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Mistydawn

Giving up eating meat

449 posts in this topic

Vegetables are not food - vegetables are what food eats!.....or....

If animals weren't meant to be eaten, why are they made of meat?

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I am thinking of giving up eating meat.

I would really appreciate some feedback... the pros and cons in a Spiritual context, not necessarily for health reasons.

Please share your thoughts. Much appreciated.

Most of mankind eats meat.

Some believe not eating meat raises their spirituality. Many, many years ago I believed this till I experienced life. Personally, I don't believe this now. Due to the following.

Cultures considered spiritual eat heaps of meat. Buddhists. Native American Indians. Australian Aboriginals. Natives world wide.

Religions such as Christianity, Islam eat meat.

Like anything there are some really nasty vegans and vegatarians around, even the ones that think they are spiritual. Ones that would literally put a bullet in any person but not touch the hair on an animal. See children starve but send money to foundations that drag poor stray dogs off the streets when some of these poor animals should be put out of their misery. So if spiritual quality went hand in hand with not eating meat then the most loving peaceful meat eater would be placed beneith the vegatarian. This would not be just or logical.

I became a vegatarian for some years after a school outing to a slaughter house after being a big meat eater. But I now eat heaps of meat again. But what is different is now I always recognise that the animal I am about to eat gave its life so I could have a meal, so I thank it in respect for its spirit which I believe (like the natives) lives on. When I chose meat from the shelves I handle the meat with respect. Not throwing it down. My dogs are precious to me. When one dies I carefully handle its body and give it a burial. A cow, chicken, lamb, whatever should be handled in the same manner, IMO. I also try not to waste any of what I am eating by leaving it in the fridge forgetting it is there and goes off and thus thrown away. Access fat I give to my dogs. But I often eat the fat. I even respect the animal that died so my dogs can have bones to chew.

Health wise: Some people benefit from a vegatarian diet others - a few - suffer. The same with meat eaters. Some people should not be vegatarians. Each person's body chemisty is different and react different to different sources of proteins.

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Vegetables are not food - vegetables are what food eats!.....or....

If animals weren't meant to be eaten, why are they made of meat?

Human's are made of meat but we generally don't eat each other, lol.

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Most of mankind eats meat.

Some believe not eating meat raises their spirituality. Many, many years ago I believed this till I experienced life. Personally, I don't believe this now. Due to the following.

Cultures considered spiritual eat heaps of meat. Buddhists. Native American Indians. Australian Aboriginals. Natives world wide.

Religions such as Christianity, Islam eat meat.

Like anything there are some really nasty vegans and vegatarians around, even the ones that think they are spiritual. Ones that would literally put a bullet in any person but not touch the hair on an animal. See children starve but send money to foundations that drag poor stray dogs off the streets when some of these poor animals should be put out of their misery. So if spiritual quality went hand in hand with not eating meat then the most loving peaceful meat eater would be placed beneith the vegatarian. This would not be just or logical.

I became a vegatarian for some years after a school outing to a slaughter house after being a big meat eater. But I now eat heaps of meat again. But what is different is now I always recognise that the animal I am about to eat gave its life so I could have a meal, so I thank it in respect for its spirit which I believe (like the natives) lives on. When I chose meat from the shelves I handle the meat with respect. Not throwing it down. My dogs are precious to me. When one dies I carefully handle its body and give it a burial. A cow, chicken, lamb, whatever should be handled in the same manner, IMO. I also try not to waste any of what I am eating by leaving it in the fridge forgetting it is there and goes off and thus thrown away. Access fat I give to my dogs. But I often eat the fat. I even respect the animal that died so my dogs can have bones to chew.

Health wise: Some people benefit from a vegatarian diet others - a few - suffer. The same with meat eaters. Some people should not be vegatarians. Each person's body chemisty is different and react different to different sources of proteins.

"Heaps" is not the best approach. Also to say that so many cultures eat "heaps" of meat is wrong. They eat meat sure, but nothing like what you would find in the western world - certainly not in the same frequency or amount. Some meat is good for you sure but a focus on meat as a mainstay is detrimental to overall health. Even the simplest model - the food pyramid we are all taught as kids - does not emphasize meat as the dominant food group. In america were people eat "heaps" of meat there is also a rampant obesity problem. Meat is okay to incorporate but the idea that it belongs in a diet or that it is necessary to be truly healthy is misinformed. This has nothing to do w/ spirituality and everything to do w/ basic nutrition science. You're not going to find even close to the same number of health problems w/ those that eat less meat as you would your typical steak and potatoes type.

