Why go Vegan

Sunday, January 01, 2017 K.Z. Freeman 1 Comments

Every one of us lives our lives in a tunnel constructed by our personal philosophy. We perceive and think inside this tunnel, act and do things which we believe will help us stay inside the tunnel. The tunnel is safe. We already know what’s inside and we believe that at some point, we will reach the end of it and things will change. On most days we live under the illusion that this is the point of life, to reach the end of the tunnel. Most of the time we do not realize the tunnel exists.

The only thing which can alter the width of our perceptions and thinking, that is to say the width of the tunnel itself, is a shift in consciousness. At some point we have to wake up to the fact that we are indeed inside the tunnel, and that our modes of thinking are made to serve this illusion that our personal tunnel is the right one.

Because we live inside this tunnel every day, we walk around hypnotized by our minds. We stay trapped inside a narrow space which the mind has itself devised.

We rarely consider another point of view or empathize with another person unless their experience is similar to our own tunnel. For instance, if our mother has not died, we will say ‘sorry for your loss’, but will never truly understand the pain and what it is like to be inside that other tunnel.

We rarely consider another, conflicting point of view. Most of the time we desire only to see and hear a reflection of our existing philosophy about what is life and what it is not.

We connect with those who have similar tunnels, and usually reject those who do not. We look for ourselves in others.

But what happens when we turn this tunnel in on itself? What happens when the tunnel and the narrow views it projects upon the world are turned upon the tunnel itself?

For a while and for most, nothing happens. This was also true in my case. It took me more than 4 years for my first real awakening experience to occur. There are many facets of my Self which were subtly and less subtly influenced upon, but one thought became quite clear and suddenly illuminated.

I could no longer justify eating animals.

The hypocrisy of my own self appalled me to such a degree, that it produced a reaction of immense dissatisfaction in my own doing.

Since I was a kid I loved animals. There was never any one animal which I would dislike or didn’t find fascinating in some way. And yet, all of this love and care dissipated at lunch time. An animal became food, and over the years I often justified this behavior as something a superior species does. It dominates. It dominates things around it and bends it to its will for survival. At that age my mind never considered that, although I knew animals felt and wished to live, the meat on my plate was once an animal which too wished to live and had experiences.

Often I would hear the argument of, ‘pigs are ok dogs are not’. Meaning that a dog is not okay to eat because he is a companion, not food, and pigs are bred to be eaten.

But why make this comparison in the first place? It became clear to me that we think ourselves as a superior being. Instead I ask you this, why is it okay to eat a pig and not a human?

Think about it and consider the emotions it produces inside you when you read this question. Why is it not okay to eat a human? 
Why don’t you feel the same emotion and repulsion when you consider devouring the life of a pig as when you consider devouring a human? Why it is okay to eat its life? That is what happens. You do not just devour the meat, you devour its life, because first you have to kill and end that life. You know eating a person would be wrong because you see people acting and feeling every day. You see them living, and are disgusted not by the meat of a human.

This is a very important point to realize.

Everything you experience comes from Self. It cannot come from any other dimension. It doesn’t come from somewhere up above, it doesn’t come from left or right. Stimuli come from directions perhaps, but your experience of these stimuli come from an inner dimension that is You.

The disgust you feel is not at the prospect of human meat, but of the idea of You yourself eating that meat.

You feel and know in your gut that it is wrong. Not because human meat itself would be wrong, human meat by itself is after all just meat. Instead you see the ACT of eating that meat as revolting.

So why don’t we feel the same towards eating the flesh of animals?

The question to why ties into much the same process as early age indoctrination by religion. 
Any religion, when preached to a child at an early enough age, will incorporate itself into the tunnel of that child in some way. Because we often equate the tunnel of our perceptions as Us, that is to say we see the tunnel as Me and not as our Perceptions, we later and throughout life live under the illusion that such and such religion is not a part of our perception, but that it is Me.

In the same manner, we are systematically programmed every day by our parents and those around us every time they put meat on our plates and advertise it everywhere.

Each and every time you feed meat to your child, and each moment you put it on his plate to eat, you create their philosophy. You create their tunnel vision of animals being foodstuff. And so meat becomes only meat and not a dead animal. The meat ceases to be a being that was no less a part of this world than the human that is now eating it.

We may think we bred that animal to be eaten and therefore its purpose is to be consumed. And yet that is not its nature. The purpose of being consumed was determined by man. And yet purpose is not nature.

When looking at an animal, we know and can immediately perceive that there is something which animates it. Something which makes the animal experience the world around it in its own tunnel. Something which makes it respond with emotions and fears just as a human does. Something which we call life, yet do not really know what it is or how it works. We can measure it, we can sense it. And we call it life. But the world life does not explain what it is. And yet we sense that this thing, this life, is the animal’s nature. That it wants to live and be alive.  We are deeply connected to this knowledge, because we too are life. So even if an animal doesn’t realize itself with the complex mind of a human, it still wants to be itself. It wants to express its inner life by living.

Does this desire to live and be alive seem the same as the man given purpose it has received, which is to be eaten?

I think not. 

Yet still we consider ourselves superior to every animal. Because we can make cars, go to the Moon, or compose symphonies? We think ourselves superior and as the great inventors that progress the human race? Why should our nature be to progress ourselves only? If we are the only being on this world that can realize the whole world and know of our own existence within it, would it not make more sense that our intrinsic superiority is not that we can dominate other living beings, but co-exist with them? When was the last time you personally invented something or done something for the benefit of mankind? Did you ever? Or do you go to a job every day, never feel truly free, accept your condition as a state of the world and do it every day without question, thinking you have no choice?

