International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
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23rd IVU World Vegetarian Congress 1975
Orono, Maine, USA

from the front page of The Vegetarian (UK), October 1975:


A living example of unity in diversity, keynote of the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress, University of Maine, August 16-28 - Saffron robed Indian swamis are seen chatting to mothers with young children, kimono-clad Japanese bow formally to long haired American boys and girls, trendy young blacks are listening intently to middle-aged Europeans.

They come from every part of America, from all corners of the globe, eager above all, to learn. And the opportunities are limitless - nutrition, philosophy, ecology, health and disease, ideology, anatomy, cookery, ethics, practicalities, different cultures and religions - so much to choose from, to absrob, to think about. There are even special classes for teenagers and for children. And, of course, there are the great personalities - homesteaders Scott and Helen Nearing, radiating down-to-earth warmth and humour; Rukmini Devi Arundale, Theosophist and animal crusader, her calm directness cutting through all sophistry to reach the very heart; Dr Richard St. Barbe Baker, octogenarian founder of Men of the Trees; so many with a lifetime of experience as vegetarians, glad to help those still needing guidance.

The setting is idyllic. The spacious tree-lined University of Maine at Orono proves that those wide open spaces of America can even be found on campus, with the silent forests, the nature trails, the serenely flowing river all offering opportunities for quiet rumination.

Mealtimes certainly show the wide variety of choice available to vegetarians, with something for every taste. There are hot savouries (everything from Chop Suey to traditional nut roasts to pizza and spaghetti), a variety of vegetables cooked and raw, salads, wholemeal bread, fresh fruits, desserts - all using only unrefined foods, nutritionally rich and eminently satisfying.

The impact of the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress reaches far beyond the dining hall and lecture rooms, and the auditoriums of the University of Maine - CBS television cameras bring it all into the homes of millions across the nation, with local radio programmes and newpapers all spreading the word. The whole of America is talking vegetarianism - watch out for repercusions on the rest of the world.

Massive milestone in the history of vegetarianism, the 23rd World Vegetarian Congress, University of Maine, USA, August 16-28 - attracts thousands, received coast-to coast notice by television and press, cements international vegetarianism.



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.


The man who powered it all - Jay Dinshah, whose total dedication and incredible energy made possible the first-ever World Vegetarian Congress to be held in the USA. Jay was the key figure in amalgamating local organisations into the North American Vegetarian Society, responsible for planning the Congress . . . but his work didn't stop at the planning stage. It was Jay who masterminded vitually every aspect of this stupendous happening, worked round the clock to ensure the whole operation ran smoothly.