I can assuredly tell you that I am a shameless hypocrite.
Why? Because if you ask me where I stand on the Beef hiatus, I’ll tell you there isn’t a simple answer to that question. Yes, I think killing a man over meat is nothing less than atrocious. And every bone in my body will tell you that I stand opposed to that.But if you ask whether I oppose the beef ban, I will say I don’t, not because I am a devout religious Hindu, far from that I am an atheist. Am I a vegetarian? Not really, I enjoy meat on my plate. Then what would be my reason to support a ban on meat of an animal I DON’T consider to be my mother or even holy. Well, I never said I support it either. I am a non-vegetarian and meat is my weakness. But it’s easier for me to eat the flesh of a dead animal served on a platter when I don’t think of the life that it cost. It’s easier for me when the killing and butchering is done behind closed doors where I don’t have to see an innocent animal losing its life for the sake of my taste.
Don’t I love Animals?
Yes, I do, especially cats and dogs. And anyone who ever has lost a pet will tell you that the loss of a pet is the same as the loss of a family member. So the thought that someone could actually kill them for their meat is as frightening and horrifying as cannibalism to me. Perhaps this was the same reason that many opposed the Yulin Dog Meat festival in China, because to most of us cats and dogs are like an integral family member and for them to be killed for meat is no less than cold, brutal murder in our eyes. And yet so many of us (including me) pay more than once a week to someone else to commit that murder for us. So what was the crime of the chicken who’s right to live I choose to ignore? The crime of being a lesser intelligent animal. While people have been known to make pets out of any kind of animal, cats and dogs are the animals that we consider closer to being companions and honestly aremuch fond of than our fellow humans. The reason being that these animals are more intelligent, aware and emotional and have more than just animal instincts. Recently, India actually even declared dolphins as non-human person and has banned all commercial activities that infringe their right to freedom.
Where do we draw the line?
How do we decide which animal has the right to live and which can be considered food? Based on emotions? Science? Food preference? Culture? Or Religion? What when our definition of the ‘right’ meat does not seat well with some other? Is it ethical to force one’s opinion on others? If it’s not, then would you allow others to infringe on the right of life of the animal that you believe does not deserve to be food? If you are fighting for the right of people to eat beef and opposing a ban on beef, would you with the same vigour and passion defend the right of people to eat dog meat or cat meat? If not, then isn’t it a hypocrisy in itself?
Then again what is more important?
The right to life of an animal or the right to your own food preference? Can it be considered ethical to affect the livelihood of thousands or force half the population to change their diet to save an animal? I think if the issue of beef had not had any religious or political undertones then many would not be so sure of the answers they have arrived to.
I choose not to assume.
I do not have knowledge or authority enough to decide which right is more important. Thereby I choose to neither support nor oppose the beef ban. What I stand opposed to is treating the life of a man less than that of an animal. No matter how holy an animal is to you, you do NOT have the right to kill a man over his choice of meat. However, you won’t find me hosting a beef steak party anytime soon to prove my point.