Ninie Ahmad: Off her yoga mat.

Her affirmations of staying optimistic especially when she's (upside) down.

Article: ‘Be kinder to your body, and the planet – don’t eat meat..’

with 14 comments

I came across this very interesting article on The Star today that explains almost every reason I gave up meat and chicken a couple of years ago: health, ethical issues and environment beyond anything else.

It Is Easy Being Green

Everytime I tried to share the benefits of giving up meat in my previous blog at The Yoga Instructor Diaries, my comment boxes got bombarded by shallow remarks of “Islam doesn’t ban eating meat, why are you making a big fuss out of it?”. For me, it’s as simple as ‘bad food’ like junk food and carbonated drinks; they are not Haram per se but I know it’s not good for me and by not consuming it, I know I will live longer and healthier – it is not rocket science and I live just fine so why not?

For those who still have no idea on the list of diseases meat contributes to human digestive system and how consuming meat shortens the lifespan of our tired mother Earth, read this.

Be kinder to your body, and the planet – don’t eat meat this Nov 25.

By ALLAN KOAY


WHY is eating meat like driving a car? This may sound like the start of a joke, but it really isn’t. Consider this fact from the British Government’s Climate Change Programme 2006: If everyone in Britain were to abstain from meat one day a week over a year, this would save 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon savings would be greater than taking five million cars off the road.

Malaysian Meatless Day campaign chairman Pishu Murli Hassaram: ‘A lot of people come up to me and say: I’m eating less meat now.’
We’ve always known that eating meat has impacts on our health, but few of us know that the consequences extend to our environment as well. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, livestock farming contributes significantly to the major environmental problems we face today. Think about this: a European cow emitting a year’s worth of methane is comparable to a family-size car travelling 70,000km. Cow and pig waste worldwide weighs 5.5 billion tonnes annually. The gas from that and from the millions of tonnes of fertilisers used in the Amazon to grow animal feed, called nitrous oxide, is a greenhouse gas 295 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

All that, plus the fact that land is being deforested for livestock pasture, and you have more than enough reason to go vegetarian. But no, it doesn’t mean you should drop meat from your diet right away. The World Meatless Day campaign aims to get as many people as possible to go meatless for just one day, on Nov 25.

When the International Meatless/Animal Rights Day was started in 1986 by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India, it was borne more out of compassion for living beings and a view towards world peace than anything else. The social service organisation then chose Nov 25 because it was also Sadhu T.L. Vaswani’s birthday.

According to Malaysian Meatless Day campaign chairman Pishu Murli Hassaram, Sadhu Vaswani was a spiritual thinker, philosopher and educationist who also fought for animal rights and vegetarianism, so his devotees decided to celebrate his birthday by abstaining from meat.

As things progressed, they set up a new organisation called Stop All Killing which is the organisation driving the campaign now.

“Reverence for life is the first step towards world peace,” says Penang-based Pishu. “If you respect life, you create an environment where people respect all living things. When you respect all living things, you will have less wars and murders.

Pishu stresses that the campaign is non-religious and is based more on ethical principles. It is aimed at creating awareness about the cruelties committed against animals, and creating a world of non-violence.

A vegetarian diet also has its bonuses; numerous studies have shown that vegetarians live healthier and longer, and have lower rates of cancer, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney stones and gall stones. Some even argue that humans are not meat-eaters because of our physical features, such as our flat nails and the absence of incisors. Humans also have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in our saliva, which carnivores and omnivores don’t have. Also, our long intestines are designed for a high-fibre diet and ill-equipped for meat digestion.

“We have been conditioned to believe that we cannot survive without meat,” says Pishu. “Using environmental issues to ask people to eat more vegetables would be more effective. When you tell someone to cut down on meat for his health, he would discount it. It’s like how people will smoke even if you tell them it’s bad for them.”

Pishu observes that there is a growing understanding on how meat-eating contributes to pollution and environmental destruction. “There is a town in Belgium called Ghent that goes meatless every Thursday. The whole town takes part. There is a very strong movement now to start Meatless Monday (such a campaign was recently launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil). In Europe, the trend towards a vegetarian diet has increased tremendously.

