|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
Vegetarian Federal Union 1889-1911
From The Vegetarian (London), May 23, 1891:
The Federal Union Report
The assembling once more i conference of the representatives of the Vegetarian Federal Union calls for a review of the work done since their last meeting. The true Vegetarian is of a sanguine temperament, and apt to view his cause in the mst favourable of lights, but the bare recital of work done during the past months must be prductive of genuine satisfaction.
Probably the most important work of the Union was the conduct of the International Vegetarian Congress in September last, full details of which were duly published.
Suffice to say here that the Congress was admitted by all, save the most unfriendly of critics, to have been a great success. Both in the accredited representatives, as also in the papers read, the meetings were truly international. The sitting extended over three days, and besides the English delegates, there were those from America, France, Germany and Italy, and elsewhere. The proceedings of the Congress were reported from day to day by the leading newspapers, and from them were extensively copied by the provincial press. The Daily Graphic sought to catch and portray the expression of our leading men ; unfortunately, however, with but scant success. Many articles and leaderettes were written on the Congress, ranging from partial commendation and feeble satire to stern reproof. By these means a considerable amount of attention was focussed upon our cause, which could not fail to be of the utmost importance.
The petition for the regulation of the cattle has been printed, and with proper paper widely circulated, a large number of signatures being already affixed.
With respect to the list of Vegetarian literature kindly presented by Mr. Axon, the same has not yet been printed through lack of funds. Probably the coming season will see this stumbling block removed, and ths a valuable paper brought into circulation.
There are twenty three societies affiliated with the Union, and two more aks for affiliation, viz., The Vegetarian Society of Australia, and the Bristol Vegetarian Society.
In response to the appeal of our Chairman, invitations have been kindly given by certain of the affiliated societies, and missions of three or more days' duration have been had which, if we may judge from local reports, have been very satisfactory. We give a list of the principle fixtures.
On the 2oth of October last, we had the privilege of speaking at the annual meeting of the Vegetarian Society of Manchester.On the following evening we lectured in Boltonunder the auspices of the local society ; from Bolton we wnt to Southport, and lectured on three evenings for our zaelous friends in this town. On the 27th and 28th of October, the Sunderland Society claimed our services for two evening lectures, and an address to the school children in the afternoon. Going still further north on the 29th, 30th and 31st of October, we were lecturing in Newcastle to varying audiences, and these engagements closed the northern tour. On the 23rd of October, Mr. Forward lectured for the Union at Brighton, and on the 23rd, Mr. W. Welch favoured us in like manner at Erith.
On the 5th of November, we commenced a week's mission in Norwich. On the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, Mrs. Hawkins and Miss Harding spoke at meetings in different parts of the city. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, we gave lantern lectures to good audiences, while on the Saturday, Mr. Josiah Oldfield addressed the meeting.
The following week we commenced a mission in Oxford, when seven evening meetings were held, and two cookery demonstrations were given in the afternoon.
On November 25th we lectured for the Hastings Society on their town.
On December 3rd, 4th, and 5th, we conducted a mission in Dover, under the auspices of the local society, and lectured each evening. On Saturday, the West London Society claimed our attention at a lage meeting in Kilburn, as also on the 15th December, at a lecture in Chelsea.
On the 9th and 10th of January, we lectured for the London Society at the Lambeth Baths, and at Hammersmith. The first night to 700 people, and the second night to 7 ; the 13th and 16th found us speaking at Cubitt Town and Hampstead for the same society.
On the 17th and 18th of January, Mr. Welch addressed large audiences at Portsmouth.
On Monday, the 19th, we commenced the South Coast tour the first night at Portsmouth, where we had an audience of 400, and the remainder of the week at Hastings and St.Leonards. The following Monday we commenced the Brighton mission, lecturing each evening in and about that town to excellent audiences.
The next Monday and Saturday found us with the West London meetings at Chelsea and Kilburn, when we had audiences of 50 and 400 respectively. On the afternoon of the 16th, we gave a cookery demonstration and address for the West London in Battersea to 150 women. On the 24th and 26th at New Cross and South Lambeth for the London Society. On the 2nd of March, a lantern lecture at Battersea for the West London. On the 3rd of March for the Northern Heights at Hornsey.
On the 9th of March we commenced the Western tour, lecturing on the Monday and Tuesday at Exeter ; on the Wednesday, for a change, we were snowed up. On the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, we had good audiences at Bristol. On the 17th of March we were invited to lecture at Westerham in Kent. On the 18th, 25th, and 31st, at Victoria Park, Stoke Newington, and Erith.
On the 6th of April Mr. Jeffrey gave an address to a senior Band of Hope in Rainham, Kent, and the same evening we assisted the West Ham Society at Canning Town, and on the Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, the London Society in different parts of the metropolis. On the 15th of April Mr. Welch kindly gave an afternoon and evening address at Brighton. On the 15th we lectured at Twickenham ; 16th, St. Mary Cray ; 19th Bermondsey ; 23rd, Deptford ; and 25th, Aldgate, for the London Society, as also on the 26th, 27th 28th and 29th of April, at Clerkenwell, New Cross, Rotherhithe, Marylebone, and Camberwell.
We take this opportunity of tendering our best thanks once more to those friends who so generously afforded hospitality to our speakers, and worked hard to make the meetings a success.
In pursuance of these country meetings, your Secretary jas travelled 2,500 miles, and the approximate number of persons he has addressed has been 8,857. Were it not for the unusaully inclement winter just past, we have but little doubt that these figures would have been considerably increased.
We must not forget also to thank those good advocates especially Mrs. Hawkins and Miss Harding, Mr. Forward, Mr. Welch, and others, who have lectured or given addresses for the Union, and whilst returning thanks for favours received we cannot omit the Editor of the Vegetarian newspaper, who has so fully set forth our coming events, and month by month has generously permitted us to chronicle our doings in no small compass.
So much for the past ; now for the future, and here we have every augury of success. Hitherto our work has bee somewhat that of preparing the ground ; next season we hope to reap some of the fruit we have sown. But, however this may be, our course is th same - to press on undaunted. Our aim is a bold, and ambitious one, to bind together in one harmonious whole, the disciples of Vegetarianism ; to concentrate their efforts, to strengthen their hands when needed ; and this not within the bounds of our own seas, but the four quarters of the globe. Here is a mighty task, and the workers how few and feeble, wanting all things save faith in the justice of their cause and its success. May we not therefore, with Milton, ask of the great spirit :- "What in s is dark - illumine. What is low - raise and support, That to the height of this great argument, we may assert eternal Providence, and justify the ways of God to men."