Thursday, September 8, 2011

Pagans are Supposed to be Vegans?

Many pagans seem to believe that if you're not a vegan, or at least vegetarian, then you're not a "real pagan". They say that consuming meat is harmful to the enviroment. They say the animals suffer. I beg to differ.

I was raised on a farm where we grew various plants and animals. I distinctly remember having a flock of turkeys meant for Thanksgiving slaughter, and it goes with a very funny story I might share in some other post. We had cows, rabbits and ducks as well. A neighbor raised pigs for the meat, another had chickens. I know that if the farmer or rancher raises the animals, slaughters them himself, or herself, it's humane. The animal is not fed massive amounts of steroids and fatty foods for more meat. The animals, with the exception of the rabbits and birds, were allowed to roam free. The reason the rabbits and birds were penned was to try and keep carnivores from eating them. There is nothing inhumane about eating meat from a source like that. I can understand, however, boycotting meat from a factory slaughterhouse. That meat tastes terrible for one thing.

I believe that it doesn't matter if you believe we were intelligently designed or if we are a product of evolution. Or, maybe, you believe both. What is truth, no matter which side of the debate you're on, is that we're omnivores. Meaning we're designed to eat both plants and animals. The proof is in our teeth. The proof is also in the vegans (and those that eat mostly meat). Those that eat one thing while excluding the other need suppliments to receive the nutrients they're lacking in their vegetable-only or mostly-meat diets.

I know that some people say "eat plants, they don't feel it". But I think they're wrong. Plants are alive in every definition of the word. They must have some sort of mechanism that tells them of an injury (what we call "pain"). The way they display this, however, is unnoticed by us because we cannot understand the plant like we can an animal. It's beyond our realm of experience to even consider this.

Since I believe that, if we stop eating something because it feels we shouldn't eat it, we would starve. I proudly eat meat. If I wanted to get up that early, I would hunt for food for the winter. I also believe in using the entire animal, that nothing goes to waste. For this reason, I will wear leather and fur. But only taken from something I have eaten. In Montana winter, it can get down to -50 F. Fur and leather are very necessary in that sort of enviroment.

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