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Vegetarianism & Environmental Protection


Research has shown that all animals, plants, and minerals that exist in this world have specific values and functions. In short, every thing exists for a good reason. Therefore, countless people and organizations have dedicated themselves to protecting endangered animal species. Once when I was in China, I heard a horrible story. Chairman Mao had ordered sparrows to be killed because he thought they consumed too much grain. But it turned out that grain production actually decreased when all the sparrows were dilled. This was due to the fact that the worms and bugs that would have been eaten by the sparrows all survived and ate up the grain. From this story, we know that every living thing plays an important role in nature. They function in an invisible circle of life, fulfilling their functions on the one hand, and maintaining their existence on the other. The food chain that consists of animals eating plants, plants ingesting minerals and animals and plants turning into minerals again after they die, is a drama that unfolds forever.

It has been said that ancient Eskimos died easily in winter time because of they could not get enough food. They developed a custom to avoid this unfortunate but sometimes inevitable situation; that is, elders were left in the snow to become food for bears so that the young Eskimos could survive during food shortages. This seems truly shocking and inhuman to us. But in order to maintain the species, they were forced to accept this custom. If we had been there on the scene and condemned the Eskimo youth as guilty of murder, then the whole thing would have been meaningless. Certainly, this is a reasonable custom only under such extreme circumstances, and we can understand why it came into being, as human beings, we have to know ourselves and the roles we play. We are the wisest of creatures, but we function as the audience and not as directors or actors because we do not have any script to follow. The actors leave behind their roles when they are through acting and forget the feelings that they had while they were engaged in acting. When you interfere in their acting and ask them to show their personal feelings without following the script, they will never forget and they will hold a grudge. Moreover, once you take part in the acting, you will not be able to turn back to be an audience again; you will be forced to be a guest actor forever.

Evolution and biology shows that humans are not much different from other living creatures, except that their structure is more complicated and they are more advanced along the path of evolution. But this is true only for human's physical nature since it was originally created from that of the plant by the designer(s) anyway. Actually, there is a master of our souls possessed of an intelligence and mind that lives inside our bodies. He is like an advisor that has been sent to you by a major company. He can either solve your problems or ask someone in the company to solve your problems; that is the source of the inspiration you receive from from time to time. Since humans have a soul that is lacking in other animals. When we look at the history of civilization, we can see that all great architectural monuments, languages, artistic and musical works were created by human beings. No other animals are as capable as humans. Therefore, even though the physical structure of humans is not much different from that of animals (especially apes), humans have souls that other animals do not have. Humans are not of the same species as other animals. Thus, even though the law of the jungle stipulates that the strong prey upon the weak, we humans with our advanced civilization and sophisticated technology should not kill and eat animals. We can no longer use the excuse that it is permissible to kill tigers because tigers kill goats, or bulls because they destroy the grass.

Let me explain this by examining the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment. All living things have to ingest substances as food in order to grow and reproduce. Plants obtain food and energy by carrying out photosynthesis by which they synthesize carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water with sunlight serving as an energy source and oxygen released as a byproduct. The formula is as follows: 6CO2 + 12H2O + light---> C6H12O + 6O2 +6H2O. That is plants produce organic substances such as glucose in order to supply themselves with energy and nutrients by using inorganic substances, such as sunlight, air and water. As for animals, they obtain the energy and nutrition they need from plants or other animals. In short, humans and animals that eat other animals acquire nutrition indirectly from plants.

The study of heredity shows that the reproduction of both plants and animals is determined by genes. No matter what changes the environment go through, cats still bear kittens, and dogs still bear puppies, even though they might differ somewhat in appearance. But this is not true of plants. A change in surroundings could significantly alter the appearance of a plant. For example, a pine tree can grow to a height of hundreds of feet, but another species, the dwarf bonsai, can be placed on a living room table.

Research has revealed that once the cells of animals have become differentiated, they cant not reproduce new cells, but the cells of plants can still reproduce them even when they are differentiated. Thus we can grow trees by planting branches in soil, while animal limbs will only rot away once they are severed from their torsos.

