This post is directly related to my recently-posted thoughts on the value of the life of an animal.
When I was small, and I had never thought about non-vegetarianism, I used to believe that at social gatherings like parties and otherwise, us humans shouldn't waste food. I was taught that there are hundreds of millions of undernourished humans in this world, and every gram of food that we don't waste can potentially go into the stomach of a poor man. Then as I grew up, I developed a keen interest in the related concepts of animal rights and non-vegetarianism. At a tender age, I developed a love for animals (especially birds, cats, and dogs), but I saw immense cruelty being inflicted by humans to animals, both around me and on TV.
I began to try to help animals in whatever small ways I could, but the blatant abuse of animals that I saw on TV and on the Web (especially via PETA.org and YouTube) disturbed me quite a lot.
A few years ago, I was watching a video on the Discovery Channel (or maybe it was on Nat Geo) in which the narrator was describing a confrontation between a crocodile and a python. At the end of the video, just as the crocodile shattered the python to pieces and consumed it, the narrator concluded the scene saying, "In nature, nothing goes waste.".
I thought about this. How true, I wondered! Nothing goes waste. Even if I throw some food while at a wedding function, it'll ultimately end up being eaten by birds and cats and dogs and insects and microorganisms. It won't be wasted. It might not go into a hungry human's stomach, but it'll go into a hungry dog's. Coupled with my strong opinion about animal rights, I decided to never worry again about throwing food. Just because some food doesn't go into a human's stomach doesn't mean that it has got wasted. This arrogant thought is yet another example of the selfishness of the human species. I'm happy I've gotten rid of it.