“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”
"In their behavior toward creatures, all men are Nazis. Human beings see oppression vividly when they're the victims. Otherwise they victimize blindly and without a thought. [For the animals,] every day is a holocaust, an enternal Treblinka.”
Isaac Bashevis Singer,
My life's spiritual journey deepened and shifted dramatically when I discovered shamanism in 1993.
I became a full-fledged shamanic practitioner in 2001, and my spiritual consciousness continues to grow.
My path has taken me into many aspects of food since 2010, when I took on the task of coordinating
the "Ethical Eating" program
(a new role) at my Unitarian Universalist church. |
At first, I could not see what food had to do with shamanism other than my inner guidance telling me it had to do with my journey questions to them about the "rightful (appropriate) place of humans in the universe." This shamanic lens caused me to see food issues very differently than most people do. What a journey it's been!
My extensive ordinary reality studies have led me to conclude that we are indeed most closely related to the Great Ape family and that our anatomy strongly indicates that animal parts and products are emergency back-up foods for us, nothing more, and best not consumed at all unless we have no choice. We seem to have a bad case of "predator envy."
Unlike many vegans, I would advocate that we eat other animalsif it were indeed our proper place in Nature to do so. I am opposed to lions becoming vegan, because their rightful place is as predators. I am opposed to humans being predators because, among other reasons, that is not our rightful place.
Many shamanists claim that it is okay to eat animals as long as proper prayers are offered and the animal was slaughtered in a sacred way. But most of the animals we eat were not slaughtered in a sacred way, far from it. And even if they were, that does not mitigate that we are out of our rightful place. How can an act be sacred when it violates our compact with Nature and the Great Wheel or "Sacred Hoop" of Life?
When we are out of synch with our proper place, we violate our relationships on several fronts: