I Don’t Eat Anything that Has a Mother
HIS EYE IS ON THE SPARROW
Her male mate brought her food and attended her with love and compassion.
He brought her food again, but was shocked to find her dead.
He tried to move her – a rarely seen effort.
Aware that his mate was dead and would never come back to him again, he cried with adoring love…
…and stood beside her with sadness and sorrow.
Millions of people were touched after seeing these photos in America , Europe, Australia , and even India . The photographer sold these pictures for a nominal fee to the most famous newspaper in France . All copies of that edition were sold out on the day these pictures were published.
And many people think animals and birds don’t have brains or feelings.
You have just witnessed love and sorrow felt by God’s creatures.
I am not a vegetarian but I eat a very low level meat diet. Seven years ago when I went to the Dominican Republic to serve the abandoned, neglected, homeless, and orphaned I refrained from eating beef. I could not imagine that there was a proper system of inspection for meat in this tiny nation that butchered animals on the sides of highways and sold beef in open air stalls. Mad Cow disease was in the news.
Here in China, although there is a system of inspection I am leary of eating even chicken or pork because these meats have been reported to be to origin of wordwide influenza contagion.
On an even deeper level I believe in the need to honor all sentient beings. It is often on my mind. Because I study Buddhist history and Eastern Christian theology I am aware of my obligation to honor all sentient beings. Right now I am beginning a ten day fast required in the Orthodox church to which I belong. This is one of seven fasts throughout the year. If I add up all the fasts I do I spend about half the year not eating meat. A fast is defined in the Oriental Orthodox world as not eating meat, dairy products, oil, sweets. Only one fast requires not food or water for three days. So I cannot have a cookie until Sundown on December 24th.
Yesterday I got a wonderful email from a friend in my hometown, Mount Vernon, Washington. She sent me a series of photographs of an injured bird receiving food from another bird in order to save its life. Altruism is not unknown in the animal world but it is rare. The pictures deeply reminded me once again of our need to honor all sentient beings. In an exchange of emails she mentioned that her son is a vegan who says: I don’t eat anything that has a mother.
Genius is the ability to think simply and to the heart of an issue. This statement is the essence of genius: a very simple truth that captures the heart of a complex idea.