Edited by f1gtr33

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What's better? To kill an animal with respect and feed a 100 people or to kill a field of plants (100s of living plants) to feed a 100 people. If all life is precious, why don't plants have the same rights.

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What's better? To kill an animal with respect and feed a 100 people or to kill a field of plants (100s of living plants) to feed a 100 people. If all life is precious, why don't plants have the same rights.

Because plants don't feel pain.

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From a spiritual perspective. Killing living things is not good for the soul. To not eat meat is to detach oneself from the killing - in a small way - but thats better than nothing at all. Its a show of love for life and living things. Living things are miracles - sure we have to eat - but i think its up to each individual to find his way to a higher spiritual way of being. Not eating meat for spiritual reasons is an act of love. And its a sacrifice to put living things before yourself. That is good.

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not really - the ice age is not a very big definable point in human evolution - walking upright etc - these were skill developed well before the ice age and in an environment that more closely represented grasslands. You're talking about surviving environmental change as opposed to the actual stages of evolution. Evolution involved the way our skull was structured, walking upright, as well as many other physical attributes that were already established when the ice age hit. The ability to eat meat did allow us to survive the ice age but it had little to nothing to do with actual evolution which is what I was addressing. The major stages of evolution of humans from monkey to something prototypical of current day humans had already undergone a tremendous amount of change. Besides eating what was necessary to survive because of environmental crisis does not mean that it is something that should be continued, esp. since it was a mere blip in to totality of human existence.

Your wrong.

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name='Paracelse' timestamp='1325314369' post='4159394']

Can you provide some numbers? Because from where I'm standing I don't see a most of the world population being vegans.

ill have a look later but if you atend one of the groups takling world famine you wil soon find tha tveey few peole can afford meat in their diet. I feed about a hundred children in the the third world. This cost me 6 CENTS per meal for a child to provide a healthy and nutritious meal but it doesnt include meat because of the prohibitive cost.

Many indians are vegans for religious reasons otherds for cultural ones.

Ps i should have clarified i dont mena that mos tof the world choses to be vegetraibn simply that they have no choice because of availability and cost of food sources Iam sure most third world peole would love to eat meat If they did of course the world would go to hell in a hand basket even faster . At the moment costs of all foods are increasing astronomically in the third world becuse of the conversion of a lot of food stocks especaily grain and maize to biomass for fuel sources. And guess whose using all that fuel. :devil:

This could be called indeed a ethical reason: should we starve ourselves simply to accommodate people who can't deal with overpopulation.
We dont have to starve ourselves, or even go hungry. The value of the food we waste in our homes shops and restaurants, would feed most of the starving people and if we spent a couple of a percent of our individual incomes that would do it too. Its not about overpopulation. Its about inequality of access to resources. We take their resources as well as using our own. I require about 5 hectares of the earths surface to support me as a westerner A third world person gets by on a few hundred square meters of it As a result the west dies of diseses causes by over eating while the third world diesof hunger and malnutrion

if all human slived like westerners we would require several earths to support our population . Fortunately (for the earth)westerners are failing to reproduce themsleves at a sustainable rate and our numbers are starting to decrease in many countries.

Again could you give numbers. From personal experience, I've noticed vegetarians and vegans have the most health problems, stressed and with less physical activities (methinking of libido in particular)(during a vegeterian experience of couple years noticed my libido going down and down and down)
Then you were doing something else wrong with yur diet A veagn diet requires a litle more thougthin slectiona nd variety It also requires a bit more creativity in cooking But he problems you faced are the opposite to most staisticla evidences.

Hint, if this was the case why are "africans" producing 5 or so children per woman while weterners are producing less than two :devil::devil:

As I always said depend who pays for the research. When studies came out that oatmeal was good for reducing cholesterol, everyone and his brother jumped on the bandwagon, until they found out quaker oats forked the bill for the research. In particular they forgot to mention that the reduction occurred only when eating a healthy diet. I eat all sorts of meat, but very little beef: fish, frogs, horse (seldom) most of the time chicken and turkey. And got to say for my age I feel real good.

