The tears have been flowing for days now, it seems. Yesterday I was exercising on my elliptical machine with tears so heavy I could hardly see. “I can’t. I can’t do it,” I cried over and over. “How do I carry on in a world with so much evil?”
The battle has been strong since I first realized the connection as a young pre-teen. It has grown stronger with age. It becomes overwhelming in times of loss.
Animals have been the best of life for me. The absolute best. In my hardest moments, they were the ones sent to carry me through. Animals. Not people. God knows that they are able to reach me in a way that people never could. That they give me comfort when people bring me fear.
And I know with absolute certainty that my love, and their spirit that speaks so well to mine, is not limited to cats and dogs. Lambs, goats, horses, cows, chickens… pain even comes for the ant crawling on the ground, or the bee that didn’t quite make it to the flower, or the wasp drowning in the pail of water. I can’t leave them to die. And when the spider is squished on the wall, something inside of me screams murder!
So I see them taking so much more than they need, and it fills me with anger. And I eat what is given to me, and it fills me with pain. How could I? How could they? How could this ever, ever be okay? It eats away at me as I have eaten them, and I can’t. I can’t do this. I can’t do it anymore. It isn’t who I am.
And I turn to what I know is right, even if it is different – and every meal with them feels like a battle. “If you won’t eat it, that means more for me.” No!!! Please no. Why can’t you see what your response does to me? Why can’t you see? How don’t you see it?
Eat it if you must, but don’t eat more. Never more. Less is better. None is best. But don’t eat more when I stop having any. It isn’t right. It isn’t fair. You attack me with that response. You punch me in the gut without ever laying a hand on me, and the pain eats away at me. Eats away. Eats away with the ‘food’ you are eating.
And I get angry, and you don’t understand, and I haven’t the words to express myself without you becoming offended. Everyone is offended these days. How do we find the words to speak what we must say when it is so often seen as offensive? But this is my hurt I am trying to explain to you. Mine, not yours.
The posts and the videos come, and I know it is true. So much pain. So much suffering. So much evil. That is what I see. Evil, the way they are treated. Evil the greed with which we consume. Evil. And it hurts me deeply, and I do cry.
I look in their eyes, and see love. I look in their eyes, and see pain, and fear, and it breaks me. It breaks me. And I feel so hopeless, so powerless in the face of so much pain. And I think, “I can’t. I can’t live in a world with so much pain and suffering.” And why?
Eat it if you must, but don’t eat more. Less is better. Consider the cost.
And I say “Vegan,” and they ask, “Why?”