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The Vegetarian World Forum

No. 2 Vol. 2 - THE VEGETARIAN - SUMMER 1948 pp.35-38

CORRESPONDENCE
news and views

FIRST IN AUSTRALIA

It may interest you to hear that on April 8th a Vegetarian Society was formed in Sydney after a lecture on vegetarianism, held under the auspices of the World League for the Protection of Animals. As far as I know it is the first society of its kind in Australia. It is our hope that the forming of this society will be followed by the founding of similar societies in other parts of the Commonwealth.

At the inaugural meeting it was decided to hold a general meeting some time at the end of May for the adoption of rules and the election of officers. After this meeting has been held I will be able to give you more news. In the meantime we would be grateful if you could send us the latest news bulletins of the I.V.U.

You may remember that my wife and I were among the founding members of the Malayan Vegetarian Society in 1946. My wife is still in Singapore, but will be leaving for Sydney soon. We are having great difficulty in finding an editor for the Malayan Vegetarian.

Sten von Krusenstierna, The Manor, 2 Iluka Road, Mosman, N.S.W., Australia.

Readers with friends in Australia interested in vegetarianism please ask them to get in touch with Mr. Krusenstierna.-Ed.

WORK IN AMERICA

As you know, there is no national organisation over here - only local societies, often very local and of very limited importance. It is all very strange when we consider the overwhelming possibilities nature offers here . . . fruit and vegetables of every thinkable kind, and plenty.

The only way to obtain real and true American representation is to work for an All American Vegetarian Union which could become a member of the I.V.U.

On March 10th we held a meeting in New York at which about fifty interested vegetarians were present, representatives coming from the Vegetarian Societies in New York, Washington, and Brooklyn. Dr. Maxwell, of Chicago, came specially for the occasion.
The main result of the meeting was the setting up of a body called The National Convention Promotion Committee, with Dr. Gehman, of New Jersey (President of the American Naturopathic Association) as Chairman.

The meeting adopted my suggestion to call an All-American Vegetarian Conference for mid November, to be held at a big Health Sanatorium near New York, to discuss the building up of an American Vegetarian Union and its affiliation to the I.V.U.

In the meantime, I am contacting all the societies and movements interested in vegetarianism: visiting vegetarian restaurants and health food manufacturers: meeting doctors (M.D. and Nature Cure): philosophers, businessmen - all who can make contributions of many different kinds to the promotion of the vegetarian way of living.

New York, Kaj Dessau, Secretary, I.V.U.

FUND FOR RELIEF OF DISTRESSED VEGETARIANS

Friends who wish to subscribe to this fund should send their contributions to the accounts of the International Vegetarian Union (I.V.U.), under my name, at one of the following addresses: Mr. Roy Walker, The London Vegetarian Society, 9 Adam Street, Adelphi, London, W.C.2; den heer J. Kooijmans, le Braamstraat 16, den Haag, Nederland; dr. phil. H. T. Rogler, 10 Rosenkrantzgate, Oslo, Norway; Mr. Carl Schelin, editor of Vegetarianen, 98 Sveavagen, Stockholm, Sweden; or directly to my address. And please send me a note about the payment.

To the same addresses will the affiliated societies of the I.V.U. please send the fees for 1947, being one per cent of the annual income of members' fees for the said year, and at least £1 English.

Oluf Egerod, Treasurer of the I.V.U.
Hellahoj School, 20 Svenskelejren, Bronshoj, Copenhagen, Denmark.

DUBLIN V.S.

The Annual General Meeting of the Dublin Vegetarian Society was held on Wednesday, February 18th, Mr. Neill Wells presiding. The attendance was better than last year.

Reading her Annual Report, the Honorary Treasurer stated that several new members had been gained, and that the financial position of the Society was consequently stronger. In her Report, the Honorary Secretary said that there was an increasing interest in vegetarianism, and that at two recent talks which she had given not one among her listeners had attempted to defend the traditional diet of cooked corpses. The Secretary also said that the Dublin Vegetarian Society deeply appreciated the kindness of editors who found space to fit in vegetarian items, and time to forward vegetarian periodicals.

At the nomination of officers, Mrs. M. J. Roche was re-elected Honorary Treasurer, and Mr.
Neill Wells was re-elected Chairman. Miss Moira Henry agreed to continue as Honorary Secretary. The five Committee members for 1948 are: Mrs. Law, Mrs. Gregg, Miss Till, Mr. Smith and Mr. Morgan.

M. Henry.

VEGETARIAN UNITY

Mr. Donald Watson rightly stresses the need for reform in the vegetarian movement, and his appeal should interest both vegans and all true vegetarians. But what a pity that we have now two separate societies working for what the parent vegetarian society is already committed by its own definition of vegetarianism. We in Scotland have tried to solve this problem by keeping our vegan group within our vegetarian society, and I think that if the Vegan Society was affiliated to the Vegetarian Society this would make for greater unity. The matter is a very serious one, especially now that there has been a proposal to unite our two national vegetarian societies.

