**This may not be the best argument for why someone should be a vegetarian, but I struggled a lot in my teenage years to try to persuade others to follow this exact argument… fond memories… This is my attempt at writing persuasively**

Are any of you vegetarian?  There are many different kinds of vegetarians but in general it is the practice of being an herbivore and not eating meat, poultry, and fish.  Why would you become one?  Well, there are many reasons.  It may be a requirement of your religion, or you may just hate the taste of meat.  Also, you might be against the horrifying injustices and cruelties animals suffer in slaughterhouses, or just want to lead a healthier lifestyle.  The three main types of vegetarians are lacto-ovo-vegetarians, who eat eggs and dairy products, lacto-vegetarians, who use dairy products but not eggs, and vegans, who consume neither.

Milk and other dairy products are not used by vegans because they believe that it is only meant for calves.  We are the first species to drink milk after our weaning years and the first to drink the milk of other animals as well.  Also, eggs are not alway considered vegetarian because they are the hen’s offspring and the product of their sexual organ.  Also, the size of the egg grows as time passes.  Therefore, they are impure and not completely lifeless.

I am a lacto-vegetarian.  Since the time I was born, I was brought up to follow this diet because of my religion, Jainism.  As ahimsa, non-violence is one of the most important Jain principles and way of life, being a vegetarian is a way of minimizing the amount of violence and pain I give to other living creatures.  Other Jains who are very pious, are much stricter than myself and don’t eat tuber-roots, which are vegetables grown underground.  The reason is that vegetables, such as carrots and potatoes, are the home of many tiny organisms.  So, by digging up these vegetables, the lives of many creatures can be in danger.

Being an herbivore doesn’t mean I don’t harm anyone.  Science has proven that vegetables and fruits are one-sensed organisms.  They have the sense of touch.  However, there is less violence involved in plucking a fruit rather than killing a chicken.  Trees are living beings as well.  Scientists have been able to hook up cardiographs to them, which show their heartbeat.  They are very sensitive and their graph goes wild when someone comes to cut them or their friends down!

Did you know that many famous people are either vegans or vegetarians?   This includes Drew Barrymore, Michael J. Fox, Brooke Shields, Brad Pitt, Ricki Lake, Leonardo da Vinci, Louisa May Alcott, and Mark Twain among many others.  All of theses individuals probably realized that by eating meat they would become murderers.  In other words, by being a non-vegetarian, it would be like you were killing and eating your own ancestors, which is the not too different from cannibalism.

There are many advantages of practicing vegetarianism.  People have less pesticides, fats, and cholesterol, and at the same time, are less likely to have a heart attack, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallbladder disease, hypertension or any other illness.  Their bodies retain fewer antibiotics, fossil fuels, and toxic chemical residues, and they have a very small chance of receiving a bacterial infection such as E. coli.

Vegetarians get their calcium, protein, iron, and vitamins from different vegetables, leafy greens, beans, cereal, nuts, fruits, juices, bread, and about fifteen minutes in the sun each day.  The proper food promotes their physical and psychological health.  Meat has more proteins than the daily need but an excess amount of meat protein creates unnecessary uric acid, which is a breeder of several diseases.

Becoming a vegetarian is the first step in lowering the violence done onto animals.  A total number of about seven billion animals are slaughtered each year in the United States alone. SEVEN BILLION ANIMALS ARE SLAUGHTERED EACH YEAR!  That’s about 500,000 animals killed each hour!  Animals raised primarily for the production of food are not capable of having natural sexual, social, hygienic, and parental behavior.  They are in excruciating pain from they time that they are born and taken away from their mother to the time they are taken to the slaughter house.  R. M. Dolgin once said, “Anything that can feel pain should not be put to pain.”

Individuals who consume meat, dairy, and egg can cause many sicknesses including: strokes, heart attacks, kidney stones, breast cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer among others.  Vegans have a four percent risk of death from a heart attack compared to fifty percent risk for meat eaters.  Also, the intake of cow’s milk is linked to dysfunctions of the thyroid gland, osteoporosis, headaches, and even Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Multiple Sclerosis.

It is imperative that everyone become a vegetarian in the near future for the sake of the environment, for animal rights, and for health purposes.  Being a vegan or vegetarian will significantly increase the lifespan of human beings and help them have a more tension free life.  They will be able to save the lives of about 100 million people who would have starved to death as a result of malnutrition and at the same time decrease the amount of pollution in rivers and streams.  Vegetarianism will help make the world a better, happier place where all beings will be treated as equals and animals will have their own rights.  As Leonardo da Vinci said, “The time will come when men will look on the murder of animals as they now look on the murder of men.”


