MESSAGES AND GREETINGS
Dr. Bhagavan Das, Pioneer, 89 year-old Educationalist,
Writer on the Unity of All Comparative Religions, Samskrit Scholar,
Worker for India's Freedom, and Theosophist.
Vegetarianism is slowly coming into its own in the West. G. B. Shaw
was a vegetarian all his life and lived ninety-four years. There are
many hotels and restaurants, I understand in London, and other big towns
of Europe, which provide pure vegetarian food . Also, it has been proved
that cereals, etc., which be can be grown on, say, one acre of land
will suffice to feed some twenty, human beings. The same acre will suffice
for only one, or at most two bulls (cows are usually preserved, within
limits, for milk and milk products). Economically too, therefore, is
vegetarianism more profitable than non-vegetarianism.
* * * *
M. Visvesvarayya, K.C.L.E.
(This 96 year-old Engineer, Statesman and the maker of modern Mysore
has been a life-long Vegetarian and is still mentally and physically
I have been a vegetarian all my life. I believe in vegetarian food and
I have benefited by adhering to it all my life. As civilisation advances
I trust vegetarian food will become more common.
* * * *
Archbishop Mathias, Roman Catholic Diocese, Madras
I personally am only an occasional vegetarian, I do not think I can
put myself in the list of vegetarians. This does not mean that I disapprove
or do I not regard with great esteem and veneration those who are vegetarians.
I do certainly bless the Congress and all those who take part in it
and wish it every success.
* * * *
N. Dhebar, President of the Indian National Congress
I am glad to know that the 15th World Vegetarian Congress is meeting
in India. I am confident that a day will come when a major portion of
human society will accept vegetarianism an article of faith. It is question
of time and growth of human consciousness.
* * * *
N. Sri Ram, President, The Theosophical Society
It is a noteworthy fact that the noblest men that have lived on earth,
the choicest spirits that have worn human form, displaying a sensibility
far beyond those of common humanity, some of the master-minds of literature
and art, not to speak of philosophy, have elected to base their lives
on the principle of harmlessness to man and animals. The carrying
out of this principle includes, among other things, the eschewal of
all food obtained by slaughter. That man can sustain himself in health
and even attain supreme fitness by food not taken out of animal bodies
is a fact which rests on so much evidence that he who looks
for it can find it.
is gravely doubtful, to say the least, whether the thesis that man is
an omnivorous animal, supported by reference to his past, can apply
equally to his future. He is not meant to have the rapacity of a wolf
nor the energy of a tiger. Passing from animal to man, Nature moves
into a different sphere, where the aim of evolution is the evolution
of sensibility, of balance and harmony, and of an intelligence which
while pliable to the last degree, can yet soar into the empyran of a
limitless spiritual sky, using the earth but as a resting ground. Like
the earth which consists of atoms, each a perfectly balanced system
of forces, he can be gentle, using his energies at a level where they
should make music, as of the spheres.
I hope the World Vegetarian Congress will succeed in converting
hundreds and thousands, and eventually even millions, to a better way
of life, cleaner, calmer, less predatory, I than the way of the world
* * * *
Ismail, An able and prominent Administrator, has been the Prime
Minister of the three Indian States of Mysore, Hyderabad, and Jaipur
In emphasing the reasonableness and healthfulness of vegetarianism,
it may well help to confirm the wavering vegetarian and to win others
to this right and natural habit of life.
We must no doubt realize that the entire world will never become vegetarian,
giving up animal food completely; for there are places in the world
where this would be a manifest impossibility even if there were a desire
to do so. But we can try to discourage the consumption of animal food
as much as possible even where it cannot be avoided altogether, both
for reasons of health and for a moral objection to the taking of life.
* * * *
Ramakrisna Rao, Governor of Kerala State and formerly Prime Minister
of Hyderabad, before its merger with neighbouring States
I am glad to hear the 15th World Vegetarian Congress is to meet in India
November 1957. A high percentage of Indians being vegetarians by personal
preference, it is appropriate that the World Vegetarian Congress meets
in this country.
* * * *
V. V. Giri, Governor of Uttara Pradesh and a prominent
Trade Union Leader
I have been a vegetarian all my life and I do hope some day the world
will realize that vegetarianism is both possible; and practicable and
from the point of view of health, it is a very desirable object.
