Towards an Egg-less School…

Eggs or no eggs, the discussions continue in forum studded with multi cultural and religious debates… todays advertisement in TOI highlights the events in the city…

Image courtesy TOI, E-Paper

Let me make it clear that I am sensitive to the Indian constitution and respect it towards one’s freedom outlineed therein; along the lines I also do believe everyone has a right of choice towards own lifestyle and living and moreover to the diet!

“Seers of several maths including Sri Visheshateerth Swamiji of Pejawar Math, Sri Gurusiddha Rajayogindra Swamiji of Moorusavir Math, Sri Dayananda Swamiji of Akhil Karnataka Prani Daya Sangha have decided to intensify their protest if the State Government went ahead with its move to include eggs under the midday meal scheme. They also criticized the idea of students being given the choice to select the food.” mentions an article in hindu

As I understand from the advertisement and articles seems to be focusing only on one fact that eggs are not to be consumed as they are animal products. Ok, agreed! But the point here is since ages we are consuming milk, ghee, honey etc for all rituals and religious purposes without issues despite they being animal produce.

I can understand the theory of being a ‘Vegetarian’ to protect the animals, but why on earth one need to take a stand to make a choice for others that to when the lady hen is producing eggs just like the mother cow who produces milk! To eat the eggs a chicken does not require to be killed and hence does not make harm to it at all…or are we talking about being a ‘Veganism i.e.Vegan’, which is defined as ..

Veganism is defined as a philosophy and lifestyle that avoids using animals and animal products for food, clothing and other purposes. In practice, a Vegan commits to the abstention from consumption or use of animal products, including meat, fish, and poultry, animal gelatin, honey, eggs and dairy products, as well as articles made of silk, fur, wool, bone, leather, feathers, pearls, nacre, coral, sponges and other materials of animal origin. Vegans also avoid products that have been tested on animals. People become vegans for a variety of reasons, including ethical concerns for animal rights or the environment, as well as more personal reasons such as perceived health benefits and spiritual or religious concerns.

Going by this standard then the protestors should adhere themselves to strict Vegan code of not using any of the above for their use for any religious aspects or even for their personal well-being only to ensure that they practice what they preach!! Isn’t it?

29 Comments so far

  1. SomeBody (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 2:08 pm

    What a great theory…
    Since egg is not a chicken, would you like to consume aborted feoteuses ??

    Egg is considered a non vegetarin entity NOT because it is of animal origin but because its the seed of life. There is not much of a difference in killing the seed. Milk or honey does not have life content or possiblity of turning up into a living organisum.

    Offcourse am not suggesting everybody to switch over to non-eggs overnight as its their right to use or abuse things BUT children are a different matter alltogather.

  2. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

    Agreed! if the eggs is to chicken then grains and vegatables to the plants, who can grow and can reproduce are also life forms too!! can we afford to avoid eating them to?

  3. Sajith M (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 2:48 pm

    It’s probably better to let the kids (or maybe their parents) decide if they want eggs or not. Just my two cents :-)

  4. Sandip (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 2:58 pm

    Rajesh, There is no end for such arguments and logic. See, the point is not against someboday eating eggs. But distributing in the school, where small kids who are yet to understand many things study together, will easily be influenced by others. If I am veggie I would want my child to learn the things I believe in, atleast until he grows up. I dont want him to be influenced by others.
    Just to continue the arguments about “…grain to plants”, plants dont have feelings, emotions, etc.

  5. SomeBody (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

    Its bad practice to answer a question with a question. Pls try to understand that egg is NOT COMPARABLE with plants and vegetables.

    Keeping your arguments to just the egg portion would you like to accept it or not?

    The poster is also talking about other things like cruealty to animals etc – why no wimpers on that?

  6. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 3:03 pm

    Thanks Sandip,

    I respect your choice as a parent, but how would you take somebody else taking ‘this’ decision for your kids?

    with due respect how do you know that plants do not have feeling’s,emotions…do we (humans) have capability/senses to feel them?

  7. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

    Somebody, agreed, we should not be cruel to anyone, includes children who would love to eat egg and can get complimented by the benefits it offers for their growth.

    how would you take if someone else defines your diet for rest of your life based on their beliefs…there are both the aspects one must consider but repect for others choice and freedom does matter the most…

    see, i have not put any question here, if you don’t like a qauetion for a question!!


  8. SomeBody (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 3:22 pm

    I agree 100% with what sandeep is saying..

    Arent there 100 of grown ups still living who did not eat a single eggs in their lifes?

    Why is the werstern culture which predominently depends on meat , eggs etc is turning into what we are talking about today – definetly its not shortage of these..

