16 December 2005

Pivotal Moments Part 1

I'm starting a new series of posts called "Pivotal Moments". The reason why everyone is unique even though we are atomically made up of the same stuff is because of our life experiences. It is the profound events in our life that determine our mindset and how we approach situations. For example, a female rape victim might find it hard to trust men again.

So once in a while I'll write about the pivotal moments in my life, and offer readers a very personal glimpse into the possible reasons why I am who I am. I got this idea from the TV series "Lost", which relies on flashbacks to explain why characters act the way they do, even if we initially think it's stupid. If anything, it teaches us not to judge others based on our beliefs because they may have gone through worse hell than us.

So let me start with one of the pivotal moments that strengthened my practice of casual vegetarianism. In May of this year my college's Buddhist Society organized a Releasing Life ceremony and we threw many fishes back into the river. In that post, I complained about how smelly the fishes was. And I think that experience made me a better vegetarian. Hauling the heavy buckets of fish, I kept thinking to myself, "Yucks! This is what my favourite food SMELLS like? How can I eat something that smells so bad?" It's no different that purifying garbage - it may not smell or taste like garbage anymore, but it's still garbage.

While fish is still my preferred type of meat if I'm ever forced to choose one, I'll never forget the smell of live fishes. If you would like to experience it yourself, try standing at the fist market for an hour.

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