30 September 2008

Persistent Vegetative State

A persistent vegatative state (PVS) is a medical term identifying someone in a coma whose brain is still partially functioning. PVS is distinguished from Brain Death, signifying a person with no brain function who is therefore legally dead. Brain Death is the legal justification for harvesting transplantable organs from someone who according to most of us would still be considered to be alive.

But I didn't want to talk here about PVS really - or brain death - I was just using the old bait and switch trick. I want to talk about vegatative eating, which is to say vegetarianism, even though it is a subject even I don't particularly like. But I would like to say the following:
  • If you love animals, the greatest single thing you can do for them is to stop eating them and supporting the industries that treat them so cruelly.
  • Everything that lives, with the exception of some very unhappy people and maybe some lemmings, wants to continue living. Is it right for us to deprive another being of their life when it is not a necessity for us? Or to give our money to someone else, or indeed a huge multi-national corporation, depriving beings of their life?
  • Do you think you could continue eating animals if you visited a slaughterhouse?
  • We think of eating a cow or a fish as totally different from, for example, eating a dog. But aren't these things essentially the same?
Many people, because of the influence of the dairy industry I suspect, think that they cannot get enough protein without eating animals. This is just a lie. Our diseases are diseases of affluence - obesity, diabetes, heart disease. All these have been linked with meat-eating. The cattle industry is also a large factor in climate change. It has been estimated up to 20% of greenhouse gases come from livestock.

So I ask that you bring attention to this area of your life. The decision is not nceessarily 'do I become a vegetarian?', but 'how can I bring more awareness into eating?' Do I eat meat when I could just as easily and happily make a vegetarian choice? How can I be more ethical and compassionate in the food I choose?

They are not brethren, they are not underlings.
They are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth.
Henry Beston

Some References
To Cherish All Life: A Buddhist Case for Becoming Vegetarian (online book by Phillip Kapleau)

Rethinking Life and Death by Peter Singer. (book about ethics - especially medical and legal ethics in regard to defining life )

Pondering the Cows at Point Reyes (another blog post)

No comments:

Site Meter