|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
6th World Vegetarian Congress 1926
Pre-amble to the Congress report from The Vegetarian (Manchester):
The International Congress.
The report of the proceedings of the sixth International Vegetarian Congress contained in this number is necessarily in an abbreviated form. We are unable, in the space available, to do more than summarise the many speeches and papers, and can only refer in passing to the felicitous things said at the social assemblies. A noteworthy feature of the meetings was the hearty Co-operation of the representatives of the different nations in the work of the Congress and the spirit of fraternity shewn at every opportunity. It is significant that at the banquet the toast to our visitors was responded to by the French and German delegates. 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. The two societies carried through the whole of the arrangements, with the assistance of the Vegetarian Social Club. In trying to estimate the effect of the Congress on the progress of our Movement we feel that we can safely say that the holding of the sixth "International" was well worth while.
The following report appeared in both the Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester) and The Vegetarian News (London) shortly after the congress:
THE INTERNATIONAL VEGETARIAN CONGRESS.
The Sixth International Vegetarian Congress was held in London from May 26th to 28th, 1926, the social engagements in connection therewith also extending over the following week-end. A Joint-Committee representing the Vegetarian Society and the London Vegetarian Society was responsible for the arrangements, acting on behalf of the International Veget-arian Union, under whose auspices the Congress was held. The Committee of the Vegetarian Social Club also lent valuable assistance carrying through the various social engagements. All of the meetings on May 26th, 27th, and 28th, took place at Central Hall, Westmninster, where suitable quarters had been engaged, which were in every way worthy of the dignity of the occasion.
The International Vegetarian Union owes its inception to a proposal made by Dr. GEORGES DANJOU, of Nice, at the Annual Meetings of the Vegetarian Society, in 1907. The Union has held Conferences in Dresden (1908), Manchester (1909), Brussels (1910), The Hague (191 3), and Stockholm (1923).
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 con-ferences 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.
After Mr. J. L. SAXON (Sweden), and Professor H. NOLTHENIUS (Holland), had responded, the delegates were introduced to the assembly, and the following is the order in which they responded to the roll call Miss B. M. Donaldson and Mrs. Alice Park (America), Herr B. O. Durr and Herr H. F. Feix (Czecho-Slovakia), Dr. Angelo and Mr. Oluf Egerod (Denmark). Messrs. H. B. Amos, J. H. Brazendale, C. W. Forward, S. A. Hurren and George North (Great Britain), Dr. Héléne Sosnowska (France), Madame Andreae and Professor Schlager (Germany), Dr. Damoglou (Greece), Mr. de Clercq and Prof. Nolthenius (Holland), Dr. Branco (Portugal), Professor Conde and Dr. Ibarra (Spain), Mr. J. L. Saxon and Rev. Gustay Lindström (Sweden).
By kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. ORR, luncheon was taken at the Orzone Company's Restaurant, 21 Ludgate Hill, E. C.
At the Wednesday afternoon session, Miss M. J. C. ORTT, the Honorary General Secretary of the International Vegetarian Union, read a report of the work done since the meeting in Stockholm, in 1923. The report opened with a sympathetic reference to the passing away, on the 3rd of March, 1924, of Miss Mathilde Hompes, the first Secretary of the International Vegetarian Union, and the company stood in silence in recognition of her character and work.
From time to time the Hon. Secretary had issued bulletins containing reports of the activities of affiliated societies, and giving the Hon. Treasurer's statement of the financial position.
Owing to the general conditions prevailing on the Continent of Europe several societies had not been able to pay their subscriptions to the Union. There had been, however, an addition of three societies - Esthonia, the Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club (England), and Greece.
A "National Day," on which meetings were held throughout each country, had been observed yearly in Denmark, Holland and Sweden.
The report closed with an appeal for increased activity and more generous financial support.
Professor NOLTHENIUS, the Hon. Treasurer, made a brief statement on the financial position of the International Vegetarian Union.
The Honorary Secretary's report and the Honorary Treasurer's statement were duly approved and adopted.
