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Meeting on the Plane

By Matthieu Ricard on August 24, 2009

When our meal was served on a recent international flight my neighbor, a young man, asked me with a touch of surprise:
-- Are you vegetarian?
-- Yes, I am.
-- Do you feel that meat is dirty?
-- Not at all, but I do not want to cause harm through eating.
-- But all animals eat each other. This is natural.
-- It might well be, but I don't eat them.
-- If one of these animals would be here, he might eat you!
--Sure, but that does not seem a sufficient reason for me to eat him. As George Bernard Shaw said, ‟Animals are my friends and I don't eat my friends.”
-- Oh, animals are your friends.
-- Yes, they are.
-- That's interesting.