|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
12th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1950
From the Vegetarian Messenger, (Manchester) :
THE 12th CONGRESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN UNION - HOLLAND.
THE 12th Congress of the International Vegetarian Union was held from the 11th to the 18th July, 1950, at The Pietersberg, Oosterbeek, Arnhem, Holland, under the Presidency of Mr. W. A. SIBLY, M.A.,J.P. (England).
Mr. SIBLY, as President of the Union, thanked Mr. Fischer and the Dutch Society for their warm welcome to Holland. He felt that in the adoption of vegetarianism lay the best hope for the future mankind, and he expressed the wish that the work of the Congress -during the following days might be a turning point in the history of the Union and an inspiration to all.
Brief speeches were made by delegates from the countries represented. Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.), in speaking on behalf the American Vegetarian Union, brought with her a huge banner which was inscribed: "Vegetarians of all nations unite; you have a world to gain for justice, kindness, health, happiness, peace, progress and prosperity."
Mrs. Gasque was followed by Professor Arthur F. Stevenson (Canada), Dr. Edal Behram (India), H. H. Jones (England), G. Henderson (The Vegan Society), Mrs. D. Horsfield (England) A. Reid (Scotland), G. van Nederveen (Holland), N. Nielsen (Denmark), M. Karlson (Norway), J. Pedersen (Sweden), A. J. Perroud (France), and Hans Peters (Youth Movement, Holland).
Mr. Oluf Egerod gave a brief account of the Congresses held during the years between the two great wars.
Messages and greetings were read from the Los Angeles Vegetarian Society and from the President of the American Vegetarian Union (Dr. Gehman).
Reports from Delegates.
The Hon. Treasurer, Mr. Oluf Egerod, submitted a statement of receipts and payments which was accepted and approved.
In response to a request, the President, Hon. Treasurer, and the Hon. Secretary reported upon work which they had done on behalf of the Union since the last Congress.
Applications for Membership.
Election of Officers.
The President announced that through the generosity of Mrs Gasque it would be possible for the I.V.U. to appoint a paid Secretary, with Headquarters in Gt. Britain,* and that such an appointment would be made by the officers of the Union by the end of 1950.
(*The Headquarters were sanctioned in Gt. Britain on account of the present difficulties in transferring currency from one country to another.)
A further offer was made through Mr. Nederveen (Holland) of the use of an institute in Holland for purposes of scientific and cultural research, and this was gratefully accepted.
The address of Dr. KIRSTINE NOLFI (Denmark) is printed on page 232, and Dr C. J. SCHUURMAN'S lecture on "The Psychology of Vetarianism : Relation between Parents and Children," Will appear in our next issue.
Mr.H. A. M. C. DIBBITS (Holland), a Dutch engineer, gave a most interesting lantern lecture on the history of the "Dutch Polders". His address made one feel What a Herculean task his countrymen had faced When they first planned the reclamation of those regions which, even within comparatively recent times, were under water.
Mr. KAJ DESSAU (Denmark), in a vigorous call to action, spoke of "The Future of the International Vegetarian Movement." His address will be fonnd on page 261 of this issue.
Mr. ROY WALKER (Great Britain) lectured on "The Coming World Famine." This address is obtainable in pamphlet form under the title of Bread and Peace." (*Price ½, post free. From The Vegetarian Society).
Mrs. CLARENCE GASQUE (U.S.A.) said that she did not recognize n-ations as such-she was more concerned with human life and with whatever was noble-in that she was interested. She referred to the many phases of our vegetarian philosophy-humanitarian, economic, psychological, physiological, health, philosophical, religious, no less than the important aspect of the treatment-or maltreatment--of the soil. Speaking of America, she said that the advertizing companies required to he called to a halt : they were "psuchologizing" the human mind, and had reached a stage which made her refrain from turning on her radio. She described an incident in Kashmir in which the carrots, potatoes and other garden produce had been grown on foul land, and where it was necessary to cleanse the soil before the vegetables were fit to eat. If this were done, she said, the soil could live naturally and healthily, and nature would be certain to give her best in return. Mrs. Gasque stressed the great importance of demonstrating vegetarian meals. She had, herself, done much in that direction but she made it clear how vital it was to present those dishes in a nice and attractive form, and how necessary it was for us to be reasonable in our approach, other-wise we should never get adherents to our cause.
