Vegetarian Ethics

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I ran across the following article on the Sampradaya Sun the other day on Vegetarian Ethics. It is a very nice collection of quotes on the importance of a vegetarian diet, and a case against animal slaughter.

“Many people consider the ethical reasons the most important of all for becoming vegetarian. The beginning of ethical vegetarianism is the knowledge that other creatures have feelings, and that their feelings are similar to ours. This knowledge encourages one to extend personal awareness to encompass the suffering of others.” (The Hare Krishna Book of Vegetarian Cooking)

“If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.”  (St. Francis of Assisi)

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Why Be Vegetarian?

Great Vegetarians

…On the spiritual path, there are several reasons why a person is recommended to be vegetarian. One primary reason is that we need to see the spiritual nature within all living beings, and that includes the animals and other creatures as well. Universal brotherhood means nonviolence to both humans and animals. It consists of understanding that animals also have souls. They are alive, conscious, and feel pain. And these are the indications of the presence of consciousness, which is the symptom of the soul.

…Isaac Bashevis Singer, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature, asked, “How can we pray to God for mercy if we ourselves have no mercy? How can we speak of rights and justice if we take an innocent creature and shed its blood?” He went on to say, “I personally believe that as long as human beings will go shedding the blood of animals, there will never be any peace.”

…The Buddhist scripture (Sutta-Nipata 393) also advises: “Let him not destroy or cause to be destroyed any life at all, or sanction the acts of those who do so. Let him refrain from even hurting any creature, both those that are strong and those that tremble in the world.” It is also said in the Buddhist scripture, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, “The eating of meat extinguishes the seed of great compassion.”

Why Be Vegetarian?
By Stephen Knapp (Sri Nandanandana dasa)

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The Case Against Animal Slaughter


The Case Against Animal Slaughter
Back to Godhead Magazine 1976, Vol 11, No. 1

From the standpoints of health, economics and ethics, animal slaughter and meat-eating are detrimental to human society.

Health

Although meat is certainly a source of concentrated protein it is a very poor source of other food elements like minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. In addition, eating flesh from the cow or any other animal is detrimental to the health of human beings for many reasons. For example, if a human, who has a much longer colon than the carnivorous animals, eats flesh, the following problems will ensue:

1. Intestinal bacteria in the long bowel will change from fermentative to putrefactive, thus causing poisons to be absorbed into the bloodstream. These poisons need to be eliminated, so energy is diverted from other essential bodily functions, including thinking.

2. The natural synthesis of vitamin B12 will be inhibited, possibly leading to anemia.

3. Animal toxins will tend to disrupt the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. This can cause diabetes.

4. Nonnutritive substances resulting from the digestion of animal flesh tend to be carcinogenic (cancer-inducing) irritants.

The minimum daily requirement of protein, which nutritional experts calculate to be between seventy and ninety grams, is easily achieved with dairy products and foods from the vegetable kingdom. Protein, is found in ample quantity in milk, cheese, yogurt, whole wheat, corn, many varieties of nuts and beans, and some vegetables. Thus vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products provide a perfectly balanced diet. Consuming animal flesh, on the other hand, results in excess protein, which produces liver ailments, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.

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The Case Against Animal Slaughter

The Case Against Animal Slaughter
From Back to Godhead Magazine 1976 Vol. 11 No. 1

From the standpoints of health, economics and ethics, animal slaughter and meat-eating are detrimental to human society.

Health

Although meat is certainly a source of concentrated protein it is a very poor source of other food elements like minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. In addition, eating flesh from the cow or any other animal is detrimental to the health of human beings for many reasons. For example, if a human, who has a much longer colon than the carnivorous animals, eats flesh, the following problems will ensue:

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