[On Vegetarianism and the Murder of Innocent Animals]
Theosophist, January, 1883
Selection from the Article “Indian Agricultural Reform” by J. J. Meyrick | Note by H.P.B.
. . . A great loss of valuable food would be avoided if the Hindu cultivators could be induced to sell numbers of cattle, quite useless from old age or lameness, which are now found in almost every village herd, and which live on year after year eating food that is badly wanted for others. Besides the injury sustained by the owners, owing to young growing animals and working oxen not having enough to eat, it should be remembered that there is no real kindness in allowing old and lame cattle to live. They are often in pain, and during many months of each year are liable to suffer perpetual hunger from the difficulty they experience in walking over sufficient ground to procure the grass they require. All this might be avoided by selling them to Mussulmans [Muslims] and others who eat the flesh of the ox.1 . . .
1. This, we are afraid, will never meet with the approbation of the masses of Hindu population. Were the good example furnished by our excellent brother K. M. Shroff of Bombay, but followed by some of the principal cities, and hospitals for sick and old animals established on the same principle, there would be no need for such a cruel measure. For, apart from the religious restrictions against “cow-killing,” it is not vegetarian India which could ever adopt the otherwise sound advice, and consent to become party to the vile practice of butchery. Of all the diets vegetarianism is certainly the most healthy, both for physiological and spiritual purposes; and people in India should rather turn to the earnest appeal made recently in the Pioneer by Mr. A. O. Hume, F.T.S. and form “vegetarian” societies, than help to murder innocent animals.