This issue bothers most of us, yet I can’t seem to resist kebabs, fried prawns, fish curry, etc. When a spiritual leader was asked by someone who was guilty of killing cockroaches, he laughed it off by saying that the cockroach was lucky to have got rid of the life it had in order to move on to a higher form of life. Since then I am happy to get rid of these repelling creatures. It’s like they say, it’s not bad to punish, it helps the person concerned to improve his/her karma.
I don’t know the kind of good work this certain spiritual teacher has done, but I think anything that doesn’t come from your own heart, your own inner knowing is worth questioning. Even ‘spiritual’ teachers are human in the end, they share the best of what they ‘know’ but it doesn’t make it truth. Maybe cockroaches look very different from us and move around much faster, but in no way can we say with certainty that they are a ‘lower’ form of life than us. Or that it is their ‘karma’ to be killed by us. It is their karma to live, it is our karma to live. When we kill them on grounds where we believe we hold absolute truth over who shall die and who shall live, in my eyes that is us playing god. Perhaps we are god, or perhaps we are accruing negative karma pretending to know the truth when we don’t actually know. These things are to be wary of, anything that isn’t loving kindness is to be wary of.
Response to the word, “Can’t”:
Can’t is a word we use when we are unwilling to try. Avoiding foods that are regularly consumed takes practice. It doesn’t necessarily come overnight. And sometimes it takes months just thinking about it, before the courage to try something new is able to settle. That is totally okay. What worked best for me, is to make up my mind, that I would try it, for a month — or a certain time frame. The more it is practiced, the more one can realize that the world is full of flavorful and wonderful foods. Soon I got to the point where the cravings totally went, perhaps some desire for certain tastes remained… but those tastes were mostly the sauces which can be eaten with vegetables or tofu and suddenly those comfort foods are really not so far away after all. The next level after adjusting your inner desires and cravings, is the ability to state what you like and what you need to family and friends. This was very difficult for me, I didn’t want to be a hassle, I did not want to cause issues. But with practice, again, I made sure to let people know, if I would be eating with them, what I eat and what I don’t eat. This allows them to know and to plan before hand so it’s not uncomfortable to come to their home and nothing you can actually eat. Some people will give you a hard time, that’s their job. But our job is to live in our own truth, and what feels right to us. It doesn’t serve them to try to ‘please’ them when it actually hurts you or hurts other beings involved… the discomfort to a being is not equal. I would rather inflict discomfort on someone then severe cruelty and murder to another in avoiding that. It’s your life, it’s your body, of course you have ultimate decision as to what goes inside. It gets easier, and then it gets joyful. And then you can’t see yourself looking back, unless there is some crazy apocalyptic scenario, and even I don’t know fully what I would do if such a thing happened.
But anyway, it’s possible, it just takes practice. It starts with denying one meal. And sometimes that first meal is the hardest, but it’s initiated a new brain pattern that will further be strengthened the more it is practiced. Another way to kick the habit is to watch documentaries that jolt the nervous system — the shocking horrors behind the scenes of these animal factories (earthlings, youtube videos, fork over knives, food inc, food matters). If you can’t bring yourself to watch it… it’s that much more reason as to why it is important to. It’s not fair that you are unwilling to watch something with your eyes, that millions of animals per day are experiencing with their bodies. And that is caused by you. By us, collectively and each of us who buy into the meat culture contribute directly to that. Those dollars tell those farm managers and CEO’s that we appreciate their services in the world. And we think that they should be some of the richest people in the world, because we believe in their cause. But is this truth? Do we really feel that way? We can in no way be disconnected from the fact that we are causing that, every time products are consumed from those factories. Even if its some innocent ‘leftovers’ that no one else was going to touch, it doesn’t matter, consumption leads to more consumption.