A very serious objection to the practice of meat eating is found in the fact that disease is becoming more and more widespread among the animal creation. The curse because of sin causes the earth to groan under the inhabitants thereof, and every living thing is subject to disease and death. Cancers, tumors, diseases of the lungs, the liver, the kidneys, all exist among the animals that are used for food. Until late years we have never heard of anything approaching to the variety of diseases now apparent in the animal creation. It is stated that out of a herd of twenty cattle, the inspectors accepted only two; from another herd of one hundred, only twenty-five were accepted as having no apparent disease. The only way to avoid contracting disease from the use of flesh meats is to discard them altogether. Persons will do this much more readily if they have an intelligent knowledge of the dangers that attend the eating of the flesh of dead animals.
While living in Granville, NSW, we were obliged to pass large stockyards on our way to Sydney. To these yards thousands and thousands of sheep and cattle are driven, to be purchased and killed by the butchers for consumption in the cities and towns. The sights I have witnessed in passing to and from Sydney have been heart-sickening. I read in our daily paper that in one locality three thousand sheep were killed daily, and as many as six thousand have been killed in a day. Large canneries are erected, in which the meat is canned, to be sent to Europe. Meat is frozen also, and sent to distant markets.
As Brother Belden, my secretary, and myself were returning from the Ashfield campground to our home in Granville, we saw a large herd of cattle in the road ahead of us. One animal, an enormous ox, was standing, sullen and defiant, in the middle of the street in advance of the herd. A man on horse back, having in his hand a danger signal, halted near this animal's head, and called out to Brother Belden, "Keep to the right, and drive as quickly as possible, and he may not make a charge." We followed directions, and went on our way safely. This poor beast had traveled, oppressed with heat and thirst, until his nature was wrought up to a determined resistance to the will of man, and he had become unmanageable. So it was necessary for a signal flag of danger to be constantly exhibited, as a warning to the people, lest the beast should make a charge upon travelers. In the same herd some animals had been wounded; some were limping along. One poor suffering creature had both horns broken off close to his head, and the blood was flowing from the wound. Some were very lame, and were pictures of brute misery. Taken from the green paddocks, and traveling for weary miles over the hot, dusty road, these poor creatures are driven to their death, that human beings may feast on their miserable dead carcasses.
I have seen large flocks of sheep, hundreds and even thousands in a flock. Some of these flocks followed the shepherd and seemed to understand where he desired them to go. He had no whip, no dog, as we generally see, but whenever a sheep strayed, he made a peculiar noise with his mouth. Every sheep seemed to understand it, and all pressed close together, following the shepherd. This reminded us of the sheep following the True Shepherd. The affection of animals for man seems to approach so closely to human intelligence that it is a mystery. We need to consider these things. The animals were created by God. They see, they hear, they use their organs as faithfully as human beings use theirs. They are the Lord's creatures. And His word declares, "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast"
I might fill pages with descriptions of the sights I have seen, the suffering among the animals that are to be used for food. When a sheep in a flock lies down and cannot rise, the others leap over or upon it as they proceed. A large box wagon follows the flock, and I have seen the drivers take up the heavy sheep, when unable to travel farther, and bounce them into the wagon, right upon their backs. And I have counted no less than eight sheep, some already dead, and others in the agonies of death, lying by the roadside, after the flock had passed. But I will not go on to describe these sickening sights. If I had not, prior to this time, discarded the use of the flesh of dead animals, I should now take the pledge to eat no more meat as long as fruits and vegetables can be obtained.
We are living in critical times. Disease of every stripe and type is afflicting the human family, and it is largely the result of subsisting upon the diseased flesh of dead animals. Some who have had the consequences of a meat diet set before them do not change. Why? Because they have educated their taste to enjoy the flesh of dead animals, and that taste must be indulged at any cost. And instead of preparing the meat in the least objectionable way, many choose the way that is most objectionable. The meat is served reeking with fat, because it suits the perverted taste. Both the blood and the fat of animals are consumed as a luxury. But the Lord gave special directions that these should not be eaten. Why? Because their use would make a diseased current of blood in the human system. The disregard of the Lord's special directions has brought a variety of difficulties and diseases upon human beings.
Jesus, speaking from the cloudy pillar, gave special directions to the children of Israel, saying, "It shall be a perpetual statute for your generations throughout all your dwellings, that ye eat neither fat nor blood"
"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Ye shall eat no manner of fat, of ox, of sheep, or of goat" (Leviticus 7:22, 23). "For whosoever eateth the fat of the beast, of which men offer an offering made by fire unto the Lord, even the soul that eateth it shall be cut off from his people. Moreover ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl or of beast, in any of your dwellings. Whatsoever soul it be that eateth any manner of blood, even that soul shall be cut off from his people" (Leviticus 7:25-27).
Many Bible readers and professed Bible believers do the very thing that the Lord has told them not to do, and then they suffer the result of their disobedience. God does not work a miracle to prevent the consequences of their folly. If they introduce into their systems that which cannot make good flesh and blood, they must endure the result of their disregard of God's word. All who claim to love and serve the Lord Jesus should feel it their solemn duty to search the Scriptures, to see how they can be doers of His word. Christ gave His own life for a perishing world. "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16). God is good to His children, and they do not begin to understand His mercy, and His gracious care for them.--Letter 102, 1896. (To A. O. Tait, March, 1896.)
Volume Seven P 420-424