“The main drivers were not the vegetarians,” says Pishu. “It was the non-vegetarians who wanted to have a change. Sometimes people don’t want to eat meat seven days a week. It’s a growing trend which we want not only the public to know about, but also the food industry.”

But today, in organic farming and biodynamics, there is a growing awareness not just of keeping our food free from chemicals, but also of viewing a farm as a complete living organism consisting of the land, plants and animals. Therefore, shouldn’t a vegetarian diet also mean a chemical-free production that does not damage the land?

“That’s the final destination but, for me, it is sufficient to get people on the road first,” says Pishu. “Once people are on it, that ideal will eventually happen.”

The Malaysian Meatless Day campaign started in 1996, with 800 pledges. Last year, it received 8,563 pledges. The most successful campaign to date is in Indonesia, with about 35,000 pledges.

In Penang, just like in previous years, there will be a charity carnival on the third Sunday in November as part of the promotion of Meatless Day. “Over the years, Meatless Day in the Penang region has become iconic,” said Pishu. “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I’m eating less meat now.’ The ethical part of going meatless is a very personal issue, but the environment problems are very important, and they have reached a very critical stage, such that we have to do more,” Pishu adds.

To make a pledge: e-mail meatlessday@hotmail.com or penangmeatless@yahoo.com / fax: 04-261 0126.

Although I personally don’t see how giving up meat just one day a year is going to be enough to help save the environment, but at least that ONE DAY WITHOUT will give you an idea of how you would still live without eating meat and how good you’d feel the day after.

DO YOU KNOW THAT?

  • Because of its complexity, meat and its kind have to rot in our stomach first before they can be digested?
  • Energy consumed for A PIECE of meat, lamb or pork to arrive to your plate is enough to light 100 watt lightbulb for three weeks?
  • (from documentary film ‘Meat The Truth’) A kilogram of meat contributes 36.4 kilogram of CO2 and emission of CO2 from A COW for a year is equal to energy consumed to move your car for 70,000 km? Livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emission worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together!
  • If you don’t eat meat JUST FOR A SINGLE MEAL in a day, you save 7.6 times more and faster than your house’s energy consumption in one year?

Look at most yoga instructors, today’s biggest rockstars and Hollywood actors that are vegetarians: Chris Martin (Coldplay), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Brandon Boyd (Incubus), Jack Johnson, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, Christy Turlington, Pamela Anderson – they still look good if not better than most other celebrities without eating meat and their bodies are not graveyards for dead animals.

For more reasons and evidence,

Just imagine the whole process of bringing that piece of steak to your plate and tell me if you are still confident that no cruelty done whatsoever at all during the process.

Love and blessed lives to all living beings.

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14 Responses

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  1. It’s amazing how defensive some people can get when you choose to do something differently from them. Good on you for keeping at it.

    I’d suggest next time someone brings up the Koran to mention that while it’s not haram to eat meat, it’s also not haram to NOT eat meat.

    wolfshowl

    November 10, 2009 at 10:15 PM

    • Well suggested, THANK YOU!

      Ninie Ahmad

      November 11, 2009 at 12:39 AM

    • true but its ‘encouraged’ to eat meat on certain occasions. unless you are sick (cant eat meat). you must understand religion and culture for malays is intertwined. so some people will get sensitive and get all-religion on certain things.

      ikram

      November 12, 2009 at 1:28 AM

  2. Doesn’t matter if u dont want to eat meat, its not wajib just a choice but its not haram also and Islam encourage to eat meat especially on Hari Raya Aidiladha.But of course by the limitation. No food in the world are safe when u’re overdose.

    Islam encourage to sacrifice the living animals for their meat for the Aqiqah or Kurban.U dah buat kurban atau aqiqah? Maybe u can sacrifice the sayur kobis for ur kurban and aqiqah day. or u want to send a letter to majlis fatwa to ban Kurban and Aqiqah also?

    If the meat are so…bad, i beleive Islam will forbid it at the early stage. Just dont get confused urself and others between hindu and Islam.

