Mother Earth’s Sacrifice
As I journey around the globe on my Living Ahimsa-The Power of Peace tour, I have been peppered a zillion times by vegans and meat-eaters alike with the same questions. Among these queries is a critical one: “By harvesting and eating a plant, aren’t we also contributing to killing a life?” In short, no. In my tradition, we observe how the Great Goddess feeds and nourishes her universe through the universal law of yajna, sacrifice for the benefit of humanity. According to this law, the plant kingdom makes the greatest, most phenomenal sacrifice for the subsistence of life on earth. A plant’s life is cosmically designed to be perennial, annual, or to last only for the span of a few months or a season. In the vegetable kingdom, plants such as carrots, beets, potatoes and leeks, which we uproot to harvest, would not last out the season even if left untouched.
In contrast, I view senselessly felling a forest as an act of violence; farming of cattle for the production of its meat as a death sentence to the prolific green earth; the unconscious, excessive exploitation of nature as a death sentence to the plant kingdom. We don’t kill fruit trees or berry bushes when they bend in service to us with weighted offerings made to us year after year. They remain transfixed in dedicated service with the single purpose of creating food for humanity and all earth’s creatures. As the season of their bounty passes, they bow to the Mother bosom of the earth. Thusly, the cyclical, spiraling process of nurturance continues. The devoted plant continues to feed her mother, the Good Earth, after the vegetarian populations have had their fill. Most plants broadcast an infinite number of new lives through their seeds before they go under. We don’t have to chase them, hunt them down with fierce intention of wounding and killing them. They do not run from us, rather they are entirely at our disposal. They remain immobile as we reap their nourishment.