Here are some cartoons for carnivores to contemplate before devouring the turkey (or whatever other hapless animal is on your plate) tomorrow. Hey, there's still time to run out and get a tofu turkey! I recommend the Now and Zen Unturkey. Its crispy unskin and delightful stuffing make it our traditional Thanksgiving main dish.
These cartoons were included in my book about why it makes good karmic sense to be a vegetarian. "Life is Fair" was published non-commercially in India in 1999. Over twenty-five thousand copies were sold around the world. I love the idea that a guy from the United States wrote a book about karma and vegetarianism that lots of Indians bought. Culture and information flow in all earthly directions now, East-West, North-South, wherever.
But pretty much animals are still left out of the ever-widening circle of understanding that binds people together. They can't talk in human language, so most people don't consider them worthy of human compassion. Yet as I say in my book, if a cow could use its hoof to scratch a message in the dirt of its feedpen--"Help me! I don't want to die!"--would beef-eating be so palatable?
Preaching about vegetarianism is so, well, preachy. I'll let the cartoons do most of the talking (click on the image to make it larger).
This reminds me of all the little girls we (briefly) converted to vegetarianism when my daughter was young. Her friends would eat dinner with us and wonder why there wasn't any meat. When we said, "We don't like to kill animals," they'd scream, "Meat comes from animals!!??" Next thing we'd know a parent would be calling: "What did you say to my child? She won't eat meat now."
A fresh perspective on the fish market. Today's newspaper reported on PETA's "fish are our friends" campaign. Check it out before you write off our finny companions as stupid creatures unworthy of empathy.