This post is inspired by one of Kathy Freston‘s recent columns.
I have often wondered why living without eating animals is such a difficulty for human kind! When and how did this speciesist arrogance begin? Why does mankind think that the other animals including fishes have less of an emotional attachment to their lives and it is ok to kill them and eat them? And it does not even start and stop with just eating the dead bodies of animals and fishes (yes, that’s what we do, those of us who eat animals – we eat carcasses of other species) – We even eat animal byproducts – such as eggs, milk (of all mammals, pretty much), etc.
Many recent scientific studies have proven that the whole “animal food” industry is as perilous to our environment, as the industrial carbon pollution that we all normally associate Global warming with. Unfortunately, enough emphasis on this has not been put by many ‘environmentalists’ yet. Well, we may argue that they are taking “one step at a time”. Agreed. But it is about time that we start acting on this danger as well, else, the ecological balance of this beautiful Earth will cease to exist and our future generations may be living with masks and tubes as permanent fixtures. Or, this may lead to the evolution of a new species and human beings or the species, we call as Homosapiens will become a fossil record for future species to study, if there ever will be some that can survive on this planet.
I am not a Vegan. But I am a vegetarian and have grown up as a proud vegetarian. I am glad that my family background (for whatever reason and it definitely was not environmental) helped me not know the meat-eating lifestyle till I hit my mid-twenties. Then, for various not so excusable reasons, I devoured animal carcasses of several species, some willfully and some just adventurously, all along, unaware of the environmental impact I may have had. After a couple of years of galavanting along the environmentally obnoxious and principally inhuman side, I attained Nirvana, thanks largely to my wife. Boy, am I glad..?
The next step to this (for me) is to get to a state of practicing “Veganism”. If I can do that in the next few years, then I may be considered a forerunner of this lifestyle, which could very well be the norm 100 years from now. In a highly possible scenario, a few decades from now, the newer generations of human kind may wonder how generations of our times (21st century) lived on animal dead bodies.
A fictitious excerpt from a history book in 2100 may look something like this…
“…Back in the 21st century, human beings ate animals and animal products such as milk from cows and goats. They even ate eggs of certain species like hen (a 2 legged bird which largely lived on land and had a lift of less than 2 feet) and fish. They had developed the knowhow to produce several byproducts from cow’s milk (a mammal that was the mostly abused for its times), using processes such as pasteurization and fermentation. They ate all parts of some animals including their head, liver, breasts, thighs, tails, intestines, skull, head, brain, kidney, legs, wings, etc. Some animal dead bodies were eaten raw. Some species of fish were eaten raw (uncooked). Towards the end of the 21st century, when the Arctic ice cap had melted and the then Canadian surface area had shrunk by more than 30%, several scientists and environmentalists decided to propose a new regulation on carbon emissions. The first and the foremost industry that was targeted was the ‘animals for food’ industry. The regulations introduced by the President of…..”
If the rate at which Americans consume meat, which is 100 Kg. per capita per annum (about 220 lb.), then this closely translates to killing 150 million cows, 100 million chickens and 100 million species of fish every year so that Americans can have some dead bodies with every meal of the day. Just extrapolate it to the rest of the world at a slightly lower meat consumption rate and do it over a few centuries. Don’t you agree that the world we live in cannot sustain the balance if this trend continues? The above fictitious excerpt was totally made up by me. But as much fictitious and humorous it may be, I am also painful to think about the world that our children are inheriting from us.
I know I can take baby steps to be a Vegan soon. I am proud that my son is a Vegan for all practical purposes. He has been brought up to live that lifestyle and when he grows up, I am sure he will understand why we chose this for him. Whether he chooses to continue to be a Vegan or not, he will at least be glad that he contributed a little bit to the world around him. My wife and I are slowly making the switch.
Not being a Vegan today, is not an excuse for me not to do other things that can save this Earth and give some extended warranty to its life, as our home. I think Green today but I want to do that everyday.
Happy Environment Day!
(Note: The title of the post is to bring relevance to a similar post I had earlier, which is not related to this at all!)