Why I am a Vegan
07-17-2015, 12:55 PM,
#91
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(07-16-2015, 01:46 PM)Farseer Wrote:  
(07-16-2015, 01:44 PM)Diana Wrote:  
(07-16-2015, 01:19 PM)Farseer Wrote:  Yes, a chicken eating eggs is cannibalism... is that more natural than the predator-prey relationship that occurs when another creatures eats the eggs?

It's not natural. But it's also not natural to keep animals for a food source where the animals don't lead natural lives in the wild (which created the problem in the first place). There really isn't much about humans that is natural within the context of ecosystems and the planet. 

Predator-prey is natural for animals. Humans are still animals in the greater part of their brains. So the question would be, does a particular individual want to continue acting like an animal or evolve to something more in line with compassion for all things.

So what separates humans from nature? Why do our actions 'not count' as part of nature?

I feel we are getting semantic here with the word, "natural." I think "natural" evolves as all things do.

I can see how the debate over what is natural could go round and round to no end. So I will say that animals kept for a food source are deprived of the full experience of living possible for their lives, just as a person in a prison is. The person in the prison may have used free will to end up imprisoned, and it may be chosen as a path to evolve for whatever reason. But if 2nd density creatures are not using free will according to Ra, and are learning to individuate, then how are they choosing the experience to suffer or just be limited by humans? This is not a rhetorical question.

Humans have definitely separated themselves from nature. Though what is natural may evolve, humans have built structures and walls to separate themselves from the natural world. They have developed land and clear cut forests with no regard for any other life. Of course everyone knows this and more of what humanity has done to this planet with the attitude that humans are all that matters and everything is here for our use, even to humanity's own detriment. These actions and attitudes may be part of a natural process of evolution of things, yet it is not being a "part of nature," unless you think being a part includes destroying it. ...Which, if we are enmiring ourselves in semantics, I suppose it could be argued so. But being a part of is not the same as being separate from which is essentially what humanity (I speak in general terms of the whole as some individuals have not done this) has done—separated from nature.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-17-2015, 01:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 07-17-2015, 01:43 PM by Aion.)
#92
RE: Why I am a Vegan
So what do you call human worlds that are separate from nature? I see what you are saying and I agree to a degree until I see that the whole identification is illusory. Humans have imagined themselves separate from nature but that doesn't mean we are in any way actually separate. Again, that humans vs nature perspective.

Yes, I believe nature has self-destructive aspects so to me the fact that something destroys doesn't make it separate from nature and if I'm being honest I think approaching it with that philosophy is a dead end because it focuses on the competition which can't be resolved that way.

Also, how can you be sure this apparent separation wasn't instigated by nature itself? Maybe it's just part of the Logos' plan?

That's what bothers me the most about some people who make these arguments (not you necessarily) is it sometimes appears to me that they would try to speak for nature, to express what they think nature is expressing and that's fine as an opinion, but its frustrating then when they try to insist that 'nature is x and y' when they really have no way of knowing.

Again, I admit I just don't follow your sense of natural and unnatural. You could maybe say its a semantic issue but I think it's more of a philosophical difference we have. In your defense though I think more people would understand what you are saying than what I am saying.

Also, I really wanted to requote this...

"So I will say that animals and plants kept for a food source are deprived of the full experience of living possible for their lives, just as a person in a prison is."

See the change? That's how my mind works.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-17-2015, 03:18 PM,
#93
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(07-17-2015, 01:43 PM)Farseer Wrote:  So what do you call human worlds that are separate from nature? I see what you are saying and I agree to a degree until I see that the whole identification is illusory. Humans have imagined themselves separate from nature but that doesn't mean we are in any way actually separate. Again, that humans vs nature perspective.

Yes, I believe nature has self-destructive aspects so to me the fact that something destroys doesn't make it separate from nature and if I'm being honest I think approaching it with that philosophy is a dead end because it focuses on the competition which can't be resolved that way.

