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Thread: Vegetarism and Religion

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    Cavy Slave CBrewton5's Avatar
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    Re: This is a PRO-VEGETARIAN Forum

    I've debated becoming a vegetarian (not vegan) too, not only because I cried watching Bambi *LOL* but because I just don't feel my body digests meat very well being an ostomate.

    Hubby though just has to have meat in his diet, and he's diabetic so I haven't pressed the issue that hard. When we've discussed it he always raises the issue of population control, that if hunters didn't shoot deer, rabbits, squirrels and such that the population would just get overrun....and I guess I can kinda see his point, but even though I eat meat I could never see myself hunting. I could never eat a specific animal that I saw alive, like raising chickens to eat, or hunting an animal and eating it......heck I don't even fish LOL. Trying to eat eggs even turns my stomach since hearing of a friend who cracked open a fresh egg to find a partially developed chick inside .

    Out of curiosity are those of you that are vegan view it as a religious preference? I first heard of Veganism only as it related to Wicca, for a long time I thought the two were synonymous. I now no that not all vegans are Wiccan, but that usually people who are Wiccan are also vegan.

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    Cavy Star JarBax's Avatar
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    Re: This is a PRO-VEGETARIAN Forum

    I can only truly speak for myself, but agree with your outcome that not all vegans are Wiccan. Infact I know quite a few vegans, but don't know any wiccans!

    I was once (12 years ago) a very strict vegan, and though in some areas, I have lapsed, I like to think I still 'dance to the vegan tune'. Personally, I don't consider veganism a religious choice - more a life choice. The vegan folk I know have become vegan for varying reasons, from health issues, to animal welfare issues, to taste. For me, it is about compassion for animals rather than worship/religion.

    However, I would consider myself a spiritual person, with a keen interest in the natural world. Thinking carefully about the food I buy and eat, and the implications of the products I use are a part of that spiritual life-choice, for me.
    The artist formerly known as jarbax

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    Cavy Slave spoonyspork's Avatar
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    Re: This is a PRO-VEGETARIAN Forum

    I just wanted to add - all of the Wiccans/Pagans I know are rabid meat-eaters, and of the two strict vegans I know, one's Atheist and one's a very religious Christian. The life-choices they make are not based on any religion, but are followed religiously out of respect for their fellow creatures.

    The only generalization I can come up with when it comes to any non-monotheistic religion is that if they do eat meat, they seem more likely to buy cage free/free range meats/dairy products (or do it themselves) than others.

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    Cavy Slave Sabriel's Avatar
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    Re: This is a PRO-VEGETARIAN Forum

    but that usually people who are Wiccan are also vegan.
    As a Wiccan I can say from experience that this is not true. As a non dogmatic religion this point has been up for debate for a very long time with several opposing schools of thought. It depends on the Wiccan's life experiences and thoughts on the subject. I'd say the amount of Wiccan veg*ans out there is only slightly higher then the average amount of veg*ans in their region.

    In your area there just may be more veg*an Wiccans then what would be found elsewhere. This would be very likely of you live in a large city since there tend to be more veg*ans in general in large cities. (And more good veg*an food too).

    This is just one of the many religious stereotypes out there. Poeple in all religions come from all walks of life and make all sorts of ethical decisions. When we ignore these stereotypes we tend to be pleasently surprised by what we find.

    Though I must say, even though going veg was not a religious choice, my religion has reinforced and given me the fortitude to stick with my choice. Being veg and an animal lover in general can be hard in this human centric world. It's nice to have something to lean on.

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    Cavy Slave Fluffball's Avatar
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    Re: This is a PRO-VEGETARIAN Forum

    Quote Originally Posted by CBrewton5 View Post
    When we've discussed it he always raises the issue of population control, that if hunters didn't shoot deer, rabbits, squirrels and such that the population would just get overrun....and I guess I can kinda see his point
    Animals that are hunted as a means of population control and to fend off disease neither works nor is a viable means of control.

    ''Reducing starvation-level populations of deer, elk and other animals through hunting neither works nor helps manage disease, found a University of Georgia study published in the August 22, 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Although hunting wild animals to cull population is a popular method to reduce disease transmission in the US, Great Britain and Europe, researchers from the university’s Institute of Ecology found that it does not take into account the extent to which surviving animals compensate—and often overcompensate—by reproducing in larger numbers. When hunting was used in Europe to control the spread of swine fever, the number of infected animals actually increased by 25 percent'' Vegetarian Times

    If hunting to control animal populations was a viable means why kill the often healthy animals instead of the sick? Why use muzzleloading guns and bows and arrows which take time to reload, not killing the animal in one shot and risk letting the animal stray and get away wounded? Why not use marksmen with one single shot and sufficent guns? Instead hunters make it into a sport and stray away from their so called duty of ''population control''. In fact deers account for only a small fraction of the animals hunted with 40 million doves being hunted each year in america alone.

