(an article taken from the original Back To Godhead Magazine)
From the standpoints of health,
economics and ethics, animal slaughter and
meat-eating are detrimental to human society.
Although meat is certainly a source of concentrated protein it is a very poor source of other food elements like minerals, vitamins and carbohydrates. In addition, eating flesh from the cow or any other animal is detrimental to the health of human beings for many reasons. For example, if a human, who has a much longer colon than the carnivorous animals, eats flesh, the following problems will ensue:
1. Intestinal bacteria in the long bowel will change from fermentative to putrefactive, thus causing poisons to be absorbed into the bloodstream. These poisons need to be eliminated, so energy is diverted from other essential bodily functions, including thinking.
2. The natural synthesis of vitamin B12 will be inhibited, possibly leading to anemia.
3. Animal toxins will tend to disrupt the proper metabolism of carbohydrates. This can cause diabetes.
4. Nonnutritive substances resulting from the digestion of animal flesh tend to be carcinogenic (cancer-inducing) irritants.
The minimum daily requirement of protein, which nutritional experts calculate to be between seventy and ninety grams, is easily achieved with dairy products and foods from the vegetable kingdom. Protein, is found in ample quantity in milk, cheese, yogurt, whole wheat, corn, many varieties of nuts and beans, and some vegetables. Thus vegetables, fruits, grains and dairy products provide a perfectly balanced diet. Consuming animal flesh, on the other hand, results in excess protein, which produces liver ailments, high blood pressure, and hardening of the arteries.
In addition, dead animal flesh contains many toxic elements, such as:
1. Wastes from the dead animal's bloodstream, germs, and drugs injected to offset animal disease.
2. Fear poisons released into the bloodstream at the time of slaughter.
3. Bacteria from putrefactive decomposition, which commences as soon as the animal dies. Because flesh is an excellent insulator, not all of these bacteria are killed by cooking.
Due to forced feeding, penning, and other unnatural practices, animals raised for slaughter suffer from dozens of diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, fevers, catarrhal conditions, cancer, tuberculosis, and mastitis. In addition, poultry are often impregnated with estrogens, which can cause cancer. Many studies in cancer research reveal that areas in which meat-eating is highest tend to have the highest cancer rate, while vegetarian areas generally have a far lower rate.
Immediately after an animal is slaughtered, rigor mortis sets in, and then the process of decay takes over. Thus meat-eating always involves consumption of decayed flesh together with its incumbent dangers to health.
The implementation of cow protection at the international level would be a massive step forward in solving the world food crisis. Some economic advantages of cow protection are as follows:
1. Flesh foods are more than fifty percent water and therefore extremely costly to buy as a source of protein.
2. Land that will produce one ton of beef will produce ten to twenty tons of highly nutritive vegetable food.
3. For every hundred pounds of dry substances eaten by cattle, only four to sixteen pounds comes back as flesh foods.
Some Ethical Considerations
1. Slaughtering animals causes extreme suffering. Animals are sentient creatures with feelings like humans. Cows especially can sense that they are going to be slaughtered, and they live in constant fear.
2. We have no right to artificially end the life of any creature, especially that of a cow, who nurses her own offspring and the whole human society with her milk.
3. Killing animals breeds insensitivity toward all beings, sadism and general irreverence. Pythagoras taught, "Those who kill animals for food will be more prone than vegetarians to torture and kill their fellow men."
The strict law of karma deals measure for measure with anyone who violates the laws of nature. As long as the people of the world continue to murder and eat their two most benign friends, the cow and bull, they will perpetually suffer the sinful reactions of criminal violence and catastrophic wars.
1. The Case for Vegetarianism, Geoffrey L. Rudd
2. Man's Place in Nature, T.H. Huxley
3. H.M.S.O. Manual of Nutrition (British Gov't.)