Also, how can you be sure this apparent separation wasn't instigated by nature itself? Maybe it's just part of the Logos' plan?

That's what bothers me the most about some people who make these arguments (not you necessarily) is it sometimes appears to me that they would try to speak for nature, to express what they think nature is expressing and that's fine as an opinion, but its frustrating then when they try to insist that 'nature is x and y' when they really have no way of knowing.

Again, I admit I just don't follow your sense of natural and unnatural. You could maybe say its a semantic issue but I think it's more of a philosophical difference we have. In your defense though I think more people would understand what you are saying than what I am saying.

Also, I really wanted to requote this...

"So I will say that animals and plants kept for a food source are deprived of the full experience of living possible for their lives, just as a person in a prison is."

See the change? That's how my mind works.

Okay, for my part, let's forget "natural." I agree that it could mean anything. I am not speaking for nature, only observing the world and perceiving. Also, the person in prison is a different scenario than animals kept for food—gosh, I find it very difficult to word things clearly most of the time here. You are wrong about my views being more easily understood. Not even here does this happen let alone in the general world.

What it boils down to for me is compassion. I don't endeavor to infringe upon any free will, be it human, animal, plant, mineral, planet etc. I'm in for challenges because I as a human need to eat something. I make my choices based on the least harm (which if I recollect correctly you don't agree with) according to my awareness. I make choices in everything based on this. Infringing upon the free will of other humans gets more difficult. I try to not do it, but if I come across a man beating a dog I will intervene without hesitation, and screw the man's free will. If I see a woman beating her child in a store I will say something in defense of the child. These are broad comments which would vary in each situation. 

I probably live in a cowardly way because I don't know what to do about many things. I try to let life be on this planet. But it is a blurry proposition. Letting life be for animals is different than letting life be for humans. Humans burn down swaths of forest every year in AZ—controlled burns. Letting life be for animals would be to leave them alone in their environment. Forests do burn naturally occasionally, but the animal life will have some awareness of their environment and act accordingly (that is not to say there would be absolutely no harm then). Letting humans be is to leave them unchallenged to burn as they will for reasons that make no sense (to me, or the reasons are human-egocentric). So there is a conflict. You can't let them both be. Well, you can let everything be, but the end result is humans just get to do what they want and too bad for other life forms. This may be "all is well" in the bigger picture of evolution, but it is not honoring other life forms and therefore this whole 3D existence centers around humans and their free will. Perhaps there is agreement among other species to assist humanity in this way. How pathetic though. That humans would need this kind of agreement that causes so much untold suffering. It reminds me of Christianity and the belief that all things are here for human use. Perhaps this is the way the laws are set up through the densities, but what would be amiss in holding a vision of something greater than that even here? 

As an individual, even though it's set up this way, and there is free will, and all entities are learning lessons etc., I still have choices about what I do within that system. Am I going to burn swaths of forest and cause suffering to the life there because I am afraid that there might possibly be a fire that would reach my house? No. Am I going to stop those who do it? No, but this decision is so much harder. If I had a vote on it, I would vote. Do I want to be an activist and create that vote? No. What I do is live my life in the most compassionate way (for all life) and that I feel is the extent of my influence (and I don't even do it to be an influence; I do it because that is who I am). It's all very challenging to be here, for me anyway, and those who have it figured out—that's great. I still find it very challenging on a daily basis.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes Diana's post:
Elros
07-17-2015, 05:09 PM,
#94
RE: Why I am a Vegan
I think the challenge you experience is a mark of the compassion in your heart and is worthy of gratitude from others.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 2 users Like Aion's post:
Elros, Nicholas
07-18-2015, 09:56 PM,
#95
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(07-06-2015, 05:05 PM)Pablísimo Wrote:  In my case, for decades I actually avoided avocados and guacamole because I thought I "didn't like the taste"!  As a vegan, though, I've learned to change my attitudes towards food and see it more holistically.  A given food isn't just about flavor, and I found that I had many biases about what food I "liked" that were based on nothing other than childhood whims, hazy memories, and foolish, irrational opinions about "textures" or "colors" or some other random distortion.  I've learned to expand my food horizons and really take time to appreciate subtle flavors and all manner of vegan foods.  I now consider the practicality, sustainability, ethics, and the nutrient profile in addition to flavor.  Most importantly, I've learned to appreciate how these foods give me LIFE.  Certain foods, such as the avocado or the coconut, feel almost sacred to me.  As I eat the avocado each morning, I reflect on it and always feel a deep sense of connectedness and, frankly, *gratitude* for this daily life-sustaining fruit.  I can't help it -- some days I just want to shout "THANK YOU" for this wondrous food.  It's truly a marvel how something so nutritious, so filling and sustaining, grows from a such a humble tree.  Sometimes, I am awestruck with wonder at the beauty and bounty of this little bit of the Creation we call Earth!

