Thou shalt not kill
A study of the meat question
GOD said: " Behold, I have given you every herb-bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat."
Such is the advice given by mother nature, and her language stands inscribed before us in the open book of nature that none may err therein. Still, we will murmur against the manna, the bread from heaven, and long for the fleshpots of Egypt. We are not satisfied with the vegetation nature offers; in our greed and avarice we long for her very blood, her life.
WHY WERE ANIMALS CREATED?
Some people believe that animals were created for us to eat. For what, then, were we created? They will attempt to justify their action by saying that according to the law of Moses we are allowed to eat of the animal kingdom. True, we are given allowances as we demand them, but remember that every act of injustice brings condemnation. Israel made the demand for fleshpots. Should it be denied them? They received laws as a consequence. Did they keep them? Israel demanded a king like unto other nations. "Give them a King," said the voice of God; "and it shall be unto their condemnation." Think and reflect; remember, you may demand, but murmur not when condemnation comes, when sickness, sorrow and poverty enter your home—you reap what you have sown—and the voice from the realms of Mazda will descend upon your ears: "The blood of thy brother beings cries out to heaven for justice."
It is strange to hear people talk on Humanitarianism, who are members of societies for the prevention of cruelty to children and animals, and who claim to be God-loving men and women, but who, nevertheless, encourage by their patronage the killing of animals merely to gratify the cravings of appetite.
Many seek to excuse themselves with the worn-out quotation that we belong to the carnivorous section of the animal kingdom; our teeth are supposed to prove it. Because one has a tendency to kill and eat animals, it is no more an excuse than the tendency to steal is recognized by the law as an excuse for theft. Even if man were created a carnivorous animal, is there no way for him to outgrow it as he becomes more intelligent? Moses tells us "Thou shalt not kill," and by every law of God and Nature one has no right to kill anything, be it man or beast.
Because certain animals live upon their prey it does not prove that one has a right to eat them in turn, any more than a man has a right to prey upon his neighbours. The animal kingdom must be redeemed by the life of the higher and nobler species, not by eating the animals, but by loving them and recognizing in them the reflection of our own ideas and ideals which in their case have not yet been completely developed.
Some people seem to think that if the animals were not eaten, they would multiply so rapidly as to overrun the earth. Is it not true that the more beef there is consumed the more there is raised? These people do not seem to understand that there are men in the business who have made an effort to increase their stock by forced means. Let the cattle alone and they will not increase so rapidly when without human care. For the sake of an appetite, which is a mental habit, acquired by our abnormal desires, men will stuff themselves with foods not harmonious to their welfare, forcing their organic functions to do much more than is actually needed, and then try to convince themselves that it is all right, that nothing is wrong. What is the difference between the drunken man in the gutter groaning, "I am all right" and the rich man lying in his easy chair groaning, "There is no pain, I am all right." We would agree with the drunkard should he quote to the rich man, "It is better to be drunk with wine than swollen with sham piety; though I be drunk, I am better than thou art, for thou drinkest conscious blood, I merely the blood of wine. Be just and pronounce which of us twain is the more sanguinary."
Some people of an occult bent suggest to themselves that by eating the animals they redeem them from their lower conditions to a higher consciousness of evolution, thereby decreasing suffering. If this be true, the same reason would justify the cannibal, according to his under-standing, in the eating of human flesh.
Nature tells us plainly, through the mouth of the prophet Isaiah, that, "He that killeth an ox is as if he slew a man." Try as hard as you can to pacify your uneasy conscience, nothing will excuse the eating of animal flesh and neither God nor prophet nor man will justify such actions as are contrary to the law of nature, which desires to uphold all things for the good of all.
THE FOUR KINGDOMS
The four kingdoms of substance are the elementary, mineral, vegetable and animal. The animal cell is the culmination of the evolutionary processes, and once having reached the highest development of conscious formation, the cell must disintegrate into the elementary or atomic, where, purified, it again and again takes up the ceaseless process of evolution into space governed by time. The fundamental principle of manifested life is the elementary, and having evolved through the mineral and the vegetable, we, to a very small degree, subsist upon the vegetable, still less upon the mineral, but, largely, through the breath, upon the elementary compounds.
