Food For Thought

Once upon a time there was a cattle rancher. And there was also a cattle rancher’s wife. One day the cattle rancher’s wife started giving names to the cattle. The cattle rancher said, you shouldn’t give them names. But she did anyway.  As the cattle rancher’s wife began to recognize the cattle by name, she also began to know their individual personalities. And she began to care about them and love them, not just as “cattle” but as pets.  Sometimes she would sing to them, and they would contentedly lay down right next to her and just listen. The cattle rancher was upset with his wife. How can we run a cattle ranching business and kill the cattle for meat if all the cattle have names and are pets?  Then the wife stopped eating meat and become a vegan and showed her care for the living beings!  Now there was real friction in the marriage, and the cattle rancher and his wife didn’t get along. The cattle rancher’s wife started a blog about her life as vegan.

She tried to an example of how we should live life – not as a cruel master or even an exploiter, but as a caretaker of all living beings. In other words, she tried to live a life based on karma yoga where one dedicated his or her life for serving God and others rather than living for just to oneself. She began to earn money from it, and offered to buy all the cattle from her husband. But after thinking about it, the cattle rancher began to agree with his wife.  He liked having the cattle as pets, and he even became a vegan too. And now the cattle rancher and his wife and all the cows and bulls live happily together on the ranch, which has become an animal sanctuary where animals are never killed for meat. See this video embedded below which speaks about how we can achieve the true happiness and realize the futility of the superficiality.

The life of cattle couple is a real, true story. But it’s an unusual and rare story. It’s one nice story in the midst of innumerable sad stories about farm animals in America. Most cattle, indeed practically all farm animals in America, do not get to live out their lives safely and happily at animal sanctuaries.  They are raised for food for human beings on factory farms in conditions which are filthy, cruel, and inhumane.  Their life is full of pain, misery, and suffering, and at the end they are transported and slaughtered in ways that most people would be shocked and horrified to hear about, let alone see.  But of course, most of us rarely see or hear about or see these things, it’s just too unpleasant.  And it would be terrible for business. you can learn more about real love and the science of yoga & identity from here.

Animals are big business—really, really big business.  An almost incomprehensible number of animals are slaughtered in the United States every year.  Can you comprehend 59 billion land and sea animals in 2009? I can’t. How many million is that? It takes a while to get our minds around such an incredibly large number.  It becomes more manageable when we break it down to a personal level. That’s an average of 198 animals that died per meat eater in America in 2009. .

It’s easy for us to be oblivious to the background behind the meat we buy in a store. It’s cleanly packaged and neatly arranged. It doesn’t have a face or a body or life anymore. It’s just a dead, lifeless lump of meat.  There’s no sight of how cruelly the animals are raised or transported or slaughtered. There is no sound of their cries of pain and suffering.  It’s all very impersonal, quiet and clean–far removed from the horrors that came before. If it were not, certainly many people would not be able to indulge in buying or eating it, especially children.

The cattle rancher’s wife realized that each one deserves to live their life. Their cattle were thinking, feeling, loving animals that related to her and responded to affection. Sure, they’re still animals, not humans, and they obviously can’t talk or do things we humans can do. There are obvious differences between animals and humans, but that doesn’t negate the fact that they feel pain, and  experience fear, distress, and sadness, or contentment, satisfaction and love.  If we personally got to know each of the 198 animals that the average American meat eater ate in 2009, I wonder how many of them we would be able to actually eat? Check this enlightening video below by a student of an enlightened teacher explaining on true love which we all as human beings require to know and act on it. This video also explains the essential aspects of our true identity, life, happiness, in fact every thing is connected to it. watch this for more 🙂

If nothing else, when you buy meat, please take a minute to think about where it came from, what happened to it before it was in the store. Was there a face, a body, a thinking, feeling animal that it came from? What did that animal go through on order to make a piece of its body available for us to buy in the store?  And do I want to be a part of that chain of horror and suffering?

Let me leave you with a final thought:

“Once you come to terms with why you don’t eat cats, dogs, monkeys, and dolphins, you will begin to understand why I don’t eat cows, pigs, chickens, and lambs.”
― Edward Sanchez