Monday, October 25, 2010

Adopting Vegetarianism is easy, being Health conscious and compassionate towards Animals

If Humans become genuinely spiritual not for the sake of society but for one's own self, become more health conscious, develop compassion and love towards Animals, they switch over to vegetarianism.

We don't intend to hurt any of your feelings, but as it was rightly said by ISKCON, "You are what you eat!" This is also correct, because your food is mainly responsible for your behavior whether you are intelligent or cunning or lazy or anything else.

Everything we eat contributes in one way or the other to one of our qualities. If you eat food derived from the plants, you would be peaceful, sharp, healthy and with good behavior. If you eat more meat and less vegetarian, you would become lazy, more prone to illnesses and ill-mannered in your behavior. This can be noted, in fact, by any one of us observing our surrounding people whose food habits are known to us.

Many great people in this world were vegetarians or have eaten most of their time vegetarian food items. You can even make a Google search on the internet for finding them apart from the information provided at the end of this article.

Why Cow and Bull are important to Hindus and no other animals?

Keeping aside what other religions explain about the meat consumption, the meat lovers among the Hindus must think once. Why Cow or Bull alone are important to Hindus and no other animal? We feel the Cow as our mother, because it gives milk, Bull as our father, because it works hard in the field so that we eat food.

You can't kill your own animals if you grow them personally, because you start loving them too. If you ask a person who wants to eat meat, to go by him self to catch an animal, then kill it using his own hands (like how lions or tigers kill) then eat that meat, no good person will do that, because, the person will observe the pain taken by the animal in providing you the meat. Whereas the cruel wild animals like tigers or lions can't stop their activity because they have to live on the other animals, they can't live otherwise.

But when it comes to eating, many people think that those who killed the animals get sin, and we are not killing them to eat. But what I understood from many people through my interaction is that very few people understand that those who are eating meat are indirectly responsible for the killing of animals by some others.

Using animals is different from eating animals. Still, if you think that eating meat is human, yes, "To err is Human!" But realizing things and not doing those things like eating meat for the sake of pleasure if not for any other reason, is divine – so in one phrase – not eating meat is divine.

Heavy meat consumption in developed countries is one of the reasons for World's poverty

As per some research done by UNO, one of the many reasons for poverty in this world is due to the heavy meat consumption in the developed countries. As going into the details is not in the scope of discussion in this article, we just describe some of the facts to be understood so that people start thinking on their own or may try to do research seriously over these ideas.

A simple calculation about the advantage of being vegetarian to solve the global hunger problem:

A piece of land, used for feeding 10 cows or goats, can be used for growing grains. Let us assume that these 10 cows or goats when brutally slaughtered can feed 100 humans, but the quantity of grain grown on the same amount of land can feed 1000 humans or at least more than 100 people. If all these lands used for feeding slaughter are instead used for agriculture, the global hunger problem would be solved.

When we talk about compassion, it's usually towards other human beings — family, friends, near and dear, or some strangers or some poor people in some corner of the world who are suffering.

We talk about understanding their suffering, raising funds, donating the money and goods for voluntary organizations or charities, etc.

But Hindus/Brahmins are some people who believe in compassion towards all living things.  Besides these, all those who have pets in their homes can completely understand what the compassion towards animals mean!

One can't kill his own dog or a cat for pleasure. You care about your pets just like your children. Then why can't you extend that empathy, compassion and kindness to all other animals, including animals raised and killed for food, clothing, or other such uses.

Most people don't think about what effort is put by themselves or others to bring a plate of food in front of them. Ancient Indians following the Vedic civilization generally say, "Anna daata Sukhibhava" which literally means, "The donor of food shall remain happy."

They show that respect before consuming their vegetarian food, because they think about the people and the process behind preparation of the food. The people are farmers and the processes involve ploughing the land, sowing seeds, spraying manure, watering the crop, safeguarding the crop, and harvesting the crop, then storing the grains, cooking and serving.

A true Brahmin will offer his food to God and humbly request the Supreme Lord to sanctify the food and convert it as Prasada, so that the Samskara (result of the Karma (deeds)) associated with the food should not bind him.

Being a 'Non-Vegetarian' or a non-Brahmin, when you eat meat, you should also think about the people and the processes with which a piece of meat is brought in front of you. These processes involve raising the animals, slaughtering them, processing the meat (nowadays with a lot of chemicals), packaging, shipping, chopping, cooking and finally serving.

If we could see first-hand the conditions that these animals live in, how they're treated, what they're fed and shot up with, we might feel differently. It's not just the killing of an animal that causes suffering (although often it's done in very inhumane ways), but their living conditions from birth to death.

And then finally, there are people out there in this world especially from India, where Hindus or Brahmins who want to proudly say that "I am a strict vegetarian since my birth. I am compassionate to animals. Vegetarians are the genuine and complete lovers in this world."

Some suggested links for your further reading: 
  1. IVU.Org Promoting Vegetarianism Worldwide Since 1908 (http://www.ivu.org/)
  2. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) (http://www.peta.org/)
  3. Animal Compassion Network (http://www.animalcompassionnetwork.org/)
  4. Compassion in World Farming (http://www.ciwf.org.uk/)
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