From the above, it is clear that animals exist as units, while plants exist as cells. There is certain proportion maintained between the quantity of plants that can flourish on a given area of land. The amount of food produced by plants limits the quantity of animals they can nourish. Animals suffer extinction of their species on Earth before plants do.

The bodies of animals and humans have evolved form those of plants, but their souls evolved gradually from outside forces. As stated in Genesis, every creature was produced in abundance after their kind. They have individual selves and feeling. They have senses and the instinct of survival so they do not want to be eaten. Their souls were not produced by the Earth, so they do not feel for the Earth and think only about their own advantages or, at most, the advantages of their species. No animals allow themselves to be eaten unless they are forced to.

The brain is the most sophisticated organ of the human body, but brain cells are formed from birth. Human intelligence does not grow from consuming certain kinds of food. As a matter of fact, humans can decrease inner interference and keep their mind open to inspiration by avoiding certain kinds of food.

Let us look at some simple examples and determine the relationship between animal and the plants.

Let us imagine the Earth to be one vast prairie, and on that prairie we find cows, sheep, rabbits, tigers, and other animal species. When the weather and conditions allow and there is enough food, cows, sheep, and rabbits have enough grass to eat, and tigers can easily capture whatever food they want. However, in the absence of any major calamity, the quantity of cows, sheep, rabbits (all herbivores), and tigers (carnivores) will greatly increase, while at the same time land area remains the same. Soon the grass will be all eaten up, and the supply of oxygen in the air will be exhausted. The animals will then die of hunger and weakness; first the herbivores, then the carnivores. Gradually, every living creature on Earth will become extinct. Fortunately, the food chain itself can be adjusted in order to maintain a balance. Whenever there is a shortage of plants for the animals to eat, the quantity of herbivores will decrease naturally; thus the quantity of carnivores will also decrease. The remains of these dead animals serve to fertilize the land so that the plants can flourish once again. This is how nature maintains a balance in the life cycles of plants and animals.

However, human beings do not realize that on nature's stage they function merely as an audience and do not themselves direct or write out the script. They interfere in the production by writing, directing, and even acting. Men keep increasing the quantity of certain animals (such as tigers, lions, pigs, or chickens) and thus ruin the balance of the food chain and reduce the availability of vegetation for all animals. Moreover, many tropical forests have been destroyed because the over development of civilization has increased our demand for wood. Members of local tribes cut down trees for export to maintain a livelihood. The world's population keeps on growing, but many people are victims of famine since they do not possess basic agricultural skills. The supply of oxygen on the earth is not longer sufficient, and the temperature of the earth has became abnormal. All these natural phenomena have come about because because human beings interfered with nature and ruined the natural environment. Thus today so many people advocate environmental protection and call for the prevention of environmental pollution. But as the wisest creatures on earth, what kind of attitude should we take in our relationship with other living beings?

From the above, we know that humans are different from animals since humans derive from some other system and are merely guests of the Earth. Thus we should be friendly to the creatures (animals) of this planet. We should not invade them or interfere with their life, and we should not take up their rule that the stronger prey on the weaker. As regards plants and minerals, we should think of them as substances that we can utilize in a reasonable manner as long as we do not waste or needlessly ruin them; after all, their quantities are all limited. Many people have adopted this attitude in relation to minerals ,but the same cannot be said of their treatment of plants.

Now we can understand that plants and minerals on Earth are closely related to each other, and animals and humans appeared only after the existence of minerals and plants. Scientific theory assumes that animals have evolved from plants, and humans have evolved from animals. However, the human soul and intelligence has not evolved from that of animals. Thus we should not conclude that humans have evolved from monkeys, even though we can say that the human body has evolved from that of the monkey. Likewise, the animal soul did not evolve from its plant counterpart. This does not mean that animals, plants, and minerals have no soul. It only means that their souls do not stay inside their bodies; they may exist in some other planet and continue to guide them in some mysterious way.


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