Sometimes I get on a thought-train that lasts for days.
It all started at Instagram, when I was commenting on a post by @earthcarekitchen.
She was inspiring us, the readers, to cook with what we already have in our kitchen, with the idea that limitations boost creativity (as they do). She also posed a question: what goes well with brown rice?
I’m (almost) always cooking with ‘what the kitchen holds at this moment’ and enjoyed the familiar setting. Sparked by the question, I commented by sharing my tried and tested culinary path of brown rice: in my opinion rustic stuff rhymes well with brown rice – eggs, spinach, nettles and…here it comes…bacon.
I hesitated as I was typing it. I hesitated as I was sending it. And I kept on thinking about it.
I used to be vegetarian – for a short while even vegan – until I got pregnant. Since then meat has been a fairly frequent ingredient on my plate, but for the last 1,5 years I’m having increasing difficulties in justifying my choice to myself.
“But I only buy biological meat.” is what my reasoning begins with, which is sort of fine for my physical body, but not for the animal.
I’m into homesteading, and was daydreaming about a time in the future when we’d raise our own animals in happiness and harmony, also for the meat (whoever thought Mother Nature is only hatching chicken and birthing female goats has to re-think their logic).
But then the reality-check struck: our three chicken ‘retired’, they stopped laying eggs.
Last spring I was determined to bring them to a kind butcher (?) in the next village.
I had my plan ready, only needed to check with the butcher and put the chicken in a transport box when…Martha, the oldest of them, looked me deep in the eyes and communicated: ” You filthy betraying human you! We’ve served you for years and now that we aren’t producing eggs anymore you want to end our lives!” I was surprised, shocked and ashamed. I instantly replied with my heartfelt apologies and promised (yes, promised) they’d have a sweet retirement and wouldn’t have to worry about me being dangerous to them ever again. Since then we’ve been good friends again.
So, back to the kitchen then. Milling over this ethical problem, I finally came to my present conclusion that the only way eating meat would be OK is if our bodies are signalling that we really need it, and we pray to the spirit of the family of a species (say, the Deer Spirit, or the Rabbit Spirit) and then go hunting and wait until an animal of that species presents itself as prey. And we then end its life skillfully, painlessly, quick and full of prayer and gratitude. But I’m not a forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer. The conclusion is therefore, for me, a philosophical one.
There’s still meat in our fridge. I’m still arguing with myself. But week by week, month by month, we’re eating meat less frequently, and vegetables take its place in abundance.
I guess everyone has to go through this thinking battle for themselves.
It is my personal conclusion that eating meat is not good for our energy bodies. Animals are our brothers and sisters, fellow beings on this beautiful planet – why would we eat them?? And every now and then I’m wondering if plants suffer when we harvest them for nourishment.
As long as we humans haven’t evolved to the level that we can live straight from sunlight and air, we need to eat (plants) and drink.
The plants are very kindly specialized in transforming sunlight, air, water and soil into nutrients that we animals – humans included – can digest and use to revitalize our bodies.
I suggest we start paying close attention to what’s on our plate, contemplating in gratitude every bite we chew and swallow… Your food is your medicine, it’s building and balancing (healing) your body.
What is your connection to your food – where does it come from? How natural is it? How nourishing is it? How do you express gratitude to it?
Just by taking a minute before cooking to connect with the needs of your family, then selecting the ingredients and preparing them mindfully is already a simple act of service and respect. My soul sister Kristiina recites this poem before her family begins their meal:
“Maasta versonnut on vilja tämä,
armaan aurinkoisen kypsyttämä.
Rakas aurinko ja rakas maa,
teitä emme tahdo unhoittaa.”
which is Finnish and translates roughly to
“This grain has sprouted from the ground,
ripened by the dear sun
beloved sun and beloved earth
we don’t want to forget you.”