Eating Shrimp

Sometimes I ponder about the ethical aspects of my products. These moments are rare but I cherish them, and it helps me to take my mind of more mundane matters such as the foriegn exchange rate, monsoons, anti dumping duties etc.


Let me start with the position taken by various religions on eating shrimp. As far as Hindus are concerned, I had read a translated copy of the Manu Smriti which is a code book for Hindus. According to Manu since the creator has created wine and meat, consumption of such items (and yes that would include shrimps) are not exactly a sin per se, however abstaining from such items is a virtue. Apart from that Hindus and as per traditional Ayurveda, eating non-vegeterian items will increase Tamasaic qualities in the body. For western readers it could be best understood by the scene in Woody Allen's Love and Death, where the protagonist dismisses an eager call to war as the effect of too much red meat in their diet. So overall in Hinduism eating shrimps is not banned per say, but if shrimps are consumed one will accumulate karmic debts of having done so. Various sects and sub sects in hinduism advocate vegeterianism. I come from a family of Bhramins, and in Odisha, West Bengal and Assam, Bhramins are permitted to eat mutton and fish (which includes shrimp) and curiously enough we are not permitted to eat chicken and other tasty creatures.

As for Jains, eating non vegetarian is strictly prohibited. The Buddhist attitude is that it is ok to consume if offered by your host and if you did not kill the creature, most Buddhists are vegetarians. Most Sikhs are fine with consumption of meat, certain sects such as the Naamdharis do not consume meat.
Things are a bit more intersting with the Abrahamic faiths. As per Judaism, shrimp is not considered Kosher, a strict interpretation of certain verses from the bible also shows that as per certain interpretations eating shrimp is forbidden by Christianity. For more details please check out this hillarious website: . As far as Islam is concerned no restrictions, only that the shrimp like all other food should conform to Halal norms. So overall I have pretty much covered most major religions that I am aware of. I am not aware of the impact of consuming shrimp on our Body Thetans.
Here again I will focus on the moral implications of eating meat in general. From the strictly utilitarian perspective, I think the philosopher Robert Nozick was right when he writes that from a strictly utilitarian perspective it is more ethical to eat meat than to avoid eating meat. The reason being since so many creature exist becuase humans want to consume them.
I would like to point readers to a wonderful contest which was held by NY Times, the essays are really worth reading, here is the link:
The best thing I liked about the winning entry was the last paragraph and the line about all of life being simply a form of solar energy (in different forms). So overall I do not have the answerss, I hope that by reading this and articles linked here you can arrive at your own conclusions.

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