Saturday, March 16, 2013
Sorry Darwin: Chemistry Never Made the Transition to Biology, Information, Knowledge and Life in 21st Century
Sorry Darwin: Chemistry Never Made the Transition to Biology
(Refer for the full paper of the talk:: http://scienceandscientist.org/biology)
By: Bhakti Niskama Shanta, Ph.D.
Information, Knowledge and Life in 21st Century
(Refer for the full paper of the talk:: http://scienceandscientist.org/papers/BVMuni_Information.pdf)
By: Bhakti Vijnana Muni, Ph.D.
The two speakers are from Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math, Siliguri (mahaprabhu.net/scsmath.siliguri). Under the guidance of Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. (Director, Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science, 20 Nassau St., #116 Princeton, NJ 08542, USA: bviscs.org) they are regularly travelling to various leading universities and colleges to deliver talks on these fundamental topics. A brief introductory article "Is Life Fundamental?" is attached.
Day & Date: TUESDAY, the 19th March 2013
Start Time: 5:00 pm
Venue: GARGI / MAITRI Auditorium, IIT Kharagpur
All interested are cordially invited to attend the same …
By Prof N R Mandal
A BRIEF OF THE TALKS
Is Life Fundamental?
Sripad Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D.
Director, Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science
20 Nassau St., #116 Princeton, NJ 08542, USA
One of the greatest unsolved questions in science is: what is life? Is life derivative – a product of physical and chemical composition, or is it a primitive – an underived, irreducible foundation of reality? This is a crucial point that the famous German philosopher Hegel made central to his scientific system of knowledge. As he wrote: "Everything turns on understanding the Absolute as subject, as much as we may now understand it to be substance." This is similar to the principle we find enunciated in the ancient tradition of Vedanta, athatho brahma jijnasa.
Some are now beginning to realize that the scientific search for truth has led us to the same conclusion. The remarkable progress that has been made in the scientific understanding of the material world, and the study of organic life at the most fundamental cellular level has forced scientists to look at what they never thought could be an essential part of scientific knowledge – life, consciousness, the scientist himself. Yet 20th century quantum mechanics has inextricably woven consciousness into whatever measurement we can make of the material world. The many world interpretation claims to avoid this solution, but it presents a picture of reality that surreal beyond anything science could ever deal with, by positing an ad hoc infinity of worlds at every point of determination, such that everything is possible and thus nothing is explained. In other words, it is not science. Therefore the role of consciousness in physics has taken a firm position, and this is something that has been embraced quite boldly by the pioneers in this field. Max Planck, the father of quantum physics, emphasized the principle quite clearly,
"I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness." -- The Observer (25 January 1931)
Schrodinger, who formulated the wave principle of quantum mechanics, said, "Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."
Yet, not only in the sub-microscopic quantum world but in the telescopic macro cosmic realm, the original admonitions of Isaac Newton were ignored and forgotten in the enthusiasm of Laplace, and those who came after him, to embrace a deterministic physics in which all other considerations were completely banished as unnecessary hypotheses. This arrogant bluster came to an abrupt halt just when, in the last decades of the 20th century, the tumultuous progress of scientific discovery seemed to dominate all other fields of knowledge. Chaos reigned over all. And it was the outcome of a purely deterministic conception of the universe. Determinism had undermined itself, because it lost sight of its purely idealistic origin and nature. The universe was as unpredictable as the weather! Non-linearity was one problem; the measurement problem took on a new form in the natural limitations of the observers who made the measurements; and the rounding errors that are inherent to the numerical methods we use for computation were another issue. Little assumptions here and there we thought we could safely ignore, proved to be catastrophic in the long run, even toppling the neat mechanistic picture we had constructed of our own solar system.
The linearity of equations that describe natural phenomena is inapplicable to real systems of more than two bodies. Even a three body problem resists precise calculation. Can a living cell that contains 300 trillion atoms (there are 300 billion stars in the galaxy we inhabit) stuffed in a space that is visible only under a microscope, form a deterministic system?
The massive accumulation of the biochemical details of living organisms over the past few decades has brought this question into a new light. Never before was it possible to examine the chemistry of a living cell in the way we now have available to us. The remarkable finding is that there is nothing random about life. It is now known that the cell maintains its own life by the strict, hierarchical, regulatory control of its own functions, without which it would rapidly perish. The living cell exhibits and deploys a finely tuned selective behavior with respect to its own internal monitoring as well as in its relation to the environment in which it lives. Chemical systems react, but biological systems behave in ways that can only be described as cognitive. The field of cognitive biology has arisen in this context, a concatenation of two words that would never have seemed possible in the purely molecular reductionist view of 19th and 20th century biology. Yet cognition as well as information have become integrated with biology as never before, since the Cartesian division of the cognitive and extensive features of reality that marked the beginning of the modern philosophy of scientific naturalism.
