|International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
Vegetarian World Forum
NUMBER FOUR - THE VEGETARIAN - WINTER 1947 pp.14-16
If it were possible to ascend, as it is possible, to a state of spiritual consciousness, and view the Universe with the eyes of the Spirit, what would be seen? If, with the ears of the Spirit, the song of life could be heard, what would be its theme? The answer to these two questions is one and the same. In a phrase it is, "LIFE IS ONE." One Life, One Light, One Power, One Love - that is the central spiritual truth, in realisation of which the Inner Self of man perpetually abides.
Unity is the message which that Spiritual Self continually transmits to the lower man through the medium of the mind. In the savage (sic), the message is scarcely heard and only ratified as an instinct of tribal and family unity. In the self-centredness of materially minded man, unity and love are still denied. "Each for himself and the devil take the hindmost" is his guiding principle.
Individuals, groups and even nations, when not threatened by a common danger, still show themselves capable of acting as self-centred units, with little or no regard for the welfare of their fellow-men, not to mention the Animal Kingdom of Nature. The result is clear to every eye. The large majority of human beings are prone to ill-health and disease. The chaos, ruin and disease in the world are the direct results of man's ignorance and denial of the truth that life is one.
Is the situation hopeless, then? Is there no cure for war-frightened,
disease-ridden humanity? There is hope and there is cure. Man is gradually
evolving. For an increasing number, the Inner Voice grows stronger, more
insistent, calling: "ONE LIFE." Eventually, mind answers and
brain and body fulfil. Kindness to fellow-men and humaneness to animals
then increase. Charity is extended. Love grows deeper, less selfish, more
universal. Health and happiness correspondingly increase. Ultimately the
message of the unity of life is recognised as a Divine instruction, an
impelling summons, becomes an irresistible command. Mind assents. Brain
fully responds. Conduct squares with conscience. Humaneness becomes the
gospel of life. Charity burns as a flame in the heart. Self-interest is
lost in selflessness. Then, at last, the secret of perfect health, radiant
vitality and inward happiness has been discovered. For recognition of
unity is the individual and racial panacea.
What is found when recognition and ratification of unity is applied as a test of the mode of life of modern man? Unfortunately, continual disobedience and denial. What form does man's denial of the unity of life commonly take? The answer is all too plain. In a word, it is CRUELTY, meaning the unnecessary and unjustifiable infliction of pain. A marked characteristic of modern man is cruelty to man and cruelty to beast. The latter is beyond question. Man's inhumanity to man is proverbial. The prisons of the world and the annual reports of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Women and Children provide convincing proof. Man's exploitation and murder of the animal is long continued and world wide, as annual reports of Animal Protection Societies continually demonstrate. Man is by far the greatest enemy which the Animal Kingdom has to fear. For pleasure, for food, for adornment, for health - as he thinks - man deliberately and systematically practises the slaughter of animals.
The appalling cruelty so prevalent at this time not only offends common decency as well as every principle of justice and compassion, not only is it utterly useless in the prevention of ill-health, it also serves as a continuing source of human suffering and sorrow. For a mighty power, which no man can evade, rules this Universe. It is the power of Immutable Law. The Apostle accurately described the operation of this Law upon man in his words, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Knowledge of the sowing reveals the nature of the inevitable reaping. One has but to observe the sufferings of man dining the past fifty years alone to see that reaping taking place. For the reaping is always exactly appropriate to the sowing, so perfect is the Law. Cruelty begets cruel pain. Kindness and mercy beget happiness and freedom from pain. Man's continual infliction of cruelty afflicts the human race with cruel suffering, just as the expression of kindness generates happiness and health. Such is the Law, which rules not only physically but mentally and spiritually as well.
The operation of the compensatory Law can be unmistakably discerned in the history of both nations and of medical practice. Cruelty perpetrated by nations is followed by war, national disruption, and disaster. Conditions in Spain, Belgium, Italy, Germany and Japan are examples of this sequence of cause and effect. Cruelty practised by the medical profession, under Law both stultifies its efforts to prevent and cure disease and increases the amount of suffering in the world.
The tragic poignancy of the situation is that in an endeavour to escape from this Nemesis of his own creation, man devises and carries out still more experiments upon living animals. He thereby generates still more suifering for himself.
Humanity needs to know, orthodox medicine needs to acknowledge, the Naturopathic concept that symptoms of ill-health, and certain diseases, represent the body's effort to neutralise and eject morbid conditions and substances introduced by defective diet and hygiene and by the wrong conduct of life. If rightly treated when ill, as, for example, by the methods of Naturopathy and Homeopathy and not prevented, in most cases the body will succeed in this natural act of elimination. The true healing method is that which assists in this process. Sera and certain drugs allay symptoms because they frustrate the body in its effort at elimination. Later on, however, delayed morbidity appears. Such diseases as cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and various psycho-neuroses appear. This is the explanation of both the general failure, as in the incidence of disease in "immunised" people, as also of the apparent success in some cases of these remedies and the increase in certain diseases, including the above named, since the inception of serum-therapy.
The barbarous treatment of animals is a crime against Nature for which humanity is paying very dearly in the form of precisely similar suffering. If any doubt this, remembering that full health and strength are attainable without meat, let them first visit abattoirs and watch the killing and dismemberment, and vivisectors' laboratories and watch the more cruel experiments. Then let them read the full reports of the war-time concentration camps and war casualties, visit hospitals and homes for incurables, asylums, prisons, leper colonies, spread like a scourge about the planet, and famine-stricken districts and scenes of catastrophes. Is the cause of all this indescribable and heart-piercing human suffering not abundantly clear, and so also the cure? Is it not also perfectly plain that immediate preventive action is needed if the cycle of cause, effect and continuing cause is to be cut? Of course it is. Here is the opportunity of the world's humanitarians and their Societies. Even more positively and powerfully than heretofore, both cause and cure need to be put before the whole world. Still more effective steps need to be taken to have done with these debauches of cruelty which sully human life and make of the earth a planet of unnecessary pain and premature death.
Mankind must, by some means, be brought to recognise the great
truth that givers of happiness and happy individuals are one and the
same people. They create their own serenity and peace under Law. Similarly,
the inflicters of suffering and the sufferers are one.
No one punishes man. He is self-injured by his own injurious actions, which provoke the awful retaliation of the Law, the more awful to those who make themselves its victims because automatic and impersonal in its action and therefore beyond appeal.
In one way alone, as far as I can discover, may the vicious circle be broken. That way is to outlaw cruelty - the unnecessary infliction of pain on earth as man is now seeking to outlaw war. Abolish torture and needless killing; replace them with humaneness in every department of life, especially in the choice of recreation, food, clothing and in the practice of medicine. Then, with right thinking, the reverent use of the soil, correct nutrition and hygiene, by prevention the problem of disease will be solved. This method has the two immense advantages that it concentrates on prevention and costs nothing to apply. Indeed it would cause an immediate reduction of the present colossal and still increasing expenditure in medical building construction, products and services designed to treat effects rather than root causes.