This is my first post written in an interactive way. After, reading the post, you can interact with me in the comments. How is this new writing style? And do share your views on the topic.
So, how’s everything going?
So, today I came across a weird post across Facebook while scrolling through my dad’s Facebook. I don’t usually do so. But today, I did so with my dad’s permission. Actually, I was watching some travelogues there. This post, about which I am talking about, was from someone who claimed himself/herself to be a devout Hindu. And, officially being a Hindu it caught my attention. It surprised me. In a bad way.
The post was in Bengali. If I translate it, it goes like this – The people who think of street children when we (Hindus) pour milk on Shivlinga (Stone figurine representing the Hindu God Shiva), the ones who ‘care’ about the ‘environment’ and ‘animals’ are celebrating animal sacrifice today!
Clearly, the Muslims are being talked about here.
Firstly, I am a Hindu by religion, in terms of official documents, and so is my family. I know absolutely nothing about either of the religion’s scriptures. I could do some research from Google, but I won’t just like a vast majority of people of both the religions and also that ‘devout Hindu’. And you may ask, exactly, why I am writing about something that I saw on Facebook on my blog. I could have commented on the post. But, just as you know, WordPress has a higher number of intellectual thinkers and judicious thinkers compared to Zuckerburg’s app. I am confident that would take a neutral stance at the situation.
My post is concerned with common people only. The ones who work hard, and celebrate only during festivals and their children’s exam results. My post doesn’t support the bad practices of any religion. I stand secular on this topic.
First, one must never compare the number of religious customs which are pointless, and harm the nature, as well as, the modern morality. No two religions are comparable. Just because a particular religion sacrifices animals doesn’t mean you should too. Just because you live in a secular country doesn’t mean one religion’s cruel and wasteful practices allow you to do the same. Animal sacrifice is cruel both on Kalipuja as well as Eid.
But, the problem with these critics whose source of knowledge lies in populist politics and memes is that they love the environment only on Diwali, not all year round. These critics waste water, electricity, use fossil fuels, etc. And the other section of critics loves animals only on Eid and Diwali. The rest of the year, they eat chicken and mutton every week.
So, what should I say? Be vegan?
I am a science student, and I had to study economics as a compulsory subject till last. So, no, don’t be a vegan. Yes, I am the one who wrote Expansion of Rights and A Thing to Think. Being vegan doesn’t help. This is because; there is a section of the society which loves rebelling against just any order. Just like ‘Karens’ of USA. They would not be vegan just because of the fact you asked them to become vegan.
A large number of people are dependent upon the meat industry and livestock farming. They will be unemployed if no one consumes meat in the Vegan Utopia. Goats, hens, sheep, etc. would not be raised by people and these animals may go extinct. This is not a joke. Many breeds of pigs and turkey have gone extinct due to the fact they were not bred due to the lack of demand of their meat.
So, what do I say?
Kill animals only for food (silk is an exception because, at least in India, it is done on a sustainable scale, plus, it contributes a large percent in international economy). If they are not raised for food, then they should be treated well. Kindness extends to feral animals too. Recently, a feral bull, which did no harm to anyone, suffered an acid attack. Hit and run cases are not rare too. The pineapple incident too can move anyone. (I don’t write about individual events in details because this is not a news blog, and several cases occur each day, if I can’t find out about all the incidents, I have no right to shower empathy on a few instances beloved of media).Similarly, killing animals for their hide, claws, bone, etc. is bad. Hunting tigers, leopards, and other predators for ‘revenge’ is inhuman too.
Now, let me talk about wasteful rituals like pouring edible milk on the idol of the deity. Shiva is my personal favorite. Hindus know Him as Bhole Baba, literally the forgetful father, actually the forgiving father, who doesn’t remember his disrespect and mistreatment. I wish to write a separate post on Him. Should I?
So, basically he can be worshipped with the least possible offerings, and even nothing! Just remembering His Name is said to remove hurdles of life! He lives his children so, yes, it would be better if Hindus offer the milk to poor children rather than His idol. He would love to see his children being fed. If you can’t afford enough milk (in that case just any food) for the poor, just don’t provide any offerings to Him. Similarly, eat mutton. No problem. (Yes, I, who writes about animals, says this! Because an Utopia with only Vegans is not possible) But just don’t kill the animal in the name of God (or whatever you like to call the Creator), it would be painful for a Father (or Mother, will elaborate about God as Mother and Father in the post on Shiva) to see one child kill his sibling as an offering to Him or Her.
What do I conclude with? Care for the environment and love animals, but don’t do this as a means to disrespect any other religion. Eat meat, but not in God’s name. Although, God is the one who is providing you food, so, yes, thank the Almighty for giving you food, unlike a lot of poor people. But killing an animal to show your respect to the Creator, that’s bad.
You are free to comment how I offended you.