The Civilized Yogi – A Vegan Life Adventure
by Laura Jones-Miller
“Now is the time to realize all you do is sacred” – Hafiz
“All know that the drop merges with the ocean…but few know that the ocean merges with the drop” – Kabir
“Our task must be to free ourselves…by widening our circle of compassion…to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. – Einstein
the beautiful vegan
I thought for a long while on how best to present this story…I think I’ll just go straight to one of my “Vegan Life Adventures”.
I was living in Guadalajara, Mexico and working as a teacher. In the home where I lived we all had various jobs. Because I traveled into the city to work each day, my job was to buy the daily provisions. There is seldom a refrigerator that works all the time (lots of power outages) so the fresh food had to be purchases daily. I loved roaming the produce stalls and buying lovely fresh vegetables and fruits…many new to me. I also would buy the fresh corn tortillas, rice, beans etc. The only part of this daily adventure that troubled me was the expectation that I would buy meat, poultry or fish occasionally (it’s too expensive for working class people to eat too often). In the US, when meat is purchased at the market…it was a lump or a slab on a piece of Styrofoam wrapped in plastic… unidentifiable as a living thing, more or less. In the Mexican market where I shopped, chickens, rabbits, and small pigs where chosen live and then needed to be butchered. From the first chicken I made eye contact with I knew my meat eating roommates were going on a diet! …there was no way I could buy meat and butcher it. The real dilemma was that I couldn’t leave it there for someone else to buy and butcher either…So, I bought it live and took it with me shall we say “al fresco” (meaning under my arm on the bus… that was sure fun!) …The house we lived in was in front of a tailler (I’m not sure of the exact translation…it was a huge bricked in yard with cement troughs lining it). Perfect! The grass and weeds were pretty high so it was a perfect hiding spot for my little, shall we say, former dinner acquisition. I had to be careful because there were a lot of hungry people in my neighborhood. I should have stopped with “Gertrude” but I couldn’t help myself…After my “al fresco” bus ordeal I started carrying a big, deep straw basket (I was a woman on a mission) …soon Gertrude had some chicken friends…bunny friends , and a pig friend named Wilbur…he started out so small…Well anyway, I’m sure the events are pretty clear. I only got away with the meatless meals for a short while…I was busted due mainly to the racket, the missing left-overs…and well…the smell. Also, and I am sure you saw this coming, the “hungry neighbors” had a big (Wilbur was at about 150 lbs at this point) BBQ while I was at work one day. They actually thought it was funny and that I would see how silly my little rescue refuge was. Nope…I cried for a long time… I came to see animals with a whole new respect. Gertrude loved raisins…She knew I kept them in my left pocket for her…Wilbur would bring me a stick while hauling booty to see me everyday. These are not the acts of “dumb” animals. For me, it was a realization that the animals are far more smart and noble than humans…they eat what they need to survive, they figure out how to communicate with us, without judgment of our intelligence, because we don’t speak chicken, or bunny, or pig. They smile…they are happy to see us, and, sadly they feel betrayal and pain. I am not a judge…just a human who has had the supreme opportunity to share the lives of many wonderfully funny, happy, grumpy, goofy, smart friends. And for that I will be forever grateful. I am the one who is blessed by the amazing and generous creatures who choose to share their lives with me.
Below is me learning to do a proper selfie 🙂 showing off all my Interval yoga muscles hehe