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?