There are both longitudinal/generational and latitudinal(including large numbers) studies which provide these evidences these are run by universities hospitals and others. MAny are financed by govts in places like austrlalia, which has a mixed sociality /capitalist society and feels that individual health matters are alos a ntions. A ustralia provides free medicalla and hospital cover to most people

Its like smoking or drinking. I am not here to convince others to live a healthy life, but I will point out the statistical evidences on any of these things . I've given statistics many times before. I'll have a quick look and see if i can find a few but, really ,if you are interested, thats your job. Your health(and anyone elses) is your/their responsibility (unless i have to pay for your medical expenses with my tax dollars)

A lot of smokers live healthily to 100 but no one today would argue that smoking is not an unhealthy habit which causes numerous diseases and millions of deaths. Here's a basic article which covers many of your questions in detail, although it does not provide references for all its sources.

http://www.freedomyou.com/nutrition_book/Modern%20Meat.htm

Here's another one, which does supply refernces.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/209529-health-benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet/ Finally, heres a very detailed 'academic' article with a lot of references and commentary.

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ans/psychology/health_psychology/vegpage.html

Edited by Mr Walker

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I am thinking of giving up eating meat.

I would really appreciate some feedback... the pros and cons in a Spiritual context, not necessarily for health reasons.

Please share your thoughts. Much appreciated.

I've been a vegetarian for 14 years (gave up "red" meat 25 years ago) and finally gave up eggs a little over a year ago. While I was always interested in the health benefits (and there are MANY), and was always very big on the "animal welfare" end of the deal, the fact is that I don't believe either of those reasons would have been enough to get me to completely stop eating meat and eggs (and things such as gelatin, etc.). I say that just because my willpower likely wouldn't have been strong enough.

The true reason I did it was spiritual, and I knew from about age 13 that I would have to do it eventually if I wished to "achieve" the spiritual goals I had for myself. Without going into any of that, I will just say that vegetarianism is absolutely crucial if you are following any sort of a "mystical" path. While there are plenty of so-called mystical paths that don't stress vegetarianism, I can assure you that even the highest achieving "students" on such paths will NEVER go much past the "beginner" stages, no matter how long they try.

I don't want to start anything with others who might have differing opinions. I will only say getting spiritual advice is similar to getting advice on travelling to the moon. You can ask a frat buddy, a well-read man, or you can ask Neil Armstrong. There are countless books out there written by accomplished mystics who will tell you vegetarianism is one of the most important requirements for spiritual attainment. (I don't want to get any deeper into it than that as this really isn't the place for that.)

If, on the other hand, you aren't referring to spirituality in the "mystical" sense, I will just say that vegetarianism is very important to spirituality but without a way to actually prove this to yourself, all you will ever be left with are other people's opinions. And in such cases your choice often comes down to whoever manages to come up with the most compelling (to you) argument (vs. mysticism where you always have first-hand experience to tell you whether something is valid or invalid).

The only thing I can tell you to help gauge any non-mystical spiritual effect is to carefully monitor yourself after you go 100% vegetarian (where you don't consume anything that came from an animal's death). You will be amazed at the differences in many areas such as aggressiveness and anger that will start showing up in as little as a year. (Such changes will be much less if you live an otherwise "non-spiritual" life, though.) Although they might not be obvious to you right away, I promise they will be to those who know you (the changes can be absolutely remarkable depending on what you are like when you give up the animal products - in my case it was stunning).

I promise you that it will make a MAJOR difference if you live an otherwise spiritual existence (meaning you could be an atheist but you aren't a drug addicted alcoholic who cheats on your spouse and is very dishonest, etc.). And even if you are no better than "average" in that respect, you'll still see a difference, PLUS, over time, you will be amazed at how such a drastic change from not participating in the practice of hurting and killing will slowly help change many of the other "non-spiritual" aspects of your life that you might not otherwise be able to control.

Worst thing that happens is your health (and wallet) improves, and you vastly increase your belief that you overcome any "obstacle" in your life through willpower. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a shot!

.

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Your wrong.

wow way to back an argument. So I guess condescension justifies your utter lack of evidence or thought - great job. Maybe read something about anthropology - like anything - at all. Oh and its "you're wrong" not "your wrong." Just thought I'd help you out with basic possessives.

Edited by f1gtr33

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Meat is tasty.

Vegetables are not.

15 year old girls are pretty. 80 year olds are not.

What appeals to someone is not a good basis on which to make a choice. :)

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The issue with "do plants have rights too" stirs my brain into a frenzy!! I am just now, looking to explore the emotions and make the right choice rather than just continue along oblivious.

To paraphrase some of history's greatest mystics on this point, "you still have to live in this world." The object is to do so with causing the least possible harm to other living creatures. Ancient (and modern as well) mystical texts have always described "life forms" by the amount of "elements" they contain (ie. earth, air, fire, water is how they always described them).

