|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)|
15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
In my book "Vegetarianism" I have shown that man by nature,
is not a carnivorous animal, but a fruit-eater.
(1) Because children whose instincts are purer and more delicate than
those of adults, beg for fruits, while on the other hand they refuse
meat, : "To demonstrate that longing for meat is not natural in
man, it is sufficient to point out that children look with indifference
on all kinds of meat, and show their delight for natural food, fruits."
(2) Because natural or rational medicine which is the most progressive
system, shows us that meat is the principal cause of diseases and of
the degeneration in man, and also that vegetables and above all, fruits,
are, for man, the most healthy and natural kind of food. (Kuhne, Kneipp,
Bilz, Just, Platen etc. ) "Oh mortals, do not continue poisoning
your bodies with such a repulsive food." (Pythagoras)
(3) Because allopathic medicine (regular medicine), notwithstanding
the fact that it has always been an advocate for meat, to-day recognizes
the latter as injurious to human health, through the testimony of its
most illustrious representatives (Lahmann, Dubois-Reymond, Virchow,
Metchnikoff, Pouchet, Kellogg, Haig, Kleinschrodt, Nyssens, Elmer Lee,
Krafft, Ebling, Liber, Huchard, Graham, Trail etc,) . . .
(4) Because history shows us that the people in olden times who did
not practice a meat diet, were the strongest and the most civilized,
commencing to decay only when they started to use meat as food, (Romans,
Greeks, etc). "Vegetable diet exercises a salubrious influence
on the harmony of the body and the beauty of the soul." B. de St.
(5) Because statistics show that at present the workers and individuals
who do not eat meat are the most efficient, the strongest, the healthiest,
and the most peaceful, such as Turkish, Indian, and Chinese workers
are. The elephant the strongest, the horse the fleetest, the squirrel,
the most active, and the camel, the most enduring in animals are vegetable-feeders,
extracting their energy from vegetable food. In relation to their weight,
the gorilla is stronger than the tiger. Carnivorous animals have strength,
but not so much resistance as the vegetable-feeders. The latter are
more useful and also more intelligent and moral, for they practise mutual
(6) Because anatomy shows us that man is not carnivorous, but frugivorous by nature. "Fruits and edible plants constitute the most appropriate food for man." (Linee) "The entire structure of the human body to its smallest detail, is suited to vegetable food." (Cuvior). Meat is not a food for man. If meat-eating people do not starve, it is because they are nourished through vegetables and bread which they eat with their meat. Nobody could permanently live on meat alone.
(7) Because anthropology shows us that "Man is descended from primates." (Haeckel), and that "our ancestors were tree-dwellers." (Darwin)
(8) Because of economical reasons, for as time passes, meat will become
dearer every day and vegetable cheaper (Sponheimer, Mag, Konig); and
further, meat in addition to causing sickness, brings with it the vices
of alcohol, tobacco, coffee etc., all of which are very expensive. .'He,
who feeds only on water, bread and fruit as I do, does not require anyone's
help to be able to live." (Franklin). "The same stretch of
land which is used as pasture, - that is, used to fatten animals, the
meat of which could feed ten people, - if cultivated with millet, peas,
lentils, and barley, would be able to feed a hundred people." (Humboldt).
It has been estimated that an area of well cultivated fruit-land can
sustain, at least, twenty times more people by its crops than could
be nourished on the meat of cattle, which only pasture on its spontaneous
grasses," (Otto Carque). Wheat and other cereals produce 1,200
pounds of food per acre, while apples produce 14,000; coconuts, 20,000
and bananas 100,000 pounds. "The Oricono Valley produces enough
bananas to sustain the whole of mankind." (Humboldt) "If the
borders of all roads in the United states were planted with nut trees,
the whole of mankind could live on those nuts without having to resort
to work." (Dr. Kellogg) Fruits and nuts will solve the economical
problem in the future.
(9) Because of religious reasons, as all great religions condemn the use of meat. "And God said: Here I placed for your sustenance all the herbs that grow and every tree that bears fruit." (Genesis 1,29.)
