Issue 11 – 4 May 2017 – 2017
Today we are looking at human nature. We must bear in mind that we have an animal nature but in our world we humans consist of carnivores and vegetarians just as the animal kingdom does. So first here is an article that is worth looking at on the vegetarian side:
“World history of vegetarianism
Far from being a relatively new phenomenon, vegetarianism has enjoyed a long and diverse history and has been preserved in most cultures since the beginnings of time.
In antiquity, vegetarianism found favour with some of the great figures of the classical world, most notably Pythagoras (580 BCE). Well known for his contributions to mathematics, Pythagoras was an independent thinker, the first to admit women to his intellectual circle on equal terms and to argue that the world was a sphere. His teaching that all animals should be treated as kindred included the abstinence from meat. Pythagoras’s ideas mirrored, in part, the traditions of much earlier civilisations including the Babylonians and ancient Egyptians. A vegetarian ideology was practised among religious groups in Egypt around 3,200BCE, with abstinence from flesh and the wearing of animal derived clothing based upon karmic beliefs in reincarnation.
In the Greek tradition of Pythagoras, it was not only the avoidance of animal cruelty that established vegetarianism as a way of life, he also saw the health advantages of a meat-free diet. Pythagoras viewed vegetarianism as a key factor in peaceful human co-existence, putting forward the view that slaughtering animals brutalised the human soul. Other notable Ancient Greek thinkers that came after Pythagoras favoured a vegetarian diet. These included Theophrastus, pupil of Aristotle and successor to him as head of the Lyceum at Athens. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle all debated the status of animals though Aristotle’s conclusion that the animal kingdom exists for human use (and in his view, as equal to slaves) prefigured the view of the Romans and the Christian church that was to become the dominant view in the west.
Pythagorean ideals found very limited sympathy within the brutality of Ancient Rome, where many wild animals were murdered at the hands of gladiators in the name of sport and spectacle. Pythagoreans were despised as subversives, with many keeping their vegetarianism to themselves for fear of persecution. However, the term ‘Pythagorean’ was to become synonymous with ‘vegetarian’ and vegetarianism was to spread throughout the Roman Empire from the 3rd to 6th centuries among those influenced by Neo-Platonist philosophy. Such authors included Plutarch (c.CE46) whose 16 volume work Moralia includes the ‘Essay on Flesh Eating’ , Porphyry (c.CE232) who wrote ‘On Abstinence From Animal Food’ and Apollonius who was a well travelled healer and strict vegetarian who spoke out against deliberately imposed grain restrictions.
In Asia, abstention from meat was central to such early religious philosophies as Hinduism, Brahinanism, Zoroasterianism and Jainism. Vegetarianism was encouraged in the ancient verses of the ‘Upanishads’ and also mentioned in ‘Rig Veda’ — the most sacred of ancient Hindu texts. Pivotal to such religions were doctrines of non-violence and respect for all life forms.
Vegetarianism has always been central to Buddhism, which enshrines compassion to all living creatures. Buddha and Pythagoras were almost exact contemporaries and it is possible that the Greek thinker was influenced by Indian mystical teachings. The Indian king Asoka (who reigned between 264~232 BC) converted to Buddhism, shocked by the horrors of battle. Animal sacrifices were ended as his kingdom became vegetarian.
Next here is a list of prominent vegetarians. I have taken most of our celebrities out of it but left some that I find interesting for one reason or another.
