Sunday, April 22, 2001

The Netherlands

When the sheep die

What does it mean to be human? I tried to work it out the other way round, what would it mean when you are not human? I hvae seen sheep being led to their bloody deaths at the butchery. There was something human in the air. They knew they were going to die, most of them had a resigned look in their eyes, a few of them looked stark raving mad with fear and a small minority amongst them looked like they were resigned to their fates, knowing that death comes sooner or later to all. It was quite unverning for me at the abatoir. I had never been so close to death before. It took me back to the those grisslier times when humanity was being gassed at auschwitz and the other death camps. I imagined being there.. feeling the resignation, the fear and the indifference that i imagined the jews felt being there. I think what makes us human is the full realization of what it means to die, to die mean not to know.

Death is frightening to me because i dont know what lies beyond. My cousin consoled. He said, "heck why worry? If it works out after you die, you win, if it does not and you end up being molecules of dirt, you will never know .. you win again" I wonder if something in those sheeps felt along the same lines? But what would life be without death? When an individual dies and millions of us die every day, it hardly impinges on our humanity. But when millions of us are butchered, surely something in all of us dies, our humanity suffers. Am i not as guilty as those nazis because I am of the same species? Of the same humanity? Acts of genocide diminishes all of us, it makes us all murderers.

Yet I am still a meat eater ...

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