In a post a while back, I talked about the Buddhist notion of Hell, and how it’s seen as literal destination for rebirth, but also as a state of mind, or even a place we create. I recently read an article about the controversy over the Iowa pig farm, and how the workers enjoyed punishing the animals, laughed when baby pigs were smashed dead, and so on. You can see the actual video here. It was really, really graphic so I don’t want to directly embed the video, but if you really want to know what Hell on Earth is like, this has to be it.
When I saw the supervisor kicking this one pig in the ribs over and over again, while the pig just stood there hunched down, I just felt my stomach drop. While we go about our daily lives, this kind of thing goes on every day, both in the US and many places in the world. Imagine being a born as a pig and this is the only world you ever know, until your killed. In the article, the PETA undercover guy talked about the “culture of violence” and that sums it up. If these farm workers were removed from this environment and given a desk job somewhere, they might be sane, normal guys (maybe even vegetarians, who knows?), but the culture on these farms and slaughterhouse compels them to kill efficiently and treat animals, well, like meat sources. It’s a kind of mass hysteria. There are people who have to live this culture everyday, and animals who only know this life from day one.
Now I understand why Bodhisattvas vow to never touch meat, and why it’s never a part of a traditional Buddhist diet.