Wednesday, December 14, 2011
On being or not being vegetarian...
I used to be a vegetarian. Now, when asked if I eat meat, it's a hard question to answer. I like my friend Julia's answer - I'm trying to be a "compassionate eater." I've changed from my pure vegetarian days to now being open to eating meat, especially meat that I am connected to. I think that being involved in the process of killing an animal is a powerful way of being connected to my food. After seeing many animals being killed for food by family and friends in the indigenous community where I lived in the Philippines (example pictured above), I asked my friend Mona to teach me how to kill a chicken. Now, two chickens and one turkey later, I am actually much more open to eating meat that has been raised and slaughtered in a way that honors their life. I like what Joel Sallatin said in an interview about eating meat:
"I will answer this in two parts. The first has to do with the people who think a fly is a chicken is a child is a cat — what I call the cult of animal worship. This would include the people who think we’ve evolved beyond the barbaric practice of killing animals to some cosmic nirvana state where killing is a thing of the past. Rather than indicating a new state of evolutionary connectedness, it actually shows a devolutionary state of disconnectedness. A Bambi-ized culture in which the only human-animal connection is a pet soon devolves into jaundiced foolishness. This philosophical and nutritional foray into a supposed brave new world is really a duplicitous experiment into the anti-indigenous. This is why we enjoy having our patrons come out and see the animals slaughtered. Actually, the 7- to 12-year old children have no problem slitting throats while their parents cower inside their Prius listening to “All Things Considered. ” Who is really facing life here? The chickens don’t talk or sign petitions. We honor them in life, which is the only way we earn the right to ask them to feed us — like the mutual respect that occurs between the cape buffalo and the lion."