    The above dharna is just saying “leave us out, if we survive we will somehow make it”

    If belief is missing in life everything is dear..

  9. karthik Bharadwaj (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

    The question is not about living or non living things the question is eating lower forms of life thats it. If some one does not eat egg why force them to consume it ???? Tomorrow a leader from a minority community may ask to supply meat of a perticular animal as it is rich in XYZ etc will that be acceptable to people of other community ???

  10. rubic_cube (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

    Someone told me that eggs were recognized as vegetarian in the Indian Constitution. Not sure why the constitution has to decide that for anyone.

    Coming to the argument of egg having life or not – let us look at a more basic information. Let us call it primary intent. The classic question – Why did the hen lay the egg?

    All living beings procreate so that the species may proliferate and live further than the generation that spawns it. Hens, I believe, are considered living beings and fall into the same procreation cycle necessities. So, it is established that the egg is laid by a hen for the reasons of procreation.

    Modern science has allowed man to tamper with the procreation process to an extent that the eggs that are available for human consumption are not fit for the process of procreation. And hence they do not carry in them the seed of life.

    BUT – the hen laid the egg believing that it was contributing to its cause of birth. Procreation. And not human consumption. It does not know that egg it laid does not have seed of life. So, humans are infact killing its child.

    We, human beings, do not consider hens (and the entire poultry lot for that matter) on the same level of importance as ourselves. We deem them lesser life forms and therefore fit for consumption.

    How is it that one life form becomes less important than another life form? All life forms are equal at The Lord’s feet. Plants included. I do not know why we deem plants fit for consumption though. There should be a plausible reason.

    That is for the argument about eggs being vegetarian or not. Regardless of anything, eggs should not be considered vegetarian.

    In the end, it is for each person to decide whether they want to consume eggs or not. BTW, APJ Kalam does not consume eggs or meat. He is a pure vegetarian. I barely know of any muslims who are vegetarians. The point I am trying to make is, It all depends on the level of spiritual awakening each person has attained in their lives.

    PS: Someone above said that plants do not have emotions. There have been many other research papers published that proved that plants do have emotions of their own. It is a very narrow bandwidth, but yes, it exists. Heard about the theory that classical music makes flowering plants grow better and healthier? And the flowers are also of better quality? Seriously!!

  11. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:06 pm

    yes Karthik, no one should be forced eitherway.

    This is a typical case where a choice is given to those children who want to eat them but the agitation is to cut the supply for all.

    Somebody > read it carefully…the dharna is for stopping the supply taking the option out entirely and not left to the choice of students.

  12. Ajith (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

    whatever !!!!!

  13. SomeBody (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:44 pm

    Well rajesh our country never will be a “hindu country” its “secular”.

    In saudi,which is a islamic country you are forced to observe a fast regardless of your origin and belief…can you try arguing that there?

    IF majority of hindus who worship cow get agitated…we have a “secular” state here trying to convince “sarve jana sukino bavanthu”..take that with a pinch of salt. Whats wrong in demanding that others dont hurt the feelings of majority?

    This is the sorry tale of india from time immortal…

  14. Arun (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

    ok, let’s look at a different angle!

    In our country, we all know that so many actions are taken because “sentiments” of religious people are hurt! There is no argument about it – we have strikes, violence, arrests and all such stuff that happen because some or the other people’s reliogious “sentiments” are “deeply” “hurt”. People get arrested for making statements too.

    How about applying similar thought process to this context?

    btw, I am agnostic to the issue, but my guess is – though arguments have gone in tangent, the issue is not about promoting vegeterianism or whatever but something in these lines.

  15. Mysore (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

    Sorry Rajesh,
    They have every right to protest just as the Indian Constitution says.

    Eggs, unless they come from chicken farms are almost always fertilized. Then the question is, should we ‘subsidize’ farming of the hens to get the eggs? We may have to go one step further and see who will benefit from this, and I mean financially ;-). Who are the poultry growers in our state. Start there and maybe the answers will be clearer. Why change things suddenly in the middle when none was called for?? Indians eat protein in the form for lentils. So eggs are not essential to survival unlike the western diet. Hmmm…..

  16. karthik Bharadwaj (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

    @ Rajesh,
    Yes all forms of life is equal then why cannibalism is considered as a sin?????
    U allow kids to make decision thats is surprising!!!!!. Kids are not mature enough to take decisions on their own. Allow parents to take decision about their kids let not the neighbor decide what is good.

