International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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Vegetarian Federal Union 1889-1911

From The Vegetarian (London), November 12, 1892:

Vegetarian Federal Union

The Semi-annual Meeting of the Union was held on Monday, at the Memorial Hall. Mr. A.F. Hills took the chair, and the following numerous societies were represented :-

The American Society (Miss Wilson), Brighton (Mr. Doremus), Bolton (Mr. Forward), Croydon (Mr. Field), Cambridge (Mr. O'Callaghan), Exeter (Mr. Doremus), Buckhurst Hill (Mr. Hills), London (Mrs. Clifford, Mrs. Mc Douall, Mr. Field, Mr. Marsell), Newcastle (Mr. Oldfield), Northern Heights (Mr. Theobald, Mr. Light), Portsmouth (Mr. Prior), Oxford (Mr. O'Callaghan), Sheffield (Mr. Doremus), The Vegetarian Society (Mr. Clarke, Mr. Hanson), West Ham (Mr. Lorg), Woolwich (Mr. Hanson).

The Secretay reported that good accounts had been received of the work done by the various societies and the arrangements that were being made for the winter.

Permission had been recieved to hold an International Convention on Vegetarianism at the Chicago Exhibition the first week in June. Space had also been granted in the British section for the display of literature and the Exhibition Committee of Ways and Means were considering the details for the establishment of a Vegetarian restaurant.

A mission consisting of Lantern Lectures and Cookery Demonstrations, by Mr. and Mrs. O'Callaghan, with Miss Yates as French lecturer, has been arranged in Belgium by Madame Chantrain, under the patronage of H.R.H. Countess of Flanders, and other important personages.

The new draft rules were then considered and after some discussion of the various amendments the following rules were unanimously adoprted:-

  1. Name.- This association shall be called "The Vegetarian Federal. Union."

  2. Definition.- It shall be defined as an association of such Societies throughout the world as may be willing to unite together for the promotion of Vegetarianism, i.e. abstinence from the flesh of animals (fish, flesh and fowl) as food, and for the encouragement of the use of seeds, pulses, grains, fruits, nuts, and all wholesome products of the vegetable kingdom.

  3. Governing Bodies. The government and magagement of the Union shall be vested in and administered (in accordance with the authority herewith granted) by
    1. Delegates at an Annual and Semi-Annual General Meeting
    2. Delegates at a Special General Meeting
    3. An Executive Commitee

  4. Officers. - Its Officers shall consist of a President, Vice-President, Treasurer, and Secretary, who shall be Vegetarians, and shall be elected at the annual meeting by the assembled delegates by ballot, retiring officers being eligible for re-election. The executive of the Union shall have power to fill up offices that may become vacant during the intervals between the meetings of the Union, such appointments to be subject to the approval of the next General Meeting following such appointment.

  5. Duties of Officers. The President shall be ex officio Chairman of all General Meetings of the Union woth the execption of any special Congress, but in his absence the meeting shall proceed to the election of a Chairman. In the intervals between the meetings of the Executive its Chairman shall have power to act for the Vegetarian Federal Union.
    The Treasurer shall take charge of all sums received by the Union, and shall present an account of receipts and expenditure, duly audited by a chartered accountant, to each ordinary general meeting.

  6. Executive. The Executive of the Union shall consist of the President, Treasurer, and a Committee constituted of one representative of each Society, and any person being a Vegetarian shall be eligible as a representative, and shall be appointed annually by the Commitee of each Society affiliated to the Union. Any affiliated Society may also appoint annually an alternative representative to act at any meeting at which the regular representative may be unable to attend.

  7. Executive Committee. The Executive Committee shal meet once a month on a regular day to fixed by them from time to time and at such other times as may be necessary. Any five of the Executive Committee duly assembled at any such meeting shall form a quorum. Every question at such meeting shall be decided by a majority of votes, and if the votes be equal, the motion shall be declared lost. Each representative present shall have one vote for each Society he represents. The first duty of such Committee shall be to elect its Chairman.

  8. Affiliation. Any Society having been been in existence for six months and upwards, and possesing a minimum of ten local members and associates may be affiliated to the Union upon application to the Executive Commitee.
    All applications regarding affiliation shall be considered by the Executive, who shall have powere to decide whether affiliation shall or shall not be allowed, after receiving application with statement of duly qualified members and associated, signed by the Society's Chairman and Secretary. The minimum annual subscription shall be five shillings for each vote possesed by the Society.

  9. Election of Delegates and Voting. Societies shallbe entitled to send delegates to meetings of the Union, with voting powers, as follows :- Ten Members and Associates and upwards 1 vote, 50 and upwards 2 votes, 100 and upwards 3 votes, 200 and upwards 4 votes, 500 and upwards 5 votes, 1,000 and upwards 6 votes, 2,500 and upwards 7 votes, 5,000 and upwards 8 votes. Any affiliated Society shall be entitled to give power to any Vegetarian to cast its votes at any one meeting of the Union.