Hi Pab,

I just want to thank you for this full reply that you made (I only quoted a portion).  It answered all my questions, and I ended up trying avocadoes!

I found a really nice dish that I've made twice in the last two days.  It's the elegance of simple.

1) fried avocado pieces in olive oil.  With salt.
2) some pasta (linguine) over the top of it.

Voila!  It's a magic dish.  So yummy.

And also thanks for mentioning B12.  That was one thing I had neglected, and I've been using the sublingual (under the tongue) lozenges, and they are working out well I think.  I think it may have been one thing limiting my previous experiences with vegetarianism/veganism.  

all the best,

Plenum
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes Bring4th_Plenum's post:
Nía
09-24-2015, 04:09 AM,
#96
Heart  RE: Why I am a Vegan
Hi all,

just thought Monica would like this one (sorry, don't know how to resize pictures here)...

[Image: image2292562.jpg]

... and that those two articles might be of interest to some:

Are humans predators by nature?

Do Chickens Mourn the Loss of Their Eggs?

-`ღ´-
facettes
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 4 users Like Nía's post:
Diana, indolering, Monica, Regulus
09-24-2015, 11:27 AM,
#97
Music  RE: Why I am a Vegan
Great articles, facettes.  Thanks for posting.  






  

....

"Whaddya want to do today, Brain?"

"Same thing we do everyday, Pinky - try to take over the world!"




Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes indolering's post:
Diana
09-24-2015, 09:49 PM,
#98
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(09-24-2015, 04:09 AM)facettes Wrote:  Hi all,

just thought Monica would like this one (sorry, don't know how to resize pictures here)...

I do! Heart

...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-27-2015, 12:20 AM,
#99
RE: Why I am a Vegan
43 posts were split into a new thread:

[split] the use of memes, and methods of discourse
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-27-2015, 01:39 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(09-27-2015, 12:20 AM)Bring4th_Plenum Wrote:  43 posts were split into a new thread:

[split] the use of memes, and methods of discourse

Are you sure that new thread should not be entitled: Let's Attack Monica?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
09-28-2015, 12:38 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(09-27-2015, 01:39 PM)Diana Wrote:  
(09-27-2015, 12:20 AM)Bring4th_Plenum Wrote:  43 posts were split into a new thread:

[split] the use of memes, and methods of discourse

Are you sure that new thread should not be entitled: Let's Attack Monica?

Nobody was attacking Monica.  Just critiquing some behaviors she had presented in the spirit of free discussion (perhaps I mistakenly believed that is what an internet forum was for).  I doubt anyone here has a problem with Monica, herself.  I sure don't.  If you want to misrepresent that as an attack on an individual, because you agree with said behaviors/tactics under intellectual/philosophical scrutiny, that is entirely your choice.  Anyway, the thread has been obliterated at her request, so I guess that is one way to silence those who would dare question.  Perhaps it is for the best.    

The magic is recognized; the nature is often not.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-04-2015, 09:43 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-04-2015, 09:43 PM by Monica.)
RE: Why I am a Vegan
    Getting back on topic...

