I have been a vegetarian now for almost twenty years. I would never disrespect people for eating animals, however we as the human race need to make some changes to the way we eat. Earth is suffering not only because of greed and convenience but because of an unhealthy obsession or lust for meat. The Chinese’s obsession with pork, the American obsession with the burger, the British obsession with fish and chips. More forests continue to be destroyed to make way for cattle, more farmers are going out of business due to the supermarkets ridiculous buying prices and the recession hit west’s need for cheap food. It can not go on for very much longer, as this horse meat fiasco demonstrates.
A friend of mine sent me the video link below. Out of all of the clips i have seen in the past, this one seems to be the most powerful. Its exquisitely shot and displays the journey from life to consumption, and the effects that can have on the body. The film is not gory but it is disturbing, if you actually see what is happening.
I am a healthy human and i have not eaten meat, fish, eggs, milk ( apart from the odd bite of chocolate at times of desperation and peanut coatings unknowingly!!! ), cheese, (apart from one bite after at least ten years, in Burma, last new years eve) cream and other dairy products.
Systems are in place and manufactures seem happy to, ” Use every bit of the animal ” which is added into washing up liquids, soap, cosmetics, alcohol, toothpaste, pens, glue, everything, infecting so many aspects of the conscientious, vegetarian existence.
There is no need to kill these poor beasts. There is no need to farm them in totally unnatural ways on mass, no need to cull forests, no need to have a separation between cruelty and death and life killed for our pleasure. Our disgusting, superior, egotistical eating habits. You don’t eat your dogs, your parents or your friends. You greave, mourn and lay to rest.
Humans have a conscience, no? Humans love life, no? Humans love animals, no? Humans can see beyond their nose’s and ego’s and tummies, no? People who can’t see past their own greed continue to reproduce and pass this desensitized view of life on to their children. Chicken nuggets for lunch kids?
In my book life is life. All should be treated fairly. One species should not feel they have a right to murder anything else. Especially when there are other things to eat. Imagine yourself on the conveyor belt.
Granted there are thankfully many people who share my view, BUT NOT ENOUGH. Nations which were once vegetarian are now demanding more flesh. It is seen by many as middle class, privileged and good. A sign of progression. It’s putting more demands on earth, and more demands on chain.
This is a plea for help. It’s a statement continuing the argument that all life should be treated with respect. That living things should be loved and nourished and cared for. Life is life. Souls are souls. All that breathe have one.
Eating hidden flesh,
Hurling until the blood rises to the skin.
Your mistake has cost you two days and two hundred pounds,
Its cost me twenty years without death.
Hidden amoncst beans and roots,
The screen commits a thousand sins.
Your mistake draws tears past the surface, and out,
My twenty years without death.
No writing for days, hours, minutes until it’s the only thing i can do. The only thing i have to do. Nashik always messes me up, always plays with my mind, always fuck’s me over big style. My second visit in four years and her power is overwhelming. She always makes me feel like i have had enough. Not of India as i am re-refreshed, nor of travelling but of me, of life, my existence and the human condition.
Swimming in the Ramkund ( Devotees gather here to plunge their beloved’s ashes on the strong belief that it will help the dead to get salvation) seems like an end to me, not a beginning, not salvation. An end so powerful that i am overcome. Overpowered.
Dressed in lungi’s i paint Tilaka above my eyes and hit the streets, dodging all that India throws, heading downward, toward the hill, towards the tank, towards the pilgrims, towards the steps, the steps.
I submerge, one, two, three. Nose blocked, eyes closed, then swim. Buy the lit cup of flowers and send them on their way. I drip onto the slimy steps as my dead filsl all that i am, focused on the flame. As it drifts i remember.
A moment later my insecurities invade. I only have three weeks left in this life, this period, this lifestyle which even now, still existing feels miles away.
Three weeks to go and i must make them mine. Forget about a meter around my skin, my sensors and just sink sink sink. I owe it to myself. Warn out from giving. Inhale.
The veranda looks older than previously, like we all do apart from his beautiful wife, radiating youth and beauty, working away in the kitchen in oranges and yellows. Slight silent tinkles of aluminum suggesting that the meal isn’t far from ready. High on the wall an image of grandpa amongst the gods, remembered and revered daily by the powdery red dot in the lower center of his forehead. The first-born now walking and talking, shy but allured by my gift of a multitude of sweets and a small percussion instrument – polished coconut filled with rice on a stick. She looks like and adores her father, quite rightly so. The newest born being bathed then made up with talcum powder, holy ash and charcoal , screaming in discomfort of a white face so close to hers – our first meeting.
Then there on the right hand side of the porch, on a concrete slab my host, my brothers mother lies. “Namaste”, i say, ” A ram” but she is far from OK. She just looks deep into my eyes to the heart of my soul and beyond. Her face swollen like a cat and her body thin as old dead sticks, draped in green. No longer sitting, no longer eating, lying there dying of tuberculosis, no older than fifty-five. A women once so beautiful, so open and so feisty; a lady so elegant, so charming so kind and my friend of eleven years. Face cat-like, arms twig like on a concrete slab, covered in green, dying.
Yet the children with their new lives fill the air with smiles, with new-born fresh energy, so unaware of the concept of death. From shy to talking, to playing with mobile phones and cameras, bemused at seeing themselves on-screen, surrounded by love and fruit trees.
The most amazing meal arrives, the perfect same as always. Beetroot curry, dahl, rice, roti, papad and pickle. Waiting and tasting the glorious feast in silence, my vista being a dying lady, a friend, a happy memory in pain, being turned into the last days of her life. Smiling children as i try to taste the beets without breaking down in tears; i think the first time i have cried and eaten simultaneously. It breaks my heart. A death-bed and a dining room all in the same six feet by twelve feet space. Reality at its most real, taste at its best but sadness at its deepest. Privileged to be there but devastated to think that that is the last time she will be. Namaste i say gently as she sleeps. Goodbye to the children, goodbye to his beautiful wife and goodbye to a lady i will always remember with so much elegance, so much charm and so much love.
She died early the next morning and was burnt soon after.
Thank god the browser has opened! My head is about to explode, in words instead of a Polaroid image. Stress of the final few days makes me a little edgy as i don’t take well to being told what to do, especially after a heady afternoon in the pub and a little too much to drink. Time continues running away and the stress of change is imminent; goodbyes are sad.
My removal from this came via a walk into the fields, on a nostalgic hill looking down at the river, and the cows and the sunset. Listening to Kylie and smoking a one skinner. The space and the sounds and the pair of cows carefully trotting toward the rest of the heard, hopefully not because i was breaking the quiet and the vibration dynamic, but because they were simply on their way, trotting on, trotting off. The field full of sheep seemed to enjoy my rendition of “All The Lovers”, but i have just had five pints. I said goodbye to the landscape whilst filling my eyes and several other organs with the view; perhaps for the final time, this time.
Over the day’s i have been staying at my parents house i have become so much more involved with the sky. It’s absorbing me whether its blue and white, or grey and wet ( Or a combination of it all ). It’s so much more visible here and i am getting so much space from space. Lines of cable or peaks of buildings, or clouds and blue. I have began to look up and look closer to this infinitive mass and getting rather lost in it. Like i feel more attached and closer to being apart of it, in an airplane or the ether. The regions of space beyond the earth’s atmosphere; the heavens.
Heading towards spirituality as an individual would have great personal benefits, but being part of “The Ideal” makes it sooo much harder. How can one have a journey toward god and enlightenment whilst having a relationship with someone else, on earth? I never have been very good at multi-tasking!