Miss Ortt intimated that she was not able to continue to act its Hon. Secretary, and her resignation was accepted with keen regret. A resolution of thanks for her excellent services was passed with acclamation.
The following officers were elected President, Ernest Bell, Esq, M.A., England ; Hon. Treasurer, Professor Hugo Nolthenius, Holland ; Hon. Secretary, Oluf Egerod, Esq., Denmark.
REVISION OF RULES. In accordance with a resolution of the Executive Committee, circulated to members of the International Vegetarian Union, the following Rules were submitted for con-sideration, and after discussion were adopted
(1). That any national vegetarian or food reform Society shall he eligible for membership if its executive power is vested in its vegetarian members, i.e., those who abstain from fish, flesh and fowl as food.
(2). That members of the International Vegetarian Union must comply with Rule No. 5, and that non-payment of membership fee for three consecutive years will cancel membership.
INVITATIONS EOR THE NEXT CONGRESS. - Resolved that the place of meeting or the next Congress be discussed by the individual societies and their suggestions forwarded to the Honorary Secretary within the next six months.
INTERNATIONAl. BADGE. - Resolved that the Executive Committee of the International Vegetarian Union he given power to decide on a design and to purchase an international Badge.
Reports were read by delegates of propaganda work in their respective countries, and it is regretted that lack of space will not admit the printing of these interesting and encouraging records.
Messages of congratulations and good wishes were received from the following Societies not represented at the Congress :- Austria, Esthonia, Finland, Germany (Vegetarier Verein), Hungary, Russia and the International Esperanto League.
The BANQUET on Wednesday evening was well attended: In addition to the delegates, the guests included Sir W. Arbuthnot Lane, Hart., C.B., M.S., F.R.C.S. (President, New Health Society), and Lady Lane, Professor R. H. A. Plimmer, D.sc. (Professor of Chemistry in the University of London), and Mrs. Pliminer, Mr. Ernest Bell, M.A., and Mrs. Bell, Dr. Bertrand P. Allinson, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P., and Mrs. Allinson, Dr. S. Henning Belfrage (Hon. Secretary, New Health Society), and Mrs. Belfrage, Mr. H. R. Good-win, and Mrs. Goodwin, Brigadier Ruth Tracy (International Headquarters, Salvation Army), Mrs. Allinson, Mrs. Lawson Coad, Miss Margaret Ortt, MIle. Golspiegel, Dr. M. Hindhede (Director Laboratory for Nutrition Researches, Copenhagen), Mr. W. M. Farrington (Chairman, The Vegetarian Society), Mr. Meredith Atkinson, M.A., Mr. Wentworth H. Price, and Mr. Cedric Belfrage, and many others.
Grace was said by the Rev. GUSTAV LINDSTROM (Sweden) and after the banquet. the loyal toast having been duly honoured, the Chairman, Mr. R. LAWSON COAD, proposed the toast of "The International Vegetarian Union". There was, he said, always a great bond of sympathy and friendship among vegetarians, notwithstanding their great differences of opinion in matters of religion and politics. The International Vegetarian Union was the natural growth and outcome of the desire for co-operation between vegetarian societies in the different countries of the world. The members of the International Vegetarian Union consisted of the various national societies and this International Congress was the sixth of its kind. Although the delegates present represented a very large constituency, the membership of their societies actually stood for but a fraction of the people who were in sympathy with their views. There were many who habitually lived as vegetarians but who yet did not care to make the declaration that they would abstain from "fish, flesh, and fowl," because there were times when they felt they might have to partake of meat. Such people, while not entitled to call themselves vegetarians, must nevertheless be taken into account in any endeavour to estimate the spread of vegetarian principles. He did not think it was sufficiently recognised even among veget-arians, and certainly not among those outside the movement, how well and truly laid were the foundations of the vegetarian movement that was started in England nearly ninety years ago. The force behind their movement was derived both from scientific knowledge and from humane sentiment, and it was this partnership between science and sentiment that had been so effective in time advancement of their cause. Refering to the work of the pioneers, the Chairman said that in the old publications of seventy years ago, there were articles that even today, after the latest discoveries of 1926, still continued to ring true, and that what had since been learned only went to confirm what they then knew to be true, He was con-fident that these same forces which had been at work from the beginning would carry the movement through to a glorious and happy future.
