International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

15th World Vegetarian Congress 1957
Delhi/Bombay/Madras/Calcutta, India

Spiritual Life and Vegetarianism

To all who have dedicated their lives to spiritual living, to all who have chosen the ultimate in Natural Hygiene as the way of their preference, to these high-purposed persons do I address these observations, that, through them, those as yet unaware may be reached. They, one and all, by their so choosing, have declared before other men their sincere faith in the Brotherhood of all creatures in which there are soul-sparks, however latent.

It was not without many qualms of conscience that many of you did long cling to your former practice of eating whatsoever pleased the palate, shutting out, as best you could, your soul's protests. But, eventually, there was borne in upon your reluctance the conviction that, as meat-eaters, truly were you cannibals of a sort ; since, whether you will or not, your body does belong to the animal kingdom.

When you began to visualize the varied processes of preparation of meat-food for the table, how could you do other than abhor it? Have you not memories of the piteous bleatings of frightened fellow creatures in crowded trains enroute to a - slaughter house ? One visit to such a den of iniquity, with its vicious sights and its obnoxious odours would instantly change meat-eater into a devotee of the Vegetarian Way.

Coercion is not the method to be used in endeavouring to convert another to the way, even if coercion in such matters were possible, which it is not, except temporarily for the younger ones in your homes. The conviction, to be lasting must be one of SPIRITUAL EVOLVEMENT before there can be a FULL ATTAINMENT TO THAT HEIGHT OF LIBERATED LIVING WHICH IS BEING CALLED NATURAL HYGIENE. IT SHOULD ALSO BE CALLED SPIRITUAL HYGIENE. One's man-self, yea, one's animal self, is often slow in that acceptance; but one's Soul-self, having once attained supremacy, will never, never again permit a return to the former thoughtless way; for who, giving thought, could possibly desire so to return? The fruits, nuts, grains and vegetable, of the earth, so lavishly provided for God's creatures, bleed not, neither do they, with piteous eyes, beseech your intervention in their slaughter.

True, if motivated alone by self reasons the change in one's diet cannot be other than beneficial. The fruits, nuts, grains and vegetables do not decay nor putrefy, leaving disease-breeding deposits in the passage ways, which should be washed clean by purifying herbs and delectable fruit juices. The upsurgence of strength and renewed vitality which is soon evidenced would lure many to give consideration to a changed diet.

However; far, far more benefit comes to that one who, BECAUSE OF CHANGED SPIRITUAL MOTIVATIONS f inds himself no longer able to even contemplate with equanimity the cruelties perpetrated in the name of food preparation, and who, thereafter, protests against them in every possible way - the constant out-sending of awakening literature, and testimonial talks. But most convincing of all is just living the way of radiant, vibrant health, which is the inevitable reward of that one who has so attained. Less and less food will be needed by those who are spiritually advancing: but let that food ever and forever be only that which is acceptable to one's SOUL-SELF.

That these observations of mine may contribute, though in but a small way, to the attainment of liberated living by those not yet fully aware, is my sincere purpose in presenting May it be so!