As the mystics all said, it is impossible to live without constantly "killing." You can't take a step without killing countless creatures (heck, if you don't believe that just do a little research on "dust mites," lol). You can't even take a breath without killing.

The object is to do the least possible damage and the farther you climb along the so-called "food chain," the more "damage" you do - not only to the creatures who die, but more importantly to yourself.

On that scale, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc., have the lowest spiritual "karma" and are meant as man's food.

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"Heaps" is not the best approach. Also to say that so many cultures eat "heaps" of meat is wrong. They eat meat sure, but nothing like what you would find in the western world - certainly not in the same frequency or amount. Some meat is good for you sure but a focus on meat as a mainstay is detrimental to overall health. Even the simplest model - the food pyramid we are all taught as kids - does not emphasize meat as the dominant food group. In america were people eat "heaps" of meat there is also a rampant obesity problem. Meat is okay to incorporate but the idea that it belongs in a diet or that it is necessary to be truly healthy is misinformed. This has nothing to do w/ spirituality and everything to do w/ basic nutrition science. You're not going to find even close to the same number of health problems w/ those that eat less meat as you would your typical steak and potatoes type.

I agree with you, f1gtr33. In American, Britain and Australia 'heaps' of meat is consumed as is potato/bread. Where other countries not as much is necessarily consumed, but this is mostly due to shortage of supply or too high price. Look at the excitement when 'poor' tribes get a wind fall of meat to feast on. They love meat but it is just not as available as easily. Native Americans ate a lot of meat before White invasion. As did the Australian Aboriginal and the Eskimo. All these people were very healthy with few health issues. Not now.And studies show that if these people had been allowed to keep their diets they would not have today's health issues. In fact if mankind followed these native diets we would not be faced with the issues of today.

And the food pyramid is now outdated. Obesity is also rampant in Australia. High consumption of meat can cause a very acidic blood system that decays the body tissue.

I also find it interesting to note that osteoporosis is highest in developed countries that add calcium to their diets or encourage the eating of more dairy products. Where the lowest levels of osteo are in countries where there's no or little consumption of dairy products. This is because the balance between magnesium and calcium has been thrown out the window.

Veganism is good for some. Vegatarianism is good for some (actually, many). Meat eating is good in moderation. Moderation is good for most things.

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Because plants don't feel pain.

yes they do

here's a bit from this article

"Did you ever wonder if plants feel pain? The answer is yes. Surprised? Let’s astound you some more – plants not just feel pain, they experience other emotions such as pleasure, fear and affection, and that they have the ability to communicate with humans and other forms of life in a recognizable manner."

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15 year old girls are pretty. 80 year olds are not.

What appeals to someone is not a good basis on which to make a choice. :)

maybe to some 80 yr old man that old dame is hot!

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maybe to some 80 yr old man that old dame is hot!

Maybe to very, very few, lol. For the rest, it's the college girls who are hot while the 80-year-old "girls" are "available. :)

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Because plants don't feel pain.

According to who? Many contemporary studies say otherwise.

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?

Edited by f1gtr33

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I agree with you, f1gtr33. In American, Britain and Australia 'heaps' of meat is consumed as is potato/bread. Where other countries not as much is necessarily consumed, but this is mostly due to shortage of supply or too high price. Look at the excitement when 'poor' tribes get a wind fall of meat to feast on. They love meat but it is just not as available as easily. Native Americans ate a lot of meat before White invasion. As did the Australian Aboriginal and the Eskimo. All these people were very healthy with few health issues. Not now.And studies show that if these people had been allowed to keep their diets they would not have today's health issues. In fact if mankind followed these native diets we would not be faced with the issues of today.

And the food pyramid is now outdated. Obesity is also rampant in Australia. High consumption of meat can cause a very acidic blood system that decays the body tissue.

I also find it interesting to note that osteoporosis is highest in developed countries that add calcium to their diets or encourage the eating of more dairy products. Where the lowest levels of osteo are in countries where there's no or little consumption of dairy products. This is because the balance between magnesium and calcium has been thrown out the window.

Veganism is good for some. Vegatarianism is good for some (actually, many). Meat eating is good in moderation. Moderation is good for most things.

:tu:

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ill have a look later but if you atend one of the groups takling world famine you wil soon find tha tveey few peole can afford meat in their diet. I feed about a hundred children in the the third world. This cost me 6 CENTS per meal for a child to provide a healthy and nutritious meal but it doesnt include meat because of the prohibitive cost.

Many indians are vegans for religious reasons otherds for cultural ones.