Professor H. NOLTHENIUS (Holland), and Mr. J . L. SAXON (Sweden), suitably responded on behalf of the International Veget-arian Union.
Mr. W. M. FARRINGTON (Chairman, The Vegetarian Society) in proposing the toast of ''The Delegates to the International Vegetarian Congress,'' said they were pleased to see that the motives that lay behind the movement in Great Britain were ani-mating the societies in other parts of the world. The vegetarian movement was not merely a physical movement it was also a spiritual one. They had one thing in common, which would help in breaking down international barriers, and that was their kinship with the animal world. As in the case of religion, he believed that in the propagation of vegetarianism they must accept the principle of a new birth, enabling men to realise their kinship with the animal world.
Dr. HELENE SOSNOWSKA (France) in acknowledging the toast on behalf of the foreign delegates, said they were all brothers and sisters and that, while men and women had a right to poison them-selves with animal food if they chose, they had no such right to poison their children. Professor G. Schäger (Germany) also res-ponded.
Dr. BERTRAND P. ALLINS0N, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. (President, London Vegetarian Society), in proposing the toast of "Our Guests" said the lime had gone by when vegetarians were looked upon merely as objects of ridicule. He himself preferred to think of them as an army of crusaders or reformers, who were going to save humanity and bring it back to the path from which it had strayed. He felt that in a few years' time their cause would be won, and they would then, if so minded, have to look for new worlds to conquer. As their chairman had pointed out their move-ment arose from two sources, one humanitarian and the other scientific. The nineteenth century was rich in people who fostered the movement chiefly from humanitarian motives, but in the twen-tieth century many persons of distinguished scientific attainment were also giving the movement their support, and with the union of these two forces, the movement would gain enormously in momentum and in value. There was a large section of mankind which was in urgent need of the help and knowledge which they were able to give, and it was their duty to get that help and know-ledge to them as quickly as they could. For that reason, they valued very highly the encouragement which so many people eminent in science and medicine were offering to them at the present day. He felt that, out of the wreck of the War, a new spirit and new movements were arising that would finally produce men of a new type who would be willing to throw off the evil things which civilisation had hung round their necks and to retain the good ones. It was a mistake to think of vegetarianism and food reform merely as a crude return to primitive ideals. They should retain the good things of civilisation and reject the evil things, and so make human life worth living.
Responding to the toast, Sir WILLIAM ARBUTHNOT LANE, Bart., C.B., M.S., F.R.C.S. (President, New Health Society) said that they of the New Health Society had admired the work of the vegetarians for a long time, and had realised its supreme importance. The vegetarian movement had been inspired mainly by humanitarian motives, but, by a purely empirical method, they had arrived at sound conclusions on the question of food. The New Health Society, on the other hand, had established its work on a definitely scientific basis. All diseases of civilisation were due to changes taking places in the intestines Consequent on imperfect food and bad habits. Those changes were inseparable from civilisation. It fol-lowed that the products of digestion were often retained for twenty-four hours and became absorbed. Such filth and foulness could not be dealt with by the liver and other organs, and, as a consequence, they got those diseases of civilisatjon from which native races and the lower animals were entirely free. Disease and ill-health were destroying the earning capacity of the people. As President of the New Health Society he expressed the admiration they felt for the magnificent work that had been done in the past by the veget-arian movement, and he wished them all success in the future.
BRIGADIER RUTH TRACY (International Headquarters, Salvation Army), who also replied, said that thirty-six years ago she knew only of one vegetarian Salvationist. At the present time the Sal-vation Army included many vegetarians. Vegetarianism had been introduced into the treatment given at the homes for inebriates and also in the homes for children for which the Army was responsible. In both cases the results had proved a convincing success.
