International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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India and The East
Rabindranath Tagore 1861-1941

From the souvenir book of the 15th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, India, 1957:

RABINDRANATH TAGORE - Poet, Artist, Philosopher, Ambassador of Culture and Educationist, belonged not merely to Bengal or India but to the whole world :

In 1894 he writes in "Glimpses of Bengal Letters":

As I was looking out on the river, I saw all of a sudden, an odd-looking bird making its way through the water to the opposite bank, followed by a great commotion. I found it was a domestic fowl which had managed to escape impending doom in the galley by jumping overboard and was now trying frantically to swim across. It had almost gained the bank when the clutches of its relentless pursuers closed on it, and it was brought back in triumph, gripped by the neck. I told the cook I would not have any meat for dinner. I really must give up animal food. We manage to swallow flesh, only because we do not think of the cruel and sinful thing we do. There are many crimes which are the creation of man himself, the wrongfulness of which is put down to their divergence from habit, custom, or tradition. But cruelty is not of these. It is a fundamental sin, and admits of arguments or nice distinctions. If only we do not allow our heart to grow callous, its protests against cruelty is always clearly heard; and yet we go on perpetrating cruelties easily, merrily, all of us - in fact, any one who does not join in is dubbed a crank ... if, after our pity is aroused, we persist in throttling our feelings simply in order to join others in preying upon life, we insult all that is good in us. I have decided to try a vegetarian diet."