First, let me apologise if I've been leaving
I've kept away from posting too because frankly, I have
I knew this sign, taken outside one of our local hardware stores, would come in handy one day. The old man has a message for us every day. These ones are from a long time ago since I haven't been out walking lately.
Here's a report for all the lovely people who've been checking up on me. [Even the ones who called me lazy. Really, some people can be so rude.] :)
I met up with my surgeon last Tuesday. He's happy with my progress, as am I!
I was left to remove the plasters myself, a simple enough task. But these last bits were super sticky and I was too cowardly to peel them off. They finally fell off this morning.
Looking very good, if I say so myself.
The Person In Charge Of Stinky Knees has been incredibly kind to me. Thanks to a cancellation, I was able to meet up with the physiotherapist last Wednesday and am now doing more rehab exercises. The best news! I can now walk normally [though with caution] down the stairs!
It's Be [or is it Blog?] The Change for Animals week in the dogblog park. I was going to give it a pass. I'm
So here's what I've decided to do. I'm going to pose a few questions over the week that have always bugged me. They won't be about any animal causes. They'll be more like a chart of my personal journey.
I'm going to include some interesting reading I've done. It won't be deep, well thought out research, just some googling. Of course, I hope you'll give me your wisdom on the subject.
Here's my 1st question.
Can we really call ourselves animal lovers if we eat meat?
[I'm giving you some space here to think about it.]
The tulip magnolia tree outside the study window is looking lovely today.
Here's where I'm at.
I love animals but I'm not vegetarian. I don't think I ever could be. I crave my crispy double-smoked bacon and slow barbecued ribs too much. Meat constitutes about 1/4 to 1/3 of our current diet [mostly white and seafood], yet I feel guilty [and I know The Other Half does too. The Dog pshaws at such absurdity.]
What's my excuse for this double standard? I believe in the food chain.
Can I at least lessen my karmic burden? I hope so.
Here are some simple things I believe I can and should do.
When shopping for food or eating out -
+ Choose free range. For the longest time, this was hard for me to do, as the cost of anything free range here can be prohibitive. But I've since learnt to buy and eat less, which is not a bad thing.
+ Don't just go for the canned tuna on offer. Jordan and Rufus ate tuna regularly and that's exactly what I used to do. Just as well it doesn't agree with Georgia's tummy. Here's a ranking for brands commonly found on Australian shelves.
+ Stop eating pate foie gras and other food that is produced in dubious ways.
+ Do not eat caviar, yellow fin tuna, swordfish, orange roughy and other overfished or endangered fish. Want to know if your favourite eating fish falls in this category? Check out this helpful guide.
+ Always read labels and try to make informed choices. Here are 2 useful guides for anyone reading this in Australia. I've learnt that my eggs are OK!
Animal Welfare Labels
Ethical Consumer Guide
I'm sure there are heaps more ideas you could add to that list. I'm learning as I go.
I'll never be a Jain, but I can do better than what I'm doing today.
The most fundamental value of Jainism is nonviolence, or ahimsa. This word is usually found on the Jain symbol of the open palm (which means "stop"). Ahimsa is the first of the vows taken by both Jain householders and monks. Ahimsa means harming no living being as well as protecting all living beings from harm.
While several religions practice nonviolence and peace as a fundamental principle, Jainism is unique in extending this principle to all jivas (living beings). For Jains, living beings include not only humans and animals, but everything one finds on earth. Ahimsa must therefore be extended not only to humans and animals, but also soil, sand, oceans, fires, insects, microbes and plants.
For this reason, most Jains are not just vegetarians but "fruitarians" - they eat only fruit, nuts and milk. These foods are acceptable because they are only the by-products of the living beings and not the living beings themselves. To pull up a carrot or chop a potato would be to do violence to a living being (actually several living beings, as root vegetables are seen as multi-organic and therefore multi-souled).
This unique concept of nonviolence also explains why some Jain monks and nuns wear masks over their mouths and noses or carry whisks with which they brush chairs before sitting. To inhale or squash even a microbe would constitute violence to a living thing, resulting in unwanted karma.
As I said, the rabbit hole is cavernous.