Flesh Food and Alcohol

LETTER NO. 10 - October, 1911

It is one of the usual human characteristics to eulogize that which pleases us, and deprecate that for which we have an aversion, but I trust that you will have learned from last month's lesson the one great and glorious fact that IN THE FATHER'S KINGDOM ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD. Those among us who are content to live upon vegetables, and those among us who feel no desire for strong drink, are usually too prone to look down upon our brothers and sisters who still use flesh food and intoxicants with a feeling of, "I am so much holier that thou"; but you will doubtless have perceived from what has been said in the lesson that such a feeling is entirely gratuitous. Flesh food and alcohol have had a very material share in the world's progress, and were it not for them we should not today be enjoying many of the comforts and labor-saving devices which make life in the Western world so much easier than in primeval times. Neither is the day of their usefulness entirely past; they are necessities in the lives of many people. Besides, as the Good Book says, it is not that which goes into the mouth that defiles, but that which proceeds therefrom; and the attitude of haughty disdain for those who still use flesh foods, or are subject to alcoholism, is far more subversive of spiritual growth than the mere partaking of these foods.

Let us therefore not condemn others, but let us try to see the matter from their side, and allow them to have their free will as we wish to have ours. Neither let us obtrude our views upon them nor seek to make converts to our mode of living among those who are not yet ready. THE CHANGE OUGHT TO COME FROM WITHIN, and it should not be dictated by a consideration of the healthfulness of vegetable food, nor by the spiritual acceleration to be gained from a diet prepared without flesh. The highest motive should be compassion for the poor victims which are slain to appease appetites.

It may be said, however, with safety that we eat too much flesh, and like all compounds of nitrogen, such as nitro-glycerine, gun-cotton, and other explosives, flesh foods are extremely unstable and dangerous to the system. Therefore we will do well if we urge moderation upon all with whom we come in contact. Science is sufficiently well aware of the facts in the case to furnish ample backing for any one who undertakes this mission. We may not save the lives of as many animals by preaching moderation among our associates as we would if we could convert them to a bloodless diet, but if our motive is to avert tragedy to all possible, that will be the wisest course. Also is we can inculcate a spirit of compassion, the desire for flesh will soon vanish before the spirit of love.