Saturday, December 31, 2011

Why I Am Not a Vegetarian or Vegan

I was a vegetarian for eight years and a vegan for two. Once I started on the religious path that I am on now, I stopped and incorporated meat back into my diet. Why? After all, I know so many pagans who are vegetarians or vegans. They often talk about it as part of their religious practice. Why did my religious practice lead me in the exact opposite direction?

1. I believe that you should listen to your body. About a year into my studies in my tradition, I started craving meat. And not just any meat- red rare meat- the bloodier the better. I started having dreams of sacrificing animals myself... and that was very disturbing to this pacifist, former vegan. But it also made sense, in a non-verbal way. The dreams coincided with our ancient, ancestral, agricultural clock- aka The Wheel of the Year. I was killing the dying god and birthing him later- both acts covered in blood- the water of life. After performing acts of magic, I still crave the blood of life. Many others crave sugar and carbs. But for me, protein, specifically meat protein, is the way to go.

2.  To me, the problem is not animal killing and eating itself. It is how animals are raised and slaughtered and consumed. We have removed the sacredness of their lives and deaths from how most of us eat- and this needs to be changed- for all our sakes. Small sustainable farms are a start. Hunting your own wild food is also good. Being truly thankful and knowing what it is you are consuming is also important.

3. And most importantly (from a theological perspective), I feel that all life is sacred, and I do not place animals' lives above plant lives- they are equal. I believe that we may not be able to communicate with them as easily, but plants have consciousness, too. I know- I have talked to them. Therefore, it becomes obvious to me that all people must kill (something) to survive and to live. I think it is perhaps comforting to many to kill plants instead, since we cannot hear or see their suffering when we kill them. But we are killing life just the same.

What is your opinion? What is your diet and how does your theology influence it?


  1. Great Post! I've tried to go vegetarian... it just doesn't work for me. I have reduced the amount of protein that is my diet, but I can'e eliminate it all. But in the new year, my family will be much more conscience about what we're putting into our bodies. We're researching local, organic farms to supply our food and hopefully building our own garden in the back yard. You are absolutely right though, its the sacredness of it that has been lost. Mass production and greed have destroyed that aspect of our lives, and I hope that we are beginning a path that will restore it. Thank you for sharing your outlook!


  2. I definitely Deena need for balance in life and in a way that view keeps me from going vegetarian. My mother and step dad are so I was raised with it as an option.

    You're right that all lives are sacred and without the balance of what eats what, then certain things would become chaos.

  3. I was vegetarian for 10 years then started eating chicken again and then this past year I have eaten pork as well if I know where it comes from. I also have a hunter friend who is in our circle and he uses everything and his family eats the meat that he hunts. I plan to raise our chickens and eventually pigs for meat so I am in control of how they were raised. I think honoring and respecting what you eat is very pagan and responsible. :)

  4. THANK YOU!! :) I have been debating whether or not to blog about this myself, and seeing your views (and how similar they are to my own) has rekindled that desire. :)

    I agree with everything you said, and it is in the act of honor: honoring the sacrifice the animals and plants both make, for us to live and live well, not just merely survive.

    I am so thankful to know I am not alone. :) I'll leave a link here when I finish my own thoughts on the sacredness of all life. :)


  5. I was wondering what sort of reception this post would have. I am happy to see others in the same boat. So far, I have yet to hear from any vegetarians on the post, which I would love to have.

  6. For me, it is about Universal Balance.I was a vegetarian for about a year and found that I was sick a lot of the time. My nutritionist suggested that I add meat back into my diet because my body required more protein than I could get from vegetables alone, and animal protein was the best fit. While I have reduced the amount of meat in my diet, I make healthy, low fat choices-and yes, I do splurge. I enjoy the taste of meat, with no apologies. Humans are carnivores- that's why we have canine teeth.
    Our bodies know what's best for us.

  7. I used to be vegetarian too. But I live in a very, very traditional country that rarely imports a lot of things from other countries, and since vegetarianism DEFINITELY is NOT traditional around here, vegetarian food is almost impossible to find and costs a fortune when you DO get it (because it has to be imported). I also knew many vegetarians and in general I didn't very much like the atmosphere that came with being in vegetarian circles (ie. "I'm a vegetarian and you're a butcherous, murdering meat-eater so I'm better than you!"). In the end I figured I preferred to eat a little bit of meat but continue respecting other human beings regardless of their diets or their ethics, rather than spare animals and look down on other people.


Comments are welcome but moderated. Please be respectful when leaving a comment.