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Consciously killing an animal and eating its flesh is not justifiable…
Vegetarianism is the practice of not consuming meat, with or without the use of other animal derivatives, such as dairy products or eggs. Some people choose to refrain from wearing clothing derived from animals, such as leather and fur. Veganism, in particular, excludes all animal products from diet and attire, whether or not this involves the actual death of an animal. Majority of the world's vegetarians, according to the Society of Ethical and Religious Vegetarians, follow the practice for religious reasons. Many religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, the Bahá'í Faith, Sikhism, and Jainism teach that ideally life should always be valued and not willfully destroyed for unnecessary human gratification.
The major paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as ideal; this is for a variety of reasons based on different beliefs. For many Hindus, it is a textually-advocated belief in ahimsa - nonviolence, to avoid indulgences - as meat was considered an indulgence, and to reduce bad karmic influences. For others especially within Vaishnavism and the bhakti movements, it is because their chosen deity does not accept offerings of non vegetarian foods, which the follower then accepts as prasad. Generally there is the belief, based on scriptures such as Bhagavad-Gita that one's food shapes the personality, mood and mind. Meat is said to promote sloth and ignorance and a mental state known as tamas while a vegetarian diet is considered to promote satvic qualities, calm the mind, and be essential for spiritual progress. The Vedic and Puranic scriptures of Hinduism assert that animals have souls and the act of killing animals without due course has considerable karmic repercussions (i.e. the killer will suffer the pain of the animal he has killed in this life or the next). The principle of Ahimsa (non-violence) compels one to refrain from injuring any living creature, physically, mentally or emotionally without good reason. Most of the secular motivations for vegetarianism such as ethical considerations and nutrition apply to Hindu motivations as well.
Many vegetarians consider the production, subsequent slaughtering, and consumption of meat or animal products as unethical. Reasons for believing this are varied, and may include a belief in animal rights, or an aversion to inflicting pain or harm on other living creatures. A belief also exists among vegetarians that other animals' lives should not have to end in order for theirs to continue. In developed countries, ethical vegetarianism has become popular particularly after the spread of factory farming, which has reduced the sense of husbandry that used to exist in farming and which has led to animals being treated as commodities. Many believe that the treatment which animals undergo in the production of meat and animal products obliges them to never eat meat or use animal products. This could perhaps be summed up in the phrase "Not in my name."
Some vegetarians believe that consciously taking someone else's belonging without consent is stealing and wrong. Since prey do not consent to its life being taken away, so it would be immoral to consciously kill an animal and eat its flesh. Even in the West, numerous social justice leaders, such as Cesar Chavez, have adopted a vegan/vegetarian diet in order to communicate an agenda of social harmony and fellowship.
Millions of animals are killed in slaughterhouses around the world. In the US, some half a million are killed each hour, while in the UK over 600 million are killed each year. A proportional number are killed in Australia. It is nothing more than an undercover massacre. Animals suffer enormously in the process. Quite apart from the terror of being killed, they undergo pain and fear through routine stock mutilations and during transportation to saleyards and abattoirs. Most animals eaten in Australia today are intensively raised in dark, sunless sheds where they are fed a diet of processed foods. In most cases antibiotics, growth-promotants and hormones are routinely administered. As biological entities, these animals are treated as little more than meat machines. We would be horrified if our pet cat or dog was treated in this way, so why should we subject other animals to such cruelty? The fact that the killing is done by someone else makes it easy to eat meat but, by eating it, we are really condemning the next animal in line. Have you ever really stopped to think about the cruelty we systematically inflict on other species simply by eating them?
The production of meat and animal products at current and likely future levels is environmentally unsustainable. Industrialization has lead to intensive farming practices and diets high in animal protein, primarily in developed nations and mainly the United States. According to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) "Most of the world's population today subsists on vegetarian or near-vegetarian diets for reasons that are economic, philosophical, religious, cultural, or ecological. Thus, the main protest of environmental vegetarians is primarily of intensive farming in developed nations."
Vegetarians are healthier than people who eat meat. It's a fact. Scientific studies show that vegetarians suffer much less from illnesses like cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and other common health problems. A major study reported in the British Medical Journal in 1994 found that, of 5000 meat-eaters and 6000 non-meat eaters, vegetarians had 40% less risk of cancer and 30% less risk of heart disease than the meat-eaters and were 20% less likely to die of any cause (Oxford Vegetarian Study). A US study of 50,000 vegetarians showed a very low rate of cancer (Seventh Day Adventist Study, Massachussets). It has been estimated that by following a low-fat vegetarian diet, the risk of food poisoning is decreased by 80%. More evidence of the benefits of a vegetarian diet is being found each year. The American Dietetic Association, the largest organization of nutrition professionals, states on its website "Vegetarian diets offer a number of nutritional benefits, including lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol, and animal protein as well as higher levels of carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals."
All modern, intensive farming practices consume large amounts of fossil fuel and water resources and lead to emissions of harmful gases and chemicals. The habitat for wildlife provided by large industrial monoculture farms is very poor, and modern industrial agriculture is a threat to biodiversity compared with farming practices such as organic farming, permaculture, arable, pastoral, and rain fed agriculture.
Vegetarian beliefs suggest that human beings have evolved to consume vegetable matter rather than meat. The reasons they cite are mainly associated with the differences between predators and plant-eating animals. Predators (such as dogs, cats, or raptors) usually have sharp teeth or claws to tear fresh meat, while plant-eating animals (such as horse and deer) have no sharp teeth or claws to tear meat. Humans occupy a middle ground between the two; they have no claws and mostly blunt teeth (molars) but also a pair of sharp canine teeth designed for tearing, which some feel is proof of a naturally omnivorous diet (gorillas are herbivorous and have very large canines, though these are at least partly for defensive purposes, while other primates with sharp canines are not strictly herbivorous and will occasionally kill and eat other animals). Additionally, plant eating animals, like cows and horses, drink water with their lips, unlike lions, dogs, and cats that drink water with their tongues. Since humans drink water with their lips, some consider this evidence that those humans are vegetarians by nature.
Hopefully, a few more people will see this truth about meat eating, and realize the unimaginable suffering and death caused to innocent and helpless animals everywhere. Visit www.loveusnoteatus.com - www.animal-lib.org.au
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