October 26, 2009

Thoughts on Mindful Living, Part 4. ~ via Rebecca Grazulis

World Farm Animals Day

A few months ago, in the dead of summer, the hospital near my apartment hosted their annual summer festival. In the blazing sun on one of the busiest streets in Chicago, there were animals in a small pen being stared at by adults and children alike.

While there were a few animals in the pen, I was drawn to the pig that was sprawled on the small patch of grass, leaning against a wire fence. He looked, well, miserable. Hot. Uncomfortable. Confused.

Since I’ve begun living with an animal, the aforementioned Bailey, I’ve become more aware of all of the variety of ways that we use animals for our convenience and amusement. When I got Bailey, I was not thinking of making an animal’s life better. I was thinking about making my life better. A dog sounded like a sure-fire way to bring some joy into my life.

Little did I know that Bailey has a personality, needs and issues of his own. He must be coaxed to eat his food. He hates being wet. He goes crazy when people carry large boxes. He’s not much into other dogs. And he prefers men to women (sorry, Bailey). In our quest to live harmoniously, I’ve had to alter my life a lot to ensure that Bailey is enjoying his.

Now, I am not sure exactly what the relationship between man and animal is meant to be on this planet. This is a complicated issue. But I’m pretty sure that right now the relationship is out of balance. I know that animals are getting the super short end of the stick.

October 2nd was World Farm Animals Day. Like I’ve said in a previous post, I’m not a militant vegetarian, nor a perfect one, and I can’t wrap my head around being a vegan. I think people need to do what is right for them. However, I also think that everyone should know what is happening in our nation’s factory farms and slaughterhouses. Part of living a mindful life is conscious consumerism, knowing what you’re supporting with your dollar.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can visit the website for World Farm Animals Day.

Rebecca Grazulis is a Chicagoan, a vegetarian (yes, you can be both), a wanna-be yogi and a former high school English teacher in a period of career exploration. You can e-mail her at [email protected] or visit her website.

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