Are you Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian or none of these?
I make the assumption that those of you who follow a meat-free diet do it partly for humane reasons, health concerns, and quite possibly because of the impact films such as @cowspiracy have had. This post isn't about what is right or wrong it's about having a broader perspective and an alternative view on how to create positive change.
My parents were post-war teenagers when food and variety was scarce. They passed the appreciation of all food we ate being valuable, on to me, to waste nothing and be grateful for everything. This included eating meat.
So what is the difference in attitudes towards eating meat, between then and now?
Those few decades ago people pretty much knew where their food came from. Local markets supplied local meat. Quantities and availability was relevant to need. There was understanding around provenance and the source of what we ate.
Compare this to now, where there is an oversupply and abundance of choice in huge supermarkets. Meat is literally faceless with no identity to which animal it came from, other than on the label. The average consumer makes no cognitive connection to the source of its purchases.
Cowspiracy provides clarity on the negative impact the meat trade has on our planet, but what about the personal choice to eat or not eat meat?
Given that I do try to live consciously, considerate of others, making mindful choices, I have decided to make no judgement about it, and here is one reason why;
Recently my 13-year-old daughter asked me why Dad still ate meat when he had some understanding of the modern supply chain. My reply went something like this:
‘He enjoys the taste of it and its hard to change a lifelong habit especially something you like;
He was brought up in a time when we knew where our food came from and the meat trade now has changed beyond recognition from when he was your age;
He does try to make some conscious choice and only eats organic meat, knowing that the supply chain is kinder to the animal, and he doesn’t eat it very often;
I know today’s meat eater is adding to the carbon footprint of the planet, however, consider the planet’s natural cycle, life lives, life dies. Predatory behaviour is part of the ‘life dies’ bit. Go back to ‘hunter-gather’ stuff, man went out and hunted animals to eat, enough for his family, his tribe, no wastage. The hunted bit involved taking the animal by surprise, so it had no fear when it died. It was part of the normal cycle of life, part of our natural planet’s ecosystem.
Ok so now, with the current meat trade, this isn’t comparable but it does give some understanding of our species evolvement and why some people chose to eat meat. I’m not saying its right or wrong. It's about personal choice…’
Some reading this post may think if we show gruesome meat trade stories and pictures, that people will change their minds, and yes, some will, but others won’t. Everyone is different and in our western society we are lucky enough to able to choose how we live our lives.
From my experience, the way to effect change and evolve more collective compassion is to start with showing more compassion, develop non-judgement and be consistent. Judging and being critical of others only reflects back on the self, which ultimately lowers ones own energy. Rising above the desire to judge, so it doesn’t hang heavy on you, helps preserve your own energy levels so that you can continue to live at a higher vibration and not be brought down by others personas.
Not an easy practice when life consistently challenges your own personal beliefs and values, but one that can make a difference, slowly over time. Think of it as a seed, plant it, water it, wait for it to grow. You can’t stop the growth of a seed once you’ve put it in the soil. So whatever your beliefs are around eating meat, or other things you don’t agree with, try not to judge others of their own choices.
Instead, plant the seed of compassion, think it, feel it and watch it grow. Manifesting positive change can evolve in many different forms.
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