To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Saturday, February 09, 2002
I was born into a non-vegetarian family and have always been one. I'm not particularly partial towards any kind of food (except the sweet variety) and nor have I wasted much thought on the matter.

Recently, though, I came across a few people who had turned vegetarian. Neither did they offer any reasons, when confronted with my questions.

It is strange that when an avenue of thought is opened, one suddenly begins to see what one did not see before. I now think about what I eat and when I do, I somehow don't like the look of it. The only way I can enjoy it is by suspending all thought.

I do believe it's in the natural order of things that man should survive by the best means he can. Till today he has been doing precisely that. I just wonder at the reason for our new found revulsion. Or perhaps, in every age there have been categories of people with extreme sensitivities, of whom we do not know much about.

One other thing interests me very much. It is that we feel moved when we see dumb creatures in a wretched plight; a dog trying to limp across the street, a horse being whipped unmercifully, all our sympathies are aroused. But we think nothing of having those creatures for dinner. Not dogs and horses, of course, but I don't see why a goat should not fit the fill.

I suppose at one time animals were classified in terms of uses; for food, for domestication, etc and we've followed the tradition so faithfully all these centuries that it seems very natural; while we can feel for some creatures, we can't for some others.

I feel that if we eat animals, it is for nothing so much as for our own "enjoyment". Not because we cannot survive otherwise. But if we can eat them for pleasure, why do we object when people beat them for the same reason? Which of the two seems worse, in any case?

A friend of mine said, and very rightly too, that I cannot preach about something I haven't yet practiced. For fear of being misunderstood, I will say that I haven't been making any point here. Just dwelling on a question that occupied my thought processes and offering a glimpse into what progressed.