When you were a younger version of yourself, Sam, you would say, “Aunt Lala is a veterinarian.” What you meant to say is, “Aunt Lala is a vegetarian.” I haven’t always been a vegetarian, but my love and compassion for animals has brought me to a place where I choose not to eat meat. As a Buddhist, I believe that each life is as important as mine and I have vowed to “do no harm” to living creatures.
I know very well how delicious cows are. But why should my desire to eat mouthwatering steak be justification for ending a life? Some people might tell you that cows are dumb animals and bred to be eaten, or that animals in general have no feelings or emotions. To that I say, “Cows have best friends.”
A study at the University of Northampton (Northamptonshire, England) has shown that cows are social creatures and develop best friends within a herd. Also, they become stressed out when separated from their buddies. Anyone who has ever worked around cows will tell you that they each have a very distinctive personality. The English novelist DH Lawrence wrote about his cow Susan, whom he milked everyday for a year, that there is always “a certain untouched chaos in her.”
All of this is not to try and convince you to stop eating meat, but to inform you. You should be aware of what you are putting into your body as fuel, where it comes from, and your impact on the world. Make educated decisions and really look at the world around you: at cows, for instance, who have nearly 360-degree panoramic vision, but are also red-green colorblind. . .