I read a book about a spiritual journey called, Hinds Feet on high places. Perhaps you are familiar with it? It was like a modern rendition of the famous classic called Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan. Unlike Pilgrims Progress, this story speaks from a female point of view. It seemed not to shirk around hard issues and didn’t candy coat things so, I read them with an inquisitive mind, as I embarked on my youthful discovery of things spiritual.
The book was a series, I eagerly read. That is until I got into later books. All of a sudden, and out of the blue, the storyline started talking about Vegetarianism and making some strange claim about God and the Garden of Eden. I was shocked, disgusted and disappointed. Without reading a single word further I filed this book in my mind under the category of ‘stupid cults’ and ‘dont go there!’ I couldn’t fling this book in the trash fast enough!
There is no way some one was going to get me to believe eating meat was a sin. Look at the Native Americans. They both ate meat AND revered the animal. There was no way I was going to pass such inane judgements as this book would have me do.
And thus it begins.
I loved nature, I loved animals, and I loved my meat rare. This was not a problem for me ethically, or spiritually.
What WAS a problem for me is how often throughout my life someone, be it stranger or, acquaintance would come up to me and ask if, or assume I was a vegetarian. “WHY?!” I would shout, “does everyone assume I am a vegetarian when I am in fact the farthest thing from it!” Knowing I projected some kind of vegetarian aura of some sort despite my best efforts, if you’ll excuse my language, really used to piss me off to no end. My anger would spur me to new heights of hate for what I called ‘tree huggers.’ and I would strive in frustration to convince these people, “NO! I am NOT a vegetarian! Why is everyone so blind!!”
I can only assume fate was laughing at me then, as I am now indeed, a vegetarian. Go figure.
Then there was a kinda hero figure of mine. The names Drizzt Do’ Urden. He’s a Drow elf and a character in a popular book series by R.A. Salvatore. The Drow elves are an evil race of expert killers. The character Drizzt however was not only a cool assassin type, but he was a loner and a rebel. He traveled with a great Black Panther and they used to kill stuff together. He was a virtuous sort of dude who only killed to eat or for self-defence. I could respect him.
That is until many Drizzt books later, his script would have him kill a moon elf. Suddenly he was all riddled with guilt for having to take an innocent life. Page after page filled with Drizzt’s pathetic mental anguish as he wrestled with his feelings. Feelings I did not identify with. Yes, Drizzt solved his dilemma.
My favorite character became a vegetarian to make up for all the killing he had done in his life. Ooh, I was angry. I felt betrayed by my favorite character. He ceased to be my favorite character and though I still read R.A. Salvatore books, I no longer waited with bated breath for the next book to come out.
But I could not dismiss Drizzt so easily. His stupid action bothered me. It stuck in my head for years like a loose end that needed to be tied.
Peace evaded me.