Hot dogs, burgers, pepperoni pizzas, roast chicken, tandoori chicken... We could go on. We could talk about the meat I miss all day. Some people don't miss it or some can just watch a video of animal cruelty, think about how unhealthy it all is and the cravings just go away. Me not so much.
I see the hot dog stand and I drool, I see chicken being cooked and yum it looks so good. In the future I may not. My cravings may go. They may not.
I was sat in Stephen's computer room on a dry hot day. It was perfect barbecue weather. I wanted a burger. I wanted a burger bad. There where, of course, no burgers on hand and no burger places nearby. More importantly than any of that though is that I am a vegetarian. I choose not to eat meat. I chose not to give into the cravings. I choose to harm as little as possible.
The day after I was on the train home. I bought some sweets in the shop, sweets that I'd eaten as a kid and all through my life. I suppose you can guess what is coming. They had gelatin in them and I didn't realize. I was really upset by this. An animal had died, probably suffered in it's life for some sweets I was eating to pass the time on a train journey. And yesterday I wanted a burger, that is why I don't give into cravings. It's like an itchy rash that you scratch until it is infected*.
Somehow along the line I've learned compassion. Before I went vegetarian I didn't really care about animals. I did on an intellectual level but I didn't feel it in my heart. I didn't get upset knowing that animals suffer. Now I get upset by seeing a horse who is kicking the side of it's horse box (although I'm obviously not against that) and come close to tears over cruelly treated monkeys.
Intuition, reason and experience are the three steps to faith. That's what we talked about in our Buddhism day. I had the intuitive feeling that vegetarianism was right for me, I reasoned it out knowing that limiting the suffering I cause was the right thing to do and trying new foods in preparation for the day I would be vegetarian and finally I experienced it. In my heart I have faith that what I am doing is right.
That isn't to say that I'm perfect or at the end of the path. This is just the story so far.
*remind me of that next time I have eczema!