Remember, gluttony is punished in Hell by being forced to eat rats, toads, and snakes! And I’d imagine they taste nothing like beef, mutton and chicken!
Most of us appear outraged at the idea of meat ban during the Jain festival of Paryushan. Gluttonous meat-eaters are crying out loud, going into withdrawals. Ban on slaughter and sale of meat, to protect the sentiments of the Jain community, is being made out to be a big deal. Problem is, we have forgotten that we can please and pamper our stomach without meat, too. Why take a life to make a meal? No one dies from eating vegetables.
Banning meat is not a breach of freedom of any kind. No, it is too bookish an argument. Not everything, every time, should be about ‘freedoms’ and ‘rights’. Occasions like Paryushan should teach us tolerance and acceptance. We shouldn’t be so ‘I, me, and myself’ all the time, and talk law.
Paryushan is an opportunity for the Jains to burn all karmas accumulated in a person’s life; Jains try to achieve this through fasting, meditation, soul-searching, self-study, compassion and practicing forgiveness towards fellow beings.
Where there is media attention, how can Bollywood be far behind? Twitter is awash with their sentiments on meat ban. Farhan Akhtar, Raveena Tandon, Vishal Dadlani, and many more are riding the meat ban wave. Some even tried to be funny. Like Siddharth Mallya. His tweet read: “So if I was to go to someone’s house for dinner and they served me a steak, would I automatically become an accessory to the crime?”
Sonakshi Sinha tried to be catty. I can bet my last rupee that she didn’t have a clue about what was happening. She was feeling bored so she took to twitter, researched the trending topic, sees meat ban leading the way, finds out how many for and against, and gives her two-bit about it on the surface. Freedom to eat the cooked flesh of another living being does not make us ‘progressive’, it makes us carnivorous! The goats, pigs, cows, chickens… fish and lobster and shrimp, and all the other mouth-watering stuff are destined to go down, sooner rather than later. How about giving these creatures respite while the Jains finish their observance? We can get back to our killing ways as soon as Paryushan is over.
If slaughterhouses rest their knives for a day or two, it won’t make any difference to their lives. Treat it as the off day of the week, consider yourself to have fallen sick, needing a couple of days of rest! But no one is applying mind. As Indians, we are cursed with the freedom to protest. Rather, we are obsessed with it. Any decision that tampers with our freedom and way of life, even if temporarily, gets us all agitated. The fact that the decision was taken keeping in mind the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of Jains does not cut ice with us. For all practical purposes, it becomes a side issue.
We have lost our powers of self-control and sobriety, we lack the order of reason.
Only last night you gorged on mutton and today, you are out on the street, again for the right to have mutton and chicken and beef. It’s only food, it shouldn’t matter. Life should be much more than eating flesh! We should show our collective respect for the Jains and behave accordingly.
Times have changed, anyway. With health becoming such a trend, meat eaters are becoming a more regular target of food-shaming and bashing. And it’s having the desired effect. There have been many conversions and people are beginning to understand the significance of fruits and vegetables. Instead of getting anxious at the prospect of no meat on the table tonight, you must take it as an opportunity, even if forced upon, to observe vegetarianism.
Only the rarest of the rare person will smack his lips at witnessing the slaughter of an unnaturally fat chicken, or a pig, in a cage. Tragically, such breed is very large in number. We have gone horribly wrong somewhere.