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Old 31-08-2012, 08:22 AM posted to soc.culture.indian,,alt.religion.hindu,,alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,alt.animals.rights.promotion,soc.culture.usa
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Default Back to being a vegetarian - by Anuradha Dutt

Back to being a vegetarian

By Anuradha Dutt
The Pioneer
Friday, August 31, 2012

Indians must return to their old roots on diet. Both
nature and humankind will be better off

The Supreme Court recently issued a directive to ensure
that all States set up a committee for slaughterhouses
within a month. It is part of the effort to monitor

*But the very practice of butchering creatures for
pleasure and gain is antithetical to the Indic worldview.
Dominance of the utilitarian principle in economics
ensures optimum use of living species for profit.
Colonial rule over a long period introduced the malaise
into India, with post-independence rulers carrying on
with the Raj legacy.

The Chinese Buddhist monk Fa-Hien, who visited northern
India in the early fifth century AD, stated in A Record
of Buddhist Kingdoms, Being an Account by the Chinese
Monk Fa-Hien of his Travels in India and Ceylon in Search
of the Buddhist Books of Discipline: “In India, except
for Chandals, nobody indulges in violence against animals
or consumes liquor or other intoxicants. No one trades in
live animals. There are no shops in the entire country
which sell liquor or meat. Only the Chandals indulge in
hunting or consuming meat and liquor”.

Chandals were people that lived outside the social fold
because they deployed living creatures for food and
commerce. They also disposed of remains of the dead.
Modern civilisation rests on such moorings.

Worldwide lobbying against flesh-based diet has received
a boost from a recent report, prepared by eminent water
scientists. Malik Falkenmark and his colleagues from the
Stockholm International Water Institute predict in their
study that by 2050, acute water scarcity would compel the
world to turn vegetarian. There would then be just enough
water to support five per cent protein intake, derived
from animals. People currently source about 20 per cent
protein from animal-based food. The projected human
population for that time being nine billion, the pressure
to feed the additional two billion would take a heavy
toll on existing water resources. The warning needs to be
clubbed with forecasts of an impending food crisis by the
United Nations and Oxfam.

This, of course, is the utilitarian reason for shunning
animal protein. Processing and production of such food
entails five to 10 times more use of water than a
vegetarian diet, with an estimated one- third of arable
land diverted to growing food for animals, meant for

Other arguments against animal protein hinge on the
health hazards posed by such diet, and green house gas
emissions by livestock and poultry, magnifying global
warming to an alarming degree. Given below is a relevant
excerpt from a 2009 scientific study, titled Comparing
environmental impacts for lifestyle products: A review of
life cycle assessments, prepared by Wageningen University
in the Netherlands.

“The total agricultural sector emits around 25 to 32 per
cent of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
Crops emit 14 per cent... and all livestock emit 11 to-18
per cent, depending on how emissions are attributed...
The emissions from livestock can be divided roughly as 30
per cent methane from enteric fermentation, 30 per cent
nitrous oxide from manure management and 40 per cent from
carbon dioxide from land-use changes for grazing and feed
production... the dairy sector is responsible for roughly
27 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions from livestock...
while monogastric production (pigs/poultry) is
responsible for 10 to 20 per cent of the livestock
emissions... Even if beef cattle represent 50 to 60 per
cent of livestock emissions, this translates roughly into
a figure close to 30 to 35 per cent of all agricultural
emissions... What is true is that of all livestock
products, beef is the most inefficient in terms of
greenhouse gas emissions produced per unit of product,
especially compared to dairy and monogastrics”.

Beef production, as compared to other livestock products,
adds most to greenhouse gas emissions. But neither this
fact nor outbreak of mad cow disease in the West, with
the UK being most badly hit, has managed to change
dietary habits to a substantial degree. It is a fatal
neuro-degenerative ailment, transmitted to humans as
variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, if they consume
infected beef. The disease erupted after cattle, which
are naturally herbivore, were fed remains of other
livestock. The abnormal fallout of going against nature
led to millions of cattle being eradicated in the UK
after the malady was diagnosed in the late 1980s. Despite
the beef industry’s claims of rigorous quality control,
reports have filtered out of BSE cases in North America.

The link between myriad degenerative diseases and factory
farming of livestock and poultry is now well known. John
Robbins, spurning his legacy of the ice cream empire
Baskin Robbins, has penned some revealing books, notably
Diet for a New America that unveils the gruesome truth
about the meat industry and severe repercussions for
mankind, animals and environment; and The Food
Revolution, triggering fierce rebuttals by opponents of
his uncompromising advocacy of diet that is plant-based
and organic. Given these facts, India too must revert to
its roots in terms of diet, and regard for life and

More at:

Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi
Om Shanti

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Old 31-08-2012, 04:20 PM posted to soc.culture.indian,,alt.religion.hindu,,alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian
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Default Back to being a vegetarian - by Anuradha Dutt

"Indians must return to their old roots on diet. Both"

How "old" is old? Old hindu literature speaks of animal sacrifice and

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