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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Eating meat


This quote sits in my study and has been one of the inspirations for me becoming a vegetarian.

Did I ever mention this on my blog?

I am a vegetarian.

That was my first mistake.
To label myself.
The problem with labels is that you become attached to them. And that takes you away from your authentic self. You start focusing on the label instead of the person wearing the label.

Lets give some background to this situation.

I have never really liked meat. I have for years said that I could happily be a vegetarian.
Yet, I have eaten meat my whole life.

Two and a half years ago, I really took off on my spiritual journey. I realised, thanks to this man, that I needed to stop living in the future and I needed to live in the moment.

This has profoundly changed my life and it has given me a trust in the universe and my life and it's purpose like I have never had before.

So I have been learning to live in the moment, more and more.

Also, whilst eating my meals. Considering all the elements on my plate and how they got onto my plate. Realising that the meat I was eating was in fact a living, breathing member of our planet.

So I would only buy organic meat.
And then I watched a short video about factory farming of animals.
And I had my existential crisis.

I have no problem with human beings eating animals. If we hunt them and thank them for the life they have given us and use all of them and do not waste anything.

But, sadly, the earth does not show this kind of respect to our beautiful creatures.

We live in a world where we eat meat three times a day, wolfing down McDonald's whilst laughing about the degradation of women on Two and half Men.

Comatose to our impact on the planet.
Blind to our connection to all living things.
Unaware that the energy we put out is what we get back. We hurt others and we in fact hurt ourselves.

Because we are all connected.

So I could no longer be part of the madness.

Even if I was buying organic meat. I could not be responsible for another animal's life lost. There was too much of it happening already.

My TCM doctor asked me to wait. He said my energy was not adequate to support me. He has never seen a vegetarian with enough energy. And a mama needs a lot of energy!

I said, I couldn't do it.

I looked in Ayurveda. A vegetarian way of living.
I looked into the Raw Food Movement. It is basically vegan.
I looked at a lot of vegetarian people who have a lot of energy and are really happy.

I cooked lots and lots of vegetarian food. And loved it. And I still do.

And I got a bit lost in all of it.

I started feeling a bit tired. I started noticing rings under my eyes. Bloating. Off centre.
Not myself.

I realised that I had to listen to what my body wanted.
But, with all this research I have been obsessing over, I couldn't hear my own voice.
I didn't know what my body wanted.

And then I heard it.

Meat.
Red. Meat.
Feed me.

Sohail said I looked malnourished.
I think I looked like the starving children in Africa.
Bloated tummy and gaunt like body.
Deathly face.

So I had my next existential crisis.
How could I be responsible for the carnage of our beautiful creatures?
I started getting a bit depressed.

I still feel it a bit.

So I ate it. Red meat.
And I felt good.
Instantly, actually.
Absolutely incredible.

I have found a beautiful biodynamic butcher.
I will be shopping there now.
My body needs meat.

Not a lot.
Just a bit.

I am realising that the animals get their nourishment from the earth and I get that nourishment from them.
And I am thankful.

My journey has taught me many things.

Not to label myself.
Not to take myself so seriously.
To be flexible. What I feel today will probably not be what I feel tomorrow.

I still feel the trauma that I felt when I watched that video.
And I am trying to follow a mostly Ayurvedic lifestyle.

But, I need to take care of me.
If I want to be a good mother, wife, person, I need to be strong, fit and healthy.
It is all a journey.
Who knows where I will be on it in a few years time.

I am still bloated.
Still a bit off centre.
I think I am feeling the stress of putting this incredibly restrictive label onto myself.

We are dynamic beings.
All is right in the universe.

Just so you know.

9 comments:

  1. Wow - quite a journey... And the journey carries on still. What you haven't mentioned is how all of the above happened in a pretty compressed timeframe which potentially put you under even more pressure.

    You've chosen unlabelling and flexibility over a potential spiritual practice overly governed by ego (as defined by E Tolle not Freud) - as always, we respect your decisions but today more than ever, we salute your courage and recognise the strength required to sometimes take two steps back before taking a giant leap forward.

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  2. This is very brave of you.

    I went through a similar journey. Vegetarian at age 12, Vegan at around 25. I finally realised and accepted I needed meat. I felt better very quickly like you.
    I also discovered that white flour and starchy products are a struggle for my body.

    I'm glad that I had always remained unjudgemental- I never said it was wrong to eat meat. It was simply my choice, for the planet and due to the poor treatment of animals.

    I try to eat meat that is as local as possible. Not always easy.

    Yes, life is dynamic, flexible, always cycling... only we impose structures and labels.

    I still believe in most vegetarian issues - animal welfare, etc.

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  3. Thoughtful, aware, yes; flexible. Interesting journey, I'm so pleased you are taking care of yourself by listening to your body and your mind.
    xx

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  4. Linked here via Holistic Mama. Nice to "meet" you.

    I too have travelled this journey. Vegetarian at age 11 and vegan in college. About 22 years in I started eating a bit of meat; first seafood and chicken and more recently, organic red meat. Like you I feel better. I spent 22 years thinking I was doing the "right" thing...but feeling like shit. Really. It was awful.

    Here is what I have learned recently. I have a severe candida overgrowth. This has caused much of my bloating, fatigue, general feeling of unwell. I am blood-type A positive. I have read that "A"'s are more geared to vegetarianism. But...not if they are suffering from hypoglycemia...which I do. So, it takes time to get all that sorted out.

    I did a candida cleanse for 3 weeks and never felt so good. As soon as I went off it, the bloating and unwell feeling returned. My energy plummeted. I need to avoid all white flour and high carb foods - potatoes, breads, sweets, pasta. *Sigh* But I feel better when I do. I wonder what blood type you are? Maybe it doesn't matter...maybe we would feel like this no matter what.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. I've been playing with the idea of returning to vegetarianism lately and after reading this, I know it's not what I need to do. So thank you for that. -Debbie

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  5. oh...yes...to everything you have said. but i think the most important point you made was this:

    "My body needs meat.

    Not a lot.
    Just a bit."

    you are navigating this is a very conscientious way! peace to you ~

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  6. Oh, wow, what great comments everyone. Thank you! I have been listening more and more to my body and I realised this morning that my body really doesn't like bananas!! All the answers are within us, we just need to stop and actually listen.

    @Debbie, I am O+ blood type. I'm not sure what that means for what I'm supposed to eat. I am curious to find out. Good luck on your food journey, I hope that you have lots of health and happiness.

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  7. Ola - I believe O blood types are meant to eat meat. :) Your body knows, doesn't it? :)

    I'm following along on your blog now. Hope you don't mind. Love and light, Debbie

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  8. such an interesting conversation going on here. i try to eat healthy and provide more and more meatless meals for our family. we do eat organic chicken and every once in a while i cook a roast. my littlest little loves meat craves it, asks for it, eats a lot of it. my oldest never wants to eat much meat only tiny portions of chicken sometimes. reading this post has helped me realise that i need to pay attention to what their bodies are telling them...along with my own.

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  9. I'm O+ as well, and we are supposed to eat meat ... and a LOT of it :). Our blood is the oldest blood, which means our ancestors were the hardcore hunters and gatherers. So, in order for our blood to do its best work, it needs the protein red meat gives it.

    All that said, I wish I could be a vegetarian, but I simply cannot do it. I need meat to survive ... my body needs it. It was literally starving itself when I didn't eat it. Like you, though, I ONLY eat local meat. Never, ever eat factory-farmed meat.

    Thanks for sharing ...

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