Master Keys of Life & Death by Captain Walter Carey 1920


CHAPTER VI - What is the Use of Animals?


“ A sacred kinship I would not forego binds me to all that breathes.” - Boyesden.

In the Christian countries of the Western World the question is often asked: “ What is the use of Animals?” the usual reply being: “ They were given us to eat.” If we pursue the matter further and question this statement we are told: “ It says so in the Bible.” Yet there is clearly written in the first chapter of Genesis a statement purporting to emanate from the Creator indicating to man what he should eat.

“ And God said: Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, and every tree in which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

In the laws of the Israelites we read that with certain very definite restrictions they were allowed to eat the flesh of animals; some people therefore in the present day consider that this gives them the permission they seek for the slaughter of animals for food; but if that part of the Law of Moses is accepted as a guide of life, it would be only logical and consistent to consider the rest of the standard of morality of the Israelites as applicable to ourselves, including slavery, polygamy, sacrifice of animals as expiation and to obtain forgiveness of sins, the establishment of cities of refuge, outside of which murder is permissible, the cold-blooded murder of women and children in war, with the rest of the savagery of the semi-barbarous Children of Israel.


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Yet few flesh-eaters are consistent enough to openly advocate a return to these manners and customs.

It is recorded that the Israelites were permitted to eat the flesh of animals. We also read that these people during the forty years wanderings in the wilderness were fed on “ manna from heaven,” but their perverted appetites caused them to rebel, for they still “ lusted after flesh.”

“ And whilst the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the Lord was kindled against the people and the Lord smote the people with a very great plague. And he called the name of that place Kibroth-hattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted” (Num. xi. 33-34). Strange treatment this of His chosen people by Almighty God, if, as the present-day flesh-eater asserts, He placed animals on this earth as food for mankind!

Further on the story of Daniel and his companions will be remembered, and how they would not defile themselves with meat or wine, and how under test conditions they vindicated the advantages of vegetarian diet. (Dan. i. 6-20.)

In Isaiah it is written: “ He that killeth an ox shall be in the sight of the Lord as if he slew a man,” and again - “ The wolf shall dwell with the kid, and the leopard lie down with the calf, and the lion and sheep shall abide together, and a little child shall lead them. They shall not hurt, nor shall they kill in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the covering waters of the sea.”

The Christian era was established some twenty centuries ago to supersede the Mosaic dispensation, to abolish the sacrifice of animals, the cruel law of “ An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and introduce a far higher standard of civilization, morality, love, mercy and brotherhood, the spirit of the teachings of the New Testament.

Whether Christ was a vegetarian or not is a question on which people differ.

As regards Peter's vision, the usual explanation is that it was to teach him that there were other people in the world besides the Jews to whom he should take his message. This seems borne out by Acts x. 17-35. But for those who wish to argue that because in his vision St. Peter was told to “ kill and eat,” therefore we are justified in slaughtering animals for food, I would point out that though the “ Voice” ordered Peter three times to “ kill and eat” he flatly refused to do so.


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Since the Bible does not offer any solution of the question “ What is the use of animals?” no more than it gives explanations of many other subjects on which we should like information, let us consider the matter from other points of view.

Natural history teaches with very convincing proofs that animals of the present day are considerably different from those of past ages, that animal life started from extremely rudimentary forms, having an evolu­tion of its own which has been going on for millions of years, and that this evolution has not stopped, but is continually progressing.

Any one who has any knowledge of animals will agree that they vary very much in intelligence, the most intelligent being found in the highest branches of the mammals, as the horse, dog or elephant; so it is not only the physical forms, but also their mental capacities that are improving, and this brings one to the question: What is this intelligence in animals, and to what end is its evolution directed?

In the East the question is answered briefly as follows: It is said that animals are the physical vehicles of certain classes of spirit, which though essentially similar to ourselves, is less progressed and at a much lower stage of development, and in quality of intelligence varies considerably, so that jelly-fish and the lower forms of animal life are hardly conscious at all. The indwelling spirit called the group soul, it is said, divides and inhabits more than one animal body at the same time, so we might have a group soul at its early stages of physical life with some thousands of insects for its vehicles; later on the same soul might reincarnate and function through a few hundred sheep, and still later inhabit a small number of dogs, and so on, the number of vehicles used during earth life decreasing as the spirit progresses and is able to use higher forms of the animal kingdom. The ultimate goal being a state when individuality would be reached, and the spirit inhabit only one animal, then at the change of death the now individualized soul, having successfully completed its long course of training in the animal kingdom, would pass into a higher evolution in a world where conditions and vehicles are provided for this earliest type of individualized spirit to continue its upward progress.

