I chose to be a Veggie over forty years ago. My children had no choice from infancy other than to eat the vegetables, fruit, grain, nuts and milk products they were dished up as their food.,
I have stories to tell that are mostly amusing, and others that are serious about my years as a dedicated Vegetarian.
I had ideals about the benefits of being a Vegetarian. Especially the affect that eating Satvik (pure) food would have on my behaviour. I wanted to be a loving and compassionate human being.
My suggestion to any one who has ideals is, “If you prefer Veg to Non Veg foods do just that eat the food of your preference“. Refrain from turning your food choice for whatever your reason may be, into a crusade against all those Non Veggie people who you may consider are deluded and the cause of all the ills in the world because of what they eat! Likewise if you are Non Veggie give those who have a preference for rabbit food a break.
There are many different reasons to become a vegetarian. Some choose to be, some are born into a Veggie family, some through religious persuasion, some because they find the abhorrent practices of the meat, fish, dairy and poultry industries cruel and inhumane. There are probably as many reasons why people are Non Veggie’s
When we become embroiled in our different food-isms, fetishes and food debates we could stop in our self absorbed tracks and take a moment to consider that there are millions of humans living in abject poverty that do not have a choice and have to eat whatever is available, or starve to death.
We may remember being told by a frustrated mother, “Think of all the starving children in Africa! Be grateful for the food on your plate! Now for g**s sake EAT YOUR FOOD!”
Next time you do battle with those you may label ignorant plebeians who put egg in ‘your’ salad and are ignorant of ‘your’ food-ism, remember there is a bigger picture than your beliefs.
In your mission to be pure’ Veggies consider the possibility, that you may inadvertently begin to display the dog eats dog attitude that you judge as the terrain of the ’aggressive meat eaters!
Non-Veggies quickly use the old adage, “Hitler he was a Vegetarian!” The tone of their voice says it all! Unfortunately there is some truth in what they say. I have observed over the four decades of being a ’Veggie’ that the aggression, irritation and downright childish outrage displayed by Vegetar-ians debunks the belief that Veggies are more placid than Non-veggies.
The danger is not in what you eat but in what you think about what you eat! And how you react to those who don’t agree with your beliefs about the food you put in your mouth, whether that food had a face or not!
My suggestion is don’t make your food your religion. I have witnessed the most warlike tendencies in Veggie fanatics’ that want to defend their turf. I mean what is gained by hurting an ‘ignorant’ soul who does not understand that a fish is not a cabbage, and dared to dish you a generous serving!
Once when I was at the Iskon in Mumbai I heard a Hari Krishna woman say, “Those who eat meat are not fit to call themselves human.” Excuse me! In the Tibetan Himalayas where some of the most enlightened humans were born, not much grows to be eaten other than their blessed Yaks without whom they would not survive. What else should they eat, ice and rock?
Consider the Native Americans and their reverence for the soul of the animal that they need to slay in order to live.
Our ancestors who were gatherers had Fertility Rites in Spring to ensure an abundant crop that makes a person balk at the cruelty. Where as the Hunter stalked his prey in a manner similar to an animal predator. He only killed enough to feed his family. He blessed the animal without whose flesh and hide he would not survive the harsh environment where he was born.
There are so many dogmas, religions, and diets that confuse and alienate humans. Most people do not understand these different belief systems, but everyone understands kindness and love.
Whenever you eat or prepare food, be aware of your attitude. Rather leave the war off the table. Rather be grateful for what you have received and allow those who are ‘different’ from us to eat what they choose. After all they are living beings too. Refrain from being a Non-Veggie-phobic we have enough Xenophobic and Homophobics out there.
Think thoughts of tolerance, and compassion when you cook and serve food. Automatically your food will take on the flavour of love.
Further Food for thought or thoughts about food!
The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ- by Levi. Publisher; Fowler 1964
Chapter 126. Page 183, verse 22.
22.And Jesus said, Can you not yet discriminate? Do you not yet perceive that what a man takes in his mouth defiles him not?
23. His food goes not into his soul; it is material for flesh and bone and brawn.
24. To spirit everything is clean.
25. That which defiles a man wells up from carnal thoughts; and carnal thoughts spring from the heart, and generate a host of evil things.
The Evolution of my Beliefs to be Vegetarian.
When I was a child we spent holidays on a family friend’s farm. I loved to watch the pigs with there piglets in their pens. I had a special attraction to the pigs. I did not mind the smell. I understood that it was because they were trapped in pens. I may have had a fantasy or ancient memory of the time when pigs roamed free. I admired a painting of an English countryside of the Pig Herd herding his happy pigs through the grass.
The farm pigs fascinated me. I watched them in childlike innocence as the pink piggy’s nudged and jostled for their teat on their generous mothers body. The proud father’s snorted away at being great Porker’s.
I was a sensitive child. Tragedy struck one morning. I heard squeals not of delight but of fear and terror from the pens. I climbed out my bed pulled some clothes on and ran helter-skelter to the pigs. I stood shocked and helpless as I saw the piglets being transported to the market. I ran sobbing back to my Mom higgledy pig.
At that moment a belief was entrenched, “I won’t eat piglets! It is so cruel to take babies from their mothers to be bacon for breakfasts!”
I was about seven at the time.
As a result of that incident a groove was formed in my psyche that affected all my future eating patterns because of this frightening association.