In 1985, I graduated from Vanden High School, a small school in Fairfield, CA. I had been accepted to the college of my dreams, the University of California at Berkeley. In August of that same year, I was a young 17 year old kid attending a four-year college, eager for the experiences this wonderful institution of higher learning had to offer.

On my very first day of school, on the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph Ave., I had one of the most profound experiences of my young life. And it was this experience that would serve as the catalyst and foundation in shaping who I was to evolve a student, man, and human being.

My father had dropped me off at the corner and my plan was to visit the administrative offices of Sproul Hall for help in navigating my way through my very first day of college. On my way, I encountered a group of Hare Krishna.

At the age of 17, I had traveled the world as the child of a soldier in the Air Force, but had never experienced their world...the philosophies of the Hare Krishna. Besides the dancing and singing, the bald heads and unique colorful clothing, something else caught the attention of my young and impressionable mind. It was a poster-board that one of the Krishna was holding. In it, a visual so powerful that, to this day, the vision of that graphic, experienced over 30 years ago, is as clear as a dream I would have had last night. It was a picture of a cow with a human head, looking up in fear, as a human with a cow’s head and a raised axe, was holding a position to slaughter the cow with a human head.

Roles reversed.

The image on its own deeply affected me.

I get chills being able to share it 33 years later.

Now, here I am, decades older, speaking out against cruelty; speaking out against greed, death and turmoil; speaking out against torture, mutilation, and slaughter. As a result of my chance encounter, here I am today doing what I can to confront the killing of billions of the most innocent representatives of nature.

Please immortalize yourself on the right side of history and embody the voices of those innocent beings whose voices we choose not to hear.

© 2019-2023 Clifton Roberts