Animal forms therefore correspond to the development of the spirit that inhabits them. If we knew enough about the subject, a list might be made from the lowest to the highest showing the long ladder by which the group soul climbs upwards. On the lowest rungs would be insects, jelly-fish, and creatures that are little above vegetables, higher up


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vultures, jackals and other scavengers with very slightly developed astral vehicles; still higher, beasts of prey, whose astral bodies are very crude and their mental vehicles rudimentary; and so on, step by step until the highest types are reached, as the horse, dog, and the elephant, whose astral and mental vehicles are far more definitely formed.

The group soul idea is sometimes illustrated by comparing it to water filling a bucket, from which one tumblerful is taken to represent the soul of each animal in the group. During life this becomes coloured by the particular sensations and experiences of that animal, then at death the tumblerful is poured back into the bucket, diffusing and slightly colouring the whole contents. This accounts for instinct in animals. The reason why birds fear snakes is that many bird lives have been cut short by snakes, the group soul therefore becomes more and more aware that snakes are dangerous. Hence the instinct. The group soul thus gives warnings of perils that have been experienced, whilst a new danger finds the animal unprepared. If each tumblerful is imagined to shrink in quantity in proportion as it becomes coloured, the analogy is more complete. Since the increase of qualities in the group soul will mean less water poured back at death into the bucket, then fewer and fewer tumblerfuls can be taken out to inhabit new animal bodies, which must also be of more developed type to hold with safety the more concentrated liquid.

This theory also explains why the individual members of flocks and herds act so similarly, since they probably all belong to the same group soul, and it gives a working hypothesis for many other animal characteristics.

Let us now investigate as far as our knowledge permits the conditions and circumstances of the evolution of the animal kingdom from the physical plane point of view, and try and place before our minds the very difficult problem that had to be solved in arranging for the evolution of animals.

There are obviously two distinct periods of animal evolution.

First: When animals are left to themselves in lands to which civilized man has not yet penetrated.

Secondly: When animals and civilized man inhabit the same country.

We will first consider the situation in countries to which civilized man, if he existed, had not penetrated.

The requirements of the case were:


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To provide some inducement to cause the animals to take violent exercise and so develop their bodies and also to exercise their rudimentary minds.

To prevent their increasing at too great a rate and causing overcrowding.

To make sanitary arrangements for the disposal of the injured, sick and dead creatures.

The very wonderful solution of these difficulties was to arrange that some of the species should be flesh-eaters, others herbivorous and frugivorous. If these types had been placed in different lands the problem would have remained unsolved, as doubtless the carnivora would soon have devoured each other and become extinct.

If the offspring of one pair of rabbits were to survive, there would be in less than a century, descended from that couple, many millions. So the non-flesh-eaters would soon have multiplied to such an extent as not to leave themselves a fair chance of surviving, and thus would have perished. Nature, however, has mixed the two species in exactly the right proportions.

The carnivora, the snakes, tigers, lions and such creatures, provide the stimulant which causes the other animals to exercise their muscles, sight, and hearing to the utmost, and at the same time what little mind they have is called on to work at its fullest capacity.

Those of the hunted who are least capable of battling against the hardships of life are continually weeded out, and as time goes on the species is bound to improve physically and mentally, and this reacts on the hunter, the carnivora, because as the hunted improve it is absolutely necessary for the hunter to keep pace in mind and body, or he will be left behind and starve.

Then the greater development of these animals of prey causes increased development in those preyed on, and so on.

Comparison of prehistoric and present-day animals in lands where civilized man has not settled shows how strongly this point comes out. In the words of science, it is “ the struggle for existence” and “ the survival of the fittest.” This arrangement largely disposes of the danger of overcrowding, supplemented as it is by those powerful weapons, climate and atmospheric changes, so freely used by Nature.


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The difficulty about sanitary arrangements is removed by the carnivora, who are the disposers of the bodies of the decrepit or sick animals. One may look on the lions, tigers, vultures, jackals, etc., with the armies of small creatures and insects that live on dead bodies, as Nature's most sanitary and efficient crematoria.

This is one of Nature's most marvellous arrangements. Think of the innumerable birds, fishes, insects, and animals that, having lived their lives, die daily, and yet how rare it is to see a dead creature. For with all these corpses to be disposed of one would expect to find them everywhere, for parts of the sea, streams and land to be polluted, and pestilences to occur, but such results are unknown except where Nature is interfered with by man.