What we must determine now is a forward step to rule out all animal food, whilst welcoming additions to our ranks from all aspects of food reform. No true vegetarian can defend the use of milk or eggs, and the use of cheese made with rennet is a gross violation of our principles.

To further our aim, I would suggest an annual meeting of representatives from all vegan and vegetarian societies, at which we could discuss the best methods of propaganda. Surely, after a century of experience, we have learned the necessity of making a wider appeal to the still apathetic public. But if we try to defend the use of dairy products we weaken our case greatly, lacking both in knowledge and humane feeling.

But I do not agree with Donald Watson when he writes, "Vegetarian literature should be secular." Without a spiritual basis no reform can make true progress, for truly the letter killeth but the spirit giveth life!

His tilt at religion is most regrettable, whilst admitting that the Church has often taught a wrong attitude to our fellow-creatures. But there have been great souls like Gandhi and Tagore who have emphasised that all life is sacred, and it is because so many realise the unity of life that there is real hope for the great brotherhood of life, which includes every living creature. True, there are problems in nature difficult to solve, but when man is right with God nature will be right with man. There is no need to worry therefore about man falling from perfect state, hut rather to concentrate upon his power within which will solve not only his food problems but lead him towards his higher spiritual destiny.

Dugald Semple, Beith, Ayrshire.

A REPLY TO MR. DONALD WATSON

Those who have delivered public addresses on vegetarianism know all too well every one pf the criticisms mentioned by Mr. Donald Watson; such have always had leather shoes, dairy produce and eggs thrown at them, metaphorically it not literally, and the cogency of the criticisms has had to be admitted. Nevertheless, it is somewhat doubtful whether reforms of any kind can be brought about by wielding. the battle-axe; the experience of an illumined one such as Mahatma Gandhi would indicate that ferocity of attack is not nearly so potent in bringing in reforms as is the magic of nonviolence.

The ordinary vegetarian has made at least one faltering step towards the Ideal (pardon the capital, Mr. Watson!), yet no credit whatever is given for that, but only a scathing denunciation because every step has not yet been taken and because the Ideal is still afar off.

Whether veganism is to be furthered by attacks upon those who have not yet taken their stand or by presenting their admittedly unassailable arguments without the ascerbity revealed in Mr. Donald Watson's article is a matter for decision by the vegans themselves, but all the world is witnessing the dire results of Dictatorship!

Mr. Donald Watson gives definite instructions to all who dare to venture into the publishing world with a magazine encouraging the pure way of life: "The movement's literature should be confined to vegetarianism"; in effect, he wishes to make water-tight compartments of thought and belief in the same way that the old type of Sabbatarian made his religion for Sunday only -having freedom to contradict it on all other days.

Despite Mr. Watson's objection to the statement "that all life is one," the truth of that statement remains, and to confine a publication to the subject of eating only would reduce its value to vanishing-point. However, there is nothing to prevent Mr. Watson trying the experiment, unless it be the regulations in the use of paper imposed upon us by the present group of dictators.

The blind man tapping his way along the busy thoroughfare always moves us to compassion, but he is not helped by deliberately closing our eyes and joining him in his condition of blindness, but rather by giving him the benefit of our vision in rendering assistance. What happens when the blind lead the blind was adequately described some time ago!

Mr. Donald Watson's tender solicitude for the blind is most commendable, but surely the atheist is not to be helped by those with vision joining him in his blindness but by giving him the opportunity of benefiting from ihe expressions of those who can see, how else may he be assisted.

The "irrelevant cults and superstitions" to which reference is made in his instructions to publishers may have some rays of light in them, to say the least, whereas the negation of the atheist is simply unillumined darkness. "The fool hath said...." In any case, why should the intelligent be silenced for the sake of the microscopical number of non-intelligent atheists who may be found within the circle of vegetarianism, for who but a fool could say what they say?

Arthur L. Rudd, Nottingham.

SUGGESTION FROM GERMANY

You may be interested to hear that Herr Rall, General Secretary of the Vegetarier-Union, mentions in a recent News Letter a scheme very similar to our Minute's Silence at 9 p.m. before the B.B.C. news. The V-U is encouraging all its members to observe a daily pause of silent meditation some time between 8.50 and 9 p.m. Members to meditate upon the truths of vegetarianism, peace, etc., and thus try to help influence the world towards a better way of life. He suggests that a society holding an evening meeting should pause for a Minute's Meditation just before 9 p.m. An example meditation is given by a member, P. Boer: "I am one with the infinite love and power of God, which fills me and strengthens me, making me healthy and full of richness. It gives me success in all my endeavours and helps me to master life."

The V-U also runs a Youth Group and publishes a Youth News-sheet. Another bright idea is the offer of a vegetarian literature prize for a really good work of fiction with a vegetarian message.

Derek and Anne Hill, Joint Secs, Cambridge V.S.


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