Reverence For Life.
Even the most fleeting of lives is precious.
Compassion for All
It is staggering is it not that Christianity, a religion fully acquainted with the torture and sufferng of the innocent, is itself complicit in the suffering and torture of the innocent. The Gospel of Thomas sits firmly on the side of the animals. Harming a creature is harming the One itself. This is why in V87 Jesus rebukes those who are dependent upon a body (those who eat meat).
In a Thomas context when we are told to love our brother then we are told to love 'all' our brothers irrespective of species. When we extend our love to all beings, then we love the One in its entirety. Mystics throughout the ages have understood this. That every aspect of creation is deserved of reverence and kindness. This is why the likes of Rumi, Einstein, and Da Vinci were vegetarian.
The Acts of Thomas
The Acts of Thomas describe the events of Thomas's mission to India. He set out in A.D 52 almost 20 years after the death of Jesus. The man himself is described thus, 'He continually fasts and prays and abstaining from animal flesh and drinking wine, he eats only bread with salt and drinks only water......'.
It's easy to construe this as an exception but there is evidence that at least 5 of the Apostles were in fact vegetarian, including James the brother of Jesus who is described as follows, 'James the brother of the Lord was holy from his mothers womb. And he drank no wine nor strong drink nor did he eat flesh' (Hegessipus quoted from fragments of his Five Books of Commentaries on the Acts of the Church')
Through its concept of Unity Thomas tells us we are the earth. The move away from seeing her as a collection of resources to exploit and instead as the Divine itself sits right at the heart of the Gospel of Thomas message.