Tilly returns from her week at the beach with her HS classmates, who gather each year to escape their husbands and the responsibility of feeding them. I know what this responsibility is like because I have fish. If I didn’t give my betas four little beta bites each morning, they would die. And some husbands are like that, so their wives can’t stay away too long. But most can survive a week.
We did, my son and I. We were well stocked in cereal, peanut butter, and baked potatoes and cottage cheese for dinner. I must say that it is easier keeping the kitchen clean on such a menu. Being a vegetarian makes eating something one does to stay alive, instead of living to eat, so it doesn’t matter if there is no variety or special meals to look forward to. And going out to dinner has lost it’s luster here in our area because the restaurants have nothing but side order of mashed potatoes and a salad for people who don’t center their lives around meat.
Giving up meat not only has enormous health benefits, what with all that the industry puts in meat these days, but it also makes one aware of our addiction to meat and the emotional connection our culture has to meat as a status symbol. To be poor means you can’t afford good meat. One is rich if one can buy choice cuts of prime for dinner.
But I didn’t really have to give up meat. In fact, I was at a point in my life where I could afford the choice cuts and had a stainless steel grill on my deck to cook them just right. Then Yoga came back in my life like a jealous lover said, “Out with the meat. I won’t have that dead animal in my house.” So the meat left without so much as a thank you and a goodbye. And not a trace of my old friend is left. Now when I see or smell meat, I just see a dead animal, and it doesn’t look that appealing.
Maybe that is what happened. Yoga just took away my mental labeling stamp. If you stamp a slice of dead animal with the concept STEAK, it changes the whole meaning and flavor of the flesh. The memory of the experience of STEAK rises up and becomes what one sees. And as the steak is eaten it is compared to past steaks and put in the memory box to be pulled out at the next encounter. “Oh, this steak isn’t as good as they one we had the other day, is it?”
But if you take away the label, you see directly what it is, just a piece of dead and decaying cow. One might feel like a vulture, who just loves dead animals.
Yoga also makes one aware of another level of awareness on this subject. Yoga quiets the mind, and foods have a direct effect. We are what we eat, the mantra goes. And this is true. If we eat dead animals, we also eat their animal nature, which is the energy vibration of action and desire, and also the violence with which they were killed. If we want to feed our brain the food that will help it become still, sensitive, and open to insight, then we would eat foods that are living, such as fruits, nuts, and vegetables. On such a diet, one begins to feel lighter, healthier, more peaceful and creative. One also doesn’t need to eat as much, so weight is lost.
I can speak with some experience here, now that meat has left me over a year ago. But you know, I’ll bet the main reason more people don’t quit the meat is that old fear that monitors all our actions: “What would people think if I gave up meat?”
I know that fear is out there because the world of meat doesn’t want to lose a single slice of its body. “What? You gave up meat! What in the world for?”
But I’m not here to advise anyone to give up meat. I only advise them to practice yoga, and then watch what happens.
Posted under General Observations
This post was written by ed on September 23, 2006