So science has come full circle – from the original infatuation with the conscious agents of the ancients, to the outward gaze into the world that forms the content of consciousness, and now seeking to understand the effective existence of consciousness in that world. India is the place where consciousness has been studied in minute detail for centuries before the recent discovery of its importance by science. Now is the time to combine that ancient wisdom with modern science and lead the scientific revolution that is taking place in that direction. To convince the theologians of the importance of science is as difficult a task as teaching the scientists the importance of theology. Yet these are not non-overlapping magesteria, as Gould would like us to think. They are interpenetrating and essential, because life is as much subject as substance.
Therefore, we have our sannyasis coming to the universities to teach what is happening at the frontiers of science. And this is really scientific. Your cooperation in this endeavor will lead to true benefit for all. So we ask you to listen, learn and apply your scientific minds to developing this science of spiritual biology, spiritual cosmology, and spiritual culture and science in general. For that reason we have established the Bhakti Vedanta Institute of Spiritual Culture and Science, by the inspiration and teachings of the great acharyas and scientists who have cultivated this knowledge before us. We are only insignificant persons in this effort, and we pray that you may make your own contribution to this great work, and become a fortunate recipient of the mercy and blessings of the magnanimous inaugurator of this revolution, Sri Krishna Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Darwin Under Siege: http://scienceandscientist.org/Darwin
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Friday, March 15, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Loka Dharma Seva Foundation Trust,
is organizing Uzhavara Pani event,
a Temple Cleaning Project , 88 th Month
at Visalakshi Sameda Virubaksheeswarar Temple, Mylapore, Chennai-4
On Sunday, 24th March, 2013 - Between 10 AM to 1 PM
[ NoTransport and Lunch has been arranged .]
NSS volunteers of Lady Sivaswamy Aiyar H. Sec. School, Mylapore will be joining us.
Iluppa oil Lamps will be lighted in the Bairavar Sannadhi.
A large group of volunteers will be performing this work.
All residents in the neighbourhood and Devotees of the Temple
are cordially invited to join us in this noble cause. It is planned next 5 months cleaning of 5 Sabtha sivalayangal around this temple in Mylapore.
Sponsored in part by Hindu Heritage Endowment, Kauai, Hawaii, USA
LDSFT request Donors, Sponsors and Volunteers for these events.
Please Contact Dr. R. Subramanian for details:
Tel: 2476 0556 / 944 438 1476 -- E-mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of Donors and Sponsors for the events will be given in all our publicity.
Ten Long Term Vision, Plans and Objectives for LDSFT
1. Temple Cleaning Projects for small and medium Temples in and around Chennai:
2. Renovation of Temples that have structural damages and needs maintenance:
3. Recitation of Religious slokas, verses and songs with participation of Devotees:
4. Sound and light shows of Sthala Puranams about famous Temples with explanations:
5. Annadhanam and Special Puja Related Activities sponsored at major Temples:
6. Integrated Community Development Projects for the indigent Hindu community:
7. Special welfare projects for Temple Priests, Pujaris and Temple and their families.
8. Spiritual Education programmes and Hindu Dharma Studies in Temples:
9. International Hindu Education and Research Studies on Hindu Dharma Texts:
10. Networking Co-operations with Organisations of similar thinking and objectives:
Protecting the Shashthra Samrakshanam and Loka Samrakshnanam
is akin to Protecting our Dharma and ultimately Protecting Our World
LDSFT has arranged 88th Temple Cleaning on 24 March at Virubasheswar Temple, and 89 TCon 28 April at Maleeswarar Temple, both at mylapore.
Both invitations are attached here.
May and June 4th Sunday is Thirtha paleeswar Temple[ Located at Corner of Natesan st and Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai] and at Valeeswarar Temple , Both at Mylapore.
Thus we clean all 7 Saptha siva Stalangal at Mylapore.
I will be away from 2 April to 22 June at USA/ Canada.
Kindly contact Shri. Nagarajan of Mylapore : Mob :9952012125
Shri. Manickam : Mob :9042223159
Shri. Rajaraman : Mob ;9094077444
For any help.
Pl be with us on all the days.
