International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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27th World Vegetarian Congress 1984
Baltimore, USA

Minutes of the IVU General Meeting

International Vegetarian Union

Minutes of the General Meeting of representatives of member societies held at various times during the 27th World Congress at the University of Maryland, Catonsville, U.S.A., 30th July to 9th August, 1984.

  1. President's Welcome
    The President, Dr Gordon Latto, welcomed all those participating in the Congress. Voting delegates represented more than forty member societies in over 30 countries. He looked forward to an interesting and stimulating Congress.

  2. Meeting Procedures
    The Hon.General Secretary, Mr M.G.Lee, explained the procedure that would be adopted during the business meeting and pointed out that, although all participants might express views, only official delegates of member societies might vote.

  3. Apologies for Absence
    1. The meeting noted with deep regret the passing of two very active members of I.V.U., Professor Scott Nearing who had been awarded the Manker Trophy at the last World Congress and Mr geoffrey Hodson founder of the New Zealand Vegetarian Society. Both had been Hon.Fellows of I.V.U.
    2. A number of apologies for absence and messages of goodwill were read out.

  4. Minutes
    The minutes of the General Meeting of representatives of member societies held at the 26th World Congress in Neu Ulm, West Germany, were presented and approved.

  5. Hon.General Secretary's Report
    The importance of communication was stressed and the need for all to keep in contact with each other ad I.V.U. to ensure the co-ordination of vegetarian activity in the world. Various approaches to vegetarianism were mentioned and some of the resultant problems.

    A discussion ensued on catering at World Congresses and whether or not both vegetarian and vegan meals should be provided. It was proposed by Mr.S.Mehta that lacto-vegetarian food should be made available at all future World Congresses and that host countries should decide on the diet in consultation with the Hon.General Secretary of I.V.U. This was agreed by a large majority.

  6. Hon.Treasurer's Report
    In the absence of the Hon.Treasurer, the Hon.General Secretary presented the audited accounts for the period 1st April, 1982 to 31st March, 1984. The meeting noted the current total assets were 10,433 compared with 7,544 two years previously.

    The rise in the number of individual members and the increase in support for the Patrons Fund were welcomed.

    The financial report and list of member societies was approved.

    Regional Secretaries' Reports

    Africa Mr Beeldman commented on Africa's food problem and the relevance of the vegetarian answer to it. There was growing interest in vegetarianism in South Africa and the Society was becoming more active. He explained the lack of contact with other parts of Africa.
    Australasia The Hon.General Secretary read the report for Mr Karolyi in his absence. He reported that there are now five active vegetarian and vegan societies in Australasia. The growth of the animal rights movement was leading to co-operation between the societies and the animal rights movement. An Australian Vegetarian Congress is planned for 1985.
    Europe In the absence of a European Secretary, the Hon.General Secretary reported on the growth of interest in vegetarianism in Europe and particularly in animal rights. He mentioned the problems of vegetarian societies in Eastern Europe. A European Congress was to be held at Cervia in Italy from 25th - 31st August, 1985 when it was hoped to develop co-operation between European societies.
    India and the East Mr Surendra Mehta spoke of the success of vegetarian societies in the region. Political problems in Shri Lanka made development difficult. In Indonesia a vegetarian society was being developed. Interest in Singapore was very encouraging. The Japanese Society continued to flourish. The Manker Foundation was developing and it was hoped to be able to use its income in the furtherance of vegetarianism.
    Latin America Dr German Alberti reported the growing interest in vegetarianism and that the numbers of vegetarian societies continued to grow, The health advantages of vegetarianism were attracting many people and vegetarian restaurants were growing in number. Many states in Latin America have economic problems and this reduces the numbers able to attend Congresses.
    Middle East In the absence of Mr Pick, the Hon.General Secretary reported that the situation in the Middle East was still difficult due to political problems. Only in Israel was vegetarianism a force. There was growing interest in vegetarianism in Israel and there were a number of vegetarian communities and societies.
    North America Mr Brian Graff reported the rapid growth of interest in vegetarianism as concern grew over the treatment of animals and medical problems caused by meat. The number of societies was growing and activity was encouraging.

