International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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11th IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1947

Stonehouse, England

From The Vegan Autumn 1947:


The Eleventh Congress of the International Vegetarian Union held at Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, from July 29th to August 5th, was a most stimulating gathering. There were representatives from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Holland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, Eire and America, as well as from the various British societies. The outstanding features of the meetings were the personal friendliness of delegates and the universal desire to elevate the vegetarian approach to life.

Special interest was shown in veganism, Mr. Donald Watson having been invited to speak on the subject. His lecture was most comprehensive and carefully delivered. Extracts appear elsewhere in this issue and the full address has been printed in pamphlet form. A lively response, both enthusiastic and critical, marked the close of his speech, but the discussion had to be postponed till later in the day, when many questions and comments were dealt with in cooler atmosphere. It was interesting to compare the different attitudes of various nationalities to the vegan ideal. In continental countries, with their ethical approach, veganism was placed in the vanguard of the vegetarian movement, while the Scandinavian regarded it as an advanced stage of vegetarianism for health reasons.

By the wish of the Vegetarian Society, the vegan cause is working independently in this country although in Scotland a Vegan Section has been formed within the Scottish Vegetarian Society.

The vegan trend was manifested in other lectures during the Congress, Dr. Cyril Pink in particular speaking very highly of the vegan diet in relation to childbirth and infant feeding.
Mr. H. H. Jones, in his "World Survey of Food and Famine;" gave figures comparing the area of land in Britain required to produce food for one person for a year, and it was significant to note that, whereas 1.3 acres was needed for a meat diet and .33 for a lacto-vegetarian diet, only .16 of an acre was required for a vegan diet. Surely therein lies the solution to food scarcity in this, or indeed an country!

Mr. J. H. Bolt, Honorary Secretary of the I.V.U., presented a remarkably comprehensive report on his enquiries into vegetarian welfare throughout the world during the war years. He then invited us all to take a broad conception of life as a whole, to strive for a greater integrity and to regard vegetarianism as only one aspect of our philosophy. He also suggested that the I.V.U. should publish an international magazine to distribute world vegetarian news, but this proposal was amended, as it was agreed that international news should be circulated to editors for inclusion in the various national magazines. Mr. Bolt further recommended that, as a practical measure, the I.V.U. should encourage the production of vegetable milk and non-leather shoes.

At the Congress, The Vegan Society was formally accepted as a member of the International Vegetarian Union. It is most encouraging to realise that, as a result, we can now work in direct co-operation with the various vegetarian movements throughout the world.

[We have been privileged to have as guests at Rydale Lodge, Mr. Kaj Dessau, the new Secretary of the I.V.U., together with his fiancee Miss Ingrid Peterson, and also Mr. Emil Just, from Czechoslovakia. They have al expresses the keenest interest in the vegan aims and way of life. - Ed.]

The Vegan Society president's address to IVU was printed over four pages of the same issue.