* * * *
P. Doshi, Hon. Secretary of the Bombay Humanitarian League and one
of the General Secretary of the Vegetarian Congress.
In a country like India it is the duty of Government to preach for vegetable
diet and increase food production. When there is a variety of food production
in large quantities, food will become much cheaper and people will take
to their natural diet of food. God bless all those vegetarians!
* * * *
Pakvasa, Ex-Governor of Bombay
It is a matter of surprise and a little regret that alter thousands
of years of men being given and endowed with wisdom they should be required
to be told, explained and persuaded to become vegetarians. Human beings
have two parts in their nature viz. animal and human. It is the
wisdom of man that would try to eliminate the animal part and raise
the human part and take it towards its route to the divine. There are
also other advantages which are known to many but observed by a few.
May God in His divine dispensation give more strength to the human part
in the man to overcome the animal part and lead him on to his divine
* * * *
Singhania, A prominent industrialist of Kampur
In the opinion of many, without milk and its products, a vegetarian
cannot maintain his normal health. I feel it is good for one to be a
vegetarian not only from a humanitarian point of view but also from
the economic side.
* * *
U. Krishna Rao, Eminent Physician and the Speaker,
Madras Legislative Assembly
I am glad that the South Indian Reception Committee consisting of very
eminent men is bringing out a souvenir to mark the occasion.
* * * *
Santhanam, Chairman, Finance Commission, New Delhi
I am very glad to hear that the World Vegetarian Congress is meeting
in India in November 1957.
I have the greatest pleasure in sending my good wishes for the success
of the Congress.
* * * *
K. M. Munshi, Ex-Governor, Uttar Pradesh
The problem of vegetarianism is fraught with many difficulties. There
are many areas in the world where vegetarian food is difficult to obtain.
But I am for the moment concerned with India.
In India, before the impact of the West, most women eschewed meat food.
Large sections of the male population among the higher classes, at any
rate, eschewed meat diet, and though quite a majority took some kind
of meat diet, it was with a view to supplement the normal cereal diet.
On account of the Western impact, this inhibition has been breaking
down. Taking meat has come to be accepted in some circles of society
as fashionable. I have seen the disgusting spectacle of a young Brahmin,
returned from foreign lands, boasting that he takes beef as if to do
something against the tradition and genius of one's race was a thing
to be proud of. Any movement of Vegetarianism therefore should, in my
opinion, be concentrated in restoring the older values.
modern conditions, I would rest the claim of vegetarianism on two principle
A country living on vegetarian diet can provide food to 4 or 5 times
the population that a country can whose principal; diet is meat. Vegetarianism
is, therefore, a necessity in a poor country like India, whose population
growth every year puts a heavy strain on its food resources.
The second reason why vegetarianism should be supported is that the
people, as a whole, even in India, are losing regard for sanctity of
life. Murders are known to have been committed for stealing a wrist
watch. Teachers are stabbed by students for a mild disciplinary action.
Children take the life of their parents on the slightest provocation.
In countries outside Europe, thing are worse, for, after the Second
World War, Life has lost all its sacredness. For instance, the wave
of violent crimes committed by teen-agers in America is appalling.
There must, therefore, be some concrete symbolic action to restore the
value of life, to make us realize that all life is one. Eschewing meat
diet and taking to vegetarianism is the easiest and the most effective
method of restoring that regard for human fife, which is essential if
man is not to revert to beastliness.
Vegetarianism, therefore, deserves the support of all right-thinking
* * * *
Desai, Minister of Commerce and Industry, Government of India; formerly
Prime Minister of Bombay
While it is good that there is growing recognition of the desirability
of the use of vegetarian diet for the maintenance of health of both
the body and mind, I have every hope that this will lead to a greater
unanimity as to what constitutes vegetarian diet. There is scope of
divergence of views, but there can be little doubt that man should not
sustain his life on the sacrifice of the life of lower species.
* * * *
V. Raman, F.R.S., N.L., 69 year-old Scientist of international repute,
Nobel Laureate, the Founder-Director of the Raman Research Institute
As a life-long vegetarian, I am very happy indeed that the World Vegetarian
Congress is meeting in India under such distinguished auspices. I am
sending you my heartiest good wishes for the success of the Congress.
