Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/592

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588

THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

childhood has lived solely on milk, excluding all meats, vegetables and fruits. The physiological vegetarian is usually inconsistent, in that milk, cheese, butter and eggs are not excluded, and very often meat stocks and animal fats are used in the cooking of vegetables. Reference will be made later to the physiological grounds upon which consistency in this matter is to be judged.

Philosophical vegetarianism rests upon the simple ethical proposition that man has no right to preserve his existence, enlarge his comforts or advance his material and spiritual welfare at the expense of the life of animals. Animals of all classes are to the ethical vegetarian, as in the Indian religion, as fully entitled to life as man; the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is interpreted to apply generally to all types of animal life, and the slaughter of animals for the service of man is regarded as an expression of brute force which is inhuman. There is in this proposition an ethical appeal which finds response in every heart. The historical opinion of mankind, outside of India, holds that the right of man to kill animals is one vested in the higher moral and mental position of man among the animals, grounded in a higher importance in the broadest sense. The right to kill animals is, however, quite universally confined to instances in which higher human needs are positively and directly advanced. Needless killing is by all cultivated peoples condemned (if less consistently in practise than in theory) and the advance from savagery to civilization has been characterized by progressive cultivation of the regard for life. Our societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals and the Audubon societies are the public expressions of the ethical feeling that we owe it to animals, and to ourselves, to protect animals from suffering and from indiscriminate and purposeless slaughter. But deeply rooted in the minds of the mass of cultivated ethical men and women is the conviction that mankind has the right to be fed and clothed at the cost of the lives of animals; the domestication of animals is held almost universally to include the right of slaughter as well as the right of service.

To be consistent, the philosophical vegetarian must not only abjure the use of flesh in the diet, he must also abstain from the utilization of products of animal bodies, the procurement of which entails the death of the animal. Thus his articles of clothing, personal effects, household furnishings and implements of trade and occupation may bear no stain of blood. It is wholely inconsistent in one who keeps the hands and feet warm with the skin of an animal to reproach another for keeping the body warm by the use of meat as a fuel. Other fuels are truly available; so are other means for the retention of the heat of the body; the skin of man has no privilege above the other tissues of his body. The Indian soldier who refused to use ammunition greased with beef suet was entirely consistent. That it may be easy to feed the human