Yoga: It makes me a pain in the ass…
One of the most difficult things on discovery of yoga isn’t how to integrate yoga into my daily life but how to help yoga filter out into the world. Something as simple as buying a hat suddenly becomes one of the trickiest tasks when time, budget and consumer culture must be battled with. My initiation into the world of the vegetarian began as I had no major issue with killing an animal for food but rather, the suffering it may have encountered during its farming and production. However, to attend a dinner party and find myself asking – is it free range? Was it a happy hen? Was it killed humanely and other such questions felt awkward and difficult to present until finally, it became easier to refuse meat altogether.
Later, I discovered my own naivety when I first read about the dairy industry to discover that it is almost pointless giving up meat if I continued to eat cheese which had been produced via slaughter resulting in unfathomable suffering to the calf’s mother as it grieves the loss of a calf and battles sickness due to over milking. Finally, deciding that a fish’s life is not as important as a cow no longer seemed reasonable and on facing and digesting the fact that many fish die in awful conditions – squashed to death slowly and suffocated never mind the other animals caught in the nets – that I have also had to give this up too.
The fun doesn’t stop there though because when you start realising you are connected to everything and you have the ability to impact negatively on the planet in everything you do from what you cook to the clothes you wear, living day to day in our society becomes ever more tricky with ever more questions required. I was recently shopping for a hat for my other half in Weston Super Mare and after having trawled the usual shops and introducing him to the few hats in the Kusan range stocked by tReds, which I knew to be ethical, all of which were deemed style-wise unsuitable, we agreed on a hat from Animal and I had to suppress the urge to google them to try and find out about their ethical stance knowing that it could mean walking away with my cold headed fairly new boyfriend possibly thinking I was a pain in the ass, possibly completely mad or a bit of both! I find myself sometimes wishing I could return to my world of ignorance yet why should we feel uncomfortable about asking about things that ultimately affect us and the planet?
The trouble is that if we don’t ask these questions, make demands and cause a fuss, things will never change. The question therefore is, how much are we prepared to stamp our feet and what shoes do we stamp them with?