God Does Not Eat Meat
By Arthur Poletti
God Does Not Eat Meat
Chapter Eight: Stop Hunting - Start Protecting
Mondo Pacenti, an intelligent, rational person, was quite concerned about his meetings with Brad. He kept wondering how Brad seemed to show up out of nowhere like a surrealistic apparition, and why Brad thought it was so important to persuade Mondo not to hunt animals and not to eat meat. Even more confusing was trying to determine the real value and overall purpose of their meetings and discussions. Clearly, even if Mondo chose to put down his hunting rifles and stopped eating meat, the net result would be only one less hunter and one less meat eater. Left remaining would be millions of hunters still on the prowl and hundreds of millions of humans still consuming meat.
To help satisfy his curiosity, Mondo decided he would follow Brad’s recommendation and visit the Chicago public library. There he obtained a copy of the Tirukural which he later realized was considered to be one of the world’s greatest books of ethical scriptures written about 2200 years ago. It took Mondo a few days to read the verses in the Tirukural and it took several more days to consider and mentally absorb the ancient words of wisdom. The verses convincingly and eloquently express practical wisdom touching on all aspects of an ideal life.
Mondo began to realize that humans do not have the right to decide and select which animals will live and which will die no matter what the man-written Bible says. Mondo loved his dogs dearly and was most interested in the Hindu verses that strongly insinuate that all animals should be protected from any form of cruelty. Mondo began to also understand that when it comes to the feeling of genuine love and concern for the welfare of animals there is no difference between pets and wild animals.
Mondo had never experienced the wisdom from this type of philosophy and he could not help but be impressed. Many of the comments that Brad made to him obviously came from these same pages.
Soon after being enlightened by the religious scriptures, Mondo began thinking about his own youth and the hidden sorrow and pain he felt when he killed that first deer. He thought about how his father tried to console him and convince him that it was right and proper to hunt and kill animals and that the shock of killing would eventually wear off.
Mondo remembered some highlights from books he had read that weighed the arguments for and against killing animals.
The most important point, which Mondo’s father mentioned often, was that dead flesh from animals had been consumed for at least thousands of years and that scriptures in the Bible said it was okay. Hundreds of millions of families for over two thousands years had given thanks to God for the food he had provided, including the dead flesh of animals.
Mondo recalled more of the hunter’s philosophy his father taught him to believe. In the beginning of recorded history animals attacked humans for food, so one of the initial and essential reasons for humans to kill animals was for survival. Furthermore, farmers for centuries experienced the many problems that could happen when certain species of animals were allowed to multiply unchecked. Significant amounts of productive farmland had been destroyed by animals, reducing production, increasing prices, and causing major safety hazards with large numbers of animals wandering everywhere.
In the later years of the nineteenth century, Americans relentlessly killed millions of wild animals. During that period many species of animals became extinct and many more were on the verge of extinction. At the beginning of the twentieth century, hunters took center stage and were largely responsible for instituting the correct hunting methods needed for conservation and more humane methods of killing animals.
Wild animals had been known to attack and maim or even kill farmer’s cattle, pets, and sometimes even family members. This caused farmers to hunt and kill wild animals for safety as well as for food. When wild animal attacks continued to happen, additional hunters were often hired by the city or state to kill off the surplus of animals and bring the population under control.
More words of persuasion from his father explained that professional hunters have a code of ethics that expresses respect and gratitude to animals that they kill, and that hunters share an understanding to kill only as many animals as can be used for food or other products and for the sake of conservation.
The hunter’s philosophy points out the hypocrisy of people who complain about hunters but at the same time buy meat that is packaged in fancy cans or boxes, without admitting to themselves that animals had to die for this to occur. Another area of hypocrisy is the huge fur business that is fueled by the demands of thousands of persons purchasing fur products while at the same time saying that they are opposed to hunting. Furthermore, meat eaters should never complain about the plight of hunters or slaughterhouse workers, since it is the meat eater who fuels the need and demand for killing animals.
Mondo vividly remembered when he was a teenager the discussions his father had with fellow hunters regarding the need to humanely control the overpopulation of deer. His father was aware that an overabundance of deer could cause major property damage; he had seen it happen.
While Mondo was trying to remember more reasons that his father had used to justify hunting and killing, a certain Hindu scripture suddenly flashed through his mind written by Yajur Veda Samhita.
You must not use your God-given body for killing God’s creatures, whether they are human, animal or whatever.
Mondo now clearly realized that his father’s beliefs were the result of the society he was raised in, and although he meant well, he was wrong.
Mondo could not help thinking that if he could live his life over he would rather live in the non-violent society that Brad says he is from.
