Thursday, October 23, 2014
Home > My thoughts > Being a vegetarian – the supreme virtue

Being a vegetarian – the supreme virtue

Everyday we see people claiming that God is not with them and is always testing them, those whiners also claim that they are always righteous and never inflicted suffering on anyone. Sometimes their whining reaches the next level, and they say that God is helping those only those murderers and corrupts and not good people. They even give examples like “Mr. X, killed 10 people and tortured several others, but he is an MP today. Look how God is supporting these inhuman people. I have not harmed anyone in my life and yet God is not giving me anything”.

The optimistic people of that lot might say “God may test me, but he will not give up on me, and God may give everything to that killer, but will eventually give up on him”. They say these soothing words to themselves to feel comfortable.

VegetarianismA vast majority of these people will eat chicken or hamburger. They want spices and flavors to make those tastier. What about the righteousness?  Are they not harming a living being by doing so? Some goons are forced to kill just for their survival, however there is no such pressure on these people to kill the animals for food. For those people who munch on a hamburger, the life of a cow is insignificant, just like the hooligans for whom the lives of common people is insignificant.

People in India wait in long queues on a Sunday to buy freshly cut mutton, yet, they call themselves as virtuous. The powerful and affluent people who commit murder for power are treating the common folk like the way non-vegetarians treat cows and buffaloes. The non-vegetarians are through hypocrites, they don’t give a damn about the weaklings, but expect the powerful people to be merciful.

Now some self proclaimed intellects may come out and ask some great questions like

  • If you are a vegetarian, then why do you consume milk and dairy products? are they not animal products?
  • If you are against killing, then why do you eat plants? do they don’t have life?
  • Destroying plants will affect the environment, we are just eating the animals. What is wrong in it?

These are the most popular questions put forward by the pseudo intelligentsia in India and abroad.

The answer to this is, We do no have a right to inflict death and pain. However the whole ecosystem is created in such a way that one part of the ecosystem has to consume another part for its survival. However we have a choice, we can lead a healthy and happy life without killing. Most well evolved civilizations around the world promoted the right form of vegetarianism. The most consumed vegetarian food is rice, followed by wheat, both of these are annuals and die after a year,  the vegetables and fruits that we take from plants don’t kill the plants. It is also important to remove them, if not then the fruits will fall at the same place and the seeds will sprout right below the existing plant, which is neither healthy for the parent tree or the offspring. And that exactly is the reason why the plants evolved in such a way that their fruits are edible, so that the animals including men will eat the fruit and throw away the seed in a different place so that the species can proliferate without self-destructing. Likewise by consuming milk products you are not killing any animal. (Ideally after milking the cow, the calf is given sufficient milk and other fodder to keep it healthy, so you are not even depriving a living being).

That is the reason why Jains and Shaivaites ask people not to eat roots and underground stems like potato.

I think vegetarianism put forward a remarkable concept, of non violence, so it became great. every thing in this world have life. “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”- Hippocrates. So how can killing an animal be different from killing a man?

Jain text says – “All the living beings wish to live and not to die; that is why unattached saints prohibit the killing of living beings. Just as pain is not agreeable to you, it is so with others” .

Knowing this principle will help mortals to treat others equally with respect and compassion. This attitude of compassion is the growth of one’s mind.. and that is why Gautama Buddha said – “vegetarianism is a step into the stream which leads to nirvana”.

It is unpardonable to kill an animal just to satisfy his taste buds. One should understand that the pleasure you get out of eating meat is short lived, and the moment the flesh reaches your stomach, the taste leaves your mouth along with that, health, kindness and morality also leaves you forever. When brutality is the order of the day then how can you imagine a clean world with peace?

Its a shameful that people speak about the cruelty of killing while they themselves don’t have any problem in slaughtering fellow creatures which don’t have a human body! I believe the kindness of such people is very superficial. Only foolish people believe that God created the world for man and other living beings (including women) to serve his needs.

Finally, those who claim that eating animals is better than eating plants as that will protect the environment are thoroughly illogical.

Effects of Flesh Eating

Our world can become sustainable if and only if the  majority of the population becomes vegetarian.

