Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Dave's Big Beef?

Angry Hare Krishna Vegetarians

This is a discussion I got into on a thread at Hoffmania today. I have edited out other peoples' posts for brevity and to stay on topic. The original Hoffmania post has been taken down because the formatting for the Harvee's Nutrition graphic freaked out. What started out as a look at fast food "nutrition" turned into an interesting look at one Pandu Das, an angry follower of Krishna's teachings. Without further ado... HEEERRE'S Pandu!

Of course the least happy is the cow who got her throat cut after most of the milk got sucked out of her. Also unhappy are the dead rainforest critters who lost their habitat for cattle grazing. Not unhappy because they'll never be born are all the rainforest critters whose habitat was destroyed practically forever, but they might actually be unhappy about that somewhere too. Happy are the stupid liberal meat eaters who don't realize how much money they spend on beef goes to elect people like GWB, but ignorance isn't really bliss, so they're not really happy, just ignorant. I'm not happy about living in a world where cruelty is ignored as long as it gives the illusion of pleasure to the tongue and stomach. I am happy when meat-eaters get heart attacks, though, and then take birth in lower animal species, gradually working their way up to the cow so they can get milked for all they're worth and then get their throat cut because someone else wants the taste of their cooked blood; but I'm much happier when some wise fellow stops the cycle of cruelty and violence.

The Hare Krishna-founded Food For Life program is currently distributing 20,000 free vegetarian meals each day to tsunami survivors. 100% of donations for tsunami relief goes to the tsunami relief work. FFL has cooked and distributed over 100 MILLION free vegetarian meals to needy people since 1974.

Posted by: Pandu das | January 4, 2005 06:13 AM

Pandu Das,

What can I say, I've heard it. I respect your right to be vegetarian, but people ain't gonna stop eating meat any time soon. Hey, at least we kill our animals before eating them. I've seen seen footage of a hyena eating the hindquarters of a wildebeast while the front half of said wildebeast was still trying to escape.

Reincarnation is a crock. It's simply a way to get opressed people to accept their lot in life. "Hey, be a good little Untouchable in this life and maybe you'll come back in a higher station in the next life. Or, hey, maybe you're a shit-shoveling Untouchable because your soul is past all of this material shit. Good for you!"

As soon as cows start writing symphonies - or, hell, a folk song even, I'll stop eating them. As far as I'm concerned, they don't do much but eat, shit and breed. But, then again, by my criteria most people qualify as livestock, but you can catch too many diseases from eating people. And they're too salty. Except for the vegetarians.

Of course, Pandu Das is correct regarding the environmental impact of livestock. Perhaps eating a lot less beef - say a steak for a special occasion - would do more for that.

I wonder, though, if everybody ate soybeans, would they be cutting down the rainforests to grow soybeans?

There's just too many damn people.

Posted by: Dave | January 4, 2005 10:37 AM

Cows may eat, shit, and breed, but as you mentioned that only puts them on the same level as the average person (eat, sleep, mate, and defend). However, they also give us a lot of milk, like a mother to all of us. After taking a cow's milk to our full satisfaction, we cut her throat. This is barbaric to the extreme. When, did you say, should I stop trying to promote civilized behavior?

People would probably be better meat than cows anyway thanks to all our modern conveniences and sedentary lifestyles. I don't really know what our salt content would be, but it couldn't be much worse than the stuff from Hardees.

As for reincarnation, you'll probably have to wait and see. Take that chance if you like. As for me, I clearly remember the end of one life I lived, as a cow in the slaughter line. Nearing the end, I somehow remembered Krishna and left that body before the knife came. When I was once entering samadhi, I momemtarily contacted a space with simultaneous awareness of billions of lives I've lived in various kinds of bodies. I speak my truth from personal experience, and I guess I take the killing a little personally.

Have you ever composed a symphony? I wonder what Motzart's symphonies would've been like had he lived in the conditions that most cows experience. Why should a cow have to be like a human to get better than cruel treatment? Perhaps we should eat you unless you can eat grass to produce several gallons of milk each day.

How much sophistication does an animal need to feel pain? Perhaps we should start eating retarded people.

Obviously most people will keep eating animals until their final day, but that does not make it right except under the "might makes right" rule, which is also not a very good environment for composing symphonies, even for the mighty.

Personally, I eat very little soy. However basic ecology dictates that every step up the food chain disperses about 90-95% of the energy of food. So growing vegetarian foods requires only about 10% of the land required for making meat. By the way, that 2/3 lb. monster burger took about 8,000 gallons of water to produce, whereas the same weight of potatoes would've taken 40 gallons to produce, or even soy at 160 gallons. The differences shrink a little when compared per calorie, but not very much.

Posted by: Pandu das | January 4, 2005 12:09 PM


If a being is just going to be reincarnated, then why is killing it wrong? If they just go on to another life, then how have you harmed them? Who's to say that they weren't put into the body of a cow to be slaughtered as cosmic punishment for some crime they commited in a previous life? Maybe all the cows that are being slaughtered now are reincarnated Huns or Romans or something.

Your testimony regarding your past lives strikes me as the product of a very vivid imagination. One can imagine all kinds of memories if one tries hard enough. Alien abductions, near death experiences, etc. One problem I see with people is that very many of them have a very hard time distinguishing between reality, memory, dreams, and imagination. Without any corroborating evidence, I see no reason to believe in reincarnation. You do not speak your truth through personal experience, you have invented memories to support your beliefs. As many people are wont to do.

The vague threat about waiting and seeing if I "care to take that chance" sounds a lot like Christian Fundamentalists trying to scare me with the threat of Hell. "Maybe there's no Hell, but what if you're wrong? Better take Jesus as your personal savoir just in case!" I don't buy it from them, and I don't buy what you're selling, either.

For a spiritual seeker, you seem to have a lot of anger. I'm pretty sure that's not in accord with the program. Is it that you love animals, or hate people?

For the record, I play several instruments (and write music), draw, paint, sculpt, and read a lot. I also have a sense of humor, and was being somewhat facetious in my remarks in my last post. Sorry you didn't pick up on it.

Unfortunately, in the natural world, "might makes right" is the rule. Just ask a crocodile.

I believe that we need to extend compassion to all of our fellow human beings and pets before we spend a lot of time on cows. Remember, Hitler was a vegetarian. Didn't seem to make him very compassionate toward humans, did it?

My point is that we all draw a line as to what we consider moral to eat. We are the only animal on Earth that does this. Who's to say that a plant doesn't like to be yanked up cruelly by its roots and viciously thrown into a pot of boiling water? Some people claim to be vegetarian, but eat fish. That's like saying that you're not a cannibal, but do eat the occasional unbaptized baby.

The ecological argument is a good one. I'd suggest refining it and getting your sources together, so that people can check out the statistics you quote. Then they can see for themselves the material, here-and-now-on-this-Earth negative effects that meat production causes. I'm just telling you, man, that you just aren't going to get very far with the cruel-to-the-cows argument. Sorry.

Posted by: Dave | January 4, 2005 01:33 PM


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