Ten years ago today — the day of the Canadian Thanksgiving — I made one of the best decisions of my life. That choice was to stop consuming all animal flesh. As I sat down to a family Thanksgiving dinner that day and saw things, as mindfulness teaches us, “just as they were”, not as I was conditioned to see them, not as I thought I should see them and not as I wanted to see them, but truly as they were, I saw the madness before me, which up to that point I was blindly a part of and contributing to > a dead being, abused, tortured and slaughtered simply for our “pleasures”.
My eyes, heart, and mind opened that day more so than ever and allowed me to take one of the best actions for my personal health and wellbeing, and for the wellbeing of other living beings, I share this Earth with, including all animals and humans, as well as for the Earth itself, and our collective consciousness. Once you truly see things for what they are, there is no going back, no craving, no wanting, no depriving. There is just pure awareness, empathy, and compassion for the incredible pain and destruction we have inflicted on other life forms and our Earth.
The more aware we become, the more we allow ourselves to see and feel, the more mindfully we make our choices. I cannot take back my participation or undo the choices I made up to that point, and living with shame or guilt is highly destructive, and should never be our alternative. The solution instead is to act when we become aware, change our ways accordingly, and apply the highest level of love, compassion and forgiveness, first to the self, and second to others. Eventually, love will prevail, and as we heal ourselves, we will heal our world.
Although there are so many challenges on Earth, and so many reflections of anger, hatred, and violence, there is still so much beauty to be seen and experienced. And in the end, it is what we most focus on and what we participate in that dictates the quality of our life experience.
Whether in your closest relationships or in your communities, whether in the natural world or the material world, whether in your workplace or in the areas of any organizations or governing bodies, whether in your physical space or your online space, may you focus on and fill your life with as much peace, kindness, compassion, and beauty as you can allow yourself to see and experience.
To raise more awareness about this topic, which is at the crux of our human morality and spirituality, here are three great articles that educate, inform and shed light on the challenges and inconvenient truths before us regarding the consumption of animal flesh — meat.