Mob : 9444381476
Previously; JNU, Newdelhi
Managing Trustee , Loka Dharma Seva Foundation Trust[ Regd]
Res: No :10 , Second Lane, Second Floor, Munda Kanni Amman Koil Street , Mylapore PO, Chennai-600004 , Tel : 24981559 / Mob: 9444381476
Emails: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Website ; www.lokadharma.org
Sunday, March 10, 2013
All of us undergo good and bad times in our life. When things do not go as per our wish, there is a high probability that these are caused by planets. .Planets at the time of birth indicate , the problems which are likely to be caused by absence of wealth, bad married life, lack of children and many other such aspects. Also the period in our life which a particular planet controls our life is called Dasa of that planet. These dasas again determine the bad and good periods of our life depending on the nature of the planet and its strength. After this the planets keep on traveling in their course. When these reach particular houses , they also lead to problems. A well trained astrologer would be able to find out which planet (s) caused a particular problem at a particular time. Once we know this information , astrologers suggest various methods to get rid of these problems or lessen the impact of these problems like prayers, homas , Yanthras (Thalisman) , gems , pilgrimages to certain temples etc. One of these is the direct prayers to the planets. Over years I have collected many such prayers and have translated them. I am listing all of them here .
1.Navagrahas (nine planets)
These prayers are addressed to all the nine planets and are chanted daily so that problems caused by all of the planets are avoided and for beseeching all the planets to shower their grace on us.
1.Veda Vyasa's Nava Graha Stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n2.htm
2.Nava Graha peeda Hara Stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n5.htm
3.Nava Graha Stotram of Vadhi Raja Theertha http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n6.htm
4.Nava Graha Sooktham from Vedas http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n26.htm
5.Nava Graha stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n34.htm
6.Nava Graha Prarthana http://stotrarathna.blogspot.in/2013/02/navagraha-devatha-prarthana.html
2.Surya ( also called as Ravi, Adithya, Bhaskara etc)
He is the son of sage Kashyapa and is believed to ride on a chariot driven by Aruna and dragged by seven horses. Ruby is his associated gem stone and Lord Narayana is the God associated with him. He goes through one rasi in one month time. The stars associated with him are Krithika, Uthram and Uthradam. People with Surya in 7, 8 and 12th rasi from Lagnam are requested to chant any one of these stotras on Sundays . During the months in which low scores are there in Surrya ashta vargam , it is recommended that one of these prayers is chanted on Sundays..
1.Surya Mandalashtakam http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n1.htm
2.Adhithya Hrudayam http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n3.htm
3.Surya Ashtakam http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n4.htm
4.Adithya Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n10.htm
5.Pratha smarana Surya stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n25.htm
6.Suryarya stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n27.htm
7.Adithya dwadasa nama stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n28.htm
8.Adithya Ashtakam http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n29.htm
9.Trilokya mangala Surya kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n31.htm
10.Surya Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n32.htm
11.Surya Sthava Raja http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n33.htm
Chandra is the God born out of the ocean of milk when it was churned. There is another story that he is the son of sage Athri . He married 27 daughters of Daksha Prajapathi and was cursed for being partial to Rohini . Later Lord Shiva wore him on his head. Shiva is his God and moon stone/white coral are the gems associated. The Stars associated with him are Rohini, Hastham and THiruonam,(Sravanam) .People with moon in the 6th, 8th and 12th Rasis from Lagnam are likely to have problems. They should chant one of these on every monday
1.Chandra Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n11.htm
2.Chandra stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n20.htm
3.Kuja (Mars is called Mangal in Hindi and Chevvai in Tamil)
Kuja is the son of Bhoomi Devi and the incarnation of Boar of Lord Vishnu. Lord Subramanya is the God associated with him and red coral is the gem associated with him. He causes dosha when he is in first, second, fourth, sixth, eighth and twelfth houses. He reduces the number of offsprings if he is in the fifth house. The stars associated with him are Mrugaseersha, Chithra and Dhanishta. People pray him for getting married and also freedom from debts.
1.Angaraka Stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n8.htm
2.Runa mochana Mangala Stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n9.htm
3.Mangala Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n12.htm
Budha is the son of moon and Tara the wife of Guru. He is the planet governing intelligence. The God associated with him is Lord Vishnu and the gem associated with him is Emerald. The stars associated with him are Ayilyam(aslesha) , Kettai (Jyeshta and Revathi. BUdha in third and twelfth house leads to problems of intelligence. Such people are requested to chant one of these stotras.
1.BUdha Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n13.htm
2.Budha stotram http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Budha_Pancha_Vimsathi_Nama_Stotram
Guru is the Guru of all Devas. He is also called Brahaspathi . He is the son of sage Angeeras. The God associated with him is Lord Brahma and Lord Dakshinamurthy. The stars associated with him are Punarvasu , Visakham and Pororattathi. When he is weak, marriage would get delayed. In third and twelfth house in the horoscope he leads to negative results. People with such problems are requested to chant one of these stotras on Wednesdays.
