International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

Dr.Gordon Latto (1911-1998)

IVU Executive Committee / International Council 1960-90
IVU Vice President 1960-1965
IVU President 1971-1990

16th World Vegetarian Congress 1960, Hannover and Hamburg, Germany
Vice Presidents elected: . . . Dr Gordon Latto . . .
Executive Committee: . . . Dr Gordon Latto (UK), . . .

17th World Vegetarian Congress 1963, Barcelona, Spain

A Committee Meeting during the I.V.U. Congress. (from left): Mr Jan Vinkenborg, Dr Gordon Latto, the General Secretary, Mr Geo.Hiller, Dr Jean Nussbaum and the Marquis de St.Innocent.

Vice Presidents: (re-elected) : . . .Dr Gordon Latto (UK) . .

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: The following were re-elected:- . . . Dr Gordon Latto, . . .

10 November 1963
The Ambassador Hotel, The Hague, Holland
Present: . . Dr G.Latto . .

MINUTES : PRESENT . . .Dr G Latto, . . .

30-31 October - 1 November 1964, Wilmslow, Cheshire, England

18th World Vegetarian Congress 1965, Swanwick, England
Minutes of the Business Meetings

Vice Presidents: Dr Gordon Latto (UK),
Committee: . . . Dr Gordon Latto
Lectures: . . . Medical Aspects of Vegetarianism by Dr. Gordon Latto (Great Britain); . . .

The Congress may have produced the most significant development in our movement for many years in the formation of a Science Council and a draft proposal on the following line was approved: "After discussion at a series of meetings the following members have agreed to apply for constitution as a Science Council: . . . Dr. G. Latto, . . .


From the President of The Vegetarian Society, Dr. Gordon Latto : -

England has the great honour of being host at the next International Vegetarian Congress to be held at Swanwick. I have every confidence that the British vegetarians will, through careful preparation, strive to make the forthcoming Congress a consumate success and will extend a most cordial and warm welcome to our friends from Overseas.

These Congresses serve a very real purpose, for they help the individual members to appreciate more clearly the problems that confront the Movement. They also encourage the individual members to work harder for this most important cause that could, and will, one day bring so many blessings to the world.

At these Conferences we meet old friends from foreign lands who share their experiences with us and also in the friendly atmosphere that obtains, new friends are made. It is very uplifting to see so many people working for the common ideal of Vegetarianism, which if wisely and scientifically adopted would help of the nation, the economy of the world and would would work for the abolition of unnecessary cruelty.

May the forthcoming Congress be a most memorable one during which seeds will be sown which will bear a rich harvest at a later date and so help solve some of the problems that confront this disturbed world.


28 August 1965, 18th World Congress. The Hayes, Swanwick, England
Committee Meeting: Present: . . .Dr Gordon Latto . . .

2nd September 1965, Meeting of Executive Committee 18th Congress : Present: . . .Dr Gordon Latto, . . .

19th World Vegetarian Congress 1967, Delhi/Bombay/Madras, India

The refusal of Air India to fly passengers from England without prior vaccination prevented many delegates from attending, including Dr. Gordon Latto, . . .

quote: "Apart from the value of the frugivorous diet to man himself, it also brings great benefit to our younger brothers, the sub-human creatures. When we lose our sense of pity and compassion for the creatures, we harden our hearts to them and also to our brother man." - The Vegetarian Way, 19th World Vegetarian Congress, 1967 [presumably sent in writing - quote by Jon Wynn-Tyson in the Extended Circle]

20th World Vegetarian Congress 1969, Jerusalem, Israel
- no records of this Congress exist though Gordon Latto would have been there.

21st World Vegetarian Congress 1971, The Hague, The Netherlands

The nominations for officers were scrutinised i.e. Dr G.Latto . . for President; . . .elected.

right: Dr. Gordon Latto, who was elected President of the International Vegetarian Union, speaking during the Congress.

