MESSAGES AND GREETINGS
GREETINGS FROM AMERICA
Bailey Stephens, Doctor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire Extension
Service, and author of The Revolutionary Culture
Now is the time, and India is the place! This Congress should be a major
step toward freeing mankind from its barbaric obsession of eating the
bodies of our fellow creatures. The claims of necessity, made in the
past, were always weak and illogical. Today our systems of transportation,
refrigeration and storage make them completely invalid. This vicious
cannibalistic habit, no doubt a residue of the ice age, not only violates
our ethical and aesthetic standards; it requires six times as much land
as would be necessary if we grew crops direct for human food. Over-grazing
by the meat animals is creating more and more desert.
India, the homeland of all the Indo-European nations, will lead the
world in correcting this situation. The great prophets of our time -
Richard Wagner, ToIstoy, Thoreau, Shaw, and Gandhi - have seen that
here is the key to man's rehabilitation.
As a delegate to the Congress from the Millennium Guild of America I
hope that a programme may be developed now which will. bring by 2000
A.D. the dawn of a decent civilisation.
* * * *
Roth, Delegate, Los Angeles Vegetarian Society
It is indeed a privilege to be invited to join this World Vegetarian
Congress for I feel this movement is the vanguard of things to come.
Since the purpose of life, to my way of thinking, is growth, both individual
and collective, to become a vegetarian is certainly a step in this direction.
It takes strength of character; conviction of ideals, and dedication
of purpose to step off the beaten path, and follow this comparatively
new highway of the Vegetarian way of life.
Although there are many reasons or motives for becoming a vegetarian,
varying from the purely selfish one of the desire for physical health
to the humane or ethical one of love for our younger brothers, the animals,
once one has embraced this path and travels upward, eventually he meets
all others and there is complete agreement of the ultimate purpose.
This can be summed up in the broad statement that we are convinced that
only through the vegetarian way of non-violence to the animal kingdom
can we achieve non-violence toward our brothers, the human kingdom ..
. . and in this way establish peace on earth.
* * * *
My life has been a long series of questioning, of study, of concentrated
work. I now realize that all this was in preparation for my first trip
to India. As a dancer I learned the fundamentals for the discipline
of physical body. As far back as I can remember I have considered my
body as a structure to house my inner self . . . and now I know it within
my power to project myself goodness, or the opposite.
I was first introduced to Yoga by Indra Devi, the author of that wonderful
book Forever Young Forever Healthy. It was like awakening in
a world whose ways I needed to relearn. Now I am being enriched by the
mental and spiritual guidance of Indra Devi. She has become my sister
in spirit and with her I am visiting India.
It was always my dream to see Bombay (The Gateway of India), Delhi,
the modern city, with its colourful festival of music and art and the
hallowed shrine at Raj Ghat dedicated to the memory of the great leader
Mahatma Gandhi. I always wanted to see the River Ganges at the Holy
City of Banaras and the shrines and temple there. I wished to see the
ancient temple at Buddha Gaya . . . and Sarnath where Buddha delivered
his first sermon and exemplified the four noble truths. And I must see
the home of India's great poet, Rabindranath Tagore, the Vishwa Bharati
University he founded, . . . these places and many others. . . . Yes,
dreams do come true.
* * * *
Charles Kroll, Vice President, The Vegetarian Society
of New York and Present Literature Agent
On behalf of the Vegetarian Society of New York, Inc., I consider it
a great privilege and honour to extend our warmest greetings at this
time. We are, of course, deeply interested in the Fifteenth World Vegetarian
Congress, India, commencing on November 9th, 1957, and wish it every
With the ushering in of the atomic age, the world stands again at the
cross-roads of history; it will be plunged into mass suicide from which
the planet itself may never recover, or will man find the way to preserve
a peaceful existence? Dr. Albert Schweitzer in his recent Declaration
of Conscience has issued a powerful warning about the danger faced by
all the fall-out caused by the explosion of nuclear weapons Other noted
scientists in many lands. Have also pointed out that even the so called
tests of hydrogen bombs may have terribly destructive effects on the
present generation and many generations yet unborn. Great masses of
people in this and other lands have also raised their voices in protest
against the senseless testing and piling up of these murderous weapons.
However, the politicians who are in authority seem to take a contemptuous
view of all the appeals and warnings and are ordering more tests of
and developing more destructive weapons. A crusade for survival is certainly
needed for all - including vegetarians - if man is is to continue to
inhabit the earth.
With this stark portrayal of what confronts us, friend and foe alike,
it is the writer's ardent hope both as a members of the Vegetarian Society
of New York and the I.V.U . that out of the deliberations at the 15th
World Vegetarian Congress, India, may yet come lasting peace.