1.Guru Kavacham http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Guru_Kavacham
2.Brahaspathi stotram http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Sri_Brihaspathi_Stotram
He is the Guru of all asuras.He is the son of sage Brugu(Some say he is sage Brugu himself) ,The God associated with him is the Goddess Parvathi and the gem associated with him is diamond. The stars associated with him are Bharani, Pooram and Pooradam. He also gives negative results in third and twelfth houses. He is the planet associated with love.
1.Shukra Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n15.htm
2.Shukra stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n22.htm
7.Sani (Saturn also called Mandha)
He is the son of sun God. Once his half brother threw a stone and broke one of his leg. So he can only move slowly. He takes two and half years to cross one rasi. The god associated with him are Lord Venkateswara, Lord Ayyappa and Lord Hanuman. The gem associated with him is blue sapphire. When he travels In 1,2, 4 ,6, 8 , and 12th rasis from moon, he leads to untold sufferings. It is requested that any one of the following stotras be chanted on Saturdays during those times. His dasa which lasts up to 19 years is supposed to result in various misfortunes. The stars associated with him are Pooyam, Anusham and Uthrattathi.
2.Sani vajra panjarika Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n16.htm
3.Sanaischara Sthava Raja http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n30.htm
4.Sanaischara dwadasa nama stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n35.htm
5.Sanaischara Kavacham http://stotrarathna.blogspot.in/2013/02/sanaischara-kavacham.html
6.Dasaratha Krutha Sanaischara Stotram http://stotrarathna.blogspot.in/2013/02/dasaratha-krutha-sanaischara-stotram.html
Rahu is the head portion of the son of sage Kashyapa and a Rakshasi called Simhika. He is only considered as half a planet. Rahu in 7th and 8th house delays marriage and in 5th house leads to less of children. The stars associated with him are Arudhra, Swathi and Chathayam. The God associated is Lord Subramanya and the gem associated is Gomedhaka . Those having problems due to him should chant one of the following on Tuesdays.
1.Rahu Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n17.htm
2.Rahu stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n23.htm
Kethu is the body part of the son of sage Kashyapa and Rakshasi Simhika. He is also considered as half planet. Kethu in 7th , 8th house is supposed to delay marriage and in fifth house is supposed to lead to few children. The stars associated are Aswathi , Makam and Moolam. The God associated is Lord Ganapathi and the gem associated is Vaidoorya.Those having problems due to him should chant one of the following on Saturdays.
1.Kethu Kavacham http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n18.htm
2.Kethu stotram http://stotraratna.sathyasaibababrotherhood.org/n24.htm
The Lord not only created a beautiful world full of joys, but also gave an instructions manual "The Bhagavad Gita", which elaborately explains how every living being can live peacefully and happily.
The Bhagavad Gita is littered with pure knowledge.
As man ignores the teachings of The Bhagavad Gita, he embraces sufferings.
The Lord demonstrates this by dividing the time in this material world into four Yugas
Satya Yuga, when the majority of the population accepts The Bhagavad Gita, there is hardly any kind of sufferings.
Treta Yuga, when some percentage of the population rejects The Bhagavad Gita, sufferings appear.
Dwapara Yuga, when more people reject The Bhagavad Gita, more sufferings.
Kali Yuga, when a large majority of the poulation rejects The Bhagavad Gita, sufferings, sufferings and more sufferings. That is what we are witnessing now.
Why I don't eat meat?
Article on Agniveer that made hundreds stop eating meat within 24 hours!
Most polluting industry
Because meat and livestock is one of the most polluting industries of the world. Whatever ecological damage we face today can be attributed significantly to this non-essential industry. (refer United Nations document on meat industry being culprit for climate change, land pollution, water depletion and loss of biodiversity at http://www.fao.org/docrep/010/a0701e/a0701e00.htm)
Cause of hunger and poverty
Because meat is cause of hunger and poverty in the world. Just as I myself hate being hungry and under-nutritioned, I feel the same for millions of my brothers and sisters born from same mother earth. If I could have killed myself to satisfy their hunger, I would have gladly done so.
But for all I know, if people stop eating meat and adopt vegetarian ways, they could feed at least 10 times more people using the same efforts and energy. This is based on the principle of energy-pyramid which states that the at least 10 units of vegetation is consumed to prepare 1 unit of meat by feeding the meat-producing animals. Refer any text on food chain or energy pyramid. In fact for most of the commercially produced meat that humans eat currently, energy losses are much higher.
