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More Reasons to Choose Vegetarianism
(14) Not a Natural Food; Is Cruel
It is not natural that life be taken for human food. If the meat-eater had to kill and dress his own meat, very few would eat it. I will not ask another man to follow the conscience-hardening occupation of constantly taking life that I may have food, even if it were a good food.
“Some animals that are brought to the slaughter seem to realize by instinct what is to take place, and they become furious and literally mad. They are killed while in that state, and their flesh is prepared for market. Their meat is poison, and has produced, in those who have eaten it, cramps, convulsions, apoplexy, and sudden death. Yet the cause of all this suffering is not attributed to the meat. Some animals are inhumanely treated while being brought to the slaughter. They are literally tortured, and after they have endured many hours of extreme suffering, are butchered.”
“The moral evils of a flesh diet are not less marked than are the physical ills…Think of the cruelty to animals that meat-eating involves, and its effect on those who behold it. How it destroys the tenderness with which we should regard these creatures of God!
“The intelligence displayed by many dumb animals approaches so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery. The animals see and hear and love and fear and suffer. They use their organs far more faithfully than many human beings use theirs. They manifest sympathy and tenderness toward their companions in suffering. Many animals show an affection for those who have charge of them far superior to the affection shown by some the human race. They form attachments for man which are not broken without great suffering to them.
“What man with a human heart, who has ever cared for domestic animals, could look into their eyes, so full of confidence and affection, and willingly give them over to the butcher’s knife? How could he devour their flesh as a sweet morsel.”
The reason for the high cost of animal-derived foods is that much land, labor and expense are required to produce feed for stock, 80 to 90 percent of which is lost in producing the animals, so that the eater of the animals gets only a small percent of the value of the land and feed used to grow the animals. For instance, it is claimed that 100 acres of grass fed to cattle will grow enough beeves to feed only 15 people for a year. A fat ox has eaten 64 pounds of dry grain for every pound his carcass weighs.
Therefore if people would live directly from the products of the soil, many more people could live from a hundred acres than by getting their living from the animals which lived off the same hundred acres. In the United States the livestock consume enough food to supply five hundred million people.
The eating of flesh more or less affects the disposition, the morals, and the character…”Its (vegetarianism advantages are those which result from temperance: by this method of alimentation the tendency to arthritic, gouty or rheumatic diathesis, to neurasthenia, etc., disappears or its weakened; the character becomes supple and the mind seems to enjoy more rest and perhaps acuteness.”
“Flesh food has a tendency to animalize the nature, to rob men and women of that love and sympathy which they should feel for everyone, and to give the lower passions control over the higher powers of the being.”
Meat “excites the animal propensities to increased activity, and strengthens the animal passions. When the animal propensities are increased, the intellectual and moral powers are decreased. The use of the flesh of animals tends to cause a grossness of body, and benumbs the fine sensibilities of the mind.”
“Meat should not be placed before our children. Its influence is to excite and strengthen the lower passions, and has a tendency to deaden the moral powers.”
Nobility of character is of far higher value than strength of muscle, and if there were to be a choice between the two, the former should be preferred, but in the case under consideration the right food increases both. The conquest of the appetite is fundamental to the development of character. To conquer oneself is greater than to conquer a city.
Quote to Note:
“The effect of eating the meat of these unhealthy animals is diseased blood, sickness, and fevers. Many instances of the kind were shown me as being acted over daily by worldlings.” 2T 153.2
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