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Saturday, June 11, 2005

Respecting Life

For the longest time I'd wondered about whether or not I would turn vegetarian. And for the longest time I'd tried to ask people about it and see what views they had. Some of my biggest supporters were friends...well, a few friends, and some the people who opposed this idea were family members. "You won't get enough protein," they would say. But, having made the effort to avoid meat as far as possible I have realized something. As a matter of fact, I had this realization a couple of years ago. The moment people argue about lack of adequate nutrition from a purely vegetarian diet etc. it sems to me to be a matter of convenience that they're worried about. Well, taste too...but the argument they use is erroneous. Erroneous because it doesn't explain why millions upon millions of animals have to suffer from day to day. The biggest factor for this 'suffering' is the human population and its pattern of consumption. It's amazing how willing people are to hurt each other. Imagine this scenario...Once, prehistoric man first discovered that he liked meat. Why did he eat it? Survival. Having evolved to that state, and having the physical and mental faculties to plan his attack he was able to acquire 'non-veg' meals. This was a necessity, and his instincts told him that he needed to do it if he wanted to survive. Thousands of years later, he is able to sit in a restaurant, not worry about where his 'meat' is coming from or how it's being prepared, and can even complain about how cold it is and refuse to eat it. With billions of people on the planet, and many of them being meat-eaters, the suppliers of meat have taken it upon themselves to abuse/ill-treat/slaughter and treat animals as objects rather than other living beings. There's a lot of poor quality meat because of the lives that these animals are forced to lead, but there seem to be more than enough people to relish their carcasses. Don't get me wrong...I too used to eat meat...and a lot of it. But I got to thinking. Prehistoric man did it for a reason. He needed to survive...and because of this he used the animal that he killed completely...its fur, its bones or whatever. People today won't eat a particular cut of meat because it's not to their liking. I don't know, but I feel that consuming meat in this day and age is well beyond doing it for survival. Therefore, and as sentient beings ourselves, let us choose to make choices that are smart and are not only in our best interests, but in the best interests of this world and life in general.
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