Thus each person who stops eating meat is feeding at least 9 more people apart from himself. What could be a greater form of charity than simply avoiding meat! And what could be a greater sin for me than forcing at least 9 people to die from hunger because I love the taste of mutton! Moreover, meat industry also significantly depletes water.
Since I consider entire humanity as my own family, I cannot sleep peacefully with the guilt of being a cause of hunger and thirst for my dearest brothers and sisters and innocent children in my global home.
Vegetarian alternatives exist
Because in today's era, I don't see anybody hunting to survive like the lions in Africa. Meat is simply a non-essential addiction. There is no meat-product for which a healthier vegetarian alternative does not exist.
Meat is non-renewable
Because meat is non-renewable. An animal once killed cannot grow more animals. But a plant, even when uprooted, can grow a new plant from its roots, shoots and seeds. Thus the hunger and thirst caused by meat-eating is much more longer term and intense than that discussed earlier.
Life is Beautiful
Because I consider my life to be dearest to me. I consider life of my near and dear ones to be most precious. I see all humans considering lives of their near and dear ones equally precious. If I kill any of them, I am deemed a murderer because I snatched the most precious gift of life.
So how can I commit the same crime on other species who too have a face and brain like me, who also love their life so much, who also face the same fear when they approach death, who also express happiness and grief like me and my dear ones? Simply because I do not understand their language or consider them less intelligent? By this logic, even killing of mental-patients should also be legitimized. Killing of coma patients should also be legitimized. Eating orphans should also be legitimized.
And since they are not, even meat eating is a crime of same order for me.
Question: Then should you not stop eating plants also? After all, even they have life, as proved by science.
Answer: Research has only proved that plants also demonstrate similar processes and cellular structures that are found in animals. Science does not say that plants have a personality like animals. There is no way to prove that plants exhibit same form of sorrow or joy or put efforts like animals. Plants don't reproduce in a manner similar to animals or stop being able to reproduce more plants like animals after they are killed. There are significant differences in plants and animals, and that is why even science of biology clearly differentiates study of botany and zoology.
So I do not consider plants to have a soul that feels "I am this mango tree". This coupled with reasons discussed above justify eating of plants, but not of animals.
But even if we assume that plants can feel pain like animals. Still, we can live without eating animals. But we cannot live without eating plants. We simply do not have a choice here. And by eating plants, at least 10 times more humans in our family can get food to eat and water to drink that by tasting a beef-steak. Thus commonsense and basic humanity demands that we show mercy on those at least whom we can allow to live without killing ourselves and torturing our family members. Or else, same reason may be given tomorrow to justify cannibalism as well.
Question: Even lions and tigers eat meat. So what is wrong if humans eat?
Answer: Lions and tigers and other carnivorous animals eat meat because they are designed by nature to do so. If they do not eat so, they would die. They are not in a position to think, analyze, choose and decide what to eat, what not to eat, whether to eat in a plate or in a bowl, whether to cook or not cook, whether to mix 5 varieties of meat with some toppings or eat plain and raw, whether to cook in Tandoor or roast. Since humans possess this finesse, question of right and wrong also is relevant to humans alone.
Now humans have a choice of food – animals or plants. There is 100% evidence that eating of animals causes hunger, pollutes nature and is at par with eating humans. Further eating animals is optional. So a sensible person like me will not eat animals. On plants, there is controversy. People like me believe that they are chemical reactions and not souls with personalities. Others may differ. But in absence of conclusive proof for latter, it would be still wiser to prefer them for food instead of animals and be less criminals in worst case. Further we do not even have a choice in this case.
Say you are forced to drink from one of the two bottles. One is confirmed to contain deadly poison. And opening the bottle will definitely kill 10 other people. For other, there is a confusion on it being poison and no one else gets killed. What would you choose? At least, I would choose the second bottle without second thoughts. Same is that case with eating plants – the natural, humane way of eating.
Question: But I am an atheist. I do not believe in soul or God. So plants or animals are all similar biochemical reactions. Why should I differentiate?
Answer: If you are an atheist or agnostic, there is all the more reason why you should eat plants but not animals. Because I assume you admit that you are a human. And being a human, I assume, you agree that hurting other humans is not acceptable in any rational society. I assume that you love your fellow human beings. I assume you consider humanity to be your own family. I assume you care for each and every innocent human being. And hence, I assume you would want to keep at least 9 people hungry and thirsty while you relish on chicken-tikka. And you would not like our future generations to be permanently diseased and in poverty simply because we have been screwing up the environment. I assume that you indeed love your children and would love to gift them with blessings than curse them with hatred. If my assumptions are correct, then an atheist must be frontrunner for "Say No to Meat" campaign. If my assumptions are wrong, then even eating up an atheist is equally justified.
