Ever since my early days i wasn’t an enthusiastic meat eater. I ate mostly because my parents wanted me to saying it’s a good source of protein, it will provide strength and all that. In the early 1990s, the only meat we had at home was eggs, fish, chicken, goat and the occasional shrimps.
While i was in my teenage years and was sane enough to take decisions for myself i stopped eating meat in periodical bouts. The first was after watching the cruel treatment of animals in the Indian TV series Heads and Tails. Once while descending a bunch of stairs i slipped and twisted my ankle. My parents didn’t blame it on my carelessness but the fact that i wasn’t eating meat then. The second bout of abstention was when i was in high school. I had been to the marriage of a cousin where goat meat was to be served during the night feast. I saw the halal slaughtering of at least half a dozen goats and it left an ugly impression on my mind to the extent that i stopped eating meat – particularly goat, for almost half a decade, since that day.
We have meat only occasionally at our home- hardly once in a week and mostly alternating fish and chicken. We have the rare shrimps as well. Egg curry isn’t particularly considered non-vegetarian so excluding that out. When i entered the professional stage of my life i began venturing out and that was when i started experimenting and as of now i have had crab meat, pork, duck meat and beef (the first time accidentally and the second time knowingly trying a pizza bite with beef topping) also. I am actually a fan of bacon strips. The fact though remains that we are sporadic meat eaters and when i say we, i mean my entire family.
As is evident, even though i eat meat i am not a proponent of it. The primary reason being i don’t subscribe to killing of animals for consumption.
A few days ago, pictures of bloodied streets in Dhaka during the occasion of Eid al-Adha were getting viral. It was disgusting, unhygienic and horrific. Although this is extreme, i can’t just blame Islamic festivals. Hindus also indulge in sacrificing animals. The largest sacrificial festival was Nepal’s Gadhimai until it was banned. I am a Hindu but i am against animal sacrifice – even using the preferable jhatka method which results in quick death as opposed to halal method. I have seen sacrifice of goats on multiple occasions – at Kolkata’s Kalighat temple and Gorakhpur’s Tarkulha Devi temple, and it disgusted me. I have seen water buffaloes being taken for slaughtering at Guwahati’s Kamakhya temple and it sickened me. Why do humans need to find an excuse to eat meat? Why on God’s name? Trust me; the Gods give a flying fuck!
What also disgusts me is the unhygienic and unethical method of selling meat in India and probably many other countries. Many roadside shops slaughter in the open – right in front of kids, which is something i don’t approve of.
Although i have eaten pork and beef, i am particularly against the consumption of these because it involves slaughtering huge animals that undergo immense pain during the process. In advance countries like USA, i am sure these animals are slaughtered keeping quick death in mind but i am not sure of less advanced countries. I have seen countless videos on the cruel methods of slaughtering these big animals. Chicken, fish and crustaceans meet quick death but not a cattle or a pig.
There is also the environmental angle. Raising meat – particularly beef, takes a heavy toll on the environment for the sheer amount of resources it needs. There is also the spiritual aspect of avoiding meat and i have seen a few videos. This one by Sadhguru is a must watch https://goo.gl/hjN1KJ. Also, considering how meat is a staple for both casual and fine dining, it has led to much unhealthy practices of rearing meat.
As an adult who has eaten meat most of his life i think skipping meat for good would be pretty difficult – if not impossible, but to sum it up, i would say, even if you eat meat, keep it to a minimum or at least avoid eating meats that require butchering of huge animals. Even if you have to, ensure they haven’t been tortured to death. I have seen some very gory videos of how animals are slaughtered and trust me it’s very unappetizing. Also, please don’t eat meat on the name of God. Eat it on your name.