22nd World Vegetarian Congress 1973, Ronneby Brunn, Sweden

The theme for the Congress . . . "Vegetarianism is scientific and ethical" - a definition paraphrased by Dr. Gordon Latto, President of the IVU, in his opening address: "The knowledge we gain from anatomy tells us in no uncertain language that by nature we were intended to be frugivorous, and to live on flesh foods violates the fundamental laws of our being . . . Flesh eating is the antithesis of love. We must work for the abolition of the slaughterhouses, those chambers of horor where so much unecessary cruelty is enacted. We must try and liberate mankind from the chains that bind him so heavily and so forcibly to the fleshpots of Egypt, and lessen the appalling burden that rests on the shoulders of the creatures, our younger brothers, whom we forget are our younger brothers and fail to treat with brotherly love.

left: Doctor with a mike-side manner - with unfailing humour and resolution, Dr. Gordon Latto, President of the International Vegetarian Union, steered a cram-packed programme of talks, events, meetings; wrote a prescription for success when he told members: "If we work hard we can unitedly achieve much . . . Knowledge attracts people, and if we can be fully versant in this way of living, through us others can be attracted to vegetarianism" . . . won the affection of the affiliate nations, a garland of flowers from the Indian delegation, a Badge of Honour from the Swedish Vegetarian Society.

23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1975, Orono, Maine, USA

right : A garland for the chief - Dr. Gordon Latto, President of both the VSUK and the International Vegetarian Union, receives the supreme accolade on Indian Night at the Congress. Flanked by Dr.V.N.Jai of Bombay (left) and Jain Holy Man Munishri Chitrabhanu Maharaj, Gordon's smile indicates the immense satisfaction all felt at the Congress . . . "seeing so many nationalities working together in a friendly manner is a very inspiring thing." Contributing himself to the overall success of the fortnight, Gordon was interviewed on two radio programmes, gave valuable talks on nutrition together with his brother, Dr Conrad Latto.

24th World Vegetarian Congress 1977, Delhi/Bombay/Calcutta/Madras, India

right: Dr. Gordon Latto addressing the opening of the Congress at Delhi.

The British delegation to the Congress was lead by Mr. John le Grice, Deputy President of the Vegetarian Society (UK) Ltd., and Dr. Gordon Latto, who is President of both VSUK and the International Vegetarian Union.

Quote: "In a lunch session in a slaughterhouse, a lamb jumped out of its pen and came unnoticed up to some slaughtermen who were sitting in a circle eating their sandwiches; the lamb approached and nibbled a small piece of lettuce that a man was holding in his hand. The men gave the lamb some more lettuce and when the lunch period was over they were so affected by the action of the lamb that not one of them was prepared to kill this creature, and it had to be sent away elsewhere - showing that within each human soul there is an element of pity, compassion and love in varying degrees. It is our duty to encourage the higher qualities in each individual to bloom and blossom wherever possible.
If Britain adopted a vegetarian way of life, many of her problems would recede and dissolve . . . If this way of living were adopted, a great deal of cruelty would cease; cornpassion, pity and consideration for others would grow and there would be happier and healthier conditions in the world and on this island. It is change not of legislation that is wanted, but a change of heart of the peoples. - The Vegetarian Way, 24th World Vegetarian Congress, 1977 (as quoted by Jon Wynn-Tyson in The Extended Circle)

right: British delegates from left to right: Mr. B. Gunn-King, Secretary I.V.U.; Dr.Gordon Latto, President I.V.U.; Mrs Serena Coles, Vegan Society; Mr John le Grice, V.S.U.K.

25th World Vegetarian Congress 1979, Loughborough, England

left: The celebration dinner at the Commodore. Left to right: Barbara Latto, The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Gordon Latto (President VSUK & IVU), the Lady Mayoress



26th World Vegetarian Congress 1982, Neu-Ulm, West Germany

The chairman, Dr Gordon Latto (President of I.V.U.), welcomed the representatives and other congress participants. More than 30 countries were represented among the 650 participants.

The following elections were made :- . . . President: Dr Gordon Latto . . .

right: At the Conference table, left, Ulrich Schröter - Deputy President, centre, Gordon Latto - President, right, Maxwell Lee Hon.General Secretary. The Mankar Memorial Award can be seen in the foreground.

27th World Vegetarian Congress 1984, Baltimore, USA

Dr.Gordon Latto was re-elected Hon.President

The Congress ended officially on Wednesday evening 8th August when farewell speeches were made by the President Dr Gordon Latto, . . .

1986 Congress, very limited reports available.

1988 Congress, cancelled.

29th World Vegetarian Congress 1990, Tel Aviv, Israel

In the absence of the President, the Deputy President presided over the meeting. He announced that the President had written him to say he was unable to attend the congress. He welcomed everyone to the congress and spoke of Dr.Latto's contribution to IVU.

Dr.Latto did not stand for re-election as President, having been in office for 19 years.