For many Pagans of various faiths or Non-faith for that matter, have pondered the question about the plight of eating meat. There are many reasons to select each of the proposed diets. How does one choose which diet is best for them? Is the choice made purely for moral reasons, health reasons or is it a matter of taste? There are many reasons to justify why one chooses a particular diet but why do we feel we have to justify our choices. Let me voice my opinion here. After all, what one eats is mostly based on personal opinion, personal belief, and personal choice.
Let’s look at the Vegan diet choice first. The argument for Not eating meat or meat by-products such as dairy and eggs are considered the preferred moral choice. I have heard many arguments to support this choice. Some of the most popular are 1. eating something with a face is harming another living creature. 2. It is more sustainable to support a population as large as human beings if we don’t eat meat. 3. It is healthier to not eat meat at all and live entirely on a plant based diet.
1. eating something with a face is harming another living creature. 2. It is more sustainable to support a population as large as human beings if we don’t eat meat. 3. It is healthier to not eat meat at all and live entirely on a plant based diet.
2. It is more sustainable to support a population as large as human beings if we don’t eat meat. 3. It is healthier to not eat meat at all and live entirely on a plant based diet.
3. It is healthier to not eat meat at all and live entirely on a plant-based diet.
Looking at reason number one of the whole Harm thing. There is more than one perspective here. Eating anything is harming something or someone on this planet. We consume and we excrete waste. In excess, it is harmful in any direction we take. Looking at things from a perspective of animism, everything is living. That means that even fruit and vegetables are living as well. Plants don’t have a face and they definitely don’t reproduce like mammals, but plants are indeed alive and to eat them means we are harming them or even killing them. Some parts of the plants that we eat are the womb such as fruit. If it contains the seeds then it is the womb of the plant. The seeds are the babies or offspring of the plant such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. Sometimes we consume the root of the plant such as when we eat carrots or onions or even garlic. That means the moral argument for not harming an animal must also apply to eating vegetables.
How can we cope with the guilt of causing such harm in this horrible world where in order for us to live we must do some harm somewhere to something? When we are about to eat, doesn’t matter if plants or animals, be truly grateful for the life that was given to sustain yours. Be truly thankful you will live another day and that through the life energy of what you are about to consume your life energy will be restored. Know in your heart that there is a natural cycle of all life. It begins with birth and ends with death and life will continue to the next generation.
Looking at number two, we see that many truly believe that a plant-based diet is more sustainable in the bigger picture or the grander scheme of things. That leaves us to look at the whole picture. There are billions of people on this planet and it seems that humans as a whole or majority don’t really believe in or care enough about the planet to sacrifice themselves for the sake of anyone or anything. Although it may be more sustainable, at least in theory for the entire population of humans to never eat meat, it is hard to accept that it is the perfect diet for ALL humans. It would be great if the world was a perfect place but it isn’t. If the entire human race went to a completely plant-based diet, some would not be healthy or happy at all and would likely die of disease or a lack of necessary nutrients. Not everyone enjoys eating plants. We are all different and we all have different dietary needs. It may actually be more sustainable but would be more reasonable if the consumption of animals and their by-products were simply reduced. There is the whole eco-system that controls the cycle of life and we are a part of that eco-system.
It would be great if the world was a perfect place but it isn’t. If the entire human race went to a completely plant-based diet, some would not be healthy or happy at all and would likely die of disease or a lack of necessary nutrients. Not everyone enjoys eating plants. We are all different and we all have different dietary needs. It may actually be more sustainable but would be more reasonable if the consumption of animals and their by-products were simply reduced. There is the whole eco-system that controls the cycle of life and we are a part of that eco-system.
Now, on to number 3. It is firmly believed by many people today that the Vegan diet is the healthiest diet. I am going to say here that not eating anything processed, pre-made, sugar filled, fat filled and overall out of balance with the specific dietary needs of the person consuming the food is healthy. Eating processed vegan food is just as unhealthy as a candy bar or piece of cake. Just as eating too much food overall is unhealthy. Eating a Vegan diet purely because you want to be “healthy” or for morality only is going to set you up for failure. I will tell you why later in this post.
Now that we discussed the Absence of meat, I would like to state the argument for a paleo-diet. Some people believe that humans were originally intended to be primarily meat-eating hunters. There are several diet plans that depend on various versions of this meat diet. People who prefer this meat eating diet and have no problem sticking to it find that they don’t have a huge problem with weight or type two Diabetes. People who turn to this diet plan either have serious issues with the concept of being fat or definitely feel they need a meat protein based diet to curb their appetites. This diet is seen as a very unhealthy diet but those who eat meat as the primary source of food have specific requirements that need to be met and preference as with all diets is number one. This diet has the argument for better health as well.
Then there is the Vegetarian diet. It isn’t healthy to drink milkshakes or eat potatoes or bread or even pasta but many vegetarians eat them. They also eat fake meat products such as veggie burgers. Yuck! It is believed that a Vegetarian diet is the healthy choice because it contains both a source of protein derived from meat products and plant-based as well as other nutrients from fruit, vegetables, and grains. It is believed to be well-balanced. Again, It goes back to being a question of morality, health, and nutrition.
The reason not to choose your diet plan based purely on morality and health is because if it is not consistent with you and your preferences, it is not actually sustainable for YOU.
That leaves the final question. How do I know which diet is best for Me?
Honestly, if you absolutely hate the taste and texture of meat but love a good omelet or the occasional whipped cream in your Chocolate than you probably will eat more successfully with a Vegetarian diet.
If the thought of meat makes you sick and you can’t stand the taste of Dairy or Eggs or any by-product of meat, you will probably be happier with a Vegan Diet. But If you love meat and your mouth waters at the mere thought of a juicy grilled steak or the smell of southern fried chicken sends your stomach into a frenzy for food, you will probably need to keep at least some meat in your diet.
So, let’s talk about health for a second. All three of those diets can be healthy just as they can be unhealthy. There are so many things to consider that affect our health such as how and where the food is grown or cultivated. All things must consume to survive. Plants consume water, and nutrients from the soil as well as the air and the sunshine. How polluted is the soil and water that the plants consume? Are they Genetically modified? What about meat? What about the food and water they eat, the hormones and antibiotics they are given? What about how the food we consume is prepared.
How is it packaged? Is it fresh or preserved? There are so many considerations when it comes to our health. I think it all boils down to what is available in our area, where it comes from and what is our preference. There are healthy and unhealthy ways to eat regardless of the diet plan we choose.
Bread, pasta, cake, candy, chips, and crisps to name a few, are very bad dietary choices yet many unhealthy products can be consumed regardless of Vegan, Vegetarian or Meat specific.
It is all about choices and what our bodies need. Being fat isn’t the only unhealthy thing we do and eliminating meat isn’t the only choice. It is an individual choice that only the individual can decide to adhere to. Morality, sustainability, health? How about keeping the body in motion and avoiding the treats? That is the best number ONE choice that is best for everyone regardless of the type of diet chosen. Avoid prepackaged food products regardless of which diet plan works for you.
What works for you may not work for someone else and what works for someone else may not work for you. Be your own person, make your own choices and allow others to be themselves.
Above all else, be thankful for the life that was sacrificed to sustain yours regardless of what you choose to eat.
In Perfect Love and Perfect Peace,