Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I think about the hypocricy of my own actions whenever I eat meat. You see, if it were up to me to catch and slaughter animals for their flesh - I wouldn't do it. But I will buy packaged meat from a grocery store. What's up with that? Well I've decided that a maybe reasonable choice is to consume only humanely raised meat (dairy and eggs, too). And what's that? To me, usually local farm raised - that wasn't fattened up in some gigantic feedlot with only unhealthy corn silage (and other questionable additives) to eat. It's expensive and somewhat inconvenient to get. That's fine with me. Keeps us from eating too much of it. I have a ways to go with my commitment but that's the goal.

As for the slaughtering process itself - believe it or not great strides have been made (through the applied research of Temple Grandin, a scientist and animal behaviorist who has made it her career to tackle this usually taboo topic) in designing the abbatoire to be much less stressful on the animals as they are killed. But again, there is much work to be done - and perhaps if I ever hauled my butt over to such a place to witness this process that would do it. I would abstain from meat for life. I don't know - I told you, I'm a hypocrite on this issue.

I do thank the creature whose flesh I eat for this sacred transferral of energy. With reverence. And this includes the plants I eat as well. In the book "The Secret Life of Plants", the authors document research conducted around the globe that illustrates the sentience of plants as measured by usually their aspiration through their leaves. In fact there is one particular example that sticks with me where potted plants registered reaction when vegetables were being cut up for a salad in a kitchen.

So we consume sentient, living creatures no matter what we eat. For me the challenge is to always do so mindfully, gratefully and as kindly as possible.

By the way, ever since seeing the movie "Babe", I have crossed pork completely off the list. I told you, I'm confused. But that story made a powerful impact on my thinking.

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