Vegetarianism

 

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     This post will be the last chapter of our quest into moral ideals and their possible applications to a better economy and society. We dealt about the issue of violence/war/competition, the energy wastes they cause and the necessity of a philosophy of love/sharing/happiness/harmony. Then we talked about the idea of taxing the dysharmonious activities and de-taxing the harmonious activities (see the post “new tax policy”). We also quickly presented and analysed the very interesting idea of the universal basic income. Now, last but not least, we will present vegetarianism as a solution to the world problems. This issue is very important to me because I am vegetarian since more than 15 years and I really think that the world deeply needs vegetarianism if it wants to evolve in positive directions. We will present two aspects linked to the question of vegetarianism : why and how ?

 WHY ?

Why should we abstain from meat ?

1) for health reasons : a) meat and fish concentrate pesticides, growth hormones, heavy metals like for example mercury for fish (end of the food chain)  b) too much meat, like too much fat, sugar or cigarette is unhealthy and it seems that our digestive system (teeth included) is close to the one of apes, who are mostly vegan. The high level of meat-consumption is something quite new : most people before 2nd world war were eating meat only 2 or 3 times a week and it is was enough to sustain activities much more physical than nowadays.

 2) environmental reasons : according to some estimations, abstaining from meat only two times a week would be a solution to most of the earth’s environmental problems. It seems logical because to produce meat you need a lot of cereals, water and petrol.  The meat industry generates huge amounts of greenhouse gases (methane with the cows for example) and of polluting substances (see the environmental problems in intensive animal farming areas). approximately half the quantity of cereals produced on earth will be used to feed cattle.  To produce cereals you need a lot of fields, water, petrol, fertilizers and pesticides. By reducing our useless and unhealthy meat consumption, we could diminish the problems of hunger, thirst, deforestation, water pollution… on earth.

3) ethic reasons : animal/meat industry is a shame. We consider animals as objects, sources of profit and totally deny them any feelings, emotions and sensitivity. The fascist and neo-liberal philosophy acknowledge the fact that killing 6 or 7 millions persons in concentration camps was something incorrect but now direct its anger and inhumanity towards beings that cannot speak or protest : animals. A whole propaganda logic has been created to a) hide the mass murder of billions of animals from the general public b) transform the human mind as to make this mass-murder justified, acceptable, normal, necessary.

      An estimated 60 billion (!!!) animals are killed each year (!!!) to feed humans. Just imagine yourself as a chicken (with the equivalent of an A4 page to move), a cow or a lamb in a concentration camp from birth to the last moment when the butcher kill you with his knife or his electric gun. Animals are sentient beings like us.

     Some people would say “go away with your old-fashioned moral, we are modern men, we are like all animals, animals eat meat, they kill each others…”. My answer is that by eating too much unnecessary meat we become worst than animals because, as humans, we have the precious gift of freedom, and vegetarianism is something very easy. Wild animals don’t have freedom of choice, they just follow their instinct and their physiology but even cats and dogs could easily become vegetarians. We have to transform our minds. 

4) taste reason : the taste and vibration of meat is something really horrible. Eating meat triggers violence, arrogance, feeling of superiority, insensibility and cruelty. I don’t know how people can still eat meat when so much delicious and healthy vegetarian food is available.

HOW ?

     You can find tons of site about vegetarian philosophy, dietetics and recipes but, in my opinion, the success of vegetarian diet lies in nuts and seeds.

     Nuts and seeds are the best vegetable protein providers you can find (for example, sesame seeds and almonds contain nearly 40% of high quality raw proteins and substantial amounts of calcium and other minerals). You even have to be careful not to use too much of them (100 grams of sesame seeds or 2 glasses of almond milk give enough protein for 1 day for an average adult) because too much proteins are not good for our bodies (it over-burdens the kidneys).

     Generally speaking, we eat too much proteins and we have to free ourselves from the meat and dairy industries propaganda. With seeds and nuts you have also some food associations (like rice+orange lentils in India; maize+red beans in South America; bread+dairy products in Europe and couscous+chick-pea in Maghreb. These  food associations are traditionally used since long times in these countries) that give considerable amounts of proteins. If you add things like sea-weed, sprouts and eggs, you really don’t have to worry about proteins when you are vegetarian. The only thing that you have to check is to eat a good variety of healthy vegetarian food (don’t focus on vegetables only,  or toast and french fries without eating anything else…) and to check for sources of vitamin B12 (for instance, with special yeast that you find in organic shops or with vitamin supplements). Vitamin B12 is the only known vitamin that can be missing in vegetarian and vegan diet. The best is to read and inform oneself but basically, it is very easy.

       The best in my opinion to make a transition towards vegetarianism is to progressively reduce the meat consumption and replace this with some almond and sesame milk for example. Already it will be a good action for the planet, the animals and your health. If you feel that you really need fish for your brain, eat some fish two or three times a week it is really more than enough. Personally, it is 20 years that I don’t eat any meat nor fish, and there is no problem about it. I have the feeling that the idea “fish is absolutely necessary for the good development of your brain” is another idea issued by dietetic specialists that want to promote a certain kind of diet. It acts unconsciously as a negative suggestion : “if you don’t eat fish, your brain will deteriorate”. But if fishes contain increased levels of mercury, maybe it will also alter our brain. Who knows ? If you feel like eating fish sometimes, eat fish but don’t fall into these huge number of dietetic paranoia (protein paranoia, fish paranoia, omega3 paranoia…) fuelled by so-called specialists who just want to sell their last theory or book. In my opinion an organic diversified diet, mostly vegetarian with a little fish and meat, if you feel you need them, is more than enough to be in perfect health condition.

      Finally, if you really want to be sure about everything, test your blood every 6 months to check if everything is OK. Look at vegetarian internet sites to adapt to particular conditions and requirements (children, teenagers, pregnant women…).

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About buddhananda
independent spiritual researcher, I find inspiration mainly into the buddhist, hindu and new age fields. I try to find connections between religions, philosophy, economy and technology. My aim is to contribute to the emergence of a better world. I also practice reiki.

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