What We Eat
From the February 1884 Christian Science Journal by E. J. S.
Custom renders palatable to the cannibal the dainty flesh of human kind, even as it does that of animal flesh to the palate of civilized eaters.
The writer, a few years ago, thought nothing of dining off the corpses of hogs, oxen, sheep, etc.; indeed, he imagined that abstinence from such diet meant bodily weakness, sickness, and perhaps death. The experiment was determined upon, and in two years, an increase of about thirty-five pounds, and elastic health, such as never before enjoyed, has caused a radical change in his belief that it is necessary to take the life of animals to sustain our own.
The first that led the writer to abstain from flesh-eating, was the thought of the principle involved — cruelty to animals, the slaughter of innocents. To slay an animal and consume its flesh is selfish and murderous, — the spirit which keeps Heaven away from this gloriously beautiful earth. The next question is, Can eating flesh be a necessity? Reason and experience demonstrate there is not a particle of necessity in it. The God of life gives us, his children, an abundance of all that is necessary in cereals, fruits and vegetables, to sustain life, blossoming on the breast of dear mother nature, — first a blade, then a flower, then a rich fruitage, to abundantly satisfy the most exacting appetite. Think of these things: taking a life with a view to sustain your own is wrong in principle, selfish in practice, and devoid of the apology of necessity.
We incorporate in our life, consciously or unconsciously, the character of the elements by which we are surrounded (or which we surround). The nation whose diet is mostly vegetable are more mild and gentle mannered. It seems well that we should rise above the lower plane of selfishness, which tears, bites and devours one another, to the plane of science, where “the lion shall lie down with the lamb.”
“Excelsior” is the watchword of to-day — discovery in the realm of physical science, — moulding, applying, utilizing the hitherto dormant forces in Nature, to serve mankind. Metaphysical science, the science of Soul, opens the eyes of the blind, and in the not distant future, these newly opened eyes will look upon the eaters of animal flesh with the same horror that we regard the inhabitants of the Feejee Islands, or Mr. Darwin’s missing link, in the jungles of Central Africa.