International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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14th World Vegetarian Congress 1955
Paris, France

From the Vegetarian Messenger, (the magazine of the Vegetarian Society, based in Manchester, England) :


International Vegetarian Union's 14th World Vegetarian Congress, Paris 1955

LA CIT/E UNIVERSITAIRE, Paris, spacious and well equipped, with every facility, including an indoor swimming pool, gymna-sium and tennis courts in the delightful grounds, was an ideal setting for the I.V.U. Congress from 31st July to 6th August, 1955. Over a hundred delegates stayed in the University and surrounding hostels, which are built in the national architecture of the contri-buting nations.

Delegates were received on Sunday evening by Mrs. Clarence Gasque (President of the I.V.U.) attended by members of the Exe-cutive Committee, prior to the inaugural dinner. On Monday morning the Congress was given official recognition by civic digni-taries at the Hotel de Ville.

The principal lecturers were :-Pasteur Raymond Mayer, Dr. Jean Nussbaum, Dr. Ralph Bircher, Professor Aldo Capitini, M.Raymond Dextreit, Mr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, M. Louis de Costier, Abbé Lefevre, Dr. Douglas Latto, Dr. Libert Bonastre, Mr Woodland Kahler, Mr. Helios 0lff, Frau Ecker-Lauer, Dr. Ganz, and Mr. J. N. Mankar.

Delegates from National Societies gave their reports, and an outing was organised to Versailles. A special session for the ladies of the Congress was held with Mrs. Gasque in the chair.

Dr. DOUGLAS LATTO (representing Great Britain), spoke on "The Importance of Vegetarianism to maintain Perfect Health," and stressed the fact that most human ailments can be traced to a defec-tive diet. While orthodox doctors may recognize sickness resulting from excessive use of alcohol or over-eating at Christmas; that anaemia may result from an iron deficiency; that rickets and scurvy from deficiencies of vitamins D and C respectively; they do not realize that pneumonia, heart trouble, arthritis, asthma, or cancer, also have a defective diet as the chief causal factor.

Dr. Latto said that in Great Britain we have one doctor for every 800 people; more hospital beds are needed, and this should not be regarded as progress but a reproach to our way of living. There are 30,000 cases of disseminated schlerosis, 40 per cent. of deaths are accounted for through heart disease, blood pressure and strokes. We have 40,000 diabetics, and one in six of the population dies of cancer-100,000 deaths from cancer every year.

The speaker examined the trends in modern medicine, and although many suppressive drugs were still being used, quite a num-ber of complaints were being treated with moulds (like penicillin), and diets instead of vaccines, drugs and surgery. It was thought that this was a change in the right direction.

Mr. WOODLAND KAHLER (America) took as his title: "Nostalgia for Perfection," and said, "Fortunately, for the future of animals as well as men, there is a better world close at hand waiting to be lived in, a world fortified by something far more effective than atom bombs and mass injection of serum. Some are already citizens of this better world, others, suffering from enervation and toxemia due to ignorance of Natural Hygiene, have been slow about applying for naturalization!

Almost all of us have been brought up in the inorganic garden-ing world, perfumed with insecticides instead of flowers, but no man can hurt himself without hurting life as a whole. Nothing ethically unjust to man or monkey is ever scientifically sound-a scientific fact of facts as well as an eternal reality. Out of friendship with the land comes friendship with animals, and at length between man and man-the only answer to man's nostalgia for perfection."

Lee PRITZKER (Canada), in a recording, spoke of his conception of ''A Vegetarian World," and gave the following characteristics of the vegetarian of the future:-

1. Far more efficient mentally.
2. Emotions richer as a result of good nutrition and specific training.
3. Speech will be beautiful, clear and coloured with under-standing, sympathy and sincerity.
4. Aesthetic appreciation far beyond present levels-almost everyone will be a gifted painter, musician, singer, orator, actor and writer.
5. Devoid of hate, anger and irritation.
6. More charming, handsomer and infinitely healthier.
7. Finer social conscience and an instinctive urge for mutual aid rather than personal gain.