    "Sport" usually suggests competition. Not only is the playing field not anywhere near equal for the hunted animal, but hunters routinely get rid of their competitors. This again is not consistent with the population-control argument. It is no secret either that the same tax-funded government agencies that are supposed to protect wildlife claim justification in "reducing the numbers" (killing) of a predator species in order to increase a prey species’ numbers, all for the benefit of hunters.

    Furthermore hunting actually increases animal reproduction rates.(University of Georgia study published in the August 22, 2006 issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.)The abrupt drop in population leads to less competition among survivors,resulting in a higher birth rate. Hunting is merely a sport not a means of population control at all. If we were really concerned about keeping animals from starving, we would not hunt, but, rather, take steps to reduce the animals' fertility. We would also preserve wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, and other natural predators. In actuality, many predator species are killed in order to produce more and more "game"; animals for hunters to kill. Fish / Hunt FAQ

    The population control argument is neither valid nor justified. Prey species reproduce to overcompensate for lesser numbers resulting in a surge and a larger increase in the population then the last year. Hunters hunt for sport and not to control population numbers.



    Last edited by Fluffball; 11-05-06 at 05:12 am.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Vegetarism and Religion

    While I DO NOT allow religious discussions on this forum, I am going to allow this thread as long as it stays on track about vegetarism.

    I am moving discussion from a different thread to this one as it wasn't appropriate on that thread.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    There is only one major religion that requires its practioners to be vegetarian or vegan and that is Jainism.

    I've just very recently decided that this is what I believe in, so I've started doing some research on it. It's quite interesting.

    Jainism's stance on nonviolence goes much beyond vegetarianism. Jains refuse food obtained with unnecessary cruelty. Many are vegan due to the violence of modern dairy farms.
    Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to Jainism. Human life is valued as a unique, rare opportunity to reach enlightenment: to kill any person, no matter what crime he may have committed, is considered unimaginably abhorrent. It is the only religion that requires monks and laity, from all its sects and traditions, to be vegetarian.
    In many towns, Jains run animal shelters. For example, Delhi has a bird hospital run by a Jain derasar, or temple.
    There are many other aspects to it. Of course, to follow all the principles to the nth degree is virtually impossible in today's society, but that is the case with the precepts of any religion or belief system of any value--or everyone would be a saint (so to speak).

    Also:

    Jains do not belive in an omnipotent supreme being, creator or manager (karta), but rather in an eternal universe governed by natural laws and the interplay of its attributes (gunas) and matter (dravya).
    Jainism is among the smallest of the world's religions with 10-12 million followers, but it is the oldest. It pre-dates Hinduism and Buddhism--3000 B.C.
    Last edited by CavySpirit; 11-05-06 at 12:32 pm.

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    Cavy Slave CBrewton5's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    I went to church today and as I was in church the message led me to think about our discussion on vegetarism....our pastor pointed out that it says in the Bible, "Let no man call unclean what I say is clean"....loosely translated of course but I can look up the actual scripture and link to it if anybody is interested.

    In spite of that though I can go along with the idea that slaughtering animals for food can be considered cruel and therefore the decision to not consume meat. But I got to thinking, why pull out dairy products? As far as I know it's not cruel to a cow or a goat to milk it, which in turn is how cheese and butter and such is made, so why do those who are not lacto-ovo vegetarians choose not to consume dairy products?

    Edit: As regards to Jainism, what is the deity behind that?

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    Cavy Slave piggiebun's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    CBrewton5, I too am Wiccan and I do eat meat. I have tried to go veggie but I found it very hard. It was just a personal choice and believe me if I could be stronger I would make the leap to vegetarianism. One does not have to do with the other though...Wiccan does not equal vegetarian. You are free to do what you want but you are to give thanks to the Gods and Goddess for the meat and how it was prepared. It's an experience, you are thanking the animal for giving thier life for your nurishment. Hope this helps.

    Piggiebun

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    Cavy Slave standuprookie's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    My mom is Wiccan and she isn't a vegetarian (but does try to eat meat in only one meal a day), but she supports me. I am a vegetarian but I don't have a set religion/belief, same for my dad.

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    Cavy Star JarBax's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by CBrewton5 View Post
    In spite of that though I can go along with the idea that slaughtering animals for food can be considered cruel and therefore the decision to not consume meat. But I got to thinking, why pull out dairy products? As far as I know it's not cruel to a cow or a goat to milk it, which in turn is how cheese and butter and such is made, so why do those who are not lacto-ovo vegetarians choose not to consume dairy products?
    I will try to find a link, which I am sure will explain more clearly than I the cruelty behind dairy farming, but will let you know my experience first.

    I lived for a short while in a commune in the middle of nowhere - but beside a dairy farm, when my son was just over a year old. One day, the cows were moo-ing more than usual - but it was just like one of those semi-conscious acknowledgements.

    That night, lying in bed, I was aware that the cows were still moo-ing, but in the quiet and dark of my room, the sound became an awful mournful call - which still haunts me now. It was a sound I couldn't ignore, and is difficult to describe, but that it touched me to the core.