...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 4 users Like Monica's post:
indolering, Nía, Regulus, upensmoke
10-05-2015, 06:06 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
Wink



-`ღ´-
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 4 users Like Nía's post:
Bring4th_Jade, Diana, Monica, Shemaya
10-05-2015, 07:17 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(10-05-2015, 06:06 AM)facettes Wrote:  Wink



-`ღ´-

Is that a photo of you?  She could convince me of almost anything.... Big Grin

....

"Whaddya want to do today, Brain?"

"Same thing we do everyday, Pinky - try to take over the world!"




Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2015, 07:59 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
Really?

She'd look so much better in my eyes if her eyes weren't surrounded by make up D:
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2015, 08:01 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
It's a video, guys. Tongue
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2015, 08:56 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
Iunno man, that looks like a picture Wink Tongue
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2015, 11:37 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
The video didn't show up for me, but I found the link in the reply text to your post:

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153202749019077

Fun video, it's amazing how much every single person just lit right up when they see the piglet.
There is no magic greater than honest distortion toward love.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 3 users Like Bring4th_Jade's post:
Monica, Nía, The_Tired_Philosopher
10-05-2015, 12:30 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
if you click the pic a video starts
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes upensmoke's post:
Monica
10-05-2015, 12:52 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
.

[Image: 5102d796-9c3d-4e41-99b2-556a9cd79ec7_zpsl9rhmili.jpg]


[Image: 97223836-df7f-4815-baf5-e4ddab8b1f4e_zpsuqq9whiq.jpg]

....

"Whaddya want to do today, Brain?"

"Same thing we do everyday, Pinky - try to take over the world!"




Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 2 users Like indolering's post:
Monica, Regulus
10-05-2015, 01:08 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(10-05-2015, 12:30 PM)upensmoke Wrote:  if you click the pic a video starts

Really??
My phone doesn't load up any video, its just a still image for me.

My phone has officially failed me (I'm assuming its just me).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-05-2015, 06:27 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-04-2015, 11:48 AM by Bring4th_Plenum. Edit Reason: image resized )
RE: Why I am a Vegan
.

[Image: article-2299812-18F358CA000005DC-551_634...qurw1x.jpg]




[Image: a366ae86-4d89-412d-95fe-d6f0762451b2_zpsckbbmpcf.jpg]






[Image: 876d7538-432b-4bce-9e90-5fc11013fa76_zpsgehotug6.jpg]



[Image: 4bd0d23f-77ff-446e-8e6d-8c8b1ac5d552_zpso0bzqpdn.jpg]

....

"Whaddya want to do today, Brain?"

"Same thing we do everyday, Pinky - try to take over the world!"




Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes indolering's post:
Nía
10-05-2015, 11:07 PM, (This post was last modified: 10-05-2015, 11:09 PM by Shemaya.)
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(10-05-2015, 06:06 AM)J  facettes Wrote:  Wink



-`ღ´-

That is really cute. Great video, soft sell, I think it will work.

And the elephant photo, omg, absolutely stunning.   I have unforgettable memories of the elephants in Masai Mara

[img]webkit-fake-url://7d26fcfe-b773-4741-9845-f27669af8a59/imagejpeg[/img]
May all Beings everywhere be happy and free
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-07-2015, 07:11 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
Here's a good reason!

101-years-young vegan doctor, continued working as a heart surgeon until age 95!

100 years old Ellsworth Wareham - CNN's Sanjay Gupta Reports

Dr. Wareham talks about his vegan diet, the role of cholesterol in heart risk, and his philosophy about life.

How to become heart-attack-proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zQAOQRpG8k

...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-07-2015, 07:21 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
What if we're not worried about living a long life?

There is an anthro somewhere who needs me and I need them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes IndigoGeminiWolf's post:
Elros
10-07-2015, 07:47 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(10-07-2015, 07:21 PM)IndigoGeminiWolf Wrote:  What if we're not worried about living a long life?

