International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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4th International Congress 1897
London, England

from The Vegetarian (London), September 25th, 1897:

International Vegetarian Congress

Thursday - A Day Off.

The whole of Thursday was spent by the Congress at the Crystal Palace, and about two hundred and fifty delegates and friends lunched together in the Grand Saloon. An admirably executed menu was provided by Messrs. Bertram, and the immense variety of unknown Vegetarian entrées - among which were: "Epinards aux Croûtons," Timbales Parmentier Clamart," "Macaroni au Gratin," " Kari d'oeufs au Riz," " Tomato sautés au Beurre," " Haricot blanc à la Ligonnaise" - were less surprising to the guests and to the representative of the Vegetarian than than to the majority of the Gentile pressmen.


Three uncarnal but most appetizing soups preceded the entrées, which were followed by entremets outwardly undistinguishable in character from the usual dishes which form the concluding and lighter portion of an anti-Vegetarian repast, but were inr eality widely different in origin and in chemical constituents, every item of all the recipés being based upon the strictest Vegetarian principles, and the "wines" drunk with the meal were, like the "meats," innocent of all intoxicant, injurious or pain-causing properties.

Mr. Hills in his after-luncheon speech congratulated his listeners upon the week's work. The Congress he likened to the upheaval of a great earthquake wave. During the past few days the premonitory movements of a great moral and ethical earthquake had been felt which would, sooner or later, develop into a great transformation of public opinion, a great widening and uplifting of thought and of feeling which could not but ultimately result in social conditions far more temperate, refined and humane than those of our present environment. Alluding to Mrs. McDouall and the many women delegates present, Mr. Hills felt that this co-operation between the two sections of humanity was a sign of the greatest encouragement. Where women felt deeply men would be led to see clearly, and the spiritual enthusiasm with which women were embracing the Vegetarian movement could not but hasten the advent of those great reforms which they had all so deeply at heart. The meetings would give, he trusted, a greater impetus than ever to the hard work that lay directly before all of them to be accomplished during the coming winter.

Short speeches from Fraülein Kövel, the Rev. J. Clark and Mr. Sidney Beard followed, and were listened to with considerable interest.


During the evening the Vegetarian Federal Union provided a varied programme in the theatre, wherein an audience of seven hundred persons collected. Mr. Josiah Oldfield, with tactful informality, filled the role of chairman, and speeches - though speaking was not obtrusively the object of the meeting - delivered by Mr. Jadavrai Desai, Mr. Forward, Mr. Sidney Beard, Mr. Broadbent, and Mr. Martin Skinner were skilfully sandwiched in among the "turns," to make use of a familiar expression employed in connection with variety entertainments less lofty in aim. An aerial graphoscope, shown by Miss May Yates, was extremely popular as one of these "turns," and some capital musical items were supplied by Mr. Darlison, Mr. P. Piddian, Mr. Wharton, Miss Theob aid, Miss Wolff van Sandau, and the Vegetarian Glee Singers. Mr. John Ward, the conductor, was, like all the other performers at the entertainment, a Vegetarian.

A great number of leaflets in advocacy of Vegetarianism were delivered throughout the Palace before the descent and ascent of darkness and of Brock's world-famed fireworks.

T1~ie h~s1~ ~

The proceedings on Friday morning were presided over by Councillor Joseph Maims, the Grand Chief Templar of England. The first paper, by the I-Ion. Mrs. F. J. Bruce, on " Our Mistakes as Vegetarians," was read, with most humorously interjected disagreements, by Mr. H. L. Bathgate, of Glasgow. Mrs. Bruce so firmly believed that all the good qualities of Vegetarians had already received- from themselves-the fullest meed of acknowledgment, that she was driven, from sheer need of originality, to point to the comical defects of Vegetarians as they appeared to her eyes.
Vegetarians, she objected, were always engaged in active protest, were perpetually self-sufficient, were always asserting that, given Vegetarianism, every virtue must necessarily follow suit. Vegetarians occasionally had, as she knew from personal knowledge of herself, very troublesome tempers, while some carnivorte were singularly remarkable for the sweetness of theirs. She took exception, further, to the " bloodless" diet, not as a fact but as a term. It conveyed an inuendo, a weapon unworthy of use and even mischievous in its results. The assumption of an acrid attitude was, she considered, an error into which "young" Vegetarians might so easily fall. She well recollected her own proud truculence on first becoming a Vegetarian, her own proneness to speak with pious pity of the carnivora-all the remainder of mankind.
Mrs. Bruce next proceeded, with every anticipati~u ~f ~a~ree:~eu:s '.e::ued i~ the event, t~ de~:~