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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

From Spring Issue - 2004

Yoga Bites
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 listening anymore.

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.



Return to Newsletters - Spring Issue - 2004

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