I had a long day. I’m an Intern Clinical Psychologist. Today, like most days, people told me about the horrible things that happened to them (and some of what they did to others). They can’t seem to let go of these things – the things that are not easy to get a grip on and instead come back in dreams, fleeting visions, queasiness and the need to avoid… something. It’s been a long day. So then I’m standing outside, taking a breath of trauma-free air. Not.
Over there are two middle aged men, probably someone’s dad, someone’s son, brother, buddy, pet owner etc. They are loading something from a white truck. The truck is flawlessly white and sterile, except for the neat text printed in crimson (not quite blood red, that wouldn’t be subtle now would it?) on it: RITE MEAT. How ironic. The boxes they load from the truck appear to be mini versions of the truck itself – equally neat and flawless, except for the blunt text. Blunt, because sharp wouldn’t be subtle now would it? Inside the boxes I presume are body parts. I can’t know this for sure, because the boxes are neatly sealed off and the boxes are impeccably square – almost like they didn’t even travel. Almost like one of those bizarre moments in a movie where they do something eerily incongruent like play a catchy swing tune to a brutal murder scene. You know what I’m talking about. Like clowns, the smile is just TOO big. It’s creepy. What are you hiding behind there? Anyway, so these clowns are off-loading boxes of body-parts and I feel horrified. For a moment I feel like I am the only one witnessing this and as soon as everyone else catches on someone is going to call the police and the police will come and the press will come and everything will happen in slow-motion because everyone will be in shock. Of course, none of this actually happens. Because essentially, what is going to happen is that those two clowns, fathers, sons, brothers, buddies, are going to carry those body-parts to some restaurant or supermarket, someone else is going to buy them and someone else is going to cook them and someone else is going to eat them. And they won’t even know that only days ago, those body parts were walking around and feeling distressed and seeing other body parts being removed from friends. And then two clowns took those body-parts, chopped them up and neatly packed them into white boxes which somehow don’t leak blood. What the…?
The decision for me to not eat meat is easy. I simply cannot contribute to this horror. But along with this comes a shadow. The shadow of peace is bearing witness to the suffering. The shadow is knowing that while I have made a decision in support of my compassion for life and against suffering, in other shadows, someone is being killed without any regard so that some clown can pack their body parts into a box. Along with my personal victory comes the very dark memory of the fight. This is a traumatic fight. This fight is brave, and it is hardfreakingcore. It gives you post traumatic stress disorder, man (http://www.drcroft.com/dsm5.html). It hurts and it is worthy. It is a silent resistance. It is a war of peace.