I was recently asked by a friend why I am a vegetarian. And I pondered. When I first became a vegetarian it was because I disagreed with how animals are treated in the factory farming system. This seemed to be straight forward enough, and before I became a vegetarian, I had already switched to free range and organic meats. But the logical step in my mind was then to eschew meat altogether. I still ate fish for a while (pescatarian) before embracing the full vegetarian diet.
Only I didn’t. A good few years previously, I had experienced the deep joy that is gastroenteritis and food poisoning in the same week. This left me with the marvellous dietary constrict of not being able to tolerate dairy, specifically anything that originated from point of cow. So my vegetarianism was a sort of cheese of sheep and goat (but not too much.. else pain and suffering issues forth!) and also eggs. Sometimes I don’t have dairy in any form, thus defining as an egg eating vegan (veggan). I fluctuate on these variables.
Then I watched a film called ‘Earthlings’. It took me two sittings to get through, as it was a muchly wet face experience for me, but it did endorse and inform what I already knew. So in essence, there are many good reasons why I eat as I do, and I appreciate that to some, my diet is difficult. But to me the answer of why didn’t really feel, well, answered, it felt as if there was more.
So I considered the aspect of entitlement. Did I feel entitled to profit from the suffering of other living things? I live in a built up society, I have a lot of stuff, and I know that a good deal of it, not just the food that I consume does derive from the sadness of others. And this is when the decisions in my life started to change, or rather that I noticed that a whole handful of decisions that I had been making all came under the same umbrella. I have been using charity shops and second-hand shops to source new clothing, trying to remember to take my reusable bags to the supermarket, buying ear buds made with a card middle rather than plastic, taking my reusable water bottle out with me, the list went on. It came down to respect for my environment.
When I realised this, suddenly other tasks that I had been struggling with became easier. If I have this inherent respect for my outside environment, then maybe I could start applying that to my house, my inside environment. Tidying up and streamlining my home is becoming easier, my attachment to things is lessening and this has been a most productive and also a kind of scary thing. If I had put all my love in the things around me, and I was letting go of these things, where would all that love go?
The answer was remarkably simple, I love me better.
Map Point. What sadness can I remove from my life?