Meat and Wheat

Should a person be meat-eater or wheat-eater, I mean a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian? The debate is endless and leads to more confusions than conclusions, simply because it is a matter of personal choice. Off and on it flares up but never dies. A comment given recently by Dr. R.K. Pachauri that we must avoid meat at least once a week to begin with, in order to help contain global warming, has again brought it live.

Everyone has his or her reasons for eating or not eating meat. I do have mine for advocating vegetarianism. But certainly some of the arguments that meat eaters put forth appear so lousy that even the most gullible person can see through them. Some of the most common ones I came across were that we don’t kill ourselves; without meat one will suffer protein deficiency; that the world will be full of animals if not killed; there will be food shortage; there is growth of associated industries like leather, fur, etc etc. The latest jewel in this crown is that without meat the brain may suffer shrinkage.

Anyone can see that there are millions of vegetarians in the world surviving and leading normal lives from the times immemorial, people who have never tasted meat etc since generations. None has suffered protein shortages or brain shrinkage. In the last case, the title is misleading. Actually it tells that this may happen due to deficiency of vitamin B-12, which is present in meat. But then it is also present in milk, green vegetables and fruit. And the earth is not full of jackals, lizards, bats or such animals that rarely if anyone eats. We don’t have to play Mother Nature for this. As for food shortage, there are ample data to prove that on the overall balance meat production involves loss in the food production due to water, land, etc required for rearing the animals. For fur, the less said the better; wearing fur, to me means wearing, almost literally, the wails of animals being killed with utmost cruelty. And mind that morally, everyone using meat, fur, leather etc is equally a party to all the cruelty and killings; for these trades flourish only because there are buyers.

Returning to the nutrition myth, after all where do the meat animals get these proteins, fat, etc from? Their bodies as well as our human bodies have their own protein and fat synthesis mechanisms, i.e. making these essentials from greens. Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and water we get from our food. Vegetarian food supplies all this; where is the need to indulge in gory killings for taste? Why develop such a taste in the first place and then call the diet essential for nutrition?

Still further to all this, I personally feel that the meat eaters, since they grow up that way, feel fewer qualms at the idea of dealing out injury to others or are less perturbed with violence, although vegans are not guaranteed sages who do no harm to others. I think all virtues stem basically from kindness of heart which essentially entails non-violence. All the display of kindness and charity by a person who enjoys eating a killed animal therefore seems, at least to me, to be more of a farce.

Of course these things are of purely individual liking and no one is bound by others’ choices but I wish more and more people turn vegetarian to avoid cruelty to our animal friends. For a try, love an animal and see the response, and then think all over again.

Just try to imagine all those things being done to the animal you love: I bet you will switch off your thinking mechanism mid-way.
A post by AS who blogs at The Humming Words

comment 1 comments:

BK Chowla, on November 17, 2010 at 3:34 PM said...

What to eat or not to eat is a matter of personal choice and liking.
One can love an animal and still remain a non-vegetarian out of choice

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