Violence is the intentional use of force to cause physical pain by a human on another. The root of violence is, therefore, the intention (mens rea). The motivation germinates in the mind due to external influences or innately inborn traits. That is, the source of it can be the seed or the terrain or it can be both.
Violence has invidious constituent of Terror inextricably associated with it. The violence which causes pain on human body is a tool of terrorists. The terrorists use violence to exterminate whatever they see as impediments in extending their religion, ideology. Are religion and political ideologies the leading grounds of motivation for violence. They give impetus to the potential seed to sprout and spread. They alone, therefore, are not responsible for all the violence. Violence is endemic with certain races, cultures. The customs of certain tribes promote violence. As for them violence is not branded with the stigma of sin.
Is violence biologically determined or determined by the stress of social realities. If its is biological determinism it is a facet of the law of nature. It is virtually impossible for a tiger or any other carnivorous animal to live without killing another animal. The sin attached to killing forgoes if the motivation is to meet the basic existential need of slaking hunger. One animal killing another for food generates terror in our minds but we are not used or prone to call it violence, maybe, because violence has got sociological implications concerning human transactions.
Is it, therefore, just to justify humans killing animals for food? Is it similar to an animal killing another animal to cater to its basic existential necessity to satiate hunger? Is the man killing the animal or the man who eating the cooked animal meat as food more sinful? Or is that not at all a sin for a man to kill an animal for the purposes of using the meat as food? My answer to the first two is an emphatic “NO”. My answer is personal…. as I am basically non-violent in my attitude and actions. Violence of killing instills in me the feeling of empathy to the pain of the animals. This is the main cause of my vegetarian habits.It is not borne out of fear or terror of violence but out of the empathy with the excruciating pain at the times of death. The pain, its effect on every living being is the same. Pain has no direct links with the brains. It is not reasonable to hold that man has got more sensitivity to pain because he has got more sensibility and intelligence than animals. This reality can be verified from the fact that an intelligent, normal person feels the same amount of pain as it felt by an idiot or a mentally retarded person.
Coming back to the last two questions I am of the opinion that the person killing the animal as part of his vocation and the person who enjoys the flavour of the exquisitely decorated meat niceties have the same levels of culpability.From what I have said I never, ever come to the convenient conclusion that a vegetarian is more gentle, less sinful than a non-vegetarian.
I cannot hold that a vegetarian is unfailingly a better person than a non-vegetarian because violence can be exerted in unknown, manifold ways. Cruelty is of that qualification. It is prototype of violence. Cruelty can be perpetrated through words, gestures, behaviour without leading to its ingredient of physical pain. We see cruelty in relationships in public domain and private domain. When the relationship is intimate the cruelty becomes more and more invisible. The booking of the perpetrators is too difficult since law stands confused to enter into the ramifications of intimate relationships, especially when it is of domestic inter-spousal relationships.The perpetrators of cruelty in public domain can be prosecuted through ordinary law. But the law is helpless to deal with incidence of intimate partner violence. The personal pain remains a personal issue. Law is now working towards to convert the personal into political whereby the private becomes the public.
The aggrieved or the victim of household violence invariably is the female partner.The main source of such gender specific violence in intimate relationships is the unequal power relations in the basic social institution, the Family. The private life is but an extension of public life or that personal is political. If the society is patriarchal the basic institution of it cannot be expected to be otherwise. In public space the conduct of the perpetrators of crime can be booked. But stand-alone criminal attitudes cannot be verified and booked. The new enactments on Protection of Women from Domestic Violence protect the aggrieved women from cruelties of all types of both physical and mental nature. The problem of all the law is that it is patriarchal; made mostly by men; administrated, enforced by men. Here women are judged by men as per the standards set by men. A woman is not born but becomes a woman with all her fears imposed by men. He is the main and she is the subservient; he is the essential and she the inessential.
I have gone unbridled…I have started with violence and cruelty; but I have landed on the fertile soil of terror, violence, that is the so-called haven of safety, HOME…