The Universal Pantheist Society has a “Ning” site and we have a group about Ethical Eating. There was a post with the following quote:
“Food for us comes from our relatives, whether they have wings or fins or roots. That is how we consider food. Food has a culture. It has a history. It has a story. It has relationships. ” (Winona LaDuke, Honor the Earth)
Here are some of my thoughts about it. I get that about our food having wings or fins or roots and have lived it for my whole life, albeit with some years of inner turmoil over the suffering, the violence. It just no longer serves me and my inner peace to eat food that causes suffering to a creature who can look at me, hear and respond to me, feel pain, suffocate, cry, mourn, smile, or sing. And how do we as a society, or an individual, decide which animals are fair game for food and which are not? Which are okay to wear and which are not? In the last few weeks and days, I’ve made a decision to change my eating habits, not perfectly enough to suit hardcore vegans in terms of every single ingredient or item in my house, but certainly a big change in what I feel is the right direction for me and the animals and even the planet.
Years ago, my now ex-husband was a deer hunter. By the time the meat got to the table it was packaged in various forms. I cooked it and ate it and enjoyed it. Then one day he brought home the whole dead deer, and I saw that beautiful face, the eyes still open, and that was it for me and deer meat. Never again. We each have our moments. I have not eaten veal, the other side of the dairy industry, or pork for years. I know my daughter stopped eating pork when she read how intelligent pigs are, like a 3-year-old child. We each take our steps and have to live with ourselves. But I seriously do believe that eating food that’s a product of violence contributes to overall violence on the planet.
I’m just here to share my own position and any info I may have picked up along the way, not to convert people, at least not yet as, again, this has been a serious and big struggle for me for years and isn’t an easy thing, and I get that. Like many others, I’ve gone back and forth, guiltless for awhile, then racked with guilt. But now my physical and most importantly mental/spiritual health depend on me making a change. Each person has to decide for themselves about the food they eat and the clothes they wear, but I can provide facts and my perspective.
Regardless of what we eat, though, I think it’s good to sit down to our food with an air of gratitude for all that went into it, human and other animal efforts, earth, sunshine and rain, everything. Here’s a special grace that I love and have shared with Pantheists before:
“Bless our hearts to hear in the breaking of bread the song of the universe.”
(Father John Guiuliani)
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