<<Topics on Vegetarian>> (Written by Stephen Chin of Montreal, QC)
Why are you vegetarian? How can you get enough protein without meat? Do you not miss the taste of good food?
The above are some of the questions friends most often ask me. In a city like Montreal there are some five thousand restaurants with not more than a handful of vegetarian ones. Vegetarians are definitely in the minority. The ratio is the same all over the world. However the number of vegetarian restaurants is steadily growing everywhere. That is a sign there is hope for the world, yet.
To satisfy the appetite of carnivorous humans, forests are being destroyed at an increasing rate to graze the cattle and produce the feed for them and other animals eaten by man. Land is being polluted.
And there is no end to the great suffering caused to helpless creatures in the world's slaughter houses at every passing minute twenty-four hours a day. When alive, the animals are also subjected to suffering by the methods used to raise them. Countless millions of poultry and hogs grow up in stacked-up cages and force-fed to make them grow as fast as possible in order to produce as much profit as possible. Calves are taken from their mothers at birth, kept in dark cages to prevent movement and fed only liquids during their first year of life. For what purpose? To make their flesh 'white, tender and tasty' for expensive restaurants. Fish, lobsters and sea creatures used for food are also subjected to unspeakable cruelties such as being chopped, skinned, boiled or eaten while alive.
There is much protein in unpolished cereals, many vegetables and nuts. One can have a fully balanced diet without any animal products. Like our closest relatives, the simians, humans are natural vegetarians. If we were meant to eat meat, Nature would have given us claws and fangs. Our hands were designed for plucking fruit and our jaws and teeth for eating fruit and vegetables.
Vegetarian cooking and recipes can be most delicious. After eating a vegetarian meal, one feels perfectly satisfied without the heaviness in the digestive system as after a meal of steak. I was brought up eating meat. For health reasons I stopped eating meat and animal products. After a few months, all the symptoms of ill-health such as high-blood pressure, arthritis, hemorrhoids, headaches, sleeplessness, overweight, etc. simply disappeared without the help of doctors and their prescriptions.
The best medicine is waiting for us in vegetables and natural foods.
I hope I have answered the above questions and convinced readers and friends that there is hope for the world if the ratio of meat eaters and vegetarians were reversed.
Not only would we help the eco-system and the world to recover, but we shall be rewarded for not causing widespread cruelty and suffering among land animals and sea creatures to satisfy the bad habit of eating their flesh.
When we have compassion for all living creatures, we shall also have more compassion for our own species. And there will be less ill health, unhappiness, crime and wars in the world.