The human being is merely one particular kind in the variety of the animal kingdom. The difference is no more than that between the other species of those we call lower in creation. When the idea of differentiation once dawns upon the mind, we begin to recognize the responsibility of a position of superiority, and we are consequently expected to protect everything of an inferior kind, as the latter by evolution, and as a consequence of individual self, becomes like unto the idea expressed by and through our own individual being. The individual self-consciousness is the culmination of all the animal creation and the destruction thereof is a violation against the collective thought of existence, and is equal to a criminal offence, the just punishment of which would be the loss of the position attained by the criminal. Once we accomplish the process of cell formation from negative to positive activity and transform the unconscious to the conscious and self-conscious, we shall have grasped the law of self-preservation. To subsist upon the species we represent in sum and substance is not self-preservation, but destruction of the species into which we intend to develop; and instead of progressing we would merely perpetuate the lower order of animal existence with all its animalistic tendencies and characteristics.
Have you ever thought of the fact that our bodies are composed of the food that we have eaten? Fancy a person who weighs eleven stone eating just one pound of pork a day, although many people eat much more meat than that. This small amount eaten daily would amount to thirty-three stone in one year and the poor creature weighs only eleven stone! Where is the man? Where is the pork? Do you wonder, then, that some people not only look like hogs and other animals, but also live and act like them?
The body, whether of a man or of an ox, whether killed by an accident, an axe, knife, gun or science, when it has breathed its last becomes a corpse, and the most fitting place for it is the grave-yard and not our stomach.
A piece of corpse in the stomach of a civilized man, and yet we speak with horror of cannibals eating human corpses! If eating meat, why not eat the most highly organized form of meat, which is not beef or mutton, but human flesh? If you still believe in the eating of flesh, then you must admit that at least as far as the fitness of food is concerned, the cannibal has the best of the argument.
In early times in some countries where they did not believe in capital punishment as much as they do in countries whose inhabitants are addicted to excessive meat-eating, the criminal was condemned to prison for life and fed exclusively on meat and wine. For the first few days he fared very well, even sumptuously, but after four or five days he would begin to grow weaker and weaker, and in thirty days, at most, he would be compelled to succumb. It was not the wine that killed him, although liquor used with meat will hasten the final result.
Have you ever thought whence the cow gets her nourishment in order to produce the milk which contains all the necessary elements for the bodily needs of the human being? The horse is not a meat-eater and yet it has strength, endurance, speed. Among Oriental people the elephant has for centuries symbolized strength and wisdom through vegetation.
Again, we read in the first chapter of Genesis the law of nature as applied to animals: "And to every beast of the earth and to every fowl of the air, and to everything that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat; and it was so."
It has been proven by continued experimenting that carnivorous animals can be kept on a herbivorous diet, and they will not only live but will thrive on such a diet. Yet when we come to man we are told by flesh eaters diet he must eat meat to get strength. If it is possible for cows, horses, elephants and other herbivorous animals, and even carnivorous animals, to thrive upon the products of the vegetable kingdom, should not man be able to do the same?
BENEFICIAL AND HARMFUL FERMENTATION
To understand the meat question thoroughly we must understand the relation of fermentation to digestion. Fermentation in the digestives is of two kinds, viz., digestive fermentation and spontaneous decomposition.
Digestive fermentation is the result of the action of the digestive juices upon the food, chemically changing it and preparing it for assimilation. Such transformation is the natural process of digestion and should not be con-founded with putrefaction which is unnatural and should be avoided.
The usual definition of the word fermentation is spontaneous decomposition, certain phases of which are very similar in appearance to digestive fermentation, but in effect are directly opposed to the latter. Spontaneous decomposition is caused by eating meat, yeasted bread, decaying fruits, stale vegetables and wrong combinations of food. All of these cause a putrefying fermentation in the digestives which results in the formation of alcohol, vinegar, acids or gas, and transforms the food into waste material instead of nourishment for the body. That fermentation is of two kinds, one beneficial and the other harmful, is a fact recognized only by the few, but it is, nevertheless, one of the most important factors in the study of dietetics.
In order that food may pass through the different stages of fermentation in the process of preparation for assimilation by the cells of the body, there must be corresponding stages of development or evolution through which the food has not yet passed in its natural state. Digestive fermentation, then, transforms the food in such a manner that it can be assimilated; but in the case of meat, the cell has passed through all of the stages of evolution that are possible to matter, as the animal flesh cell and the flesh cell of die human being are practicably identical in formation. As matter, when once it has reached the highest point in evolutionary development, is incapable of further progression, and, as it is a natural law that nothing can remain at a standstill but must either go forward or back-ward, so when meat is taken into the human stomach it cannot be assimilated because it has already reached the highest point of development possible to the individual cell, and by natural law, decomposition into its component parts is the only remaining possibility. Such decomposition can, from the nature of the case, form nothing but waste material so far as the human body is concerned.
