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Why I am a non-vegetarian

By Nabila Habib | Last Updated: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 17:45
Nabila Habib
The 'Onion' take

I actually love animals. Not in that wisecracking way that declares, “I love animals,” then adds with a smirk, “especially roasted chicken!”

My fondness runs both ways. I love roasted chicken also, but I don’t eye a poultry farm as a prospective source of culinary bliss for me. I see the innumerable fluffy little yellow chicks huddled in mass terror at the monster-sized hands that descend on them and sometimes stuff droppers with foul smelling liquid in their beaks and sometimes cauterize and burn their nails. When they grow bigger, they are crammed in even smaller cages and put on display. Makes me feel I am a pathetically helpless specimen of a species that excels in being insensitive to the other living things around us.

When I was small and still in the junior school, the plaintive bleating of the little kid that our neighbour’s goat had given birth a week ago used to bring tears to my eyes. When I was still in kindergarten, I had braved a teeth-baring snarling dog to save a kitten scared stiff from its jaws.

If people become veggies, that will lead to an abundance of cattle in the world. Then the food chain will be skewed, because, as you know, it goes like this - tiger eats goat, goat eats grass. In another line - hyenas eat dead cat, cat eats rat, rat eats grain, grain grows on fertilized land, fertilizers come from organic waste, organic waste comes from an abundance of wildlife in the jungle. Now if a single link stops in its natural behaviour – that of eating the organism in the food chain below it (remember the wonderful way food chain and bureaucracy is compared in that satirical animation ‘Shark Tale’?), then the whole chain breaks. After all, a chain is as strong as its weakest link.

Okay, clichés apart, if we don’t eat cattle, the number of cattle animals increases manifold, because we humans eat a lot! No wonder, since we have this teeming population bursting at the seams. And if cattle increase in number, they will want a lot of grasslands to live in. And since humans would leave eating non-vegetarian food, then the demand of veggies would increase in the world. Now these cattle also want veggies. So there will be a dearth of veggies in the world, just like there is a dearth of fossil fuel today.

And, putting the skewed ecological balance aside, the human world is already in a crisis. The cost of veggies would hit the ozone-lacking sky. And going by the current ecological unconcern in humans, they would most probably let the soaring veggie prices punch a gaping hole in the thinning ozone layer, and send a massive shudder to the already teetering ecological balance.

And then, if humans go all the way to be strict vegetarians, then there will be a mass popping out of chicks from all the eggs that the poultry lay, and then perhaps there will be a similar population crisis in poultry and cattle alike as there is in humans.

There can be a positive short-term effect also. Carnivorous animals will have a field day all this time, and might fatten up and perhaps also thrive in numbers. Endangered species will be well fed, in better health to mate and multiply.

In short, as the fauna on earth might initially thrive, the flora would be eaten right off the roots – so to say. As the number of animals (Homo sapiens included) increases, the fight for space would be more between flora and fauna than between humans and wild animals. Oh, I can see worse things happening in the jungle…

The cattle have eaten up all the leaves from the trees, and they have no place to hide. The carnivores spot them easily and devour them up. As this is very much in favour of carnivores, they thrive and go fat bold.

Since there isn’t so much of a jungle left (the cattle has eaten it up all), they find no difference between the jungle and the villages. They hunt the deer that run into the villages, since the tree-less jungle and treeless villages have the boundary too blurred. The carnivores find more edible things – human. And man-eaters are born.

I don’t want to think beyond this point – it makes me shudder; it makes me feel all queasy in my tummy. My mood is sour, my spirits in the basement. Only a delicious leg of roasted chicken can lift up my spirit, or a visit to my cat and her three kittens. Love is an elevating experience, you see. And perhaps veganism is not – at least for me!

<i>The arguments expressed in this blog are .. fictitious!</i>

First Published: Wednesday, December 2, 2009 - 17:45

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