Tuesday, November 25, 2008

International Meatless Day

Today is International Meatless Day.

But how and why did the Meatless day came about?

In 1986, Mr Bob (Bali) Gurbani suggested that November 25, the birthday of Sadhu Vaswani, the humble, Indian holy man be observed year after year as International Meatless Day.
Sadhu Vaswani was a highly intelligent man who devoted his entire life to giving love and hope to the poor and lowly, the sad and afflicted ones. He also loved animals with passion. He believed all living things deserved dignity, reverence of life. Every little thing he did was inspired by the Vision Cosmic. His heart bled at the cruelties inflicted upon animals day after day, for food. This deep awareness of the need for reverence for all life, in whichever form it is manifest, formed a very essential part of Sadhu Vaswani's teachings and has been propagated by the International Meatless Day Campaign. Therefore, for more than 2 decades, hundreds of thousands of devotees have been observing Nov.25, as Meatless Day and Animal Rights Day. The campaign was apparently so successful that four state governments in India - Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh - have issued instructions for the closure of slaughter-houses as well as butchers' shops on 25th November every year.

You know, many supermarkets in Asia keep live fish in tanks. And they kill the fish on the spot upon order by a shopper. It takes a harden heart not to be affected by the way the supermarket employee / fish monger kill the fish. They literally bash the head of the fish with a mallet. And the fish don't die instantly. The poor thing would still struggle to survive minutes after that. And if it still moves, the fish monger would repeatedly bash the head with the mallet. How do I know this? Well, I innocently bought a live fish a few months ago from Tesco, for my son, thinking a real life fresh fish would be tasty. Yes, the fish was tasty, but I could not shake the image of the dying fish from my head. My sister-in-law was shopping with me that fine day, and we both had to look away, knowing the fish was being bashed repeatedly. It was painful to look, and it was a painful lesson. I, for one, am severely reluctant to buy live fish anymore.

But here's the problem. We all get desensitized when we don't see how animals are being killed for food. It's just meat in a package.

Do I still eat meat? Yes, but not so much anymore. Do I need reminders of how they have to die so we can eat heartily? Yes. Do I eat a lot of vegetables and fruits nowadays? Yes.

I try not to waste when I eat nowdays, though yes, there are times I do throw leftovers away. Such a wasteful thing.

I try to respect the food that comes to me.

Here's to a Happy Meatless Day to you, today, tomorrow or anyday possible.

"Eat Raw Food Today" facebook group

Parts of the info was taken from http://www.sadhuvaswani.org/ and www.meatlessday.com/

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