Saturday, September 22, 2012

India teaches vegetarianism to McDonald's

One of the most popular fast-food chains is learning new business lessons in India. The food is healthier, more delicious and pure vegetarian, at least it is planned to be in two new all-vegetarian restaurants, one in Amritsar (Punjab state) and the other one in Katra (Jammu & Kashmir state).

McDonald's is a world-famous fast food chain based in the USA where it does not run any all-vegetarian restaurant yet despite of growing number of vegetarians. McDonald's first vegetarian restaurants in two Indian cities of religious importance is a commendable effort which will help the chain increase it's popularity among an entirely new clientele.

It is believed that around 5% of US population is vegetarian. India, on the contrary, believes to be the home of the largest vegetarian society in the world. 40% of Indians are vegetarian. Indian civilization is considered to be the pioneer of the vegetarianism due to it's ancient tradition of non-violence.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Become Vegetarian To Save Water

Water scarcity could make world go vegetarian by 2050
Leading water scientists have issued one of the sternest warnings yet about global food supplies, saying that the world’s population may have to switch almost completely to a vegetarian diet over the next 40 years to avoid catastrophic shortages. Humans derive about 20% of their protein from animal-based products now, but this may need to drop to just 5% to feed the extra 2 billion people expected to be alive by 2050, according to research by some of the world’s leading water scientists.
“There will not be enough water available on current croplands to produce food for the expected 9 billion population in 2050 if we follow current trends  towards diets common in western nations,” the report by Malik Falkenmark and colleagues at the Stockholm International Water Institute  said.
“There will be just enough water if the proportion of animal-based foods is limited to 5% of total calories.”
Dire warnings of water scarcity limiting food production come as Oxfam and the UN prepare for a possible second global food crisis in five years. Prices for staples such as corn and wheat have risen nearly 50% on international markets since June, triggered by severe droughts in the US and Russia, and weak monsoon rains in Asia.
Oxfam has forecast that the price spike will have a devastating impact in developing countries that rely heavily on food imports, including parts of Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East.
Adopting a vegetarian diet is one option to increase the amount of water available to grow more food in an increasingly climate-erratic world, the scientists said. Animal protein-rich food consumes five to 10 times more water than a vegetarian diet. One third of the world’s arable land is used to grow crops to feed animals.
Other options to feed people include eliminating waste and increasing trade between countries in food surplus and those in deficit.

[Source: Hindustan Times]

Monday, August 20, 2012

Price Versus Cost of Meat

The Real Price of Meat

People advocating non-vegetarian food often talk about the "Low Cost High Nutritional Value" of meat. In this reference, a story comes to the mind. The original story in Hindi was shared on the Hindi edition of this blog by Mr. Hansaraj Sugya.

King Shrenik, the emperor of the Magadh state in central India, once asked his courtiers in the royal assembly, "What could be the most cost efficient approach for solving the severe problem of food supply before the nation?"

The cabinet and the courtiers started pondering the issue. They realized that the grains like rice, wheat etc are produced after a lot of hard work, time and labour, and need a suitable climate too. Famines, Droughts, Floods, all interfere in the process of cultivation. Hence, it is not possible to reduce the cost associated with the production of food grains.

An officer who was particularly fond of hunting thought that, meat is the only food item, which can be easily procured without much work involved. He smilingly suggested, " Oh noble King ! The cheapest food item is undoubtedly meat, It has a low cost of production, and is quite nutritive." Almost everyone supported his proposal, but the prime minister Abhay Kumar kept silent.

The king asked him "Why are you silent? What do you think about this issue?"

The prime minister replied "The statement that meat is the cheapest, is an absolute falsehood. I will put up my thoughts before you all tomorrow."

The assembly was adjourned for the day.

At night-fall, Abhay Kumar knocked at the door of the Officer who had put up the proposal. Though the officer was very nervous to see the prime minister at his doorstep at such an hour, he welcomed him respectfully inside, and inquired about the purpose of the unexpected visit.

