|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
17th World Vegetarian Congress 1963
Mr. Daniel P. Hoffman, U.S.A.
1. Atomic Radiation. The establishment of atomic power plants throughout the world. This, as well as the danger of accidents, will undoubtedly increase the concentration of radiation in food. I am happy to note on the programme that one speaker is dealing with this subject. The whole question can be summed up by the statement of Charles Noel Martin, a French scientist and Nobel Prize winner: Some day, when healthy human understanding again returns to power, we shall look back and recog-nise our desperate rush into atomic energy as a great blunder - a shameless battle for money at the cost of the genetic health of our fellowmen."
2. The Use of Land. The political question of who owns the land is not important. The food consumer determines the use of the land. Meat production or a " cow economy" is crowding our people off the land and in America we now have farm factories plus frightful urban speculation in land. There is a chain reaction so far as the effect of land misuse is concerned, and it was urged that the I.V.U. try and publicise in the same fashion that this question could be solved only from an ultimate standpoint by the individual.
3. Animal-Human Diseases. There is a growing fear of disease by responsible scientists between men and animals. The American Department of Agriculture now recognises over 40 of such diseases and believe there could be as many as 100. Antibiotics seem to have increased this danger.
4. Spiritual Aspect of Vegetarianism and Christianity. The vegetarians of the Western World should point out that the preponderance of the evidence now shows that the early Christians were vegetarians and lived the pure life.
"No people can be free whose individual members are still slaves to their own passions." - (Voltaire).
The Spanish nation at the del Prado Museum in Madrid possesses the most powerful symbol in art for the Christian abstenance of flesh eating. It is a painting by Cossier in 1671 showing Christ's endeavour to stop a human with a wolf head from eating a piece of flesh. How could we possibly think of converting the East to Christianity if we believe only humans have souls, thereby not recognising the one-ness of life as so beautifully expressed a few moments ago by Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale of India.
Remember, "We are what we think: as we desire so do we become! By our thoughts, desires and habits we either ascend to the full divine dignity of our nature or we descend to suffer and learn." Rev. I. Todd Ferrier in On Behalf of the Creatures.