**Note: I currently write from India but my WP publishing time is set to California time, so you’re see I talk about today/yesterday/tomorrow very fluidly. Don’t get too confused por favor!**

First off, it is November 11th and Happy Diwali and Veterans Day to everyone! May this year bring each and every one of you health, prosperity, and peacefulness! It is a rarity for both of these holidays to coincide, but I guess the stars are aligning! Other bloggers that have written about this day are FUSSYlittleBLOG and Pundita – check their posts out!

On Tuesday, I received a message from my dear friend asking how I’m doing and whether I’m in a ‘festive mood’ and my instant response to her was… “Hmm I never really think of Diwali as festive! Lol. Feel like I’m just stuck in a busy routine I can’t deviate from”. Originally when I said ‘busy schedule,’ I was referring to my marathon-like NaNoWriMo blogging on this site, but now, on Diwali, it refers to the constant noise pollution and annoyance of firecrackers bursting 24/7 and the fact that my brain has been busy pondering less-than optimistic thoughts about the state of the world we live in, non-stop, today.

And now…I’m tired. So instead of anything too structured, I just want to share an informal post with you about what I did and thought about today that preoccupied my fragile mind so. Apologies in advance for the stream of consciousness writing that went into recounting the activities of the day intertwined with my philosophy on humankind.

I woke up on Diwali Day as usual, had breakfast, and posted yesterday’s blog post whilst dealing with wi-fi connectivity issues. Not long after, my family headed to the office to do Puja and returned for lunch. The flaky internet now working, I randomly started searching online for iconic images I could make into shadowbox art. I started out looking for famous paintings and famous magazine cover photos that led to searches for historically important photography and thinking about the impact of black and white photography and how that would translate into 3D form. Something with a strong social message?

I looked at photos of atomic bombs, emancipated prisoners, child laborer so, sex slaves, protests and other visually powerful material. This led me to wonder what kind of images would represent historical events that don’t have photographic evidence. I also wondered if any would also work as silhouette paper cutting art. And not for the first time since changing my career path after my MSc in Human Osteology and Palaeopathology, I regretted giving up my dream of one day becoming a forensic anthropologist come true, and doing my part to help bring the world’s one step closer to reconciliation and righting the wrongs that have been committed. I was so sure back then that I’d made the right choice because of the mental trauma it would cause me, but I’m now not sure that is a good enough reason anymore.

I definitely got a bit overwhelmed and decided to relieve myself by coming up with a soap recipe I wish to try my hand at soon (talk about stress-relief multitasking). I had planned to make myself a soup for dinner but got so completely wrapped up in my web search and soap calculations that the next thing I knew, it was time for the Diwali Puja at home. We did that, had dinner, and I again wondered why on such an ‘auspicious day’ I was having such dark thoughts about the constant failures of humankind since early afternoon.

Diwali is called the festival of lights because we celebrate the victory of light over darkness, and good vanquishing evil. But in my mind, all I can think about is why the battle even needs to take place in the first place, why is there man-made sadness and evil in the world, and what about picking up the pieces after damage has been done and worrying about how it may affect those who survived the ordeal (regardless of which side they are on)?

It was only then, when I went on Facebook, that I put two and two together and realized others were celebrating Veterans Day. (Thank you to everyone who gave their service from the bottom of my heart!) But I found my thoughts weren’t comparable to the point of Veterans Day either. The PTSD, the political agendas of which service men and women are mere pawns, and the grieving families of the ‘fallen.’ Thank you is not enough and my worries about society still stand – why go there in the first place? I’ve researched wars and why they happen and what happens during them for many reasons, but I’m still no closer to understanding if they are required or can be prevented…..

I know the responses I’d get for all the questions and frustrations I’ve already voiced, and I’ll see more sense when I’m up tomorrow. But either way, I’m still uncomfortable and burdened by the way I was thinking today of all days (as this is common thoughts for me on ‘normal’ days but I try not to think about it on festive days). For today, my point of view is admittedly narrow and I have a heavy heart.

To relieve the burdens of the day, I decided I needed to do something that made me happy before I fell asleep so I caught up on all the Korean dramas I am following (talk about another jump!), which did in fact bring a smile to my face despite the ‘happy festive’ thunderous sound of firecrackers outside my window made me somewhat melancholic as its constant noise was reminiscent of the sound of gunfire and warfare. That sound was the scary lullaby I fell asleep to.

Diwali’s now over but the celebrations continue. The Korean dramas are over but it is now the next day, and the sound of bomb-like crackers has not stopped even in the daylight… The ritualized massacre and bloodbath of the creatures and organisms that call the sky their home continues…in the name of peace and love. How ironic…