Monday, June 25, 2012

Wow, It's been almost exactly a year since my last post! A lot has happened in that time, some good some not so good, but ultimately I feel like I am finally headed in the right direction (at least in thought). One thing I have really struggled with is the concept of right livelihood. It is a buddhist concept that states that right livelihood requires making your living without dealings in any of the five businesses the Buddha describes as harmful which are humans, weapons, meat, intoxicants, or poisons. Although I am not a buddhist in any formal sense of the word, it is the religion I feel most closely reflects my view on the world which is that we are all just small pieces to a larger puzzle and in effect
It is important to me to live the most compassionate and nonviolent life possible. The Jain word for this is Ahimsa which translates to "dynamic harmlessness" which means to not only avoid doing wrong but to always aspire to do the most good in every situation.

I am currently making a living at two jobs. One is just a tad bit shy of being amazing (more about that later) and one involves violating three of the five businesses the Buddha warned against. Namely the selling of meat, intoxicants, and poisons. Ever since I made the choice to become vegan I have struggled with working at a place that sells literally tons of animal flesh, secretions, and other by-products of the animal industry (soaps, cosmetics, cleaners, leather, wool, etc.) The job pays well and the hours are flexible which allowed me to attend college to study nutrition and still earn enough money to pay the bills. Basically I feel like a sellout because I have compromised my ethics for a paycheck. And it's not like I am not suffering from it, every package of enslaved, tortured, slaughtered animal that passes through the check stand is a constant, wrenching reminder :(.

I know that what I need to do is to spend my time looking for other work that does not require violating either the buddhas or my own beliefs on right and wrong. I have thought about trying to get a transfer to a different department that is not so hands on with the animal products but in reality I would still be working for a company that profits from the commodification of sentient beings. Stay posted.....

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