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Dear friends, I greet you all with love & affection and I am sure we are all closer to god for our love and care towards all living beings.
I am not going to write much about myself as I am not the subject of the blog and neither are my personal details relevant for this blog. Our common aim is to celebrate love by living a vegan or a vegetarian lifestyle. However, to make you all understand the aim of this blog, I shall describe basic fundamentals of my childhood life and the purpose of this blog.
As students in school and college, I and my friends would always find ourselves in love and materialistic pleasures of life. Like every other youngster, we were often driven by the romanticism and glorification of love by many great poets and mystics. We always identified our self with love as the prime motive for life and the purpose of world.
At the same time,the love for animals was also foremost in my heart. I had many dogs at home and they were a integral part of my daily life. Yet, I was being educated in a western convent where eating meat was part of my daily diet. Killing animals and birds for food became a contentious and moral issue to me. I later realized many of my fellow friends too had the same feelings and contradictions. The contradictions between love and consuming meat was always coming up to me and my friends.
As years passed, the love for animals grew stronger and my conscious began to contradict my habit of eating meat of animals that we loved. My conscious was continuously questioning the basic morality of humanity. what qualifies differentiation of lives ? What justifies pain and killing ? How can the heart love and yet kill ? How can spirituality grow if we create pain and extinguish a life ?
It did not talk long to search and find the truth. The understanding of the truth that god existed in the heart and soul of every living being, including animals, birds, insects and reptiles created a big impact on my conscious. This changed my moral and spiritual outlook to life. I feel blessed and fortunate that my heart has discovered the true nature of pure love.
So out of moral conviction of my heart, I changed school after my 10th grade to avoid a hostel life so that I could avoid eating meat and continue my schooling from home as a day scholar. I now became a full fledged vegetarian at the age of 16. My future studies led me into the usual worldly life. I found myself running after the world and chasing its attraction of money, fame, power and pleasure.But fortunately wherever I was and whatever I was doing, the love for animals were always a part of my heart.
All along, I was blessed and lucky to follow my two fundamental principles of life. 1) Love – For all living beings. and 2 ) Spirituality – I realized they were both one and the same as they both sprung from the same source in the inner self.( Hrudayam – The right heart – The Spiritual Heart ).It is here that the almighty exists in every living soul.
Being a vegetarian or a vegan is always a contentious issue and a contentious debate. Meat eaters are mostly ignorant or heartless or they feel guilty but know that they cannot stop themselves. So they argue, justify and give bullshit excuses to make their wrongs into something right. But whatever justification or excuse is given, truth cannot be killed.
Love is universal. What does this mean ? when we say love is universal, it not only includes humans but every living being. This is the meaning of universal love. If humans inflict pain and kill animals without mercy, then the question arises – Are we capable to give love to another human while we mercilessly participate in extinguishing another life and soul.
Love toward Non-Humans ( Animals, Birds, Insects etc ) is a dividing notion. Some declare their love of animals eagerly, even if it’s reserved only for beautiful and pets like cats and dogs, but not fishes, cows ,goats or chickens. People who claim to love animals, tend to eat them. Indeed, particularly in the West, this is the era, which loves animals more intensely and yet kills them more eagerly. Demands for animal welfare have become global but at the same time industrial animal farming, hunting, fishing and other forms of animal uses and abuses have exploded in quantity.
This leads to a logic of denial and ignorance in oneself when humans try to differentiate between right killing and wrong killing. This logic of denial can lead individuals in this consumer driven age to love pet animals and at the same time to kill and eat other animals like goats, pigs and cows. Killing while loving is based on denial and ignorance, as the “animal lover” may simply ignore where his / her food comes from and what pains are incurred by animals which also have life and soul like us.
The burger is separated from the cow as a collective obliviousness over the origins of “food” takes a hold. All uncomfortable information can be blocked out and turned off as we do not want to suffer from knowing the miseries of the world, as it is easier to forget that our actions cause harm to animal lives and we go about loving what our ego and ignorance considers as Love.
Love and Hypocrisy grow together in today’s selfish world. It is a hypocritical to proclaim care and love to humans when we kill or remain silent when animals which have a soul like us are harmed and killed. If we can justify killing of animals for meat then we have no right to proclaim that we have love in our heart for anyone, even towards fellow humans. Such denials, ignorance and hypocrisy is worsened by social and cultural views which devalues the love for animals. Surrounded by cultural beliefs on the superiority of human beings and bombarded with a constant greed of taste for meat and its side kicks, it is easy to adopt double standards of love.
As a result, “loving animals” can just remain with “empty words” and “loving humans” can just remain with “empty romances & sex”
Yet, there are also other explanations for both loving and killing. The most obvious one is the failure to notice what “love” means. If only we humans could notice all lives “as real” and not a the side-character in our lives, meant to serve our needs. We must get rid of our ignorance that animals are not a product nor a resource of food consumption. Rather, they are like our own self, an equal, a living being with a purpose in the world no less worthy than ours. If we manage to set aside egoism and gain a sense of realism, only then we will be capable to love and be loved.
To truly love means to have the capacity to feel, sense and respect all living being and not just human beings as our equals. Only then it is true that love lives in our heart. Loving animals is about paying heed to their realities – to the fact that they have their own unique way of existence, their own minds and mental contents, their desires,experiences and their inimitable distinctness. It consists of acknowledging that all animals and birds are our equals in this sense and deserve our moral love and care.
We simply cannot love and kill. If we kill any life then love is just a mere source of self-benefit, a tool for our own comfort even with humans. When killing starts for whatever reason, then love stops. Hence,love and killing cannot go hand in hand. Love and meat cannot co exist. Love and pain can never unite. Love is universal and any argument in support to inflict pain, and eat meat is only a pathetic excuse to satisfy one’s own gratification of their sense of taste. It is truly ignorance and arrogance caused by the absence of moral and spiritual bankruptcy in themselves. So we cannot carry on the bullshit of arguments of being a vegetarian Vs non-vegetarian.
People are often blind to moral and spiritual truth. The truth is that all living souls are one and the same. The basic fundamental of morality and spirituality arises from the fact of being truthful. Truth is accepting, recognizing, respecting and loving every soul in every form without inflicting pain directly or indirectly. This is the first and the only truth.
Vegetarianism is a spiritual philosophy that explains the truth that all souls are the same and equal. God the almighty that resides in your soul is the same almighty that resides in every living soul. Vegetarianism is directly related to spirituality. The Sanskrit word ahimsa,( Non violence) means to do no harm, is emphasized as a fundamental qualification in spirituality. “Ahimsa” also means kindness and non-violence towards all living beings including animals. It respects all living beings as one and includes the fundamental truth that the Almighty exists in every living soul.
Those who are truly connected with truth will feel a love for all creatures, great and small. They recognize and treat the soul in human beings and all other living creatures as equal. People who talk about “Love” must adopt a path of non-violence towards all living beings.
I welcome everyone will love. This blog is a celebration of life and love by being a vegan or a vegetarian. Let us lead a life of non-violence by showing compassion for all living souls. By following this noble path, we will naturally develop love for our own inner self and grow spiritually. Always remember we are all accountable for our actions. My dear friends, let us make a honest attempt to stop support of torture and killing of animals in any form.
Be humble and peaceful. Be a vegan or a vegetarian. There is a nobility in it. Let our love for every soul be the only principle in our life. This love is the true path to spirituality, god and enlightenment.
Be blessed. Love & Hugs –
The Author – www.veggievalentine.com