The term “harm” is perpetrated through either ignorance or intent.
Ignorance is a social problem brought about because the flesh we eat is
prepackaged and is often not considered flesh; because our fruit and
vegetables are all stacked on the shelves at the local shop and other foods
are boxed or jarred or tinned or wrapped in neat containers that very often
give no hint of their having lived at all; because at some time or other
hunting became product distribution and disassociation, and separation
became acceptable. It’s all a lie, isn’t it? Absolutely everything we consume
was killed to feed us. Mass producers of trendy foods appeal to the hedonist
in people. They use trickery to coerce the public into believing their products
are “good for them” or are somehow socially impressive. The ease of fast
foods is a trickery that caters to the idea of affluence, creating a false sense
of detachment to the whole life-and-death process.
Intent, relative to harm, is all about cowardice, as Oscar Wilde said in The
Ballad of Reading Gaol when he wrote,
Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word.
The coward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!
The person who lies creates disillusionment and perpetuates the closed
door of their victims’ intuition and ability to live safely, and knows what he
or she is doing. The person who mutilates a garden or a forest for greed and
with an “I’m all right, Jack, and that’s all that matters!” attitude knows what
he or she is doing. The person who does not consider the repercussions of
their actions (this also applies to a society or a culture) knows what he or she
is doing. An institutional or authoritative body that tells us how to live and
threatens or humiliates those who do otherwise (either by choice or
circumstance), and a society that has come to expect our government and
judicial system to lie and to perpetuate preferentialism is as responsible as
the system that perpetuates the dysfunction, because “to acquiesce is to
condone” (John F. Kennedy).
To be awake to what you do and to do it without denial, is to honor the
interwoven dance of life and death, the certainty of change, your right to
choose, and a clear awareness based on the principles of your priesthood, of
how you approach, act, and resolve each and even• event and issue.