Friday, 17 June 2016

FB Discussions - Vegetarianism

My doctor asked me is a conversation, 'So vegetarians consider non-vegetarians immoral ?'.
I told her, ‘That is a baggage all vegetarians have inherited. The sense of superiority of choice. i was also there once long ago. Then I moved in to live with a community far superior morally in generosity and ethics and courage - as evidenced by easily accepting their own tomorrow's hunger, while reaching to feed a hungry soul today. I in my vegetarianism was nowhere close to them, even if they were occasional meat eaters. I learnt my lesson the hard way. Others vegetarians need to learn their lesson of humility and limitedness in their own time and way.'
Incidentally I stay uncompromisingly vegetarian still - but know that it is simply one small personal choice.

Aravinda Pillalamarri It is possible that the apple in the market, imported from New Zealand or elsewhere has wreaked violence every step of the way - from depriving subsistence famers of land in favour of export-crops, to the toxic pesticides and fertilizers all the way to packing, shipping for consumption in seasons and locales where such apples do not grow.

Aparna Krishnan  Brahmins generally feel superior because they are vegetarians. I do beleive that overall given a choice between assuaging hunger by killing an animal or a plant, the latter choice is superior. But I cannot accept the personal superiority that is taken on ! That often is. The reverse is maybe not so common ? In the village we and Naren and Uma  were the only vegetarians.  I dont think we or Naren-Uma had any 'influence' here in our village ... we simply merged in some senses, and where we didnt we were accepted for what we were. There have been no undercurrents even on food tho' in the whole panchayat.

 Narayana Sarma I sincerely hope the discussion wont digress.. but look- economic relation is the substructure, whether one agrees with Marx or not. Naren-Uma or you would not influence, but only merge, because you did not (and hopefully would not) indulge in economic activity the way a typical foreign funded NGO would. People in NGOs imitate the bosses - and in that process they would get influenced and loose their sense of identities for the newly acquired ones. If bosses eat meat, they eat meat; if the boss drinks liquor, they drink liquor; if the boss argues against prohiibition, they would do the same. And mind you, they wouldn't be as polished as the bosses, so they actually make a clumsy show of the whole thing; get drowned in liquor; challenge vegans, accuse them of being brahminical; or indulge in stone throwing and loose control. To 'influence' them thus, you need to interact with them sufficiently on the economic plane- Naren did not do that, probably because he did not like to influence people that way. Influence of that kind will actually make silly sheep out of people; Like they attend a politician's meet for the 500Rs offer, they would attend an NGO meeting for the perks it offered.


Komakkambedu Himakiran Anugula How many vegans actually own livestock? If we let all domesticated animals be, how will they survive? It's a 10000 year relationship that we have with livestock. No point expecting anything from people who "care" for animals but don't flinch when farmers commit suicide and rural India is ruined deliberately!

Aparna Krishnan  that relationship of 10000 years is the point. We need to act based on reality. Theories that settled agriculture started the decline, or that cows should not be domesticaled is so irrelevent in reality,

Aparna Krishnan Understanding rural india comes first - as India is rural. And not thro' just reading. Only after understanding the reality and culture and praxis of a country can anything be said. The English-educated are sadly too distanced from the real India, and many well meant positions become rather meaningless.

Rahul Banerjee We are killing micro organisms all the time as we wouldn't survive otherwise!! Therefore non violence is not a very good argument for vegetarianism. Environmental protection is not enhanced if vegetarians eat water intensive food like rice, wheat, vegetables, milk and sugar.

Aparna Krishnan We all have our own personal choices, and I myself chose vegetarinism. Thats ok, so long as we understand that thats all it is - simply one of many tiny personal choices we make. What we really need is to imagine and fashion a sane world, anchored in the reality and culture of the land, and also having a production and consumption than has relationships which the mind and soul can engage with. Smaller communities with sustainable practices basically, in my understanding. And what I suspect has existed always till the white man, and next the educated brown man modelled on his lines disrupted. Yes, some corrections have been in order - as always everywhere.

Narayana Sarma Our daughter has some lessons on Tribal cultures- some loose talk about panch, patla and community decision making. It is obnoxious Aparna, primarily because it is written in present tense. Those cultures had their own serious problems, and they are all now GONE- partly because of the invasion of the 'white-brown' man and partly because of the severity of their own inherent problems. What remains of them is not even their ghost but the mainstream is interested in painting some fanciful picture of its liking and then calling it tribal. More than the already gone tribal culture, I am interested in seeing why her text book talks about them thus. The context turns surprisingly 'present' then. One would then look at present day 'intensions'- one would look at present day 'purposes'. The world, to me is marching 'forward'- It has never stopped. (Wishfull) Thinking- 'idea' -never ruled the world Aparna, as much as praxis- the complex web of economic relations in today's 'global' society- that is where I like Marx. Villages described by Gandhi or Vinoba may have existed, villages like yours and mine may have existed- at some point in time, in some particular state of things- but they have all changed, they will all change- in very pre-defined ways- Let me explain this: The first ever flyover I had seen was in Delhi, 1991. It was only in 2001 that Hyderabad got into the flyover frenzy. It took ten long years for the transformation- 'technology transfer' from Delhi to Hyd. It took ten more years for it to spread to district head quarters. And it follows the idea would reach villages in ten more years and it did! Can't you imagine what transformation a four lane NH7 can bring to a 'serene' and 'peaceful' 'commune' like CKPalli? It transforms- and the old ideas about 'life at ckpalli' turn into mere descriptions of a ghost. Let me Sum up now- individuals like us do indeed make our own choices- but it is best remembered that they ARE our petty little choices. They have a very low chance of getting emulated en masse- unless they are really the fashiontv or the fb kind (which they are unfortunately not) and flow with the current that Marx liked to call capitalism. But we are always free- to try and get more people to think the way we do- whether it brings in any revolution or not. We are free to run real organic farming experiments; free to run kottapalli's; keep talking about going green, rural india, community living, etc. And the world keeps marching forward. And I insist this is not pessimism- actually it is a realistic action formula. कर्मण्यॆवाधिकारस्तॆ |

Karthik Duraisamy If we think non vegetarianism is better than cannibals, then vegetarianism is definitely better than non vegetarianism! I am a non vegetarian and just because I can't control tongue doesn't mean I have to be right in this.

Sudheer Ayyappan Killing is violence.. There is no lower violence and higher violence. Gone are days when plants were plucked after prayers and requesting them to give their life for the benefit of the humans. 

Superiority of vegetarian food came into existence because of the satvik properties (not because its been consumed by people of superior class). That's the reason why sages strongly recommend plant produce. Non vegetarian food was never considered inferior or a taboo.. You know better where Sage Punarvasu Athreya (10000 BC) describing properties of meat of various animals and recipes...including cow's meat! 

You need more satvam in your system stick to killing plants.
Need Rajas consider eating animals.

Aparna Krishnan Yes Sudheer. Still I think when the sages recommended vegetarian food, apart from personal growth, there was also the element of compassion. And universally it is assumed that the animals feel more pain than plants. Not to make too fne a point on it.

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