VEGETARIANISM, HEALTH AND SPIRITUALITY Cont’d
As you have raised the question of third world countries, Rachna, I would like to point out that many of the food shortages and improper diet of the third world people can be relieved, if the land were properly used to grow food for the hungry people of the world. It has been estimated that it takes three acres of land to support one meat-eating person, whereas it takes only half an acre to support a vegetarian. This means that five-sixths of the land now used for cattle could be used for growing food, and supplying it to the drought stricken, starving and hungry people of the world. All would remain healthier, and they will be well fed. You know that the world population is increasing. Land is not increasing. A time will likely come when the world will not be able to sustain its population. That is when extra land will need to be freed up for feeding the people. A vegetarian life-style will obviously make a great deal of sense.
Just think of it! It takes about fifteen pounds of grain that is fed to cattle to produce one pound of meat. How many people can live on one pound of meat, compared to the number who can live on fifteen pounds of grain? In economics, this is called the ‘law of diminishing returns’, because the amount of resources used, produces a greatly diminished amount in return. This is not a sensible way to use natural resources. People in business will immediately see that they cannot survive with this type of practice. I think that people, especially those with all the regulative powers, should pay attention to this fact, and use the world’s resources more economically.
Over use of nature’s bounty leads to suffering. Look at what is happening to the fishing industry in eastern Canada. The Grand Banks off the coast Newfoundland of was the most productive fishing area in the world. Due to over fishing, there is hardly any fishes for the people to catch. Now the people of that area have no jobs. This is due to mismanagement. This is not to say that we support fishing, but it is only an example of the misuse of what nature provided. Just think about the life of chickens. There was a documentary some time ago on the television that showed that when the eggs are hatched, the male chicks are thrown alive in a garbage can. The female chicks that are intended for laying eggs are given an injection of antibiotic. These are then raised and kept in small cubicles with no freedom of movement. They become egg-laying machines. The egg drops into a conveyer belt and is carried away for packaging. Similarly, the feed is brought on a conveyer belt, and the chicks eat by poking their heads through the cage wires. Their natural lives are shortened, and when they are not productive, they are slaughtered for food.
In transportation to the poultry processing plants, chickens are confined to small cages stacked one on top of another to fill a huge, open transport truck. At high speed, and especially in cold weather, the wind blowing on these chickens are indeed very strong. Many of them die on the journey.
Think about the millions upon millions of turkeys that are slaughtered for Christmas and thanksgiving. What a contradiction! On the one hand the turkeys are slaughtered, and on the other hand people are offering thanks to God. Will God accept thanks when people kill innocent creatures? Guru Kabir said: “Here they spill blood and there they offer prayers. Can God be happy?”
As you can see, girls, meat eating is not the best way to use God’s natural resources. It will be well for people to pay more attention to lifestyles. Over all, by following a vegetarian life-style, people will be more compassionate, as there will not be so much killing by the billions all over the world, for the sake of satisfying the appetite. The appetite can very well be satisfied with vegetarian foods.”
(Note: I am vegan)
Dr. Jagessar Das
Vegetarian, Cattle, Natural resources, Health, Diminishing returns, Hunger