(10) Because the strongest and most sublime thinkers are and have been vegetarians Buddha ; Confucius, Zoroaster, Laotzc, Muhammad, Moses, Jesus Christ, Empedocles, Pythagoras, Plutarch, Seneca, Homer, Plato, Socrates, Porohyrius, Lucrezius, Cicero, Horace, Euripides, Newton, Spinoza, Leonardo da Vinci, Giordano, Bruno, Gassendi, Littre, Milton, Franklin, St. Pierre, Byroll, Shelly, Michelet, Dante, Baltzer, Tolstoy, Reclus, Franz Hartmann, Bernard Shaw, Carmen Sylva, Zemenhof, etc. The following distinguished men also combatted carnivorism: Voltaire, Rouseau, Wagner, Schopenhauer, Hufeland, Humboldt, Leibnitz, Linne, Cuvier; Nietzsche, Bellamy, Edison...'Cervantes pictured the superior man, (Don Quixote) as living on fruits and nuts, and the common individual (Sancho) as living on pork and other meat, breaking in his way, a lance in favour of vegetarinnism. Goethe protested against that infamy termed hunting. "The reason for abstaining from meat, as a fundamental principle of moral life, has been admirably demonstrated to us, during the existence of man, by all the best representatives of human kind." (Leo Tolstoy)
(11) For esthetic reasons which everyone experiences : Meat is repulsive to the sight and smell. as much as fruits are agreeable to them. "The day will come when man shall abominate the eating of meat in the same way as we today abominate anthropophagy, (Lamertine)
(12) For individual moral reasons, meat is not only a stimulant to vices (tobacco, liquor, coffee etc.) but possesess like alcohol, certain substances that cause human nature to commit crimes "All confirmed meat eaters are regularly more cruel than other people ...Robbers and other criminals drink blood to harden their conscience." (Rousseau) "It is an irrefutable fact that on rejecting meat as a food, man feels an irretrievable inclination to abandon alcohol and all excitants." (Maeterlink)
(13) For general moral reasons, as the fact of eating meat implies the destruction of animals and we have already known that the destruction of life constitutes the gravest offence one can commit against morality. "Even though all the wolves and vultures in the world approve of the use of meat, we cannot be convinced it is right." (Porphyrius) "Oh unnatural whom we call man, and who is a hundred times more savage than the wild beasts, who compels you to waste the blood of innocent animals? Why kill and martyr so cruelly these gentle beings who harm no one, but who are so useful to you, who aid you in your labour, are your faithful companions, and furnish you with clothing to cover you and milk to feed you? What more do you require of them? Does not the ground produce sufficient fruits for your food?" (Plutarch) "The life of the animal is Divine as all life is Divine. The animals are our brothers, and although younger brothers, we have not the right to kill them to satisfy our perverted taste." (Leadbenter)
(14) For logical reasons, as our ancestral father - let him be called Adam Anthropilec, or whatever you wish - had neither fire nor knife, and therefore could not be carnivorous, but only frugivorous, apyrotrophagist (raw-eater). Cannibalism or anthropophagy does not constitute our ancestral type, as some people believe; cannibalism has been shown to constitute a degenerate form of man.
(16) Because it is infamous to kill an animal, which like ourselves,
has a stomach - more often healthier than ours ; a heart - never as
wicked as ours; and a brain, - often cleaner than ours ; - just in order
to devour its noble limbs. We turn ourselves into moving graves through
our persistence in feeding on carcasses. If everyone would be compelled
to kill the animals he eats, more than fifty per cent of the meat-eaters
would abandon this repulsive and inhuman food. He who eats the meats
of animals killed by the butcher, is the same as the coward who pays
a criminal to commit murder for him. The meat-eater is therefore twice
as criminal as the butcher. "To kill an animal in order to devour
it, is to commit a double crime," (Gleizes) " You have just
dined ; and however scrupulously the slaughter-house is concealed in
a graceful distance of miles, there is complicity," saye Emerson.
(16) Because, if it is true that man unfortunately, on account of his
incongruous food has perverted his nature, so that to-day it is difficult
for him to return to a frugivorous diet, it is also true that by exercising
a little will power, it will be possible for humanity to return again
to a natural diet. The proof of this is that there are many people who,
in spite of having been carnivorous or having descended from carnivorous
ancestors, have not only been converted to frugivorism but by doing
so, have become healthier physically and morally, than they were before.
