On Abstinence from Animal Food,c. 290
To worthy men, abstinence in food, and in corporeal enjoyments and actions, is more appropriate than abstinence in what pertains to the touch. Let any man show us who endeavors as much as possible to live according to intellect and not to be attracted by the passions of the body that animal food is more easily procured than the food from fruits and herbs, or that the preparation of the former is more simple than that of the latter, and, in short, that it does not require cooks, but, when compared with inanimate nutriment, is lighter in concoction, is more rapidly digested, and excites in a less degree the desires.
If neither any physicians, nor philosopher, nor wrestler, nor any one of the vulgar, has dared to assert this, why should we not willingly abstain from this corporeal burden? Why should we not, at the same time, liberate ourselves from many inconveniences by abandoning a fleshly diet? For we should not be liberated from one only, but from myriads of evils, by accustoming ourselves to be satisfied with things of the smallest nature, viz., we should be freed from a superabundance of riches, from numerous
servants, a multitude of utensils, a somnolent condition, from many and vehement diseases, from medical assistance, incentives to venery, more gross exhalations, an abundance of excrements, the crassitude of the corporeal bond, from the strength which excites to base actions, and, in short, from an Iliad of evils.