Meat and War

Posted on February 1, 2007

Ugh! … I know, what a title. But now that I have your attention:

I don’t think I really live up to the standard of ‘spiritual’, despite all my rantings. But there is one thing for which I am eternally grateful, and that is that I was introduced to the vegetarian diet. On this point alone, I feel changed and blessed. I would never have thought of it on my own, though it is such an integral part of a peaceful life.

The fact that animals are the spiritual equals of man is made sad one by our mass killing and torture of them. No doubt this idea will strike many as strange, who for a lifetime have been desensitised to it. But this point is central to the thought I want to communicate to you- this same desensitisation prepares humankind for war, for suffering and for a horrible future. Subconsciously, we are used to killing, we are used to seeing flesh, we are thoroughly used to and in favour of the most horrible situation that could exist in life. We accept life as horror- and hardly bat an eye when war begins in a far off land. We might shudder at the thought of bellies being ripped open, or cold, lonely and bloody deaths in the midst of an atmosphere of aggression and hatred, but what do we do? What can we do? We ask, and we ask well, because by the time war has begun it is already too late. We cannot prevent the war happening now, but we can accept responsibility for the future by asking ourselves how our own existence might contribute to a warlike world.

I think we have to step beyond the materialistic identities we limit ourselves with: ‘I am from …’; ‘my ancestors did what…’; ‘this land is mine…’ etcetera. Such ideas shroud the fact that we are all spiritually related to each other just as much as we are related physically to our family, our land or our ethnicity. People often don’t like to break the mould, don’t like to think outside the box set for them by the culture they were born into. Thus the logic of the vegetarian diet passes them by. It is just another instance of the material far outweighing the spiritual in our thought, a trend that must not continue.

The subjugation to ‘family’ can be quite destructive for the enlightenment of the individual (and also society) for the simple reason that we never learn to think for ourselves. We become functionaries of a self-reproducing society with stagnant priorities.

Thinking back to how I spend 1999, working in Red Roosted and drinking, I can’t imagine a worse life, other than perhaps killing people. I did some serious damage to myself in those years, which I’m sure is why I needed to drink so much, to numb my mind to what I was really doing. Ironically, it was during this time that I really started being drawn to Taoist philosophy, a train of thought that would lead me to the conclusion: we are all one consciousness, and readied me for meeting the Master. I really wish others might have the same luck, that aside from any spiritual blessing, they might find someone to remind them not to kill; and what not killing means. I really hope that the medical profession also takes off its blinkers, throws materialistic conservatism and traditionalism to the wind and embraces the fact that vegetarianism is just better for all of us, physically. We already know what damage the meat industry does environmentally. It’s really the key issue in human evolution.