By Sumith S Rao
Mangaluru: Yesterday, after a long time I got up early. I started my day with my newspaper and my cup of tea. Suddenly, I realized that the cup of tea was so tasty because of one and only thing. The sugar made all the difference.
It was at this point of time that I realized that the sugar is extracted from sugarcane. The sugarcane plant was nurtured and grown by a sugarcane farmer somewhere in the sugar belt of Maharashtra with loving care. But, more so, with the ulterior aim of selling the sugarcane to a sugar mill, where it would be crushed and squeezed dry till the last drop of sugarcane juice was extracted and then the molasses would be put to use to get bio fuel.
At this point of time, I realized that the sugarcane plant while dying has been responsible in giving my morning cup of tea that much needed taste which my taste buds could relate to and cherish. Even, the molasses is used to make alcohol, as well as bio fuel. Thus, the sugarcane plant becomes one which gives up its life for man and his needs.
Now, consider the cow. Some communities consider it sacred and worship it. At the same time, cows are bred with the sole aim of getting them ready for the blade of the butcher in the slaughter house in some countries in the world. After all, the world is a free place and everyone has the choice to make their own decisions regarding this cow.
If you now see the above statements, you will find that both the sugarcane plant and the cow are living beings which are subjugated by some theory of evolution to be exploited, as some call it, or to be used, as others call it to fulfill a greater need of humanity.
I now felt sad, and morose and my tea tasted a little bitter for the only reason that we never considered the sugarcane plant as a life form and never made a hue and cry about it’s existence. But, as regards the cow, certain individuals have taken to the streets and even killed people for consuming it. If we can kill and lynch and beat up people about the choices they make in life as regards thier choice of food, what is the difference between us and animals ?
I have no issues with people who respect the cow and treat is as a mother or as a God. But those same people do not treat other animals such as the fish and the pig and many more which are also some of the forms in which the Hindu God Vishnu appeared in as per our mythology. Isn’t it hypocrisy and double standards on the part of those who campaign for the worship of the cow and not the worship of the fish and the pig ? I do not know, for I am a simple man who believes in the laws of nature and leave the rest not just to God, but to the good sense in my fellow human beings.
At the same time, I would also like to state that I do not eat meat or fish of any kind, but I have no qualms about others eating meat. i would only stress that the meat should be through animals bred for the express purpose of using them for food and the method of culling them or using them should be humane.
Let me conclude by saying that all men are equal and they are no lesser in the eyes of God for having eaten animal meat or plant life. If we could not eat some form of food we would not live. In the wild, the kings of the jungle, be it the lion or the tiger feast on the deer and now with the fast extinction of our forests even feed on domestic cattle such as the cow and the bull. It does not discriminate on its eating habits. Why should we?
Sumith S. Rao is a well known city based businessman and a former President of the District Small Scale Industries Association.