Vegetarianism was a blessing even more important and liberating than throwing my TV out of the window (symbolically), or the daily body stretchings.

I always loved nature and tried to be respectful to animals, especially after living with such characters as cats. Their joys, fears, invitations to play, when they are short with people, and the myriad of their own way of showing love, made them excellent friends.

But, I didn’t know it was possible to survive without eating animals. The book “Diet for a New America” written by John Robbins was a revelation. After reading it, I became vegetarian, and vegan shortly after (no dairy or eggs or any product derived from animals). I took those steps out of love and respect for animals, with the bonus of a very pleasant surprise: since then, I never again had to undergo through any of those mysterious problems of digestion that, every month and for many years, had upset my life. The cause of the mystery, my dear doctors, was the meat, but we couldn’t realize it.

I do not flag my condition of vegan, because I’m too identified with my humanity to feel superior to anyone based on what goes into my mouth – let alone by what comes out. Compassion for the defenseless, the unnecessary suffering of those on both sides of the fork, and the impact of our diet on this delicate planet, have been, however, enough reasons to have tried to explain -when I was required so- the benefits that brings along at all these levels a redirection of our diet towards veganism.

Furthermore, although I cannot prove this, I am convinced that we humans still kill each other in wars and acts of terrorism, not so much because of very important sociopolitical justifications, but because of the silent holocaust we are inflicting to our fellow travelers on this space capsule called Earth.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ll see in this lifetime the day when the rights of the voiceless: my beloved animals, mountains, rivers and seas, will be declared inviolable.

Respecting our mother Earth, how could this not be at the core of the teachings on filial respect given by Confucius? Can we really call progress the selfish exploitation of the mother of all of us?