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Those who claim to be sane and rational beings and care for ethical and humanitarian values and the moral uplift of the spirit will try to fee themselves from this thralldom of social conventions and fashions, and instead of pampering the corpus by a wanton pursuit of Epicureanism will take to vegetarianism in letter and spirit. Being a vegetarian is not simply being a vegetable eater. It is much more than that. It is being honest, compassionate and above all humane. Vegetarianism is more than a specialized diet; it embodies a philosophy which is primarily Jaina, but which is also Budhiste, Vaishnavite, Christian and other civilized creeds which are based on respect for and equality of all life. Once we believe in the ‘fellowship of life’, and make it the basis of the way of life of the individuals, no cruelty, including the father of them all, slaughter, should ever be considered to be necessary. If you are a vegetarian, you cannot bear to harm a living creature. If you love animals, why do you eat them? Grow the food you live and live on the food you grow.
One may say that agriculture activities also involve some killing. The answer is that as ethical vegetarians, we must kill only when absolutely necessary and then with regret, using humane a method as possible. Surely, positive killing is something over which we have a choice, and this double system of ‘Life for pretty things and death to the ugly and troublesome’ is frankly immoral. Are we not sufficiently in a minority ourselves to be tolerant of other minorities? Kindness is never wasted; if it has no effect on the recipient, at least it benefits the bestower.
This moral, ethical or humanitarian view finds ample endorsement from most of the religious teachers, saintly personages, thinkers and intellectuals. Nevertheless, of all the religious communities and social groups of the world, past and present, the Jains are the only people who have been traditionally and uncompromisingly vegetarians. With vegetarianism has been the accepted and unquestioned way of life for thousands of years.