Meat-eating has, however, been regarded as an inhuman, barbarous and unwholesome habit by most of the sane and sagely thinkers of all times. Even the Vedas which are believed to have initiated the sacrificial cult and advocated the killing of animals and eating meat as part of religious ritual otherwise denounced this habit, as is evident from certain text of the Rigveda and Atharvaveda. The Mahabharta and the Code of Manu have several passages each wherein meat-eating has been declared to be the greatest of sins. The Buddha avowedly preached kindness to animals and never advocated meat-eating. Some people interpret a Hebrew saying as “Nature exists for the convenience of man”. But it is wrong. No where on Genesis is it indicated that man is exclusively divine and everything else rubbish, neither is it ever implied that the world is a store-house for our delectation. On the contrary, the teachings are clear and unambiguous ,”And God saw all that He had created, and it was very good. Man was given a dominion over all species, was appointed guardian accountable to his creator. The words ‘To man and all creatures wherein there is a living soul’ indicate equality of life, and it was a capital offence until the Noahatic period to take the life of any creature (of, The Vegetraian, March, 1974 Page 17). Zoroaster, Confucious and Lao-tze were humanitarian preachers, and the Greek Philosopher Pythagoras (582 – 507 B.C.), a contemporary of Lord Mahavira ad the Buddha, was a staunch vegetarian who also believed in the immorality and transmigration of soul. As regards Jesus Christ, meat-eaters are found of bringing up passages in the Bible, which they claim support their views, such as he parable of the ‘fatted calf’ ; but there is one other passage too, ‘He that killeth a beast killeth a man’, which is conveniently overlooked (of. The Veetarian, Feb. 1974, Pae 113). Numerous other thinkers and leaders of man, including Socrates, Plato, Ashoka, Empidocus, Zeno, Diogenes, Plutarch, Seneca, Ovid, Mohammad, Alithe Imam, the Sufi poet Abu ala, Gorakha, Kabir, Nanak, Newton, Milton, Rousseau, Voltaire, Pope, Tolstoy, Thoreau, Dayanand Sarasvati, ‘Vivekananda and Mahtma Gandhi,have endorsed vegetarianism and dispproved of the killing of animals and meat-eating. Akbar, the great Mughal emperor, used to observe, ‘Providence has provided a variety of food for man, but through ignorance and gluttony, he destroys living creatures and makes his body a tomb of beasts’. And George Bernard Shaw, the renowned critic, play Wright and essayist wrote:
“We are the living graves of murdered beasts,
Slaughtered to satisfy our appetites,
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If kine, like man, can possibly have rihts
We pray on Sundays that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread,
We are sick of war, we do ot want to fight.
The thought of it now fills our hearts with dread,
Like carrion-crow we live and feed on meat.
Regardless of the sufferings and pain
We caused by doing so, If thus we treat
Defenceless animals for sport or gain,
How can be hope in this world to attain
The peace we say we are anxious for.
We pray for this o’er the tombs of the slain,
To God, while outraging the moral law.
Thus Cruelty begets its offspring of War.”