Today, I bought a packet of noodles that was on offer. It was ‘Spicy Tomato Flavor’. Since it was packed, I asked the shopkeepers if it was vegetarian. They said yes. So I bought it and when I got home, I checked the ingredients. It had artificial chicken flavouring. So I went back to the store to exchange them. I told the lady at the counter that I was a vegetarian so I couldn’t eat it.
“So you don’t eat meat?” she asked.
“That’s right,” I said.
“Well, I don’t like it.”
“You just don’t like it?”
“Yeah, I don’t like it. Moreover, I like animals. So I don’t like to eat meat.”
“It’s very hard to not eat meat,” she said with a smile.
“It wasn’t too hard to give it up. It was very easy for me to give it up, in fact!”
Then the other shopkeeper had refunded me and I left the store. I was mentally kicking myself for not telling her that I am vegetarian also because of my religious beliefs. Then I called my dad and told him to pick up a packet of curry noodles. He said he had already left the shop he was in. So I was like, okay, another opportunity to back into the store? Maybe Krishna wants me to talk to her about vegetarianism.
So I went back in and picked up my curry noodles and I went to her counter. The other clerk had come while I was in the line and he asked me to come to his counter. I just smiled and stayed put. I wanted to tell this lady why I was vegetarian. He called me again. And luckily, another lady came behind me with a full trolley and went to his counter. By then, my turn had come. I was hesitant. How can I just randomly bring up a conversation that ended once again? So I just blurted it out, like I normally do, when I’m contemplating over whether I should say something or not.
“I’m also vegetarian because of my religion.”
She just smiled and said, “Yeah?”
“Yes. Because God created the animals too and we should be kind to them!”
“That’s nice,” she replied.
I said bye to her and I left. That was it. I don’t know why I felt so prompted to tell her that. I felt like I was missing the chance to tell someone about vegetarianism and Krishna Consciousness. I felt like I had missed such a great opportunity to tell someone about vegetarianism. But Krishna gave me another chance. It was a very abrupt and short conversation, but nevertheless, the point got across.
Who knows, maybe the next time she sits down to eat a meal of meat, she might consider what I told her?