I´ve had a hard time trying to become a vegetarian the last four months. At first it was entirely for an ecological purpose. Even if I always had affection for many kind of animals like cats or for the marine animals thanks to all the awareness campaign done around pollution of the oceans.
Well how can I give love for some kind of animals if I have the dead flesh of another beside my vegetables or my fries? I´d say this is a question of culture. Most of the people grew up in total denial regarding the torture infliged on their meat. Then one day while enjoying your favourite plate someone stops you and tell you to close your mouth. But why should I stop when I have been eating meat forever, just like my ancestors ?
The struggle was real for me, I wanted to stop having attraction for a piece of meat. I would always tell myself and others “Maybe if I see it with my eyes , if I could smell the bloody air of death caressing my nostrils then maybe, maybe one day I´ll be able to stop.”
Now why am I talking about that?
Couple days ago I met my host family and our first contact was particularly strange to me.
My host mom brings me home, the door is open and the first thing I perceive is a blue cap hanging on the roof of the small house. Passing the cap was a horror show. Lineth, the oldest child, is gazing indifferently at her aunt plucking the body of dozen of chicken freshly executed. Bare handed, the woman looks at me with a bright smile and starts a conversation with me. I felt horrified but at the same time I was home surrounded by good people.
I couldn´t feel hateful. On the contrary, I felt respect towards them.
Me 17 years old and very sensitive I would never in my whole life be able to do such a thing. Not because I think it´s cruel.
I talked about my impression with the group and the instructors and I started telling myself, “Who am I to judge someone who wakes up at 4 am on a Sunday because she have to sell someone else roasted chicken at the market to pay her bills and her children´s education?” After this my view changed towards the relation I have with my new diet. Here on Tiquipaya people raise in their garden many animals such as chickens, rabbits, cows and sheeps for someone else´s meal, but especially their own.
I believe now that I used to give the wrong speech when trying to raise awareness. I realized that I should not rush to criticize others so much for eating meat. In some places, people need meat to support their families and feed themselves in ways that I do not. This was a hard realization for me, but I feel like from this experience I have grown and I have come to understand my homestay family. I have become a more tolerant towards people now who do not share the same point of view.