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Dustin LindenSmith

father | musician | writer

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smiling eyes

briefly, on "Eating Animals" (by Jonathan Safran Foer), and on Ram Tzu's rebuttal?

I'm reading a book right now which is making me consider not eating meat more seriously than ever before. It's called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and it's really, really well-written. Also extremely compelling and thought-provoking. I'd like to write at some length about the topic and this book once I'm finished, but this morning's Nonduality Highlights had the following snippet from Ram Tzu which made me laugh a bit:
Ram Tzu knows this...

God doesn't care
What you had for lunch.
He created tofu and sausage
With the same thought.

Yet you advanced ones
Swell with pride
Convinced your special diet
Is a shortcut to heaven.

Clever you.
Who would have ever thought
To look there.

The fools go on eating poison
In blissful ignorance.
Too stupid and unspiritual
Not to enjoy their
Ice cream, French fries, and red meat.

Ram Tzu says...

Far better to die a single death
Than a thousand little daily ones.

- Ram Tzu, posted to AlongTheWay
Can I read that as condoning the eating of meat? :)
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iamom May 31st, 2010
I totally agree with you on the arguments against eating meat. And I was being kind of facetious about the quote, which I later realized must be some sort of paraphrase of the original quote, because I'm pretty sure Ram Tzu didn't know anything about French fries or ice cream.

The morally reprehensible underpinnings of commercial meat production are indeed hard to justify, I can't deny it. It's why I'm having so much trouble justifying the practice to myself these days. I may indeed make a change with that soon, I don't know. I think the most lucid arguments for factory farming methods largely revolve around how difficult it might be to use more traditional methods to produce sufficient meat protein for the enormous population we now have. But even if that were true on the face of it, I think that argument should be subjected to more analysis than I've seen so far.

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iamom May 31st, 2010
It's funny, I was just talking to my wife about this last night; that is to say, I think that if we all ate fewer meat servings each week and shrunk the portion sizes each time, that would result in significant decreases to the demand. I also know that we don't need as much protein as we all tend to eat, and a sufficient mix of beans and legumes are an excellent, healthy source for good protein, too.

chandos May 31st, 2010
Ahh the vegetarian question. I have struggled with this for years. In university, away from my parents, I was vegetarian. It wasn't for any great reason, other than the cutting of raw meat made me ill. I could not do it.

When I came back home from univerisity I eventually caved and resumed eatting meat, but only chicken and fish. Gradually that's expanded to beef.

I've been debating going vegetarian again, and likely will soon, but it's for other reasons. Some environmental, some moral, and some health. I will have to check out that book though.

Always a pleasure to read you. (P.S. Sorry I missed your Stayner's performance, I was a week off.. please let me know if you are playing again though, would like to listen to you.)

iamom May 31st, 2010
I've struggled with the question too, but this book is really making me feel like eating meat is a morally reprehensible act. It places the practice in a uniquely stark context.

Another more selfish reason I'm interested in it is that if I were to eat a healthy, vegetarian diet, I probably wouldn't have to monitor my nutrition. I'd just eat those regular meals and the rest of my excess weight would fall off naturally...

dizziedumb May 31st, 2010
haha! cute.

there are certainly more "worldly" things to concern oneself with, but then again ahimsa is about as worldly a principle as one can get.

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