Cool Buddies

Your Choice [by Ratheesh]

Posted in Animals, Environment by Ratheesh & Sharada on September 4, 2008

Do we always have to choose among items/theories/ideologies as presented to us by presumably knowledgeable people? It is an interesting thought, because to be honest, we don’t have to choose. Just the fact that you are made to choose indicates that the person providing you with choices has narrowed down the answers to what ‘he’ or ‘she’ perceives as the only possibilities. This thought occurred to me when I read an article ‘Confronting Empire’ written by Arundhati Roy. Quoting from the article, George Bush provides you this choice ‘You are either with us or them’ (i.e with the U.S or the Terrorists). Arundhati’s question is, do we really have to choose between an imperialistic United States of America and some fanatic terrorists. The answer is; we don’t have to.

More often than not, you and me have been presented with choices to become a non-vegetarian, a vegetarian, a vegan or a fruitarian. But do we really need to make a decision just because someone has made the classifications? Many a times I have spoken to my friends about why I am a vegetarian. But not once I have asked anyone to become one. The reason again is the same. I hate to ask someone to choose a lifestyle which I believe is correct. What I do believe is in facts, and the kind of facts from which you make your own deductions. Your choice (categorically) does not matter; but what matters is whether you have understood the impact of your actions and whether you are true to your own self.

What prompted me to write this article is the documentary called ‘Earthlings’ which I recently watched (links provided at the end). This documentary according to me is one of the most meaningful, emotional and powerful ones I have watched till date. It is about the abuse of nature (specifically animals) to satiate the homo sapein’s greed. Incidentally ‘Homo Sapien’ means ‘Wise Man’; but its left for us to decide if we have been true to that nomenclature.

There is nothing shown in ‘Earthlings’ that I did not know. But at the same time, it is disturbing and makes me hang my head in shame. The documentary talks about the various reasons for which animals are abused and treated like inanimate objects. Specifically, the areas of abuse are for food, clothing, entertainment, sports and in the name of science.

Although almost always the arguments raised by individuals fighting for animal rights delve into the area of non-vegetarianism, many of them forget that eating animals is not something that can be entirely avoided or eradicated. So the issue that needs to be looked into first is not whether we all need to start eating veggies, but what are our sensibilities and knowledge regarding how the meat comes to your table. Most my non-vegetarian friends have never really put a thought into how the animal is killed; how much blood is shed; how much pain is undergone by the animal and how many times it must have silently pleaded to the butcher before it lost its life and satisfied their palate. Many of my friends have dismissed these thoughts are sheer panic and melodrama, but I wish they knew better.

It is not just food we must be worried about (although that is the larger worry), but it is the utter disregard by human beings for the welfare of other creations of god when it comes to satisfying many of his other needs (greeds?). Clothing for one. How many of us have really bothered how that leather wallet in our pocket was made; or how that expensive lacoste belt was manufactured. Did we bother to inquire? When such topics come up, the usual argument is that from ancient ages man has been using animal products and we continue to do so. But that is far from the truth. Man was only worried about his needs then. And more often than not, he took his bit from the forest; just what he needed, and left the rest as it is. But in the current world, animals are being bred, grown, tortured and killed just for providing us with that expensive bag or coat. Remember that these animals might not have even got their mothers milk and warmth; they would not have known what the plants, insects and the sun looks like. They just lived to die and satify our greed.

We are all currently part of a world that is slowly, but surely disintegrating (and in a way responding to our exploitation). It all started with a Tsunami a few years ago, and there has been no looking back. If you really look closely you will see the connection between our lack of respect for nature and all the issues that we face in this world today. Take a break from your daily race and put a few minutes of thought.

Hoping for a better world.

Links to Earthlings Documentary –

Direct Link (Good quality download):
http://dl.veg-tv.info/Earthlings.avi

(I have not verified if these are good or full):
Google Video version
video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1282796533661048967

Youtube versions (3 parts):
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=GhxKnys7Ryw
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=7sRiH_Owq9U
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=N8U9dw-9U4E

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17 Responses

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  1. Kingshuk said, on September 4, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Very thoughtful Ratheesh – as always!

  2. Pablo Tachil said, on September 4, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Very interesting and more importantly very thought provoking.

  3. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 4, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Thanks Guys

  4. Arvind said, on September 4, 2008 at 8:26 pm

    Very thoughtful, thought proving and well written Article. Your blog was fwd to me by a friend and enjoyed reading this article. I am a vegan and my opinion on why I am its my choice for being a vegan.

  5. shilpa said, on September 4, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    so thought-provoking that im turning veggie dis minute!so thank you guys!

  6. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 5, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Thanks Arvind

  7. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 5, 2008 at 2:20 am

    Thats great Shilpa! We are glad we could make an impact

  8. Sowmya said, on September 5, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Really well written article ,
    Being involved in the movement there is so much info fed to us that we stop thinking for ourselves . I’ve been forwarding the link to my friends, I hope you don’t mind that.

  9. Bindu said, on September 5, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I salute ‘your choice’ 🙂

    Fellow-anti-cruelty-pursuer,
    Bindu

    My perspective of veganism was most affected by learning that the veal calf is a by-product of dairying, and that in essence there is a slice of veal in every glass of what I had thought was an innocuous white liquid – milk. ~Rynn Berry

  10. Namrata said, on September 6, 2008 at 12:10 am

    Very well written.. I wish people would be more emphatic about not using silk. I get gifted so many silk items and I wish they were not considered ‘auspicious’ by the huge vegetarian majority that forgets the true reason why they are vegetarians. We clothe our deities in silk, but go berserk when someone brings meat to an auspicious place. I don’t see a big difference!

    In my opinion, silk is worse than leather, because of the very nature of death the silk worms face. Lets try switching to ahimsa silk if we must!

  11. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 7, 2008 at 7:32 am

    Thanks Sowmya,

    Please do forward the article and mainly the documentary to as many people as possible. What amuses me is I never came across this one even though it was released way back in 2003 as per http://www.imdb.com. That shows how less propaganda such movies tend to get. So it is our responsibility to ensure that it reaches the masses.

  12. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 7, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Thanks Bindu.

  13. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 7, 2008 at 7:36 am

    You are right Namrata. Many of our relatives (parents included) tried to force silk on us, but we refused to even touch them. It might hurt them a bit initially, but ultimately they will have to agree. Since they know very well in their heart that we are right.

    Let’s keep trying. But next time we will try and show them the documentary!

  14. Sriram said, on September 8, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Very nicely written. You have a great knack of delivering powerful messages and yet wrap it very subtly.

    Rgds
    Sriram

  15. Ratheesh & Sharada said, on September 16, 2008 at 6:07 am

    Thank you so much Sriram.

  16. Nishikanth N said, on September 22, 2008 at 1:49 pm

    Very right thought, Ratheesh.
    First, people are not ready to give a thought on the cruelty on animals and second, humiliate the person, who gives a thought on the same.

  17. Meetha said, on April 12, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Hey Rateesh,
    Really a very well written article. I will definitely forward this to my friends and other people. Keep rocking….take care u guys..


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