i went to kauai with my parents last summer. we walked across some trail that left me covered in mud, and near the entrance to the trail we saw a frog lying on its back, feebly twitching. i figured it would die. i left it there.
i walk a lot faster than my parents and ended up the first back about 2 hours later.
the frog twitched.
i don’t know what seized me, but suddenly i was running towards it. i grabbed it, took off at a full sprint, and dropped it into the nearby river.
i’m not vegetarian, but in that moment i just wanted it to live.
“thank you for saving it”. an old woman called to me across the bridge. she bowed and put her palms together.
“i don’t know why i did it. i feel like a hypocrite, i’ve killed so many others.”
she just smiled.
“i think you will save many more. may you be free of suffering.”
something about the way she said it. she saw me and forgave my past cruelties. i burst into tears, and for once didn’t try to hide it or control it. i just let it wash over me. i let the past fall away like a hot rock i’d been holding.
i didn’t become vegetarian after that, but my meat consumption went down a great deal, and continues to.