  7. Election of Officers and Voluntary Positions
    The following elections were made :-
    • President: Dr.Gordon Latto
    • Deputy President: Mr Ulrich Schroter
    • Hon.Fellows: Mrs Rukmini Devi Arundale (India), Herr Geo Hiller (former Deputy President), Mrs Mehra D.Malegamvala (India), Mr Geoffrey Rudd (U.K.), Mrs Wilhelmena Eikeboom-Broekman (Netherlands), Mr Julius Fleischanderl (Austria), Swami Satchidanandaji (U.S.A.)
    • Hon.Vice Presidents: Dr rer oec Ralph Bircher, Mr V.H.Dalmia, Dr Ferdinando Delor, Mr Philip Pick, H.H.Satguru Jaggit Singh Ji Maharaj, Dr M.Tada, Mr Fred Whittle, Mr Surendra M.Mehta, Mr.Shantilal M.Mehta, Mrs N.Mahalingam, Mr Inderjit Jain, Mr Ravji K.Ganatra, Mr Jay Dinshah.
    • Executive Vice Presidents: Mr Brian Gunn-King, Mr Anders Kocken, Mr Rudolf Meyer, Mr.M.I.Abdul Khalik, Mr John le Grice, Dr Alex Hershaft, Mrs Madge Darneille, Mrs Patricia Takacs.
    • Elected Members of the International Council: Mr Edwin Heller, Mr Jashu C. Shah, Dr.Hilmar Burgabbe, Dr Kazimir Chomicz, Miss Melinda Marks, Mr Milan Maglaic, Miss Jerina Maleseric, Mrs Nelly Fernandez French
    • Hon.Regional Secretaries: Africa - Mr.Jan Beeldman; Australasia - Mr.George Karolyi; Jointly for India and the East - Mr Surendra Mehta and Dr.M.M.Bhamgara; Latin America - Dr.German Alberti Vasquez; Middle East - Mr Philip Pick; North America - Mr.Brian Graff.

  8. Venue for the 1988 World Vegetarian Congress
    Offers to host the Congress had come from West Africa, Australasia, India and Mexico. The question was put to the vote and the delegates decided to accept the offer from Mexico. The unsuccessful societies were thanked for their kind offers.

  9. World Vegetarian Congress 1996
    Mr Milan Maglaic, President of the Jugoslav Vegetarian Society, spoke about the venue near Dubrovnik and indicated the support that was hoped for, both from Yugoslavia and other countries.

  10. Reverence for Life Month
    Mrs Darneille reported the proposals for October to be seen as "Reverence for Life Month". It was suggested that societies should organise events to mark the month taking account of particular days with special significance such as World Vegetarian Day and World Food Day. National considerations made it difficult for I.V.U. to determine particular days for all countries. Dr.Alex Hershaft reported on the activities of the Farm Animal Reform Movement in October and invited support.

  11. Manker Foundation and Trophy
    It was reported that Mrs Rukmini Devi Arundale was to be awarded the Manker Trophy for her services to the vegetarian cause. The Manker Fund continued to grow and delegates were invited to give it their support. It was hoped to use the income to fund the promotion of vegetarianism. The International Council had decided to give 1,000 to the V.S.U.K. to help to fund the appointment of a part-time research officer. Initially this was to be a one year appointment but it is hoped that it will be possible to continue the post beyond the initial year. The Manker Foundation was to provide 500 of I.V.U.'s contribution.

  12. Patron's Fund
    The Hon.General Secretary reported that the Fund continued to receive support and that such donations helped to fund I.V.U.'s activity. It was suggested that the 50 rate should be increased but this was not supported.

  13. Representation on International Bodies
    The need for I.V.U. representation was emphasised and Societies were asked to let the Hon.General Secretary have the details of suitable people. Societies were asked to publicise the possibility in their magazines.

  14. Future I.V.U. Policy
    Mr Matthew Vates, President of the Toronto Vegetarian Association, suggested that speaking tours by suitable persons were very desirable. Popular speakers could ensure that events would pay for themselves. Miss Melinda Marks proposed the following resolutions :- "that promotion of vegetarianism throughout the world should be declared as the highest priority of I.V.U." and it was agreed. Miss Marks proposed a further resolution which was amended to read "that organisers of Congresses strive to achieve at least 50 per cent of the programming of Vegetarian Congresses under the aegis of I.V.U. ve devoted to training participants for the promotion of vegetarianism" and this was agreed.