Then how about quality of life?

...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-07-2015, 07:50 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
I'm going to be taking a healing course (MAP) that I posted about earlier. To improve my quality of life.

There is an anthro somewhere who needs me and I need them.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
10-07-2015, 08:53 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
(10-07-2015, 07:50 PM)IndigoGeminiWolf Wrote:  I'm going to be taking a healing course (MAP) that I posted about earlier. To improve my quality of life.

I saw that. I actually have that book but hadn't read it. It sounds really interesting. I hope it works out great for you!

...
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
12-04-2015, 11:43 AM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
Quote:“The pigs were glowing deep gold”: The amazing experience that ended my life as a pig farmer

Even though I was raising and slaughtering pigs as humanely as possible, I had doubts. But then I was sure

Bob Comis

As a child and through my teens and 20s my meat eating was fast, copious—gluttonous even—and absolutely thoughtless, totally reflexive. Growing up in a suburb of Syracuse, New York, around cats, dogs and mobs of grey squirrels, I had only the vaguest, most abstract notion — when I had any notion at all — of a connection between the delectable hamburger patty on my Burger King Whopper and the cow or cows it had once been, or between the crisp, golden, expertly and scientifically flavored fleshy bits of the mountain of Chicken McNuggets that I plowed through with abandon over the years and real, living chickens. It wasn’t a matter of callous disregard, it was one of utter ignorance, a profound inability not only to connect the dots but to even see that there were dots to connect.

However, if you look a little more deeply than my eating habits, if you dig down to the level of my emotional relationship with animals from the time I was an early single digits child into my 30s, you find seeds of compassion, kindness, care, and love sprouting over and over again, tenaciously going through abbreviated life cycles of germination and death, alive much too briefly for them to take firm root. Those tender sprouts were quickly snuffed out by the depth of my ignorance, and the intensity of the self-reinforcing bond between eating meat and my identity: I was a meat eater, and to embark on the deeply introspective and difficult task of calling into question that identity was then simply not in the cards. Yet, it cannot be denied or ignored that those sprouted seeds were there, if only long enough to send static electricity-like jolts across the craggy canyons of my subconscious, where they left their marks like handholds on a cliff face.

The other thing you find when you look more deeply at my feelings and emotional intelligence during those years is a rudimentary sensibility around an as yet inchoate belief in the sanctity of all living things. When I was 12 years old I watched with a visceral feeling of sadness the slow, agonizing death of a little robin. With its eyes wide open, it gasped its last breaths. Blood pulsed out of the hole in its throat where my friend Joe had enthusiastically shot it with a bb gun. As the bird slowly died, Joe energetically paced around it with a white-knuckled grip on the gun stock, and spoke about his shot as if it were a triumph, with a puffed-up, exaggerated bravura. I had wanted to pick up the blood-soaked bird in my hands and stroke its head and softly whisper to it in an effort to usher it gently into death. Instead, I stood stock-still struggling to hold back the tears that were welling up that I absolutely did not want Joe to see.

In my very late teens, perhaps my earliest 20s, while visiting the Philadelphia Zoo I experienced a brief, but intense connection with an adult male lion. He had a rich, full mane, and up close was incredibly big. He had been taken out of his relatively large and enriched outdoor enclosure and placed on display in a barren cage barely bigger than himself just outside of the lion pavilion to entice and excite visitors into touring the pavilion, as a store clerk might set up a display of a few pairs of shoes or a set of golf clubs to attract shoppers. I stood just a couple of feet from the cage, standing as close as I could get without stepping over the battered, thin steel chain, flecks of white paint still clinging to it here and there, that ran in drooping arcs between stout steel poles around the cage to keep spectators at a safe distance. I gazed into the lion’s eyes, and somehow having caught his attention he returned my gaze. We looked into each other’s eyes — into each other, I believe — for a brief, but lingering moment, until a tremendously sad, pathetic thing happened. The lion shifted his head ever so slightly and broke our eye contact, but clearly kept me in his frame of vision, and then he very purposefully and slowly squinted his eyes half-closed twice, the classic feline body language of social/hierarchical submission. Bonded empathetically to the lion by the first moments of our gaze, I was immediately overwhelmed with sadness and a deep feeling of longing and loss. The lion’s confidence, his unimaginable power, his grace, his awesome majesty — his very lion-ness — were gone, utterly. I had communed with a weary, broken soul, bereft of spirit, and the intensity of the experience shook me dramatically. Practically with tears in my eyes and a heart so heavy I could barely carry it, I turned away from the lion and walked directly out of the zoo. I have never, and will never return to another zoo. I do not need to experience the palpable ruination of tattered souls like his ever again.

