Friday, November 28, 2008

No Thanks, Gandhi went cold turkey ..

The film Gandhi (1982) depicts the story of one of the greatest statesman and vegetarian, Mahatma Gandhi. I remember watching the film very attentively as I was interested to know the life that he lived and what he had done for India.

I have known that he was a humble lawyer by training, and his love for his country motivated him to bring unity amongst the different races in India. This motivation was similar to what had happened to another great statesman of China, Dr. Sun Yat Sen who loved his country deeply.

One particular scene was very graphic. Gandhi was the leader of a whole group of followers who were fighting for their rights in a public display of civic disobedience of a non-violent nature. On the other side rows of policemen armed with batons ready to put them down. One by one, Gandhi and his followers came forward, unarmed and defenseless, and were clobbered down mercilessly by the policeman. In the end, Gandhi won the cause, at the cost of a lot of blood and pain. Non-violence triumphed over violence.

It was a very disturbing scene. I didn't know what to make of it. But that film did teach me at least two words. That Mahatma means a great soul, and Gandhi earned it by his devotion and unconditional labour of love. The other word which I learned was Ahimsa, a state of non-violence.

Now it is Thanksgiving season again in America. If you are still living in the tit-for-tat world, if you are still eating meat, and if you still believe that your life must be sustained at the cost of another turkey's life, then this thanksgiving you could be using violence against a living turkey. You killed the turkey, or caused the turkey to be killed at the hands of others in order that its flesh can be roasted and brought to the dinner table for your "consumption".

If you are still killing a live turkey, I hope you remember the Gandhi movie. The turkey represents the spirit of Gandhi. He wants to fight for his own right to live. He is completely harmless and unarmed. He is defenceless yet defiant as the butcher's knife is brought down against his throat.

If you eat the turkey, you are the policeman in the Gandhi film. You are the perpetrator of violence. You believe in the negative powers. You believe that might is right. You live in self-justified brutality, not caring whether it is at the expense of another living being. As you use your fork to dig into the turkey meat, every single strike is the same strike that the policeman used to clobber Gandhi.

You should know that in the end Gandhi triumphed. So will the turkey. Stop the senseless violence now! Let it never happen again in your life. There are so many alternatives available toay. You can search for veggie turkey recipes in the internet. You can buy tofurky products. You can even order from restaurants like One World. There is no excuse.

Make every day a cold-turkey day for you. Gandhi went cold turkey. So should you !

May your life be blessed by your mercy. Heaven will smile on you, and the turkeys will thank you for their life.

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