International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

A plea for an International Vegetarian Union - 1885

From The Dietetic Reformer and Vegetarian Messenger (Manchester, England), December 1885, p349:

By B. Lindsay (a paper read at the Annual Meeting)

We are apt to magnify the importance of all things belonging to our own nation, and possibly this tendency leads us to undervalue the work which is being done for our cause in other lands. Mr. Anderson, a correspondent of the Vegetarian Society at Novgorod, who communicates with us through a translator, declines - not unreasonably - to be enrolled as a member of the English Vegetarian Society. He suggests that it is now time for the formation of an International Vegetarian Society directed by an International Electoral Committee.

There can be but one opinion as to the desirability of such an International Union, and that an affirmative one; but much discussion as to many practical difficulties must take place before the plan can be carried into execution. It is to be hoped that the members assembled at the Annual Meeting will be able to offer some practical suggestions for an International Vegetarian Congress, as a prelude to the formation of an International Vegetarian Union. Let us gather together representatives of all countries and of all creeds, from our American cousins in the Far West to our Buddhist fellow Vegetarians in the far East.

In the meanwhile we ought to make a courteous compromise with the patriotic scruples of our foreign friends, by asking them not to become members, but corresponding members of our Society.We learn that of old the Vegetarian Society had corresponding members, but the custom has fallen out of use, and is only recorded as a matter of archaic history. We hope that, pending the consideration of an International Congress, a list of foreign correspondents will be made out, and published in the Dietetic Reformer, with an invitation addressed to these foreign allies to send communications to our Society at stated intervals, say on the occasion of every Annual Meeting, or of every May and October Meeting. Such an invitation would doubtless result in bringing us many interesting details regarding work in our cause which is done abroad.