Dr. M. HINDHEDE (Director of the Laboratory for Nutrition Researches, Copenhagen), who arrived from the Continent while the banquet was in progress and who received an ovation on enter-ing, referred to the record of his assistant, Frederick Madsen, who had been twenty-five years a vegetarian, and who, for fifteen years, had been assisting the speaker in his researches. Herr Madsen's example of what could he achieved by sound nutrition had made a great impression upon the people of Denmark, and undoubtedly helped to convince the people of the value of the food measures that had saved Denmark in the crisis brought about by the War.
Dr. S. HENNING BELFRAGE (Hon. Medical Secretary, New Health Society), in proposing the toast of "The Chairman," said that during the last fifty years the medical profession had been tracing out the manifestations of diseases, and that they had pro-bably reached the limit of their powers either to acquire much fresh knowledge about those manifestations or as to the means of treating them. Medical science had done a great deal to improve the health of the community. It had done much to allay suffering and to smooth the path of those who had unfortunately become the victims of disease. But he believed that, for the future, they must go out with all the powers they possessed to secure its prevention.
Possibly the origin of disease was much simpler than they had hitherto thought, and it might be that they would have to go back to first principles, and return to what might even seem to be a lower level, in their efforts to put the medical profession in a higher position than any it had hitherto occupied. Their Chairman, Mr. Lawson Coad, like his father before him, was a pillar of strength to the vegetarian movement, and his presence in the chair that evening had furnished them with a splendid example of the practice of the principles for which vegetarianism stood.
The CHAIRMAN, responding, said that he was very grateful for the happiness which the vegetarian movement had brought into his life.
The speeches were interspersed by some delightful musical items, contributed by Miss Lettice Newman and Mr. Eric Richmond. The Menu was as follows:-
The Banquet was served by Messrs. Shearn, the well-known vegetarian caterers, Mrs. Blatch, the manageress of the firm's restaurant in Tottenham Court Road, having personal charge of the arrangements.
Professor H. NOLTHENIUS (Holland) presided over the Thursday morning session, when Mr. CHARLES W. FORWARD opened a discussion on methods of propaganda, advocating firstly, personal example ; secondly, meetings, lectures and cookery demonstrations; and thirdly, the use of the Press. They had, he said, to make their literature more effective, recognising that modern scientific work had made many of the old ideas untenable and much of their litera-ture out of date. There was a great need for modern original works on the subject, it being always borne in mind that their appeal required to be put forward from the triple point of view of economy, of ethics, and of health. The late Sir Malcolm Morris had declared that seventy-five per cent of the people of this country were ill from their own fault, whilst Samuel Butler, in his book entitled "Erewhon," made physical illness a crime and moral failure a disease. There was also a need for an increase in the number of popular vegetarian restaurants. The Movement received a great impetus when the sixpenny three-course dinners were started, and there was a similar need for cheap catering today. They must also arrange cookery demonstrations, one of the greatest obstacles to the adoption of vegetarianism being the alleged difficulty of finding suitable substitutes for meat dishes. The 30,000 doctors in this country should be circularised, or, should this be thought too for-midable a proposition, a start might be made by communicating with, say, two thousand of those practising in industrial areas. An effort should also be made to win the clergy to vegetarianism by a presentation of the ethical aspects of their case.
The Rev. GUSTAV LINDSTROM (Sweden) said that in Sweden they were fortunate in having such a leader as Mr. J. L. Saxon. In Sweden they had one Society with a membership of 1,500, and there were probably about 10,000 vegetarians throughout the land. They were fortunate in having vegetarian restaurants in all their chief cities. Every month they sent to fifty papers throughout the country a note of the very latest scientific researches relating to the value of vegetarianism In addition, they arranged dinners, and also meetings to discuss vegetarian problems, when they urged people to eat fruit and wholemeal bread. Mr. J. L. Saxon had com-piled a recipe for the making of bread which was now being put on the market, and this had already obtained a large sale. It was cheaper than the white bread and thereby effected a considerable saving in national expenditure, and it was also acceptable to the weakest digestion.
Taking part in the discussion, Dr. HELENE SOSNOWSKA said that their movement was not the result of the clash of material forces, but was part of an intelligent evolutionary process. They had to recognise the close relation that existed between the physical, the emotional and the intellectual kingdoms, and that vegetarianisrn would not only help to quicken the intellect, but would also help them to transmute their egoism into altruism.
