Is this kind?
I eat meat. Eating animal protein is one of those questions you will have to ask is this kind or not? Only you can decide for yourself. Yesterday I came home after several days of intense yoga and mediation practice with my favorite salad with chicken from Chipotle. I purposely do not eat meat during these yogic weekends as it takes longer to digest and makes for practicing yoga uncomfortable. I took my salad and sat in my favorite chair and while eating my lunch was enjoying the view from my window. I have a beautiful back yard with some very fat squirrels who live in my trees. I feed the squirrels. I enjoy their company but I have to admit every time I see one I think how tasty they would be. This might be a very shocking thing to hear from a yogi and a healer. I have eaten squirrel before. When I was younger, for a short time, all 5 of us kids lived with a man who survived by living off the land. We ate what he hunted or trapped. I have helped skin a beaver. I have eaten animals that most meat eaters never experience that filled my belly and I am grateful for the skills he taught my brothers that they still use today.
Ever since I started practicing yoga I have struggled with being a vegetarian. I have tried it off and on for the past 20 years. I have long periods of time of not eating any meat. I have even explored the raw diet. Not eating meat makes me weak and lethargic and ill. My belief is that Creator gave us animals to help sustain our human lives. As I was eating my salad I was contemplating whether it was kind to eat the meat on my salad. I decided it was unkind not to, for me. It would be unkind to my body not to feed it the kinds of foods that gives it the most vitality. It would be unkind to dishonor the gift that Creator gave me to sustain my health and wellness. This may be very controversial for some of you. It’s important to remember that this is my choice and does not have to be yours. I very much wish I could be a vegetarian. I have thoroughly researched and explored this lifestyle. I have had years of guilt because my body needed to eat meat.
Talking to a friend of mine last year finally brought me peace about my food choices. He reminded me that I was both a pagan (earth based spirituality) and a yogi. Through our conversation I was able to integrate both the yogi and the pagan within myself. I just needed to have consciousness around the meat I choose to eat. I believe in eating meat that is either wild caught or humanely raised. Mass produced animals are not kind to the animals or the planet.
One of my yoga students has recently chosen a vegan lifestyle. Every time I see her she looks more and more radiant and beautiful. I know that is due partly to her choice to change what she eats. I urge you to explore a vegetarian lifestyle simply to see how it makes you feel. Do the research before you embark on this journey. Many of the vegetarian pre-packaged offerings these days are not that healthy. And remember, my choice does not need be your choice.
Della McGee, E-RYT