This blog will probably raise some eyebrows and I hope stimulate a conversation or two. My thoughts revolve around the topic of the choice to be vegetarian, vegan or omnivorous.
Most of my vegan friends have moral reasons for choosing to forgo meat. Some have simply found that vegetable matter better suits their constitution. When one considers the moral aspect of eating meat, this involves an emotional investment in animals. I am referring to the recognition of animals as sentient beings that are being exploited for human gain. There is no regard for their natural state. They are placed in feedlots and batteries, literally force fed on unnatural feed, to produce a product for human consumption. And, quite understandably many people, myself included find this barbaric!
The second aspect of choosing veganism has to do with the manner in which animals are slaughtered. Abattoirs are a curse of modern society and its overpopulation of the planet. Transport to the place of killing is stressful and physically damaging; the manner of death is inhumane. Those animals waiting are exposed to this trauma.
Dr Temple Grandin has done much to improve these situations. She has made it her life’s mission “to educate people throughout the world about modern methods of livestock handling which will improve animal welfare and productivity”.(Click on the hyperlink above to access her website.)
Other proponents of the vegan lifestyle speak of energy acquired through consumption. Eating (whether meat or vegetable) is necessary for our survival. Eating is a conversion of energy. Energy is required to sustain our bodies.
If one considers energy in a plant, it is possible to improve the nutritional value of the vegetable harvest by growing plants not only in a nutrient-rich and chemical-free environment, but also in a loving space.
In an article titled: ‘Scientific Evidence Thoughts & Intentions Can Alter The Physical World Around Us’ (The Mind Unleashed.org, Jan 23 2014), the work of Dr Masaru Emoto is discussed. Here the effects of words and thought on rice and water are scientifically recorded in a way which leaves the reader much more aware of his or her use of words. (Click on the hyperlink above to access the website.)
The Intention Experiment has been carrying out a series of ‘Germination Intention Experiments’ since 2007. In these scientifically controlled experiments Dr. Gary Schwartz and his laboratory team at the University of Arizona test whether intention can affect the growth of plants. (Click on the hyperlink above to access the website.)
So, by consuming meat that is produced in the conventional arena what sort of energy are we absorbing? Unnatural, stressed and with hormones and other additives. Would it be possible to raise animals in their natural state, with love and respect? Then, follow this with slaughter that is quick, painless and not witnessed, preceded by a prayer of gratitude and thanksgiving (as performed by many ancient tribes). How would these exercises affect the end product? Would this be a palatable option to those who still choose to eat meat?
Finally, what about the concept that plants too, are sentient? Are you sure that the reactions we measure in trees growing next to those that are cut down, are purely chemical? If you could entertain the fact that plants may have feelings (I believe they do and that we have not yet learnt to communicate with them) then what are we going to eat?
In an article entitled ‘Humanity is waking up to the intelligence of nature’, (Wake-up World.org, Aug 2015) Paul Lenda discusses the growing body of science supporting the view that both animals and plants display signs of sentience and should be afforded certain rights on that basis. (Click on the hyperlink above to access the website.)
In conclusion, I believe that all beings (plant, animal and mineral) have huge value. Our salvation lies in recognising and honouring their contributions. All beings deserve respect.