Before I start writing this blog, let me make this clear, I have been eating meat my entire life. Eating meat is definitely a personal choice and this article is not intended to make someone feel bad about their personal choices. Personal choices include using plastics, more vehicles that emit toxic gases, and supporting factories that give out harmful smokes. But it’s always wise to look for the earth and other earth-mates while you make these personal choices.
2010, I stopped eating red meat, 2013 fish, and 2019 is my new year resolution to limit consuming chicken to as less as I ever could, or even try to stop. To people like me who know it’s importance, this article is to clear out some of your doubts, to the kind of people whom I often find in Facebook in my often comment wars with them, when they come out with illogical arguments on the Facebook pages of PETA or other similar organizations, this article is for you too.
Vegetarianism and Veganism is not just a new trend but something that Buddha told us to follow thousands of years ago too. Veganism is slightly different from vegetarianism as it involves cutting down on animal products as well which includes all dairy products. Isn’t it simple, the human race has progressed so much in terms of everything from technology to standard of living, everything is so much better. We are not in 1000 BC where we need to hunt to survive, with our exceptional agrarian skills we can grow and manufacture several vegetables and kinds of food, which can easily give enough nutrient to survive. If you do not believe me, then just think back, we all have a number of vegetarian friends in our schools, colleges, offices; their families have thrived on vegetarian foods and survived. So it is not just survival, the question really is do you feel enough for the animals? And if you do, what’s stopping you from saving them.
I have a list of arguments/doubts people have on this, and I have tried to reason them out. If you have the following doubts, then I may help you to solve it, if this is one of the excuses that you have, then it is a good time to reflect upon it.
Argument 1: What about the food chain? We are supposed to put a check on the population of species lower on the pyramid
Well, it’s true that we are at the top of the food chain. But over the years, the population of animals in the food chain has continuously been altered by us for our own purposes. We have increased the cattle population to satisfy their demands, we have hunted down the carnivores, for their skin or for pleasure. We have destroyed the so-called “food chain”. This is not how things are put on a check. The lions roam in protected areas, the deer in their protected spots, the goats are tied in a barn while the tiger’s skin is decorated on the wall. This has been further worsened due to the huge demand and supply chain.
Years ago, when humans moved from the middle to the top of the food chain, not because of evolution, but inventions like fire – we caused a sudden shock and the food chain to be dis-illusioned. Both for those below us (like fish and insects) and above us (the tiger and the rhinoceros), giving no time to the others in it to adjust to this new top most predator, called homo sapiens.
Argument 2: Plants have a life too
Well yes, plants have a life too, they may or may not feel pain, and every living being counts. Now are you doing something about them? If you are and you are really passionate about plant life, it’s really good. But if you give this as an excuse saying that the people who are saving animals are a hypocrite and they should think about plants too, then we have a problem. Out of plants and animals, people are at least trying to save one of them. Neither the plants nor the animals are being saved if you don’t stop eating meat.
I know what the next response is if we save more animals, they eat more plants and hence the solution is not feasible, then technically you are wrong because you are not seeing the whole picture. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization says 26 percent of the earth’s terrestrial surface is used for livestock grazing. One-third of the planet’s arable land is occupied by livestock feed crop cultivation. The more meat we eat, the fewer people we can feed. If everyone on Earth received 25 percent of his or her calories from animal products, only 3.2 billion people would have food to eat. Dropping that figure to 15 percent would mean that 4.2 billion people could be fed. If the whole world became vegan, there would be plenty of food to feed all of us; more than 6.3 billion people.
The World Watch Institute sums this uprightly, saying, “Meat consumption is an inefficient use of grain; the grain is used more efficiently when consumed by humans. Continued growth in meat output is dependent on feeding grain to animals, creating competition for grain between affluent meat-eaters and the world’s poor.”
So technically, if we continue eating and creating a demand for meat, we are making lesser food available to people, and not the other way round.
Argument 3: What about the extra farming required in order to feed people
We have covered that already in the above explanation.
Argument 4: It’s not a global crisis now
It doesn’t seem like that. But just as in cropland, the more the demand, the more livestock is bred and butchered every day. If you ever follow pages like PETA, you will see the horrors of what happens at ranches and farms, from where your meat comes from. The thing is, as intellectual beings, it is obviously for us to decide on what to eat and what not to, but having an emotional side in us, we should be aware of at least what we are eating and where does it come from. Adding some more facts, globally, 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the livestock industry – more than is produced by transportation-related sources.
My stand, I am not a vegan, and this is my first step towards complete vegetarianism. I have tried it before, taking challenges for a month or twice and successfully completed it. I have stopped eating chicken for just a few months now and I hope I will be able to continue it. With that, I feel completely guilty of being a person who speaks about it and finds so hard to implement it, but I also want more people like me to start from a little bit and we together can inspire others to follow us. The reason why I could stop eating meat was – I went to see once how am I getting it on my plate, and it moved me. I came up with these arguments after talking and listening to several non-vegetarians. And this is my take on the argument, it is obviously for you to make the last choice.
I enjoyed this blog a lot! This means a lot coming from a meat eater btw 😛
Thanks Anupama 😊
Turing vegetarian has been on my list as well. But then i see chicken momos and its all gone :/
I’ll send you a thousand picture which will make you say no to chicken monos, just tell me yes for that