Mrs. Gasque concluded, as she had begun, on a high level, emphasizing the fact that our object as vegetarians was to ascertain our relationship with life at every stage.
Dr. Voute (Holland) gave a most interesting illustrated talk on the "Biological Equilibrium." It was a valuable contribution to the lecture programme despite the fact it contained little of a vegetarian character. Nevertheless it was a subject about which vegetarians were invariably questioned and asked for a categorical answer despite the fact that such an answer might be as obscure as the origin of the universe itself.
Dr. Voute said that it was mainly carnivorism which was responsible for the equilibrium in nature and he gave many illustrations to show how one type of animal or insect preyed upon another. He said that the dormouse and the caterpillar were far more dangerous to man than such animals as the lion, and he described very fully the life cycle of the ichneumon fly which required "live" food for its sustenance. A further very practical aspect of Dr. Voute's lecture was his statement to the effect that the more intense the application of insecticides, the more unstable was the biological equilibrium. Many insects, he said, were able to develop immunity from insecticides.
An interesting discussion followed during the course of which Dr. Voute declared that in certain instances of an unbalance of nature, and where there was an obvious lack of food, it was more humane to shoot some animals rather than allow them to die from starvation.
WORLD FOOD CRISIS.
COMPOST AND SOIL FERTILITY.
VEGETARIANISM IN THE FORCES.
Our Dutch friends were very anxious that visitors from other countries should see something of the Netherlands during to the Congress. Two major excursions were planned as well as a final excursion to the Zuider Zee Dyke and Volendam.
Rotterdam was the venue of the first visit, reached by skirting Utrecht and by way of Gouda. A delightful steamer trip through the harbours preceded a welcome break for refreshments and a glance at the Exhibition to celebrate the rebuilding of the port after the recent war devastation. Leaving via the Maas Tunnel, the area around Elshout, with its 22 windmills, was explored and described by Mr. Dibbits whose lecture the previous evening made this excursion all the more interesting.
During the afternoon of the closing day of the Congress the district containing the National Park of the Netherlands (De Hoge Velurve) presented another side of Dutch life. The park covers approximately 13,600 acres, and although a small portion of this is cultivated the greater part constitutes a nature preserve where among the many birds and animals, we caught sight of the red deer as we passed along its thickly wooded avenues. Two buildings of note are situated in the Park-The House of St. Hubert, designed by the architect Berlage in 1913, to symbolize the legend of St. Hubert, and the Kröller-Müller Museum which, in addition to paintings and sculpture by many well-known artists, contains the largest collection of the works of Vincent van Gogh.
Other visits in the vicinity of Arnhem were made to the Open Air Museum, and to its Exhibition, and to the Vegetarian Home for Aged People, at Oosterbeek, the organization of which was excellently described by Mr. J. H. Bolt to an interested audience.
Mr. G. VAN NEDERVEEN (Holland), in replying on behalf of the Dutch Vegetarian Society, said how glad they were in Holland that we had visited their country. The future, he said, belonged to youth and the more we could encourage young vegetarians the better it would be for our cause. Dr. T. Kaayk, who had also done so much towards the success of the Congress, briefly responded.
Mr. HANWORTH WALKER (Gt. Britain), in response to a
request from the President, briefly outlined the excellent work which
was being done at the Vegetarian Home for Children, at Rainhill, near
Liverpool. He said they had been criticized for not being sufficiently
practical. Their whole life, where they were working with non-vegetarian
doctors, schools, etc., was an answer to this charge. If they were
to be judged by the spirit which was put into their work then they
would not be disappointed, for in the Vegetarian Movement