Thursday, February 16, 2012

Liebster Blog Award

A second post of mine in as many weeks which can be classified under "Shameless Self Promotion". Anyways, I am happy and thrilled to announce I received my second blogger award from a dear blogger friend of mine, Alka Narula. Her blog was one of the very first blogs I came across when I joined Indiblogger and I am following her blog ever since. She is one of the most prolific bloggers I know who blogs about a wide range of topics from her beautiful poetry to politics and just about everything which are straight from her heart. And so her aptly named blog Deep From My Heart. I am truly honored and humbled to receive this honor from her. Thank you so much, Alka. :)

Also posts such as these gives me an opportunity to appreciate my fellow bloggers whose work I truly admire. I was bit saddened when I had to leave out a few blogger's names on my previous award post. But I'll try to make up for that in this post. :)

Rules for accepting the Liebster Blog award:

  • Link back to the person who gave you the award.
  • Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs.
  • Post the award on your blog and spread the love.

Okay, tough job to pick only 5 so I had to add one more, so here are my 6 nominations for the award:

* Rajagopalan Ratnaraj - A Beautiful Mind
* Aakash Kokz - Unexpressed Thoughts
* Elvirah - Life is an Art
* Subhorup Dasgupta - Subho's Jejune Diet
* Serendipity - Little Moments of Bliss

Congratulations to all of you, very deserving indeed. :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Killing Animals for Food - Can Meat Eaters be Genuine Animal Lovers?

23 million chickens are killed for food in the U.S. every day.
Image Courtesy:
This thought has been eating me since a long time; can meat eaters be genuine animal lovers? Can the meat eaters even call themselves animal lovers? Isn’t it hypocrisy - On one hand you love animals and on the other, you eat them? Is it ethically and morally right? Is it ethically and morally superior to not eat meat (as compared to eating it?) I am nobody to tell anyone to change their eating habits just because I find it offensive. I am also not qualified to give a lecture about ethics and morality about eating meat. But having said that, there is absolutely no justification of killing animals for food just so humans could lead a healthy life at their expense.

Even if eating meat is limited to beef, pork, or chicken - a meat is a meat. And in my personal opinion, people who eat meat have no right to call themselves animal lovers even if they love animals and actually care for them. If you call me a hypocrite for judging you based only on your eating habits, then I am a hypocrite. I have been a vegetarian all my life and I am proud of the fact that my love for animals is pure and unconditional.

I know this argument has been going on for ages now. On one side the animal lovers/vegans think everyone should abstain from eating meat and accept vegetarianism in their life, and there is absolutely no excuse for killing animals to satisfy our taste buds. On the other hand, the meat eaters, some of whom might be animal lovers too, say, there is nothing wrong in eating meat unless the animal which was slaughtered had a “good” life. Meaning the producers of those animals gave the animal a good decent life and a quick death. If the animal has been bred, raised, and nurtured very well and has had a very good life, does that make it ‘okay’ to kill it so that humans can have a healthier meal? I absolutely do not buy crap like that. The thought of cruelty to animals breaks my heart and fills it with anger. In my opinion, whether the animal which was slaughtered had a good life or whether the animal had lived in extremely inhumane conditions before meeting its death, there is not one good reason that would justify killing of animals for food.
Image Courtesy:
There is a counter argument to this. Some might argue that if we abstain from eating meat and accept vegetarianism just because we don’t agree with killing of animals for food then we are also preventing the animal to be born in the first place. The animals which are killed are not just killed for food, they are bred, raised, and nurtured before they are killed for food. So in that sense we are actually preventing an animal to be born and have a good but short life. If that is the case then I say it’s better not to be born at all.

I know after reading the previous sentence, some of you might be thinking, “What kind of an animal lover is he, who is okay with an animal not being born instead of the animal having a good decent life, albeit short?” or “The animal has to die someday, so why should it not the live a good life rather than live in inhumane conditions and die a painful death - isn’t that cruelty to animals too?.” I do understand that and I am in no way saying, let the animal live a pathetic life rather than having a short but decent life before it is put to death for food. All animals deserve a better life and we don’t have any right to take that life away from them just so we humans can lead a healthier life. You can still lead a healthy life without eating meat. Also, the animals that are being bred and raised and later killed for food, are they given strictly grain based food? Actually they are not entirely grass-bred. So to breed and raise these animals we are in turn killing other animals to feed them. This is absolutely unjustifiable. You might come to your own conclusions about my love for animals but I will still stick to what I believe.
A picture speaks a Thousand Words
Image Courtesy: Google Images
Just so my opinions wouldn’t sound completely biased because of my love for animals, I will try to look at this issue from a different perspective. Some of us vegans/vegetarians are unmindful of the fact that there are animals getting killed during the production of crops as well. Small sentient mammals like rodents, rabbits, prairie dogs are being killed by tractors during the production of crops. Their lives are as precious as the cows, pigs, and chicken that are slaughtered. So how does it allow the vegans/vegetarians to take the higher moral ground by not eating meat whilst animals are getting killed during crop production too, albeit the number of animals killed are incredibly low during crop production as compared to harvesting raw meat and killing animals for food. Vegetarians can at least console themselves by saying they aren’t actually consuming meat but they are indirectly responsible for the killing of these sentient creatures too. 

So does this mean, animal lovers who eat meat or people who just eat meat in general, and vegans who are animal lovers and do not consume meat are “distinguished” only by the number of animals killed during each process - that is, during killing of animals for food and during crop production.

Does this mean both animal lovers who do not eat meat and animal lovers who do eat meat, are not genuine animal lovers because animals are getting killed either way?

So where does this leave the argument? Can meat eaters be genuine animal lovers? The number of animals that are getting killed are much less during crop production, so isn’t that a good enough reason to relinquish meat and become a vegan/vegetarian? Just on the compassionate grounds and for the love of animals we can safely say the choice is grain and not meat.

I am not going to get into anymore statistical facts to prove whether the choice is grain or meat. But I found some interesting take on both grounds and if you are interested please go through the links below and make your own choice. I do know the verdict regarding this issue is very divided and from my research I can say that the people who think it is morally acceptable to kill animals for food are more as compared to people who are completely against killing of animals for food.

But I will stick to my personal opinion, meat eaters can never be genuine animal lovers. Feel free to disagree.