Reverence for All Life

The Path to Ahimsa: Vegetarianism

Janice Gray Kolb

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ISBN: 978-1-57733-258-9, 102 pp., 11 illus., 5.5 x 8.5, paperback, $13.00

Also by Jan Kolb:
Compassion for All Creatures
Journal of Love
The Enchantment of Writing
Higher Ground
Beneath the Stars & Trees ... there is a place
Beside the Still Waters
In Corridors of Eternal Time
Solace of Solitude
A Pilgrim on Life's Road
Silent Keepers
Reflections by the Lake
The Adventures of Luki Tawdry
Whispered Notes

Over twenty years ago, the author announced that she had decided to no longer eat meat, fish, or poultry. This was no complicated decision for her, and she hadn’t struggled or pondered it with a great deal of thought. She simply decided that with her view and love of animals, it was no longer possible to eat them, and made a vow to never again eat meat.

The focus of the author is that the vegetarian way of life is a good thing: that when we sit down to eat, we symbolically stand up for animals. We celebrate kindness and compassion, and offer no support for the cruelty and misery that animals endure as they are fattened and prepared for our tables.

Janice Kolb firmly believes that if done thoughtfully, a vegetarian life style is fully satisfying, fully healthy, and a strong statement of social concerns on how we should treat the animals with whom we share this planet … and that there are healthy, wonderful, and abundant alternative choices of fruits and vegetables with which to make delicious meals.

“It is time to address anew the reality that animals are still being horrendously treated, abused, tortured and killed so that humans may have their dead bodies on their tables to consume daily—and to encourage others to consider a more compassionate view to our fellow travelers on this earth.”


"Jan Kolb's commitment to vegetarianism is just one manifestation of her compassion and reverence for all living things. Her love and respect for all of God's creatures lives in every word she writes and everything she does." Mark Sardella, Wakefield Daily Item, Wakefield, Massachusetts

"Ms. Kolb once again takes us into her life and on a journey into vegetarianism. Substantiating her beliefs with references to Gandhi, St. Francis of Assisi and Pope Jean-Paul II, we are avidly reminded that, 'all creatures great and small,' God loves them all, and it is for us humans to see to their husbandry, and not as food for the table. Jan Kolb, in her own inimitable way, convinces us to follow closely upon her heels." Jeanne Quinn

"Jan Kolb not only shares her remarkable journey into and through twenty years of 'Ahimsa,' she also humanizes the issue, both by events in her own life, and by putting a 'face' on the animals we eat. Then she provides us with the reasoning and the resources needed to make the commitment to avoid eating meat. This book provides excellent help for persons wanting to turn to vegetarian living." Rev. Don Richards, friend

"Jan's love for animals is crystal clear, but it is her deep sincerity and commitment that grabs the reader and really makes him think, and hopefully realize, that all life is precious." Frank Egan

"Jan takes us on her personal journey of how she became a vegetarian. Her inspiration is her cat Rochester and she is supported by her faithful husband Bob. The book contains passages and poems from famous naturalists, philosophers and religious leaders to reinforce her feelings. She explores Christianity and its history as it relates to kindness toward living creatures. Through self-realization and awareness Jan has changed the way she thinks and perhaps you will too." Bill VanDorick

"Jan's reverence for all living beings led her, many years ago, to a vow to never again eat meat. Her commitment to a vegetarian lifestyle is so complete, so joyous, and makes such good sense that anyone who is not already a vegetarian must surely, after reading Reverence for All Life, be led to giving vegetarianism some serious consideration." Jody Black

"In Reverence for All Life, Jan Kolb encourages those on a spiritual path of non-violence (Ahimsa) to avoid the “ostrich syndrome” and be mindful of how their food choices affect others in the animal kingdom. By adopting a vegetarian diet, each of us can do something tangible in our everyday lives to alleviate the needless suffering of animals and help create a more compassionate world." Sue LeBarron

Table of Contents

A Word in Preparation
Introduction from Compassion for All Creatures

1. When Love Came Down
2. We Meet and the Angels Sing
3. Do Unto Others
4. Vegetarianism
5. The Commitment
6. Christian Thoughts on Animal Rights
7. Closing Meditation

A Remembrance in Memory of the One Who Led Me to Ahimsa
Hymn: All God’s Creatures
Declaration of the Rights of Animals
The Moose on the Cover
Reference Books for Further Reading
About the Author


I could never ever eat any creature even if my own survival and life depended on it, or if ridiculed or argued against. It is like AA in a sense—for one makes a commitment, a very serious and deep commitment to never again drink alcohol. To make a deliberate slip to just have one can send you spiraling down or into what was “before” in your very troubled life. Both are deep spiritual commitments. One is to save your own life and the other to save the lives of living creatures—and like the first in regard to alcohol, you will change your spiritual and physical life if you become a vegetarian—or a vegan. People attend daily AA meetings to feel that commitment and strength through fellow members, and talk and share about their own personal abstinence. One can also apply the letters of AA to “Animals Anonymous” and abstain from eating their flesh and bodies with a deep commitment not to ever do so for their sake and your own....

I have numerous times had an example thrown out at me concerning things that happened in real life and reported in books and on the news. What if one was in a plane crash, stranded in freezing temperatures, as was a true life situation, and one was dying of starvation? What then? Would you not eat the flesh of a companion traveller who did not survive so that you may have life? I am sure there are various answers. I have been told several. But I can write here that that surely is a situation that does not leave me in indecision. I emphatically would never ever consume another being in order that I might live. Ever! I would choose death and pass on like the others. There is a certain line that can never be crossed if one is a spiritual being. God sees and knows.

And for me, eating the flesh and bodies of dear animals is exactly the same as the example regarding a human I have just presented, no matter what the situation. Except in this case of the consumption of animals there are healthy and wonderful alternative choices to make of fruits and vegetables and delicious meals created from these gifts from God. You will not find recipes in this book for creating such meals, but you will learn about creating a heart and mind of compassion. One can live a healthy life with scrumptious and satisfying meals and good energy, and allow all God’s creatures to live their lives also.

Blue Dolphin Publishing, 2012

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