Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 7-30-87 In this Vedic Perspective, we would like to

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Vedic Perspective Editorial Commentary 7-30-87 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 years. 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 dietary habit. 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 industry. 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." --Vaishnava dasa

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