Vegetarian Evangelists


It's always good to see a new podcaster or a new podcast in Tamil. But this one's the age old veg vs. non-veg debate. The same old points repeated. Nevertheless, as I lately jump on any topic that cites religious morality as a reason to do (or not to do) something, I couldn't resist this one.
Anyway, it's just another reason to state my position on something. An ethical perspective is as far as I'm willing take on this issue. Even that, with lesser vigour.


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12 comments:

Zero said...

So much for love of animals.. Go watch A Fish Called Wanda! Very humanistic. ;)

The Individualist said...

Hi Suresh.
Absolutely entertaining podcast. Could totally relate and understand the message. Kudos.
I wanted to ask you one question though. If you admit that you practise vegetarianism for attention seeking (the admission is highly laudable) and if you also preach that such attention should not be given in the first place, you obviously are taking advantage of the very fault in the system that you wish to eradicate.
Of course, you can go back to the familiar defence of 'I need not practise what I preach', but isn't it being two-faced? Isn't it what you were against when you spoke about the 'the propagation of maranam being desirable and a contradictory practice of maranam not being so'? Being two-faced?
Please read it all in a bantering tone.
And hey, I wanted to ask you something else as well. How does one go about publishing a podcast? The recorder, the edits, blah? Do you have any link for the same or - ?

Suresh said...

@ Zero - I know :)). I have seen the movie before (thanks to IMDB ratings), it's one of the best comedies that I've seen.

@ Sudhir - Thanks. I quit meat (along with fish etc.) for ethical and assumed "spiritual" reasons. Since, a few months ago, I dropped all ideas that were once formed because "spiritual" reasons, I started thinking if I should start eating meat again. That's when I realized that being a "vegetarian" has become a part of my new identity (vegetarian in quotes because I never stopped eating eggs). Even though I confessed that I do it for seeking attention, it's a crude interpretation (of course, I gave it myself) of how I feel about it.

{{you obviously are taking advantage of the very fault in the system that you wish to eradicate.}} - True Sudhir. But there are two things that need to be explained from my stand point.
One: by confessing that I do it for attention (though inaccurately) I wanted to strike a chord with several others who are just like me but won't say it out. I wanted to expose the hypocrisy that underpins our morality and nudge meat eaters to stop giving undue respect to vegetarians.

Two: I would be a vegetarian even if the extra, however fleeting, attention given to people like me ceases to exist. Because, as I had said above, it's now a part of my identity. Like ‘French-beard’ or long hair or baggy clothes. And that's the point too. None of these 'identities', though differentiated and recognized, are respected more than the other. That may raise the question, "people shorten their hair and dressed neat over a period of time. They change. So would you stop being a vegetarian too?" May be. May be not.
Being a non-smoker, non-drinker, vegetarian etc., should not be social statuses. They should be minor identities that have no bearing on how you are measured.

On a different note: I still have some ethical reasons, though I wouldn't profess them aloud, they validate my vegetarian-identity, personally.

About publishing a podcast: Why don't you give me your email? I'll forward a couple that will help you get started. ;)

The Individualist said...

Now, it is getting more interesting. I know you don't like to voice your 'ethical' reasons vociferously but how about letting Sudhir in? :D Or are they too personal for you to let a third party in?
As for the podcast, yeah, my e-mail ID is dreamtosurvive@yahoo.co.in. Hey, and do you still use the fanta id? It has been eons since I saw that one online.

Suresh said...

Nah, the reason is not personal or anything. It's rather simple. The link I had provided states the reasons. Of course, as I had mentioned, I wouldn't endorse it so vigorously.
I'll say it here anyway. When you have the option to not eat chunks of dead tissues, don't. I think it's a matter of philosophical priorities.

The Individualist said...

Hey, and the promised assistance with publishing podcasts? :D

Sonofgun said...

Dude..i have to say, i agree with almost everything that you said, as in, the groundless assumptions about the non-vegetarian eater. But there are certain points that you made, i think are quite divergent from what i believe. But, before i say anything more, i would like to 'confess' that i am a brahmin and i DO eat non-vegetarian food. So, coming to the point, i think you made a pretty much good talk about the practical/realistic absurdity about non-vegetarianism being a taboo for brahmins. The way brahmins evolved with a very hypocrytic and cynical outlook over every other castes but theirs is condemnable alright. But, you showed an equal amount of hatred (if thats the right word)towards the brahmins of BC's. And about the scriptures they wrote down. For god's sake they were geniuses!!! i mean, even with the least knowledge that i have of the vedas, i can tell with stone-cold proofs at hand that they wrote everything down from philosophy to science to medicine some 3000 odd years back. The father of existential philosophy, Soren kiekergard, was inspired by the Upanishads. So was Nikolai Tesla. What more, most of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche was already written by Chanakya( including the oh-so-famous statement "god is dead" in a period when men were callous fanatics). And don't even ask me about science and medicine. Everything from Higgs Boson particle to fucking neuro-surgery was already there. But still, i have to agree with you that there were mounds of texts about caste system. But at the time when they were written, the term caste was supposed to be literally synonymous to what you do for a living. And every caste including the shudhras were respected. Here, I am talking about the situation as it was some 2000-3000 years before(atleast i trust it to have been such way). The persons who wrote all the scriptures possessed deep philosophical and political insights. But all the dunces that evolved thought "insights?? ah...fuck it" and there came the evolution of all kinds of superstitions too. And, it is vital to point out that, it was not ONLY the brahmins that ill-treated the Dalits. Almost every other castes used them as slaves, even until independence. Admonishing Brahmins alone is blatant exagerration.

Getting to a more important point, in terms of the amount of dispute it brings up, it was quite convinient for me to decipher the title post and also your rantings in this podcast, just as easy it would be for any other tamilian, that it was all about brahmins and their stupid ideas. But, in no way do i blame you for that. Of course, i don't hate brahmins as i am myself one. Well, looking at it from a general perspective, at what people talk about brahmins and what brahmins talk about others, you could say it is all about your brought-up as we tamilians like to put it. If you were born a brahmin, you would'nt want to hurt them and would really like them. And yes, being in TN, if you are born a non-brahmin, you would hate brahmins. Both are mutually exclusive. However rational and secular your thoughts are, this felling would be there deep inside for anyone. Just like the Germans&Jews, Scotsmen&Englishmen and the like. It is natural. You just cant' help it.

Sonofgun said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Suresh said...

In spite of several philisophical musings present in the vedas and upanishads that hold any worthwhile materialistic worth (material from an epistemic, Marxian world view), the fact remains that God is presented as the anchor in most if not all of them. I've never read of Kierkegaard and upanishads in the same line before, so I don't know (noting, of course, his own theological leanings). I haven't read enough of/about Chanakya to discuss whether he said it ("God is dead") or what he meant by it. I could, however, say that Nietzsche was not talking about God in general or death in specific. He was talking about a moment in human history when the Christian God's moral purview had ceased to remain self-affirming.

As for Upanishads having spoken about neurosurgery and Higg's boson (Climate change, Jan Lokpal, and CLT20 too, I suppose), I'll get into the discussion when it appears in any respected academic journal (it doesn't even have to be a science journal). Until then, I'll just keep it in the BS bin.

As for why we say what we say, please speak for yourself. I don't "hate" brahmins because I'm a non-brahmin although that's an oversimplification that many would be comfortable with. For I hate the caste and religion I was born into.

Quite the sophisticated dichotomy you present; I don't know how you'd explain away people like Noam Chomsky (oh yes, self hating jews!).

(indha aruvaikku ennama name drop panraan!)

Sonofgun said...

First thing- The Upanishads and Vedas most certaintly, do not hold any "materialistic" value, especially from a Marxian point of view. Among the 13 most important Upanishads, only one talks about God, that being the Gita. The central idea of all the Upanishads is classification of the Universe into 2 metaphysical elements, Brahman(the eternal spirit) and Atman(the self). Only after Gita, which is infact the latest of all Upanishads, did a phenonenan called Devotion came into place. Krishna continuously repeats himself saying, Devotion is the easiest way to enlightenment. As far as i understand from what i have read, Chanakya thought Devotion to god was an atrotious way to become enlightened. He quoted some thing more or less like, "Devotion is for people who have no courage to face themselves, who cannot take a dive within themselves, who are not worthy to become enlightened in any way". Take my word, contrary to what people might think, Chanakya was a non-believer and his philosophy is very unique and assiduous than Nietzsche.

Ayurveda talks not only about neurosurgery, but about every fucking thing from cataract to cancer. As for climate change, there is all you want to know about it in Santana Dharma. Jan Lokpal?? Dont tell me you havent heard about Arthasastra by Chanakya.

Yes, one might not like the religion or caste or country he was born into. But that does't stop you from disliking your adversary.
I might be an Indian who dislikes India more than Muhamad Ali Jinnah. But that does'nt affect my contempt over Pakistan in any way.


(hehe...naanu name ellan vaanumnu drop pannalinga noov, addhannunga ennoda profile paaru :D)

Suresh said...

And CLT20?

Sonofgun said...

Ada paavi. . . . . Indha asingam enakku thevaya :/

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