A living example of unity in diversity, keynote of the 23rd
World Vegetarian Congress, University of Maine, August 16-28 -
Saffron robed Indian swamis are seen chatting to mothers with
young children, kimono-clad Japanese bow formally to long haired
American boys and girls, trendy young blacks are listening intently
to middle-aged Europeans.
They come from every part of America, from all corners of the
globe, eager above all, to learn. And the opportunities are limitless
- nutrition, philosophy, ecology, health and disease, ideology,
anatomy, cookery, ethics, practicalities, different cultures and
religions - so much to choose from, to absrob, to think about.
There are even special classes for teenagers and for children.
And, of course, there are the great personalities - homesteaders
Scott and Helen Nearing, radiating down-to-earth warmth and humour;
Rukmini Devi Arundale, Theosophist and animal crusader, her calm
directness cutting through all sophistry to reach the very heart;
Dr Richard St. Barbe Baker, octogenarian founder of Men of the
Trees; so many with a lifetime of experience as vegetarians, glad
to help those still needing guidance.
The setting is idyllic. The spacious tree-lined University of
Maine at Orono proves that those wide open spaces of America can
even be found on campus, with the silent forests, the nature trails,
the serenely flowing river all offering opportunities for quiet
Mealtimes certainly show the wide variety of choice available
to vegetarians, with something for every taste. There are hot
savouries (everything from Chop Suey to traditional nut roasts
to pizza and spaghetti), a variety of vegetables cooked and raw,
salads, wholemeal bread, fresh fruits, desserts - all using only
unrefined foods, nutritionally rich and eminently satisfying.
The impact of the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress reaches far
beyond the dining hall and lecture rooms, and the auditoriums
of the University of Maine - CBS television cameras bring it all
into the homes of millions across the nation, with local radio
programmes and newpapers all spreading the word. The whole of
America is talking vegetarianism - watch out for repercusions
on the rest of the world.
|Massive milestone in the history of
vegetarianism, the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress, University
of Maine, USA, August 16-28 - attracts thousands, received
coast-to coast notice by television and press, cements international
A garland for the chief - Dr. Gordon Latto, President of
both the VSUK and the International Vegetarian Union, receives
the supreme accolade on Indian Night at the Congress. Flanked
by Dr.V.N.Jai of Bombay (left) and Jain Holy Man Munishri
Chitrabhanu Maharaj, Gordon's smile indicates the immense
satisfaction all felt at the Congress . . . "seeing so many
nationalities working together in a friendly manner is a very
inspiring thing." Contributing himself to the overall success
of the fortnight, Gordon was interviewed on two radio programmes,
gave valuable talks on nutrition together with his brother, Dr
man who powered it all - Jay Dinshah, whose total dedication and
incredible energy made possible the first-ever World Vegetarian
Congress to be held in the USA. Jay was the key figure in amalgamating
local organisations into the North American Vegetarian Society,
responsible for planning the Congress . . . but his work didn't
stop at the planning stage. It was Jay who masterminded vitually
every aspect of this stupendous happening, worked round the clock
to ensure the whole operation ran smoothly.