Today I watched that little Samsara clip by Ron Fricke that has been traveling around FB. Great little piece in the same vein of Baraka and all his other films.
It inspired me to talk to you all about my personal relationship to eating animals, which I’m hoping in turn will inspire you to take a look at your relationship to eating/or not eating animals.
I eat everything.: Beef, chicken, snails, lobster, fish, duck, deer.
But I also eat everything. Meaning brain, tongue, liver, breast, thigh and yes, intestines.
It feels to me like most of the time, people are split up into 2 types: the super sensitive animal-loving vegan/vegetarian/pesca-what agains? Or the self-proclaimed carnivores who buy steaks in bulk at Costco and argue that nature is survival of the fittest and it’s unnatural to just eat grass.
I’m here to try and argue a balanced and very manageable stance somewhere in between.
I’ve dabbled with all the above and I find myself now in a place where I have certain guidelines I try to follow.
1) I eat on average, 2 vegan meals a day and 1 with animal protein.
2) When I eat animal protein at home, I always purchase local, grass-fed, humanely-raised chicken and I try to buy wild fish. I buy pole-caught tuna (which is more enviro-friendly) as much as possible.
3) When I eat out, I give myself that flexibility as I know most restaurants are not going to be as consciousness. With that said, I try as much as possible to give my loyal patronage to any restaurants that declare the use of local and grass-fed meats.
4) I rarely eat dairy or eggs with the exception of the occasional goat cheese. This is because of my sensitivity to dairy. For those not sensitive, I would use the same standards as meat. Really know where your eggs and milk comes from. Try to keep it local and hormone/antibiotic free. A lot of milk these days is just full of mucus, blood and antibiotics. I’d rather have a green smoothie for breakfast. Wouldn’t you?
5) In my own way, I try to give thanks before eating any animal.
6) I also do this by trying to use up every single part of the animal and not being wasteful. When I buy a whole chicken, I cook that liver and eat it too (to the dismay of many of my friends.) My culture taught me to eat all parts of the animal including brain and intestines. If you were going to slaughter that lamb, you bet your ass the group was going to eat every last bit of it.
With these guidelines, I find myself:
- Financially supporting local, family-owned farms and conscious brands, in hopes that they find their way into the parts of the US that don’t have these options.
- Eating about 6-7 meals with animal protein instead of 21 and I am not sending my money to the companies that are mass-producing product that is unhealthy and environmentally unsustainable.
- Without a heavy conscience and with the flexibility to make all sorts of delicious, varying meals that feel good in my body.
I encourage you to take this week to look at your consumption and what little changes you can make to have a larger impact. If you live in a city that offers eco-friendly, sustainable options, support those companies so that people in other parts of the country gain that option soon. That extra dollar you pay for the pole-caught tuna can go a long way. And your wallet won’t even notice it because you’re eating half the amount of tuna now anyways.