    Mr Alex Hershaft put forward a paper on "Promoting World Vegetarianism". The assembly welcomed the ideas presented in Mr Hershaft's paper and referred it to the International Council to consider its possible implementation.

  15. Communication
    The Hon.General Secretary stressed the problems which could arise if societies did not keep in touch. It was emphasised that we all needed to reply to correspondence.

  16. Resolutions
    Three resolutions were supported and societies were asked to consider them and to try to implement them. i) That I.V.U. should recommend to all member societies to regularly exchange magazines and publicity material. ii) The Hon.General Secretary of I.V.U. is kindly requested to publish an International Newsletter, if possible, three times a year containing important information. Member Societies need to communicate their information to the Hon.General Secretary in time for such newsletters. iii) The Young Indian Vegetarians asked I.V.U. to support its action in India to encourage the vegetarian traditions. It was resolved to note with regret that some people in India have given up their traditional vegetarian diet. India's long history of respect for all life is one of which it can be justly proud. At a time when the rest of the world is beginning to appreciate the great value of vegetarianism, any decline in India would be very regrettable. For health, moral and economic reasons, people are increasingly turning to vegetarianism. The growth of vegetarianism in the western world is an undeniable fact. We would ask the people of India to maintain their long vegetarian tradition. We would ask you to consider and accept our humble request.

  17. Reports from Member Societies
    Reports were presented from the following societies:-
    • Australia:
      • South Australia Vegetarian Society - Mrs E.M.Fearnside
      • Australian Vegetarian Society - Mr K.Salat
      • Vegan Society of New South Wales - Mr.K.Salat
      • Vegan Society of Victoria - Mr F.Whittle
    • Canada: Toronto Vegetarian Association - Mr Matthew Bates
    • Denmark: Danish Vegetarian Society - Mrs A.M.Nissen
    • Germany:
      • Bund Fuer Lebenseuerung eV. - Mr G.Buengener
      • D.D.R.Vegetarierfreunde - Mr A.Kalter
      • Nazorean Order - Mr.A.Kalter
    • Ireland: Vegetarian Society of Ireland - read
    • Israel: Israeli Independent Association of Vegans and Vegetarians - read
    • India:
      • Indian Vegetarian Congress - Mr S.Mehta
      • Bombay Humanitarian League - Mr R.K.Ganatra
      • Bombay Vegetarian Society - Mr.J.Shah
      • North Indian Vegetarian Society - Mr I.Jain
    • Italy: Associazione Vegetariana Italiana - read
    • Japan: You I Club International - read
    • Netherlands: Nederlandse Vegetariersbond - Dr.Baerents
    • New Zealand: New Zealand Vegetarian Society - read
    • Panama: Panama Vegetarian Society - read
    • Poland: Polish Vegetarian Society - Dr.Jan Kucharczyk
    • South Africa: South African Vegetarian Society - Mr.C.Rood
    • United Kingdom:
      • Vegan Society - Mr S.Coles
      • Vegetarian Society - Mr J.le Grice
      • Vegetarian Society of Ulster - Mrs M.Gunn-King
    • Switzerland: Alters und Pflegeheime fuer Vegetarier - read
    • Yugoslavia: Jugoslav Vegetarian Society - Mr M.Maglaic
    • International Jewish Vegetarian Society - read
    • T.E.V.A. - read

  18. Votes of Thanks
    Votes of thanks were expressed to the North American Vegetarian Society for organising the congress, to Dr.Latto for his work as President and to Mr.M.G.Lee for his work as Hon.General Secretary.

  19. Any other business
    Mr.Colin Rood proposed that a ballot be held to establish the speaking order of delegates giving their reports and this was agreed.

    Mr Colin Rood proposed that reports from member societies should come after Regional Secretaries' Reports on the agenda and this was agreed.

    The Hon.General Secretary reported that the International Council had decided to suspend the activity of S.C.I.V.U. for the time being due to insufficient active support.

    The President thanked all for their work and support.