The Persistent Being Vegetarian Campaign

I just had an impromptu visit to Medan on last lunar new year. Then, I got the chance to encounter (the figure of) the very person that had amazed me since my trip to Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, December 2009 ago. The Supreme Master Ching Hai.

This second encounter was recalled during my dinner at a very nice and cozy vegetarian restaurant namely Socrates in Medan. The restaurant is very nice, uh I mentioned that already, but it is indeed very very nice and worth to be mentioned more than once.


The food is amazing, the interior design is awesome, they have many neatly organized books, and the price is very affordable. In addition, they have this picture of Master Ching Hai in here there and everywhere, and her show (I did not clearly notice anything else rather than Ching Hai’s face all around since I was too busy with the food) was continuously aired at big flat screen in the center of the restaurant.

So, back to this Master Ching Hai, what awed me the most on my first (indirect, of course) encounter with her was the persistence ‘being vegetarian’ campaign done by her followers. As you might be guessing, the December weather of Copenhagen was disfavoring tropical creatures. You can use layers of clothes, whatever coats, numbers of socks and leather shoes, very puffy gloves and hats, and mind you, it was still damn freezing. The longest I had been outside with minor movement was during the two to three hours queue before entering the conference room. That was enough to numb me and I am sure that I cannot ever be qualified for to become her followers.

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Unlike me, the followers of Master Ching Hai were tirelessly campaigning the being vegetarian movement at every day during the (at least that I know) 15 days of conference. There were around the same 15 of them outside the conference room. They were there at the very early morning when we arrived at 8 AM and they still there when we are back to the apartment at 8 PM. They were also there when we escaped from the conference room at 2 PM, to prove that they were always there, in the outside of the breezing Copenhagen with at least minus degrees Celsius. They distributed heavy package of campaign materials (not just brochure, it also include hard cover books on Master Ching Hai’s bird poetry) and sometime provided vegetarian sandwich if we were lucky enough. They were carrying this all around and constantly asking you to take all of those materials. If you tell them that you already have one, they will insist you to take another one or two because one is not enough. For me, their persuasions was sometime at the level of credit card promotion person. Yet, seeing from their persistence, their campaign indeed beaten all of the other campaigns of environmental organizations happened during the conference.

The experiences of watching Master Ching Hai’s followers in between the snowy weather and seeing her faces all around the restaurant had yielded me with two major questions, can I be a vegetarian? on what topic would I dare to stand tirelessly for campaigning? I know that I should have put these two questions in separate writings, but for me the revelation come together so please just bear with it.

As for the being vegetarian, I would consider this very challenging in a positive kind of way. In principle, I do want to do this. The basic reason is not for the sake of climate change, actually. I once watched this documentary movie, forget the title, but it is about a poultry factory sharing stories on chicken farming. Although the show emphasize more on the electricity produced by the factory, I can’t help to suppress my guilty feeling of wanting to eat meat that had made those poor animals engineered to fulfill the exhaustive demand.

As for the campaign, I do join numbers of campaigns. Yet I have to be honest, that none of them that I am deliberately 100% campaigning and willing to ‘sacrifice’ myself to do so. Yes, I do not wear plastic bag, but I do not really force my friends to do the same. Yes, I do involve in numbers of environment-related campaigns, but I will not stand up for days to yell about it.

Oh well, I do not think that I can answer both right now. I just try to make myself heading to those two directions. Am far from being veggie, but I stop eat four-leg animals and not eating any animals that still resembling its original shape. While for the good-deed spreading, well, just do it for yourself blatantly in front of others, write about it in the social media while softly asking your friends in case they want to do the same.

Yet, to think deeper about it, actually it leads me into two more major questions: how far do I want to change my lifestyle? and what are the things that interest me the most that I want to share to other? Hm, too many questions for tonight. I’ll be happy if you want to share your answer though šŸ™‚