The Fascinating and Little Known History of Vegetarianism and Other Writings by Shirley Ⓥ Wilkes Johnson

Do You Believe in Reincarnation?
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Wednesday, January 27, 2010 at 4:34pm

In the mid 1970s I read a book, You Were Born Again to Be Together by Dick Sutphen. Sutphen's book tells how groups of people, friends, loved ones and relatives are often born and reborn into the same lifetimes as each other for a purpose

Recently, I was given a vision, a revelation. Was it true? Does it ring true to some of you?

Some 500 years BCE (B.C.) many hundreds of students attended the Pythagorean Academy in Southern Italy, Those of us who attended the Pythagorean school are now scattered around the globe in this lifetime. Some of us on this list were among those students. We pledged loyalty to each other and to Pythagoras.

We learned from Pythagoras that God was the One that is Everything. He described God as the Supreme Mind distributed throughout all parts of the universe--the Cause of all things, the Intelligence of all things, and the Power within all things. He further declared the motion of God to be circular, the body of God to be composed of the substance of light, and the nature of God to be composed of the substance of truth.

Some maintained that Pythagoras was no mere mortal man: that he was God who had taken a human body to enable him to come into the world and instruct the human race.

Pythagoras declared that the eating of meat clouded the reasoning faculties.
He taught that meat eating led to war. Throughout the ages people who did not eat meat were more enlightened, they (we) did not believe in war or slavery and believed in equality for women even while the rest of the world did not. Pythagorean women were honored as the highest feminine type that the world ever produced.

From Pythagoras (and Buddha who also lived at that time) we learned about transmigration of the soul, the knowledge that a soul could be incarnated into an animal or human body and who would then eat animals? Not us! This and other Pythagorean philosophies became deeply ingrained into our psyches at that time and it has remained there over the centuries as you will later learn.

Pythagoras and other ancient Greek philosophers spoke over and over about a Golden Age in the distant past when humans did not eat animals. And until the mid 1800s, when the word vegetarian was coined, people who did not eat meat were known as partaking of the Pythagorean diet. Other Greek philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Plutarch and others were deeply influenced by Pythagoras and did not eat meat.

"For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love."
-- Pythagoras
To be continued....

We Were Pythagoreans - Next We Were Gnostics
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Friday, January 29, 2010 at 6:43 pm

Some of you have expressed interest in the continuing revelation I was given. I consider myself to be somewhat psychic. I think we all are -but haven't mastered the technique yet. I have received important information when my mind quiets - sometimes in that space between wakefulness and sleep and sometimes I am awakened in the middle of the night with information. I have questioned whether or not it is my imagination but I have been shown proof that at least some times it is not - but that is another story. Some of you may recognize some of these facts from my Vegetarian History speeches. I think there was a reason I was led to study such things - to bring information from the past to the people today so we can remember who we really are.

Some of us on this list were students of Pythagoras and we have been together in numerous lifetimes but I was shown four that are significant. If you weren't with us at the Pythagorean Academy you may have caught up with us in a later life. We came back in the early days of Christianity. There was a battle for the very soul of Christianity. There were many different Christian groups and beliefs - even among the Gnostics, which we were. Gnostics believed that you could learn by looking within yourself for answers. Jesus was a Gnostic. It is apparent in many of his sayings - such as, You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." And, "The kingdom of God (or Heaven) is within you."

God is love and love comes from our own heart further underscoring the truth that we must look within ourselves to find God. It is understandable that we would not be able to easily accept the Gnostic idea that God is within us if we have no awareness that we are all connected. However, Bell's Theorem in quantum physics clearly demonstrates that we are all connected. This connection is at the very core of each of us. It is within us.

Jesus was crucified, not to save us from our sins, we are not lowly sinners. We are Gods and Goddesses, created in the image of God. What else could we be? Jesus once said to his disciples: "Don't you know who you are? You are Gods." Jesus was killed for the same reasons we were eradicated. We were a threat to the church. If people could find the truth within they wouldn't need the church to tell them what to believe. The church would lose its power.

