from an Information Sheet produced by the Vegetarian Society UK:
Mr A F Hills was the first chairman [of The Vegeterian Federal Union] and Mr R E O'Callaghan was secretary. Mr Josiah Oldfield became secretary in 1896, and in 1897 a second International Congress took place in London.
Extract from The Claims of Common Life:
To say that science can harden or degrade man in his relation to animals is to malign the most sacred of all studies. The village lout may stick a cock-chafer on a pin, or tie a cracker to a panting, fear-stricken cat, or throw a pup into a pond and stone it till it sinks exhausted. A cruel woman may drive or spur the tired horse till it drops, or leave a mouse to die of hunger in a trap, etc. The swell sportsman may wound and torture and kill his hundreds of beautiful pigeons, and leave a piteous leasing of wounded animals slowly dying in the hedges and in their holes - dying of acute inflammation, after he has passed on with his gun. The woman of fashion may order men to go out to the Arctic regions and flay the half-dead seal and leave it wallowing in blood and groans - a mangled mother with its little ones pitifully bleating round the frightful object hour after hour till they die of slow starvation. The butcher may perpetrate all the horrors of the slaughterhouse for gain. But to the true scientist all such atrocities are impossible . . . The higher science - opposed to popular marvel hunting and self-advertising - is always reverent in the presence of the reverent in the presence of the mystery of life. The lowest animal must ever be treated with the respect which is its prerogative. Science elevates and does not degrade the position of the animal world, and the final point I would make is that science increases the rights of animals by deepening the rights of man. The higher the position in which science can place man, the nearer to the source and fount from whence the laws of the universe proceed, the greater and deeper will be the reverence for animal life, because the clearer and fuller will be the conception of the higher forces of amity over enmity in evolution. The lower the man the more cruel is he to his beast of burden, the higher the man the more nearly he approaches to those heights of scientia and gnosis, which are the crowning stamp of the true scientist, the more reverence he has for his fellow traveller - a true brother in the eyes of science - on the same spiral pathway of vitality, towards a perfection of evolution.
from a letter by George Bernard Shaw to Symon Gould of the American Vegetarian Party, in 1945:
Please stop telling the blazing lie that vegetarians are free from disease. Ask Josiah Oldfield (if you have not heard of younger authorities) whether he can cure rheumatism, or arthritis, or cancer. I know of no disease from which vegetarians are exempt.