This has been a special month for me. Since the news broke out regarding nCov virus shortly before the Chinese new year, my wechat pages were occupied by all kinds of news, initiatives, reflections from my family and friends in China. Among them, this 12min documentary was deeply touching. What is echoes is this one thing: all sentient beings on this earth, they all have the same pursuit just like us humans, they want to live, and they don’t want to suffer.
Facing such an epidemic, many people start to reflect on our behaviors in nature, the way we treat animals as if humans are the gods of this world. Yet we should know, such ignorance will result in disasters hitting back on us.
Around 8 years ago, I watched a documentary film “Earthlings”. There wasn’t too much “emotional bluffing” as I used to describe some documentary films. In this film, all I saw, were actual footages of how animals were treated in service of humans, for food, for cloths and for scientific experiments. It was a heart-breaking experience seeing what kind of pain and fear these beings went through before they died. And that was the starting point when I gradually became vegetarian, I simply could not close my eyes anymore.
As someone born and grew up in China, good food is virtually my second name. Despite that I wasn’t so crazy as some others trying all exotic things, I always love good cuisine. And I’m quite well-known within my university circle to organize good food parties, where all kinds of meat and seafoods cannot be missed. The film “Earthlings” brought a shock point for me, and I also started meditation practices, during which I noticed that life can be joyful without us bringing suffering to other beings. My body gradually changed too, I am becoming more and more sensitive and aware to my soundings and myself; my taste became more clear and clean; the smell and taste of food became more intense when I start to enjoy the bare essence of it. Not to forget, I’m also very fortunate that my husband loves cooking and I love to be a guinea pig of his new vegetarian dishes. Even during my entire pregnancy, I was very happy with vegetarian food. This is of course, a personal choice, in fact, among the Chinese community there are more and more people realizing the benefit of a healthy life style with more people having vegetarian choices.
Perhaps this epidemic will serve as a reminder. To have joy and peace in life does not need to be based on other beings’ sufferings.
And as we witness more and more natural disasters and disasters caused by humans, by political systems. We need to remind ourselves, I too have an impact. By bringing positive energy into the system, no matter how small or how big, we’re making a difference.
I’d like to quote Dickens as a finishing note. Living in such interesting times, let’s remain conscious!
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities