Leon's Newsletter 54: Pure Joy
I confess that the goal of my life from the moment of my birth to the present day has been to achieve pure enjoyment, unadulterated by thoughts of sadness or guilt,
Eating has always been one of the most important ways of achieving my objective of pure enjoyment.
As a baby and a child the enjoyment of eating was unmitigated by thoughts about the food I was eating. As I grew older, however, sad, guilty thoughts about my precious food invaded my mind and began to spoil my enjoyment.
I became a vegetarian in my search for enjoyment; I believe in eating what I enjoy eating, not eating what is good for me or good for animals. I enjoy eating veggies because they taste good and because my mind isn't upset by thoughts of sadness at the way the food reached my plate.
No matter how delicious I found a good steak or piece of chicken, thoughts about how cruelly its flesh was cut, its blood poured out to terminate its once happy life frolicking in the fields with its children, now languishing in misery, longing for their beloved parent, a piece of whom was now lying well roasted in my plate in an attempt to bring me enjoyment.
What enjoyment could I have?
It can only be the kind of enjoyment that comes from preventing someone (a dumb animal) from having the joy I can't have.
The animal is capable of achieving pure joy because it can't think. I am incapable of achieving it because I can think.
That creature, as a dumb animal had what I didn't have. My pleasure came from taking away from him the one thing he had that I could never have, namely the pure enjoyment of living.
By eating meat or any animal product I feel that I am getting joy by terminating the life of a creature capable of achieving the pure joy that I was not capable of achieving.
As far as I'm concerned that is perverse joy and I would rather forego my precious joy than achieve it by engendering perverse thoughts.
I needn't do this, however, because I can achieve pure joy in eating simply by eating only fruit, vegetables and grains.
Killing a creature who once celebrated the pure enjoyment I so desperately but vainly sought, seeing it suffer for my pleasure must be the way a tyrant enjoys being ruler of the world.
This must be why a tyrant enjoys his ability to fashion a sharp sword that can subdue his enemies. Indeed his need for a sharp sword becomes great because he has so many enemies; every creature who has what the tyrant doesn't have is his enemy. The cows, chickens, every living thing becomes his enemy, even every non living thing..
A tyrant can't enjoy a feeling of love for his fellow creature. He can't enjoy seeing the rolling green meadows filled with happy, singing people and lowing animals. The thing we all desperately long for.
One could rephrase Psalm 121:
I look up to the hills
which the tyrant has made bare and full of rocks and thorns, scorched with the fire of his armies of slaughterers
and I ask
indeed I must ask
"in all this barrenness, which he has created, cometh my salvation?" It can't come from the tyrant who rules over me; look how he's destroyed it.
If I don't make it happen it's not going to happen and I won't have salvation. I won't have joy.
If I don't change my attitude towards animals and nature the beauty and the joy will be lost. I am the only one who can make it happen.
For sure if I don't make it happen I will have no choice but to turn to the Lord to help me.
No doubt the Lord will give us salvation from all the devastation the tyrant has wrought, but that salvation is in heaven. I would prefer salvation on earth. Earthly salvation can only come by the act of man not God.
Wishing you a great no news day.