Sunday, November 18, 2012

Counted her last breaths like a song of dying

Today I had a big contrast in an otherwise gray day. First I went to the movies with my youngest daughter, to see Tinker Bell: Secret of the Wings, a computer-animated film by Disney. The story felt quite unreal even though my daughter liked the movie.

Later I went for a walk at the Petikko forests with my oldest daughter. It was getting dark already. We heard a shot, and some time later we met a hunter in a colorful vest carrying a rifle and talking on a phone to other hunters.

I had a chat with the hunter. They had lost a deer, and were searching for it. The blood marks lead toward the path we were walking, but the wounded deer was not yet seen, and soon it would be too dark to search.

Later I thought that maybe I could have taken a photograph of the hunter, but in that situation, talking to a tired and frustrated guy carrying a rifle, it just didn't feel like a photo-op.

Meeting the hunter brought to mind the recent BBC news item about a textbook published in India saying that meat-eaters lie and commit sex crimes. Making such claims, and also the thing how such claims were met around the world, is rather revealing about us as human beings.

Yesterday I pondered the so-called introspection illusion, referring to a situation in which "a person may not have noticed the real reasons for their behavior, even when trying to provide explanations". When we invent explanations (this is the introspection part) we generate reasons which mostly serve the function of making us feel better (this is the illusion part).

So, returning to the topic of meat-eating, the fact is that if you eat meat, you kill other beings much like yourself. I have admitted this to myself, and sometimes this does disturb me. I eat meat, and thus I'm a killer.

Interestingly, at work I have started to select the vegetarian choice more and more often. I have given myself several reasons, such as the fact that it is cheaper (by 90 cents), or that it tastes better. The good taste of vegetarian dishes has been a surprise. Maybe I should have tried them earlier. I have been really happy about how good the vegetarian dishes taste at work.

Another reason I have been using for selecting the vegetarian choice is that usually there have been as much or more calories in the vegetarian dishes, so that even on those days when I commute by bicycle there is no need to take a "heavier" non-vegetarian dish. (The amount of calories may correlate with the good taste, hmmm?)

Anyway, thinking about this, and thinking about killing animals to eat them, maybe my reasons for starting to eat vegetarian are not really about the price of the meal, or the taste, or the calories. Maybe it is about the killing?

Or then I'm just completely rational and realize that by eating vegetarian I'm helping humankind to live sustainably on this globe with limited resources. But I don't think my subconscious is that smart.

And then there is the fact that I still do eat meat, almost daily.

PS. If you eat roadkill cuisine, are you a killer then?

PS2. This cartoon fits the topic as well.

(Posting title is from the poem To Kill a Deer by Carol Frost.)

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