Sunday, November 14, 2010

Considering What We Gobble

Today is my husband's Birthday, and I love him, so I'm pointing it out. <3

My schedule's been in flux as of late, and I've got a new private client who is someone who lives and practices omily, so as we approach that big holiday that revolves around a gobbling bird, I've got a lot to be thankful for.

And a lot to think about.

I suppose I've been doing not enough writing in relation to the amount of thinking. Well, our nation's food industry is something that makes me think (and scream, cry, want to pull my hair out) quite often. Perhaps, in light of afore mentioned holiday, it's worth talking about a little.

We've all heard it: ahimsa-do no harm, non-violence, proactively benefit those around you...there are a lot of interpretations. Personally I hold with the last one. For a lot of yogis, this pre-supposes vegetarianism, and I think that's perfectly fine. But I eat meat. I had bacon with my breakfast this morning, there's stew beef in my freezer, I love fish, chicken, etc. So what's the deal? My decision is a result of a long, complicated wisdom-seeking journey that commenced with about twenty-six hours of strict vegetarianism when I was fifteen. No, I didn't give in because my parents ordered a meat lover's pizza for dinner, or any such thing. I did a lot of research, and a lot of soul searching, and reached a conclusion that has only been upheld by continued applications of those two techniques: I am morally comfortable with killing animals for the purpose of eating them.

That journey is too long, and too complex to share with you here, but I will point out that the machines that harvest the soy beans that become tofu, etc. kill thousands of small mammals living in the fields, never mind the habitat destruction growing enough grain to feed the world would entail, and the insane amounts of fossil fuel that would be necessary to transport that grain to countries with the wrong climate and biosphere to grow it. Actually, if you're seeking the least number of deaths in order to feed the greatest number of people, grass-fed beef is the answer.

I also buy the vast majority of my meat from the Farmer's Markets, where I talk to the farmers about the condition of the animals they raise, their lifestyle, etc. These people care very much. Most have photo albums of their sheep happily grazing, their chicken walking with dignity into their coop as the sun sets. That's good enough for me. I've got canines in my mouth, and a biological need for amino acids that are most easily provided by animal flesh. I can't stomach feeding myself an artificially complete diet in the name of eventually eradicating the existence of hundreds of species happily living out their lives interacting with humans. If you can't stomach a cow or a pig or a chicken dying so that you might live, but a mouse or a snake or thousands of caterpillars doesn't bother you, then you are living omily by being a vegetarian, and I support you. But please, offer me that same prerogative.

There will be a turkey on my Thanksgiving Table, and when my family bows its head to say grace, I will thank our view of the Creative Force for giving us life, and supplying our needs. I'll also thank that turkey for living it's life, for taking in prana, and then sacrificing its life to give that prana to me and mine. I won't forget; I won't look the other way. But I will eat. If you eat your tofurkey with a level of awareness and understanding of the consequences of that choice, both the positive, and the potentially negative, (like the farmers being sued and driven out of busy by the makers of Round-Up Weed Killer who own the patent on over 90% of soy beans grown in this country, a genetically modified species that is resistent to Round-up, an arguably very dangerous pesticide.) I thank you for caring. It's a tough choice to make, and by making a choice instead of just eating what this country puts in front of you, you are making a difference.

Happy Thanksgiving, no matter what's on your plate. What matters is what's in your heart.

Live Omily,