I liked Dr. Axel Munthe's views on eating animals: After going to the forest to hear the concert of a skylark, he exclaims how people can think of killing and eating such a bird: "...Animals have as right to live as we have, and that our right to take their lives is strictly limited to our right of defense and our right of existence...".
Last time when I went to Kerala, I was shocked to hear my uncle's son - around four years old - talking excitedly about eating a squirrel. My uncle is running a business of making and distributing some fried eatables, and the stuff is prepared in a shed near his house. There are many workers who spend almost the whole day there, and it seems one day they used a mouse trap to catch a squirrel and eat it as part of their leisure entertainment activities. My uncle's son was given a part to have a taste of it, and after that whenever he looks at a squirrel, he just has the thought of food. It makes me wonder: Are human beings born as kind and the life makes them cruel, or is it the other way around? What is our basic instinct? is it Survival or Mercy?
I have been criticized many times by my friends and colleagues for not eating animals. Some people make a statement: "You should at least once have the taste of all things in life!". I don't comment but just give a smile. So people are curious. Why are you not eating animals? Is it by "birth or choice" ? Is there any philosophy behind it? Is it because you don't want to hurt animals? In that case, don't plants also have life? Do you think it is going to save animals if just you don't eat them?? I say that I just don't like eating animals so I don't. They want to know how can I say I don't like without tasting it at least once. Do you think you could have restrained yourself from eating non-veg if you had tried it once?
I feel all these questions are arising from a sense of guilt. Why are people bothered about what others are doing? I feel there is nothing that is absolutely Right or Wrong, and each person is free to live his life according to what is Right in his conscience as long as he doesn't interrupt others. Personally I don't see any difference between cannibalism and eating animals just for the pleasure of it. So I don't eat animals.