Ten years ago, I became a livestock farmer, more or less impulsively after having been informed about the twin horrors of factory farming and industrial slaughter two years before. When I first found out about them, I had immediately become a vegan, but for a number of reasons, including a lack of conviction on my part and a lack of socio-cultural supports and ready-at-hand infrastructural supports like the vegan options at restaurants and in supermarkets that abound today, I quickly failed as a vegan. By the end of three months, I had dropped 15 pounds off of my already lean frame, and I had become disillusioned by the vegan diet, so I went back to eating meat. However, the veil had been lifted, and I had been moved by seeing, by bearing witness to, even if only third hand through undercover videos, the reality of where the meat on my plate came from — some animal, not an abstraction, but a real living animal, an individual with a complex, rich life experience had been (often brutally) killed, gutted and carved into pieces. I felt that the only way that I could eat meat with a clean conscience was to raise the animals myself and have them slaughtered as humanely as possible.

For the next 10 years or so, I raised pigs — and other livestock — to be killed so that people, myself included, could eat their meat. During those years, I delivered about 2,000 pigs to the slaughterhouse. While raising animals for slaughter over those years, I had a series of crises of conscience, like this one that I recorded in a single sentence on my blog in April, 2011:

This morning, as I look out the window at a pasture quickly growing full of frolicking lambs, I am feeling very much that it might be wrong to eat meat, and that I might indeed be a very bad person for killing animals for a living.

And, for nearly 10 years without fail, I met every crisis of conscience with a satisfactory rationalization, no matter how deeply the crisis cut.

In June 2011 I made a trip down to New York City to visit the butcher who purchased most of my pigs. During my visit, I decided to help “break down” the pigs that I had brought with me. While I was working, I bent down and opened a box of offal — organs — and later I wrote this about what I had found inside the box and how it affected me:

When I opened the box, I saw a jumble of soft hearts and bloody tongues. I am not sure why it happened. I have no idea what it was about seeing the hearts and tongues like that — after all, I have watched my pigs be stuck with a knife and have their blood gush out onto the floor, I have watched them skinned, have their feet cut off, and their bellies sliced open and their innards come tumbling out, I have seen them cut up into retail cuts — but when I opened that box and saw that jumble of soft hearts and bloody tongues I was physically and emotionally overwhelmed. I felt like I had been punched in the gut. Suddenly, through unfiltered, raw emotion, I felt, quite frankly, like a cold-blooded murderer waking up to the reality of what he had done. I almost threw up.

The first tongue I picked up nearly buckled my knees. With the tongue in my hand as I slowly placed it in a cryovac bag, I couldn’t help picturing the pigs as they had been when they were alive, the same pigs that were hanging lifeless on gleaming, stainless steel hooks behind me.

And then I thought, What have I done?

