and physical needs of our species, thus avoiding the related evils of animal exploitation, human starvation and environmental destruction.

At the close of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st, let us make a tryst with destiny to create a world free of violence towards all living beings who are dependent on our love and compassion. Together let us embark on that long journey which will bring about a world in which all animals are treated with compassion and mercy and accorded rights that human beings take for granted.