Jesus threatened to destroy the temple at Jerusalem. When he kicked over the money changer's tables it was because they were there for the purpose of buying and selling animals for sacrifice. The animal sacrifice business was very lucrative for the high priests. Just as brutality towards animals angers us - it also angered Jesus. Jesus was a vegetarian who lived for a time with the vegetarian Essenes. Remember you won't find the word vegetarian in the Bible or historical texts that predate the mid 1800s when the word vegetarian was coined. There were many groups at that time that did not eat animals and they claimed that the animal sacrifice thing was not the word of God but was added to the Bible by the lying pens of the scribes as an excuse for eating animal flesh.

It is amazing the similarities between Pythagoras, Buddha and Jesus. All three were vegetarian and believed in reincarnation and love and kindness. The church has in large part misrepresented Jesus.

The Roman Emperor Constantine sided with the hierarchy of priests and bishops. Now they had the Roman Empire at their disposal and dispatched it to eradicate Gnosticism. When the book burning was ordered, some Gnostic Christians hid existing scriptures in burial urns. Many of these lost scriptures resurfaced on October 4, 1946, when a sheepherder discovered them. The scrolls were found buried in a three-foot tall clay urn in a cave near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. For many of us this would be the last lifetime that we would call ourselves Christian.

It is my intention to keep these stories short. The next lifetime I will discuss is when we came back during the Christian Inquisition.

Until then....


We Were Heretics
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 11:39am

Once again we reincarnated on Earth with visions of the Golden Age dancing through our heads - but instead in this life time we would be required to prove that we had rather die than eat meat. We came during the Christian Inquisition.

The Catholic Church was determined to rid the world of "heretics" - anyone that did not agree with Church doctrine. There were so many "heretics" of all kinds. Those of us who were still loyal to our Pythagorean teachings of not eating meat were considered to be heretics because of the Church's long history of animal sacrifice.

Remember that Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have the same historical roots of animal sacrifice.

The Church devised the most horrible methods of torture to get people to repent and change their ways and they tried to force us to kill an animal to prove we would - when we refused we were hanged or burned at the stake. It was a scary time to be alive but many of us went willingly to our deaths rather than kill an animal.

This went on for centuries and people got the message: if you were a good Christian (and you had better be) then you ate meat. This was burned into the consciousness of those who were so afraid and although they may not remember it at a conscious level today - it still resides deep within the psyches of those people. People who didn't eat meat were even called devil worshipers - but what is more demonic than animal sacrifice?

This answers a couple of questions I have asked myself: I always wondered why some people come to vegetarianism so easily while others resist so fervently. And I always wondered why most of my vegetarian friends were not Christian and yet, they seemed more Christian than most Christians I know - you know what I mean.

The Inquisition was one of the great blights in the history of Christianity. No other institution in the history of the Christian Church was so horrible, so unjust, so...unChristian. --from a Brief History of the Inquisition by Robert Jones.

"Making every allowance required of an historian and permitted to a Christian, we must rank the Inquisition, along with the wars and persecutions of our time, as among the darkest blots on the record of mankind, revealing a ferocity unknown in any beast." (Will Durant, "The Age of Faith", p. 784)

Things are beginning to change, even among Christians, as the quote below shows:

If animals were meant to be killed for food then why do animals put up so much resistance to being killed? Animals, like us have within them a will to live and thus they run away from danger and death. They scream, they cry and have visible signs of fear. If God wanted us to eat meat, don't you think it would be a more harmonious system? Wouldn't the animals gladly lay down their lives in service to God's plan?
~~ Kristina
A Christian Vegetarian Association Member

We Were Witches
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Wednesday, February 3, 2010 at 7:52pm

Once again, those of us who had been together as Pythagoreans came back together. This time we were witches. The word "witch" comes from the same root word as "wit", meaning wisdom. The class of people targeted as witches by the Christian church were herbalists and folk healers who respected the earth. These were wise women and men. As I thought about the witches, I realized that this was not the first lifetime that I had been interested in herbs. I have taught a popular class, 'It's About Thyme, How to Grow and Cook with Herbs' in which I taught about the medicinal benefits of herbs and spices. I came natural to me. Able to effect cures among the sick, the witches were a direct threat to the church, which held that all illnesses were God's will and that cures were available only to those who prayed in their churches and tossed a few coins into the collection plates.