    This dreadful sound was the backdrop to our day, and the next night. We became concerned that the farmer had locked the cows out the barn (or some equally niave assumption), til we were informed that infact it was the sound of the mothers calling for their calves. The calves had been taken away from them.

    I was breastfeeding my son. I was unnerved to the point of despair to contemplate the sound I might make if someone were to take my son away, and began to wonder what the difference between us as mothers really was. From that moment, I stopped drinking cows milk, and indeed all animal products.

    Whilst this instance doesn't necessarily demonstrate that 'milking cows is cruel', I felt I had in some way experienced the pain of the mother cows whose calves had been taken from them, and that to me seems unbelievably cruel.

    However, here are some links, giving you an idea of other reasons why I believe that milking cows IS cruel:

    PETA Media Center > Factsheets > Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product

    Milk Sucks!

    UnhappyCows.com > Happy Cows? You Decide (contains link to graphic video)

    Dairy, Veal, Milk, Cruelty, Factory Farming | Mercy For Animals
    The artist formerly known as jarbax

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    Cavy Slave piggiebun's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    Have any of you ever read the story from Robin Cokk "toxi" if not read it, it will help with becoming a vegetarian. Trust me!
    Last edited by piggiebun; 11-05-06 at 03:39 pm. Reason: Spelling

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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    I chose vegetarianism initially for health reasons. The longer I remain meat-free though, the more reasons I find to continue.

    I just wanted to add to this... I have a friend who has shown me Biblical references that helped her to decide to switch to vegetarianism years ago. (she happens to be Jewish) And I've heard that a LOT of LDS Mormons are vegetarian as well. So while *I* didn't switch for religious beliefs, I do know several others who have.
    love,
    mom

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    Cavy Slave CBrewton5's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    I have a friend who has shown me Biblical references that helped her to decide to switch to vegetarianism years ago
    I know that T asked that this not turn into a religion discussion, and I'm not trying to do that, but I'd be interested to know which scriptures those are if you could PM them to me? I know that it states in the Bible that we are not to consume blood, period, and I know that the Jehovah's Witness, since I have several friends that are of that faith, take that scripture literally and do not even accept blood transfusions, while the Christian religion interprets consuming blood as in eating or drinking it. The only people that I know of that actually do that though is those who think they are vampires.

    I'm gonna go look at the websites provided (having brain fog and can't remember which person provided them *sigh*). Maybe that will give me a clearer picture on why dairy products are included in vegetarism. I do agree that taking a baby calf away from its mother before it is ready is cruel, as it would be for any other animal! The only time that would be acceptable is if the mother has died and the baby is orphaned, in which case I'd hope the owner of the baby would hand feed the poor thing

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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    absolutely... PM sent
    love,
    mom

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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by CBrewton5 View Post
    ...our pastor pointed out that it says in the Bible, "Let no man call unclean what I say is clean"....loosely translated of course
    Once again, while not trying to have this be a religious discussion, as a Christian and a vegetarian myself, I'd like to point out that this particular verse is often taken out of context against veg*nism.

    In the context of the section of the Bible being referred to, the whole gist of the dream he had is supposed to be that God/Jesus is for all *people*; symbolised by the point that animals which used to be considered unclean were now *all clean*. This vision was given so that the early Christians would understand that this whole deal wasn't just for a select few, but available *for all*. It's an analogy which used an example the people could understand; not as an order for all people to eat meat... I don't plan to go any further into this on the forum, but just wanted to state it for future reference/clarification.

    There is actually a Christian Vegetarian Association, which you can google, and which has lots of information online relating to this this perspective, in case persons would like further information.

    Now I'll stop for fear of yellow, red or wheeking.

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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    I chose to be a vegetarian partly because of religion, one thing I've always believed is nobody in the world deserves to die before their time. Just before I went veggie I attended a youth synod and it raised questions about why we as humans see ourselves as superior, what reasoning to we have apart from being stuck up?

    Just after that I went to India so I could gain "life experiences"(well according to my Mum anyway) seeing animals slaughtered on the streets kinda puts you off meat for life.

    Emma

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    Cavy Slave CBrewton5's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    why we as humans see ourselves as superior, what reasoning to we have apart from being stuck up?
    It's impossible for me to answer that question without bringing religion into it. *sigh*

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator! VoodooJoint's Avatar
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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    If you are wanting to use the "God gave us dominion over the animals" bit then here is the answer.

    If that is true then we were given dominion, not told to eat them. I have dominion over my kids. I don't eat them.
    Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You can't let the world judge you too much.

    Maude from Harold and Maude

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    Re: Vegetarism and Religion

    I'm a Christian vegetarian (and very good friends with a meat loving Wiccan) and my own reasoning comes from "love your neighbour as you love yourself". Vegetarianism provides a feasible way of feeding the world. Meat production requires more land, more resources, more water. It's not sustainable to feed the world that way.
    In the end you can't justify anything from an isolated verse of the Bible, which is how I would regard the text from Acts that CBrewton5 and Lydia have discussed (the same applies to a scripture of any other religion). Very dangerous things can happen when people quote sacred texts out of context - some churches justified apartheid that way.

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