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Vegetarianism And Animal Rights Essay

2485 words - 10 pages

In the ancient time, ancestors had to consume primarily plant foods because it was not that easy to get meat as we can get it now. However, that was not the only reason for being vegetarians. The history tells us that vegetarianism has its beginnings in ancient India and Greece. Those days the vegetarian diet had close connections with the idea of nonviolence toward animals and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers. The ancient Hindu and Buddhist were advocating a vegetarian diet for ethical reasons. One of the most important reasons why people decided not to consume meat is a “Do not harm” principle. People should not make animals suffer and experience pain because animals deserve the same level of respect as people. Even though people started to think of vegetarianism and animal rights movements a long time ago, these movements became popular only in the early 1970s. In the U.S., people became interested in vegetarianism after an American writer Frances Moore Lappé published her bestseller called “Diet for a Small Planet.” Around the same time, a group of Oxford university post-graduate philosophy students, now known as the "Oxford Group", founded an animal rights movement in the UK. The reason why they did this was not just sentimental. Their approach was based on the moral rights of animals. This was the very beginning of these movements that now are so popular. Even though they were founded by different people and in different countries, they still have lots in common. The connection of these two different movements such as vegetarianism and animal rights is characterized by identical beliefs, common goals, and similar hopes.
Originally founded in ancient India, Hinduism and Buddhism have strong links with vegetarianism. These world religions teach us that all of our actions, including the process of choosing food, have karmic consequences. Involving yourself in a circle of causing pain and suffering, even if it is not directly, but by eating animals, man is doomed to the same suffering, to the same extent that he has caused to others. "He, who injures harmless creatures from a wish to give himself pleasure, never finds happiness in this life or the next." (Manu-samhita 5.45) The reasons why Hindu and Buddhist choose to be vegetarians are different, but both of these religions have some in common. There are some sculptures that influence people of these religions not to consume meat, and also some religious authorities who are considered to be vegetarians and taken as examples. There are also philosophical schools that don’t allow any consumption of meat. However, it is not mandatory for these two religions to be vegetarians, as for people of Jainism religion.
Despite the fact that Hinduism is often associated with a vegetarian diet, there is no religious law prohibiting the consummation of meat. Hinduism does not prohibit eating meat, but recommends vegetables, grains and dairy products. Raising animals for meat has serious...

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