|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
G. S. ARUNDALE
The world is crucified when an animal is crucified and a tree or any other living thing.
Whenever I see a meat and fish-ridden dining-table I know that I am looking upon one of the seeds of war and hatred - a seed that develops into an ugly weed of atrocity. Whenever I read of hunting parties I know that I am reading about the seeds of war and hatred.
There is war where there is misery anywhere, where there is discontent and unhappiness. Everyone of us is responsible for the misery of the poor and helplessness of the weak, for the helplessness of the average animal. The animal can be killed for food, He can be mutilated in the vivisection chamber for our benefit. He can be eaten and not a word will go forth on his behalf. When people ask me "Is there likely to be a future war?" I answer, "Yes, until the animals are treated as our younger brothers." They are not at the present time. We simply use them for our own satisfaction for medicine, for food, hauling tremendous loads, and for any purpose we wish.; We feel sorry if they suffer.
"But after all," some people will say, as a lady was saying to me the other day, "what are the animals for?" I say to the lady, "What are You for? Are you to fatten on the sufferings of your younger brethren? You are going to say to me, of course, that 'Human life matters more than animal life. I put a great mark of interrogation,. Some human lives may matter more, but I do not know that the average human lives of all of us matter more than the weak creatures whom God has given to us not for use but for our blessing." But that is an ideal very far away from us at the present time.
Then there is the war spirit that is fostered by the indifference of public opinion. We can be as conventionally cruel as we like, so long as we are not unconventionally cruel .... We may engage in this or that cruelty, because it is sanctioned by public opinion...
Our Conscience tells us CRUELTY in all its multifarious forms is probably the supreme wrong from which the world suffers at the present time. And our conscience is very emphatic about the many wrongs which may be labelled CRUELTY
We place first in the order of demerit all cruelties to
the younger residents of the world - the animals, the brethren of the
vegetable kingdom, and those, too, of the mineral kingdom. We exploit,
we prostitute these helpless creatures to our own interests, to our
own personal and selfish interests. They must suffer so that we may
be happy. We eat them, we cause pain to them, we distort them into ugly
forms, we demand from them the living of unnatural lives, so that me
may be more comfortable. And they cannot rebel, still less refuse, because
we are stronger. We have that force, and we do not hesitate to use it
... Wherever there is such CRUELTY, there is
BARBARISM however civilized the country may choose
to think itself ..
Hunting is a mode of war upon the nation of animals, So is vivisection, So also is the killing of animals for personal adornment. And there is a tremendous war against the nation of animals as we force them into the slaughter-houses in order that me may have the satisfaction of consuming their flesh.
Every individual who becomes a friend of all creatures instead of their enemy, who ceases cruelty in its forms, thus enrolls himself in that growing army of righteousness which shall some day make the world safe, not so much for democracy, as for the universal reign of Reverence, Goodwill, and Compassion.
There is no Conscience where there is no grace.
- Extracts from "Conscience" 1939-45