Many accused witches were men, not just women. The classical period of witch hunts in Europe from around 1480 to 1700 resulted in an estimated 40,000 to 100,000 executions, after being horribly tortured in order to get a confession. In 1692, in the town of Salem, Massachusetts, 24 people, five of whom were men, were killed after being tried as witches. Hundreds others were accused of being witches and wizards, but managed to escape the gallows.

It is impossible to say how many of the witches did not eat meat but with their respect for nature, it is likely that many were vegetarian, even though the word had not yet been coined. They probably knew to keep it secret since so many people had been killed as heretics for not eating meat in the past. Witches were called devil worshipers as were other people who did not eat meat. Even today there are Christians who call vegetarians "devil worshipers." The satirical Landover Baptist Church says, "Today’s witches are called 'vegans.'" Some Christians really believe it.

Many modern day witches are vegan. There is a current vegetarian cookbook called *Witch in the Kitchen: Magical Cooking for All Seasons* by Cait Johnson.

More to come later....

We Are Vegans
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 11:31am

This is the last in the series of my Notes that began as
1. Do You Believe in Reincarnation?
2. We were Pythagoreans - Next We Were Gnostics
3. We Were Heretics
4. We Were Witches
5. We Are Vegans.

Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, this story is true.

Over 2500 years ago we were Pythagoreans. We learned things at the Pythagorean Academy that would remain deeply embedded in our hearts and minds throughout the ages. We learned that it was written in our hearts since the beginning of time that we should not kill and that there had been a time in the distant past when humans lived at peace with the world in a Golden Age. We promised to dedicate our lives to bringing back a Golden Era. Like the Time Traveler who kept traveling through time trying to find a time where there was no war in H.G. Wells story *The Time Machine,* we kept coming back looking for a time when there would be no war against the animals, the foundation of all war - the original word for war was a Sanskrit word that meant the desire for more cattle.

Each time we returned to life on this planet we found ourselves immersed in a meat eating culture and it often took time for us to come back to the knowledge we had gained as Pythagoreans. We came back during the early days of Christianity as Gnostic Christians with the understanding that wisdom was deep inside of us in our hearts and minds and that is where we should look for answers but we were eradicated by the Church who did not want people thinking for themselves.

When we came back during the Christian Inquisition, we believed that there were things worse than death and had to prove that we had rather die than than kill in order to live. The Church considered us to be Heretics and we endured great tortures and death during this period. In 1999 Pope John Paul II would make a public apology and beg God's forgiveness for the atrocities that were committed by the Catholic Church to the so called 'heretics'. Church Officials advised the Pope not to name the heretics. Most people have knowledge of who a lot of the heretics were but what is little known is that so many were simply people who refused to kill animals for food.

The killing of witches is well known - what is not so well known is that many were people who so deeply respected the natural world that they would not harm it and did not eat animals. Many witches were herbalists who helped heal people and this angered the
Church because they believed disease was a punishment from God.

We have traveled through the ages in an effort to bring back a Golden Era of peace and now we are scattered around the Globe as vegans - the Neo-Pythgoreans. Some believe that time is growing short and that if we do not succeed this time that it will be too late. Will we be able to bring into being the world that everyone really wants? Can we get the world to awaken to the understanding of peace, compassion and love for all? It would be such a shame if we don't succeed.


Bee Extreme by Shirley Wilkes-Johnson
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Monday, August 3, 2009 at 3:10pm

I adore that extreme vegan Dr. Michael Greger. I have heard him speak and I admire his great sense of humor. So I ask, "Dr Greger, is this a joke? Caring about the welfare of bees is too extreme?"

As I write this, the Meyer lemon tree in the yard is solid blooms. The perfume of lemon blossoms hangs heavy in the air, calling to the bees. They got the message. Look! The tree is ALIVE with bees! There are hundreds of them, maybe a thousand. My soul delights in observing the bees pollinating the lemon flowers. The buzzing of the industrious bees fills the air and mesmerizes me. I wonder where you will take your bounty, the nectar from the blossoms, to make your honey? Back to a man made hive where some human is plotting to steal the fruits of your labor and replace it with a cheap sugar water substitute - or do you have a secret place somewhere away from the prying eyes of humans?

