Vegetarian Blues

About three months ago, I was on my way to work around 6am when I saw a goat sitting quietly in a corner, chewing the curd. Every morning, I had to pass through an abattoir to get to my office, but I didn鈥檛 realize how much the daily sight of cows being dragged to the slaughter affected me until I stepped out onto the street that morning and saw that unsuspecting goat whose poor life no doubt would end in a violent death to provide food for some humans.

I thought of the animals we eat, their pregnancies, how they love and care for their young, how they don鈥檛 want to die but are killed anyway鈥ecause we want to eat them.

I was so sober and guilt stricken that I immediately thought I should stop eating meat immediately. I shared this thought on Facebook that morning, and here鈥檚 my status update, with the comments and responses that followed.

Joy Edoriagba is wondering if it is fair to kill animals and eat them. I can’t kill a chicken, or stay there while it is being killed, so should I be eating it? All these poor animals, how they live and roam around and give birth and care for their young, only to be slaughtered and eaten.

Tosin Babajide
my dear, it’s survival of the fittest. If we do not feed, we die…poor chickens though, and i just had chicken nuggets for lunch 馃槮
July 23 at 7:55pm 路

Osazuwa Obarisiagbon
whats happening?is everything ok??
July 23 at 7:55pm 路

Osita Egbubine
Woman of God, I can understand Osas’s concern. Anyway, u dont have to eat em. God said “I give you the seed bearing trees for food”. Dat wud mean u become a vegie. Sure you wont mind.
July 23 at 8:03pm 路

Voke Roy Onakpoya
Joy i can understand how you feel. Sorry o. Joy kindly send the animals to me.I know how to treat them very well. I have a ready made’cage’ for any animal,no matter the name,size and weight. In my next mail,i’l send u my detailed address. Thank you in advance
July 23 at 8:04pm 路

Chuks Nwanne
from today Joy, i will be on the look out for you in fast food joints to confirmed what you’ve just said. I know women love meat a lot, so, is your case different? hahahahahahahahahahah!
July 23 at 8:43pm 路

Voke Roy Onakpoya
So Joy, from now no fish or meat for you.I feel4d vegetables too. After taking time to grow up,from the seed state, you’l now go and pluck to eat.this is equally not good o. Even the fruits (both ripe and unripe) should be left4 the poor birds to feed on as well.So tell,what would you now eat?
July 23 at 8:55pm 路

Eshiemokhai Iniomor
@joy-plants have feelings too o! So u may hav 2 stop eating all together if u want 2 take up dis issue seriously!!!
July 23 at 9:44pm 路

Timendu Ghomorai
it’s called the law of blood – something must die for another to live.
July 23 at 9:53pm 路

Ugbaja Joshua Chuks
Read timothy 4, 1 downwards…wat did st.paul say about meat?…eat it dear…
July 24 at 12:43am 路

Joy Edoriagba
@Tosin, survival of the fittest? They’re disadvantaged from the start! Lol
@Oz, i know how delighted you’d be to find i’ve gone kukus, you always suspected, didn’t you? Hehehe. Well, i’m as well as ever.
@Osita, don’t mind Oz o. Anyway, i don’t want to “become” anything. I just want to feel right about what I do.
@Voke, baaaad guy.
@Chuks, There’s nothing to confirm, cos i didn’t declare anything. What’s to see, tears streaming down my face as i eat my piece of chicken?
@Voke, I鈥檓 rolling on the floor laughing. That鈥檚 really hilarious!
@Okhai, Plants have feelings? Well I鈥檝e never heard them expressed. And I鈥檓 not taking up any issue, just sharing my thoughts.
@Timi, how cold blooded of you. Lol.
@Joshua, I鈥檓 not saying people should not eat meat o, the Bible clearly warns against forbidding to eat meat and all that stuff. I just feel like a little witch waiting in the corner with my basin of hot water while the poor thing is being killed. Awful鈥asty. See the conflict?

Eshiemokhai Iniomor
@joy-little witch wit a bowl of hot water?…..very funny!
July 24 at 11:11am 路 Delete

Joy Edoriagba
@Joshua, thank you sooooo very much for that passage. I just read it now. I’m starting to feel better, and i’m sure when i talk this over with God tonight it’ll be settled.
@Okhai, na so we see am o!
July 24 at 11:16am 路

Voke Roy Onakpoya
@Joy. You don’t have2talk with God about it tonight again, becos he told me last nite that i should tell u2send d animals2me, that he is instructing me2build an ‘ark’ for them.lol
July 24 at 11:24am 路

Eshiemokhai Iniomor
@voke-is it a “tummy” ark?
July 24 at 11:27am 路

Voke Roy Onakpoya
@Iniomor.Whatever it is. I know they would be safe and will never experience hunger, fear or intimidation from anything again on this earth.lol
July 24 at 11:57am 路

Eshiemokhai Iniomor
@voke-neither wuld dey have 2 worry…..anymore abt a “little hot water basin carrying witch” hiding jst around d corner waiting 4 their defeathering n scarin d “LIFE” (quite literally) out of them abi? Ur “ark” sounds like a safe haven afta all!
July 24 at 12:24pm 路

Voke Roy Onakpoya
@Iniomor.Hahaha.you are right o.
July 24 at 12:41pm 路

Joy Edoriagba
@Voke, you will not let me die of laughter, do you hear? God has told you so there’s no need for me to ask Him myself abi? Hmmm. No be so brothers dey take marry sisters those days?@Okhai, i never knew you could be this funny. Two of you are a pair. Na me una dey take make yeye like this?
July 24 at 1:37pm 路

You must have guessed, I never entertained vegetarian thoughts after this!