It is true that there are some people who having been accustomed to
eating meat all their lives, have, at last, so perverted their natures,
that they cannot stop from eating meat without upsetting their system.
This happens not only with meat but with many other poisons. It is well
known that no habitual and contumacious drinker or smoker can give up
liquor or tobacco without also experiencing a serious physical discomfort,
and it has often happened that obstinate drinkers have died from the
effect of giving up their vice suddenly. Nevertheless this does not
mean that many old meat-eaters cannot live without eating meat. The
meat-eater is exactly the same as the smoker or the consumer of alcohol.
Each of them has a perverted nature and owing to this circumstance,
cannot feel repugnance to these loathsome and abominable poisons. If
the meat-eater or drinker had never had an opportunity to introduce
these substances into their systems, they would never have perverted
their natures, and neither would they have to endanger their physical
bodies by A sudden reformation of their vicious habits. This shows that
mothers should never permit their children to eat meat or touch liquor,
to prevent the trouble that in the future they mill have to endure in
giving up their vices. For a long time alcohol was considered as a nourishment
- at the present time it is known to be an excitant. Neat, as well as
alcohol, is another excitant. Both are equally unnecessary, equally
harmful, and equally vicious.
Man kills in one day more cattle than all carnivorous animals do in a hundred years. Notwithstanding this, no cattle, no animal fears man, and even cows let themselves be milked by man, and this would be impossible to perform if man were a carnivorous animal. This shows us that man is not carnivorous by nature. In order to fight vegetarianism, some journalists say that alcohol-drinking and meat-eating nations are ruling the world. To illustrate this they point out that plant-eating and abstinent Hindus are ruled by carnivorous and whisky-drinking Englishmen ; and that plant-eating China is only a puppet of carnivorous Europeans. To answer this I will have also to point out that, as Rousseau said, criminals and murderers used to eat meat and to drink alcohol in order to harden their consciences, to become more bloodthirsty and therefore more efficient in their deeds. Fighting-cocks are also fed on meat to become more fierce in fighting. But, is that right, is that the ideal, is that the aim of morals? Will drunkenness and killing become right in the future? Will the world always be ruled by gluttons and dipsomaniacs?
Do not forget that the world is in constant evolution, and that the might in the future will rest no more on the most fierce peoples, but on the most intelligent and virtuous ones. Wars are not the only wrong done by the meat and whisky-addicted nations. Will wars, drunkenness, and gluttony prevail in the long run? Are we not going to put an end to wars and conquests? The fact that the muscle was the basis of might (right) in the past, does not mean that it will continue to be so in future.. ..We know already that wars and conquests are the consequences of alcohol-drinking and meat-eating people. Yet wars and conquests are not going to prevail in the future.
Man and animals are in a state of evolution, and there is no doubt that the future belongs to the vegetarians. plants and fruits will be the only nourishment in the future, not only for man but for animals. Even the carnivorous species will have to adapt themselves to a diet of plants, or they will die out. "And the cow and the bear shall feed ; and their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox." (Isaiah, XI, 6.)
Some people say that we should eat meat because the cave man did. Our ancestor was the fruit-eating anthropitec and not the cave-man, the latter being only a degenerated branch of man. Still to say that we should eat meat because our ancestors were meat-eaters, is just the same as to say that we should create for ourselves a shell on our back because the tortoise also belongs to the genealogical scale of our ancestors. For goodness sake, are we going back, or are we coming forward ? Should we go back to the tortoise, to the bull, and the primate, or shall we advance according to the biological laws? Evolution orders us to go forward and if we do not want to do so we will be compelled to; there is no alternative, unless we utterly perish.
Vegetarianism is mutual aid, self-control, adaptation, and evolution. Vegetarians are the only ones who can say: "The future belongs to us."
The custom of eating meat is outrageous and immoral. It is one of the means by which man separates himself from his natural environment, and also a means of working against biological evolution in general and against morality.
Although that custom has been condemned by all great men of ancient times, we must admit that degrading habit has not been systematically and efficiently fought by mankind, except in modern times. Voltaire himself complained in this respect saying, "It is incredible that we cannot find amongst us a moralist, or preacher, who will make a more vigorous protest against this shameful custom of eating meat."