A Sentience Article from All-Creatures.org

Vishnu Saved My Life

From Luke Marsh
Facebook posting July 7, 2022

In this moment, looking into Vishnu's eyes, I said to myself 'I'm not going to cause intentional, unnecessary suffering to another living being ever again.' 

Vishnu Cow

I would like to share a story wjth you. I came to Auroville 5 years ago today. Before coming here, I was the largest meat eater in my family, I also went hunting a lot. The last time I went hunting was about 5 days before coming here. I arrived in a vegan community where I was only going to stay for 2 weeks, where I was curious to try this lifestyle.

I was already becoming more environmentally conscious, and understood the impact animal agriculture has on the environment, and had been health conscious for a while, and understood that we can thrive on a plant based diet, however I had never connected with what we know as farm animals.

I was talking with the community about an idea I'm sure everyone reading this can connect with, the idea of world peace, a goal I believe one day we will achieve, while discussing this, someone came up to me and said 'how can we ever achieve world peace while there is so much violence in our diet?' This was the first time I stepped back and reflected deeply on what I was contributing to.

The following day I had the opportunity to spend time with the rescued cows we were living with. After feeding them, and collecting their poop, we brush them. I brushed Vishnu. While brushing him, I moved to his neck, his head went up, his eyes rolled back, he started making noises I never knew cows could make, he was enjoying it so much.

In this moment I had this overwhelming feeling of confusion, as he wasn't so different from a dog, i love dogs, I could never cause them to suffer, the more I was brushing, the more I reflected that he isn't so different to us, he has a family, he feels pain, he has a personality, good days and bad days, he likes to play, to interact, to live.

This all became too much for me, so I stopped, and started walking away, I wanted to process these feelings. As I was walking away, Vishnu followed and started to nudge me with his head on my side, he wanted to keep being brushed, so I did. In this moment, looking into his eyes, I said to myself I'm not going to cause intentional, unnecessary suffering to another living being ever again.

Vishnu changed my life.

#auroville #vegan #veganism #pondicherry

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