Job Description

What is Mrs. Somebody鈥檚 primary job? Is it wifehood or motherhood?When I was employed two years ago as a Client Service Executive in a PR Agency, one of the things I appreciated the most was a single sheet of paper where my General Manager had outlined the things that were expected of me in my role: My Job Description. In the post-university world where everyone is defined by their response to the question, 鈥淪o, what do you do?鈥 I never suffered from identity crisis. I knew what I had been employed to do, and the extent to which it was separate from whom I was. It was a most treasured document, not only because it helped me prioritize and focus on the important things, but also because it gave real meaning to my promotion when it came- I鈥檇 done way more than was required of me.

If you don鈥檛 know what exactly your job is, how can you do it well? When you don鈥檛 know what your primary duties are, you waste valuable time leaving substance and pursuing shadows. You never know what to do now and what can wait till later. Worse still, you never know what you should have done and what a colleague should have done. You bear unnecessary blame and guilt, and can never be truly productive.

I realize now that not all jobs come with a clearly outlined job description, which brings me to the real issue on my mind; when a woman accepts to be Mrs. Somebody, what exactly is she signing up for?

The vows taken in my church stress that marriage is first for companionship, and then for procreation, but I read in an old Christian (Catholic) magazine recently that marriage is first for procreation and then for companionship. Knowing that views taught in marriage counselling classes are sometimes 鈥渄octrines of men鈥, I wonder what God鈥檚 purpose really was. What was His real purpose in creating marriage? If we go by 鈥淚t is not good that the man should be alone鈥︹ (Gen 2:18) then it would be companionship, but if we go by 鈥溾ecause He was seeking godly offspring鈥 (Mal 2:15) then children would be the reason for marriage.

And then I can鈥檛 help but think of the only marriage I have studied closely-my parents鈥.

When my brothers and I were growing up, my mum used to be everywhere with and for us. Preparing us for school, picking us up when we closed (having set the table for lunch and filled the tubs with water for us to 鈥渄o swimming pool鈥), taking food to those who had to wait for extension classes, taking us for haircuts and perms, searching for lesson teachers for us, taking us out to rent movies and visit our friends鈥he list of things she did for us is predictably endless. And yet, it never occurred to me then that she had another 鈥渃lient鈥, her husband.

Now that I know men aren鈥檛 just fixtures in the home called dads, I can鈥檛 help wondering when she took care of him. I laughed when as a teenager she told me how, when I was a few months old, my father told her that he felt neglected. He said he felt as if I had taken all her attention from him, as mum watched me even when I was sleeping. I laughed because I couldn鈥檛 picture daddy doing that, and it seemed rather ridiculous, even petty. Ah, the foolishness of youth. Now that I know what it means for a man to feel that way and verbally express it, my heart aches for him. I wonder if mum made amendments, if she made room for him, even as my brothers came after me.

I loved a man once; a wonderful, funny and exceptionally intelligent brother with whom I connected intellectually, spiritually and physically, but not emotionally. He genuinely loved me, but seemed incapable, at the time, of expressing his feelings, or lavishing affection and attention on me. I loved him dearly, but was having a hard time living without those things which I considered my 鈥渞ight鈥 as his woman.

As the relationship deteriorated, I had a talk with my bosom friend. In my distress I cried, 鈥淚 love him and I don鈥檛 want to let him go. I don鈥檛 want to live without him. But I don鈥檛 think I can survive living with him.鈥 Well, she didn鈥檛 want me to leave him either so she came up with a solution. She said to me, 鈥淲hen you guys get married, you鈥檒l have children. Then you can build your life around them and not worry whether he has time for you or not.鈥 I rejected the idea immediately, insisting that I was marrying the man, not the kids. I wonder if I was wrong.

It doesn鈥檛 help either, that according to http://www.whitehouse.gov, 鈥淲hen people ask Michelle Obama to describe herself, she doesn’t hesitate. First and foremost, she is Malia and Sasha’s mom.鈥 Does her husband know this? Is he okay with it? When my fianc茅 got down on one knee and asked me to marry him, what was he asking for? To what have I said yes?

The Human Spirit

I am often touched by the way the inner man operates, regardless of a person’s religious beliefs. The sixth sense, gut feelings and most of all, the things that come to us in dreams. Is it God revealing, causing His rain to fall on both the just and the unjust, or is it just that the human spirit possesses an energy of its own?

Three days prior to his assassination, Abraham Lincoln related a dream he had to his wife and a few friends. According to Ward Hill Lamon, one of the friends who was present for the conversation, the president said:

“About ten days ago, I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Then I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. I saw light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise.Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully.

‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers, ‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.”

…There is a spirit in man…Job 32:8.

Finally, My Blog

I’ve wanted to do this for a while now, but somehow I never got round to it. Dunno what I was afraid of; maybe I thought it would be difficult to keep it up and therefore better not to start at all.

Now, i’ve done it. I hope I find what i’ve been looking for, and I hope it proves worth it.