* * * *
Swami Sivananda, Rishikesh
Few individuals of sane views and normal aspirations, devoted to the
welfare of all mankind, and actively engaged in the furtherance of the
cultural progress of the world, would fail to subscribe their strength
and yield their services to this movement of vegetarianism set in dynamic
motion by the International Vegetarian Union, Killing of animals for
food is nothing if not a great mistake, a cruel blunder and the mentality
it engenders is fraught with potential dangers for the life of humanity,
a recognition of which made George Bernard Shaw state that as long as
men torture and slay animals and eat their flesh, we shall have wars.
May the Almighty Lord shower His choicest blessings upon those who are
actively engaged in the furtherance of the Aims and Ideals of the Vegetarian
* * * *
Deivasikhamony, Kunnakkudi Adigalar
To lead a life of compassion and love, it is inevitable to have vegetarian
* * * *
Singh, Chairman of North Regional Reception Committee
The world to-day stands on the cross-roads of history. Its very peace
is at sake. We are living under the shadow of constant threat of war,
which means total destruction of humanity and the world. It would be
simply cruel on the part of those who bring about this catastrophe
A cruel heart can have no peace of mind. It reacts. And to my mind,
no cruelty deserves greater condemnation than the killing of innocent
and speechless animals, and that too, to add to the flavour of our dishes.
The sponsors of the World Vegetarian Congress, therefore, deserve the
gratitude of every God-fearing man for the great service they are rendering
to humanity by showing them the right path.
We wish them all success!
* * * *
Vijaya Merchant, famous cricketer
It is indeed a happy thought on the part of the organizers to hold the
15th WorId Vegetarian Congress in India. India is a county in which
there are many many vegetarians, and facilities for vegetarian food
are very great. We Indians can prepare a thousand and one dishes out
of vegetarian food and can satisfy all tastes. I only wish that the
same facilities for vegetarian food were available all over the world.
I have been an extremely strict vegetarian all my life and have kept
excellent health throughout my cricket career. During my two cricket
tours to EngIand in 1936 and 1946 I played continuously far long periods
and in spite of the cold and the restricted variety of vegetarian food,
I did not experience any difficulty or suffer in stamina. Very often
maintained - and maintained wrongly - that non-vegetarian food alone
can give the necessary stamina for physical effort. What is really necessary
is a balanced diet in vegetarian food and if only we could popularize
nutritive dishes in a balanced vegetarian diet, I aim sure that more
and more people will turn to vegetarianism I can say from personal experience
that vegetarianism has never come in my way of any physical effort.
I wish the 15th World Vegetarian Congress great success and popularity!
* * * *
Prasad Jain, Hr. PH.D., D.L., M.R.A.S., Hon, Director of the World
Jain Mission & Hon. Editor, Voice of Ahimsa
India is a free nation today, because Indians believed Ahimsa and fought
out a non-violent struggle of freedom successful under the guidance
of Mahatma Gandhi who was himself a strict vegetarian and a great humanitarian.
Indian youths have taken up a fancy for western life of "eat, drink
and be merry" and most of them partake of meat dishes and eggs
and drink alcohol. Thus they kill innocent animals for their food and
disturb the peace of Nature, the fruit of which could be nothing but
unrest and discomfort, pain and misery.
* * * *
R. B. Pragwat, a well-kown humanitarian worker
in India for many years, has sent us a stirring article beginning:
Vegetarianism is a voice for the voiceless. The voiceless are those
who cannot speak for themselves, because they are meek and dumb. There
are none less than our nearest and dearest brethren belonging to the
animal kingdom. The Law of Providence has provided
them with a very poor capacity for self-expression. Hence man has a
golden opportunity and a rare privilege to render his bounden and entrusted
service to speak for his brethren of the lower creation in their defence
when they are being deprived of their legitimate rights of existence.
* * * *
Wadia, Cultural and Social Worker for India
I have been following with the deepest interest the preparations for
the 15th World Vegetarian Congress which meets in India in November
1957, and I send my best wishes for the success of its deliberations.
I have no doubt at all that it will make an outstanding contribution
to the cause of ahimsa, of peace and non-violence. India, the
land of Buddha and the land of Gandhi, should show the way to the world
at large, but in order to do so India herself follow that way, May our
brothers and sisters who will traverse long distances to attend the
15th World Vegetarian Congress strengthen our determination and enhance
"That we all labour together transmitting the same
charge and succession,
Till we saturate time and eras, that the men and women of races, ages
may prove brethren and lovers as we we."