• Ankit Gupta

The pain of animals: Vegetarian by choice not compelled

Every living being on earth requires some food to live. They need nutrition to thrive and survive. Does it mean in favor of nutrition one living being is required to kill and eat another living being? Or there are some other ways to solve this dilemma.

What is the definition of a living being tho? Some are non-vegetarians, some are eggetarians, some are vegetarian and then some are vegan. They all are depended on some other forms of life to live which we call biodiversity, or simply the food web.

What differentiates the plants from animals to be considered as food? What other options we have? Does it give pain to those animals which have been grown not just born? Is it acceptable to kill an animal for treating as a source of food only, or a concern?

Any living being out there shows some characteristics of growth, reproduction, and response. Not just humans, but plants and other animals on this earth also show the same characteristics even a small ant or a giant elephant or a small fish in a pond to a huge whale in the seas. For sure they are not as smart as humans but why? Well, there is far more intricate and complicated chemistry behind this to understand, “group of Neurons”. Neurons which makes us conscious and helps us in determining what to do. The more the number of neurons more will be the consciousness. Plants do not have any neurons at all, so definitely they are not conscious except having some procedural responses in their genes. While even a small ant has thousands of neurons (far more than a smart A.I which we have developed so far in labs). Plants are also not killed for food while they drop off their seeds in the form of fruits of vegetables, which are obviously the by-product. So conclusively, we are not killing plants for food, while we are having by-products instead. In the case of animals, it is not the case, they are conscious enough to show us love and care (a small rat, a pet dog, or even a cat). Some animals are considered good pets because they are cute while other animals are food why? Why we have made this undistinguished thin line of hypocrisy. The COVID-19 is said to be transferred from animals to humans. If this is true then who is the real culprit, we as humans who eat animals or those less conscious animals who get slaughtered to be served in plates?

We know that there are millions of farms and poultry out there, where these animals are kept in bars just for the sake that they can grow big for a lot of meat. It is very different from farming grains on land to farming animals in bars keeping them hostage from the very moment of their birth till they are sent for slaughter.

The chicks are slaughtered within days in big machines having very large blades, hens are grown (not raised) for the time they can provide eggs, Pigs gets slaughtered for pork, cows and buffaloes get slaughtered for the meat and leather, young lambs get slaughter after keeping them in bars for few months, and so on and so forth which is like a massacre of a blood bath. But why do we humans always need to be on the wild hunt, even after so much development in farming and farming practices?

It feels like a shame to me when we talk about cannibalism as a crime, but killing animals for food or leather as a ‘cultural practice’. Some animals are considered sacred or some are considered evil while animals like dogs are considered as cute but they still get shoved off with blades by someone somewhere in this world (China). Well, humans have a great tendency to make any place a profound habitat for them, but does it mean to kill other species? Are we still living in cities or in the woods? Do we really feel bad when one human gets wounded or killed in a lynching from mobs? Then, why don’t we feel the same pain for the unfathomable harmless animals?

A dumb animal unable to express pain and emotion feels the same heart-breaking pain when their young born gets chopped off in pieces for the diet of someone just as we humans, but we have become so cruel that we are behaving like the omnivorous animals in the forest just looking for a catch to fill our stomach or like a snake who awaits until their prey is grown fully that they have enough muscles on their bones that they can be sold in big bags or fill our food plates.

Some of my friends have asked me why are you a vegetarian, is it a religious or what? I would sincerely like to drizzle some light on this that “I am an atheist and hence religion is just like an illusion for me”, so definitely this is not religious, while this is just about feeling the immense pain for those animals and birds who are being grown in bars and then killed for the sake of food. It feels like, they haven’t seen the colorful world yet and being ripped apart by someone who is trying be their godfather to raise them in bars in squeezed farms with not enough food and hygiene as well as having a lot of diseases transmitting from one another.

For the faster growth young animals get injected with growth hormones which can lead them to have conditions like early death or heart attacks. Is it really acceptable? What will someone do call this type of cruelty, if the same is done to one human by another, hindering or playing with the natural growth of a child to make them adult in their early age of 10-12 years, so they can look like a fully grown man (like 25 years old) but with multiple diseases and heart conditions?

All these practices are performed everywhere and some say that with the increasing population, this is the only solution to fill the stomach of everyone on this earth. I completely disagree, India is a country with the world’s 1/6th population, where more than half of the population is Vegetarian. Are they dying with food scarcity? Or will they die if there will be a complete ban on meat? No, they will not, because they have worked hard on their farming practices. With the increasing population, they have also achieved 3 times more vegetation from the same land which they are farming for thousands of years, with the help of miracles in scientific farming. India is even capable of exporting a lot of food to other countries. They are mostly dependent on dairy food which is the best source of nutrition. As we all know milk is the only food which can be considered as a complete pack of nutrition. India is enriched with milk because they raise cows and buffaloes instead of killing them for beef or leather. Cows are sacred as they are compared to the mother for milk. Not just the cows, while all the animals are free to live, forests are reserved where killing is not allowed. With such a large population, India is not just surviving while they are thriving.

I believe just like Gandhi Ji's who have started a community of vegetarians in the United Kingdom, where thousands of people joined him and sworn to save animals. We can change us too for a better future where blood lust will never be accepted. I deeply adhere to see a world free of such havoc, where animal killing will be avoided whether the animal is from a species which is at the brink of extinction or are at such a population where we need not take care of them.

This is a widely known fact that there a lot of diseases passing from animals to humans just because of the consumption of their flesh, but we are still not ready to stop. Meat also makes one unhealthy by increasing their fat and cholesterol. It takes more time to gets digested and a lot more other disastrous detriments. These days scientists are working very hard to make organic meat from plants, having the same taste the same nutrients amidst being much more safe compared to an animal’s meat. It will not only save us from slaughtering while it will take us to a better and far more healthy future too.

Animal meat doesn’t only have a problem with the health of humans while it also increases the carbon content in the air too. Production of meat per gram of protein can emit 20 times more carbon footprint. We can easily conclude from this estimation that the consumption of meat is not healthy for humans as well as for our mother nature.

Therefore, I sincerely appeal to you all to think about the pain of those innocent animals just not for sake of feeling pity while also keeping in mind that meat consumption is neither good for health nor for the environment. I would like to conclude this blog with the request to please accept lab-grown meat instead of meat from innocuous animals or try to go vegetarian.

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