Ruzbeh N. Bharucha
For me this is not just a meatless day but it is a day of compassion. It is a day where mankind should reflect on how powerful our animal instincts are at work, especially the gruesome manner in which our animals are being slaughtered to fulfill our cravings of the taste bud.
I am no exception. Through my life I too have partaken of flesh to satisfy the urges of the palate.
The one reason you and I should abstain from meat is because killing is wrong and also the manner in which we slaughter our animals is barbaric. Enter any butcher shop and you will see animals cowering, kept in dingy places, their fellow beings butchered in front of their eyes. The way they are transported, where so many die out of sheer suffocation and stampede and often the barbaric manner in which they are caged all their lives to feed our taste buds, speaks very little about mankind in general.
There should be dignity even in death and for me the worst possible thing about being carnivorous is the way we turn a blind eye to the plight of those animals who are killed to stuff our faces.
I am clear about one thing. Please do not equate spirituality with your diet.
It does not matter whether you are a vegetarian or not, being a decent, loving, helpful individual is a must. I have often mentioned that one’s place in Heaven, or the play ground of eternal joy, has got nothing to do with one’s caste, creed and diet. If entry into heaven was based on diet, then except for Jains and vegans, most of us are buggered.
If you are a vegetarian because you want a place in heaven, I would advise you to rethink. If you are a vegetarian because you want to gain brownie points with The Big Boy up there, once again it could be wishful thinking. The only reason why one should be a vegetarian is that to kill someone innocent in the most inhuman manner goes against everything that God, Goddess, Guru and goodness stand for.
Of course, there are many who do not even leave God and Master to justify eating meat and even involve Them to contribute to the massacre of animals.
I have been often told that Sai Baba of Shirdi, Guru Nanak Dev ji, Lord Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, even Shri Ram, used to partake of meat. Yes, I am sure They did. But how come we only remember what They ate or drank or smoked and we do not incorporate all that They truly stand for.
If the logic is God and Master ate meat, why should Their followers resort to abstinence, then how come the logic does not apply to the way They lived?
Only those who truly live by the word of the Master and those who follow everything else the Master indulged or abstained from have the right to say something as inane as ‘I eat non vegetarian food as my Master too indulged in the same’. If the followers are refraining from lies, cheating, slander, greed, lust, anger, hate, then yes, they have every right to follow the diet of their God and Master. How many of us follow our God and Master in every aspect of life, is something I don’t want to elaborate on.
It is easy to implement what God and Master preach as long as it suits our life style. The true love for God and Master is when we live a life They advocated even if it does not suit are temperament or inherent nature.
Also nowadays it has become a fad to say that eggs are part of the vegetarian diet. The logic is that these eggs, called humoursly English Eggs, do not have life in them. I agree they do not have life in them, but have you ever witnessed the plight of the chickens, who are caged all their lives, injected with various chemicals, fed medicines, kept in cages for so long that their very claws get entangled in the cage bars just to lay these so called vegetarian eggs. When we eat their eggs, the eggs may not have life, but thousands of chickens have been enslaved for their entire lives, in dimly lit, prison like cages.
Let us assume an individual cannot refrain from a meatless diet, then, even if that family were to, one day in a week, become vegetarians, it is a start. Remember, ayurveda says, we are what we eat. Is it any wonder, we as a race have begun to suffer from aggression, depression, paranoia and fear. The same emotions that each animal goes through when it is being prepared to become a meal for us mankind.
Each day you abstain from meat, that day becomes a day of compassion.
Ruzbeh N. Bharucha