by Miki Kashtan
(Below is an excerpt of the article that you can find on Medium)
Some time ago, over lunch, Emma, with whom I have been vagabonding for almost three years, mentioned casually that she had just seen a big truck entirely full of carrots go by. I immediately became curious to know how carrots are picked to make a whole truckload of them possible. I confess to never having thought of this before, which, at this point, I feel mortified about, as will become clearer momentarily. Emma looked it up and came back with this video. As I looked at it, I immediately understood, in a deep and visceral sense that I can’t fully make sense of, that there’s no way that carrots want to live in these long, dreadful, orderly, equal, symmetrical, and lifeless rows. And I burst out crying, which surprised me and then didn’t.
A conversation then ensued among the four of us currently vagabonding together. Three of us are meat eaters, and one of us is mostly vegan. We are at full peace with each other, including having had conversations about it, though never all the way.
Through my tears, I expressed to them what I have expressed a number of times to others and have never expressed in writing. The way life evolved on this planet means that there is no food without killing something else that is alive. My tiny knowledge of indigenous cultures includes the information that there is full awareness of this immense challenge built into how they function. Every taking of a life is done within relationship, not instrumentally. This is done whether it’s an animal or a plant, even just harvesting parts of a plant to keep the rest of it alive. This is done for whatever purpose the interference with another being’s life happens, whether for food or for weaving baskets. As I understood it, no life would be interfered with in any way without asking for and receiving permission.
To create some line and say that all the life to this side of the line is OK to kill and all the life that’s to the other side of the line is not, is actively painful for me. I’ve had conversations with many vegans and heard multiple explanations about the “why” of such a decision. All of them make sense up to a point, and none of them escape the Western hubris of thinking we know and then deciding for others, for life itself, what will happen. I mourn the loss of the humility of treating all life as sacred.
Full article to be read on Medium