Be a vegetarian and save the third world nations:

  1. Number of people worldwide who will die as a result of malnutrition this year: 20 million
  2. Number of people who could be adequately fed using land freed if Americans reduced their intake of meat by 10%: 100 million
  3. Percentage of corn grown in the US eaten by people: 20
  4. Percentage of corn grown in the US eaten by livestock: 80
  5. Percentage of oats grown in the US eaten by livestock: 95
  6. Percentage of protein wasted by cycling grain through livestock: 90
  7. How frequently a child dies as a result of malnutrition: every 2 point 3 seconds
  8. Percentage of US farmland devoted to beef production: 56
  9. Pounds of grain and soybeans needed to produce a pound of edible flesh from feedlot beef: 16

Be a vegetarian and save our environment:

  1. Primary cause of greenhouse effect: carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide emissions, methane is stronger greenhouse gas (23 times more effective)
  2. A single cow produces 70 and 120 kg of Methane per year
  3. In addition fossil fuels needed to produce meat based diet is three times greater than a vegetarian diet.
  4. Percentage of US topsoil loss directly related to livestock raising: 85
  5. Number of acres of US forest cleared for cropland to produce meat-centered diet: 260 million
  6. Area of tropical rainforest consumed in every quarter-pound of rainforest beef: 55 square feet
  7. 1000 species become extinct every year due to clearing of forests for cattle grazing.

Be a vegetarian and protect your health:

  1. There is an increased risk of breast cancer for women who eat meat daily
  2. Increased risk of fatal prostate cancer for men who consume meat.
  3. Most common cause of death in the US : heart attack
  4. How frequently a heart attack kills in the US: every 45 seconds
  5. Average US man’s risk of death from heart attack: 50 percent
  6. Risk of average US man who eats no meat: 15 percent
  7. Percentage of US antibiotics fed to livestock: 55
  8. Percentage of staphylococci infections resistant to penicillin in 1960: 13
  9. Percentage resistant in 1988: 91 and the sole reason is the application of excess antibiotics to livestock
  10. Percentage of US mother’s milk containing significant levels of DDT: 99
  11. Percentage of US vegetarian mother’s milk containing significant levels of DDT: 8

Be a vegetarian and save our natural resources:

  1. User of more than half of all water used for all purposes in the US: livestock production
  2. Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of wheat: 25
  3. Gallons of water needed to produce a pound of California beef: 5,000
  4. Calories of fossil fuel expended to get 1 calorie of protein from beef: 78
  5. To get 1 calorie of protein from soybeans: 2

Why be Vegetarian? I can list 100 other reasons and facts; but the real question is Why NOT be vegetarian?

Man is not the center of the universe, he is just an insignificant part of it. Our mother nature will survive and thrive even if the entire human race is wiped out, but the entire ecosystem will be destroyed if all the insects are wiped off from this planet. Let me conclude my thoughts with this wonderful quote of Pythagoras.

“So 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.”

Few Quotes
  • We all love animals. Why do we call some “pets” and others “dinner?” – K.D. lang
  • I think vegetarianism put forward a remarkable concept, of non violence, so it became great. every thing in this world have life. “The soul is the same in all living creatures, although the body of each is different.”- Hippocrates.
  • A human can be healthy without killing animals for food. Therefore if he eats meat he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. – Leo Tolstoy
  • “In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis” – Isaac Bashevis Singer.
  • “Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.” – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd U.S. President
  • I think there will come a time, and this is down the road a great many years, when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that have preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say, meat-eaters in disgust and regard us in the same way that we regard cannibals and cannibalism. – Dennis Weaver
  • The time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”- Leonardo da Vinci.
  • I have no doubt that it is a part of the destiny of the human race, in its gradual improvement, to leave off eating animals. – Henry David Thoreau
  • Thou shalt not kill does not apply to murder of one’s own kind only, but to all living beings; and this Commandment was inscribed in the human breast long before it was proclaimed from Sinai. – Leo Tolstoy
  • If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian. -Paul McCartney
  • “Can you really ask what reason Pythagoras had for abstaining from flesh? For my part I rather wonder both by what accident and in what state of soul or mind the first man did so, touched his mouth to gore and brought his lips to the flesh of a dead creature, he who set forth tables of dead, stale bodies and ventured to call food and nourishment the parts that had a little before bellowed and cried, moved and lived. How could his eyes endure the slaughter when throats were slit and hides flayed and limbs torn from limb? How could his nose endure the stench? How was it that the pollution did not turn away his taste, which made contact with the sores of others and sucked juices and serums from mortal wounds?” – Plutarch

