|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
Vegetarian World Forum
GREETINGS TO INDIA FROM BRITAIN
Having just spent five weeks in India, with brief stays in Delhi and Bombay as guest of our Indian vegetarian friends, I have no doubt as to the warmth of the welcome which awaits those who are fortunate enough to be able to attend the I.V.U. Meetings in India next November.
I am equally sure that Indian vegetarianism, in spite of its long and honoured history, needs the scientific witness and support of the West.
In November the Indian scene is at its most beautiful best, the climate ideal, and those who go will find a wealth of architectural, artistic and spiritual inspiration.
I wish the Congress every success and hope the cause of vegetarianism will be furthered.
W. A. SIBLY
It is with very great pleasure that I respond to your invitation to send a few words of greeting on the occasion of the 15th Annual Congress to be held in Bombay in November, 1957.
This Congress will be an historic occasion for vegetarianism and will help all spheres of man’s moral relationships to one another and to the animal kingdom.
On behalf of the Executive Committee of The Vegetarian Society, of which I have the honour to be Chairman, I send my warmest and friendliest greetings, and good wishes, for a successful and, happy union of East and West, in the certain hope that much good and progress may result from deliberations of the Congress.
We in the West are sometimes apt to think we are the superior people - this is not so - you in the East have much to teach us, and to contribute to the welfare of humanity; and there is no nobler way of making this contribution than through the philosophy of vegetarianism.
If I may be permitted to make some personal comments I would like to say that I have very happy memories of your country wherein I lived some four years away back in 1915 onwards. I have a great love for your country and its people, so many of whom I found to be very friendly.
I regret being unable to be among you on this occasion - but I again wish this Congress great success, and I trust that many friendships and contacts will result, and that the world of vegetarianism will be greatly advanced.
It is only as the cause or movement of vegetarianism progresses arid reaches its fulfilment that the world will eventually become peaceful and a place of happiness and love.
The Vegetarian Society, as the oldest organised Society, salutes the 15th Annual Congress in the name of Love, Peace and Progress.
EDWARD H. KIRBY
Undoubtedly it was the traditional wisdom of the East which first inspired vegetarianism in Britain, for western religions do not, as a rule, enjoin abstinence from flesh as a means to health and holiness. It is, therefore most fitting that we Westerners should send our greetings and express our gratitude to our like-thinking comrades in India. We are told that in India, there has been a tendency to break away from traditional ways of living and to adopt the Westerners' unprincipled feeding habits. We sincerely hope that by means of the International Vegetarian Congress this tendency will be reversed and that this gathering of so many eminent people of other lands will carry weight and lead the renegades back into the paths of righteousness and bring to our way of thinking and living those who have not yet seen the light.
BERTRAND P. ALLINSON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P.
The London Vegetarian Society sends warmest greetings to the many millions of vegetarians in India and greatly hopes that the forthcoming XVth International Vegetarian Congress to be held in Bombay will strengthen the ties between us and between vegetarians in all parts of the world.
Our own Society already has many personal links with India and we are proud to have had the honour of having numbered your great leader Mahatma Gandhi among our members, as well as at the present time Mrs. Rukmini Devi Arundale, whose humanitarian work we so greatly admire.
May India be saved from the delusion of regarding all Western ways as being those of true progress, for undoubtedly the habit of flesh-eating has brought to the West a terrible toll of disease and misery to the human and sub-human kingdoms.
Let us stand strongly together in our testimony of that way of life which aims to ultimately eliminate all slaughter and exploitation of animals,, the general adoption of which would also make it possible for all people of the earth to be properly fed.
It is with the greatest interest that vegetarians in Britain have learnt of the meeting of the World Vegetarian Congress in India, in November, 1957. Many of us have deeply admired the humane philosophies and teachings which in the past have come from India, and to-day we welcome afresh this evidence of the Indian peoples' interest in the welfare of the creatures and the humane way of life.
We send you our warmest greetings and best wishes for the success of this Congress and for the work of all your humanitarian movements.
JAMES HORSLEY, M.B., B.S.
The Brighton and Hove Vegetarian Group is glad of the opportunity to send greetings to India. One o f our centres and meeting-places in Brighton is the Benares Hotel, a name that indicates some of the fellow-feeling vegetarians have for the Indian people. We admire the non-violent way of life for which India stands in the world to-day, and we send our very best wishes to all Indian vegetarians for the coming World Vegetarian Congress, and the prosperity of the work being done. May your influence spread throughout India, and so to the whole world.
