|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
Vegetarian World Forum
NUMBER FOUR - THE VEGETARIAN - WINTER 1947 p.39
We are very glad to read in the New Light of Burma that you are publishing a quarterly magazine advocating the cause of vegetarianism from the standpoint of Buddhism.*
We are experiencing the greatest hardship here in Burma to educate the people of the country to abandon meat diet, for there are regular bands composed of monks and laymen who are vigorously counteracting our activities. Many a scripture quotation has been misused for their nefarious propaganda, for "the devil can cite scripture for his purpose as Shakespeare puts it, and to counteract these activities is a tremendous task. Everybody desires to eat meat because it is so tasty, and when someone comes forward with scripture quotations that there is no harm in doing so, they prefer to remain meat-eaters rather than change over to the better and healthier diet which our League advocates.
At present our League is suffering from lack of members. During the pre-war days we had over six hundred, but now, after its resuscitation in August last, we have only about twenty. Vigorous campaign is being made to enlist more members, but until then, I am afraid we shall not be able to do much.
U San Hla, Hon. General Secretary, Burma Humanitarian
If I needed any deepening of my convictions concerning the extreme urgency of our Vegetarian Cause, that necessity would have completely vanished last week when I visited the largest of Auckland's abattoirs. I will not harrow you with a description of the awful sights and sounds of that place. I will, however, tell you that one of them consisted of the efforts of an inexperienced workman to stun a huge bullock. No less than six blows were required with a heavy hammer, aimed at but not always hitting the forehead of the great beast. At each blow is bellowed piteously and lowered its head to the ground. At the sixth, and only at the sixth, it fell senseless. Instantly an iron trapdoor was lifted, whereupon the bullock fell into the slaughter chamber and was executed. As I witnessed a number of such executions and the horrors which followed, I felt deep within me that a continual and unholy desecration of the Divine Life Itself was being committed. I knew then that we vegetarians have embarked upon a greatly needed and most righteous crusade for the animals' sake, for the slaughter-men's sake, for the health and progress of humanity, for pity's sake, and for the sake of the indwelling Divine Life.
A further visit to the slaughter-house, when the kosher method of killing cattle to provide meat for Jews was witnessed. has intensified my conviction that the work of our society is moss urgently needed in New Zealand. Cruelty in killing reaches its apex in this appalling practice. For a full ten minutes the great beast, snorting and bellowing, struggles violently but hopelessly against the slow, relentless pressure of the head lassoo and leg chain by which it is eventually forced to the ground and then slung up, head downwards, by one leg, almost certainly dislocating the joint. Thereafter the throat is is slashed and the animal slowly bleeds to death. A doctor who accompanied us on this visit informed me that the process of dying would last at least one minute.
No preliminary stunning is allowed by Jewish law by which to reduce the suffering of the animal. As I stood watching all this, one of the slaughtermen came up to sue and protested against the practice, saying, "The animal ought to be knocked back," meaning, stunned.
In Melbourne, Australia, the Councillors of Richmond and South Melbourne and meat industry employees connected with Melbourne's main abattoirs have determined to back up the findings and recommendation of a Sub-Committee of experts which recently enquired into this practice. Every vestige of cruelty, they insist, must be eliminated from kosher killing.
Geoffrey Hodson, President.
Mr. Hodson asks us to point out that he cannot be regarded as the Founder of N.Z. Vegetarian Society, although he was among those present when it was founded.
The Swedish Vegetarian Society had its annual congress at Stockholm on September 7th.
Good progress was reported. The number of members had advanced from about one thousand to two thousand, and an extensive propaganda had been performed.
Two physicians served as speakers: Professor Folke Henschen, Stockholm, and district-doctor J. Thorsson, Valla. The latter was an advocate of raw food - he had done many notable researches among school-children and had found very great benefit for the teeth from raw food.
As Committee was elected: Mayor Ernst Killander, President; manager C. Ahlberg, Vice-President; editor Carl Schelin, Secretary and publisher of Vegeterierien; director Bertil Ahnherg, treasurer; and lady teacher Stina Boström.