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Lunch & Greenhouse

Having lunch with a vegetarian friend, I discussed how non-vegetarians actually contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Seeing my colleague stumped, I went on to explain the concept of methane emission by cattle (30% of which are in India, thus causing a severe ecological imbalance) which significantly contributes to global warming and even harming the ozone layer (combining with which breaks it down to carbon dioxide and water). Consuming cattle thus obliquely helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

However, since the Great Barrier Beef (thanks to the bovine being elevated to holy status by the Hindu religion) stock is nowhere near depletion (it's actually burgeoning), it's a shame that cows are now a critical environmental hazard. No one is interested in checking their growth and few are willing to eat them. To make matters worse, the GoI not-very-recently danced to the populist tune to appease the masses and banned slaughter houses for cows in India. So even when they are of absolutely no use to people (like in old age), we can't terminate them. The useless methane production continues unabated.

I'm not advocating non-vegetarianism over vegetarianism in any way. I'm only saying that there could be a positive side-effect to consuming meat, lame though the excuse may be. BTW, while discussing the issue with my friend, I misquoting the proportion of cattle in India. It was way off the mark, though I now stand corrected.

Coming back to my workstation for some intellectual fodder (Yahoo! News), I came across this article that was very relevant to the issue.


Vivek said…
There's an AoL proponent I know, who I'd love to see you take on with regard to this topic.
Deepanjan said…
Are you talking about AOL Greenhouse? That's totally irrelevant!

Do you have anything/anyone else on your mind?
Vivek said…
AoL as in Art of Living. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar .... heard of him?
Anonymous said…
Read this my friend....
Deepanjan said…
To Viv:

Ya! I can't imagine how I forgot about our very own AoL and its charismatic founder. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar seems to be one of the less controversial modern-day spiritualists we've ever had.

What I don't approve of is institutionalized thinking. Ravi Shankar (I'm taking the liberty of deleting the forceful prefix to his name that needlessly lends him too much aura) may actually be a very nice man (prima facie), but I just don't understand the mass hysteria that surrounds him wherever he goes. He seems to lap it all up with immense ease. Whatever happened to the spirit of renunciation? Are our high-voltage and high-flying godmen gradually redefining the laws of simple living?

To Milind:

I agree with you. My discussion over lunch was way more casual that my blog makes it appear. There was no intellectual dual and it all happened along with the usual flow of words.

I've made is very clear that non-vegetarianism isn't really a great virtue over vegetarianism. Scientists have proven conclusively that the human anatomy and physiology are programmed for a vegetarian diet. And it's established beyond even an iota of doubt that a non-veg diet does more harm than good.

What my article covered and emphasized heavily upon was the immense harm uncontrolled breeding of livestock was causing to the ecology. It's fairly safe to say that much of the breeding happens for our love of meat. My argument in favor of non-vegetarians was a parody that I never expected to be taken seriously.

However, I did use the issue as a pretext to focus on a very real and grave danger we are bringing upon ourselves, often without even realizing it. Ignorance is the greatest vice known to mankind. Daily and petty gains are often more important to us than clairvoyance.

The focus was & still is the imbalance of cattle population in India and the fundamentally flawed policies of our semi-educated politicians.

Though I'm all for vegetarianism, I'll unlikely to switch camps. I'm way too greedy!
saurabh said…
Just tell me one thing, if they are not supposed to be eaten then why are they made up of meat???
dude, take it this way, u wont take anything to leave ur membership of "i-oppose-everything" club and my good friend milind wont take arguments to renounce his AoL club, i'll be always a part of non-veg club... in my eating habits also :)
Deepanjan said…
I don't oppose everything - certainly not the laws of physics!

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