Sunday, December 03, 2006

Vegetarianism

I frankly don't understand how the non-veg ppl can talk of animal conservation. Think of the amount of animals being killed every day. The no. of burger, sandwiches that BK, Mcdonalds and others make. I guess Billions of animals are slaughtered around the world in a year. Yet these ppl talk of not killing other animals. So if animal population is more, that animal will not have pain, does not need comfort, freedom, sanitation or anything. So they will happily butcher a snow leopard if its population is same as pigs or lambs. And the way these animals are stored when they are alive !!! horrible.

In one of the 'Everybody Loves Raymond' TV series, Raymond and his family go to his brother's in-law's place for Thanksgiving. Suddenly a pigeon hits itself against the window and gets badly hurt. So his mother-in-law takes the bird in, finds that it is in acute pain and so just kills it to relieve it of its misery. Seeing this, Ray and his parents get so angry and call their family 'savages' and argue how they can kill a life like that and so on. A big fight ensues. Then the mother-in-law brings in the thanksgiving turkey and at the sight of food, all hostilities are forgotten and all is well. It is just a humourous scene. But What an irony !!! Ppl who care for a pigeon and fight because someone put it out of its misery, are so happy to kill and eat a much larger bird. I guess, they don't even realize that these are animals. I think it will be like different things : Food and animals. Chicken , pigs etc are food and the rest are animals. I remember the Tom and Jerry cartoons, where when Tom sees a small duck / chicken, the live bird will appear as a hot plate of steaming food in its eyes. I think it will be the same for these ppl. When they see a Hen or a turkey, immediately deep roasted chicken wings or a steamed turkey will probably cross their minds .

Ideally I'll support those ppl who make it a point to eat only dead plant food, like veggies/ fruits that fall down from the plants naturally. I remember the girl, Hugh Grant tries to date in the movie 'Nottinghill'. She tells that she is one such person. That way we don't even kill the plants. But living like that is very difficult. Probably that will be the same argument of a non-vegetarian.

However hard I think, I'm not able to think of a concrete argument that will justify vegetarianism and also prove non-vegetarianism as wrong. We do kill plants as they kill animals. Probably I can say the following (But I am also able to produce counter arguments for each of my argument):
  • It has not been fully proved that plants feel pain -- But plants do have safety mechanisms, like thorns, repelling poisonous chemicals etc. We eat the plants only after overcoming these defences.
  • The condition in which the plants are grown is much better than the conditions in which animals are grown. This I feel is somewhat a valid point, though the growth of many plants is being manipulated by man.
This is the link in Wikipedia about Vegetarianism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetarianism

These are some points I liked on that page:
  • Vegetarians in Europe used to be called "Pythagoreans",[1][2] after the philosopher Pythagoras and his followers, who abstained from meat in the 6Th century BC. These people followed a vegetarian diet for nutritional and ethical reasons. According to the Roman poet Ovid, Pythagoras said: "As long as Man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings he will never know health or peace. 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."
  • Many Hindu scriptures advocate vegetarian diet. The secular literature of Tirukural (circa. 100-300 AD) advocates vegetarianism. (I didn't know Thiruvalluvar talked about these things)
  • Vegetarian societies (apart from India) were first formed in majority meat-eating European countries both as a means to promote the diet and to gather together vegetarians for mutual support. By 2000, most Western and developing nations had functioning vegetarian societies. The countries that were first to establish societies are still the ones most likely to have the greatest proportion of vegetarians within their populations.
  • Today, Indian vegetarians, primarily lacto vegetarians, are estimated to make up more than 70% of the world's vegetarians. They make up 20 to 30% of the population in India, while occasional meat-eaters make up another 30%.
  • The majority of the world's vegetarians, statistics wise, are Hindu. Hinduism and Jainism teach vegetarianism as moral conduct while Christianity and Islam generally do not.
  • Islam allows some consumption of meat; this meat is known as "halal", and this meat is slaughtered by the Islamic standards, and disallowed meat is haram, which is non permitted meat or meat not slaughtered according to Islam's standards. Islam accepts the ritualistic animal slaughter done by Jews, known as shechita. (Hebrew)" Islam also excludes the consumption of pork (pig meat). Muslim vegetarians are very rare as the consumption of meat is intertwined with religious sacrificing of animals (namely caprids, bovines and camels) in Eid ul-Adha. Moreover, in Islamic jurisprudence, it is wrong to forbid what is not forbidden. When travelling to locations where it is difficult to get halal meat, Muslims eat fish instead or eat only vegetables.
  • According to the United Nations Population Fund "Each U.S. citizen consumes an average of 260 lb. of meat per year, the world's highest rate. That is about 1.5 times the industrial world average, three times the East Asian average, and 40 times the average in Bangladesh."(Think of the number of animals killed )
So Basically, India is the most vegetarian country in the world. A recent survey (Hindu-CNN poll) has concluded that more than 40% of the country's population is vegetarian. This is really huge, considering our population.




1 comments:

Shyam said...

u have named it vegetarianism, but on the contrary the whole ost talks about the ills of non-vegetarianism.... dont u think ??? ;))