  17. R.A. Levin (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 12:00 am

    Rajesh, I think this posting really touched a nerve!
    I’m a veg for religious and philosophical reasons. My religion (Jewish) allows for the eating of eggs as long as they’re not fertilised. I still try to avoid them, as I’ve never really enjoyed the things much.
    In a secular state, it’s all up to free will, however. If the government acts as mummy and daddy to everybody, what good is that for anyone’s Dharma? (Just following the laws and not making a concious decision) Personal choice and deciding on what you think is right, one way or another, is much better.
    With heart disease, so rampant across India,(as in the States) regardless of caste or class, some reduction in cholesterol intake would be desirable.
    My own early religious education was heavily influenced by Buddhism and Hinduism as well. It makes for an interesting mix of ideas about this subject. I try to practice Ahimsa, but it’s harder than it seems. Nevertheless, I struggle along. :)
    As for answering a question with a question. That DEFINITELY fits in with my religious/spiritual background. It’s not merely permissable. It’s almost mandatory.
    Sorry for rambling a bit. I’m still trying to shake off my sleepiness.



  18. pegasus (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 12:16 am

    given a choice between malnutriotion and an extra egg… i would choose egg

  19. pegasus (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 12:17 am

    given a choice between malnutrition and egg i would choose the latter

  20. R.A. Levin (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 2:17 am

    Very valid point, Pegasus.
    To nurture the spiritual being, one must also be mindful of the physical. To my mind, the opposite applies as well. It’s the conundrum of the ages.



  21. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 9:15 am

    Thanks Folks for putting across your view, as someone said beyond apoint if this becomes asentimental issue then the context varies. my apologies if I have hert anybody’s sentiments, the only point is let us not force someone to take decisions for others, if children from strict veg families feel ackward eating with others then we really should look at making sure they do not get forced or lured by it.

    Sentiments should be appriciated both ways, while i moved in bangalore and searching for a rented premise, someone qwners asked me if i am a veg or non-veg as they will not let out the premise to anyone who eats non veg, i felt defended. my agent advised to tell them that i am veg and tehn move in and eat whatever i can but we ( me and my wife) refused to it. by any chance we never wanted to create the turf between us and landlord over this as we believe that it is not worth even considering the option of sharing the premise with them in future. we make friends when we get together with common idologies, likes and even dislikes….for a society like ours we must be tolerent and sentitive to the choices people make for themselfs and not indulge in anything for others who do not believe in their pilosophies…

    most of the veggie families have seen their grownups eat everything outside but don’t even mention it at home as they themselves are cought between the diet and culture, on the contrary i also have seen many strict nonveggies to giving it up totally or partially based on their choice…I respect both.

    The fact grossly unknown, The eggs sold/served via the polutries are never fertilized, they can not produce a chik at all, all fertilized eggs are sent to hatcheries to hatch and never sold in market for consumption.

    Thanks again for your participation and delievering the point for being a’secular’ from all aspects of our living…

    Let us wait and watch how things take turn in the overall context in near future over the issue…

  22. Against (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 11:40 am

    I am also against the open consumption of Eggs, I agree with rubic_cube, Hen lays egg for giving birth to a baby, and now we are eating that baby, thinking that not all Eggs have baby! How radiculos.

    In my opinion, childern should not be given to eat anything someone else likes them to eat, till the time they don’t get mature enough, in our indian constitution the Age of an Adult is 18years, till that time their parents are to decide his well being, what he eats, what are their customes, they will try to preach what they think is good, and why should they not do it. In a particular community in India, childerns are taught to kill Sheep on a particular festival, is that right? Now who decides, there is no law which says that you can’t teach a child not to kill a animal.

    Similarly if a parent is trying to put in the habit of a child not to eat non-veg, which includes EGG, what’s wrong in that, and then why are they served those food, irrespective of their beliefs.

    What is the argument that Egg has proteins, I will tell you 100s of vegiterian stuff which has more proteins.

    So kind request to all the readers think the importance of Vegiterinism and try to follow it in your life, it will really make thin world a wonderful place to leave.

  23. who_said (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 11:43 am

    Who said that EGG is a vegiterian item in indian constitution ? Tell me the section and by-law of it?

  24. hurt (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 11:49 am

    I wuold like to use this message as an opportunity to tell the people that I am really hurt by the Karnataka Chief Minister’s decision of serving Non-Veg publicly, that too to school childerns, who don’t know what is right, what is wrong. they have not formed their beliefs, and would like to protest in every form about this decision. All the scientific facts support the beliefs and emotions which many of the vegiterians have from Ages.

    I am sure there are many more people who are hurt with this decision, and are burning themselves inside, as they have no means to express it, this is simply injustice, which should not be tolerated at all.

  25. choletrol (unregistered) on January 20th, 2007 @ 11:59 am

    Does Anyone know that EGG has highest choletrol content which is very very harmful for heart

    Read this link of scientific facts:

  26. Chitra (unregistered) on January 21st, 2007 @ 10:52 am

    Poeple, I just saw the news item that said that the CM has agreed to give milk instead of eggs in schools. I am glad the protesting led to this decision.

