My herbs have sprouted. Actually, they sprouted within just a few days of my planting the seeds-- I suppose that's how this gardening thing usually goes! But the good news is that they are actually still alive. This is a serious accomplishment for me. I mean, serious.
I have yet to use them for any purposeful event, but they are there growing and enjoying their sunny spot by my kitchen window for now. As I was watering them just a few days into their developing growth I noticed something that I know I was taught in school, but I suppose I had never actually witnessed in living color in front of me. (Then again, how could I when every plant I have ever been given was doomed to a trash bucket grave before even entering my house?).
Rather than standing straight up as plants growing outdoors typically do, my indoor plants were leaning towards the sunlight that was bursting through my window.
This is clearly the best image of a plant's need for the sun in order to survive. Which leads me to the question: Although a plant clearly is not human or animal, is it not still life? Most would agree. Therefore, to those who adhere to the thought that eating meat is murder, wouldn't eating a plant also be murder?
I had to look up the definition of vegetarian, because I know there are those who simply don't prefer meat and/or prefer to live the vegetarian lifestyle for health reasons. So here, taken straight from dictionary.com is the definition of a vegetarian:
veg·e·tar·i·an[vej-i-tair-ee-uhn] Show IPA
If most vegetarians are simply avoiding eating meat because they "don't believe in eating it" they are missing out on some amazing things that are on this earth for us to enjoy! So as I was still questioning this idea that most vegetarians are vegetarians because they consider eating meat to be murder....I strolled through google to see what hits came up first.
(Did you know that PETA offers a "vegetarian/vegan starter kit"?)
Most of what I found involved questions about what vegetarians and vegans can eat. But about.com, peta,com, and vegetariantimes.com were full of explanations and reasons for why they choose to suffer themselves from meat, milk, cheese, and eggs. There were three main reasons that PETA lists on an article titled "Vegetarian 101": for animals, for your health, for the environment. Only one of those makes sense to me....and only partially.
Some people have gone so specific that there are special vegan chocolates, wines and beers; because, believe it or not, it takes an animal in some way to make most chocolates and alchohols. http://vegetarian.about.com/b/2007/07/08/if-im-vegan-can-i-drink-beer-and-wine.htm
Now, here's my husband's argument. While looking at my little herbs stretching out their teensy necks towards the sunlight, he says to me that vegetarians feel okay eating things like plants because they don't hear that tiny, little plant shriek out in pain as it is yanked from its soft bed of soil, washed vigorously, and then chopped up and made into salad. He says that vegetarians don't feel a guilty conscience because of that, but if they thought about it they'd realize that they have to kill to eat too. It would make their life a lot different though if plants could voice their feelings.
This made me think back to my poor spruce trees that I tried to grow in the Santa Claus boots. One of the seeds had actually tried to sprout and left in the boot was a little seedling carcass. Without water and sunlight, that little seedling could not grow and transform into something else. So, death became him.
But then I think to my front porch. Apparently, years ago the entire neighborhood must have thought that ivy looks great everywhere because practically every other house has ivy somewhere on it. I got fed up with it. It was beautiful in the summer and then in the fall it would die and I'd have these horrible dead plants all over my porch. Talk about depressing. So I pulled out every root I could reach and ripped off every piece who dared show its face to the light of day. Last summer, the ivy played safe and I didn't see a sign of it. This summer they have sprouted again.
To live you need to persevere, no?
So really, if you choose to live the vegetarian lifestyle because you don't want to "murder" then you need to stop eating all together. Because there is nothing on this earth that you can eat that once did not have life pumping through it.