A few months ago, as I was out walking, I came upon 4 plastic boxes in a farmyard. Outside one of those boxes stood a lonely calf... just enough room in the box for shelter, just enough room outside the box to lie down.
The calf was being confined to a small area so he could neither exercise nor move, thus ensuring he didn't develop any muscle and, when slaughtered and fed in a restaurant or his meat sold in a supermarket, his meat would be tender and succulent.
In the blogpost I wrote about my experience with this calf, I focused on how I felt I had failed this beautiful animal by standing frozen, unable to give him the love I could see he clearly craved. That experience still haunts me today.
A few months later, out walking again, my walk took me through another farm. And, again, I encountered a young calf, again, confined to a really small area.
This time I didn't crumble under the shock of seeing such a beautiful creature being imprisoned so cruelly, so inhumanely. This time, without fearing whether the farmer would see me or not, I walked over to the calf, who was lying outside his plastic container in the small outer area of his enclosure, and I sat down beside him.
This time I wanted to let this little calf know that he was loved, something I had failed to do for the first calf who had crossed my path those few months earlier.
So I sat quietly and peacefully beside him and through intuitive communication, I let the calf feel the love I wished to share with him, feel the love I felt in my heart for him.
He did not respond like I expected, however. He did not lap up the love I was giving him, like I thought he would.
Rather, in return, I felt an overwhelming sense of sadness, a heaviness that crept through every cell of my body. And my heart began to break.
My heart began to break because it felt that this beautiful creature, still so young, had given up on life. He had experienced so much trauma in his short life already that it felt he really had nothing more to live for. Indeed, death, I felt would be a blessing as clearly this calf was not what we imagine seeing in the fields, larking around and enjoying being young and new to life. The heaviness I felt from him was all-consuming, heaviness that I would associate with someone who has given up on life and has had enough. And yet this calf was still so young, too young to be feeling the heaviness and sadness that he was clearly feeling.
While I sat with him and shared my love with him, for him, he stayed lying on the ground, not moving. From the moment I sat beside him until the moment I got up to walk away, he never moved his head off the ground where it lay. He never once made eye-contact with me. All I could feel, all I experienced, was an overwhelming sadness. something no sentient being, especially one so young, should experience.
Where, with my first experience of a calf raised purely for its meat, I felt a sense of failure, not giving him the love he craved, this time I felt a sense of sadness that I couldn't shake. The love I was giving him was not enough. He was beyond the basic need of love. He was empty. There was life in his body but not in his soul.
That day something changed in me. I lost a part of me to that calf because I was so helpless. Nothing I could do could change how that calf was feeling, nothing I could do would change and improve his life.
His very essence, his very soul had been disrespected since birth. First torn away from his mother and now confined in a prison awaiting execution.
That day something changed in me. I couldn't change that calf's life but I could play my part in changing the lives of future calves. That day I could no longer turn a blind eye. That day I chose to accept my culpability for the fate of that calf and many more who lie in my wake.
When we go to the butcher or supermarket and pick up a piece of meat for our dinner, we don't see the animal who gave his life for us; we don't have to look that sentient being in the eyes as we take away his life with our own hands. And yet we are as culpable as the person who does, as culpable as the person who tears a calf away from his mother, who confines a calf to prison, who slaughters a calf.
When we go to the supermarket and pick up a carton of milk for our cereal or coffee, we don't see the torture that went on when a calf was separated from his mother, or when a mother lost her young. We didn't separate a mother and her young with our own hands. And yet we did. Because we drink the milk that nature created in the mother's body for her young. We broke and destroyed the natural cycle of life. So we are as culpable as the farmer who tore this calf away from his mother, who confines the calf to prison, who sends the calf off for slaughter.
Because we're so removed from the process we've turned a blind eye to the needless cruelty that takes place. And yet, that cruelty still takes place, whether we see it with our own eyes or behind a sheet of plastic or in a carton in the supermarket. And we're creating that cruelty through making dietary and lifestyle choices that create the need, and demand, for that cruelty.
That day something changed in me. That day I chose to accept my culpability for the fate of that calf and many more who lie in my wake. That day I asked myself: "Am I happy to turn a blind eye and remain part of this inhumane and cruel system or can I not unsee what I have seen and, with respect to my soul's calling, make changes in my own life that will create a difference in these fellow sentient beings?" I either continue to turn a blind eye or I allow my eyes to remain open.
I chose to allow my eyes to stay open.
From that day, onwards, I chose to stop eating dairy products. It was something that had been on my mind for a while. However, like many of us, the challenge, I thought, was always greater than the idea. It would be too difficult, it would be too awkward, it would take too much effort... until I came face-to-face with reality for that second time and I could no longer unsee what I had seen.
And you know what? It was difficult and challenging for the first week or so. It did take some conscious efforts to change my pattern and lifestyle, to become accustomed to the new flavours of vegetable- or nut-based equivalents, to learn how to cook with these new ingredients and how and which to apply when and where.
But the challenges lasted a mere week or so. The challenges in my life aren't anything compared to the goodness I have now given back to nature, to the respect I now show to the sentient beings I share this planet with, to the re-alignment of my body with my soul.
For a few years now I have been meat-free and the thought of being dairy-free, or even reducing my dairy intake, was never something that crossed my mind. I was happily oblivious to the cruelty that takes place in the dairy industry... until I came face-to-face with it on a second occasion and my eyes were opened.
The changes I have made in my lifestyle and health are changes that have been shown to me, changes I know I have been guided towards by the angels who walk alongside me every day. For me to embrace the spiritual being that I am, it's important for me to keep my vibration high so I can connect with the angelic and spiritual realm, connect with my higher self and soul. When I ate meat, I was consuming the low vibration of fear and death, the experiences that were trapped in the meat of an animal who was slaughtered. When I drank or ate dairy, I was consuming the low vibration of a mother and her young being cruelly and unnaturally separated.
Being a spiritual being these low vibrations were dampening my connection to the angelic realm. But also my connection to nature around me.
We are all, each and every one of us, spiritual beings having a physical experience here on earth. For us to dampen our spirituality by filling our bodies, or surrounding our bodies, with low vibrations, we are not able to fully embrace our experience here on earth and the light that we are here to shine can never shine a brightly as it could or should.
It's not just about being meat-free or dairy-free, it's about every choice we make in our life. We are so removed from everything that is natural in the world that we have been blinded and we walk through life in a daze of oblivion. It's time to open our eyes. It's time to make conscious choices that not only benefit our bodies and our lives, but also Mother Nature and the wonderful animals we share this planet with.