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May 18, 2014

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Brian, I have written a short article at my website that may be of interest to you. The article is titled, "My Philosophical Antipode: Brian Hines."

My website is: electricalspirituality.com


Brian, I have written a short article at my website that may be of interest to you. The article is titled, "My Philosophical Antipode: Brian Hines."

My website is: electricalspirituality.com


Brian wrote:

"But if a bunch of other vegetarians and me started a college which espoused our dietary beliefs, yet enrolled meat-eaters also, would it be fair if we required that anyone who got a student loan from the federal government couldn't buy a hamburger -- or any other animal flesh -- while they were associated with our college?"

--Well, yes if your college is a private school. Then you could require abstinence from pork chops as a stipulation for admittance and remaining in your school regardless of where the student's money comes from, even from the feds. This seems OK to me as long as the stipulations do not violate any public laws.

If I start a private school where it is a requirement to eat pork chops for lunch I should be able to do so. My school, my rules, as long as the requirements do not violate public laws. Pork chops for lunch are a must at my school. Don't like it, don't enroll.

Brian also wrote:

"I strongly believe in both the morality of not killing animals for food, and in the health benefits of vegetarianism."

--I understand this sentiment. It is often claimed that, since eating meat involves the taking of a life, it is somehow tantamount to murder. Leaving aside the religious philosophies that often permeate this issue, what appears to be at hand is a misunderstanding of the life force and how it works. Modern people (vegetarian and non-vegetarian) have lost touch with what it takes to survive in our world...something native people never lose sight of. We do not necessarily hunt or clean our meats: we purchase steaks and chops at the supermarket. We do not necessarily toil in rice paddies or roam the wildlands seeking roots and berries: we buy bags of brown rice; we buy sacks of potatoes and strawberries in plastic containers, and so forth, and so on.

When Native Americans killed a game animal for food, they would routinely offer a prayer of thanks to the animal's spirit for giving its life so that they could live. In our world, life feeds off life. Destruction is always balanced with generation. This is a good thing: unchecked, the life force becomes cancerous and unbalanced. If animal food consumption is viewed in this manner, it is hardly murder, but necessity. Modern people would do well to remember this.

Without question, some commercially raised livestock live in deplorable conditions where sickness and suffering are common. In countries like Korea, food animals such as dogs are sometimes killed in horrific ways, e.g. beaten to death with a club. This, to me, is sick.

Commercial farming of livestock results in an unhealthy food product, whether that product is meat, milk, butter, cream or eggs. Our ancestors did not consume such substandard food, and neither should we.

It is possible to raise animals humanely. This is why organic, preferably via biodynamic, permaculture, sustainable farming is to be encouraged: it is cleaner and more efficient, and produces healthier animals and food from those animals and produce. Each person should make every effort, then, to purchase organically raised livestock (and plant foods). Not only does this better support our bodies, as organic foods are more nutrient-dense and are free from hormone and pesticide residues, but this also supports smaller farms and is therefore better for the economy.

Nevertheless, many people have philosophical problems with eating animal flesh, and these sentiments must be respected. Dairy products and eggs, though, are not the result of an animal's death and are acceptable alternatives for these people.

It should also not be forgotten that agriculture, which involves both the clearance of land to plant crops and the protection and maintenance of those crops, results in many animal deaths. It was actually estimated in one study that more animals are killed via commercial grain farming methods than by the animal-meat-dairy industry due to habitat displacement, farm machinery (giant combines), insecticides, etc. It is incredible how many small animals are killed in the process of producing commercial grains and other crops. The belief, therefore, that “becoming vegetarians” will somehow spare animals from dying is one with no foundation in fact.

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