International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India

Addresses on Vegetarianism

Edward Maitland after visiting Anna Kingsford and her husband at their country home in Shropshire says: "In the towns I had, of course, been accustomed to see the festival of the Nativity of the Divine Life that had been born into the world celebrated by the public exhibition in the provision shops of the usual hecatombs of animal corpses stripped of their skins. But this fair village among the peaceful hills far surpassed in sacrificial enthusiasm any homage which a town could render to the gory Moloch of our national orthodoxies. For some days before Christmas the population had been engaged in the annual killing of their pigs, a process which for that whole period had involved the incessant piercing of the skies by the agonized screams of the innocents thus massacred in advance.

"The slaughter was finished by Christmas Eve, and the village sent out its carollers over the country round to sing hallelujahs about the 'Lord of Life,' and 'It was the joy of One,' and 'How beautiful upon the mountains' ; and the next morning saw them flocking to the village church to do further homage to the Genius of the day by reciting services to the key-note of 'Peace on earth, and good will towards men!' A thin fleece of new-fallen snow covered the ground. as if sent expressly to signify that Nature, even if she had not condoned the violence done to her in the persons of her porcine offspring, was anxious at least for that sacred day to efface all evidence of the deed. But the attempt was unsuccessful. For in the gutters between the whitened foot-way and road the blood ran in streams, while every here and there a large ensanguined patch of snow indicated the place of a standing pool of blood. The decorations of the church, and the vigour of the devotions of the congregation, whose responses were fairly roared out, served to aggravate the incongruity of the whole. And I wondered whether the Laureate could have had such a scene in his mind when he made his Harold ask of one who had turned renegade -

"What dost thou here,
Trampling thy mother's bosom into blood?"