Bertie, my boy, about knowing him

I’ve been a vegetarian from birth, so, it has come really easy to me. I have, at times been object of awe and wonder when people discover that I am well-travelled and that I share my life and home with someone who is not a vegetarian sometimes. Particularly intriguing is “my ability to have resisted even trying out non-veg food”, they tell me.
Actually it’s not. For me, and I say this to my worse half, at times, in the spirit of a backroom explanation because I never take a step to explain my vegetarianism and all the difficulties that go with it – if you can eat flesh, you can eat any flesh. Today it’s a chicken, tomorrow a goat, a cow, a horse, a dog, a lion, someday me! Flesh is flesh. All the same. I know it’s not a coherent argument but ask anyone to consider eating up his/her pet, if that seems like taking things too far.
Trying rearing your hens and chicks and culling them for food day after day. Instead of outsourcing the job to the butchers. Try rearing an animal, risk that attachment, and then envision cutting it up to fill your tummy. I reckon a lot of people will find that difficult. Or, at least I hope so.
Well, I maybe naive in making my argument because I really know not what the delight in eating meat is. There, I certainly might be amiss. I may be making my point on the basis of a half-truth, I allow that.

And, it’s interesting that I came across this video of Philip Wollen the day when I was leafing through ‘Yoga and Kriya’, Munger (Bihar) school of Yoga, and stopped at the chapter on diet. And no, the book does not go all fanatic about vegetarianism under the garb of spirituality. It does undertake to challenge myths associated with non-vegetarianism as it being the only way to get the necessary proteins and vitamin Bs. This post is not about cultivating a holier-than-thou attitude about vegetarianism but it is about compassion.

There’s also another thing to share. I was recently in London and there was this question of visiting the famed London zoo. That morning I had been sent a picture of my furry baby Bertie, sitting in a kennel cell, behind bars. And he wasn’t looking happy (I now know why, after having picked out 40+ ticks from his body, one lodged in the corner of his eye, scabs on his rump, boils in between his paws). That sunny day in the London spring, I knew I could not make it to the zoo, and perhaps never to any zoo ever again in my life. Removal of animals from their natural habitat for display and entertainment purposes for humans is now going to be a thing I shall consciously not support.

ahimsa paramo dharmah (Non-violence is the highest religion)

Bertie, the best ever!
Bertie, the best ever!


  1. Farm animals raised to be eaten are thought of quite differently than household pets, and farmers often manage to have both. And still eat meat. I was raised a meat eater and gave it up, though I found it hard, because I have moral and environmental qualms. However, after 3 years, I had to revert on doctor’s orders.

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