After considerable introspection Mondo was now sure that he could get along perfectly well without hunting and killing animals. He decided to make a concerted effort to try vegetarian
foods and if feasible to change his eating habits so they would not include meat.
Even though Brad Knox insisted it all had to do with awareness and was not Mondo’s fault, Mondo was deeply upset and had a personal feeling of guilt for cruelly killing hundreds of harmless animals.
World opinion in 1986 was already beginning to change significantly regarding the real value of killing animals and eating meat. Certainly in the United States there were plenty of non-meat foods to go around, and Brad had really convinced Mondo that eating meat was clearly unhealthy.
That evening Mondo told his wife he would no longer hunt, and that his five-year-old son Michael would be taught to love and protect all animals, beginning immediately. The more he thought about the subject the more convinced he became. He hoped that he could somehow be forgiven for his unawareness and ignorance while needlessly destroying the lives of so many precious animals. Mondo began to carry along with him various books filled with Hindu scriptures. He also made certain that his wife Mia and son Michael were carefully and vigorously indoctrinated into becoming vegetarians.
Mondo became convinced that in the big picture nature’s creatures are all brothers and sisters and deserve the chance to live full and safe lives. The power and higher intelligence bestowed on man is suppose to be used to protect all animals insuring they have safe and peaceful lives, not to torture, kill and eat them. People should feel sadness and pity, not pleasure, at the prospect that millions of mostly helpless innocent creatures much like their own pets are ruthlessly killed either for food or for the pleasure of killing.
Whenever his hunter friends asked him why he stopped hunting, Mondo would simply reply, “I do not really find any value or enjoyment in killing animals. As a matter of fact, the thought now repulses me.” He also recommended that his former hunting associates read Hindu scriptures and verses and seriously consider the merits of not killing any living creature. Mondo would occasionally recite parts of the scriptures from memory. One of his favorites was written by Sage Yogaswami:
We are all of the same race and religion. We are holy beings established in Divinity itself. This truth can be understood only by those who have grasped it through the magical charm of a life of Dharma, which means one should never do to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self. Because of that, sages have emphatically proclaimed again and again that it is necessary to LOVE ALL EXISTING LIVES AS ONE’S OWN.
The next step for Mondo was to get rid of the large number of hunting books the family had collected over the years. Some were about the so-called merits and benefits of hunting. Other books described the latest fancy hunting equipment, and provide instructions for improving one’s skill at killing animals.
So one evening after drinking several glasses of wine and becoming emotionally motivated by the sad memories of some of the many animals he had hunted and killed, Mondo gathered every book that related to hunting. He then dumped the books onto an open field behind his barn and began to burn them all. As the fire burned he picked up a folder from the front seat of his car filled with Hindu scriptures and verses. He began to read verses out loud written over two thousand years ago:
“What is the good way? It is the path that reflects on how it may avoid killing any living creature. Refrain from taking precious life from any living being. It is the principle of the pure in heart never to injure others. What is virtuous conduct? It is never destroying life, for killing leads to every other sin.”
Mondo watched the fire burn and suddenly had an unsettling feeling when he recalled and recited another ominous verse that would haunt him for the rest of his life written by Shrimad Bhagavatam.
“Those that are ignorant of real dharma , one should never do to another which one regards as injurious to one’s own self, and though wicked and haughty, account themselves virtuous, kill animals without feeling of remorse or fear of punishment. Further in their next lives, such sinful persons will be hunted, killed and eaten by the same creatures they have killed in this world.”
Mondo was now quite intoxicated and decided to finish his loud recitations of scriptures by reciting a part of one final verse from the obscure Mansahara Parihasajalpita Stotram:
“Those who eat the flesh of other creatures are nothing less than gristle grinders, blood drinkers, muscle munchers, carcass crunchers and flesh feeders. Those who make their throats a garbage pit and their stomachs a graveyard. Mean, angry, loathsomely jealous, confused and beset by covetousness, who, without restraint would lie, deceive, kill or steal to solve immediate problems. They are flesh feeders loathsome to the Gods, but friendly to the asuras, a selfish aggressive supernatural being that become their Gods and Goddesses. The blood sucking monsters who inhabit Naraka, a sacred place for highly respected persons and deceptively have it decorated to look like the pitriloka, the after death world of the ancestors where average quality human souls dwell. To such beings the deluded meat eaters pay homage and prostrate while munching the succulent flesh off
As the fire subsided and the books were reduced to ashes, Mondo wiped away wine from his chin and began thinking about Brad. He hoped that he would somehow meet him again so that he could thank him for guiding him into a new direction in life.
Go on to Chapter Nine:
Choose Kindness and Life, Renounce Cruelty and Death
Return to God Does Not Eat Meat
The author obtained Copyright Certificate of Registration March 23, 2004
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