I recently read an online debate about spirituality and vegetarianism, and one person wrote: “A Cow is no more alive than a cabbage.” Well obviously both are alive, but it seems pretty obvious that a cow is more self aware and capable of suffering than a cabbage is. If you are unsure about this, why don’t you take a sharp knife and see if you feel the same way about cutting the head off a flower as you do about cutting the head off a squirrel. Or your dog.
Now let’s get rational.
Here are the 4 reasons to be vegetarian:
1. Eating meat causes enormous and un-necessary suffering to animals. Plants do not suffer in the same way. The principle here is causing the least harm – Ahimsa in sanskrit.
2. A balanced vegetarian diet is much more healthy. The research on this is voluminous and conclusive, to the point of convincing insurance companies and governments.
3. Meat production is a hugely inefficient use of arable land, and is a major contributor to global warming and pollution of the water table and more. The meat industry is responsible for all kinds of ecological devastation, and is unsustainable – ask any fisherman.
4. If you are a spiritual aspirant a vegetarian diet will help you along the path of conscious evolution. Eating the flesh of animals reinforces animal instincts in us, including fear, aggression and lust, which runs counter to spiritual practice. Plus it is a lot easier to meditate with a clean conscience.
All of which does little for the conscience of the cow, who is probably wondering whether or not it goes against cow principles to eat a cabbage.