Question: Then even domestication of animals and drinking milk should be crime?
Answer: Well, these are ambiguous topics. There can be views and counter views. One can discuss and debate on these. But regardless of that, at least this is certain that if these were to be crime, then killing of animals is bound to be a crime of much muchbhigher magnitude. So at least we should avoid conducting such great crimes against nature, humanity and animals, even if we differ on these few issues.
For example, we cannot justify killing of human beings on pretext that a lesser crime called 'corporate fraud' is not clearly defined in law. For someone who raises a question that domestication of animals and drinking of milk are also crimes, there is all the more reason why such a person should be torch-bearer of movement for compassion on animals and promote vegetarianism.
Question: What will I eat if I am in a place where I only get meat? For example, if I am stranded on an island or am in Antarctica.
Answer: This is a very interesting question! Tell me, how many times you have actually been in Antarctica or have been stranded on an island like Robinson Crusoe? This very question implies that you agree that EXCEPT when you are stranded on an island or a place where you must eat meat to survive, in all other situations, you should not eat meat.
OK So we give you this concession. When you become Robinson Crusoe, eat meat if you indeed believe so. But 99.9999% of human inhabitations and situations don't demand you to be a Robinson Crusoe! You get ample non-meat food in almost all locations where humans live as a society. After all the animals they eat also eventually have to eat plants. (All food-chains do begin with plants. There is no animal that converts solar energy into bio-energy. Only plants can do that.)
Question: What about eggs? Eggs are good for health and even government promotes eating of eggs.
Answer: Government is also mired in scam charges. Just because government promotes something does not make it rational. Had that been the case, there would have been never a movement against scams and for change of governance!
Coming to eggs, have you ever been in a poultry farm? The way these eggs are produced by ruthlessly torturing the chickens can raise your hairs (assuming you have compassion). Further, it is one of the most unhygienic locations. If you consider that humans should also be motivated to eat shit after picking from comode and serving on a beautiful plate, then perhaps you have at least one lame reason to defend egg-eating. Because the most modern and expensive egg-farms are no more hygienic than a dirty toilet in a dirty bus-stop of Karachi. (By the way, the most hygienic of the meat-farms are even more dirty.)
Also, there is no special nutrient in eggs that is not available in plants in ample. In fact eggs don't even come close to be termed nutritious compared to common plant food. Eating pulses would be a much wiser and nature-friendly option than invite diseases and destroy environment for eating womb of a bird.
Question: If we stop eating animals, will not their numbers grow up and fill the entire earth? We must kill animals to preserve natural balance.
Answer: This is perhaps the cutest cruel question I have ever heard in my life. Cute because it seems as if an innocent child who first learnt about nature in his pre-school has framed the question. Cruel because one is attempting to project himself as Robinhood who kills to save the planet!
But let's face the reality. How many if us actually eat animals because of our genuine concern for nature? How many of us are indeed environmentalists? Or is it merely tingling of our taste-buds that we want to satisfy by hook or crook?
Coming to facts, this argument would have been valid had humans as a race would have been eating meat exclusively through hunting like lions and tigers. Now lions and tigers do not create farmhouses to rear deer and sheep so that they can have a ready supply of food.
Humans on contrary have created a huge commercial industry to PRODUCE meat-providing animals and then kill them to fulfil their tastes. 99% of humans actually GROW the animals they kill. And in process of this growth, they destroy the nature like anything.
Thus this cruel question puts the enquirer at par with Osama Bin Laden who justifies his terror attacks as service to humanity! (This is a hard truth that most terrorists seriously believe that they are serving humanity and God by killing others!)
By the way, humans do not eat all the animals and birds. Humans don't eat carnivorous animals for example. Most humans don't eat crows, vultures, jackals or scorpions. Why they have not filled the entire earth then?
Also, this line of thinking can be extended to allow cooking up terminally ill and aged humans. After all, we all are trained since childhood to cite population as the greatest problem facing us.
Someone who has studied ecology at even basic level will not give such unscientific arguments and invite ridicule.
On contrary meat industry has endangered many species to extinction. So if preservation of natural balance of population be the overriding selfless goal, then do not think even a second to adopt vegetarianism.
Question: To kill other animals is a natural phenomenon. All powerful animals kill to eat. So what is wrong if humans also act naturally?
Answer: First, as discussed earlier, no animal ever grows animals. No animal constructs poultry farms and butcher houses. They simply follow their hunger instincts on need basis.