    Benda yang halal diharamkan terbatalah syahadah dan akidah.

    p/s: mendedahkan aurat itu haram ( expose ur meat to non muhrim is haram)-yang ni kau tak nak kecoh pulak.
    errr…Yoga pun haramkan???

    tenken

    November 11, 2009 at 12:51 AM

    • CAN SOMEONE ELSE GET THIS PERSON TO READ THE ARTICLE AND STOP EMBARRASSING HIMSELF & OTHER MUSLIMS? I LOST HIM / HER AT ‘No food in the world are safe when u’re overdose.’

      HIS / HER E-MAIL IS sukuchi@yahoo.com, THANK YOU.

      Ninie Ahmad

      November 11, 2009 at 1:15 AM

      • Me too Ninie!
        Haha..
        Funnyla..

        Teja

        November 11, 2009 at 2:19 PM

    • she just doesnt want to eat meat lah. kalau dia nak termuntah bila makan daging nak buat camane kan? takleh paksa kan?

      and dia tak haramkan bende yang halal (riadah tuh halal, kalau aku buat yoga utk riadah, tak mantra tuhan 8tangan, takkan tupun aku boleh argue mengharamkan yang halal)

      dia cume nak tunnjuk betapa kejamnya lembu/kambing/etc kena pancung kepala.

      aku cakap kat ninie je, Islam tak cruel. Diet islam / nabi muhammad pun takde suruh kita makan 2-3 lauk sekali. so mungkin isu ninie daging mereput dalam perut tuh tak releven kalau ikut petua makan dari nabi (saw).

      banyak cara kita nak jadi sihat. cuma perspektif ninie lain. Kita challenge dia argue stand dia dari perspektif islam. bagi balance sikit.

      ikram

      November 12, 2009 at 1:33 AM

  3. Dont be bengang lah. Banyakkan auummm. Their narrow, shallow smallminded views dont mean much to me and besides there are too many of them around.

    Instead of reading or doing some research, they judge or even condemn something that they dont even understand. To me, if they even knew that their praying poses and sequence resembles our yoga poses, they’ll be horrified. LOL

    And what does not eating meat got to do with the slaughter of cows and goats anyway.

    RT

    November 11, 2009 at 2:39 PM

  4. I wonder la why Bill Gates whose more credible and has been in the market far longer doesn’t blog like this… so cocky, save the world etc²…..

    Oh and if people say you’re hot, I wonder why your friend ****a, said even you say she is the hottest amongst all of uolz..

    perempuan terhebat

    November 16, 2009 at 3:05 PM

  5. some people are sick….. its up to the person la..its their life…so just leave it…what wrong with you al…how ever if ninie is wrong god wil punish her.non of u r qulified to be god…end of the day god wil judge her not u all…tuhan tak pernah ajar mengutuk orang…hello its yoga for better health…y dont u create yr own health program while eating meat…stop complaning on people….gosh…

    geet

    November 17, 2009 at 9:02 PM

  6. Ninie, don’t listen to perempuan. Your post is not at all cocky. It’s emphatic about something that matters to you, and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Also in regards to geet saying if you’re wrong god will punish you, I would hate to think of anyone worshipping a god who would punish someone for refraining from hurting others. I’m sure you feel the same way.

    Peace.

    wolfshowl

    November 19, 2009 at 4:36 AM

  7. Thanks for sharing the article! It’s really not easy to tell people not to eat meat… 😐

    coy

    November 19, 2009 at 4:45 PM

  8. hi Ninie. i’m the writer of that article. since writing it, i’ve gone off meat as much as i can. i hope to become a full-fledged vegetarian in the future. previously, for religious reasons, i was already going meatless one day of the week. so it’s just a matter of increasing the days, i guess. 🙂

    just to add to your list of famous people. another famous vegetarian is Olympian Carl Lewis. i had an argument with a friend who didn’t believe that we could live without meat. he said “if you do heavy laborious work, you would need to eat meat for the energy.” so i told him “dude, Carl Lewis is a vegetarian. and look at the muscles on that guy!”

    my friend went silent, to say the least. 🙂

    and while researching for that Meatless Day story, i came across this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THGD-55WGdU

    it immediately made me swear off chicken. they started to look like lovely living creatures to me rather than animals for slaughter.

    Allan Koay

    November 21, 2009 at 10:14 PM

  9. thanks for sharing again on this topic.

    reality check on the junk i feed my body 🙂

    assya

    November 23, 2009 at 1:00 PM


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