We of the Worthing Group of the Sussex Vegetarian Society greet our Indian brothers and sisters in loving kinship.
The Creed of Compassion knows no divisions, whether of age, sex, caste, colour, or specie. But we see the Atman, or Christ-Spirit, shining most clearly in our fellow humans whose minds are illuminated by the Love of the All-Compassionate Brahman.
We of the West desire to see Mother India throw off all the contaminating influences of the Western raj, such as carnivorism, aIcoholism, and smoking; and adopt only what is best from our hemisphere – such as the Yoga of Action to bring about the Kingdom of heaven on earth.
A. G. NAYLER
On behalf of Birmingham Vegetarian Society I write to convey to our vegetarian friends in India all good wishes for the success of the 15th World Vegetarian Congress.
Though this Society has only been in existence for just over two years, we have had the pleasure of having several Indian vegetarians as members at the moment we have five, and it is always a joy to us to know they are upholding their vegetarian principles oft times amid very difficult circumstances and we are glad to serve them.
We hope that all attending the Congress will have a helpful time.
Fellow vegetarians in India, we of the Caterham District Vegetarian Society send you our sincere good wishes for success in your humanitarian campaign, and more particularly in the November World Congress called together in that cause.
As a small group, in a small town, we send this message of goodwill in all humility to our many brothers and sisters in India whose work is in a so much bigger field.
We ask you to believe we are with you in your endeavours even though we are unable to attend at your great assembly.
Caterham District Vegetarian Society.
The 15th World Vegetarian Congress, to be held in Bombay in November next, is of profound importance. In 1892 Tolstoy wrote that remarkable essay "The First Step," as preface to a Russian translation of Howard Williams's "The Ethics of Diet"; he made it perfectly clear that "The First Step" towards bringing about the kingdom of Heaven on earth must be the adoption on a universal scale of the non-flesh diet. Leagues of Nations, United Nations Organisations, etc., will achieve very little until this "First Step" is taken. There cannot be "peace in our time" so long as millions and millions of animals are continually slaughtered; the law of Karma is inescapable and humanity, individually nationally and internationally, will inevitably reap what it sows. The reform which we have at heart is fundamental to all other reforms. High spiritual forces are waiting to lead humanity onwards and upwards, but they are hindered by the veil of blood which hangs heavily over the earth. It is encouraging, therefore, that East and West should link together to consider means of bringing about this great reform. I wish God-speed to your efforts.
MAURICE C. KEIGHLEY
Greetings from Ireland. May all the effort so selflessly expended in organising the 15th World Vegetarian Congress be richly rewarded.
The world stands in need of such a coming together, and those of us who are absent in the person will do well to unite in thought, and thereby add strength to the Cause which is working so ardently to release the creatures from suffering and exploitation.
At the time of writing our news is sad and disturbing as local Press reports give the impression that Dublin now has an abbatoir and business men ready to commence a Horseflesh Export Trade. Those responsible await the necessary licence, and then slaughtering will commence. At one time it was the "redundant" horses that were to be slaughtered. In recent reports the word "redundant" is omitted.
It is a short-sighted policy to think that a nation's economic structure can be reinforced by exploitation of the creatures. God will not be deceived and the ultimate outcome will not be wealthy nor healthy.
So more than ever before do the creatures stand in need of our humanitarian guardianship. May we ask that a special thought be given to this horse traffic trade during Congress?
In our time we find nations throughout the world striving, and often fighting with weapons of destruction for freedom. How can this freedom be attained? We think it will come through purification of the physical vehicles by a vegetarian diet and soul growth through a humanitarian attitude to all life. We need both to balance our progress. The diet provides the food and the attitude aids in the assimilation. When we set our physical vehicles free from deleterious matter and direct our energies into humanitarian channels our souls shall shine forth, and many shall ask The Way: The Way of Wonder, Joy and Glory enjoyed by an enlightened soul, and we shall tell them the first step to release the fetters that bind is that of humanitarian vegetarian. We bind ourselves and we help to bind our country by our habits of eating and thinking. So if we want to enjoy freedom let us give it to others and we can start with the animal kingdom. We can then safely leave our own welfare to benevolent Mother Nature who balances all things justly.
We have many contacts in India. Our Message to Congress will be read by our very good friend, Dr. L. N. John, New Delhi. We shall be with you all in thought in the country that has conveyed to us a deeper and fuller meaning of the Principle of Non-hurtfulness.