Second, the most powerful animals are primarily vegetarians. Be it elephant, or horse, or hippopotamus, or wild buffalo, or rhino, or gorilla.
Third, animals also live nude, do not read poems, do not clean their parts after shit and do not do a lot of things that humans do. They also do not cook meat before eating. If meat-eating was so natural for humans, then most of us would have been relishing raw meat without using spoons and forks.
Humans were designed to be intelligent. To be able to judge and decide what is wrong and what is right. To be compassionate. To be loyal. To be rational. Thus, if indeed humans want to be 'natural', they should protect and not torture animals.
And if this logic be considered seriously, then even cannibalism is also natural if practiced by powerful humans. Of course, there remains no basis for anti-corruption movement. After all it is natural for the more powerful to trample those who are less powerful, as per the enquirer!
But lets be human.
Lets accept it, this is a beast-mindset and not human way of thinking. Humanity is about analysis, love, compassion and urge to protect the less powerful. These traits alone make humans so special and different from animals.
Question: Biologically, humans are designed to eat animals. Look at our teeth, our intestines. We don't have organs to digest cellulose like herbivorous animals. Hence are we not designed to eat animals?
Answer: Yet another lame excuse to justify cravings of tongue. Humans are designed to be separate from both herbivores and carnivores. Unlike herbivores, humans cannot digest grass. That is why we are not grass-eaters. But unlike carnivores, we are also not designed to eat raw meat. So we don't have huge canines like lion and tiger. Human canines are at best good for peeling sugarcanes (Consult your dentist before you attempt so though. If you have been eating too much of junk, then sugarcane may peel off your teeth instead!).
If meat was so natural to us, we would have naturally been eating uncooked meat. By chasing, hunting, killing and eating away an animal using fingernails and teeth alone. We would not have required to tie or imprison the animal and then kill it using special weapons. No animal does that.
On contrary, fruits and vegetables can be eaten uncooked. In fact many health-regimes focus on purely uncooked-diet. But meat demands use of fire. The fire is used so that meat is converted to a more acceptable form. These days a raw meat concept is on rage in some places. But medical advice is to have it cooked to ensure there is no infection. And most humans find even the mention of raw meat very disgusting. After all we were designed by nature to be not cruel.
So if biology is your inspiration, be a vegetarian. Our brain, body, intellect and emotions were designed only to be compassionate humans.
Question: But I live in a family and society where meat is predominant food. How can I suddenly stop eating meat and appear crazy in my group?
Answer: This is a more honest question. It is indeed an issue with many genuine honest people who are forced to eat meat due to peer pressure. The way out is to rethink the same issue from a different perspective.
Just assume for a second that you are among a group of cannibals who want to eat your family members. Would you enjoy feasting with them and eating away leg of your daughter, finger of your mother and intestine of your brother with masala curry?
A rational human being considers all living beings as his own family. But even if you consider all humans as your own family, still meat eating means you are killing at least ten of your own family members.
Thus, if we simply start considering the Mother Nature as our mother indeed, problem is solved. Then we care for Mother Nature like we care for our own mother. Then we are deeply touched at hunger and poverty of our own brothers and sisters across the globe, and would not be party to anything that makes so many innocents die and suffer due to lack of food. So instead of being someone ashamed of your honesty, you become an agent of positive change. Instead of fearing that you appear crazy, you feel proud that you are the most sensible.
Question: Does it mean all meat-eaters are murderers and should be hated?
Answer: Technically, first part of the question is yes. Anyone who is in anyway instrumental to death of an innocent is indeed a culprit. But we disagree that they should be hated. Meat-eating is a cultural issue today. Cultural issues are tackled through sensitisation and awareness and not through Talibanization and hatred. Remember, the entire foundation of movement against meat-eating lies in compassion and genuine concern for all living beings. So we should eradicate this brutal practice through humane means.
We do agree that law should be appropriately formulated to discourage meat-eating and promote healthy environment-friendly human-friendly habits like plant-eating. But not through any feeling of hatred towards anyone. We all humans are one single family. We should love each other and encourage each other for improvements. So even if you eat meat, I still love you as a mother loves her new-born calf. And that is why I appeal to you to say not to meat.
Question: What would then happen of so many meat-rearing farms and industries? Would it not cause people in these industries to become unemployed?
Answer: No, they would become even more productive. Instead of meat, if they start producing plant food, they can feed at least 10 times more people with same investments. And hence this would boost the economy like anything and bring prosperity to all. And future generations will thank them for gifting them a less-polluted environment and a less-hungry life.
Question: If meat-eating was so unnatural, why humans started eating meat in first place?