Mr. Pritzker thought that a man or woman should be returned for every parliamentary constituency so that the attributes of woman should find their place in national life-when this happened slaughter-houses would soon be abolished and the advent of a flesh free diet be quickened.

Dr. Ralph Bircher gave two fine lectures, one on the Hunzas with lantern slides, and "Outer and Inner Existence"-it is hoped to give a selection of the principal speeches in subsequent issues of our magazine. A special session was arranged for "The Voice of Vegetarian Youth," and this was conducted by Helios 0lff, of Holland and Frau Ecker-Lauer, of Germany.

The next European Congress will be held in Germany in 1957 and a supplementary Congress for the East will be held in Bombay earlier in the same year.

Officials Elected. The following were re-elected for a two year term of office :- PRESIDENT-Mrs. Clarence Gasque (U.S.A.).
PAST PRESIDENT-Mr. W. A. Sibly, M.A., J.P.. (Great Britain).
DEPUTY PRESIDENT-Mr. Oluf Egerod (Denmark).
TREASURER-Mr. Josef Pedersen (Sweden).
ASSISTANT TREASURER-Mr. Geoffrey L. Rudd (Great Britain).
EXECUTIVE-Mrs. Elizabeth Ecker-Lauer (Germany), Mr. James Hough (Great Britain), Dr. Jean Nussbaum (France), and Mr. Woodland Kahler (U.S.A.).

New Vice-Presidents elected were:- Dr. DOUGLAS LATTO (Great Britain), Mr. SIGWARD LINNIO (Fin-land), Mr. CURTIS FRESHEL (USA). Mr. J. N. MANKAR (India), Mrs. RUKMINI DEVI ARUNDALE (India), Mr. M. M. SHAH (India), Mr. H. H. JONES (Great Britain), Mr. G. HILLER (Germany). Dr. SYPHENS (Holland).

Among the official delegates in the party of seventy from Great Britain were Mr. G. L. Rudd, Mr. G. B. Mills and Mr. W. D. B. Day (of The Vegetarian Society); Mr. Ronald Lightowler (the London Vegetarian Society; Mrs. Isabel James (Vegetarian Catering Association; Mrs. E. Shrigley (the Vegan Society); and Mr. Dugald Semple (Scottish Vegetarian Society).


A snap taken by the Editor at the Hotel de Ville before the official Civic Reception given for the I.V.U. Congress The group includes Mrs. Clarence Gasque (I.V.U. President), Mr. Richard St. Barbe Baker, Mr. and Mrs. Woodland Kahler, Mr. Oluf Egerod, Dr. and Mrs. Sypkens, and Mrs. K. M. Ireland.

IVU Congress - Some of the residents of the Cité Universitaire : From left :- Mr and Mrs Boesnuch, of Antwerp; Dr and Mrs Douglas Latto (Dr Latto lectured for Great Britain); Mr Cyrus Hayes and on the right Mrs.K.M.Ireland. In the picture below delegates are waiting for the official group photograph.

IVU Congress - Sunning themselves between lectures :- Mr Bill Day (Assistant Secretary, The Vegetarian Society); Mr E. Broebecker (of the French organising commitee); Mrs Goring and Mr Goring.

Official Delegates to the IVU Congress - Paris 1955. An interesting group taken after a business meeting of official delegates to the IVU Congress. In the front are: Mr W.A.Sibly MA, JP; Dr Jean Nussbaum (leader of the French Congress Committe);Mr Geoffrey L.Rudd and Mrs Isobel James.

IVU Congress - Mlle.Elaine Caron, one of the French helpers, with Mr. Ronald Lightowler (Secretary, the London Vegetarian Society); Mr Geoffrey Mills (The Vegetarian Society Executive Committee) and Mr Wyman (Gloucester V.S.)

Young Vegetarians in Paris - Uncle Geoff was hoping to take a photograph of the young vegetarians at the IVU Congress in Paris, but very few were present. Here are three of them - Miss Sheila Smith, Miss Wendy James (daughter of Mrs Isobel James, of Rothay Bank, Grasmere) with Miss Carol Taylor.

Dr Douglas Latto - seen speaking at the recent IVU Congress in Paris.