I continued to ask myself that question over and over again as I worked. I was as far from being able to resolve a crisis of conscience as I had ever been. I was reeling. And then, as if the universe intervened on my behalf, the butcher, who was talking to a customer, a young, neatly dressed woman with short, wavy blond hair, pointed to me and said to her from behind the counter about 15 feet away from where I was working, “That’s Bob, the farmer who raised these pigs.” The woman, a little surprised it seemed, turned to look at me. We made eye contact. She took a step toward me and said earnestly, “Thank you so much for what you do,” and then after a moment turned around and walked out of the shop. The thick paper bag, imprinted stylishly with the butcher shop logo, with thick, tightly woven handles that swung casually by the young woman’s side as she walked was filled with pork chops and bacon wrapped in salmon-colored butcher paper. I watched the bag through the shop’s floor to ceiling display window swinging slightly back and forth until the woman disappeared around a corner.

The young woman’s thanks had been so earnest that it steadied me. I stopped reeling. I had my answer. What I had done, I had done for her. I had given her an opportunity, an alternative, a way to opt out of the factory farming and industrial slaughter systems. I had also given the pigs wonderfully rich lives, and made sure they were killed quickly and painlessly. I had nourished that young woman — body and soul. Being reminded by her of what I had done nourished my own soul. Warmed by the shared hearth of our commitment to conscientious omnivorism, the crisis ended, and I went back to work, seeing not deeply unsettling soft hearts and bloody tongues, but the freshest ingredients for delectable pates and terrines.

The powerful resolution to that almost insurmountable crisis proved durable. For the next few years, I raised pigs for slaughter without another serious crisis of conscience. I stayed focused on providing the pigs with the best lives and deaths that I could give them. As I matured into an accomplished pig farmer, I became proud of what I was doing.

On Jan. 27, 2014, my pig farming life as I had come to know and enjoy it came to a swift, jarring end.

As I made my way around the farm on that cold morning, moving from group to group of pigs, with about 30 pigs in each group, I found that all of the pigs were healthy; the feeders were all in good working order; and the ice in the water tanks was breaking easily with just a couple of blows from the sledgehammer that I carried with me on the tractor.

It was a perfectly ordinary day, until I had an incredibly intense experience while starting to take care of a group of pigs. The experience lasted only for a single second, maybe two, but it was so extraordinary and powerful — one might rightly call it a mystical experience — that at its end I resolved to change my life completely.

Just a second before the experience, I remember hearing very acutely and unusually loudly the sound of the snow beneath my boots as I walked toward the pigs. When it is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit something about the physical properties of snow changes, and instead of just flattening out with a dull squish beneath one’s boots, it very distinctly and crisply crunches. It is as if the snow has lost its elasticity and its molecules are being ground against each other. All that I heard was the crisp crunch, crunch, crunch of the snow as I walked. Off the beaten path the snow was deep, so I was looking down at my feet as I walked to keep from accidentally straying off the path into the knee-high snow. When I got to the edge of the pigs’ fence, I looked up at the pigs, and was swept up immediately into the experience.

The pigs and the space around them were glowing deep gold. Waves of what I perceived to be energy were emanating out from them in all directions. When the waves reached me, I was wiped clean as they flowed over me. The particulars of my life vanished instantly, followed immediately by my identity. I no longer had any sense of myself as an individual standing in a frozen field surrounded by 30 pigs. I found myself nowhere and everywhere. I felt what I can only call my “energy body” begin to stir. Then I felt — and even saw in the waves — my energy body, which I believed to be my very being, move away from me and merge with the energy bodies — the very being — of the pigs. I felt, saw and knew in that instant that the pigs and I — despite our radical difference, our complete alterity — were interconnected, so deeply interconnected that we were one continuous being. I felt a momentary, intense vibration as this all sunk in. And then, with much less fanfare than one might expect given the intensity of the experience, it simply ended, as if a light switch had been flipped. I found myself standing inside of the pigs’ paddock, surrounded by 30 pigs jostling around me, eager for their food, with those just underfoot biting at my boots. The pigs weren’t glowing. There were no waves of energy. I was I. And the pigs were the pigs.

And yet, while apparently nothing had changed, in fact, everything had. I could no longer feel it or see it, but I could remember what it looked like and how it had felt, and more important, I understood clearly “the message” as I have come to think of it.