Alan Watts – philosopher, theologian
Albert Einstein – Scientist
Albert Schweitzer – theologian, philosopher, and physician
Aristotle – Greek philosopher
Benjamin Franklin – writer, politician, scientist, electricty
Bill Clinton – Former President
Buddha – Indian saint, spiritual master, and realized being
Diogenes – Greek philosopher
Epicurus – Greek philosopher
Gandhi – Hindu spiritual leader
George Harrison – musician of Beatles, lead guitarist
George Bernard Shaw – writer
Isaac Newton – physicist and mathematician
Isaac Bashevis Singer – Nobel Prize winner
Jean-Jacques Rousseau – philosopher, writer, French Illuminist
Jiddu Krishnamurti – spiritual teacher Eastern Indian
Joan Baez – singer and musician – folk music
John Lennon – singer and songwriter of The Beatles
Leo Tolstoy – Russian writer and philosopher
Leonard Cohen – singer and songwriter
Leonardo Da Vinci – Renaissance painter and inventor
Lord Byron – writer and romantic poet
Mary Shelley – author – novelist
Nikola Tesla – Serb inventor, physicist, and engineer
Paul McCartney – musician from Beatles & songwriter
Percy Bysshe Shelley – poet and writer
Plato – Greek philosopher
Plutarch – Greek historian, writer, and thinker
Porphyry – Greek philosopher
Pythagoras of Samos – Greek philosopher/mathematician
Ralph Waldo Emerson – writer and poet – American
Ringo Starr – musician and drummer of Beatles
Sean Lennon – musician and son of John Lennon
Socrates – Greek philosopher -Know thyself to be true
Stella McCartney – fashion designer and daughter of Paul
Steven Jobs – Apple Computers
Thomas Alva Edison – inventor
Voltaire – writer and philosopher
Yoko Ono – artist and wife of Beatles John Lennon
Extracted from https://www.happycow.net/vegtopics/famous?page=12
I remember vividly (sadly) a visit to the Bull Ring in Barcelona in 1967 and that hideous spectacle changed me dramatically. It also made me realise how different humans are. I have the same feeling about all hunting and shooting, even fishing. Many vegetarians do. Within our species are sheep like me and wolves. I have relatives who cannot stand any meal that does not include meat and others who have not touched it for over 40 years.
One thing that many vegetarians like me have encountered is how meat eaters can eat with us quite happily. They may even enjoy our meat free food. India has a vast vegetarian population and wonderful vegetarian food for example. However we cannot stand to eat meat. The compromise if there is one tends to be one way. Humans are vehicles and whether you like the idea or not spirits can inhabit us. And here is the problem for them.
Generations of enlightened beings have come from the vegetarian societies in India – Hindus and Buddhists. They do not like eating meat even when inhabiting us and will choose vegetarians to stay with. That may partly explain why so many inspired people have been on this side of the divide. Our ‘inspiration’ often comes from spirits who delight in using us to continue their work.
Here is an article on bear baiting. I do wish this dreadful ‘sport’ would cease and that our politicians did not also delight in baiting the Bear:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bear-baiting was popular in England until the 19th century. From the sixteenth century, many bears were maintained for baiting. In its best-known form, arenas for this purpose were called bear-gardens, consisting of a circular high fenced area, the “pit“, and raised seating for spectators. A post would be set in the ground towards the edge of the pit and the bear chained to it, either by the leg or neck. A number of well-trained fighting or baiting dogs, usually Old English Bulldog, would then be set on it, being replaced as they got tired or were wounded or killed. In some cases the bear was let loose, allowing it to chase after animals or people. For a long time, the main bear-garden in London was the Paris Garden, that section of the Bankside lying to the west of The Clink, at Southwark.
Henry VIII was a fan and had a pit constructed at Whitehall. Elizabeth I was also fond of the entertainment; it featured regularly in her tours. When an attempt was made to ban bear-baiting on Sundays, she overruled Parliament. Robert Laneham‘s letter describes the spectacle presented by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester at Kenilworth Castle in 1575:
Thursday, the fourteenth of July, and the sixth day of her Majesty’s coming, a great sort of bandogs [mastiff] were then tied in the outer court and thirteen bears in the inner . . .
Well, the bears were brought forth into the court, the dogs set to them, to argue the points even face to face. They had learned counsel also on both parts, what may they be counted partial that are retained but to one side? I know not. Very fierce, both one and the other, and eager in argument. If the dog in pleading would pluck the bear by the throat, the bear with traverse would claw him again by the scalp, confess and a list, but avoid it could not that was bound to the bar, and his counsel told him that it could be to him no policy in pleading.
Therefore, with fending & proving, with plucking and tugging, scratching and biting, by plain tooth and nail on one side and the other, such expense of blood and leather [skin] was there between them, as a months licking (I think) will not recover, and yet remain as far out as ever they were.
