Be Vegetarian and Love Our Co-inhabitants  
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Source: By brother-initiate Pang Jao, New York, USA (Originally in English)


If your beloved dog has passed away, would you be sad? Likewise, we can also love cows and pigs if we get to know them. There was a pig that went to rescue his owner from flooding even though he knew he would be slaughtered later on. There was also a story about martens that will come in a group to warm a person's body if he were lost in the forest. They would rather sacrifice their lives to sustain our human lives; how can we not love them and protect them? Giving a chance to animals is to give us an opportunity to make friends with all creations. Only when we know how to love animals, do we realize how to extend our love and wisdom to our neighbors - our co-inhabitants on the planet. Together, we shall be able to create a harmonious society for both us and animals.

Like us, animals also have feelings, emotions, desires and fear. Have you ever got an injury and felt so much pain? That pain cannot be compared to the fear of an animal when they're facing death. Try to imagine yourself in a long and empty hallway without doors and windows. You don't remember where you are, as well as where your friends and family are. All of a sudden, the walls of both sides of the hall way were coming towards you. You don't know what to do except try to push the wall. At last, you know you're going to die but there is nowhere else to escape. That's how animals feel before they were slaughtered. Animals are like us, who have feelings and emotions. They fear death just like we do if we have a car accident. How can we be this indifferent in taking their right to live to satisfy our gluttony?

What are the benefits of being a vegetarian? Some people consider that vegetarians cannot obtain sufficient nutrition in their diet. In fact, a lot of scientific research indicates that it is much healthier to be a vegetarian. Before animals were slaughtered, certain harmful substances would be secreted into their blood corresponding to the external pressure while animals are in fear. Consuming those fearful animals, could our internal immune system not get affected in a harmful way? Could we be healthier?

Vegetarians have higher blood levels of beta-carotene. They consume more vitamin C, beta-carotene, indoles, and fiber than meat-eaters. Vegetarians also have stronger immune systems. German researchers recently discovered that vegetarians have more than twice the natural killer cell activity of meat-eaters. Natural killer cells are specialized white blood cells that attack and neutralize cancer cells. Also, vegetarians tend to eat more soy products than meat-eaters. Soybeans contain many substances that are anticarcinogens, including lignans and phytoestrogens. A diet that is rich in soybeans may be one reason for the lower incidence of breast cancer in Asia.

Not only can vegetarians be healthier, they can also be extremely smart, beautiful/handsome and successful. Many smart scientists and artists are also vegetarians. For example, Albert Einstein, Nobel Laureate for physics; Elie Wiesel, Noble Laureate for peace and the author of Night; Sir Isaac Newton, father of physics; Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, etc. As for celebrities, Tobey Maguire (Spider Man), Richard Gere (Chicago), Joachin Phoenix (Walk the Line) and more, are also vegetarians. Some other people like Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple Computer), and Lauren Bush (American model, first-niece), are vegetarians as well.

More and more people have realized the benefits of being vegetarian: benefit to themselves, benefit to the environment, benefit to other animals, etc. All beings are connected together. If we hurt our co-inhabitants in any way, we are hurting ourselves in the end. Eating meat has detrimental effects on our health, environment and creates hatred and suffering to other beings. We are supposed to protect and help other species in their journey of life - not to take their lives away. Let's be vegetarian/vegan and love our co-inhabitants!

* The article is compiled from a paper written by a high school student who tried to advocate vegetarianism in his school.