Peppa and George have been in my life for about 9 months now. They are educational (to some extent) and when I need a quiet few moments (to write blog post, for example) they are always happy to entertain my 3 year old boy Noah, via You Tube.
So pigs are far more to me than a source of pork! But on a more serious note…
Watching the Bear Grylls island this week got me thinking about my vegan diet and how I now feel about eating meat. On the programme the women befriended two piglets, they named them Sage and Onion, and then they slaughtered and ate them. There was one vegetarian who would play no part in the sacrifice of the pigs.
I found myself questioning what I would have done. I ate meat very happily for more than 30 years and I essentially blocked all concerns about animal welfare from my mind. I was the sort of meat eater who would happily buy the value range in the supermarkets. My diagnosis with MS and the discovery that a low saturated fat diet would aid my recovery stopped me in my tracks and I haven’t touched a morsel of meat for over 2 years.
Reflecting on the programme the most troubling thought for me is that pigs are so intelligent. Research has shown that pigs can actually play video games better than some primates, that they communicate with different noises, that mother pigs sing to their young. Those who have studied pigs have discovered that they display many human emotions and that they are very loyal. So when they followed the women on the island on their trek to a new beach they were demonstrating their loyalty. When they slept close to the women and enjoyed physical contact they were showing how pigs quickly form social units. What a shame they were re-payed by having their throats slit.
In the circumstances that the women faced on the island I can empathise with their decision. They were starving. I don’t think I would have done it though.
Although I used to love meat I have seen so clearly now that I can have a delicious and healthy diet without the need to eat animals. I never thought that I had an internal conflict about eating meat going on but in retrospect I can see that my love of animals and my meat eating habits didn’t go well together. To some extent my conscience was bothered by the contradiction.
Having made the decision that I will never eat meat again I do not feel restricted, instead I feel liberated. No more tussling with my conscience and wondering what the right decision is, I am sorted. I didn’t make the decision because of my love of animals but now that I have made it I am so much happier and I have much more peace of mind.
Life throws all sorts of dilemma’s in our way and we all make different choices. The most important thing is that we do what is right for us. We all seek happiness in life and happiness comes from a calm mind, not one that is struggling to cope with the decisions that we have made.
Sometimes we can go for years making the same decision over and over again without really recognising that we have a choice. Learning to look at things a fresh could make a massive difference to your life. If you make a decision that you have been avoiding, you might discover a peace of mind that you didn’t know was possible. Imagine that.