Somewhere in West(ern) Virginia, long before maps live streamed to the screens in our hands, I was happily lost with a love on a road in the late summer rain. Hands intertwined, bare feet out the window, toes tapping to a late summer mix tape (yes an actual analog cassette tape) with it seemed, not a care in the world. Of course we hoped we were heading at least somewhat in the right direction but in that moment we were rollin at a care free pace.
A pace just slow enough to notice a munchkin little turtle at the edge of the pavement. It didn’t take us long to realize he was aiming to make his way across the road and that he might not make it if we didn’t turn around to help. So we pulled a squealing u-turn with our swelling superhero intentions, high-fiving vegans to the rescue!!
But that 180 did little more than to align our eyes, in perfect timing, with the giant wheeled monster truck, complete with twin confederate flags, as stereotypically trimmed out, muddy and howling as any “redneck truck” could be, cutting all the way across the opposing lane just to crush that little turtle at the edge of the road. Game over.
I’ve thought of that moment many times in my life. Soul perplexed as to HOW that intentionally savage and utterly remorseless way of being is, was, and will likely always be at the heart of some people. Beyond their momentary howling and laughter they probably never thought of that little turtle again. But I still wonder, where does that violence begin? Where does it end?
In part, I believe it’s innate to our being but no more influential on our actions than the shape of our nose or the color of our skin. In other words that violence (or kindness) is instilled into our character from our earliest experiences by the words and actions of the people around us. It may not be obvious at first… a bug doesn’t matter, a bird doesn’t matter, a pig doesn’t matter, a person doesn’t matter. There is no magic formula but in general… teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child (and the world) as it is to the caterpillar.
I’m not one to preach about not eating animals, but there’s no escaping the fact Violence begets Violence. Kindness begets Kindness. The longer I’ve been veg*an the more sensitive I’ve become to all suffering; To the point where even the stray spider gets gently set outside. Imagine a world where people didn’t squash spiders, turtles or people? I truly believe it starts with each meal. Every bite. The further we all get from accepting death, causing death, eating death (aka literally becoming made of death), the further we get from the darkness in the world and in ourselves.
A world in which every life matters.
Posted via Christopher Spiewak’s Wordpress Blog