  10. Forms of Appointment Each delegate shall be appointed by resolution of the committee of a society, a copy of such resolution certified by the chairman of the committee, and the secretary of the society being sent with the notice of appointment. Thr form should be as follows :
    Appointment of Delegate to a Union Meeting :-
    We the . . . Society duly affiliated to the V.F.U. appoint . . . our delegate for the meeting to be held at . . . on . . .
    Signed, Chairman of Committee, . . .
    Secretary . . .
    Appointment of Representative to Executive Committee :-
    We the . . . Society duly affiliated to the V.F.U. to represent this Society by his single vote at the several meetings of the said Executive Committee of the V.F.U.
    and . . . of . . . as alternative representative.
    Signed, Chairman of Committee, . . .
    Secretary, . . .
    [*The name of delegate or delegates and number of votes claimed should be notified to the Secretary, V.F.U. at latest 24 hours before a meeting. In order to avoid possible disqualification the notification should be forwarded several days previously.]

  11. Meetings. - A General Meeting of the Union shall be held at least twice in each year in the months of January and July.Other general meetings may be called by the Committee at any time. Upon receiving a requisition in writing, signed by secretaries of not less than seven societies, by order of theri respective committees, and specifying the nature of the business to be transacted, a Special General Meeting shall be called within one month from the date of the receipt by the Secretary of such requisition ; no business other than that so specified shall be transacted at such special meeting.
    Special general meetings shall be open to Delegates only ; to other general meetings, the public shall be admitted.Seven indivdual delegates representing seven different societies, shall form a quorum for all general meetings. Seven das notice, at least, shall be given of all general meetings.

  12. Literature. No other literature shall be circulated at meetings held under the auspices of the Union than that which has been approved by resolution of the Committee. The Union shall supply at cost price to such local Societies as may apply, any literature that it may publish.

  13. Authority of the Union. The Union shall have power, if the Executive Commitee report any cause , to remove the name of any affiliated Society from its roll if a motion to the effect is supported by a majority of two-thirds of the votes present at a General Meeting.

  14. Change of Rules. These rules shall not be amended or added to except at a General Meeting of the Union, consisting of not less than seven Delegates representing seven different Societies, and thereat by a majority vote consisting of not less thn two-thirds of the votes present at such Meeting.

The meeting then proceeded to discuss the resolution moved by the London Vegetarian Society : "That this general meeting of the Union instructs its Executive Committee to draft a political programme to be submitted at the annual meeting in January.

The Rev. James Clarke thought that it might be advisable for Vegetarianism to join hands with such Societies as the S.P.C.A., the A.V.S., and others who were so closely allied to the movement, but he considered the present introduction of a polictical programme premature and not desirable, but that a Parliamentary Committtee might do great good by bringing the importance of encouraging fruit growing, and other similar subjects, under the notice of our law givers.

Mr. Prior said there were such divergencies of opinion in our ranks that it would be most difficult to compose a programme which would meet with the approval of all.

Mr. Oldfield said that all the societies with which he was connected tried to formulate what they felt would be a need, with a bill to come before Parliament, and that if a committee were appointed by the V.F.U., it could decide upon what subjects a Vegetarian bill was needed. He would suggest, for example, a bill to abolish private slaughter-houses.

Mr. Doremus said that other Societies had a programme which dealt exclusively with their specifc objects, and thatif a programme was adopted which only inclded strictly Vegetarian subjects it might do good.

Mr. Hills said that it would be absurd for such an important body as the Vegetarian Federal Union to be without political influence, and as the consideration of the new draft rulesby a sub-Committee had been attended with such happy results, he thought the meeting would do well to relegate the subject to the consideration of the Executive Committee. The Union could then consider any programme which the Committee agreed to present to the General Meeting.

After a little discussion, Mr. Theobald and Mr. Doremus, on teh understanding that the programme would be of a strictly Vegetarian nature, moved that the Executive Committee be instructed to draft a political programme. The delegates then adjourned to a dinner at the Central, where they were provided with a pleasing variety of Vegetarian dishes, amongst which may be mentioned such novelties as "Hop Cream Soup," and Lentil croquettes with truffles, and a delicious pudding called "The Central".

The day's proceedings terminated with a Conversazione at the Memorial Hall, when the "At Home" Company gave an attractive and varied programme. During the interval Mr. Hills gave a short speech, in which he expressed the pleasure it had given hom to welcome the delegates from all parts of the country. When he considered the rapid progress the movement had made during the last few years, he thought Vegetarians should take heart, be on the alert, and prepared to meet the crisis that was close at our doors. Vegetarianism should join hands with all who were trying to do good in the world, and by uniting with those who have a common enthusiam for good of humanity alleviate the evil that surrounds us and bring God nearer to us.