Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Food for Thought: Better to Eat a Cow than a Fish
I am vegan; however I often talk to folks who are sometimes vegetarians, or those who abstain from red meat. I think for them, the idea of eating a mammal is abhorrent, but occasional fish or chicken seems a tolerable or even desirable protein source. Even for those on an unabashed meat-based diet, the following discussion about which meats to eat may be insightful:
I was fortunate to attend a reading of a discourse read by Ven. Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinoche a couple of Sundays ago. Periodically, she paused to add in editorial comments and take questions that further illuminated and clarified the text. At one point she made a comment which spoke to me. That is that if one is going to eat meat, it is preferable to eat a large mammal which can feed many, such as a cow, rather than smaller life forms such as fish or shrimp. The logic is that if one eats a large animal, only one life is lost to feed many. With the consumption of smaller life forms, such as shrimp or shellfish, it takes many lives to feed one.
I thought this point was important to consider when making food choices. According to this idea, if one does eat fish or foul, larger animals such as tuna, swordfish, salmon, turkey or goose would be preferable to smaller species such as chicken, game hen, trout, catfish, lobster, and so on.
Do not get me started on the lobster.
And do remember if you are eating animals, to be sure they are humanly raised and slaughtered (no slaughter houses) and that they have eaten an organic diet that is hormone and pesticide free. (I will write a future blog post about this issue. Until then, see my September post regarding ways to lower risk of breast cancer for some preliminary thoughts on this topic.)
Eat happy, relaxed, humanely, nutritiously and be fully involved in your food. KB