Ps i should have clarified i dont mena that mos tof the world choses to be vegetraibn simply that they have no choice because of availability and cost of food sources Iam sure most third world peole would love to eat meat If they did of course the world would go to hell in a hand basket even faster . At the moment costs of all foods are increasing astronomically in the third world becuse of the conversion of a lot of food stocks especaily grain and maize to biomass for fuel sources. And guess whose using all that fuel. :devil:

We dont have to starve ourselves, or even go hungry. The value of the food we waste in our homes shops and restaurants, would feed most of the starving people and if we spent a couple of a percent of our individual incomes that would do it too. Its not about overpopulation. Its about inequality of access to resources. We take their resources as well as using our own. I require about 5 hectares of the earths surface to support me as a westerner A third world person gets by on a few hundred square meters of it As a result the west dies of diseses causes by over eating while the third world diesof hunger and malnutrion

if all human slived like westerners we would require several earths to support our population . Fortunately (for the earth)westerners are failing to reproduce themsleves at a sustainable rate and our numbers are starting to decrease in many countries.

Then you were doing something else wrong with yur diet A veagn diet requires a litle more thougthin slectiona nd variety It also requires a bit more creativity in cooking But he problems you faced are the opposite to most staisticla evidences.

Hint, if this was the case why are "africans" producing 5 or so children per woman while weterners are producing less than two :devil::devil:

There are both longitudinal/generational and latitudinal(including large numbers) studies which provide these evidences these are run by universities hospitals and others. MAny are financed by govts in places like austrlalia, which has a mixed sociality /capitalist society and feels that individual health matters are alos a ntions. A ustralia provides free medicalla and hospital cover to most people

Its like smoking or drinking. I am not here to convince others to live a healthy life, but I will point out the statistical evidences on any of these things . I've given statistics many times before. I'll have a quick look and see if i can find a few but, really ,if you are interested, thats your job. Your health(and anyone elses) is your/their responsibility (unless i have to pay for your medical expenses with my tax dollars)

A lot of smokers live healthily to 100 but no one today would argue that smoking is not an unhealthy habit which causes numerous diseases and millions of deaths. Here's a basic article which covers many of your questions in detail, although it does not provide references for all its sources.

http://www.freedomyou.com/nutrition_book/Modern%20Meat.htm

Here's another one, which does supply refernces.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/209529-health-benefits-of-a-vegetarian-diet/ Finally, heres a very detailed 'academic' article with a lot of references and commentary.

http://www.vanderbilt.edu/ans/psychology/health_psychology/vegpage.html

You and your logic (spot on as usual) :tu::P

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wow way to back an argument. So I guess condescension justifies your utter lack of evidence or thought - great job. Maybe read something about anthropology - like anything - at all. Oh and its "you're wrong" not "your wrong." Just thought I'd help you out with basic possessives.

Ok maybe I'll try for him, firstly do you have any experience with the study of anthropology? If so I'm alarmed... Even more alarmed then when you get people quoting things that are wrong as fact, even though deep down their not sure themselves.

What you may find, is that you are wrong.. It's widely accepted amongst the scientific community including anthropological institutions that tHat meat eating was ESSENTIAL for human evolution! The brain is fat!

Human ancestors who roamed the dry and open savannas of Africa about 2 million years ago routinely began to include meat in their diets to compensate for a serious decline in the quality of plant foods.

It was this new meat diet, full of densely-packed nutrients, that provided the catalyst for human evolution, particularly the growth of the brain.

Without meat, it's unlikely that proto humans could have secured enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment at that time to evolve into the active, sociable, intelligent creatures they became. Receding forests would have deprived them of the more nutritious leaves and fruits that forest-dwelling primates survive on.

There is very little chance NYSE on impossible that the brain could of evolved to what some of us have now without the availability of energy dense animal fats and meats..

From someone who does actually study anthropology.

Peace.

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Ok maybe I'll try for him, firstly do you have any experience with the study of anthropology? If so I'm alarmed... Even more alarmed then when you get people quoting things that are wrong as fact, even though deep down their not sure themselves.

What you may find, is that you are wrong.. It's widely accepted amongst the scientific community including anthropological institutions that tHat meat eating was ESSENTIAL for human evolution! The brain is fat!

Human ancestors who roamed the dry and open savannas of Africa about 2 million years ago routinely began to include meat in their diets to compensate for a serious decline in the quality of plant foods.

It was this new meat diet, full of densely-packed nutrients, that provided the catalyst for human evolution, particularly the growth of the brain.

