One of my previous posts “God Made Us Vegetarian, We Made Ourselves Meat Eaters” evoked a fair amount of reaction from the people who read it. I had also submitted it to one of the groups that I am a member of on LinkedIn and the reaction was quite extreme. Unfortunately for me the number who seemed to agree with my point of view were far less than the ones that disagreed wholeheartedly with what I had to state.
Non Vegetarian Points Of View
Majority of the opposing comments received on this site and on LinkedIn, have been general in nature, such as:
- God made us to eat both vegetarian and non vegetarian food,
- We need to eat both fruits & vegetables and Meat for a balanced diet,
- Please don’t peddle vegetarian view point,
- There is no God! (I wonder why people get stuck in semantics).
However, there has been one comment by Mr. Abhikendu Gupta, which in my humble opinion is extremely pertinent and specific to this vegetarian vs non vegetarian debate, the kind that I would welcome any day for a value added discussion. I am reproducing it here verbatim:
“The article is really funny! The discussion or argument after each remark is even hilarious. Tell me one thing; the whole issue revolves around certain designing principles and restriction of using External factors to procure your food. So let’s see if god wished us to eat wheat or rice as one of our staple food. I have never seen a natural wheat or rice field. Man had to learn and use various external factors including tools to grow them. Are we designed to harvest the crop with bare hands???? I am certainly not so gifted. And are we designed in such a manner that after manually hushing the wheat or polishing the rice without using any external factors, we can eat them raw. Please if you try such stunt, doctor (again a creation from human intelligence) will have to use various EXTERNAL FACTORS to repair your stomach first and then the brain. Sanjeev I respect your personal choice, but stop this senseless propaganda. Vulture does not qualify in any of your designing principle but still eats meat. Be happy that nature has made us such complex yet intelligent creatures and respect others choice of how and what one should eat.”
On a lighter note, I would like to state that I am glad that the article was found to be really funny and that the arguments after each remark seemed hilarious. At least I have been able to make someone laugh even if it was unintentional.
And though I have some reservation against the choice of words such as “senseless propaganda”, I would like to admit that, so far, the arguments given above make the most sense. At least, they are not general in nature. They are specific and do carry weight.
I do agree with the following:
- You do not find rice and wheat fields in nature.
- You do not grow food in the fields with your bare hands, but require tools for agriculture.
- You do need to crush or grind wheat and make flour out of it and then cook it to be able to eat it.
- And this is true for “most” of the food that a vegetarian eats.
Human Design – Vegetarian Or Non-Vegetarian?
Now what does this prove or disprove? Does it prove that nature did not make us vegetarian? Or does it prove that nature designed us to eat meat? Or does it prove that the very premise about the “design” argument itself is wrong? Before I get to the above questions, I would like to take Mr. Gupta’s points further and I wonder why he stopped short and did not take his arguments further:
- Nature did not design human beings to fly. Yet we do fly using gliders, airplanes, rockets etc.
- Nature did not create the homes that we live in. Yet, we make brick and mortar constructions and live in bungalows, apartments etc instead of trees.
- Nature did not clothe us. Yet we make all kinds of fancy costumes and start new fashion trends every season.
The list can be endless. So does it mean that since the nature did not provide us with these, we should stop flying, living in fancy houses and stop wearing clothes?
The answers to these can vary depending on the belief of the person who is giving them. My only response to this would be that the above have been discoveries and inventions made by man on the path to become more advanced, “civilized”, and comfortable. It is altogether a different issue, whether, these have really made him happy or whether these are even required, and that discussion is not within the scope of this website.
My Reasons To Believe That Humans Are Vegetarian By Design
Now coming back to the issue of vegetarian and meat eating design, while I agree that, it is true that man uses external tools to grow, harvest and cook vegetarian food, that still does not in any way negate the design principle for the following reasons:
- Let us do a thought experiment. Assume that in this world all tools have vanished. No tools to grow wheat and rice, no tools to harvest and no tools to cook. Similarly, assume that there are no tools to catch animals, no tools to kill animals, no tools to cut and obviously no tools to cook. What will happen? Will man still be able to survive by eating fruits, vegetables and other naturally available and edible vegetarian stuff? I bet the answer is yes because “he can” eat raw vegetables, fruits, berries and the likes that are available naturally. But, will man be able to survive by eating animals? I am sure that it would not the case because the much reviled design principle that I spoke about will come into force! He will not be able to catch, kill and cook animals for food and therefore will not be able to eat meat.
- It is true that the vegetables and fruits that are available naturally will not be enough in quantity to feed the entire human population. But that is not the fault of the nature’s design – that is the excess of the human race which will make him pay a price in the form of mass starvation.
- The necessity to use the tools for agriculture is a result of the man’s progress from a hunter-gatherer to a farmer so that he could stay at one place. It is this which has led to the advancement in technology and civilization.
- The tools of agriculture are a necessity for growing food for the masses – the rapid growth in human population made it imperative for him to be able to use fields to grow food in larger quantities than what he could gather naturally.
- And so is the case with cooking the food that he grows. That is a result of the man’s technological advancement and the necessity to produce food for the masses which can be consumed quickly.
- There is no such necessity for him to eat meat.
- The design principle that I spoke about is not obvious today because we are so used to the comfort of knives and fire in our daily culinary affairs. Take them away and the vegetarian design will be as clear as the daylight.
And finally, a word about the Vultures. Vultures are scavengers and therefore by nature’s design they are not required to catch their food (the acquisition principle) nor are they required to kill (disarticulation principle) the food. They are however required to consume the food (the consumption principle) and they therefore fit into the meat eater design very well. They have all the necessary tools (claws and beak) to cut and eat the carcass of dead animals for food. They are like the special case of a three variable equation in mathematics, where two variables are zero!