People sometimes wonder why some of my articles are so provocative …
Let me share with you from my own experience the value of provocation.
A year or so ago, I was on Steve Pavlina’s website, and saw an article he wrote about being a vegan. It was a provocative, “in your face” kind of article, where he decried many of the practices being used to raise and slaughter livestock throughout the world. He raised issues I’d never really thought about consciously before. I didn’t agree with everything he said right away, but because he was so direct, unequivocal, authentic, and provocative in his writing … it was definitely not a “everyone can do it their own way” kind of article … it really stuck with me …
I did not stop eating meat right away. I was still rationalizing why it was “okay” to eat meat.
But over the ensuring months, I noticed something. I was not able to forget Steve’s article.
I became more and more aware of how much I love my two cats, and I thought about how much love they have given me over the years compared to how little meat their bodies would produce.
I noticed that I was no longer able to “dissociate” my eating of meat from my understanding of how that meat came to be on my plate.
And then the final straw happened this last summer. I was on the massage table, and the masseuse was working on some deep muscular pain in my root chakra area. I recommend deep tissue massage to Holistic Belief Reprogramming students as a way of reaching deeper into their subconscious minds to clear out old emotional baggage, because as my friend Steve P. has said “the issues are in the tissues.”
As the masseuse dug into a particular knotted muscle near my root chakra, a memory flashed into my mind.
The image was of a deer carcass hanging in our backyard when I was a young girl. It was hanging there for several days. It was one of the only times I remember my father went hunting with some of his friends, and I remember when he came back. The “triumph” of having killed a deer was obviously weighing heavily on him upon his return. The deer was younger than he thought. It felt to him like he had killed a baby.
The bloody carcass was hanging there for a few days until they had time to prepare the meat, and we ate it for many months.
What I didn’t understand at that time is that through this experience, trauma had lodged in my body. Trauma of absorbing my father’s emotional response, the guilt of killing an animal in order to eat, the trauma of seeing the animal hanging in the tree.
In one flash of insight mid-massage, I suddenly realized that I had to stop eating meat.
As I then tapped through a bunch of childhood memories, there were several where we killed animals to eat. Crawdads and mussels from rivers and the ocean. Lobsters from the store. And I remember how sad it felt to kill those animals, how after the food had been prepared, I was surprisingly not hungry to eat it.
I realized that my basic human compassion had been crying out for years, “I love animals. This is wrong.”
But our society trains us to ignore the ultimate in common compassion. Our society trains us to ignore our intuition. Our society trains us that some animals are worthy of protection, while others are worthy of death.
I remembered visiting my aunt’s farm when I was a young girl, and how much I loved the cows and the pigs. I thought of these innocent animals being carted off to slaughterhouses.
I remembered visiting Thailand, where “cat” was on the menu, and how horrifying that was to me … yet how is it any different to have pig or cow or duck on the menu?
I felt sad.
It was not a difficult decision, once I got in touch with my emotions.
Hateful actions like killing can only be justified by our “logical” ego minds when we are dissociated from our emotions.
The very moment we actually allow ourselves to become present, this kind of self-dishonesty becomes impossible.
I am well aware that my decision raises more questions than it answers.
* What about leather shoes?
* What about milk and eggs? (I’m still eating those but am aware of the additional moral issues about how our society treats animals who are giving us milk and eggs.)
* What about plants? (I’m totally fine with eating berries and fruits, less clear about roots and any other type of harvesting that kills the plant)
* Won’t this mean you ultimately have to become a “breatharian”? Perhaps so, but food doesn’t really excite me anyway anymore. I predict we will all eventually not need it anymore.
* What about non-animal products that are also having an impact on animals?
Yes, yes, I understand there are many unanswered questions … and still, I can no longer deny the most basic aspect of this: it is a violation of my deepest values to kill an animal for food.
So I simply stopped participating in the eating of meat. I join many of my brothers and sisters who have reached the same conclusion.
About the Author and Expert EFT Tapping Coach Erika Awakening
Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, visionary, travel blogger, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and living life on your own terms. (Follow Erika on Google+ by clicking here.)