The prime minister politely replied, " The noble king Shrenik was taken ill this evening. The "raaj-vaidya" (The royal doctor) has prescribed a cure. He has said that, if king Shrenik gets 20 grams of meat of the noble man's heart, his life can be saved. I know that you are a valued and faithful officer of the noble king. You can surely lay your life to save him. Therefore, I have come here to take 20 grams of your heart's flesh for the king. I will compensate you well for it - I will even pay 1,00,000 Gold Coins to you as a token of gratitude.

The officer was shocked. He started thinking, what use will be this wealth when I myself am dead? He begged the prime minister to excuse him and get the meat from elsewhere. He even handed over 1,00,000 gold coins from his personal treasure to help procure the flesh from someone else.

Taking this, Abhay Kumar went to the next officer's home, but the same story was repeated. He visited all officers' homes one by one, but no one was agreeable to oblige. Everyone gave some wealth to save his life, someone paid one hundred thousand rupees, some others two or five hundred thousands. Before dawn, the Prime minister reached his home with more than ten million gold coins.

When the king's royal assembly reconvened, the prime minister presented the assorted wealth before him.

Emperor Shrenik asked, "What are these gold coins for?"

The prime minister narrated the whole sequence of events. He said, "Just for buying 20 grams of flesh, so much wealth was parted with, but still the flesh could not be procured. The noblemen have parted with all this money to save their lives. Then how can we say that meat is cheap? Can we now understand that the "cost" of meat is at the "price" of life and is effectively "priceless"?

Life is priceless, not cheap. Let us not forget that, the way we value our own life, similarly the other living organisms also wish and crave to live, and we have no right to snatch their life away from them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

why to go vegetarian when i always ate non-vegetarian and like it too

When we try to propagate vegetarianism, The questions that first come to the non-vegetarian  reader's mind are , 

1. YOU are a vegetarian, it is YOUR choice. but MY food is MY choice, why should I change my food habits? 

2. I don't ask you to change your food habits, do I? Then why do you (vegetarians) pester me to change mine ? 

Let us try looking for some answers.

We are not trying to change just YOUR life / lifestyle / eating habits. What we are trying to do is, to save / improve the lives of billions of animals who undergo horrible pain / torture / fear / anxiety / and murder, because the demand for nonvegetarian food requires them to live (and die) in a living hell, usually called a factory farm. Each plate of non vegetarian food increases this demand.

2. Living Conditions in factory farms are horrific. 

Imagine living one's whole life in a 1.5x1.5 ' space - because of course we - the average human - can stand upright in that much space - can't we ? But we can't stand all our life - can we ? Because our feet need rest, we need to sit, to walk, to lie down, and to sleep. We need all this because we are human. 

But - being a human also means being humane.

And humane is supposed to understand the pain of not just oneself, but also other living creatures. Now let us take a peep into a factory farm, where, let us remember, animals are being grown to be killed and give meat, not as domestics or pets, but just as meat. So who cares if their feet ache ? Look at some pictures here, and if you wish to see more such pictures, please click on these pictures, which contain the links to google image pages showing other (harsher) images, which I do not wish to share here. 

pigs factory farm
Now, If we can't stand 24-7-365, how can we call ourselves human and still eat factory farmed meat when these intelligent and feeling animals do it for preparing our dishes? Pigs, cows, fish, chicken, all are high intellect animals, who feel pain, who feel fear, and who get tired. They deserve better than this. If we question that we don't want factory farming but we do want to eat meat, then let us ask ourselves, - WHERE should that much meat come from without factory farming ? Enough to feed billions of people per day ? Please Remember, More than 25 billion animals are killed by the meat industry per year. The average meat-eater is responsible for the abuse and death of about 90 animals per year.

3. Cruelty :
Yes, most of us are not cruel to animals around us. We do not hit or abuse them, we don't like to inflict pain, and we get angry when someone else does it in our knowledge. Then how is the animal on a meat farm different ? Does it not deserve similar compassion ? 
I do not like injections, least of all the injections which are not good for my health. But animals on factory farms are routinely injected with growth hormones to make them fatter and bigger fast, so as to get more meat. Their bones etc need calcium, but they are fed fattening (unhealthy and unbalanced) food, because we DON"T want bones to eat, we want fat, so they live in an unhealthy body, in constant pain, due to unbalanced and unnatural growth to be supported 24 hours a day on weak boned legs.

