• Dinesh Shahra

Vegetarianism- A rational call beyond the religious claim

Human beings are more conscious than other animals, which means that our decisions have a big impact on the lives of others which includes Nature we are a part of. Out of many aspects of our lives, the one in particular which make a very significant impact is of our food choices. When we make poor decisions about our food choices not only our health suffers but also the environment which includes the health of the soil, rivers, air and other creatures who co-exist with us.

Most developed countries have already witnessed this degradation in the environment and health of their population and even in India, we are starting to see such problems rapidly rising. Developed countries food mostly comes from processing industries, and largely from factory processed meats. These factory-farmed animals are kept in very unnatural conditions and given unnatural food, steroids and antibiotics for their quick growth to get quick returns. Apart from the suffering vast reserves of forest land is also cleared for cattle and factory farming. The current situation is such that out of all the animals on the

planet, 97 percent comprises of only cattle and livestock and mere 3 percent is wild life!

Livestock emissions make up anywhere between 14.5 and 18 percent of total global greenhouse gas emissions. Comparably, the transportation sector is responsible for around 14 percent of emissions. By those numbers alone, the current system of meat production is extremely damaging and unsustainable. Perhaps the fact to worry more about is that, while transportation creates CO2, livestock farming is hugely responsible for producing methane which is 23 times more potent than CO2.

A vegetarian lifestyle which is primarily plant-based diet devoid of excessive or no meat, poultry and eggs has been found out to be far better and sustainable to the human body and also to Nature. It not only promotes longevity, healing but also tranquillity and mindfulness of our spiritual nature beyond carnal living.

It is time that we stop seeing ourself as isolated creatures driven by greed to exploit Mother Nature and her creation and start seeing ourselves as interconnected beings whose actions have wider and far-reaching consequences on the macrocosm. Adopting a vegetarian lifestyle is can be a strong step in that direction!

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