I joined a Save Vigil and gave water to some of those who are experiencing that intense thirst. Some of them gobbled up the water immediately, wanting more. While others didn’t even bother anymore, because there are other discomforts they are feeling. It doesn’t make a difference that these beings I’m talking about are pigs. When it comes to our primal needs, we are the same with these land animals. To have water to drink, to have food to eat, to be physically comfortable. For the pigs whom I gave water, it is but a small relief. I gave them that water just a few hours before their scheduled slaughter. I wish it were different. I wish they won’t be slaughtered. I wish they weren’t brought into this world just to be killed. I wish their lives weren’t such miserable existence. I wish they would be happy. I wish they would be free.
We practice yoga to find some physical comfort. Some of us find relief in our lower back pain or shoulder pain etc through yoga exercises. Some of us enjoy the stretches and strengthening involved in the poses, first thing in the morning, or after a long day, or both. We can not deny that the quality of our lives are affected by our physical comfort.
The practice of yoga expands, and I don’t just mean that we become better at the physical exercises, that we do for sure. I mean, that we become, in a sense, better people. Even if we’ve learned to hold headstand for 10 minutes, but if we care about ourselves only, and sometimes even at the expense of others, it’s not a very comfortable place to be. Even if we intellectually justify it, our souls will feel it. But if we practice yoga and what comes out of this practice is that we want for others what we would not deny in ourselves, we start to have this humility and grace, our practice becomes beautiful because we start to make peace with ourselves.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. Consider all beings who may have that primal need to drink water, and whose needs are unmet, and offer your practice to them. Being vegan is one of the most important ways we can practice compassion towards all other beings. Please consider it.