Rest Easy Chickens.
I am not going to eat you.
And also you - the Baby Goat, Goat, Fish, Prawn.
And this time I think its for real.
Here is the path to reducing consumption and finally zeroing it out - if you are a carnivore who is in doubt you can continue reading this post. If you are a carnivore who doesn't care - you need not read any further - but if you want to amuse yourself - go ahead and read it :)
Went to LSU to do my masters. I figured out that chicken was cheaper than Veggies. Also cooking chicken was much much easier - drop in some masala and within 30 minutes a tasty preparation would be ready. No brainer. Also in US everyone ate meat - 3 times a day. The poor Veggie FOBs all suffered - some converted. I did not have any 2nd thoughts ( not that I had ) that eating Meat had any issues in it and it was totally fine.
Got back to India - and had to visit Chicken shops - as there was no pre packaged meat like in US. I would say 1/2 a kg - if the vendor doesnt have stock, he will take one chicken from the cage, go behind the counter, slit its throat and will drop it into a drum. There will be a commotion and slowly it will subside. He will give me 1/2 kg in a black plastic bag - and it will be warm. It disturbed me - but only till the time I dropped it in the kitchen. My mother ( an ex-carnivore herself ) would cook some delicious dishes - and all was forgotten.
Reliance Fresh opened a Meat section near our home. It was back to good old US days - it was all packaged - and zero guilt. Also this time I started running - thought I needed protein and started getting meat almost on a weekly basis.
This is when I read Born to Run - ( http://kvrlogs.blogspot.in/2011/10/three-running-myths-busted.html ). Learnt that you don't need to be a carnivore to run better.
And I was reading more and more spiritual books. Had lot of questions in my mind - every time I tasted a meat preparation - always a doubt will come in my mind.
We moved to Mumbai. The area we moved in - Kandivali - did not have any meat shops. There was only frozen stuff and we completely stopped cooking chicken at home. Fish continued but I was getting weary of eating fish - too cumbersome. However we checked out lot of famous foodie joints - Bade Miyaan, BBC, Candies..and meat eating continued.
At the same time - Mumbai gave lot many good veggie options. Banana Leaf, Cream Center.. we liked visiting often - so when we went out as a family ( my mother being veggie ), we always went out to the veggie joints.
Sangeeta tried to spring a surprise on me in June - by taking me to Meating joint in Colaba - not a single veggie item in the menu. Actually the variety was fantastic and would be a delight for any meat eater. In my weird conflicted mind - I could not enjoy the food like before.
Few weeks back I had to go to Navi Mumbai for a demo. At lunch I went to a food court in a mall nearby. I ordered hummus. Next to me someone brought a chicken sizzler - I didnt feel jealous or wanted that. Was very much at peace with the hummus dish I got.
Then I picked up Eat and Run by Scott Jurek. It was an eye-opener.
For those of you who don't know Scott Jurek - he is an Ultra Marathoner.
Marathon is where people run 42Kms under 6 hours. Ultra Marathoners run 24 to 48 hours at a stretch and cover crazy distances - 100,150.. even 300 Kms, on hills and rocks, through deserts and snow. Totally ridiculous inhuman race.
Guess what? - Scott Jurek was born and brought up in Minnesota - his dad presented him a Gun in his 10th birthday - so he can go hunt rabbits, deer and fowls. The family will eat these animals - they were big meat eaters.
Scott Jurek started running - and like any new runner got injured. He figured out that eating plants helped him recover very quickly. Also the plant based fat burnt faster than animal based fat - he was leaner and stronger. He started doing lot of research and found that eating Animals are bad for the running form.
He turned vegan - not vegetarian - vegan - absolutely no animal products. He won ultra marathon after ultra marathon - inspite of eating just plants. He is the most accomplished and distinguished Ultra Marathoner of all - and has won every race in the world.
Combined with this book - I started reading on Buddhism - which abhors violence to humans and animals alike. I also remember reading a quote somewhere.
"You can eat meat. There is absolutely no problem in it. However if you are in the path of awakening you will question this habit."
And this was a question in my mind the past few years - is it alright to eat meat?
Am I missing something? - Maybe.
I have not yet visited Taj and had some fantastic signature meat dish by a renowned chef.
I havent visited Ponnusamy or Anjappar in more than 4 or 5 years.
I will probably not have the Bade Miyaan Bheja Fry - and the weird taste texture it had.
I was joking to Sangeeta - when Cigarette smokers quit they would smoke 2 3 packs and quit in style.
I did not do any of that. The transition just happened smoothly. Don't even remember the last meat dish I ate.
So - dear Chicken and all animals of all kinds - relax. You are safe in my presence.