It would seem that having in this way brought the animal evolution, chiefly as regards form, up to a certain point, the Creator decided that for further and quicker progress a complete change in the system and in the nature of the stimulant to evolution was necessary for certain animals, and called in civilized man to assist in this higher work. Some people are accustomed to think that everything in the universe is provided and intended solely for the comfort and convenience of Man, but this attitude is a mistake. Man is certainly the most highly evolved creature we are aware of, but there are others also in process of evolution, and other evolutions to be considered. The most thoughtless must see that much that happens is not altogether to Man's advantage, as fogs, storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and other disturbances.

So it should not be a novel kind of idea to suggest that possibly the sub­human kingdoms of animals are not intended entirely for man's benefit; but that Man, a being more highly evolved, is purposely brought into contact with them, and is intended to act so that animal evolution may be hastened, and pass to higher stages than was previously possible. And this is the point I wish now to discuss, and to show that it is not only Man's plain duty, but his high privilege to assist on the upward path, spirit, now manifest in the sub-human kingdom.

First consider the way in which civilized Man of the Western World has acted, when he has settled in countries inhabited by wild animals.

Man in the past has largely exterminated the ferocious types. This was necessary as civilized life spread over the world's surface.


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He has tamed and trained certain animals which he finds useful for agriculture, personal use, and companionship, and thus has rightly lent his aid.

Others he uses for food, and to prevent the species becoming extinct he arranges for their breeding and increasing in large numbers, so that he may fatten, kill, and then eat their dead bodies at his convenience. Others animals he trains and preserves for sport, so that he may have the amusement of hunting and slaying.

In all cases his only thought has been what advantage or pleasure he may gain, the advantage or disadvantage to the animal race being entirely left out of his consideration.

Now if this were the correct treatment the Creator intended Man to mete out, when he was called in to co-operate with the animal evolution, we should find the animals steadily improving beyond the stage reached before Man appeared on the scene. But we notice that very many sorts are not improving either physically or mentally; domestic cattle are a case in point, the breed is not advancing in powers of sight, hearing, etc., or in intelligence, but on the contrary is degenerating.

“ As stupid as a cow” and “ As silly as a sheep” are common expressions, and the word “ pig” is one of contempt. These may be getting fatter and fatter; a cow may be developing into a machine for producing the greatest quantity of milk in the shortest possible time; sheep may be developing towards prime mutton; pigs accustoming themselves more and more to eat any filth and convert it into flesh, but all this does not tend to upward evolution.

In the present day thinking people in England are much disturbed at the increasing amount of disease in our midst; and scientific men are proving more and more clearly that these diseases originate not in Man alone, but very largely in animals kept in captivity, that is without the amount of exercise and “ roughing it” that is suitable for them, then these animals are eaten by Man, who thus eats disease.

Scientists tell us that according to his structure “ Man is neither carnivorous nor herbivorous. He has neither the teeth of the cud­chewer nor their intestines. If we consider these organs in man, we must conclude him by nature to be frugivorous, as is the ape.”

So we have domestic animals of the classes that are eaten becoming more and more stupid, and the people who eat them becoming more and more diseased. This is Nature's way of speaking to us, and we know


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that when we disobey her laws, she has a disagreeable way of bestowing punishment on the wrongdoer, without allowing any excuses such as “ I did not think,” “ I did not know.” This is Nature's way of stimulating our reasoning faculties. Is not she shouting at us that we are by our cruel treatment retarding animal evolution, neglecting our duty, and acting in exactly the opposite manner to what is expected of us?

Let us now return to where we left the animal creation at its introduction to civilized Man, and see if we cannot reason out where he has gone off the track of right behaviour.

The animals by themselves had reached a certain stage of development, and now civilized Man is given the great responsibility of “ dominion over them.” The higher being Man, replacing the carnivora, who have served their turn, the old forces of fear and hunger are to be abolished for the new stimulants of work and discipline, applied by Man with wisdom and kindness.

There is clear proof on this point, for when animals are trained, and kindly treated, we see Nature's strong approval, for by the stimulating forces of work, discipline and selection, animal evolution advances rapidly; a few instances of such are - the extraordinary sagacity, good temper and usefulness of trained elephants in India, the magnificent specimens of horses in England, and the intelligence and good temper of dogs.

