On my first day of college at Colorado Mountain College in beautiful Glenwood Springs, Colorado, the newly arriving freshman were seated in a small screening room as a 60 minute documentary began on the screen. It was a documentary film about how the human race’s desire to eat meat is ecologically destroying our planet. The factual evidence was quite overwhelming, and all of us that left the screening room that day swore that we would be lifelong vegetarians from that moment on, myself included.
My new vegetarian lifestyle did not last long, however, as eating meat would prove for me a habit I often fell back upon.
I know I’m not alone though. I see all around me so many that attempt, but fail, to swing the big V turn as I call it (as opposed to a U-turn), and live a meat free diet.
A multimillionaire poker pro, Phil Ivey, even made a 1 million dollar proposition bet with fellow poker pro Tom Dwan that he could go one full year without eating meat, and the bet was no joke. Professional poker players often make large proposition bets, though this was one of the largest ever made. Ivey lasted just 3 weeks before he bought out of his $1 million bet for $150,000. Not even for $1 million dollars could this man resist eating meat. Just imagine how difficult it is for others who do not stand to gain such a financial windfall. There are so many who try, sometimes several times over, to lead a vegetarian lifestyle yet fail, and many sadly finally give up and eat meat for the rest of their lives.
I was one of those until one day six years ago. My decision though was not that I would lead a vegetarian lifestyle, no. My decision was that I would lead a spiritual lifestyle. The vegetarian part of it came very naturally. I made up my mind that it was time to lead a spiritual lifestyle and the very first commitment I made in that pursuit was that I would be a vegetarian. I simply felt that if I’m going to live a spiritual lifestyle then I can not eat those beautiful animals that accompany me on my journey.
With all the surprising things we are discovering about our reality every day, would it be so surprising to learn that the animals that accompany us on this adventure are also traveling on a spiritual journey of their own?
I have often thought that is also quite possible that all humans began their journey as animals, and that all of the animals of our world today will one day walk their spiritual paths as humans or human type beings. Wouldn’t that be an amazing truth to one day learn?
Regardless of the reality of an animal’s spiritual journey, six years ago I vowed that animals will continue to accompany me on my journey, only they will not fill my refrigerator. It was a decision I made without any prior thought or inner debate. It simply dawned on me one moment and the next moment I was a vegetarian. The change came so easy, and the reorganization of my supermarket shopping routine was a breeze – and felt so good.
Importantly, I saw for the first time why I and so many others too had found it so difficult to live a meat-free lifestyle. Its very difficult to make such a change in one’s life if you’re doing it for all the wrong reasons (I use the word wrong very loosely). It is certainly smart and it is also admirable if you choose to become a vegetarian because such a change will help you lose weight, or keep you living healthy, or keep you looking young, or help save the environment, but those who attempt to live a vegetarian lifestyle for those reasons often fail.
If you, however, decide that the day has come that you truly walk the spiritual path, and you see that truly walking the spiritual path with both feet planted firmly means that all animals can no longer be considered dinner, only companions, well then, that’s the day you will feel an incredible spiritual wind whip inside you like a thousand tornadoes and give you all the strength and all the willpower and all the determination you will ever need to live and let live and only enjoy an animal for its beauty and its companionship as we travel together on our never-ending spiritual journey throughout this miraculous universe.