Let's say that a wordwide epiphany occurs tomorrow and everyone turns vegetarian. All the chickens are released.
I know this is a hypothetical, but in reality it would never happen in such a way. If the world did go vegetarian or mostly vegetarian, it would be a slow and gradual process. As meat consumption goes down the need and demand for breeding more animals for slaughter will go down. So there won't be this massive release of farm animals to the wild, in fact there wouldn't be any release, because the number of farm animals raised for food would gradually go down to almost zero since it would be a slow process over decades or centuries (not that it would even happen at all, but for this hypothetical).
Animals in the wild live horrible lives; everything in nature is busy killing and eating each other, there are very few exceptions.In fact, I can't think of any. If an animal doesn't die from being devoured, it usually dies from painful accident or disease. The average life expectancy of a feral cat, for example, is maybe two years. I used to volunteer with a local group that went to feral cat colonies, capture the little beasts to spay and neuter them, and re-release them. We also brought them food in the winter. They live hard lives. Anyone who abandons a cat should be turned loose naked in the mountains for a month to forage on his/her own and see how they like it.
Yes they do live horrible lives. That is why it is the apaya state, the states of woe. The human and deva states are sugati and generally happier. Just because the animals live horrible lives, we do not need to lower ourselves to their levels. It is in fact because we are human that we need to rise above them and take the ethical road, whatever that is, not saying anything is required here, but sila is a component of the human life for those who wish to progress.
BubbaBuddhist wrote:I don't eat animals for various reasons
I'll close with the following. About once every couple of months I'll break my veggie ways and eat a cheeseburger, because I have this superstitious belief that every time I do so, a self-righteous angry vegan chokes to death on their tofu.
As I am sure you know, the hard-core vegetarians and especially the vegans would say you're not really a vegetarian. They demand 100% compliance.
My daughter gets mad at me all the time when I say I'm mostly vegan. She emphatically states I am not a vegan since I occasionally eat animal products when eating out at a restaurant or as a guest at someone's place or even sometimes eat lard or other animal fat (I consider it a by-product) in some foods at restaurants.
When I was the moderator for the Veggie Forum over at pitiful remains of E-Sangha, that forum was a hornet's nest. Talk about suffering. I believe I cleansed my karma for a kalpa.
You KNOW you're glad I'm back
Of course, always good to hear your opinions! It is good to hear these differing opinions so people can understand the viewpoints of all sides. For the most part, we have had very civil discussion and debates here, which is great!