Ernest Bell (1851-1933)
Congress President, 1923-26
The first mention we have of Ernest Bell is that he was invited to
speak at a Congress organised by the Vegetarian Federal Union in 1902.
From the report of the 1923 IVU Congress, held in Sweden:
According to the Constitution Mr. Ernest Bell becomes the President
for the period from this Congress to the end of the next.
Mr Bell was President of The Vegetarian Society (Manchester, UK), despite
living in London, where the London Vegetarian Society also operated
nationally. The Manchester and London Societies was due to jointly host
the 1926 Congress in London, and the President of the next host Society
automatically became President of the Congress. Clearly Manchester and
London had agreed between themselves that Mr. Bell would take the role.
From the Manchester report of the 1926 IVU Congress, held in London:
The Congress was held in England on the invitation of the Vegetarian
Society and the London Vegetarian Society and it gave special pleasure
to our Executive to collaborate with the London Committee, under the
presidency of Mr. Ernest Bell.
On Wednesday morning, May 26th, the Congress was formally opened
by the President, Mr. ERNEST BELL, M.A., of London. In welcoming the
delegates, he said it was advisable to have conferences to make known
that theirs was not a ''hole-and-corner" movement; it was a great
international movement and stood at the back of many other economic
and humane reforms. Evolution was on their side, and there were signs
everywhere that they were making progress.
This appears to have been the only involvement by Ernest Bell in the
affairs of IVU.
Quotes from 'Summer School Papers' (The Vegetarian Society organised
an annual Summer School)::
The old assumption that animals acted exclusively by instinct, while
man had a monopoly of reason, is, we think, maintained by few people
nowadays who have any knowledge at all about animals. We can only
wonder that so absurd a theory could have been held for so long a
time as it was, when on all sides the evidence if animals' power of
reasoning is crushing.
Let us not think that [vegetarianism] is the end in itself. It is
a means only to an end, and we must not be content to be vegetarians
only. The end is the civilisation of the universal feeling of brotherhood,
on which it rests, not towards animals only, but towards all men .
. . our treatment of our fellow-humans is largely reflected from our
behaviour towards the sub-human races. As long as our ethics in this
matter are based on barbaric cruelty and selfish tyranny it will forever
be well-nigh impossible to attain a high and just social morality.