Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 7-30-87 In this Vedic Perspective, we would like to
In this Vedic Perspective, we would like to thank the nationally known
Chicago Tribune columnist and critic Mike Royko.
As you may know last year we had reported that Mike Royko had earned some
criticism in a letters to the editor section because he had commented in one
of his daily columns that God only created pigs so that everyone could enjoy a
nice rib dinner.
Royko had also expressed in his famous satirical manner that vegetarians are
no less violent than meat-eaters because vegetables also emit a scream of pain
when they are harvested. So vegetarians, in Royko's opinion, were no less
guilty of causing pain to others than the violent animal butchers.
Now Royko's column of last Friday shows that somehow or other he had a
change of heart of some sort. Royko, also well-known for his annual Royko Rib
Fest where rib lovers from Chicago go to compete in making the best ribs, will
not be hosting this annual event.
His reasons for bowing out of this event was that he made a friend and a pet
with a pig which he calls "Prince".
After making friends with his pig Prince, Royko explains in his column:
"Since then I have done considerable soul searching. How can I turn this
loyal, trusting, valiant creature into a few slabs of barbecued ribs? For
that matter, how can I take part in an event such as my annual Ribfest, in
which it is possible that Prince's cousins--or even his brothers and sisters--
are sizzling on grills? So I have decided that while Ribfest must go on as
promised, I cannot in good conscience be part of it."
So we don't know what is Royko's actual idea for forgoing his annual
Ribfest, but there seems to be a growing trend in America towards having a
little more sympathy towards the sufferings of animals.
If you look at any business barometer you'll find out what the Beef Industry
already painfully knows: Consumption of beef has been going down in recent
Of course, consuming animal flesh has been a part of the western culture for
a long time, but the devotees of Krishna would like to see a change in this
Before Krishna consciousness had come to the West from India, vegetarianism
was practically unheard of. Due to the strong propaganda of the Vedic
philosophy which recommends that one should offer his foodstuffs to Krishna in
gratatude and love for suppying such food, soon westerners became aware of the
moral deficiencies of a flesh-eating diet.
Lord Krishna, as the Supreme Lord, has given mankind vegetables, grains,
milk and fruits as eatables. There is no necessity for killing animals to eat
when there is proper nutrition available through this lacto/vegetarian diet.
Before understanding about the recommended diet given by Lord Krishna, the
devotees who are taking interest in this Krishna consciousness movement could
not easily understand the wrongs of flesh-eating. The horrible animal
slaughtering scenes take place far away on remote farms far away from any
public view. Meat-eating consumers only see attractively packaged trimmed and
evenly cut pieces of meat at supermarket counters, where they are nicely
stacked, arrayed, displayed and chilled for maximum sellability. Nowhere,
during the course of ones lifetime does anyone get the facility or education
to know by either witnessing firsthand or by television the grusome terror
animals experience as they are lined up to be mercilessly slaughtered. This
horror is tactfully and conveniently kept from public view by the meat
No matter how they package meat--even if they get the likes of sexy Cibyl
Shepard to go on the radio and TV and say that she doesn't trust anyone who
doesn't eat hamburger--still, meat is the product of murder.
So that's why we are thankful to Mike Royko. He is a very famous
personality and since many people look up to him for advice, maybe people will
also make friends with the animals, rather than barbecuing them.
What about Royko and his pet pig "Prince"? Says Royko, "I wish all the
contestants at Ribfest the best of luck, and I'm sure everyone will have a
fine time, as they have in the past. As for me, I'll be spending the day out
in the country. Maybe I'll just saddle up ol' Prince and take a ride."
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank