...why I'm not a vegetarian.
I love animals. I hate cruelty to animals. I love to see the chickens running around this village and the sheep passing the house each day to graze over the hill.
I hate zoos and circuses. No animal should be kept in captivity, just to entertain us. I despise people who hunt animals for pleasure...it horrifies me. My heart wants to save all the animals of the world, but my logical brain knows this is impossible.
But I eat meat. I think I justify it because animals have always killed other animals to survive, since time began. It's easy to pick up meat in the supermarket, which bears no resemblance to a living animal.
I don't think about it a great deal until I see a dead animal, which happened early this morning.
I fed the dogs at 5.30am and let them out for a run up the hill. Sammy and Blondie were back within 10 minutes. Megan followed a few minutes later...with something in her mouth. She has a habit of bringing me "gifts" with that expression on her face that says "look what I've got for you...aren't you pleased with me?"
It was the remains of a tiny lamb. Megan dropped it outside the gate and left it there. She seemed to have no desire to do anything with it other than to bring it to me. There were two street dogs just up the lane, watching Megan as she came through the gate. I imagine the lamb was something they had found, and Megan had taken it from them...she's good at that...she will intimidate other dogs and they just back off.
I don't think it's likely that the dogs killed the lamb. The sheep and their offspring are never left unattended. I would imagine that it was stillborn to one of the sheep while they were up on the hill with the shepherd. And it would have just been left there to rot.
Naturally I had to dispose of it. In my rush to get a shovel, my dodgy ankle gave way, which is going to cause me grief today. My sentimental side wanted to give it a decent burial, but being practical I threw it on to some waste ground, where it will feed the stray dogs and cats.
Incidents like this stir up all sorts of emotions for me. Will I carry on eating meat? Probably.
Are any of you vegetarians? If you're not, how do you justify eating meat? I'd really like to know your views.