I’ve never really had a particular attachment or connection with animals. I didn’t really have pets as a kid – apart from Archie-Bald the budgie that flew away and we looked after a dog called Prince for a bit. I was once bitten on the nose by a dog and that made me very fearful of dogs and other animals for a long time. Most of my friends have cats which they dote on which I never really got.
The first time I went veggie it was more of an experiment to see how it was. There’s something about experiential learning that has a deeper lasting impact on thoughts and behaviours. This past month I’ve had an enormous paradigm shift when it comes to animals and eating meat.
I recently watched the video above which had a big impact on me. Alongside this I realised that whilst in India I haven’t really enjoyed eating meat (apart from on Christmas day where I had the most delicious steak and the tender chicken experience in Ooty). So I decided to stop eating meat. Then I went to the Isha Yoga Centre where one of the meditation exercises knocked my socks off and some how got me to connect with all living things. Since then I have become the gooey eyed dog loving, chicken loving, ah look at the cute rabbit loving person. What on earth has happened to me?
Two days ago I was woken up by a goat very loudly goat noising it in front of my window at 5.30am. It was mildly annoying, I put up with it as I’m pretty tolerant with annoying stuff (apart from noisy eating or slurping through a straw). Later that day I saw a guy with a rickshaw full of goats heading towards the meat stall (located about 10 metres from my window). The clues were stacking up but at some level I didn’t want to admit to myself that the goats were going to be killed.
The next morning I was woken at 4.15am to the devastating sound of a goat being killed. I have not heard anything like it in my entire life, the goat sounded very distressed. I went for a walk later that morning and had the biggest cry. The non attachment animal thing I described at the start has very much shifted. I felt a sense of loss and intense guilt for all of the animals that are killed to then be eaten. I’m actually very shocked by my response. Being in India makes you so responsive to your environment, super sensitive to what is around you. The difference between being veggie this time is that now I care about how animals are treated and I care about my response to them. I’m rocking this self love stuff, now it’s time for me to extend my love and compassion to all.
Being veggie in India is a breeze the test will be when I get home. Although it does beautifully link me right back to why I started my blog – to experiment with making healthy and delicious food.