Mr. HENRY J. ADAMS, (Clapham), laid stress on the value of public meetings, and said that in organising these care should he taken to exclude the discussion of irrelevant matter that would only lead to unnecessary controversy. Mr. PERCY E. HURST (Croydon), urged that vegetarians should abstain from the use of all animal products, including dairy produce. Mr. JAMES HOUGH (Manchester), described the valuable results which the Vegetarian Society had obtained by the distribution of literature, combined with an invita-tion to the recipients to apply for more. Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Den-mark) urged that notwithstanding the criticisms of some of their supporters the term ''vegetarian " should be retained, since its use had already secured for it a certain definite signification which, if the word were now discarded would necessarily he lost.
Mr. CHARLES W. FORWARD, in replying to the discussion, re-affirmed his belief that their appeal to medical men should be more strongly emphasised.
Mrs. ALICE PARK (California), read a message from Mrs. R. Freshel, President of the Millennium Guild (U. S. A.), an organisation which has engaged in the propagation of vegetarian principles in America. She referred to the fact that the largest, and probably the finest, hospital in New York City was conducted on strictly vegetarian lines, neither meat nor animal products being used. In a public announcement the hospital authorities had said that meat and animal produce were excluded since it had been scientifically proved that many diseases would not yield to treatment if meat were taken, and that all diseases would give a better response to treatment without it. It was further stated that animal products were not necessary for growth or development, and that complete substitutes could he obtained from non-animal sources.
Luncheon was taken at the Eustace Miles Restaurant, Chandos Street, by kind invitation of Mr. and Mrs. EUSTACE MILES, both of whom, in response to the toast of their health, expressed their gratification at having the opportunity of entertaining so large and representative a company. Reference was made to the twentieth aniversary of the foundation of the Eustace Miles Restaurant, which had just been celebrated.
At the Thursday afternoon session, presided over by Mr. ERNEST BELL, M.A., a paper was read by PROFESSOR II. NOLTHENIUS (Holland), on "The Ethical Basis of Vegetarianism.'' He paid tribute to the British as being among the earliest propagators by both speech and action, of the principles of vegetarianism, and also of the cause for humane treatment of animals. The sustaining power that lay behind life was love, and love forbade the killing of animals in order that their bodies might he used for food. Nature gave all animals the right to their existence, and that right should be mutually respected. In killing animals for food they interfered the course of nature. For animals this was a world of fear and death, but it was the duty of man, who claimed to he actuated by the principle of love, to shew that this was no longer necessary.
Dr. ARTHUR E. DRUITT, M.R.C. S., L.R.C.P., D.P.H., Assistant Medical Officer of the Hampshire County Council, read a paper on "Popular Dietetic Errors." Some people, he said, put blind faith in caterers, and the food that caterers provided, while others were far too suspicious and fastidious about what they ate. Some of them were too apt to dictate to others on matters of food. They needed to take a middle course between these two extremes. Among the grosser errors of feeding to be enumerated, were, over-eating, insufficient variety, the omission of important ingredients, wrong selection and preparation, the use of flesh foods, the prolonged cooking of vegetables, the neglect of salads, too much protein, the habit of drinking at meals, imperfect mastication, the abuse of the ''tea meal," and fallacious notions about the necessity of eating in much in order to keep up one's strength.'' As regards the last point, invalids often had to be protected by their medical men from their over-solicitous friends. The consumption of flesh foods tended to make men like animals and to encourage the animal instincts. Among the minor errors mentioned were the boiling of vegetables, the use of preservatives, the unnecessary use of stimulants, the use of soda, and the taking of foods that were too highly concentrated. Sickness cost the country £400,000,000 per year, and this was mainly due to errors in diet. A proper understanding of vegetarian-ism made a man a ''specialist," and, although doctors profited from ill-health, they would find plenty to do in other ways if the general standard of health of the community were raised to a higher level.
