Mindful Meat Consumption
So I've been thinking how to write this blog post for some time now.
When speaking about diet there is bound to be disagreements. My take on it is: After studying nutrition and experimenting with my diet throughtout the years I have come to the conclusion that no one diet is right everyone. We are all unique individuals with different prespectives and backgrounds. Depending on where we live, how we grew up, how our bodies feel and our medical conditions may depend on what we consume.
Like I said diet is such a huge issue to tackle because it is so personal combined with structurally we are all part of a system that produces and feeds us. I know living within the system that often options can be limited depending where you live.
This post is intended to create awareness and get the wheels spinning. I know getting ethically raised meat options may not be a reality for some individals. Though those of us that do have the option I ask you to look a little deeper into your consumption patterns.Especially us in Maine where there are so many local farms! With that here is the post:
I grew up in a big farmhouse in Central Maine. Naturally my family hunted, fished and raised our own meat for consumption. I remember being little and struggling with the idea that that pig I helped feed and pet ended up on my dinner plate. The thought of consuming another living being hurt my heart. Being the little sensitive Pisces I am I decided to stop eating pork in my teens and went full vegetarian in college. Throughout my 20's I experimented with my diet and decided to re-introduced meat as I feel my body does so much better with it.
Throughout this time I really thought about the spiritual/ethical/sustainable aspects of eating meat.I also started working closely with plants and personally came to some conclusions.
I realized that there is so much we do not know about the world and often we take a very Anthropocentric view towards animals. We give value to animals but not their plant counterparts. I personally believe everything alive has a spirit. It is HOW we treat that spirit that makes a difference. Do we treat these beings with love and respect or disrespect and use them?
I realized my biggest issue with meat consumption is the ethical treatment of animals and enviromental issues it causes.In raising animals for mass production and consumption numerous natural resources are use.
Here is a quick fact that hits the point home: Did you know that at 50 degrees, a cow usually consumes about five to seven gallons per day? Though as the temp increases the water consumption does as well. The amount increases is usually .5 gallons per one-degree increase in air temperature. So at 95 degrees, the same cow will drink an average of twenty-four gallons per day. That’s wild- up to 24 gallons of fresh water a day to hydrate a cow.
Also just food for thought every time you flush the toilet is uses 1.6 gallons of fresh water or more! The point I’m getting to it takes an exorbitant amount of natural resources to feed the animals we consume!
Along with this is the ethical treatment of animals: If any of you have watched a PETA video you will have seen the atrocities of animals being kept in cramped barns, in their own feces and being mistreated. By eating common meat in the shiny packaging you are in essence consuming the conditions these poor animals were raised in.
The last thing that makes me uncomfortable about factory farms is the food the animals we consume are fed, the growth hormones and antibiotics they are given. In essence are the animals we are eating healthy and happy?
Looking inside myself I have now grown to gain a new respect for the way my parents raised me. I am now incredibly grateful that my family raised our own meat & hunted. In raising animals I now realize there is a connection to the life force. You raise the animal then take it’s life. Though throughout the process you are caring for the being with love and gratitude for the nourishment it will provide you. In hunting as well you are connected to life and death- thanking the animal for what it provides.
So you may be asking yourself what can I do?
How can I help the environment and the way animals are treated?
Some steps I have personally taken may provide some ideas for you!
Not eating meat when going out to eat: Recently I have made the switch and only eat Veg or local seafood when I eat out. Let’s be real most of the meat in restaurants is from factory farming. In engaging in eating meat out you are in essence supporting this practice. It takes mindfulness and awareness but I realize that I have a choice and my actions do make a difference.
Buying Local: Here in Maine we have so many amazing local farms. In the supermarket there may be “organic” meat but that doesn’t mean it was treated in an ethical manner or that they use sustainable practices. In getting to know your local farmer you not support your community but you support a person and their family.
Eat Vegetarian more often: I’ve cut way back on meat since my Paleo days and some days don’t eat any animal protein at all. You can get proper complete protein from numerous foods. Exploring your options and finding some yummy Veggie recipes can open a whole new culinary world up for you!
Blessing your food: It would be ideal if we could all eat Organic, Non-GMO local food but for some of us it is just not an option. I believe intention and energy make a huge difference in what you consume. So blessing your food before you eat no matter where it came from or was grown can make a world of difference.
An Example of the system we are in I discussed above
Like I mentioned above no one diet is right for anyone.
We all need to be respectful and mindful of each other and the way we choose to live.
In having said that though I would like to leave you with a little food for thought (no pun intended)
How much meat do you consume on a daily/weekly bases?
Where is that meat from?
Could you buy your meat from different sources?
Could you consume less meat? What would that look like and or feel like within your body?
Last but not least:
Why do we turn a blind eye when it comes to meat consumption?
Is it because of the Cost- Options Available- It's Easy-Lack of Education- Not giving a Damn?
Why do you buy the meat you do?
No judgement here just a area for reflection.
As always I hope everyone is beautiful and enjoying this lovely Tuesday
Here is a little video with a parody of swinging to the extreme when eating local meat;)