Now look at a bird. Is it truly inferior to you because it doesn’t have a job, doesn’t have an education, has not seen as much of the world as perhaps you have or experienced the depth of emotion? Or is it better because such things never even enter its field of concern? From the moment it woke up and until the last breath it will make it will live here and now, acting out precisely its nature.

In my personal view, the nature of man is the ability to become the very possibility which he sees and thinks of. Man can make a possibility into an actuality. That is a part of what makes us special, that is a part of our nature. Not our superiority.

Our nature is to wear masks. We do it every day. But it is our nature itself which wears them, so the masks are not our nature.

And one of the most difficult masks to throw off is the mask of perceived superiority. Of being in some way better and thus entitled.

This applies to being entitled to meat. 

Let me try and illustrate how ridiculous this entitlement actually is. In our tribal periods, it was usually men who hunted. If you didn’t hunt and were a poor hunter, you didn’t get to eat the meat that was caught. Now meat grows on shelves in a store, according at least to our limited tunnel vision.

Why exactly are we entitled to that meat? Because we were born a human being? You personally did nothing to deserve that meat, it was showed into your face from an early age, just as it was into mine. You did not hunt nor kill the animal on that shelf.

You never hunted a thing in your life. Most of us will probably NEVER hunt a thing in our lives, perhaps we’ll fish. Shooting with a rifle from 500m isn't hunting. We are inept hunters. Whoever thinks this is not true should go try and set traps.

And yet because of our perceived superiority we think it's okay to do nothing and simply pick up meat from a shelf, not giving any thought as to the processes of suffering which needed to occur for that meat to materialize.

In our superiority complex we believe ourselves to be the ultimate hunter. That in itself should be a joke. Indeed, we are so superior over the rest of life on this planet that we create breeding grounds where we subjugate animals to suffering and fear only to feed ourselves, when the consumption of meat to sustain ourselves isn’t necessary for survival, especially in our current state of culture.

This was a realization which, for me, was very powerful. That I do not need meat to sustain myself. That no animal has to die for any of my meals and that no animal should suffer for me to live.

The first time I knew I do not wish to eat meat again I knew nothing about veganism. I stopped for my own selfish reasons.

Many thousands of years ago, the East discovered what we call science today. Only they called it yoga. In this yoga, they incorporated things which the science of the West is now discovering, for instance that breathing and the rate of it has an effect on emotions.

Breathing yoga became one of the main sciences of the East. One of the techniques in this science was called Pranayama. In this technique of breathing and its philosophy air contains prana, which is life force.

In our Western science we have constructed our own tunnel for this. For us this life force is a way of seeing air as a combination of different atoms and in turn molecules. In reality this doesn’t matter, since what happens when you breathe 'normal' air is the same if you call it prana or give it a molecular composition.

What is important, however, is that in Pranayama, they discovered stages of prana energy.

The first stage is to receive prana through breathing. This is considered the purest form a person can get prana.

The second stage is through eating plants. We know that plants contain mostly Carbohydrates, Protein and minerals. Since our bodies use carbohydrates as its main fuel, it makes sense that plants would be the next stage where humans receive life force.

The third stage is animal meat. Since animals themselves consume the first two stages of prana only, except of course meat-eating animals, they change these two stages of prana into a third stage, which they store in themselves FOR THEMSELVES. This stage is not meant to be eaten, as it contains the residue of conscious experiencing. What this means that animal protein and meat does not store only raw energy in form of minerals and nutrients or prana, but also the energetic state of the animal which it can experience through the help of the first two stages. In our Western mode of thinking, these energetic states are stored amino-acids and hormones which occur in bodies when under the influence of fear, dread, pain, sadness and all emotions which are produced by the suffering of a self-conscious being who has the capacity to experience pain and pleasure. So it is never only raw protein which is eaten, but all the imprints in the form of hormones and acids that these emotions leave within the nervous system and thus meat.

After discovering this and drawing parallels with my own knowledge about what food is, it became clear to me that eating animals today makes very little sense. It took some time for the childlike compassion to return. Not only towards animals which we view through our tunnel as being our pets, but especially towards those that we eat. Slowly meat was no longer what my parents thought me it was – food. But became the flesh of a being that did not want to be eaten. It became a part of a being that lives just as much in this world as I do.

To see anyone as superior or inferior is a matter of looking through a tunnel which you yourself have constructed. Rather, all beings are victims of their own tunnels. They are hypnotized by their minds. They do not know because they were never shown, or don’t want to be shown. They stay in their tunnel because of the fear of what might happen to them if that tunnel expands. To them their philosophy by which they live is not only a philosophy, and their tunnel is not just a tunnel, but rather this tunnel is what they perceive as Me. And losing that Me/Self is terrifying, and you know it is terrifying for them even if they do not want to admit it. You know especially then.

But it is not. It remains terrifying only when you consider it in relation to past events. It stays terrifying only as long as you live in the past and not as an expanding possibility.

This identity which we believe that we are is always constructed of past events. When you ask a person what he is doing, or what he's up to, they will always answer in terms of the past. They will say what they have done at work, what they have done during the day. But realize that just as the illusion of the tunnel and its lie is that there is an end to which you must get, the self as a static form is just as much a lie. Instead you are here, right now, and to expand your own tunnel is a choice you can make at any point.

Just as much as you fear to do that, just as much as that scares you, or just as much as you are wrecked with uncertainty about what comes after such an expansion, the animal on your plate felt exactly the same before it died.

And while the animal had the choice of being subjugated to these emotions taken from it, we do have the choice not to cause suffering, pain and ultimately death.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous19 June, 2017

    Aren't we by definition superior to animals? Are you advocating total equal rights for animals and humans?