Dr. BERTRAND P. ALLINSON, M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. (President, London Vegetarian Society), who addressed the Congress on "Diet and the Cure of Disease," said that whatever form of treatment they might be considering, they must never lose sight of the guiding and dominating factor in the processes of cure. That factor was the healing power of Nature, and no treatment could be of the slightest avail without it. The most successful treatment was that which encouraged and seconded Nature's own attempts to heal. So far as diet was concerned, it was of the utmost importance that it should not obstruct cure, that it should not depress vitality, that it should not increa~ the morbid substances producing disease symp-toms and that it should not feed the disease rather than the patient or throw unnecessary strain upon the very organs requiring to be rested. By injudicious feeding with substances such as wine, beef tea, malt, meat juices, custards, jellies, soups, eggs beaten up with milk or alcohol, and so forth, millions of people had been hurried prematurely into their graves. He implored the friends of the sick not to let their affection take the form of beef-tea or of custards! Rather should they bring the fruits of the earth that were ever a pleasure to look upon, and whose juices were wholesome alike to the sick and to the well. In cases of acute disease, the short fast of from three to six days was the ideal treat-ment; for chronic disease, the long and modified fast was more successful. There was also a large group of diseases where fasting was unnecessary, hut where strict dieting must be enforced. They must never lose sight of the fact that persons varied enormously in their reaction to different foods. That ''one man's meat is another man's poison" was certainly true, even under ''nature cure" con-ditions. Unfortunately, the vast majority of people were accus-tomed to feed in a manner which was thoroughly unnatural, and therefore unscientific. While other natural methods should not be neglected, it would be true to say that of all the various aids to the cure of disease, correct dieting was by far the most important.
Dr. HELENE SOSNOWSKA read a Paper contributed by Dr. JULES GRAND, President of the French Vegetarian Society, on ''The Im-portance of Vegetarianism from the Universal Point of View," and a Paper was also submitted by Dr. BENTES CASTELO BRANCO, of Portugal.
On Thursday evening there was a CONVERSAZIONE, held in the Library, which was gaily decorated with flowers for the occasion. Refreshments were served and an informal reception of the delegates rook place, many vegetarians, whose engagements had prevented them from attending the earlier sessions of the Congress, taking advantage of the opportunity thus offered to them. An attractive programme of music and recitation was provided, to which Mrs. Owen Hopkins, Miss Margaret Ortt, Miss Eva Saunderson, L.R.A.M., Mr. Dunstan Hart, and Mr. Vivian Vivian con-tributed, Mr. Arthur Valentine also giving an exhibition of sleight-of-hand.
Mr. ERNEST BELL, M. A., presided over the morning session on Friday, when a paper was read by Dr. RUIZ IBARRA (Spain), on "Diet, the Natural Method of Healing." Food, he said, possessed two qualities. The first was to provide the elements necessary for the vital needs. The second was to produce the due amount of functional stimulation throughout the system. Vegetarian food, he claimed, was the only food adequate to secure this. The proper choice of food, the suppression of certain other kinds of food, and even fasting these three stood for a fundamental method in the art of healing and for the common-sense means of assisting nature in her efforts to cure.
Dr. STAVROS DAMOG:OU (Greece), in an address entitled "What is True Vegetarianism?" remarked that in Greece they did not describe themselves as ''vegetarians," but simply called themselves "non-meat-eaters." The Greek society had only been in existence three years, but already there were three hundred members, and these included sixty-five fully qualified medical men. During twelve years' practice in London he had also advised his patients to abstain from dairy produce, and he had not seen a single case that had not benefited by such abstention. The consistent practice of vegetarian principles was the only hope for a better world of concord, content-ment, efficiency and prosperity. The speaker also advocated that animal manures should not be used in the cultivation of fruit and vegetables.
Dr. SCHLAGER (Germany), in a paper on ''Psychology and Diet," referred to the intimate relationship existing between mind and body. Right diet was a necessary accompaniment of a stable mind. If Falstaff had fed properly, he would have been no longer Falstaff, but a lean and gallant knight. The speaker told of a doctor, one of whose patients complained that her husband had made her 'black and blue" by beating her. She was advised to reduce the man's meat ration, with the result that in a year's time he was a kind father and a good husband. Obviously, vegetarianism was to be recommended as a cure for wife-beaters! The speaker also referred to the harmful effect of meat in arousing the animal appetites. He said it was an accepted fact that to be en-gaged in animal slaughter interfered with the development of man's higher nature.
