Craving Compassion

I have noticed many changes in myself and my body over the years. Many of these changes are natural and most people experience them. More weight around the midsection? Check. Gray hair? Check. Aches and pains? Check. Yep, Father Time has started to beat the hell out of me, but it’s not all his fault. Year after year, I have made a lot of bad choices in my life when it comes to my health. Luckily, I have never gotten into drinking alcohol, drugs, or smoking. I guess I do have that going for me. Unfortunately, I have really let myself go. I weigh more now than I ever have and I very rarely exercise, even though I have workout equipment in my garage.

rooAnyone that has read my blog knows that I have covered the topics of losing weight over and over again. Well, not this time. This time, I want to talk about a change in me that makes me proud. I am guessing as I have gotten older, I have gotten softer. Growing up, we always had dogs in the house, so I was raised with animals around. When I was younger, I didn’t11722334_10207081619709006_2892522518993817534_o really feel the same compassion for animals that I do today. We have two Jack Russell Terriers, one rough coat and one smooth coat. Great dogs individually, but total opposites.  It is through these two dogs that I really began to develop my compassion for animals. Not just dogs, but all animals.

My love for animals has made me feel conflicted over my diet that involves burger after burger, sausage after sausage, and chicken sandwich after chicken sandwich. I find myself feeling hypocritical. How can I feel compassion and love for these animals on one hand, but then, basically, eat them with the other? I think everyone is aware of the conditions that most of the animals are kept in that eventually find their way to our dinner tables. For me, it has always been like putting money into a slot machine. You put your $100 bill in and you get a piece of paper out of the machine telling you how much money you have left. You no longer see your hard-earned cash, but only a piece of paper. I think that is a bit like eating meat. I see a hamburger on my plate, not a cow staring back at me. That bacon and eggs used to walk this earth as well.

I LOVE to eat. For me, giving up food that I have enjoyed for 50 years is like an alcoholic giving up the bottle. In my heart, I know, for me, it is the right thing to do, but that doesn’t make it any easier.

My wife and I recently traveled through Texas and saw thousands of cattle in small pens. Very crowded. You knew they were only steps away from their fates. It was very, very sad. Makes me sad still thinking about it. I know me not eating meat anymore isn’t going to make a dent in that type of operation, but at least I can have a clear conscience. I know that pigs and chickens suffer the same fates.

I will try with all my heart to change my diet. I am tired of being a hypocrite. Here’s hoping that the new year will help me achieve this goal for myself and all my furry and feathered friends.

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