This month, January 12- February 12, 2010, I am experimenting with vegetarianism.
Last weekend I went to the Intention Setting Ceremony for the Seattle Dharma Punx, a self-led buddhist meditation group.
There, I started to learn more about Buddhism and the Noble Eightfold Path. As Rachel, the leader, was explaining it, she mentioned the "rule" that thou shall not kill. People interpret this differently. Of course we should not kill other people. Some people take it to mean that we should not kill animals for food. Finally others, perhaps some Buddhist monks, bow down to honor the worms they squish in the ground when walking. As with everything in life, there are many interpretations.
After some research, I'm learning that the Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of the Buddha, who described it as the way leading to the cessation of suffering (dukkha) and the achievement of self-awakening.
I'm connecting my vegetarian experimentation with Right Action. This also seemed like a natural place to start because my diet is already focused on mostly fruits and vegetables. But in the first few days I've discovered one thing: chicken broth. The stuff is everywhere!
That little yellow cube called a bouillon cube made its way into my brown rice this week. I've been cooking with the things without actually knowing what they are. Wikipedia taught me that it is made by dehydrating vegetables, meat stock, a small portion of solid fat (such as hydrogenated oil), salt (usually well over 50%) and seasonings (usually including monosodium glutamate) and shaping them into a small cube. Long story short, it's NOT vegetarian. Shoot.
The very next day I was preparing my lunch when I discovered that my yummy organic curried red lentil soup also has chicken broth in it. Damn it!
As I stumble with this first attempt, I forgive my initial mistakes. The learning, as opposed to perfection, is the objective.