‘Some Students want a festival to celebrate the indiscriminate slaughter of animals’

published on September 13, 2012

Some students at Jawaharlal Nehru University who call themselves the New Materialists are calling for a beef and pork food festival. Their argument: if you can distribute bhang at Holi why not have a beef and pork food festival on the JNU campus?

These air heads don’t seem to know the difference between bhang (a vegetable product) and the senseless slaughter of animals for their insane celebrations/demonstrations of their new materialism. Let us hope that the JNU administration will resolutely put its foot down and prohibit this wanton cruelty. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals should actively intervene. Many students have protested and hopefully all this will settle the matter.

Predictably, the Left Student Federation of India is reported to have endorsed the New Materialists on the specious grounds that it has to do with food habits ! They could not be more far from the truth with such an asinine statement !

While starving people may kill animals on sight for food, this is justified. There are examples in history, even recent ones where a stranded group of human survivors have cannibalised human corpses. These are exceptional events and have their own justification, but to indulge in an orgy of killing of animals to satisfy the perverted intellectual instincts of some humans is simply unacceptable. And if some Indians want to include animal protein in their daily diet that too is acceptable in a civilised society.

Materialism, the young students should be told, is as old as the beginnings of civilisation. The Bible, that reportedly ancient document of religion and spirituality has called on humans to view the earth and its creatures as  legitimate targets for destruction. The ancient Greek sophist philosopher Protagoras famously said:
“Man is the measure of all things”. In other words, man is supreme and his reign on earth can include indiscriminate slaughter of all non human creatures.
The French philosopher Rene Descartes supported vivisection (the chopping up of animals while alive) because he believed that animals were automatons, they had no feelings ! He also added for good measure : they have no souls.

So, there is nothing new about the New Materialist philosophy at JNU. And their Left supporters are also true to their own traditions. Readers must remember that Karl Marx inherited his so called ‘humanism’ from Protagoras. While it is doubtful whether he would have supported wanton cruelty and this particular initiative if he were alive, his followers have rigidly adhered to much of what he said which was not relevant. For instance, even though he strongly rebuked Britain for its capitalist exploitation of India he also said the following : on the whole Britain played a progressive role in India where Man who should be master of Nature falls down on his knees before Hanuman the monkey and Sabala the cow (British Rule in India, 1857).

The Left’s ineptitude in understanding India, a predominantly religious and Hindu country, is well known. They have flogged dead horses and continue to do so. Their internationalism prevents them from exercising the nationalism that they proclaim from the house tops. And now this.

Both their ineptitude as well as the New Materialists must be stopped in their wanton cruelty, for that is what this food festival will entail. Apart from the ethical questions, this festival will also encourage young Indians to not adopt a healthful life style which need not be a wholesale vegan diet, but will certainly not include regular consumption of red meats. Heaven alone knows what this orgy will end up as !

Stopping this New Materialist initiative will also alert Indians to the heart rending story of animals led to slaughter so that red meat can be exported to foreign countries. The well known political commentator and activist Srimathi Radha Rajan and her colleagues have produced a moving film called Their Last Journey. It details the enormous suffering of these animals as they are taken to their final destination and destruction.

Kudos to all those students and faculty who  oppose the beef and pork festival !

(The writer is a Political Philosopher who taught at a Canadian university)

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