Answer: Exactly the same question can be posed for crimes like murder, fraud, racism, gender-discrimination, terrorism and rape. Any evil breeds on ignorance and lack of education. Even if you look into Bible, it states that originally all humans were plant-eaters (Genesis 1.29 for example).
Vedas – the oldest books known to humanity – vociferously suggest non-meat diet for humans. The first mantra of Yajurveda itself begins with an advise to protect the animals.
Over ages, due to lack of wisdom, lack of development, violent periods etc, there was an incentive to focus only on immediate needs than think smartly. Or blindly ape old customs in name of religion or culture. Hence meat-eating became as prevalent as gender-discrimination or racism etc.
When we plan our present and future, we are not at all bothered about why we did not do something in past. We simply rationally evaluate the benefits in present and future, and plan accordingly. That is why we use laptops, speak on mobile phones, watch TV and travel in planes and trains even though human civilisation never had these ever before. What we should be bothered today is not why something happened in past. We should instead focus on what we need to do right now to save our lovely planet and bring nourishment for teeming billions that are facing punishment for our cravings of tongue. We should focus on what we must do today to not be a villain torturing our own lovely children tomorrow.
Question: I thought you would argue as animal-rights activist and I would question why you are not being a plants-right activist. You instead started arguing as human-rights activist. How do I counter you then?
1. The way Supreme Lord has designed this world, if one genuinely starts caring for humans alone, then care for animals would chip in automatically. After all this is just a marvellously symbiotic world where everything is interrelated. You get back what you give.
2. Why do you need to counter something which is so obvious and intuitive? Let us admit that meat-eating is a social-evil that thrives from dark-ages like gender discrimination, racism etc. It is hardly a century ago that we gave voting rights to women. Racism and casteism were legally uprooted hardly a few decades ago. Still movement against these evils continue. So we are not as evolved as technological advances may make us believe. Let us take meat-eating as next evil to tackle, given the appalling situation of environment and given the poverty statistics of the world. We should realise that each bite of meat we relish makes one poor die somewhere in world. And making earth closer to hell for our children whom we love the most.
3. For those who indeed are rational and compassionate, this is indeed also an animal-rights issues. We inherited this tribal mentality somehow that the whole world is designed exclusively for us – the humans. This lust made us destroy the environment and start considering the entire earth as our personal consort. And within last century, the situation has turned so worse that scientists are now worried about what would happen about our basic necessities of food, land and water in times to come.
In medieval times, the lust made us to disregard women as inferior to men in name of even religion. Women, like animals, were considered by many priests to have no soul. Others considered them to be half-intelligent than men and impure.
Many other people, like "blacks" were considered fit to be slave alone. Then in last few decades, the enlightened ones took a journey backwards to rectify the blunders. We thus uprooted racism and casteism. We started considering women as equal to men in social, intellectual and political rights. And now it is time to take the journey a step further and show our concern for animals as well. All these concerns – human-rights, gender-rights, animal-rights – are part of same spectrum and caused out of same ignorance in human mind. So the evolved ones should work to take this next step.
And even those societies that are yet to do their homework on gender-rights and human-rights also could expedite their progress if they holistically incorporate animal-rights as well.
But even if they do not, the dangerous situations of today force any rational person to embrace animal-rights. As a means to fulfil demands of grave human-rights issues like poverty of teeming billions and damage of environment guaranteeing a dangerous future for our children.
So do not counter the light of truth. Be honest, be humble and be rational. Love others as you expect others to love you. The least you can do to showcase your love for your own brothers and sisters and children of future is to replace that chicken-soup with tomato-soup.
Be human, love humans.
Say no to meat!
And remember, you get back what you give.
Vedas, the oldest texts known to humans and divine word for millions categorically state that animals are to be loved, not killed. Hundreds of Mantras in Vedas clearly assert that only vegetarian diet is meant for humans. The very first Mantra of Yajurveda commands all nobles to defend animals. You may visit this link to get copy of complete set of 4 Vedas in Hindi http://agnikart.com/in/special-offers/complete-set-of-4-vedas-hindi
PS: We did not take up the issue of health hazards of eating meat. This has been amply covered in many researches. To summarise, meat eating is cause of dreaded diseases like swine flu, mad cow and bird flu. It increases risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes. A habit that takes innocent lives, promotes hunger, destroys future of children cannot bring positive impact in our lives. You cannot meditate properly if you eat meat. Food has greatest impact on state of your mind, after your deeds. What we suggest is to think simple and honest. In world, you get back what you give. So give compassion and humanity and get back prosperity, health and happiness. Be human, love humans. Say no to meat!