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IVU News - Issue 1-96

IVU Elections

A recent edition of the EVU Newsletter contains a comment on the IVU elections on page seven suggesting they were not very democratic. The main concern seems to be that there was only one candidate for the each of the posts of President and Deputy President respectively. A further comment suggests that one other candidate for each post withdrew after "contacting" and "persuading" behind the scenes. There was a second candidate for the post of President but that person withdrew before the congress for personal reasons. The second candidate for the post of Deputy President discussed his candidature with various people during the congress and withdrew his nomination the evening before the election. No reason was given for this decision.

IVU is a democratic organisation and member societies are invited to make nominations for all positions in IVU well before a congress and in several editions of the IVU Newsletter. It is for member societies to decide if they wish to nominate. If, when the elections arrive, and there is but one candidate for each post, then the candidate is elected unopposed. This is democratic since every opportunity is given to member societies to make nominations. It is a fact that there has been but one candidate for the position of President and only one for the post of Deputy President in all elections during, at least, the past twenty years, and probably much longer. If member societies wish to change this, they can do so at the appropriate time.

Maxwell G. Lee
Stockport, Cheshire, UK

Dear Editor,

With reference to "Religion and Vegetarianism", there could be many diverse views on the subject. In the Christian religion, the writings handed down to us can be interpreted in many ways to support one way of life or another, and so argument ensues (and worse, wars have been fought over different beliefs). So vegetarians may side-step all controversy and rely on their intuition, which guides them to a compassionate way of living. But they are not necessarily irreligious, for the root of the word "religion" is "religere", meaning "relationship"; and if we look for the relationship of our individual life to god and understand Him as the creator of life, we are linked to each particle of life in the universe and on this planet, whether mineral, vegetable or animal. Such awareness generates a feeling of unity and though man with his abilities may claim dominion over the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, dominion should not mean exploitation.

For those wishing to make sense of the Christian message, which so often seems ambivalent and even contradictory, I would briefly indicate to you that today there is light on the Gospels and Old Testament stories, as those who have read the teachings of John Todd Ferrier can testify. His writings give a new and illuminating interpretation of Christianity, of God as Eternal Love, of man as he once was and of his relationship to the Divine and his brotherhood with all life - even to the humblest of creatures. Account is given of the Fall, of the times when life was hardly possible on this planet, the gradual restoration of human life, the gradual raising of man's consciousness, his decreasing dependence on the animal kingdom, the possibility and indeed the necessity today to lead truly compassionate lives, not only towards all races but also sub-human life.

Though the interpretations are mystical, for instance the stories in the New Testament are allegories - the term "Fish" is an ancient symbol for a profound truth, a hidden message concerning knowledge of the Mysteries of God and the Soul - the practical message is there: bloodshed and flesh eating are not part of a God-oriented humanity. As the individual redeems his life, so will he influence the community, then the nation and then the race.

Titles which may interest some readers are:
The Master: His Life and Teachings (622 pages, ISBN 0 900235); The Logia or Sayings of the Master (430 pages, ISBN 0 900235 063); What is a Christian? (64 pages, ISBN 0900235 00 4).

Yours sincerely,
Agnes Buist
Godalming, Surrey, UK

Contributions to IVU News are welcomed. Material published does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or the policy of the International Vegetarian Union.