Every time I say I am a vegetarian, people ask: Why? Well, Mahatma Gandhi once said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” and that’s why I’ve decided to become a vegetarian, because I believe we can live in a world in peace, but peace is something we all create, and to demand peace, we must first start by being the source of it, and that includes the things we feel, think, say and do. And choosing life before death in our dishes is a way of making peace.
I believe freedom makes us happy, and happiness brings us peace, and a world without freedom, nor peace cannot survive, and the lack of all those things create violence, and today there is violence everywhere, and that violence is bringing our existence to an end. How can we expect to live in a world in peace when we are constantly creating violence? There is violence in our daily lives, in our jobs and schools, there is violence in our homes, there is violence in the programs we watch, in the books and newspaper we read, in the games we play, in the music we hear, and there is violence in the food we eat.
We are covered with the blood of those who suffer: People, animals, and our precious world. When we choose to close our eyes against the suffering of other beings, we choose to be accomplices of the injustices of this world. But why does this happen? Because we are too worried in our own businesses that we forgot to remember the ones next to us. We have become so selfish that we do not care if in order to satisfy our own needs, we make others suffer.
“A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.” – Leo Tolstoy
That is why we constantly do things that only benefits us, for example: eating dead animals. In my case, I have been the human grave of many animals. I tasted them, and I ate them for many years; I were always aware of their suffering but it was too complicated for me to change my lifestyle, so I decided to keep being the coffin of the remains of dead animals. The funny thing was that I always proclaimed myself as an animal lover, I was against those who cause them pain, but I was eating them, and that is pretty much the same as killing them; because of me they die, because of my needs and pleasures they are slaughtered, because of me they suffer.
And that is the worst part of all: Our hypocrisy. We proclaim ourselves as animal lovers; we kiss and hug our dogs and cats, but we go to a zoo, and admire the beautiful animals caged sleeping on their own excrement. We watch hunters killing without mercy, taking photos of themselves with the corpses of dead animals and we get angry, we see what other heartless people do to animals in meat trades and we get mad. We see a beautiful video of a sweet little pig and we all die of tenderness.
“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.” – Albert Schweitzer
And then what? What happens when we have that little pig killed and dismembered in our dishes? Do we get angry or upset? Do we get sad? Or do we eat it with pleasure and joy? “Well, I have to eat, and I do not see that piece of meat as an animal but as food, and meat is good for our health, and it tastes good, and being a vegetarian is boring.” Excuses, and more excuses that people use in order to justify the slaughter of animals.
We are fast to judge others for their actions while we close our eyes while doing ours. People look at me weird, they laugh, they do not understand and ask me all the time: Why are you a vegetarian? And the answer is: Because I believe that every being on this planet should be free without being afraid that others will take away their freedom. Nobody, not a single person or animal should be enslaved, caged, tortured, or killed for the satisfaction of another being. We all deserve freedom and peace, and that are our main given rights. At the same time, this is not only about us or animals, it is about our planet, which is being killed by our deadly habits.
“I choose not to make a graveyard of my body for the rotting corpses of dead animals.” – George Bernard Shaw
This is not about being a vegetarian or not. This is about peace; this is about freedom. If you deserve those things, what made you think that other beings do not deserve the same rights? Who are we to choose who dies and who lives? And if you don’t care about animals, do you care about your home? And with home I mean your planet, without it we cease to exist. Once again, it is our habits and behaviors that are killing our world and their creatures, therefore, we are slowly committing suicide, and destroying the home of the next generation. We cause our own destruction, we take away our peace and we end with our freedom.
What I mean is that I have chosen this way of life not to be a super hero or the savior of the world, but because I wanted my actions to match my ideals. I wanted to leave my selfishness and hypocrisy aside, just because they do not identify my true self. I want peace for me, and for all the beings in this world. And I believe we must start by being the change we want to see in the world.
“Now I can look at you in peace; I don’t eat you any more.” – Franz Kafka
Therefore, I encourage you to leave aside the person that you are not, and become the person you are capable of becoming. I don’t try to make you vegetarian, I do not want to change you neither judge you, I just want you to be the source of the things you are looking for. Do you want love, kindness, compassion, peace? Do not wait that to come to you, go out and be all of that!
May your actions represent your ideals, your passions, your true self. Always remember that every little thing can make a huge difference in our daily lives and the life of others! No matter how crazy it sounds, together we can make a change, let’s make this world a better world for all! For a non-violent, without suffering nor pain, and more peaceful world!