Without meat, it's unlikely that proto humans could have secured enough energy and nutrition from the plants available in their African environment at that time to evolve into the active, sociable, intelligent creatures they became. Receding forests would have deprived them of the more nutritious leaves and fruits that forest-dwelling primates survive on.

There is very little chance NYSE on impossible that the brain could of evolved to what some of us have now without the availability of energy dense animal fats and meats..

From someone who does actually study anthropology.

Peace.

And thus all cultures as a result eat "heaps" of meat - no. I was addressing THAT idea, that we a hardwired to eat a ton of meat. Integration of meat is different than complete dependence. Also as a person of anthropology you should know better than anybody that the world does not consume "heaps" of meat. The obvious health hazards that result from a meat heavy diet would indicate that we should not have a diet consisting mainly of meat.

Edited by f1gtr33

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I take it that you felt 'squeamish' seeing the suckling pig prepared for food, and now are considering giving up meat for ethical reasons?

I am not your conscience, Misty, but I do have an opinion regarding the above. If you felt upset over the preparation of suckling pig, then the simple solution is not to buy/eat suckling pig. If you feel upset over farming in general, then it is your prerogative to not buy farmed animal meat. I would recommend you investigate how to maintain a complete balanced intake of vitamins and minerals without consuming meat, however.

There really is no 'ethical argument' about whether to eat, or not eat, meat. It is purely a matter of personal conscience.

On a side note, I would be interested to see a study correlating the rise in vegetarianism with our anthropomorphisation of animals in film, tv and books. I suspect there is a causal relationship between the two.

The suckling pig incident Leonardo, simply brought the notion to give up meat to the fore again. I suppose if most of us had the actual animal on our dinner plate and could see the animal we were about to eat, it may turn many a stomach.

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I've been a vegetarian for 14 years (gave up "red" meat 25 years ago) and finally gave up eggs a little over a year ago. While I was always interested in the health benefits (and there are MANY), and was always very big on the "animal welfare" end of the deal, the fact is that I don't believe either of those reasons would have been enough to get me to completely stop eating meat and eggs (and things such as gelatin, etc.). I say that just because my willpower likely wouldn't have been strong enough.

The true reason I did it was spiritual, and I knew from about age 13 that I would have to do it eventually if I wished to "achieve" the spiritual goals I had for myself. Without going into any of that, I will just say that vegetarianism is absolutely crucial if you are following any sort of a "mystical" path. While there are plenty of so-called mystical paths that don't stress vegetarianism, I can assure you that even the highest achieving "students" on such paths will NEVER go much past the "beginner" stages, no matter how long they try.

I don't want to start anything with others who might have differing opinions. I will only say getting spiritual advice is similar to getting advice on travelling to the moon. You can ask a frat buddy, a well-read man, or you can ask Neil Armstrong. There are countless books out there written by accomplished mystics who will tell you vegetarianism is one of the most important requirements for spiritual attainment. (I don't want to get any deeper into it than that as this really isn't the place for that.)

If, on the other hand, you aren't referring to spirituality in the "mystical" sense, I will just say that vegetarianism is very important to spirituality but without a way to actually prove this to yourself, all you will ever be left with are other people's opinions. And in such cases your choice often comes down to whoever manages to come up with the most compelling (to you) argument (vs. mysticism where you always have first-hand experience to tell you whether something is valid or invalid).

The only thing I can tell you to help gauge any non-mystical spiritual effect is to carefully monitor yourself after you go 100% vegetarian (where you don't consume anything that came from an animal's death). You will be amazed at the differences in many areas such as aggressiveness and anger that will start showing up in as little as a year. (Such changes will be much less if you live an otherwise "non-spiritual" life, though.) Although they might not be obvious to you right away, I promise they will be to those who know you (the changes can be absolutely remarkable depending on what you are like when you give up the animal products - in my case it was stunning).

I promise you that it will make a MAJOR difference if you live an otherwise spiritual existence (meaning you could be an atheist but you aren't a drug addicted alcoholic who cheats on your spouse and is very dishonest, etc.). And even if you are no better than "average" in that respect, you'll still see a difference, PLUS, over time, you will be amazed at how such a drastic change from not participating in the practice of hurting and killing will slowly help change many of the other "non-spiritual" aspects of your life that you might not otherwise be able to control.

Worst thing that happens is your health (and wallet) improves, and you vastly increase your belief that you overcome any "obstacle" in your life through willpower. So, what are you waiting for? Give it a shot!

.

Thank you for your input Shabd, a very interesting perspective that I will give some thought to.

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