It is good that we are here near the Texas Gulf coast and not in some northern states where I have read that some beekeepers burn their hives, killing the bees each winter and start with new hives and bees each spring, because it is less costly than over wintering them. The wings of the queen bee are often cut off with scissors so that she can not lead the worker bees away to a hidden location. And some beekeepers kill the queen bee every few years and start with a new queen to keep the colony producing heavily. Many bees are killed in the process of beekeepers removing their honey.

Bees have a very complex social structure and life inside a hive is as complicated as that in any city. They communicate with each other to tell where nectar can be found. Bees may travel a total of thousands of miles to make just one pound of honey.

Do they possess an intelligence so alien to our own that we do not recognize it? How ironic if, as we search the heavens for other intelligent life, we may be missing it right under our noses on this planet. Intelligent or not - they are participating in the dance of Life the same as we are - a dance to a different beat for certain, but nevertheless, a dance of joy.

Little bees, do you somehow have knowledge of your importance to the scheme of things? Many humans don't. Bees are in decline in some areas due to the spraying of pesticides. Bees are necessary for the pollination of food crops. Humans would be in deep trouble without bees to do the important work they do, it could lead to serious famine.

Come November this tree will be laden with hundreds of juicy yellow lemons, enough to share with friends and family. And they will keep stored in my refrigerator hydrator all the way through next March.

Each time I reach in to grasp a lemon to use the zest and juice in a delicious recipe, I will try to remember to offer a brief prayer of gratitude to the Universe, the lemon tree and to the bees who made this possible. Is that too extreme?

Shirley Ⓥ Wilkes-Johnson
Copyright © 2006 by Shirley Wilkes-Johnson. All Rights Reserved
May be used in unchanged form if accompanied by this copyright message.


FB Doesn't Allow Enough Space to Complete a Thought!
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 4:19pm

A corpse begins to decompose and release body fluids very shortly after death. When a person dies (or is killed) at home and the body is not found for a few days, in most states it is the law that a professional death cleanup crew in hazmat suits disinfect the place. The question begs to be asked: what is the difference between a human corpse and an animal corpse? When a person deliberately brings an animal corpse or body parts into a kitchen, it also leaks body fluid and blood. Instructions are to disinfect everything the flesh touches and to use high heat to destroy any pathogens. It seems so strange that people would think that corpse food is desirable.

I came to this conclusion when my brother died in January and his body was not found for several days. He was in bed with the television still on. The death clean up cost almost $3,000. A decomposing body becomes quite messy.


Cattle Country
by Shirley  Wilkes-Johnson on Friday July 10, 2009 at 10:51am

As I pass along the road and see
The gentle cattle grazing
Placidly in the fields,
A calf nudging and suckling at its mother,
While nearby two others frolic
Like any other children celebrating Life.
The rest of the herd with heads down
Chomping, foraging.
More than livestock, more than beef--these creatures;
I have seen personalities...emerge.
One beast lifts her head
And through huge liquid eyes
Stares at me curiously.
My brain is suddenly jolted
Into awareness of the reality
And superimposed upon this peaceful scene I see--
Scenes of the slaughterhouse.
Metamorphosis occurs...
My mind becomes bovine.
I wake into a nightmare!
The stench of blood fills my nostrils,
Screams of pure terror ricochet through my heavy body
As I feel myself sliding through hellishness
That reeks of unimaginable horrors.
I sense a fiendishness
Moving feverishly at the fringes of my awareness,
Like a demon's ritual dance.
Bellows, lowing, helpless bawling,
An eternity of pandemonium,
Panic clawing at my vitals
Like a banshee's howl.
I feel myself slipping
In the warm thick blood of others.
Suddenly, a savage blow cracks my skull;
I stumble as it knocks me senseless
But not unconscious. A sharp blade
Glides effortlessly over my throat
And I feel my life-force draining down
To mingle with the others who have gone before.
Double images tumble in my mind.
My head reels and veers crazily
On a roller coaster track
As my consciousness is jerked
Back to the tranquil scene of cows grazing
In cattle country.

Shirley Ⓥ Wilkes-Johnson
Copyright © 1980 by Shirley Wilkes-Johnson. All Rights Reserved
May be used in unchanged form by avowed Animal Rightists if accompanied by this copyright message.