The basis of morality: the recognition that we are all an intrisic part of Nature and all connected in this great cosmic ensemble, is the fundemental notion needed to correctly understand many things in this great life.
And if there is a domain in which this law of Unity is particularly important, it is that of nutrition. Even if we often consider that a meat diet is absolutely normal, there are certain places in the world where it is not a very popular choice. For example, in India, it is estimated that about 30% of the population live their entire lives as vegetarians, and yes ... they do live long, and healthy lives : )
Vegetarianism is a common food diet for them, and no one is surprised or worries about the health of someone who does not eat meat there.
When we go to the supermarket, we only see packets of well-envelopped meat. Because of this, we sometimes forget it's origins. When we follow a meat diet, we do not simply eat "meat" ( a word which has become a concept of it's own ) but really ..... animals ! I do not mean to be rude, but what we sometimes find odd in "civilised countries" ... is not always that casual if you truly stop to think about it : ) And yes, the animal meat that we introduce within our bodies are not simply "steaks" or "hamburgers", but really, bulls and cows that have had to suffer a great deal before getting into our plates. The name "hamburger" gets it's origin in the words ... ham-burger. And so, we cannot eat a steak as we would eat a cookie, in an unconsequential way. The two are not "products" to the same degree at all.
A man whom I worked with, and who had greatly traveled once told me this story:
“ When I was in India, I lived for quite some time in the simple house of a family that had welcomed me in. There, I followed a course of zither ( a typical Hindu music instrument ) from a very wise and gentle man there, who did not charge me anything for the lessons. Over the course of time, I had become accustomed to the vegetarian diet which was the normal eating habit of the people living there. Once however, I had a random urge for chicken, and asked my host, who on this occasion was my zither teacher, if it was possible at all to find some in the region. He answered me that he knew of a place very closeby where chickens were raised for their eggs, and that only very rarely, were actually eaten. He accompanied me to that place, and, once there, simply gave me a machete while saying to me:
“ If you wish to eat this food, you must know what you are doing ! “
He told me this without judging me, to make me think. Surprised, I fully realised what it really meant to eat meat, and renounced it immediatly.”
This is a story that made me think alot. If we truly knew the conditions in which meat comes into our plates, it would simply become unbearable for us to eat - and I suspect that the meat industries know this very well.
To me now, it is impossible to understand why these creatures should endure so much needless violence. Everyday on earth, millions of animals are slaughtered, when studies tell us very clearly : our body can very well live without this food, and it is even often much healthier in doing so.
How can we think that this attitude does not have negatives repercussions on men and on the harmony of the planet ? We do not have the right to decimate the population of these living creatures for our main gustative enjoyment.
Many people claim that meat has a good taste. Having been carnivorous for almost 20 years and a vegeterian since July of 2002, I can honestly say that once your organism is liberated, even if only in part, of all the toxins that meat contains, it becomes unthinkable, even repulsive to even think of eating some again. And this is not an exageratioYn.
Once you have stopped eating meat, it is as if a cleansing happens, and you can then realise how unnecessary it was to even have eaten some in the past. In my case at least, there are no efforts needed to refrain from eating meat. No willpower is necessary. I have naturally turned away from it, and for the greatest of benefits !