Pigs, the things that I had been having more or less casually killed for nearly 10 years, were not things at all, they were beings, as richly and profoundly as I myself am a being. As beings, we were equals, more than equals. Their being and my being — all being — was continuous. My being did not end and the pigs’ being begin. My being was always already the pigs’ being and the pigs’ being mine.

The implications of the message drilled down easily to the deepest reaches of my understanding. I resolved on the spot, without a moment’s deliberation, to quit pig farming and stop eating meat of any kind (a year later I also gave up dairy and eggs, becoming a vegan).

I have always been an open-minded person, but only on the rarest of occasions have I ever been a spiritual one. I have never found questions of spiritual being terribly interesting. Today, however, that has all changed. Spiritual being is not anymore a question that might or might not be of intellectual interest or curiosity because it is no longer a question at all. I had, no matter how fleeting, a direct, lived experience of unmediated spiritual being, and the resonant power of that experience blew me wide open: In the merging of my energy body with the energy body of the pigs, I felt and saw the motive force of the universe in the radiant flash of a microsecond. I felt and saw unconditional love pulsing — waving — through an infinite complex of pathways interconnecting a universe of beings.

Until that experience I had been living quite contentedly in a world where small farmers like I raised happy pigs outside where they grazed and played on verdant fields. And, in that world, on every happy pig’s fateful day, they were killed expertly in a small-scale, slow-paced slaughterhouse where I think one can rightly believe that they had no experience of dying.

However, when I returned from that mystical experience I found myself face to face with an incredibly powerful idea that I could not rationalize away, that I could not scoot around with mental gymnastics as I had all of those previous crises of conscience, that I simply had to acquiesce to: Happy pigs are indeed real — there are many thousands, tens of thousands of them out there — but happy meat, the fundamental tenet of conscientious omnivorism, is a total myth.

Believing in the idea of happy meat requires one to believe that the happiness of happy pigs stretches from their carefree happy time getting fat in grassy fields through their final, short walk along a terribly unfamiliar, deeply unsettling grooved concrete-floored kill chute, through the jolt of high-voltage electricity as they are rendered unconscious, to the painless bloodletting resulting in their deaths.

The requirements for belief in the idea of happy meat, however, do not end at death. One must believe also that the happiness of happy pigs is transcendent. The pig’s life ends at its death, but not its happiness. By a well-guarded secret of some mysterious alchemy, the happiness residing in the consciousness of the happy pig transcendentally survives the happy pig’s extinguished consciousness and is transfused intact into the porky flesh of the now dead happy pig, leaving us with happy meat — with absolution. We can eat the happy, porky flesh of the dead pig with a conscience clear.

Just for the sake of being thorough, it should also be noted that believing in happy meat additionally requires that one completely obfuscate a most profound reality of meat. Meat arrives on our plates by the exercise of the highest, most extreme, and terrible violence one being can commit against another — when one human commits such violence against another human we call it murder, and we revile it, and we go to the most extreme (often barbaric, murderous) lengths to punish those who commit it. Killing a happy pig by electrocuting it, then plunging a sharp, stout knife into its neck to the hilt to sever the major veins and arteries so that the pig’s blood, brightest red, gushes out in a volume unimaginable until the pig is dead does not make happy meat. Such an act, being the highest, most extreme, and terrible violence one being can commit against another, and also by a perhaps unlikely wisdom drawn from the childhood mountain of McNuggets from the robin from the lion from the truncated happiness of pigs, makes murder.

Source: Salon.com, Nov 28, 2015
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
The following 1 user Likes Nía's post:
Diana
12-04-2015, 12:38 PM,
RE: Why I am a Vegan
what is seitan?

Wheat Gluten

excuse my ignorance.  I totally didn't know about Seitan till now.  Also known as 'wheat meat'.  A meat-like substitute.

I guess 'gluten' is only really referenced in negative terms ("gluten intolerance"), I never imagined that it might actually serve a positive function.

!!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply




Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)