To conclude, our body (especially alimentary canal) is designed to be a vegetarian. If you see the differences between carnivores and herbivores one thing stands out; herbivores and human beings have lengthy intestine but other animals (carnivorous and omnivorous) have short intestine. Assimilation of vegetarian food is slow and it takes time, which prevents spike in blood sugar levels, the dietary fiber in vegetarian food contains peptids and long chain cellulose which are difficult to digest. Whereas animal protein and fats are easily digested.

Like Einstein said ‘being a vegetarian is the real civilization’.

Do Share your opinions.

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About Ajithkumar

I am Ajithkumar, an entrepreneur and a karma yogi. I live by the principle: "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do". So I do all the things I like with a willingness to accept responsibility for my actions. Connect with me on Google+
  • Harihar

    Hi.. That is a gr8 passage by u Ajith. BTW I’m a vegetarian.. Now I’ve got the answers to all non-vegetarians..

  • Anila

    Nicely written. Thank you. I am a vegetarian and I have a question. In a debate between veg and non veg people, I couldn’t answer to the mentioned question.
    You said we consume fruits to help the plant, in the same way nonveg people ask “if we don’t eat some chicken or beef, their population will increase uncontrollably so we are helping to control their population. Aren’t we? ” Ajith, could you help to get an answer?

    • http://ajithkumar.cc Ajithkumar

      Thanks. Controlling the population of chicken and cows in the planet is not the reason why we eat them. That is a very wrong way of looking at things. We breed them in millions, use immense amount of antibiotics to prevent diseases, create genetically modified variety for higher body mass and then eat them. The nature has every thing in balance, we created the imbalance by breeding them in huge numbers and then justify it by eating them. Where is sustainability in this?

      • Vijaya Lakshmi L

        I guess am quite late to the discussion but really well said and gave strong answers for supporting my stand of being veg:)

  • Tolstunka

    I think at some point, people will just feel that they simply cannot intake meat… As they evolve spiritually, eating that kind of food will just feel too heavy… it’s like breathing air with poisonus fumes–one can’t really nourish a body with the energy of pain and suffering.

    I’ve been a vegetarian for many years, then more recently have also been avoiding dairy and eggs & eating as much raw/fresh fruits and veggies as possible… and I feel so much lighter (spiritually) and more peaceful.

    • ajithkumar

      Hi,

      it is really good to know that you have given up meat. However in our culture we don’t denounce milk. We consider cow (along with many other animals) as a God. We have a set procedure of taking care of the cow and the calf and we take only little of the cow’s milk for our purpose and the rest is left for the calf. No cow will ever be harmed. The thousands of temple in india will all have a separate place to take care of stray cows. Cows are an integral part of our life.

      However coming to your case, it is good that you gave up milk as well, but be careful to add some extra calcium in your food like almonds and other nuts and whole grains like finger millet and so on. Thanks again for taking your time to comment.

  • http://thoughtsunlimited.net Ashwin

    Nice one buddy… Good thoughts on Vegetarian food and the mind. Thanks for sharing and a nice reference for Vegan debaters :)

  • Jasmine Singh

    I am now trying to be a vegetarian. I recently saw a video of bruce lee’s daughter saying that he was vegetarian and wanted her and brandon lee to be vegetarians. Its amazing how strong he was inspite of a vegan diet

    • ajithkumar

      Bruce Lee was a vegetarian, he became vegan as he had milk allergy. Another great vegetarian personality is carl lewis, He reached the top strictly on a vegan diet.

  • Alok Mishra

    Beautiful. Thanks Ajith. Now I have a Reference/Answer for repling to non-vegetarians queries.
    :)

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