The members of the Friends Vegetarian Society send cordial greetings to all who have gathered in India for the World Vegetarian Congress.
The membership of our Friends Vegetarian Society (founded in 1902), embraces Friends (Quakers) who are working in the British Isles, and all over the world for peace among men; we are Convinced that this will only be achieved as we live in harmony with all Life, recognising that the universe is one unit under the Fatherhood of God. To remind ourselves of this, we have an Advice which is read in our Meetings for Worship: "Let the law of kindness know no limits. Show a loving consideration for all God's creatures." May we share this thought with all the assembled members of this Congress, and through them, pass it on to vegetarians throughout the world?
We are convinced that as we follow this advice we shall help to bring true peace into the world, in accord with the Love of God.
TERENCE AND GRACE E. LANE
As President of the Stockton-on-Tees Vegetarian Society I feel it a great honour to send greetings and good wishes from our loyal group of members in Stockton and District. This being an industrial area, which attracts a number of people from India who wish to gain practical experience in the heavy industries, it is always a pleasure to meet these people and to note that the majority are firm in their convictions regarding the ethics of vegetarianism, which is embraced in the greater philosophy of harmlessness and non-violence. It requires great courage of one's convictions to withstand the example set by our flesh-eaters who, unfortunately, our friends from India must be constantly in touch with. After years of living along nature cure lines, combined with vegetarianism, I strongly recommend the people of India to adhere to this mode of living and enjoy the abundance of vitality which it brings to its adherants.
May this 15th World Vegetarian Congress be a wonderful experience for those privileged to attend, and may its influence also spread beyond the limits of any Congress boundaries.
C. F. PYKE
One of the most significant philosophies that has originated in India in modern times is that of Sri Aurobindo. His teaching stands in contrast to Buddhism and the great Indian schools of the Samkhya and the Vedenta, which (1) reduce the world of manifestation to the status of illusion and unreality, originating as the result or nescience or want of discrimination; (2) accord reality solely to the relationless Absolute ; and (3) lead the seeker to repudiation of the manifested world to achieve liberation by absorption in the Infinite.
Sri Aurobindo, however, sees the supreme Purusha not only as the One, the undifferentiated, but also as the Creator and Ruler of worlds, the All, He who wears the garment of multiplicity. And spirit, he affirms, has a dynamic function in creation and in the life of man, leading to the entire transformation of terrestrial life and to the ultimate appearance of divine man within the physical realm. This positive, affirmative note gives a profound significance to earthly existence and the high destiny of man.
Such a philosophy leads towards a reconciliation of the lofty transcendentalism of the East with the dynamic activism of the West. In such a spirit of synthesising the wisdom of both hemispheres the delegates to the 15th World Vegetarian Congress in India will meet. And the Vegan Society sends its heartfelt wishes for a high and fruitful outcome of this union.
The Letchworh Vegetarian Society, from its home in Britain's First Garden City, sends warmest greetings and wholehearted good wishes to the people of India in their efforts to establish similar organisations in their own country. For many years we here have striven to promote the vegetarian way of life, believing it to be the only way that is in keeping with man's highest physical, mental and
ELEANOR A. HARRIS
As Chairman of the Newport Vegetarian Society, and co-founder of the first Animal Welfare Cadet Corps in Wales, it gives me very much pleasure to wish the 15th World Vegetarian Congress, to be held in India during November, every success. I pray that God will richly bless and guide the deliberations of the delegates.
HOWARD EBDON, D.Sc., A.A.L.P.A.(Agric.)
The Plantmilk Society was founded recently in Great Britain for the purpose of promoting the manufacture and sale of a satisfactory alternative to dairy milk for human consumption, the ingredients of such alternative to be of exclusively plant origin. In Great Britain vast quantities of dairy milk are consumed, but many vegetarians recognise that its production involves undesirable exploitation of animal life and much incidental slaughter.
In India, extensive experiments carried out during the last five or six years at the Central Food Technological Research Institute at Mysore have, we understand, led to the development of a palatable and nutritious plantmilk based upon locally available groundnuts. In America, successful plantmilks are manufactured with the soya bean as a basis. Some other countries manufacture plantmilks with other ingredients (e.g., almonds) as a basis.
The logical development of vegetarianism requires, we feel, a gradual replacement of dairy or other animal milk by plantmilk. In Great Britain, where the dairy industry is strongly entrenched, our task is by no means easy. We are glad to recognise the pioneer work done in India and to take encouragement from it. We send our greetings and best wishes for the success of the World Vegetarian Congress.
