Over the centuries, we have fought many moral frontiers. Once upon a time, people thought it was OK to brutalise certain tribes and races. Some groups once propounded the philosophy that women had no souls and were therefore inferior entities. In so many ways we have now overcome such ludicrous proposals and have recognised equality of humans regardless of gender, ethnic background, age or economic status.
The next moral frontier, however, concerns another species. People seem to think that because animals have a different type of body it’s justifiable to indiscriminately kill and enjoy them for our own pleasure. Brutal treatment of highly evolved mammals that experience complex emotions has become a common practice in modern society. It seems we are unable to link the cleanly packaged meat we find in fast food outlets and on supermarket shelves with the bloody and violent slaughterhouses from which they come.
We often treat our pets as well as our friends and families. We groom them, feed them, clothe them and even send them for manicures! If we go out and brutalise someone’s pet dog, the law will come crashing down on us for our inconsiderate and cruel acts. On the other hand, the vicious killing of millions of other animals is completely ignored. After playing with their pet dog someone just drives right over to the restaurant and orders a steak! This is the incredible moral inconsistency of the modern world.
A spiritualist tries to live in the most harmonious, natural, healthy and nonviolent way as possible. With World Vegetarian Week just gone, it may be worth considering our diet and the effect it has on the world, other living beings, and our own consciousness. George Bernard Shaw once commented, “While our bodies are the living graves of murdered animals, how can we expect any ideal conditions on earth?”