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Arguments of the Value of Vegetarianism - Essay Example

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This essay will discuss the pro and anti arguments against vegetarianism.  This essay will discuss the pro and anti arguments against vegetarianism.   It is first essential to define and understand what vegetarianism is, as people in the west believe that those who eat fruits and vegetables as a side dish occasionally can be termed as vegetarians…
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Arguments of the Value of Vegetarianism
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Download file to see previous pages Vegetarianism started gaining ground in the nineteenth century for reasons like health and humanity towards animals. Religious reasons have always kept the Hindus, Buddhists, and the Jains away from animal meat, but since the 1970s, three different reasons have made vegetarianism popular – health, concern for animals and ecology. The term vegetarian refers only to what one eats and to no other aspect of life. The reasons for restricting to a vegetarian diet could be religious, health, ethical, moral, or even economic but to lead a vegan lifestyle is rooted in ethical values and beliefs. In the UK, the vegetarian diet has permeated the social mainstream (Smart, 2004). Smart clarifies many vegetarians in the UK justify their diet by reference to an ideology, which argues that meat eating is wrong. Surveys conducted suggest that most commonly accepted reasons for a vegetarian diet are animal welfare, health, environmental degradation, global food inequalities, taste, and value for money.
            All religions in the world have opposed meat-eating even if the followers derived interpretations to suit their lifestyle. The Hindu Upanishads (about 1000 BC) preach of the doctrines of reincarnation which opposes meat-eating. Mahatma Gandhi declared, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be measured by the way in which its animals are treated” (Sager, 2005). Buddhism teaches compassion for all sentient creatures, which means, animals should not be killed. The Jains speak of ahimsa, which is non-violence towards any living creature. Taoism holds nature sacred and this view also favors vegetarianism. Sager cites from the Quran which states, “There is not an animal on earth, nor a flying creature flying on two wings, but they are peoples like unto you.” (Surah 6, verse 38).  Interestingly, the opposition to meat eating can be found even in ancient biblical scriptures. Two biblical passages support the view that eating meat is morally wrong. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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