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Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948)

From The Vegetarian (London), April 28, 1894:

To the Editor of THE VEGETARIAN

[Mr. M. K. Gandhi has sent round the following letter to the Indians in England, and we reproduce it here to show what active work is still being done in our midst by Mr. Gandhi, in spite of the distance which separates him from us. And yet our opponents say that Vegetarian Indians have no persistence of purpose like the sons of "Honest John Bull !" ED. Veg.]

"MY DEAR BROTHER, - If you are a Vegetarian I think it is your duty to join the London Vegetarian Society, and to subscribe to The Vegetarian if you have not done so already.

It is your duty because -

  1. You will thereby encourage and aid the creed you profess.
  2. That it will be an expression of the bond of sympathy that should exist between a Vegetarian and a Vegetarian in a land where there are so few of them.
  3. The Vegetarian movement will indirectly aid Indi politically also inasmuch as the English Vegetarians will more readily sympathise with the Indian aspirations, (this is my personal experience).
  4. Looking at the question even from a purely selfish point of view, you will thereby be able to have a large circle of Vegetarian friends who ought to be more acceptable than others.
  5. Your knowledge of the Vegetarian literature will enable you to remain frm in your principles in a land where you are exposed to so many temptations which have in many cases proved irresistible, and you will in case of illness be able to get the aid of Vegetarian doctors and drugs, whom and which you will know very easily, having joined the Society and subscribed to its paper.
  6. That will help your fellow brothers in India a grat deal, and be also a means of dispelling the doubt that still lingers in the minds of our parents as to the possibility of existence under a Vegetarian diet, and thus facilitate the way of other Indians to England a great deal.
  7. If there were a sufficient number of Indian subscribers, the Editor of The Vegetarian may be induced to devote a page or a column to India which you will admit cannot but result in benefit to India.

Many more reasons can be given to show why you should join the Society, and subscribe to The Vegetarian, but I hope these will be sufficient to induce you to view my proposal with favour.

Even if you are not a Vegetarian, you will find that many of the above reasons apply to you also, and you can subscribe to The Vegetarian, and who knows but you may in the end consider it a privilege to join the rank of those who never depend for their existence on the blood of their fellow creatures.

Of course there is also the Manchester Vegetarian Society and its organ the Vegetarian Messenger. I have pleaded for the L.V.S. and its organ simply because it is so very handy being in London, and because its organ is weekly.

I do trust that you will not excuse yourself from joining and subscribing on the score of economy, for the subscription is so small, and it is sure to more than repay your money.

Hoping you will not consider this an impertinence on my part." - Yours in brotherly love,

M. K. Gandhi.
Care of Messrs. Baker and Lindsay,
Attorneys etc., Pretoria, Transvaal