True Compassion for Other Beings

by Do234 on February 9, 2015 - 9:54pm

José Andrés, in his article "Changing the Way We Eat Meat", describes how modern humans are no longer connected to their food as they were thousands of years ago. Written on November 26, 2014 for the National Geographic, the article compares our actual methods of production, which consist of over industrialization, to our ancestors’ processes which consisted of eating every last bit of the prey. The author does not pretend to condemn meat consumption, on the contrary, he loves eating it. He rather affirms that our generation should eat more vegetables and that breeding should be done more modestly.

As suggested in the article, meat industry should return to the old fashioned way: vast pastures, varied diet, long and peaceful life for the animals… To achieve such results, one must put pressure on the industry by writing letters or even better, by boycotting the meat products. If there is no more demand, it will have no choice but changing his methods. By then, replacing some meat portions by vegetables is the best option available or checking the labels to make more informed choices.

From a vegetarian like me, the choice of such a text is curious; it does not condemn meat consumption, and even encourage it, even if we are talking about more responsible methods. I wanted to make things clear: not every vegetarians/vegans are arrogant extremists wishing death to all the carnivores of this world. I respect meat eaters; I myself was one before. I also applause the interest in alternative methods, much more human than most of the factory farms today. But what meat abstention brings to someone goes beyond the pleasure of eating more vegetables: the soul is at peace. Not completely of course, cereal production still has a lot of impacts on the world, but at least, some creatures are spared. When people ask why you don’t want this piece of pepperoni pizza, the heart remembers what empathy means. When the mind is reading the list of ingredients in search of traces of meat, the heart remembers the power of empathy. I encourage other approaches to meat production, but the refusal brings something constantly present in our heart: true compassion for other beings.

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