The Congress having adjourned until the afternoon, the delegates and their friends accepted the kind invitation of Mrs. DAY to proceed to the Homely Restaurant, 13 Bury Street, Bevis Marks, E.C,3, for luncheon.
Mr. W. A. SIBLY, MA. (OXON), Headmaster of Wycliffe College, Glos. , and author of the well-known pamphlet entitled "Vegetarianism and the Growing Boy", presided over the Friday afternoon session. He said that, subject to a few criticisms on points of detail, the New Health Society had approved of the vegetarian diet as practised at Wycliffe College. Dr. Hindhede (who was present that afternoon) had thought it should be more simple. But even if the boys could get sufficient nourishment from a potato diet, he doubted whether the boys themselves would con-sider it satisfactory! The average boy was not content to live on the simplest fare in the interests of science, nor was he prepared to submit to the proposition that his stomach should be regarded as a test tube. The vegetarian boys at Wycliffe College were able to hold their own in studies and athletics in competition with their meat-eating school-fellows.
Mr. OLUF EGEROD (Denmark), in the course of a Paper on "The Work of Dr. Hindhede in Nutrition Research, and its bearing on Vegetarianism," said that the laboratory established in Copen-hagen, of which Dr. Hindhede was the head, had, since its inception in 1911, given an impetus to nutritional research all over the world. For a year or more, potatoes and margarine were the sole foods of some of the helpers who, for three months, were engaged in hard work for fourteen hours daily. For another six months they lived upon barley-porridge, sugar, and margarine ; for a further nine months upon oatmeal-porridge, sugar, and margarine ; while for two years they lived upon cabbage-soup, potatoes, and bread, mostly of whole-rye or of whole-wheat, and without fats of any kind. The results had been tabulated and went to show that health and strength were not only well-maintained, but were actually increased in each case, on what was a cry low protein standard. The English were accustomed to take too much animal protein. A great defect in the average English dietary was the use of white bread.
Dr. HINDHEDE said that his endeavour had been for many years to try to ascertain what food would give the best results so far as health was concerned. When he lived on meat it made him ill. On the other hand, when he lived on potatoes he felt well. Frederic Madsen, a patient, who afterwards became his assistant, lived on a diet consisting only of potatoes and margarine, and worked long hours of hard manual labour, and was quite well. He did not feel so well on a raw fruit diet as he did on a potato diet. Twenty years ago he (Dr. Hindhede) announced that he himself could live on 3d. a day, and the statement made a great sensation in Denmark. After alluding to the experiences of Denmark during the rationing period brought about by the War, the speaker said that the farm labourers, who were supposed to live on a starvation diet, had the lowest death-rate of all, while the death-rates for doctors and butchers were among the highest of all! It was a true economy to live long and healthily, but it was a sheer extravagance to eat and drink and smoke oneself to death.
In the discussion which followed, Mr. HENRY LIGHT (Veget-arian Cycling and Athletic Club) expressed the view that the pro-tein standard advocated by Dr. Hindhede was insufficient for those undertaking heavy physical work. His chief point of criticism of the conventional English dietaries was that these were made up of unsatisfactory combinations of foods and drinks, and he quoted with approval the remark of Mr. C. H. Collings, the analytical chemist, that ''under healthy conditions protein furnishes an ample supply of base to counteract any possible uric acid formed from itself." He contended that while the body could be sustained on a low protein diet it could not thus be sustained at the highest point of efficiency.
The Congress was brought to a conclusion with a public meet-ing at the Central Hall, Westminster, on Friday evening May 29th. HER GRACE THE DUCHESS OF HAMILTON AND BRANDON, who presided, said that the Congress was typical of the spirit of unity that existed in the vegetarian movement and such unity was necessary, both in spirit and in organisation, if the maximum of progress was to be attained. Twenty years ago if one did not eat meat it was remarked upon. Now people apologised for eating meat themselves. The problems of consistency were difficult, but so long as they consumed milk and butter they were involved in the horrors of the slaughter-house system.
