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Monday, May 11, 2009

Vegetarianism - Wrong interpretations

I have always been an absolutely pure vegetarian, one who does not partake of even cakes or cookies or anything that may have even a trace of eggs. This streak of vegetarianism is not because of any spiritual or religious thought process, but because of a personal dislike for any foodstuff other than the vegetarian variety. But contrary to the “Ambumani Ramdoss” thought process, this streak has not led to my imposing vegetarianism on my wife and daughters, instead my daughters have always been encouraged to partake of non vegetarian food so that they do not face any dietary constraints especially while travelling.

I remember isolated incidents from my childhood of my mother puking after seeing raw flesh. I also feel the same way when faced with flesh, raw or cooked, but not as violently as my mother. The feeling is borne out of the inability to accept the fact that a living creature can be just a meal for another living creature. But that is the way the world made by God is, for almost all creatures including mankind. My inability therefore appears irrational and illogical, yet I would remain a grass eater, as they say, in this life at-least.
Being vegetarian, by no stretch of imagination makes one closer to the gods than the flesh eaters? Sadly our Indian society, especially the Hindu majority lays a very high premium on vegetarianism despite the majority being non vegetarians. On a similar vein one is tempted to add that even most of the boozers regard a tee-toteller with reverence and most of the smokers respect a non-smoker as if not partaking of alcohol or tobacco brings one closer to God and hence makes one a godly person. Unfortunately right from the cradle to the ashes, hardly any emphasis is laid on the necessity of being a good human being, with the stress being on inconsequential things like smoking, vegetarianism and alcoholism. How would then the almighty be viewing such a scenario? Would he be judging mankind on the basis of who eats flesh or not or who partakes of alcoholic drinks and tobacco or not? The answer is a definite “No”. Flesh, alcohol and tobacco are personal choices that may be good or bad for the health, but have no bearing whatsoever on the goodness or otherwise of the human beings. What is actually bad is being a bad human being and what is actually good is being a good human being. Fortunately in our society, we don’t actually have to become a good human being to be regarded as “good”, there are other peripheral factors that do the job.

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