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Parent node: Sentientism

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Refuting Objections to Sentientist Empathy

Many people - even very good and decent people - are extremely threatened by Sentientism, the idea of empathy for all beings, and a moral, vegan, lifestyle. This is because adopting a Sentientist consciousness means they have to confront their prejudices and objectifications, and give up things they love, like feasting on murdered bodies. The following are just a few rough replies and refutations to some objections. I have combined stupid objections with intelligent and thoughtful ones. At some point I may improve this page:

Objection: Vegetarians eat plants, and plants are also living.

Refutation: I am sorry, but people who dislike what vegetarians say always raise this argument - that vegetarians eat plants. I have seen this argument so many times in Australia. There was even an ad on TV here about someone trying to peel an orange, and every time he tried to peel the orange with a knife it screamed. Beyind that facile humour - which belittles sentientism by conflating sentient with organic - is a hatred of vegetarians/vegans, which in turn is based on projection of the shadow

But it is true that organic life has to feed on organic life, apart from primary producers - autotrophs - like photosynthetic plant. In an ideal world, we would be breatharian, living on prana/ch'i alone, so it will not be necessary even to consume vegetable food (later in her life the Mother's body was changing, and she found it very difficult to even eat anything. Her disciples and minders couldn't handle this, it was too confonting to their sensibilities, so they forced her to eat. This is documented in the Agenda). But this will not be possible until the supramental transformation comes.

Objection: Bose an Indian Scientist and Nobel Prize winner, said that plants have souls. Yet vegetarians have to depend for their physical survival on plants.

Refutation: What Bose observed and described was panpsychism, that everything ultimately posseses consciousness (Sri Aurobindo and many others say the same thing). Consciousness is not the same as Soul, and not all consciousness is sentient (e.g. the Inconsient is not sentient). Nevertheless, I agree, plants do have souls. The Mother transmitted spiritual force through flowers that she gave to disciples in that way. But plants souls are not sentient in the same way way that animal souls are. This is proven by the fact that animals have a nervous system and limbic system exactly the same as man. So they feel pain and emotions in their physical body the same as we do. Plants do not have a nervous system of that sort. An orange doesn't feel pain, it doesn't have pain receptors, it doesn't scream in agony.

Objection: Vegetarianism is only healthy upto a point. Many vegetarians suffer from Vitamin B 12 deficiency which leads to anemia, because this ingredient is found only in animal sources (meat, milk and eggs).

Refutation: I have been vegetarian (later vegan) for some 30 years and never suffered any health defects because of it. Incidentally, there is research that dairy causes calcium deficency, rather than prevents it

Objection: I hope your compassion for animals extends to those (humans) who live in abject poverty, political misery, ethnic cleansing etc.

Refutation: This is the lie put out by conservative society: that sensitivity for animals equates to insensitivity to humans. In fact, the reverse is the case. Consider the lives of Gandhi, Ramana, Schweitzer, Wilberforce, Tolstoy...

In Mark Twain's time "abolitionists" were considered the lowest of the low. Don't be so quick to listen to what society tells you. You have to follow your own conscience.

Objection: animals do not have a rich inner consciousness like humans do

Refutation: This is a fallacy based on a simplistic linear model of evolution. Anyone who has taken the time and trouble to know an animal discovers that it - or rather he or she - is a person just like you and I are.

Objection: animals do not have a moral consciousness; only humans do

Refutation: Marc Bekoff has already refuted this fallacy.

Objection: feeding squirrels in the park is not considered good for maintaining the ecosystem. What is right and wrong?

Refutation: That is a fascinating question! Environmentalists and sentientists are often not on good terms. I happen to belong to both camps, and so I understand the contradiction. It is something I have often thought about. The world is not a place of easy solutions! Nevertheless, this does not mean one should not adiopt a sentientist consciousness.

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page by M.Alan Kazlev
page uploaded 23 November 2009