LADY EMILY LUTYENS said that there were two aspects to be con-sidered, namely, their attitude to the unconverted, and the attitude of the unconverted towards themselves. They could approach some of the unconverted from the standpoint of health. But there were healthy meat-eaters, so to them they had to advance the humanit-arian argument and to make them recognise the oneness of life throughout all creation. There would be far less cruelty if people realised what they were doing.
THE REV. WALTER WALSH, D.D., said that world brotherhood today was one thing worth talking about. What people sowed they also reaped. What they sowed in the slaughter-houses of Smithfield they reaped in the horrors of Mons and Gallipoli. It was time that vegetarianism would make people livelier and more energetic, but their new-found energies would be devoted to construction and not destruction. The Buddhists and Hindus were vegetarians. Pythagoras said that abstinence from flesh meant peace, while Plato taught that the ideal state should be educated : right dietetics. Diogenes had said it was not from grain-eaters that war came, but that it was from among flesh-eaters that the tyrants and oppressors rose.
Miss LIND-AF-HAGEBY said that different arguments appealed to different people and therefore they must marshal all the arguments they could in their advocacy of vegetarianism. She spoke of the horrors of the slaughter-houses. There was very great ignorance on questions of diet, and the general ignorance of the culinary art was even greater.
Mr. EUSTACE MILES, M. A. (ten times winner of the tennis championship of England), said that meat was deficient in lime and calcium, which were necessary to neutralise the products of fatigue. Cereal foods also, in the form in which they were usually taken, are deficient in lime and vitamins. In feats of endurance veget-arians were conspicuously successful. They were accustomed to maintain themselves in permanently good condition, and they did not need the same amount of preliminary training in athletics as meat-eaters.
Brief addresses were also given by Dr. M. HINDHEDE (Denmark) and Professor H. N0LTHENIUS (Holland).
On the proposition of Mr. W. M. FARRINGTON, chairman of Vegetarian Society, a cordial vote of thanks was accorded to those who had helped to make the Congress, and the public meeting which it was a part, so great a success.
On Saturday evening, May 29th, a Dance took place at Caxton Hall, Westminster, at which about one-hundred-and-fifty persons were present. The arrangements were in the hands of the Veget-arian Social Club, and Mr. S. A. Hurren, Hon. Treasurer of the London Vegetarian Society, acted as M.C. During the evening the Rev. Gustav Lindström (Sweden) expressed the appreciation of the delegates in view of the warm welcome that had been extended to them throughout the Congress, and announced the intention of the Swedish Vegetarian Society to present its silver medal and diploma to the President of the Congress (Mr. Ernest Bell, M. A.), and also the two Secretaries, as a memento of the occasion. The latter in thee unavoidable absence of the President, suitably responded.
On Sunday, May 30th, the delegates were invited to participate in a Motor Drive, organised by the Vegetarian Social Club, through some of the most beautiful scenery in the neighbourhood of London. Leaving London about 10 a.m., the route lay through Hampton Court, Staines and Windsor, to Burnham Beeches, where lunch was taken. The journey being resumed, the party passed through Amersham and Great Missenden to "Alster," Little Hampden, where Mr.and Mrs. Llewellyn Atkinson had been good enough to invite the party to take tea. The hospitality offered to the guests was truly English in its friendliness, and it was generally agreed that the occasion brought to a fitting conclusion a Congress which was remarkable throughout for the cordial feeling expressed on all hands. The return journey was made via Gerrard's Cross, Uxbridge, Southall, Ealing, and Shepherd's Bush, to Hygeia House, Maida Vale, where most of the delegates were staying and where Mr. and Mrs. H. D. Whitfleld had kindly invited the entire party to take supper.
The Congress received excellent notices in the London and provincial press, many papers making sympathetic reference to tile growing practice of vegetarianism.