* * * *
Kahler, Vice President, I.V.U.
As delegates of the American Natural Hygiene Society to the 15th World
Vegetarian Congress my wife and I are deeply grateful to our Indian
friends for the opportunity of moving with them in a magic circle round
the map of India from Bombay to Delhi, Banaras, Patna, Calcutta, Madras,
and back again to the point of departure. During this wonderful journey
which now lies open to many of us attending the Inaugural Session of
our Congress, we shall have the privilege of meeting the fabulous people
of India in sacred places throughout the land.
India is the key country to an understanding of Asia by the people of
the West. And now is the appointed time. In our Age of Anxiety we are
faced at present either with Explosion followed by separateness and
fear or the Quiet Way leading to the Oneness of all life. We can no
longer run and hide. The world has grown too small to hide in. We must
go on fighting one another or we must have a change of heart and learn
to co-operate. The choice is always ours.
If you happen top be Western Christians you need not fear Lord Buddha's
Quiet Way nor the "Voice of Ahimsa," for Christ, himself,
was a Prince of Peace in word, deed, and thought, and all true Christians,
like all true Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Muhammadans and followers of
Judaism, are compassionate pioneers to whom the one great adventure
here on earth is a quest for spiritual enlightenment.
During the next two weeks of the World Vegetarian Congress in India
our own personal impressions will, I believe, form a lasting souvenir
to remind us that the spiritual sun of India is rising out of the shadows
that now darken the face of the earth. With the co-operation of the
non-violent people of India the healing sunshine will flood the continents
of Asia and Africa and eventually overflow into the Wild West creating
a new world of Light.
* * * *
GREETINGS FROM BRITAIN
It was a delightful surprise to receive from England World
Forum's beautiful Souvenir of greetings to the 15th World Vegetarian
Congress. We hope that every delegate will procure a copy and read the
good wishes in full. We had wished to reprint the greetings in extenso
but the Indian heart is as warm in its welcome as that of our brothers
overseas, and to do this we should have had to omit many of the messages
from our Indian brothers, for space as well as time is not indefinitely
expansible. So let the few greetings from England, quoted below stand
for a representative expression of those sent from many secretaries
and presidents of vegetarian societies as well as individuals in the
British Isles who wished the Congress every success in its deliberations,
and in its purpose to awaken the interest of every thoughtful and heartful
person to the ideal of vegetarianism.
* * * *
W. A. Sibly, President, The Vegetarian Society
and Past President,The I.V.U.
I am equally sure that Indian vegetarianism in spite of its long and
honoured history, needs the scientific witness and support of the West.
In November the Indian scene is at its most beautiful best, the climate
ideal, and those who go will find a wealth of architectural, artistic,
and spiritual inspiration.
* * * *
Edward H. Kirby, Chairman, Executive Committee,
The Vegetarian Society
This Congress will be an historic occasion for vegetarianism and will
help all spheres of man's moral relationships to one another and to
the animal kingdom.
We in the west are sometimes apt to think we are the superior people
- this is not so - you in the east have much to teach us, and to contribute
to the welfare of humanity; and there is no nobler way of making this
contribution than through the philosophy of vegetarianism.
It is only as the cause or movement of vegetarianism progresses and
reaches its fulfillment that the world will eventually become peaceful
and a place of happiness and love.
The Vegetarian Society, the oldest organised Society, salutes the 15th
Annual Congress in the name of Love, Peace and Progress.
* * * *
Bertrand P. Allinson, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., President,
The London Vegetarian Society
Undoubtedly it the traditional wisdom of the East which first inspired
vegetarianism in Britain, for western religions do not, as a rule, enjoin
abstinence from flesh as a means to health and holiness.
It is therefore, most fitting that we Westerners should send greetings
and express our gratitude to our like thinking comrades in India. We
are told that in India there has been a tendency to break away from
traditional ways of living and to adapt the Westerner's unprincipled
feeding habits: We sincerely hope that by means of the International
Vegetarian Congress this tendency will be reversed and that this gathering
of so many eminent people of other lands will carry weight and lead
the renegades back into the path of righteousness and bring to our way
of thinking and living those who have not yet seen the light.
* * * *
Ronald Lightowler, Secretary, The London Vegetarian
May India be saved from the delusion of regarding all Western ways as
being those of true progress, for undoubtedly the habit of flesh-eating
has brought to the West a terrible toll of disease and misery both to
the human and sub-human kingdoms.
Let us stand strongly together in our testimony of that way of life
which aims ultimately to eliminate all slaughter and exploitation of
animals, the general adoption of which would also make it possible for
all people of the earth to be properly fed.
