About Being a Vegetarian – or Not!

Recently a few people have asked me about the vegetarian lifestyle and whether being a vegetarian is better, worse, or the same as being a meat eater. I’d like to quickly offer a few thoughts on this.

First, I would LOVE to be a vegetarian. Gods know, with my love for animals and relationships with the animal kingdom, eating meat is really sad for me.

Secondly, I have succeeded in becoming a vegetarian for about three and a half weeks continuously — that’s as long as I have ever made it, even with careful monitoring of my protein intake. But it appears that I have caveman blood chemistry and my need for animal protein becomes VERY clear to me when I attempt to avoid animal proteins. I haven’t been able to switch over to vegetarian sources for protein alone, much to my sorrow. I have some blood sugar issues that make animal protein a dire necessity sometimes, to the point where I’m going to pass out if I don’t get regular meat.

And I hate it!

Thirdly, being a vegetarian does NOT make you healthier, necessarily.

Case in point: a dear friend of ours in his early sixties is a vegetarian. He has a huge, kind heart and spent decades volunteering at animal shelters, where he one day decided, “That’s it. I will never eat an animal again. I just can’t do it since I love them so much.”

How great is that, right? He went on to adopt animals from that shelter, hold annual fund-raising events at the restaurant where he worked to raise lots of money for his favorite no-kill animal shelter, and just generally became a knowledgeable advocate for vegetarian and animal-friendly living.

This man also worked out several times a week, was thin and extremely healthy. He wasn’t a smoker, he had a “clean” lifestyle in every regard.

So a few months ago — guess what? He goes into major cardiac arrest with a terrible heart attack requiring triple bypass surgery.

This, with NO personal or family history of heart disease.

This, with an absolutely impeccable, healthy diet and lifestyle.

So — what do you think that’s about?

Well, on an energy level, he was going through a lot of stress — I won’t share that information here.

But he was happy because he was moving towards GOOD events in his life — so this wasn’t a “Death in the family/losing a loved one” type of stress. More of a “happy transition” type of stress.

Still, it shocked ALL of his friends when this happened. It just couldn’t be.

Not only was this guy the healthiest guy we all knew, but his immaculate vegetarian lifestyle should have been worth SOMETHING, shouldn’t it?

So being a vegetarian is NOT an instant ticket to health and longevity, despite what mainstream anti-meat activists might have you believe.

And lastly, on my own quest to try to be a more conscious and conscientious person, I’ve been shown over and over again that on this planet, EVERYBODY EATS SOMEBODY ELSE.

No exception.

Do you think the plants and herbs, who are no less fully conscious and self-aware than animals, hurt any less when you choose to eat them instead of eating animals?

WRONG. Just read Cleve Backster’s classic research on the phenomenon he calls primal perception, in which he proved that plants, broccoli, and even yogurt cultures respond with fear and negativity when they’re about to be harmed or eaten! (Primary Perception: Biocommunication with Plants, Living Foods, and Human Cells)

The only things that humans can eat, it seems, that don’t involve taking another “life” in the typical form include ripe fruits that have fallen to the ground and nuts. These have all been abandoned or let go by their respective trees. So you’re not taking a “life” in the sense of a conventional life when you eat these.

It’s a pretty high bar to reach, to only live on ripe fruits and nuts. Plus, you have to live in the right environment to have access to the right foods and be able to do that. Even so, it’s doubtful that your body would absorb the full range of nutrients it needs from ripe fruits and nuts alone.

So, my response when people ask me, “What do you think about being a vegetarian?” is:

1) It would be nice from a spiritual standpoint not to eat animals; so if you can avoid it, go ahead;

2) Not everybody’s body chemistry is designed to be able to do this, and I think it’s especially dangerous to force vegetarianism on children until their bodies have reached maturity and they can really see what their bodies need;

3) The image of the “uber-healthy vegetarian” is a bit of a myth popularized by companies that want to sell you stuff, whether it’s “green foods” or yoga mats;

4) Since everything on this planet is alive and self-aware, including ROCKS and PLANTS, are you going to say an animal’s life has more value than a plant’s? Where exactly do your ethics stand? I remember when my Celtic shaman teacher talked about how he had to gently chide a young student of his about the importance and value of plants. He took him outside to learn about various herbs and flowers and he asked him whether he thought a plant’s life was worth less or more than a human’s. The young man said, “A human’s life is worth more than a plant’s.” My shaman friend said, “That plant is a powerful healer. Can you heal?” And the kid said, “Um, no.” “So whose life has more value? Who can contribute more to the well-being of others? Maybe you should work to have as much value as a plant.” (There’s NOBODY as good as a tenth generation Celtic shaman to gently and humorously put you in your place! He helped me with many major, um, ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENTS at a time when my life literally depending on wising up, and fast. )

5) The shamanic spiritual path is one in which you ALWAYS honor the spirits and the generosity and sacrifice of the various elements that have become your dinner that night. It’s the true origins of where the tradition of “saying grace” before a meal comes from, the indigenous people’s awareness that ALL things are alive and self-aware and that we are truly blessed and honored to be able to absorb energy from other beings to nourish our bodies

6) Someday it would be VERY NICE not to have to eat anybody else; but until we learn to take more nutrients directly from sunlight or from Great Spirit or something, we’re just not there yet; and that ISN’T OUR FAULT. It doesn’t make us bad. Not on a planet where — yet again — right now, everybody has to eat somebody else.

So those are my thoughts on the subject! :)

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