This is the gentlest and deepest, most soulful exploration I’ve read about the “omnivore’s dilemma.” Having lived in over 40 extremely diverse locations around the US, I especially appreciate Becca’s honoring the importance of place and our interaction with Earth in that spot.
I also know, from having worked with so many vegans and raw vegans, and from having been exclusively vegan for 8.5 years, just how heart-wrenching choices can feel when your body tells you that, despite all the theories, supplements and fancy superfoods, your body is demanding in no uncertain terms a food you consider off limits. For me, this was raw dairy. I fought that fact for four years before finally trying a little, only to find immediate relief of symptoms I hadn’t even realized I was having until they went away. For now, I’ve settled on a local, grassfed, humanely sourced and “kids first” raw goat milk, which — for whatever reason — feels so much more balanced in my body, even though I *loved* being vegan. On the flip side, I have helped meat eaters come to terms with the opposite internal call, which body and soul, demanded complete abstinence from any and all animal products — at least for a time.
My experience as a gardener, listening to and honoring the essence of plants, has also brought home that even an organic vegan diet involves the taking of life — not just bugs, slugs, and accidental field animals killed during harvest — but of taking the essence of whatever we do process and eat. I’m not lying when I say that my indoor plants cringe every time I run the Vitamix or eat a salad. Anyone who has viewed or read the Secret Life of Plants knows that plants have consciousness. They know when you plan to eat them, and, at least in my garden, they preemptively uproot themselves if I even think about them “being in the way” of a different project or more productive crop. As Becca says,”How we choose to eat is a profound statement about our complicity or lack thereof with the larger economic and political system. It is the most intimate way to take actions that directly affect others, because every single morsel of food that passes our lips is comprised of another species. That is interconnection, that is dependence.”
I highly recommend her essay, whatever diet or dogma you follow. It brings shadows to light in a compassionate and conscious way. Many thanks to Becca and her strong, gentle soul.
Originally posted on Becca Psyche Tarnas:
“There is no death that is not somebody’s food, no life that is not somebody’s death.”
– Gary Snyder
A couple years ago I participated in the slaughter of two young, male goats on a farm in Big Sur, California. The goats were named Sweetie and Peaches, and were “culled” to keep the herd of dairy goats on this farm to a manageable size. The female goats provided fresh milk that could be consumed raw or made into cheese, yogurt, or even caramel, but after a certain age the male goats served their human caretakers most by having their lives taken and becoming meat. Participating in the slaughter of these goats, which was carried out in the most painless and respectful way possible, brought home for me in a new way issues surrounding the human consumption of not only animal flesh but also the other biological products of their fertility…
View original 5,045 more words