Re: Epic Thread
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2018, 10:09:50 PM »
Lay stood barely over four feet tall and wore clothes that he made himself. He was a hunchback with a projecting chest, and his arms were as long as his legs. He was a strict vegetarian; he ate only fruits, vegetables, and honey, and drank only milk and water. He did not believe that humans were superior to non-human animals and created his own clothes to boycott the slave-labor industry. He would not wear anything, nor eat anything, made from the loss of animal life or provided by any degree by slave labor.
He first began advocating for the abolition of slavery when, in Barbados, he saw an enslaved man commit suicide rather than be hit again by his owner. His passionate enmity of slavery was partially fueled by his Quaker beliefs. Lay made several dramatic demonstrations against the practice. He once stood outside a Quaker meeting in winter with no coat and at least one foot bare and in the snow. When passersby expressed concern for his health, he said that slaves were made to work outdoors in winter dressed as he was. On another occasion, he kidnapped the child of slaveholders temporarily, to show them how Africans felt when their relatives were sold overseas. The most notable act occurred in Burlington, New Jersey, at the 1738 Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of Quakers. Dressed as a soldier, he concluded a diatribe against slavery, quoting the Bible saying that all men should be equal under God, by plunging a sword into a Bible containing a bladder of blood-red pokeberry juice, which spattered over those nearby.