It was a very pleasant sport, of these beasts, to see the bear with his pink eyes leering after his enemies approach, the nimbleness and wayt [wait] of the dog to take his advantage, and the force and experience of the bear again to avoid the assaults. If he were bitten in one place, how he would pinch in another to get free, that if he were taken once, then what shift, with biting, with clawing, with roaring, tossing and tumbling, he would work to wind himself free from them. And when he was loose, to shake his ears twice or thrice with the blood and the slather about his physiognomy, was a matter of goodly relief.
Variations involved other animals being baited, especially bulls. Bull-baiting was a contest which was similar to bear baiting in which the bull was chained to a stake by one hind leg or by the neck and worried by dogs. The whipping of a blinded bear was another variation of bear-baiting. Also, on one curious occasion, a pony with an ape tied to its back was baited; a spectator described that “…with the screaming of the ape, beholding the curs hanging from the ears and neck of the pony, is very laughable”.
Attempts to end the entertainment were first made in England by the Puritans, with little effect. The deaths of a number of spectators, when a stand collapsed at the Paris Gardens on 12 January 1583, was viewed by early Puritans as a sign of God’s anger, though not primarily because of the cruelty but because the bear-baiting was taking place on a Sunday.
One bear named Sackerson was written into in a Shakespearean comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor. By the late 17th century “the conscience of cultivated people seems to have been touched”, but it was not until 1835 that baiting was prohibited by Parliament by the Cruelty to Animals Act 1835. The ban was soon extended across the Empire.
Main article: Atlas the Barbary lion versus the Bengal tiger of Simla
In India, towards the end of the 19th century, the Gaekwad of Baroda arranged a fight between a Barbary lion and Bengal tiger, to determine whether the lion or tiger should be called the “King of the Cat Family.” The victor then had to face a Sierran Grizzly bear weighing over 1,500.0 lb (680.4 kilograms), after the Gaekwad was told that the cat was not the “King of Carnivorae.”
During the event the bear will be tethered to a rope 2–5 metres long in the centre of an arena to prevent escape. Bears’ canine teeth are often removed and their claws may be filed down giving them less advantage over the dogs. Each fight lasts around three minutes. If the dogs pull the bear to the ground they are said to win the fight. Bears usually have to undergo several fights during each day’s event.
Bears are illegally sourced by poaching. Asiatic black bears and brown bears are known to be poached in Pakistan and used in bear baiting. Asiatic black bears are listed as vulnerable on the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN’s) Red List of Threatened Animals. The capture of bear cubs is prohibited across three provinces of Pakistan by: the North West Frontier Province Conservation and Management Act (1975); the Punjab Wildlife Protection, Preservation, Conservation and Management Act (1974); and the Sindh Wildlife Protection Ordinance (1972).
Bear baiting was banned in Pakistan by the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1890). Pakistan’s wildlife authorities are working with animal welfare groups to eradicate the events, with some success.
Baiting animals is outlawed in Islam. The Bioresource Research Centre, a Pakistani wildlife group working to end bear baiting, uses this to encourage mosques in areas where baiting occurs to add an anti-cruelty message to their Friday Khutbah (Arabic: خُـطـبـة, Sermon).
Kund Park Sanctuary was opened in 2000 by World Animal Protection to provide a home for bears confiscated by the wildlife authorities and NGOs working to eradicate bear baiting in Pakistan. However, during the 2010 Pakistan floods Kund Park was destroyed and all but three of the 23 bears there died. The survivors were moved to a newly constructed sanctuary in Balkasar Bear Sanctuary.
Author Washington Irving describes vaqueros setting a bear against a bull in his 1837 book The Adventures of Captain Bonneville. In this “favorite, though barbarous sport” in Monterey, a bear and a bull would be caught from the wild and put together in an arena in a fight to the death.
The United States of America
Bear baiting is currently only known to occur publicly in South Carolina. Public bear baiting competitions are held in Spartanburg, Hickory Grove, and Travelers Rest Backyard events are reportedly held throughout the rural areas of northwest South Carolina during much of the year.
In the 19th Century and during Spanish Colonial rule, fights had been organized in California, which had brown bear of its own. In a case of the bear winning, the bear would use its teeth to catch a bull between its horns, on its nose, which would allow the bear to move its head enough to twist its neck, or bite a part of the bull’s body, like the tongue, or use its paws to catch or harm the bull, like in squeezing its neck, or catching its tongue.
