Eating Crow

My acupuncturist has advised me to eat some meat.

  • She told me she didn’t eat meat for 14 years and found there was a cumulative effect of poor health, nothing she noticed right away or on its own.
  • She urged me to think about how the human body is built, that our teeth and digestive systems are designed to eat flesh.  
  • She pointed out that there are benefits from meat, occasionally and in small amounts, that we can’t get from other sources.
  • She also talked with me about the climate we live in, and during these cold, wet months our bodies need to eat warmth in order to flourish.
  • She provided me with a hand out, told me it was of course my decision, but she’d been down this path and really felt I should reconsider.

So, here I am, in limbo. Once you make the statement “I don’t think meat will ever be a part of my diet again”, whaddya do? It’s not that I haven’t had meat at all. There were some occasions over the holidays, a little turkey here, a little pot roast there. I didn’t claim to be a strict vegetarian, but I was making more intentional choices around consuming meat, and for me that meant little to none.

I suppose, on a very basic level, I’m struggling with death and my contribution to the cycle of life. When I say that not eating meat allows me to feel that “I’m living my convictions, eating with empathy and thoughtfulness”, I’m talking about honoring life. I’m grappling with whether its true that being of the human race makes me a carnivore. I do know that by just being alive I’ve benefited from death, ashes to ashes and all that.
Many themes of death and renewal for me right now, appropriately in the midst of Lent. The discussion of death always bring me back to evaluating ritual and prayer in my life. I’m still not sold on eating much, if any, meat, but I can at least make a re-commitment to ritual and prayer: if something died in order that I should live, I give thanks.

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