I went to a slaughter house the first time in my life to buy some meat. This was 10 days ago. A few days before the nation wide Beef Ban in India. I live in the US and not in India, but that’s not the point. This note is on some of my thoughts during that visit.
So I decided to go to the Slaughter House to buy Goat Meat, Not that I don’t eat beef. I do, but this time it was for Goat. I had never been to a slaughter house before. Reaching there I saw a small crowd of people who were waiting in the line. There was a slaughtered Cow and a Goat being skinned and the meat boxed for those waiting there.
Only when I went there did I realize that it was difficult for me (in spite of being a non vegetarian) to point a goat and get it slaughtered and buy that meat. Some would say it is like saying I don’t want the sin of the slaughter but will partake in feeding on the sin. But for me I don’t believe in sin of any sort. I think one animal eating another animal is just the nature of the world. Eating meat is not unnatural in anyway.
But my problem was not that. After spending a few minutes in the slaughter house and seeing one freshly slaughtered animal lying down, the smell of fresh blood; the redness on the ground; all that made me uncomfortable. I walked with others and watched as a Goat was identified and I could see the fear in its eyes as someone took it to the slaughter machine. I saw the same fear in the eyes of a cow. I did not go inside but waited outside. I could hear the cry from outside. Both the Cow and the Goat had the same kind of fear, the same deep animalistic insight when the smell of fresh blood sweeps into them and rings like the bell of an imminent death.
For those who have never been to a slaughter house before, the cry between the realization of sure death and when the knife does its job is pretty difficult to hear. I could see no difference in the slaughter of a cow or a Goat. For me both were equally painful to watch or hear or accept. I did not find the cry of the cow to be more pious or painful or divine. There was pain and fear, equal in either forms of life. I returned home without buying anything.
I am a not vegetarian and I eat meat and fish regularly. I like meat. I don’t feel guilty of eating it. But still I could not buy that day. This made me thinking. Why? If one animal killing and eating another animal for food is the law of the nature then why should I feel bad this time.
I think it is because we are the only animals that can recognize the pain of another animal. The only being that can make a conscious decision to not kill another life form even if it is for food. I continue to be a non vegetarian, but unlike before the urge to not eat meat and that way not partake in slaughter is something that is personally brewing in me. But I have not yet been successful.
While I oppose the Beef Ban because I don’t think Govt. should impose diet restrictions on its people; I also think increasing fruit and Vegetable intake with reduced starch and limited red meat will be good. Reducing Beef should be a conscious effort than a forced one. That said Beef is one of the tastiest meat. I think if I am able to completely avoid meat, I will be happy with my will power. I have tried and failed before. But I think some day I will completely stop meat consumption. I just need an alternative food craving.