Page:Henry Stephens Salt - A Plea for Vegetarianism and Other Essays.pdf/30

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still it is absolutely certain (and this is the final resource, the great irrefragable dogma of the flesh-eater) that meat is necessary to foster intellectual vigour, even where physical strength may be supported without it.

And thus the fellow-countrymen of Shelley are led to believe that the finest work cannot be done without the grossest food; and that while man’s mortal body may be nourished on a pure and bloodless diet, it is the intellect—the spark that kindles the fire of poetry, music, science, and the arts—it is the intellect which requires to be fed on the loathsome carcases of slaughtered sheep and bullocks!

Let us, therefore, one and all, undismayed by sonorous warnings and dogmatic assertions, quietly and fearlessly ask our own consciences if the present system of diet is morally right and defensible; and if the answer be, as I have attempted to prove it must be, in the negative, let us not shrink from the consequent duty of attempting a reform. The experience of those who have honestly and seriously made trial of Vegetarianism gives overwhelming testimony in its favour. Its economical advantage is indisputably great; not less conspicuous, to those