I looked on the calendar this morning and discovered it is Hug a Vegetarian Day.
Today I began to think. Could I be worthy of a hug today? Could I be a vegetarian? I like poultry, red meat and fish. Meat provides me with much of my protein intake. At times, I feel such empathy for the animals that provide my sustenance. When I pass a field and see grazing cows, I get a little sad. I think, are their grazing days numbered? Will they be going to the cow heaven in the sky soon? I was a vegetarian for about two months when I witnessed the slaughter of an animal and it was horrific. The memory haunted me for months. I was sixteen years old, and on vacation in my parents’ birthplace of Belize. My cousin (who lives in Belize) took us out to get some relaxing beach time at one of the Cayes off the mainland. We swam in the crystal clear Caribbean Sea, soaked up the sun, ate tons of rice and beans and lobster, and watched a pig get slaughtered. You know, the normal vacation things. We gathered in the yard of one of the locals (my cousin’s friend Cecilio.) In Cecilio’s yard were two large pens, each had a pig in them of mammoth portions, a black and white pig and a pink pig. Families began to gather for the “event” in his yard. I took a peek in the pens, making the animals squeal nervously. Cecilio approached the pens with a huge butcher’s knife. I realized that the pigs were not afraid of me, but they had noticed Cecilio coming at them full force and could sense what was about to happen next. The pink pig was to face his horrible fate. Cecilio jumped swiftly in the pen, and pushed the animal’s huge backside out and started to tie its front and hind legs. It was that moment the ear-piercing squealing began. My cousin explained that the pig’s neck was far too large in girth, so a quick death of slitting its throat was not possible. Cecilio had to locate the heart and pierce the knife in it based on his estimation. As he began to stab at the pig’s body, it began to convulse uncontrollably. What I will never forget is the squealing. It was bone-chilling. The sound penetrated deep into my heart and head. I can only describe the sound as a car engine that won’t start, as you turn the ignition over and over again. After several jabs, Cecilio finally located the heart, which thankfully led to the animal’s demise and put an end to this misery. The next day, we went to Cecilio’s house for chicarones (deep-fried pig skin.) I couldn’t eat it. I just couldn’t after witnessing the slaughter. The animal’s carcass lay out on a picnic table in the bright sunlight. Not a wasted scrap of meat. Bright red blood droplets dotted the green grass.
I returned to Canada and abstained from meat, but slowly and surely, meat made its way back into my diet, starting with fish, then poultry and eventually pork chops. The only reason that would make me a vegetarian is compassion for the animals that feed me, not really for health-related reasons.
However, that day is not today. I’m going to The Works tonight for a charbroiled burger.
Are you a vegetarian? If not, do you think you could be?
Source for virtual hug visit: http://chibird.com/post/31438594994/sending-a-hug-to-all-my-followers-u