As decomposition or putrefaction was never intended to take place inside the human body, no natural provision has been made to assist in such a process within the digestives of man. For this reason nature must call to her aid worms, maggots, bacilli, microbes and germs in order to hasten the process of decay; but at the same time such unnatural means lay die foundation for nine-tenths of all the diseases of man.
The bloody juices of the meat are all that can be assimilated in the body. For this reason carnivorous animals like lions, tigers, etc, must eat an enormous quantity of meat to keep up their full strength and activity. Their digestives are so strong that the meat can be swallowed without mastication, the juices are quickly pressed out and the waste material is eliminated before the decomposing material can be absorbed into the system. But even the bloody juices of the meat are not suitable for human consumption, as the blood contains animal cells and other pro-ducts which will quickly undergo decomposition and fill our bodies with putrid matter.
The human digestives are no longer constituted so as to digest meat in the same way diet it is taken care of by the carnivorous animals, for civilized man has long since passed the degree of evolution when he could live on the same food as carnivorous beasts. Meat, having reached cell life, and being fibrous, cannot be properly assimilated; it can only be expurgated from the system. There are no gastric juices sufficiently strong chemically to dissolve or absorb it. If there were, these juices would dissolve the very linings of the stomach itself.
Man to-day is a brain being in contra-distinction to the muscle beings of the lower forms of evolution, and he is endowed with intelligence to choose his food so that he may be properly nourished without the expenditure of so much energy as is needed by the carnivorous animals. He is rather to use his energies in brain activity that his mind may be able to solve the many complex problems of life as presented by present-day conditions.
Such substances as nitrogen, salts, etc, in the meat juices are readily taken into the blood, thus stimulating the heart and other organic functions to quicker action. For this reason a person eating meat has his animal nature quickly aroused, but relapses into degradation as soon as the stimulation of energy has become exhausted.
Meat, alcohol, and tobacco are all rightly classed as stimulants. As the fermentation of decomposition takes place in the digestives when meat is eaten, instead of a normal digestive fermentation, the overworked organs call for greater stimulation to do the extra work, and an appetite is created for alcohol, narcotics, tobacco, and the like.
Intemperance comes from wrong eating, and temperance will never be an accomplished fact until we learn how to revise our dietary and combine foods properly according to our individual requirements. For this reason Mazdaznan teaches a simple and complete method of dietetics, and it will be impossible for humanity to arrive at a state of absolute physical health, mental activity and spiritual realization until it learns to put Mazdaznan principles into practice.
ADVERSE EFFECTS OF FLESH EATING
Appalling as the results of flesh eating are to the physical body, the blighting effects upon the mentality and spiritual nature are still greater.
Do you know diet the intelligences composing the flesh of an animal, lingering within the decaying life tissues, must awaken within your own tissue form toward activity? Do you not know that such activity is opposed to your purpose in life, leading you to your destruction, directly or indirectly, in the same sense as you have caused the destruction of the one who had a higher purpose in existence than to be consumed because of the craving of an abnormally and selfishly developed appetite? Do you wonder, then, why you are being possessed by many conditions of influential intelligences, causing your mind to drift about, weaving nets of subjectiveness around you and increasing the weight and burden of your downfall? Oh, you blind, near-sighted creature, who claims to stand at the head of creation, how low have you fallen; how you have stepped down and reached out your hand to the things below that are dragging you down to destruction! Yes, the intelligences of these bodily dead creatures continue to live in you spiritually and give you the appetite as entertained by the beings previously inhabited.
These intelligences continue their work as foreign agencies in your body and in their allurements and your gradually increasing negative attitude, establish themselves toward a station in your life which accomplishes the subjection of your higher intelligence, until at last the un-balanced intelligences of brute nature appeal to your mind, holding you enchained to the lowest conditions of existence, until at last the sense of justice is lost and you no longer live the life of a being, noble and sublime, but merely exist as a phenomenon of the brute reflecting through the human form. You will continue through such a miserable existence on and on until the sense of justice shall awaken within your soul, gradually repaying the debt you have contracted with creation and its creatures.
We do not entreat you to stop your criminal course for our sake, for all you do is for your own sake. If you delight in the pleasures of sin, go right on; but when sorrow and sickness come, when your "hidden forces" no longer respond to your demand, when all your "demonstrating" fails you, when science is exhausted and you anxiously call for help and that help is very slow in coming, remember that "The blood of thy brother creatures crieth unto heaven for justice." You will continue to live in fear and trembling until retribution is brought, and within your heart has become sacredly rooted: "And every herb-bearing seed, and every fruit in which is a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for MEAT."