the world i inhabit is decidedly for me, divided into those who follow vegetarianism and those who follow non-vegetarianism. this has nothing to do with the simple practice of eating vegetarian food or eating non-vegetarian food. people are free to eat what they wish as a matter of choice and taste. but i believe that fundamentally, there can be no way of practicing vegetarianism and being in this world at the same time.
and to my mind, those who devoutly abide by the ideology of vegetarianism can lead their lives only through a most decrepit form of hypocrisy. there is an astronomical difference between eating vegetarian food and professing and propagating vegetarianism.
vegetarianism is puritanism in its most 'primitive', and feral form.
it boggles my mind the extent to which a belief in one's eating habits can extend to an absolutist belief in the superiority of that self and the consequent inferiority of others. vegetarianism is also product of the philosophies of the soul/mind-body divide; the kind that believes the body is the prison of the soul, as a result of which the least 'humans' can do is to preserve the purity of the body.
Foucault's brilliance can be invoked here. given the similar soul/mind-body binary with which European enlightenment worked (is it mere coincidence that most Brahmanical texts spoke the same tongue many centuries before? nah.. I am a firm believer in Said's Travelling Ideas), he wrote: the soul is the prison of the body.
i've never seen a reversal work quite so brilliantly!
imagine the horror of those who beat/ throw stones at animals, birds, why, even their wives (for aren't they beasts of reproduction for those men?); those who don't eat meat but don't mind fur coats and cosmetics laden with animal fat; those who kill rats, roaches, plants, dogs, humans... - and then proclaim vegetarianism to be clean, purifying, and superior!
is there a way of being in this world such that one does no harm to anyone/anything? yes, its called being dead.
if there's a way of coping with the horrors of humanity and life itself, non-vegetarianism is crucial and basic for survival.
non-vegetarianism for me, is a deeply honest, a deeply coeval way of inhabiting this world. it is the only way.