There is another aspect of the subject which deserves the earnest and thoughtful consideration of Christians, from the standpoint of humanitarian principle. It must be admitted that the custom of eating flesh involves the infliction of an incalculable amount of suffering upon millions of God’s helpless creatures. Such wholesale procedure in the taking of animal life is wholly unjustifiable, except on the ground of absolute necessity. As this necessity does not exist, the practice of these cruelties appears to be a violation of Christian principle, that of showing mercy to the defenseless. Any person who would visit a real slaughter-house, and watch the tragedies enacted daily, upon cattle, sheep, and hogs, could but be moved with horror at the cold-blooded, businesslike cruelty.
By those who prize the development of a Christlike character, who aspire to reach the best and noblest that is possible to man, it should be borne in mind that the path of self-denial, trodden for conscience’ sake, is the most direct route to the accomplishment of that purpose; that the laws of our physical being demand our reverence as truly as the law given on Mount Sinai; and that incompatible with the perpetration of unnecessary cruelty.
Vegetarianism is not a fad. It is a great system of diet, based on scientific principles, and when adopted, insures a clearness of mind and a restfulness of spirit which make for renewed strength and a fitness for life’s duties. It is full of promise for bettering the spiritual, physical, and economic conditions of both men and nations.