* * * *
Geoffrey L. Rudd, Secretary, The Vegetarian Society,
Editor, The Vegetarian Representative to the Indian Congress
I cannot understand my fellow men wishing to take on the lowly work
of vultures and jackals, or putting themselves on the same level as
tigers - let alone turning their stomachs into free cemeteries for the
People are, of course, perfectly free to make their own karma, just
as we are free to offer advice, But in the case of flesh-eating the
whole nation is adversely affected as well as the creature kingdom,
which cannot speak for itself.
It is at this point that we feel it necessary to point out the desirability
of either remaining vegetarian or becoming vegetarian. From my experience
and study of world conditions we are convinced that flesh-eating is
a retrogressive step and one calculated to bring in its train, disease
and a return to savagery, for killing cannot breed anything but irreverence
of life - it is a very short step from slaughtering a sentient creature
to slaughtering a man. In fact we believe in the unity of life and the
omniscience of Brahma it is the same.
Mahatma Gandhi addressed my Society in England many years ago and said:
"The Englishman eats bread to make his meat go further, while the
Indian meat-eater eats meat to make his bread go further."
Nevertheless our problems are essentially the same - to stop people
from eating dead animals - even though we are trying to turn meat-eaters
into vegetarians, while your main task is trying to stop vegetarians
from turning cannibals.
While, to my mind, the ethical and moral aspects are of first importance,
we have scientific and medical arguments which reinforce them and make
the case for vegetarianism absolutely unanswerable.
* * * *
Dugald Semple, President, The Scottish Vegetarian
What a tragedy it would be if Mother India was to became estranged from
her sympathy with the rights of animals, which although it may have
been carried to extremes, nevertheless has been a noble example to the
flesh-eating and vivisecting nations of the West.
Yes, let us do our utmost to save India from the soulless materialism
of imperialistic nations. Let us show that war and disease are the result
of disobedience to spiritual and natural law. That if we harden our
hearts against the everyday cruelty off flesh-eating and blood sports,
we cannot wonder that the whole; so-called civilised world is preparing
for another world catastrophe.
East and West must meet if we are to hasten the coming of the New JerusaIem.
We go forth to show that science is an affair of the heart as well as
the head. That the poor Indian need not live on such a meagre diet,
and that we must realize that without love the people perish. The basic
error, as Maitra, editor of the Indian journal, once told me, "You
people live beside yourself, we live from ourselves. It is only more
life in the soul that can unite all people."
* * * *
C. A. Westacott, E. Westacott, Honorary Secretaries,
The United Humanitarian League
It is important for vegetarians everywhere to remember at all times
that vegetarianism is a principle based on the unity of life - that
of Ahimsa, that is, the avoidance of inflicting suffering or
death upon living creatures. It has nothing to do with diet, human health,
or Food Reform.
With this in mind we send you our very best wishes for the success of
* * * *
GREETINGS FROM NEW ZEALAND
Hodson, President of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society and of the
Council of Combined Animal Welfare Organizations of New Zealand; Theosophical
Lecturer and writer.
Meat-eating causes man to violate the principle of unity which makes
all creation one living organism and all beings "parts of one stupendous
whole ". . . . The present condition of man, individual, national,
and international, can be regarded as a consequence of his long-continued
infraction of the law of love, compassion, humaneness.
The Vegetarian Movement thus assumes immense significance. Evolutionary
progress, physical, psychical, intellectual and spiritual; human relationships
of all orders; man's creative genius and his use of his powers of thought
and feeling; human health, efficiency, prosperity, and happiness and
the welfare of man's fellow citizens on this planet, the members of
the animal kingdom of Nature all these can be profoundly influenced
for the better, enormously benefited, by the universal adoption of a
meat-free dietary. In very truth, therefore, vegetarianism is practical
Incalculable benefit could be bestowed upon humanity if effective means,
irresistible means, were devised for bringing these truths home to the
mind of modern man. How to promulgate effectively vegetarian ideals
and practices; how to promote universal vegetarianism; how to shatter
the superstition that meat-eating is essential to health; how to break
the economic power of the meat industry, the most brutal and degrading
on earth; how to lead mankind to normal kindness to animal and to natural,
humane ways of living, eating, preventing and treating disease - these
are the problems to be solved by the world's vegetarians and humanitarians.
The answer to these questions is known at least in theory.
Needed is the well-organized, ever-increasing output and dissemination
of effective propaganda. By healthy, happy lives, useful lives, by voice,
pen and organizing skill, and by a national, and a World Committee -
carefully chosen, authorized to act and financed by voluntary contributions,
from the widow's mite to the rich man's endowment of the Cause - by
these means vegetarianism can be authoritatively and effectively inculcated.