I have been struggling in my own head with something for a while now that I thought I had resolved. I guess the law of balances decided to make it quite clear, however, just exactly how it works.
My belief system is set up around the idea that you take responsibility for yourself and your actions and you do so in such a way that you cause the least amount of impact, harm, or suffering on anything not-you involved. No, I am not a perfect person, but I try my hardest to live by my moral and ethical beliefs.
I've been struggling with becoming a meat eater again due to my belief that I should be able to raise and kill my own food and my inability to kill. I don't even have a really good explanation as to why I felt that way. I just feel that if you are going to take a life directly to feed yourself that you should be able to honor that life by raising it humanly and killing it mercifully. An awesome life followed by one quick bad moment.
I've been struggling with the knowledge that given the opportunity to take a life to feed myself that I could not do it. Even with the knowledge that this vegetarian diet was killing me slowly I still knew that if it came right down to it chances were that I would probably starve rather then kill an animal to feed myself.
I had, I thought, come to the realization in my own head that if I could provide a good or service to trade for the meat I needed to survive that that would absolve me from doing the actual killing. It would be enough that I could be part of a community, trading my gifts for someone else's. I even almost believed it. Almost.
There was still a bit of doubt in my head. It was something I strongly believed after all. I never could quite resolve it all neat and tidy in my mind. I figured this growing season I would be producing enough to trade for some of my meat needs and I would be putting adequately back into my "community."
So, a week ago, I started eating meat again. I made sure the meat I bought for my consumption was ethically and humanly raised and slaughtered. I made sure that all my values were being upheld in what I consumed. I did my research! I still had this little niggling doubt in my mind that I was trying to resolve but I felt strongly that I was doing the right thing.
I've started feeling a lot better this week. My body needs meat aparently, but that's what I've thought anyway for a while now.
I hit a deer with my car Thursday morning. Three days after starting to eat meat again. Three days after not quite really resolving my mind on the whole issue. My car, which I absolutely loved more then most stuff in my life, was completely totaled. My body was banged up, but I wasn't seriously hurt.
I killed the deer.
This is probably one of the most horrible things I've ever done in my life. I will feel absolutely horrible and guilty about it for the rest of my life. I'm not talking about the fact that I killed the deer, I'm talking about the amount of time it suffered before it died.
I carry an extremely sharp hunting knife in my purse. Unfortunatly, I didn't damage the deer enough to be able to get close enough to cut its throat with my knife. I called the police to come and kill it with a gun, since I didn't have the resources avaliable to do it myself. The policeman took almost 30 minutes to get to the scene. Not more then 5 minutes before he arrived the deer died, having suffered, I am sure horribly, for far too long. I saw the damage my car inflicted after the fact. He really did suffer horribly.
No, this was not my fault. Yes, this was an accident. I lost one of my favorite things in the world and watched an animal die a horrific and pain filled death by my hand. I learned something about myself in the process.
I can kill.
No, I will never be able to kill without remorse. I don't think anyone who is not a psycopath could, or at least I'd hope not. I can, however, make sure an animal that's been raised ethically and humanly has a quick and as painless as possible death. I need to feed myself and by honoring the animal completely by the way I raise it and use the entire thing with no waste, I am honoring my value system.
That deer that I killed is currently in my back yard being eaten by my dogs. Whatever is left over when they are done will go in the compost pile to feed the plants in my garden in the future. Everything will be used and I have learned something about myself in the process, this is how I thank that deer for its sacrifice.
I guess karma has a way of resolving things for you when you try to take the easy way out.