LESLIE J. CROSS
I am a retired British business man in my 78th year. Ever since my youth, when I was partly instrumental in forming a Cosmopolitan Club in my native town for the mutual advantage of foreigners and ourselves, I have been interested in International Relationships. But no good can come out of acts of violence and bloodshed, and the First World War brought our happy little Club to an end.
I am delighted to hear that the Secretary of The Vegetarian Society is to represent us at the World Vegetarian Congress in India this rear. We have much to learn from that great Continent in the way of "Reverence for Life." If only Britain could become a truly Vegetarian Nation, I am confident we should be far better off mentally, morally and physically.
My wife and I take this golden opportunity of greeting our friends in the vast continent of India, and we pray that the forthcoming Congress will be crowned with success, and shed its Vegetarian Light on the Dark West!
T. ANDREW DRAPER
We look to India, whose traditions for centuries have been so much nearer spiritual realities than those of the West, for much of our guidance these days. Never, Perhaps, have the various forms of Yoga been more popular; Buddhism is being embraced all over Europe, in America and Australia; the tolerance of Vedanta is helping the West to outgrow its sectarianism and dogmatism; her religions are making an immense contribution towards mankind's enlightenment.
Nevertheless, as the West has come under the influence of the East, so the East is being influenced by the West, and often not always constructively. Material reforms tend to introduce trends which are alien to her tradition of harmlessness, co-operation and compassion. The eating of flesh is one of these superimposed tendencies.
We look to India, to help us spread the necessity for ahimsa (harmlessness) all over the world; to bring through her ancient teaching into living fact and example; to join with us in this great campaign for the establishment of the Dominion of Love and Freedom for all that lives. For in India was born the Enlightened One whose benediction was: "Peace to all beings."
We at St. Christopher School are happy to know that you are attending the World Vegetarian Congress in Bombay, and ask you to carry our greetings to the people of India and to vegetarians the world over.
Founded 42 years ago by a group of men and women drawing much of their inspiration from India, St. Christopher School cherishes continuing connections with that country. Krishnamurti was a Director of the School, Krishna Menon a member of the staff, and Rukmini Devi a frequent visitor. Our pupils have included many Indian boys and girls, the grandson of Rabindrinath Tagore amongst them, and we are proud that we still have Indian pupils here with us in 1957. Krishna Menon and Mrs. Pandit have been two of our recent distinguished Indian visitors.
We feel our close links with India are due partly to our common desire to follow the teachings and inspiration of Mahatma Gandhi in our approach to learning, in our building of a community life shared by child and adult and in our attempt to reverence all life, so that we are the largest wholly vegetarian group in Great Britain - four hundred of us for the mid-day meal. For this and other aspects of her contribution to a world of true peace we tender to India our grateful thanks and admiration.
N. KING HARRIS, M.A. (Cantab.), M.A. (Oxon.)
I welcome the opportunity of sending a brief message to the Indian people whose struggle for freedom provided, in its very nature, an inspiration for this and future generations.
Never has there been a greater need for humanity to learn the lesson that the real war is a war between darkness and light – and that it must be fought out in the spirit of man. It is when we have reached a point at which our main concern is to let love flow from us to the rest of creation - it is then that we enter into the stream of blessedness that runs throughout the whole of life.
It ís this love that I send to my friends in India.
Kipling's unfortunate poetic lines:
sprang from a divided mind. East and West are to one another as woman is to man –complementary. Many there are in all countries in this new dynamic age who are labouring for that essential Unity and Harmony, which is the Father-Mother’s purpose for all. Here I salute our Indian friends who excel in such ministry.
No more than a house, can a world divided against itself - stand and prevail.
Who wrote that? Rudyard Kipling too! So may we all rid ourselves of that "Shadow of the past" for the twain - East and West, must meet and build together to the Glory of God.
BRENDA MURRAY DRAPER.
My feelings for India are especially affectionate for me she is the heart of the movement towards non-violence or satyagrah in several human activities.
India has enlightened the world in non-violence to all God's creatures through the example of Bapu Gandhi; non-violence to the soil through the Pioneering work of Sir Albert Howard whose work at Indore has aroused world-wide and an ever growing revolution towards organic methods of farming; and vegetarianism practised by most of the people of India is perhaps the greatest of all forms of non-violence in which India is an example to the world.
As an organic farmer, a pacifist, and a vegetarian I always feel that India is my spiritual home and in all these movements as well as in the international maelstrom, look to India as the medium of God's will for mankind.
