Nonviolence - Weakness Of The Heart OR Strength Of The Mind ?

Every time I watch National Geographic channel showing a wild animal in the process of a hunt, there are two emotions that fill my mind - one during the hunt and another during the kill. While watching the hunting sequence where a lion or a cheetah runs behind a herd of deer or zebra, I feel exhilarated and can feel the adrenaline rushing to my head. But when the lion catches a weakling from the herd and kills it, I am filled with a feeling I can only express as a mixture of pity and disgust - and I can no longer watch.

Probably I have a weak heart but I cannot really understand causing pain and suffering to another being for my own survival. I have never had to make a decision of this sort - I feel lucky and hope to remain so. I grew up in a family of vegetarians. I used to be tempted to try seeing my friends order a chicken bucket at KFC. But the moment I see hens being carried upside down with all their feet tied together all the while making noises I feel a certain anger at the person carrying them and wonder if he has gone deaf or heartless. Probably the prospect of making money or the liking for the taste of chicken has rendered other senses dysfunctional.

People have argued that even plants have life and killing is necessary regardless of whether it is a plant or an animal. If that is the case, why is cannibalism considered perverse and inhuman? In what way is a human life superior to that of a hen’s life?

There is another argument that it is the way natural selection is implemented by nature. The weaklings are eliminated to ensure survival of the fittest. So is it good if I eliminate weaker human beings the way Nazis thought they were doing. Anyway, most of the people who enjoy eating an animal do not have the strength to catch and kill it, so this argument does not apply.

I believe it takes more strength not to hurt someone else for my benefit than hurting. Let us face it - survival is a more primary instinct than empathy. So who is stronger emotionally - the one who can stop himself from hurting another being for his benefit or the one who does not think twice before hurting another being? - the one driven by the instinct of survival or the one driven by discrimination and empathy?