I decided on a vegetarian trial run two weeks ago. It’s going OK. I don’t miss meat (aside from the crushing realization upon suggesting we visit the Colonia Tovar because it "has great German sausages!”)
Vero believes this switch means I'm loca, as the food chain is a natural part of life—lions eat deer (or whatever the hell they want), birds eat fish, and so on. But I'm doing it because of what I’ve been reading about Buddhism. The views on meat eating vary from school to school, and I’m not enough knowledgeable to know which makes the most sense to me personally. Mahayana Buddhism, for example, argues that if one pursues the path of the Bodhisattva for enlightenment, one should avoid meat eating to cultivate compassion for all living beings. Reading that line (thank you, Wikipedia) made me want to let go of meat right away, and now I think of it whenever I see meat dishes.
The best part of my switch was the dog that Brit and I fed last night. He (who we later learned was indeed a she, then continued to refer to her as a he) got the best of my freezer’s parilla leftovers. She was sleeping in the garden in front of my building and emerged to greet us, escorted by her nose. One look at her sad eyes and round goofy ears gave me the impulse to do something--anything--give her my spare change? It left me sad and unsatisfied. So we raced upstairs, nuked some frozen pork, and mixed it with corn flakes and a raw egg.
She seemed hesitant towards her meal, circling it and then backing away as if it were still alive and she’d forgotten how to kill. We felt relief when she pulled the pork out of the bag and ate the whole thing. But she left the rest. Sensing my disappointment, and still a little disgusted by my decision to give her a raw egg, Brit reassured me: “Don’t worry--it just means she has good taste.”
We sat on the stoop and chatted while the dog finished eating, content that at least for tonight, she was well-fed. Upon finishing, she climbed to our eye level and looked at us: Do you think you could maybe pet me for a while? So of course we did, before leading her to a fount of fresh water and deciding to purchase a bag of dog chow.
I think I will name her Geduld, which babelfish tells me is German for patience.