Meat to meatless

28 Sep


I used to think like Homer hehe…

When I was 5, I hated eating vegetables. My mum used to tell me to eat my carrots as they gave me good eyesight. But I told her that was not a rabbit. I was no Bugs Bunny. Back then, I was this nasty little carnivore.

Nevertheless, she forced me to eat my greens anyway. Her favourite emotional blackmail was to think of starving African kids. Well, that was to get me to finish my plate of food. I resented that thought. But when I reached adolescence, my appetitive grew and I ate everything – meat and greens included.

Over the years, I tried all sorts of food including meals at the occasional Chinese vegetarian restaurant. The earlier experience of dining at a Chinese vegetarian restaurant left me feeling dissatisfied. I felt I had to have meat on my plate or I couldn’t call it a meal. I came to the conclusion that I could not subsist on a vegetarian diet.

When I met Rinpoche, he explained the hypocrisy of eating meat and with the same mouth, use it to recite mantras and prayers of compassion. I listened and I get it but I did nothing about it. Then, Rinpoche continue to elaborate on the hypocrisy, he showed me various videos on how the chickens were massacred, pigs were slaughtered and cows tied upside down so it was easier to slit their throats and drain their blood.

I was shaken for a week and resumed my meat-eating ways a week later. Rinpoche continue to show me even more videos or various acts of animal cruelty. I was vegetarian for 2 weeks this time and then it became longer and longer. I realize I could not go without meat in cold turkey and so I decided to go vegetarian 5 days a week and slowly wean myself off meat.

Then one day, I went to dinner with Rinpoche at Tony Romas. Rinpoche was just going to have salad and fried onion rings. He asked me what I was going to have. I smiled sheepishly and told him that it was my break day and I was going to have steak. Rinpoche was not happy to hear that. He exclaimed that this is not a break ! How can it be break when my meal was going to be a dead animal and went on and on about it. But he allowed me to have my steak.

Over the following weeks and months, Rinpoche continue to show me even more videos of animal slaughter. The images seared in my mind that even on my ‘breaks’, I felt guilty eating meat. Each time I lift a piece of meat with my chopsticks, I remember the horrific images of the animal being slaughtered in cold blood. The final straw came when I sat through a screening of The Earthlings. I didn’t make a resolution to be vegetarian but I became one without planning. I realize I didn’t really miss meat.

There were times I ate meat by accident because the food came with pieces of meat (waiter messed my order). But I found that I didn’t crave for meat and I certainly didn’t go and look for it. It was really just conscience that keeps me meatless and looking at the variety of food we have today, it really is not that hard to be vegetarian or the very least, meatless.


I think they meant vegetables… haha!

2 Responses to “Meat to meatless”

  1. Gary September 29, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    Hi David

    Thanks for the write up really appreciate seeing your journey to being a vegetarian and it gives me an idea how to move in that direction too 🙂

  2. Jacinta Goh September 30, 2014 at 11:46 pm #

    Pastor David, your journey sounded like mine… Thanks for this.

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