“As long as there are slaughterhouses, there will be battlefields.” – Leo Tolstoy
“I am in favor of animal rights as well as human rights. That is the way of a whole human being.” – Abraham Lincoln
“For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seed of murder and pain cannot reap joy and love.” – Pythagoras
Stop consenting to the slaughtering of innocence creatures who never harmed you. Of course, they do harm you once you decide to ingest their slain flesh, but that’s not their fault.
So long as we participate in systems that promote injustice, we too promote injustice. Just as much as anyone else is responsible for the state of the world, we are responsible, and our problems are not nearly as complex as politics and the media might have you believe. Many of our issues have simple solutions which essentially involve people becoming aware of the injustices which they are participating in and making a conscious decision to sit out when such is the case.
If we take the time to consider what our food actually is, where it came from, how it was made, and what it does to our bodies, I think we would all come to elevate our preferences away from the meat-eating ways of the westernized world.
We spend a lot of time worrying over issues that we have little to no power to influence. For example, politics – many of us might feel the need to stay uber-informed about the presidential campaigns while at the same time neglecting our personal diet and exercise. We think that we should be involved in politics as responsible citizens, yet we don’t even accept responsibility for ourselves.
The way I see it, if we cannot take care of ourselves, we should certainly not spend our time taking care of others. If we do not put ourselves first, no one else will. Before we get all concerned about how to craft the perfect state and what’s the best form of government, let’s accept responsibility for governing ourselves and mastering the workings of our own lives.
Accepting responsibility for ourselves includes that we know about what we are putting into our bodies, as well as what we are putting out. Learn about the food that you eat, and think about where it came from and the processes the food underwent to arrive on your table. When we stop to ponder a bit, we’ll realize how amazing the whole process is, and at the same time we’ll also hopefully realize that the chicken we think we are eating could just as easily be our pet dog who we love so much.
For me, choosing to not eat meat is more about a personal moral code than it is about health. Based on personal research, I do think a vegetarian is healthier than one with meat, but the verdict is still out on that and likely will not be resolved anytime soon. Additionally, I’m not too qualified to speak on issues of personal health; however, we are all qualified to speak on issues regarding morality. Each one of us is an individual has a duty to hone our moral senses so that we can operate morally in the world. To me, killing anything, be it human, animal, or insect, is wrong. It doesn’t matter if you despise the other because of the color of their skin or if they just taste particularly delicious – killing is wrong.
So long as we choose to live in a world that openly accepts and even advocates for death, we are going to live in a world that is less than what we are capable. We are completely capable of living in a state of World Peace. Step by step, we can make our way along the path. A good first step is to stop consenting to death of fellow men, animal, and insect. We are all living creatures on this planet, placed here for a very special reason, and certainly that reason is not to kill each other.
One of my favorite essays that helps me connect with the beauty of all life is Nobel Peace Prize-winning Dr. Albert Schweitzer’s “Reverence for Life.” If you’d like to read the essay, you can find it here: http://www1.chapman.edu/schweitzer/sch.reading4.html
Thank you for reading! Peace, Love, and Happy New Year in case I didn’t wish it to you for the last one. Hallelujah!