The College of Physicians of Philadelphia Digital Library

Shall We Slay to Eat?

The Slaughter of the Innocents.

Vegetarianism was central to the Kelloggs’ beliefs and practices at Battle Creek; however, they were far from its first proponents. Ancient Indian and Greek peoples practiced vegetarianism as a way to avoid the mistreatment of animals, with figures such as Pythagoras believing that slaughtering animals brutalized the human soul. Vegetarianism also had a place in many Asian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Jainism. The term “vegetarian” however, didn’t emerge until the mid-1800s, coined by the British Vegetarian Society. Though some prominent early Americans, such as Benjamin Franklin, abstained from consuming meat, its popularity in the U.S. only solidified in the 1970s with books such as Diet for a Small Planet.

The image featured here is from Kellogg's 1899 book Shall We Slay to Eat? In the volume, Kellogg outlines the "non-use of flesh food as an article of diet," discussing both the health benefits of a vegetarian diet as well as the cruelties of the abattoir.

To view more images from Shall We Slay to Eat? in color, follow the link below to Page 2. If you're interested in reading some of the text from the book, a fully digitized black and white version exists here courtesy of Hathi Trust and the University of Chicago Libraries.