Another Reason To Eat Vegetarian?

–It’s in to be a vegetarian for health and environmental reasons, but factoring in a spiritual dimension of harmlessness may add a reverence for life–It’s in to be a vegetarian. More and more people are becoming vegetarian or at least saying they are for both health and environmental reasons. Being a vegetarian avoids the animal fat that contains the bad cholesterol, for example. It’s generally healthier than meat eating, higher in fiber, more likely to have recommended dosage of vitamins and minerals. It’s certainly more environmental friendly. Growing vegetables, grains and fruits leaves less of a carbon footprint than raising cattle. And such staples tend to be consumed closer to home, thus indeed being greener.
And yet there may be another reason to be a vegetarian, a spiritual one, one based on at least a degree of harmlessness. If one were to take a wide view of what’s harmless it may be one wouldn’t eat at all, so it has to be a harmlessness that is somewhat suited to our needs, our understanding, our possibilities, sometimes our bodies, and in these days of belt tightening for many also our pocketbooks. It means it’s OK to eat milk and eggs because they do not take life. It makes a distinction between the life of a fish, which is more at the sensory than the awareness level and that of a pig which studies have shown can be so aware that they can be traumatized on their way to slaughter. Factoring in a spiritual dimension helps us make better choices. But most of all it forms a layer of gratitude for the smaller forms of life being sacrificed to sustain our own, and in the process makes us more reverent toward this mysterious thing we call life.