The Vegetarian Question

pet plant
pet plant (Photo credit: Michael Sarver)

I really miss not posting yesterday. I got highjacked by the vicissitudes of life a few days ago, and have finally broken free. Happy Valentine’s Day. May you experience the love this day symbolizes every day of your life.

I’ve been thinking about vegetarianism the last few weeks, and all the issues it can bring forward. Some people seem to think it’s not good to eat meat because animals have souls and should not be killed. But what about plants? Do they not have souls?

What I read in “The Secret Life of Plants,” by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, made me ask some questions along these lines. In the book, I learned that plants are sensitive to their environment, including the people in it. Some interesting experiments were conducted in which plants were connected to a polygraph and were observed leaning toward people who treated them kindly and away from people who treated them unkindly. It was noted that they actually made little plant screeches when someone approached them with scissors. The experiments are considered to be pseudoscience by some. But what if they aren’t?

After much rumination on the subject, I have come to the following conclusion. I don’t know whether being highly sensitive to their environment means plants have souls or not. To me, that’s not the point. The point is that we live in a predator-prey environment. Every creature eats another creature. Humans are the top predators in the food chain. Therefore, humans can eat whatever they want. We are not the biggest, but we are the baddest, if you subscribe to the paradigm of raw power.

This situation is not pretty or sweet or kind. It just is, like Spirit just is. I think Native Americans had the right idea. Treat everything on earth with respect, including the animals and plants we kill and eat.

What are your thoughts?

Live your purpose every day.

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8 thoughts on “The Vegetarian Question

  1. I’ve been a vegetarian for 15 years . . . I’m convinced that NOT eating meat is better for me, better for the planet, and better for the animals I would otherwise be consuming. 😀

    If you’re interested, I’ve done several posts on the detailed reasons behind the switch ~ just search “vegetarian.”

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    1. Hi Nancy,

      Some of my best friends are vegetarians. It is a worthy lifestyle that I respect. I hope I haven’t given the impression that I’m against it. Just sharing some thoughts about life here on Planet Earth.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    2. No worries . . . but looking at the issue solely as a “soul” or morality issue ignores the bigger picture.

      You’re basically saying that “might makes right” . . . and I think that is both misguided and short-sighted. This is the 21st Century, not the middle ages, is it not?

      It’s that type of attitude that explains why our food is so TOXIC to begin with . . . because factory farms CAN exist, they DO exist. Because Agri-Business CAN use the bottom line as the bottom line, they do . . . and WE are paying the price.

      Because of the “predator-prey” mentality, big business feels free to lace our food with chemicals, additives, preservatives, pesticides, growth hormone, and other nasty toxic waste that expands our waistlines and poisoning our bodies.

      Mangia!

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  2. That’s not what I meant. I said, “…. if you subscribe to the paradigm of raw power,” which some do (factory farms, adulterated food, drug companies, the health care game). That doesn’t mean that might makes right. It’s what we do with “might” that makes the difference. The fact that we live in a predator-prey environment is not justification for any creature to take advantage of another. We have choices. We can accept negative conditions or we can stand up and create something healthier.

    Some people feel guilty about eating meat, so they become vegetarians. There are many reasons to choose vegetarianism, I realize, and I’m noticing the past few years what I perceive as guilty feelings in some quarters. These are the people who condemn others for slaughtering animals and eating them. My point is, we have a choice, and I think there’s nothing wrong with being a vegetarian or with eating meat. In my opinion, either is acceptable.

    Predator-pray is more than a mentality – it is a fact of life. What we do with that determines our quality of life.

    Guess I didn’t make myself clear.

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    1. The “guilt” (if it exists) probably stems from a growing awareness of the nasty and disgusting conditions under which animals are “produced” on Factory Farms ~ veal calves shoved into crates and unable to turn around or lie down, calves ripped from their mothers so that the milk can be consumed by humans, sows kept in gestation crates, hens de-beaked and kept in cages so small they can barely move, etc..

      Anyone who consumes meat, dairy, or eggs adds to the DEMAND for these inhumanely grown products . . . that DEMAND is met by one creature (man) taking advantage of others.

      The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

      Life is life ~ whether in a cat, or dog, or man. The idea of difference is a human conception for man’s own advantage. ~ Sri Aurobindo

      http://nrhatch.wordpress.com/2011/09/20/10-ways-to-help-stop-animal-cruelty/

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