Going to play on the word a little today. Two unrelated things. Both, Beef.
Cows. Animals. Four legged creatures. I’ve decided to make a conscious decision to try, and really try, not to eat animals with four legs. This may sound entirely ridiculous and also beg the argument “Why four legs? Chickens and fish have feelings too! You are still a horrible person.”. Maybe. But this is my starting point. Animals that have both eyes in the front of their head, and can look at me
, and show me puppy eyes.. will not be my beef anymore.
I’ve struggled with being a hypocrite for sometime. Please note, this is my evaluation of myself. This does not mean I extend this evaluation to anyone else. Everyone has a right to feel what they feel, and make decisions. Human emotions, and our thought process is undoubtedly the most complicated thing in existence, and I am not about to begin to draw conclusions for other people and their courses of action. Or to judge them. This is about me. Stone cold narcissism served up hot and fresh.
Yes, my hypocrisy. Look at these posts from Ricky Gervais’s FB page. I love him. I love him so much because he loves animals, and he is funny, and has the most exaggerated most infectious laughter you will every hear, AND he is the creator of The Office. Really do digress now don’t I? Oh.. also watch “An Idiot Abroad”. Love him. But I love Karan more 🙂
Now I realize these are giraffes. But you get the picture, right?
I have never been able to condone the act of shooting an animal (or killing it in anyway). But who am I to condone or not condone if my shopping cart consists of beautifully ground beef, or bacon, or anything else that someone else killed for me to eat? Therein lies my hypocrisy. There is a huge disconnect in my ignorant mind between what’s in the supermarket, and how it got there. So much so, I have toyed with the idea to give hunting a try, to see if I have the courage to go through the whole process and then enjoy that meat. I know however, that if you gave me a gun, and asked me to shoot a living thing, I would not have the testicles to do it.
That’s part one – my decision to not consume four legged creatures as food. Nothing religious, nothing “Indian”, nothing compassionate nor preachy. Just my decision to try and refrain.
The other beef. My beef with something I see. Bone of contention. Please note, the below is 100% unrelated to the above. It’s just two highly different, unrelated things that are stewing in my very active mind at the very same time.
I’ve been seeing a post overshared on FB that says something to the effect of not needing religion to tell you right from wrong. And that if you can’t tell right from wrong you lack empathy, not religion.
I realize there is a bunch of people who advocate that one needs religion to tell right from wrong. Having landed myself in a “discussion” with someone who studies religion and found me, the totally un-religious wandering “Hindu” as his neighbor; I have been told first hand that if I don’t have a religion to tell me right from wrong, I might accidentally end up butchering another human being.
I don’t care who is religious and who is not. Whatever helps a human being be kind, compassionate and good to those around them, whether religion, or plain common sense, is great. Everyone needs something to believe in and keep them sane. I do not argue for religion. I do not argue against religion. What I do argue against is dual living. Let me explain.
Going to the temple, or church, or doing 17 rituals a day, or abiding by a holy book (no matter what that book is), wearing special rings, observing certain days of vegetarianism or starvation is all good, as long as you don’t forget to be kind, decent, and empathetic to those around you. People IN your daily life. What is the meaning of worship, if your daily dealings are not those that involve actually helping the human beings (and animals) around you? And by this I do not mean contributing to a temple or church fund to help someone in that community that needs it because the temple or the church or the priest or the brahmin or the brahmin’s mother said so. I also do not mean sending a bouquet of flowers, or a meal to a family who just lost someone. Yes those are compassionate things. They help. But they’re also the “proper” thing to do and if that is the reason for doing them, and people in one’s immediate surroundings become invisible because one is so engrossed in the “proper” things to do, I take issue with that. What happened to plain and simple rolling up your sleeves and just helping when you see a situation that needs help, or an empathetic message, or a genuine hug? Something that no person or institution told you is necessary. Something that is not the “proper” thing to do as decided by a society that runs on a bunch of principles taken from ancient “religious” writings and then distilled over and over for human convenience?
So while I believe that to tell right from wrong I need basic common sense, and not necessarily just empathy, like the post says, I agree with the post in a broader sense meaning empathy is important, whether you’re religious, or not. I see no point in spending all of that time engaging in rituals or following a “religion” if it makes me blind to the people around me. What good is that “religion” ?