|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
From The Vegetarian, Mar-Apr, 1958:
THE INDIAN CONGRESS
Jagat Narain Lal, MA., B.L.
The noble ideal of Universal Brotherhood, for the attainment of which repeated efforts have been made by man, in different ages ever since the inception of humanity, also demands that the vegetarian movement should be effectively supported in all the countries of -the world and by all the sections of their population. Unless the principle of "live and let live" is followed universally, through the medium of vegetarianism, the desired Universal Brotherhood remain only a Utopia."
Sardar Mohan Singh.
Rashtrapati Rajendra Prasad in his stirring address at the Bombay Session of the Congress laid his finger unerringly on the cancer that is eating into the vitals of humanity - lack of respect for life. As he said, vegetarianism is the answer to the atom and hydrogen bombs. A man who will not kill a bird or animal will surely not drop a hydrogen bomb on innocent men and women. A man who recognises the right of even animals to existence would not be prepared to destroy whole cities through rocket-driven, death-dealing missiles. Vegetarianism, therefore, is not a mere sentimental slogan or a principle of dietetics; it is the highway to peace and progress in the world."
Dr Sampurnanand (Chief Minister, U.P.)
Meat-eating cannot be prohibited merely on the ground that the creature whose flesh is eaten also has life. The thing we call life pervades the entire universe. No human being can exist without eating, and whatever he eats will have life in it. That is why it is said "life is also life's nourishment." It is also possible that every creature might experience some pain at the time when it is being killed. Dr. Jagdish Chandra Bose and other scientists doing research in this field have demonstrated that plants and trees, too, are effected by drugs and that they react in an abnormal manner when pierced or injured. But there is difference between one life and another. The feeling of pleasure or pain is dependent on the nervous system. The more developed and complicated the nervous system, the more widespread and sharply defined is the feeling. The nearer a nervous system is to that of human beings the more capable it is of carrying sensations. Brains similar in construction to the human brain behave in the same way. It is obvious that, as compared to invertebrates, -the vertebrates are closer to human bodies in construction. And among the vertebrates mammals are closer still. That is why the feelings and sensations of mammals are more like ours. We have to eat something. But it would be more graceful for us to eat those things the eating of which involves the least pain to others. From this it is clear that it is better not to eat things which are ordinarily classed as living beings, i.e., animals and birds. And even among these, the more akin the creature is to human beings, the more unacceptable it should be, because its feelings of pleasure and pain will be similar to those of human beings.
Shanti Prasad Jain (Managing Director The Times of India)
Muni Shri Jayantilalji
I must also address a word to the Government of West Bengal since this momentous Session is being held on their soil. Meat eating is more universal and more prominent in this State than perhaps anywhere else in the country. The practice of sacrificing living animals to deities is also widely prevalent here. Indeed, many religious rites and ceremonies are performed which necessarily involve violence to animals. Lest people conclude otherwise, I would like to make it known to all that even here non-vegetarianism was never a practice with the learned ones or an ideal with the common folk in the past. There have been a number of saints who raised their voices, too, against meat eating. The name of Shri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu is the most outstanding. So is that of Shri Rain Krishna Paramhansa. The Government of West Bengal would do well to give widest publication to the relevant parts of the preachings of these two saints who are greatly revered by people even to-day."
Sri Prakasa, Governor of Bombay
The problem of vegetarianism has to be looked at from many standpoints. It is not merely a question of not taking flesh of animals for food; it stands for a definite code of conduct, a way of life, and an attitude of mind. There are many persons in our country who are satisfied by the fact that they do not eat meat them-selves. They feel that their duty is finished with that, and that, therefore, there is nothing that need trouble their consciences. It would not have mattered if things ended there. Many such vegetarians are inclined to lay the soothing unction to their souls that they themselves are very pious, righteous and good while those that are not vegetarians are necessarily evil folk. They are inclined to look down upon those who are not of their way of thinking, and withdraw into their own shells, so to say, feeling happy and pleased with themselves. This further leads to their being indifferent to what is actually going on in the world. They themselves do not take any active interest in the care and protection of animals; they do not see what is happening to these helpless creatures ; and are in many ways unkind, even if that may only be indirectly. They cannot, however, divest themselves of responsibility for the evil that goes on unchecked around them."