We live in an age when eating non-vegetarian food is considered to be the ultimate gastronomic delight; many misguided youngsters think that red meat, fish and chicken are trendy, exotic and energising. “How can we live without meat?” is the cry heard from many youngsters, even those born into vegetarian families.
One life manifests itself in all creation: it sleeps in the stone, it dreams in the plants, it stirs in animals and it wakes in man. These stages also serve to indicate that animals are capable of feeling pain and suffering, while plants are not.
There are many people who object loudly: “How do you know that plants do not feel pain and do not suffer when you pluck their fruits for food?”
We do not have the right to take away that which we cannot give back. I can take away the life of
If this question is raised out of genuine concern for plant life, I welcome this concern heartily. But their interest is only to justify killing animals for food, on the ground that a vegetarian diet too destroys plant life, and therefore cannot be moral or ethical alternative to flesh food. Therefore, they conclude, what difference does it make whether we eat animals or plants? We have got to eat in order to live; we might as well eat plants and/or animals.
Plants do not have a central nervous system as animals do; there is no observable ‘behaviour’ that suggests to us that they suffer; their evolutionary status is such that they are stationary, and cannot move or run, and therefore, incapable of feeling pain. In short, “plants feel pain” is only a specious, devious argument used to discredit vegetarians, and not really an answer to the protests against cruelty to animals.
We do not have the right to take away that which we cannot give back. I can take away the life of animal: but I cannot give it back to the animal I have killed. The life of that animal is as precious, as dear to the creature as my life is to me. Therefore, I have no right to take the life of an animal for any reason—scientific, experimental, appetite or sheer wantonness!