F. NEWMAN TURNER, N.D.A., N.D.D.
Before India became disassociated from British control the glow of friendship between the people of cur countries was faint and rare, but to-day many thousands of individuals in England and in India both can and do feel refreshment of spirit as they think of one-another across the world.
British vegetarians especially greet the Indian members of the I.V.U. with whole-hearted affection. We share with the whole human race a deep debt to Mahatma Gandhi who, by his life-force, demonstrated that neither gun nor rupee was necessary to liberate a nation. The miracle is of Truth and Love by Prayer.
I always clearly remember shaking hands with Gandhi and spending three hours in his company. His personality shone with goodness and purity and truth.
I wish the 15th World Vegetarian Congress a great and lasting success – even as I desire Peace on earth and Goodwill to all sentient creation.
CHRISTOPHER J. YOUNG
We, the Leicester Vegetarian Society send fraternal greetings to all vegetarians in India on the occasion of the 15th I.V.U. Congress!
May this Congress mean a strengthening and an extension of our Way of Life.
Though our traditions and customs differ we are united in a love which embraces all creation. May we each, in our own way, set an example by our living that our ideas and ideals become a reality.
Vegetarianism, indeed, has far-reaching blessings in that it :-
May our whole selves be dedicated to the cause of vegetarianism!
On behalf of the British Federation of Animal Welfare Societies, which includes societies concerned with every aspect of animal welfare, we send warmest greetings to the organisers of the XVth International Vegetarian Congress, to be held in India.
We in the West always look hopefully to India for a moral lead in the matter of concern for our "lesser brethren," for your religions and philosophies inculcate a way of life which has regard for all sentient creatures - an attitude which has, unfortunately, been lacking in much Western teaching.
Our hope is, therefore,, that the common ties which unite humanitarians in the East and the West may be further strengthened as a result of the coming Congress.
THE CHAIRMAN AND COUNCIL OF
We are grateful for this opportunity to add our good wishes to the many reaching India from all over the world in connection with the forthcoming Vegetarian World Congress. We applaud the efforts of our Indian friends to make this Congress the great success we feel sure it will prove to be. The work will indeed be rewarding in the knowledge that the growth of the ideal of humane living is at one and the same time increasing the hope of human survival, since war between man and man is intimately bound up with the never-ending war waged, against the sub-human creatures.
On behalf of the members of this Society (living in the heart of a busy industrial area in the north of England) we send greetings to our fellow vegetarians in India, at the same time expressing the hope that in the midst of a rapid industrial and scientific expansion they will retain all that is best in their ancient culture, refusing to follow the example of the West unless, when judged from the standpoint of true civilisation (that which does not violate the concept of pity and compassion) such example is proved to be in accordance with the true progress of humanity.
J. A. TURNBULL (President)
Now we have the good news of India calling the World Vegetarian Congress to promote the importance of vegetarianism and non-violence. Here, truly, we have a glorious opportunity for humanitarians to help India to remain true to her long heritage of such spiritual teachers as King Asoka, Ramkrishna, and our more modern Tagore.
What tragedy it would be if mother India was to become estranged from her sympathy with the right of animals, which although it may have been carried to extremes, nevertheless has been a noble example to the flesh-eating and vivisecting nations of the West.
Yes, let us do our utmost to save India from the soulless materialism of imperialistic nations. Let us show that war and disease are the result of disobedience to spiritual and natural law. That if we harden our hearts against the everyday cruelty of flesh-eating and blood sports, we cannot wonder that the whole so-called civilised world is preparing for another world catastrophe.
East and West must meet if we are to hasten the coming of the New Jerusalem. We must go forth to
show that science is an affair of the heart as well as the head. That the poor Indian need not live on
such a meagre diet, and that we must realise that without love the people perish. The basic error is, as Maitra, editor of an Indian journal, once told me. "You people live beside yourself, we live from
It is important for vegetarians everywhere to remember at all times that vegetarianism is a principle based on the unity of life - that of Ahimsa, that is, the avoidance of inflicting suffering or death upon living creatures. It has nothing to do with diet, human health, or Food Reform.
With this in mind, we send you our very best wishes for the success of your Meetings.
C. A. WESTACOTT
BEST WISHES FROM:-
The Vegetarian Society May Meetings at Birmingham: -
The Annual Dinner of The Newcastle-upon-Tyne Vegetarian Society:-
The Annual Dinner of The Leeds Vegetarian Society