by Reagan Leonard
My yoga teachers taught me to eat a vegan diet and be
delighted for other peopleıs happiness, even if it was coming from eating a ham
sandwich. I know they are right. But what if they donıt seem happy?
What if you are eating with a friend who proceeds to tell you,
over her chicken salad how helpless she feels about what GW is doing to those
poor Iraqis and how nobody seems to care? "We donıt
even know how many people they have killed."
I do not say ³well we know we have killed 9 million animals
today in this country so that you can eat that chicken salad. This is my
opportunity to feel compassion; instead I disconnect myself, not really
She continues ³I mean, I didnıt vote for him last time and
that didnıt help.
He stole the election anyway.² I vaguely think something about
Bushıs agenda feeding the meat-greedy industries and their insatiable appetite
for fossil fuels. I sigh.
I am bored and frustrated. To help more people, seeing the
fundamental connection between meat eating and much of this worldıs suffering is
a task beyond words, pictures and videotapes, although those are some of the
crude tools that we have. Compassion is the right tool for the job and once
again it is not back in my toolbox where I last saw it.
I often hear,"Well, we have eaten
meat since the dawn of civilization."
Common sense tells me that we have been killing each other
just about as long but we are used to that. Milan Kundara said,
"True human goodness, in all its purity and freedom,
can come to force only when its recipient has no power. Humanityıs true moral
test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude towards those who are at
its mercy: animals. And in this respect humankind has suffered a fundamental
debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it."
How de we heal this planet? Stop judging others. Try to see
what is the same about you and those people who are not as fortunate as you to
be a vegan.
I vow to keep trying to be the kindest, most respectful,
joyous person, deriving the most possible benefit from a peaceful diet. I thank
my gurus, Diasaku Ikeda and Sharon and David for all they
have shared with me.