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BAHA’I

"What will be the food of the future?" "Fruit and grains. The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten. Medical science is only in its infancy, yet it has shown that our natural diet is that which will grow out of the ground. The people will gradually develop up to the condition of this natural food."
 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in Julia M. Grundy, Ten Days in the Light of Akka, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1979, pp. 8-9.


"As humanity progresses, meat will be used less and less, for the teeth of man are not carnivorous … The human teeth, the molars, are formed to grind grain. The front teeth, the incisors, are for fruits, etc. It is therefore quite apparent, according to the implements for eating, man's food is intended to be grain and not meat. When mankind is more fully developed the eating of meat will gradually cease."
'Abdu'l-Bahá, from "Star of the West", Vol.III, No.10, p29. 
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"[T]o blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God's heavenly Kingdom. Ye should most carefully bear this matter in mind."
'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, complied by the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1996, p. 168.



"[I]t is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature. For in all physical respects, and where the animal spirit is concerned, the selfsame feelings are shared by animal and man. Man hath not grasped this truth, however, and he believeth that physical sensations are confined to human beings, wherefore is he unjust to the animals, and cruel. And yet in truth, what difference is there when it cometh to physical sensations?  The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities ... Therefore it is essential that ye show forth the utmost consideration to the animal, and that ye be even kinder to him than to your fellow man. Train your children from their earliest days to be infinitely tender and loving to animals. If an animal be sick, let them try to heal it, if it be hungry, let them feed it, if thirsty, let them quench its thirst, if weary, let them see that it rests."
 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, complied by the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1996, p. 167.



"Regarding the eating of animal flesh and abstinence therefrom, know thou of a certainty that, in the beginning of creation, God determined the food of every living being, and to eat contrary to that determination is not approved. For instance, beasts of prey, such as the wolf, lion and leopard, are endowed with ferocious, tearing instruments, such as hooked talons and claws. From this it is evidence that the food of such beasts is meat … But now coming to man, we see he hath neither hooked teeth nor sharp nails or claws, nor teeth like iron sickles. From this it becometh evident and manifest that the food of man is cereal and fruit. Some of the teeth of man are like millstones to grind the grain, and some are sharp to cut the fruit. Therefore he is not in need of meat, nor is he obliged to eat it. Even without eating meat he would live with the utmost vigour and energy … Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion, and of one can content oneself with cereals, fruit, oil and nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and so on, it would undoubtedly be better and more pleasing."
From a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to an individual believer, Selections from the Bahá’í Writings on Some Aspects of Health and Healing, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, 1974, pp. 7-8.


"Thou hast written regarding the four canine teeth in man, saying that these teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw, are for the purpose of eating meat. Know though that these four teeth are not created for meat-eating, although one can eat meat with them. All the teeth of man are made for eating fruit, cereals and vegetables. These four teeth, however, are designed for breaking hard shells, such as those of almonds." 
From a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá to an individual believer, Selections from the Bahá’í Writings on Some Aspects of Health and Healing, a compilation of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, 1974.


"It is certain, however, that if a man can live on a purely vegetarian diet and thus avoid killing animals, it would be much preferable." 
Shoghi Effendi, quoted in Lights of Guidance: A Baha’i Reference file.


Furthermore, ‘Abdu’l-Baha said, "Fruits and grains (will be the foods of the future). The time will come when meat will no longer be eaten. Medical science is only in its infancy, yet it has shown that our natural diet is that which grows out of the ground." 
Quoted from Baha’u’llah and the New Era by J.E. Esslemont.


On the subject of compassion ‘Abdu’l-Baha wrote: "Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion." 
Quoted in Lights of Guidance: A Baha’i Reference file.


Regarding the treatment of animals ‘Abdu’l-Baha wrote: "Briefly, it is not only their fellow human beings that the beloved of God must treat with mercy and compassion, rather must they show forth the utmost loving-kindness to every living creature." 
From Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha.


"He should show kindness to animals, how much more unto his fellow man, to him who is endowed with the power of utterance." 
Bah'u'llh, "The Kitb-i-qn" (Book of Certitude), p. 194. 


"Take heed, however, that ye hunt not to excess. Tread ye the path of  justice and equity in all things. Thus biddeth you He Who is the  Dawning-place of Revelation, would that ye might comprehend." 
Bah'u'llh, "The Kitb-i-Aqdas" (Most Holy Book), 60, p. 40. 


"Burden not an animal with more than it can bear. We, truly, have  prohibited such treatment through a most binding interdiction in the  Book. Be ye the embodiments of justice and fairness amidst all  creation." 
Bah'u'llh, "The Kitb-i-Aqdas" (Most Holy Book), 187, p. 87 


"`Abdu'l-Bah has indicated that in the future human beings will be  vegetarians, but abstention from eating meat is not a law of this  Dispensation." 
The Universal House of Justice, Dec 16, 1998, "Traditional practices in Africa." 


"We returned to the garden, where Abu'l-Qasim made tea for us, and  there he told us the story of the locusts. How that during one hot  summer there had been a pest of locusts and they had consumed most of  the foliage in the surrounding country. One day Abu'l-Qasim saw a  thick cloud coming swiftly towards the garden, and in a moment  thousands of locusts were covering the tall trees beneath which  Bah'u'llh so often sat. Abu'l-Qasim hastened to the house at the  end of the garden and coming before his Lord besought Him,  saying: 'My Lord, the locusts have come, and are eating away the  shade from above Thy blessed head. I beg of Thee to cause them to  depart.' The Manifestation smiled, and said: 'The locusts must be  fed; let them be.' Much chagrined, Abu'l-Qasim returned to the  garden and for some time watched the destructive work in silence; but  presently, unable to bear it, he ventured to return again to  Bah'u'llh and humbly entreat Him to send away the locusts. The  Blessed Perfection arose and went into the garden and stood beneath  the trees covered with the insects. Then He said: 'Abu'l-Qasim does  not want you; God protect you.' And lifting up the hem of His robe He  shook it, and immediately all the locusts arose in a body and flew  away." 
Adib Taherzadeh, "The Revelation of Bah'u'llh," v. 4, pp. 29-30. 


"`Abdu'l-Bah said that treatment of disease and ailments will in the  future be through foods and waters and that eventually mankind will  become vegetarian; Bah'u'llh advocated a simple diet and not to mix  many foods at one meal I remember a Jain sadhu in India This Jain  had just become a Bah' and looking at me with tears in his eyes, he  said he really could not eat meat. I said whoever told him he should?  It had nothing to do with being a Bah'; he could live and die a  vegetarian." 
Rhyyih Rabbani, "A Manual for Pioneers", pp. 170-171.

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