I wouldn't like to live surrounded by my own waste with open sewers, but the animals have to, because THEIR comfort does not matter - after all they are going to be killed soon.

I wouldn't like to stand in a queue seeing myself inch closer to the head of the queue, where people in front of me are being painfully and cruelly slaughtered / killed, I would probably be so full of fear and anxiety that I would die of a heart attack first, but this is what my plate of meat comes from, this fear is imbibed in my food if I eat meat.

I wouldn't like to be manhandled / pushed / herded etc with no compassion whatsoever, but this is what the animal providing the plate of meat before me on the table has endured to be served in my plate.

The farms are so unhealthy and filthy, that all the animals would die of infection - but they "live" on because they are fed high doses of antibiotics routinely to make them survive. But I would nOT like to eat / feed antibiotics continuously to my family or pets.

In some farms, cattle are fed "renders" - dead and grounded up cows. To induce and increase egg production, chicken are kept in tight cages and kept awake under bright light 24 hours a day. 

4. Climate Conservation 

Excess land is wasted in growing food for this unnaturally induced population of meat giving animals. We know that the primary producers of food are plants. and the bio pyramid shows that every next level consumer population wise is 10% (one tenth) of the provider. Thus, if we eat vegetarian instead of nonvegetarian, the land resource availability would be enhanced 10 times. One acre of land can grow 20,000 pounds of potatoes, OR  less than 165 pounds of edible cow flesh - which one is better for feeding the starving human populations??

Rainforests are cut down to make room to raise cattle. Two-thirds of Central America’s rainforests have been destroyed, to raise cattle whose meat is use in hamburgers. Every second, one football field of rainforest is destroyed in order to produce 257 hamburgers. 

Vegetarian diet reduces pollution. To grow grains to feed cattle, Factory farms are sprayed with herbicides and pesticides . These chemicals destroy soil. They leak into the ground and nearby streams and rivers. Toxic chemicals are often found in fish in many parts of the world’s lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Moreover, a lot of toxins due to synthetic enhancers would be saved, thus bringing down the global warming. 

A vegetarian diet reduces the production of carbon dioxide (CO2).  An average car produces 3 kg of CO2 a day while the effort to clear rainforest to produce beef for one hamburger produces 75 kg of CO2. Eating one pound of hamburger does the same damage regarding global warming, as driving a car for three weeks! 

Enormous energy is put into growing grains to feed cattle. Up to 5000 gallons of water for is required to raise one pound of beef. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Non-Violence vegetarianism & world peace

Niramish Introduction: Non-Violence and Vegetarianism

Niramish (also spelled as Niraamish) is a Sanskrit word, also used in several modern languages. The closest English word is vegetarian. Niramish (Sanskrit: निरामिष)  signifies a person who, as a principal, opposes all kinds of violence. Though the word "Vegetarian" was coined by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom in about 1847, the practice of vegetarianism is much older. The moral, spiritual and philosophical traditions of India supported every form of life and practiced non-violence in every walk of life. They experimented vigorously with plantation and farming and shunned meat as an alternative to human food.

This ancient form of vegetarianism is still practiced by a large section of people of Indian origin and spread all over the world by Indian philosophers, especially the followers of the various branches of Indian philosophies such as Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism.

Indians stressed on the importance of milk. They revered cow as mother and considered milk as part of their daily nutrition. The process was non-violent, non-exploitative and non-commercial. Though "Niramish" appears from this age-old tradition of lacto-vegetarianism, we support and promote various traditional and modern ideas of non-violence, vegetarianism and environment-friendly lifestyle.

The purpose of this blog is mainly to promote vegetarianism, compassion, non-violence and tolerance. Non-violence is the basis of all forms of life. It is the recipe for happiness on earth.  Niramish community blog is a humble effort to create awareness about a healthy lifestyle that is as violence-free as possible. Our main purpose is to promote non-violence and peace. If you want to know more about vegetarianism or if you are ready to adopt a healthy lifestyle, we are here to help you. Please be vegetarian for environment-friendliness and health.

Be a vegetarian, save the planet!