So long as a desire for meat persists, vegetarianism is useless. It is helpful only when it results from an attitude that I will illustrate with a little story.
Not very long ago, someone was asked: “Why don’t you eat meat?” He replied with a counter-question: “Why don’t you eat dogs or cats?” “One just can’t”, was the answer. “Why can’t you?” “Because I would find it disgusting.” “Well, that is just what I feel about all meat.”
That is the point. When pleasure in eating meat has gone, then to abstain from meat may be of some use in relation to the spiritual worlds.
Until then, breaking the meat-eating habit can be helpful only for getting rid of the desire for meat. If the desire persists, it may be better to start eating meat again, for to go on tormenting oneself about it is certainly not the right way to reach an understanding of Spiritual Science.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul, Vol 1: Lecture 6: Asceticism and Illness – Berlin, 11th November 1909
Previously posted on 29th October 2013