  27. Rajesh (unregistered) on January 22nd, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

    Chitra, unfortunately children may have to miss both…

    “Minister for Public Works and Energy H.D. Revanna on Friday voiced his opposition to the Government’s decision to provide eggs or milk under the midday meal scheme to schoolchildren. He told that rather than providing an egg or milk to schoolchildren, the focus should be on the recruitment of teachers and construction of school buildings which would enhance the quality of education. He further said that the standard of education could not be improved by providing eggs or milk. The supply of eggs and milk will only benefit teachers and officials rather than children” says a news report.

    The debate seems to continue….

  28. Thava (unregistered) on January 24th, 2007 @ 1:22 am

    There is aesthetic beauty in Vegetarianism… many non-vegetarians would turn veg, if they have to butcher the live animals themselves and cook.
    The thought of some one butchering a cow at my house makes my stomach churn and feel sick to the stomach. For some one belonging to another religion it may make them feel sick if a pig is to be slaughtered. will I allow butchering animals in my house? definitely not.
    why would respecting one’s instinct be considered unreasonable ?
    Don’t give me the shit like everyone has right to do every shit. If you sit next to me and shit in the public place, I would object. There may be other people who may not.
    Non-vegetarians should stop thinking vegetarians are too judgemental and invading other’s privacy of choices. This is inspite of the fact that many non-vegetarians are not really addicted to meat. They sincerely believe vegetarians are unreasonable and just want to prove that they don’t have to change.

    I will tell you, if non-vegetarian or any part of the society strongly believe that something is really wrong, even if I don’t really agree with them, I would rather try to adjust with them to live in harmony than just trying to prove they are wrong.

    We live in a great country where rich philosophies and beliefs still thrive. Don’t give up your own beauty in the name of ‘your privacy, your choice’ stupidity. Watch what happens to China. There is no religion and lot of emptiness in the hearts. None of my chinese friends want to go back to their country after they left.


  29. Sanjay (unregistered) on January 26th, 2007 @ 3:04 pm

    Wow, what a range of emotions?

    Vegetarians and religious people, are u sure u are vegetarian and following your religion. I do not think so. To me it is looking like that everybody is trying to impose their beliefs. Let me take a step further, people who are saying that vegetarianism is a vital part of Hinduism (the arguement about Arabian countries) are not speaking the whole truth. I am digressing but please bear with me – Hinduism has no diet plan written down in its Vedas and Shastras. If we follow the leads given, then I must say that Hinduism is basically a meat eating – Alcohol drinking religion. During our Yagnas, sacrifices of animals were offered to Gods and Som ras was also offered. The various branches of Hinduism have different dietary habits. Even the same branch in different regions have different dietary habits. Example – A hindu sanatani brahmin would not think of eating fish in North, South and Western India, but in Eastern India it is part of their diet to the extent that a newly wed bride is welcomed with a fish in her hands. Onion and Garlic are considered as Non-Veg in Eastern India and so widows are not permitted to have them and they are also not touched on religios occassions, Let us switch to rest of the country – they are consumed always as they are treated as Veg products.
    So the issue is not that by providing eggs, the govt was attacking Hindu Religion.
    The issue seems to me that people are afraid that the culture which they imbibe in their homes is not strong enough to provide a cultural mooring to their kids and if the kid sees another kid having egg then he will go for it. While defending their right they are trampling on the right of kids who have eggs in home to have them at school. Going by this logic, my son takes eggs as his tiffin to school, I think the people protesting will not permit him to have it. Who gave them this right. Regarding Sankaracharyas – will somebody tell them that they are crossing the boundary set on them by Hindu religion by interfering on a social issue. The only right they have been given is to interpret Hindu religion and that too is always open to questioning by Hindus, since hinduism as a religion has been practising democracy of thought since eons.

    People – let us keep our thoughts and beliefs to ourselves and let the kids have what they feel they want to have. Let us not impose our values, our thoughts and our ambitions on them. We are nobody to dictate what a kid should be having. Let the kid decide it and trust me the kid whose house is strictly veg will never take it.

    Most of all, learn to trust your child and instead of becoming a rulemaker for him, try to become his/her friend.

    This whole debate is about taking away the choice from the kid. I fully support Rajesh that it is the right of the kid.

    Also remember that if you permit these people to dictate today what your kid is going to have then tomorrow they will dictate how you should be sleeping with your spouse and what you should be wearing. What language you should be speaking and what thoughts you should be contemplating.
    This is a test experiment and if we permit them, they move further.

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