On the other hand there are many instances where Man has dismally failed in his duty. Cattle are bred, housed, and fed under good conditions, but to the end that they may have bodies of the maximum size and fatness attainable, and when this is reached they are slaughtered with more or less cruelty, and their carcasses consumed by Man, who thus unnaturally places himself on the low level of the carnivore.

Nature's very strong disapproval, as already pointed out, appears in the numerous diseases from which meat-eaters suffer.

Again, is it possible to imagine a greater wrong than vivisection? We all condemn the Inquisitors, who tortured human beings, yet we read that those men thought they were acting in the best interests of our race, and even believed that they were doing God's service. Vivisectors may honestly think that their cruelty leads to knowledge which is useful, but doctors disagree: some say it is useful, others equally distinguished in


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their profession state that it is absolutely useless. Whatever the use it cannot be justified.

We English pride ourselves on “ fair play” and “ playing the game” and consider most contemptible the strong who use their power to oppress and exploit the weak, whom they should in honour protect. The bribe offered by the vivisectors to dull the conscience and harden the heart, to condone and permit this cruel practice, is, that by it may perhaps be obtained remedies for disease - each of which in turn proves fallacious. Even if it were true that remedies could be so procured, and disease cured, the spiritually minded would reject them. Far better is it for the physical body to suffer or die, honourably, than to live dishonoured at the expense of the torture and misery of subhuman creatures.

It is on record that in the sixteenth century at Pisa (in Italy) certain criminals were delivered into the hands of the vivisectors, who were free to make any experiment they liked on these unfortunate people. It will be remembered that this was long before the days of chloroform or other anaesthetics! One shudders to think of the end of these unfortunates.

In the year 1912 a vivisector was applauded when he lectured, in London, on experiments he had made on women and children, by inoculating them with a loathsome disease, these poor people, inmates of his hospital, being in his power and at his mercy.

Facts such as these show to what depths of wickedness vivisection may lead.

Sporting people are usually kind and sensible in their treatment of horses and dogs, but when it comes to hunting it is another matter. Of course so far as discipline goes, learning to work together, to obey orders, etc., all this makes for evolution, but starving these animals, feeding them on raw flesh so as to make them savage enough to hunt down the prey, is against evolution, and presses the hound backwards towards the wolf from which his species has evolved.

Is it any wonder that the progress of Man has been slow when we find still enacted upon the children the barbarous and revolting custom of “ blooding” (the besmearing of the child's face with the warm blood of the hunted fox). Surely such an act must nullify the spirit of justice inherent in all, and create an illusion in the mind of that child that such is right and manly.


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In human affairs a ruler, or governing body, is judged good or bad according to the condition of the people ruled. If a visitor from some other world came to see how the animal kingdom was getting on under Man's guidance, what would he find? Shops with rows of bleeding carcasses exposed for sale, slaughterhouses and the organized massacre of nearly 1,000,000 creatures daily, cattle-ships hastening with cargoes of flesh to different parts of the world. He would also see vivisection laboratories in countries that consider themselves most advanced.

What would he think of Man - the ruler - who, when asked to consider these unnecessary sufferings and cruelties, refuses, saying, “ I like meat and don't care,” “ I am content with things as they are” ; or of people who while merciless to animals themselves, offer thanks to the Creator for His mercies to them, before sitting down to their meals of flesh.

The question, “ Who are the rulers in this matter?” is easily answered. Every human being is a member of the governing body, and has power and responsibility.

On most great questions of the day the ordinary individual feels that he is but as a drop in the ocean, and that he is quite helpless in altering things, however clearly he may see what should be done.

But on this question of mercy to animals, each one of us as soon as he or she has considered the matter can proceed to action and cause considerable results.

Each one can cease to participate in cruelty, and can personally give up flesh-eating; then at once so many fewer creatures would be slaughtered for food, because the numbers born and slaughtered are entirely regulated by the commercial laws of supply and demand. Friends and relatives will notice the alteration in our way of living, and, if we are tactful, will consider the matter, and often follow our example. It is general experience that all who have thought out for themselves these humane ideas and put them into practice, become keenly anxious to spread the information of the benefits they have found to follow.

I appeal to each reader to personally think this subject out, and if the arguments I have endeavoured to express seem reasonable, to join the increasing army of those who are giving up flesh-eating and making a stand against all forms of cruelty, so working for the good both of the human and sub-human races.


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We may be perfectly certain that we shall not suffer as individuals or as a nation, if we forthwith change our ways and act up to our plain duty and privilege in assisting the evolution of the Animal creation.

CHAPTER VII - Diet and Health