The term “bear baiting” may be also used for the hunting practice of luring a bear with bait to an arranged killing spot. The hunter places an amount of food, such as raw meat or sweets, every day at a given spot until the hunter notices the food is being taken each day, accompanied by bear tracks. He then chooses a day to await the bear, killing it when it arrives to feed. Such bear baiting is legal in many states in the United States, with the Humane Society reporting that:
Bear baiting is banned in 18 of the 28 states that allow bear hunting. It persists… in Alaska, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. For instance, in Wisconsin in 2002, hunters killed 2,415 bears; those using bait accounted for 1,720 of the kills. In Maine, hunters killed 3,903 bears in 2001, and baiters took 3,173 of the animals.”
I am not saying that vegetarians are ‘good’ and carnivores ‘bad’. For many years the anti-vegetarian lobby have delighted in telling us that Hitler was a vegetarian. In fact there is evidence that he was not as he often age sausage but there is some truth here. The Nazi leaders were fascinated by the occult and derived much of their information from places like Tibet and India where so many are vegetarian. It is chilling that an organisation that had so little regard for human rights in fact promoted animal rights. It is almost incomprehensible but it seems that animals meant more to many of them than people. I would point out that occultists are fairly evenly balanced between god’ and ‘bad’. But for the enlightened the question is whether and how a vegetarian diet empowers the mind and spirit. This is something we must all experience for ourselves. Many I have known have wanted enlightenment for the most peculiar and sometimes awful reasons. Personal power over others is common as a reason for going down this path. Sexual abuse is very common in gurus.
But what I also want to point out is that those Ancient Egyptians who abstained from meat for the duration of their service in the temples did so for a practical reason. It enhanced their spiritual powers, their ability to incubate dreams for example. Quite why the grazing side of the human is more spiritual than that carnivorous side is hard to determine but it is. We all need to find that ourselves. My main interest is in the spiritual, however were I different and had my main interest in say fighting or competing I might have chosen a meaty diet.
For any interested here is a link to that article on animal rights in Nazi Germany. It may explain how the occult has been ‘used’ for the most nefarious purposes in our history. It is very foolish to try this and history should be teaching us that lesson.
This is what Wikipedia say. I include this to ensure that I am not giving a biased view. Enlightenment means having our eyes open to reality, uncomfortable or not.
“Towards the end of his life Adolf Hitler followed a vegetarian diet. It is not clear when he adopted it, since some accounts of his dietary habits prior to the Second World War indicate that he consumed meat as late as 1937. By 1938, Hitler’s public image as a vegetarian was already being fostered and from 1942 he self-identified as a vegetarian. Personal accounts from people who knew Hitler and were familiar with his diet indicate that he did not consume meat as part of his diet during this period, with several contemporaneous witnesses—such as Albert Speer (in his memoirs, Inside the Third Reich)—noting that Hitler used vivid and gruesome descriptions of animal suffering and slaughter at the dinner table to try to dissuade his colleagues from eating meat.
Some modern day analysis has theorized that Hitler’s vegetarianism may have been due to Richard Wagner‘s historical theories, or even a psychological reaction to his niece’s death rather than a commitment to animal welfare, but these theories are contradicted by reports that he was often distressed by images of animal cruelty and suffering, as well as being an antivivisectionist…..” Wikipedia
Here was a man who had no regard for humanity and who allowed vivisection on humans. My feeling is that something much more sinister lay behind this and that he hid it behind a supposed care for animals and their rights. Choosing whether to be ‘good’ or ‘bad’ is up to each of us. There are many incentives, lures and bribes. It is also up to us whether we kill animals for pleasure or food and whether we eat them. This is a huge industry which goes to great lengths to make huge profits from our choice. I know that a trip to the local abattoir would horrify almost everyone. There are some things in life we do not wish to know but if it is our aim to open our eyes then we must know them. Those farmers who kill their own animals for food and those communities where that happens, at least have their eyes open to any suffering they cause. Most of us do not and the karmic effect of that will hit us much harder when we die. It is a fact that on organic farms animals tend to be treated very much better. So many animals now endure their short lives in small cages or crates and never see the light of day let alone experience any kind of freedom. It can never be justified solely to put cheap food on your table and profit in someone’s bank account.