"Don’t vegetables feel pain when they’re eaten?" This is one of those questions people who eat meat sometimes ask vegetarians.
The conversation goes like this; "Are you a vegetarian for health reasons or for ethical reasons?"
(Puzzled look. Brief discussion of how industrialized farming creates a culture of violence and how psychic numbing intervenes so that we lose all empathy with the suffering of creatures we have consumed. References to "The Face on Your Plate" and "Why We Love Dogs, Wear Cows and Eat Pigs." Attempt to educate, inform without getting on the soapbox – non-judgmental but nonetheless planting seeds. Distinction between vegetarian and vegan. Display of my non-leather wallet embossed with Farm Sanctuary logo).
"So if animals are suffering and then we eat them, don’t the vegetables also suffer when they’re harvested, cut, pulled, chopped?"
(Brief discussion about studies showing that animals feel pain, or reference to videos and films – like Get Veducated – or spiritual reference to sentient beings).
I never know what is going to come up in meditation. There is a random access RAM up there, out in the field of consciousness, but I trust it. Tonight it was vegetables. Lots of them. What I experienced was something like this.
One carrot says to a head of broccoli: "Gee, I never thought death could be so much fun – what an amazing, miraculous transmutation and transformation. I am so excited about this next step in my evolution! I am about to be chopped and stir-fried, releasing so many chemicals and I don’t even know how all these different parts of me got put together or what they’ll do or how they’ll interact once I release all these beneficial substances. It is an ecstasy beyond words. I will transport myself into pure consciousness as my various components create healing rituals in the physiological cycles of the human about to consume parts of my form. It is bliss."
There it was, the bliss consciousness of a root vegetable. An extraordinary experience.
When the meditation ended, I had some chai, and drove home. No shaman then — just an ordinary guy dealing with Los Angeles traffic.
Michael H. Cohen is a thought leader in health care law, pioneering legal strategies and solutions for business law clients in traditional and emerging healthcare. wellness, and lifestyle markets. As a corporate and regulatory attorney who has also handled litigation matters, Mr. Cohen represents conscious business leaders in a transformational era.
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