What Happens

April 22nd, 2012

On my walk the other day I had this craving for a meat marinara sauce, like you might get in a lasagna—I think it has another name but I don’t remember what it is. Anyways, I had this craving for it, and it was for beef specifically. So I thought about the cow. I imagined the cow, going deep to see what feelings came up.

I was previously a vegetarian, for about a decade, and that ended probably five years ago (I blame Wood Ranch ribs for that… or maybe it was the sushi….). The reason I had gone veg was because I decided that if I couldn’t kill the animal perhaps I shouldn’t eat it. This came from me musing about how, if I had to find all my own food, I would only be eating berries, fruit and roots.

Back to the meat sauce—I hadn’t really gotten to where I was feeling grateful for the cow, although I was aware of the idea somewhere inside of me, when I saw a cat running across the street with something in its mouth, a mouse or something small like that. I was captivated by a vision of the cat hunting down this prey and how it was now taking it back to a safe place to chow down. I’ve seen cats eat small animals before so I knew what was coming, as did the cat (drool, drool).

A few steps later I saw a crow flying up into the top of a palm tree. A smaller bird was attacking it, unsuccessfully; I’m assuming the small bird’s nest was up there. There was no hope of the smaller bird diverting the crow, and the crow simply reached into the depths of the fronds and took what it wanted… needed really. In this case I felt bad for the small bird. It didn’t stand a chance. And being a parent I wondered what I would do in a similar situation.

Of course I am not a bird, or a cat, or even a cow. But am I not related to all three? Am I not connected to them all at a profound level? And what does this mean for my beef craving? I never did have the sauce, but my daughter and I did go out for sushi (it was delicious).

From a broader viewpoint I am struck by how right when I had a craving for meat and was wondering if I “should” I saw two instances of animals going after their own meat fixes. Am I an animal? Why would I feel for the mother bird but not the family of the small rodent? Possibly because I didn’t see the struggle… but it was there, just like the death of the cow. They all give their lives for another’s sustenance.

I am resolved to remember this continuous generosity of the world. I am resolved to let it come to me and flow from me. I don’t know how I will feel the next time I eat meat, or even if I will eat meat again. But the abundance of this planet will continue to show itself to me and I think, just like the flowers at the side of the road, it’s my job to appreciate it all. Not a bad gig, wouldn’t you agree?



59 Responses to “What Happens”

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