Do You Know Where Food Comes From?
There’s a lot of discussion these days of where food comes from.
And I’m not talking GMO, fertilizer, hormones and antibiotics.
How many of today’s children know that the meat in the package from the supermarket was once a life?
That vegetables grow in the ground?
That milk comes from cows?
Unfortunately, many don’t.
The distance placed between us and the source of our food has desensitized us to the world around us. What we eat used to be a life – and too many of us have lost all awareness of it.
From vegetarian back to meat eater
Being raised Irish-American, meat and potatoes was standard fare at my house.
But in college, because of my love for animals, and trying to live a healthy life, I became a vegetarian. That lasted for a 17-year period –until I met my first Native American teacher, Sun Bear, and my perspective changed dramatically.
In the 1980s, I attended a weeklong intensive with Sun Bear on his farm in Washington State. It was my first foray into learning Native American spirituality first-hand and not from books.
I loved learning that when Native Americans went hunting, they first did a ceremony asking permission to take a life – explaining that it was for their own survival. And they only took what they needed – hunting was not a sport.
Toward the end of my week with Sun Bear, we went down to the chicken coop and did a prayer ceremony, asking permission to take the lives of some of the chickens so that we could extend our own lives.
We prayed for all the animal nations, asking for their protection and abundance and that there be no suffering. And we prayed for the continuation of all life.
We were each instructed to pick up a chicken, and spend some time petting it and getting to know it. Then, one by one, we each laid our chicken down on the chopping block and cut off its head with an ax. Just like that.
The most remarkable part of the process was that each of the chickens lay down with total peace, calm and acceptance. There was no question in anyone’s mind that this was because of the prayer ceremony that had been done first.
I can assure you there was not a dry eye in the group as we proceeded to clean the chickens we had just slaughtered.
To the surprise of my family and friends, I started eating meat after that. If you attend a lot of Native American ceremony, it’s hard to avoid.
But more importantly, I understood that when prayer is said over our food, it transforms it to something sacred and signifies the continuation of life.
From meat eater to vegan
But times change and now I am 90% vegan, only eating meat when I know it is raised locally and humanely, free-range, and hormone and anti-biotic free. And I don’t eat much of that, mostly because it’s expensive and also because it just takes too long to say all that.
My next few posts will go into more detail on the interesting topic of why we should avoid meat and dairy.
Not only for our own health, but for the health of the planet and the animals we raise for our food.
Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman” and other books on health. She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes, healing practice and blog at www.MollyLarkin.com