Saturday, June 12, 2010

Food and Spirit

The power of the sun feeds the plant helpers, the algae, moss and fern, that in turn feeds the fish and animals, birds and all of these, every creature and creation on earth that can be consumed whether for fuel, supplies, or for food, is at times consumed by humans.

Without the sun and without the plants humans would not be able to eat.

Vegans and vegetarians are often following the path of reason that animals should not be eaten because they have feelings, because it is cruel to herd them and raise them for slaughter, and most especially that it is cruel to keep them in substandard conditions and torment them.

I agree with the last point, and I'm uncertain about others. Every creature with the exception of some of the creatures whose primary sustenance is sunlight must consume something that is in some sense alive, sentient, aware. In the shamanic sense, everything, even inanimate objects, has a spirit. So however cruel it is to raise animals for slaughter one could equally argue that it's cruel to raise plants for slaughter as well. We force them to grow in rows, often in substandard conditions compared to how they would grow in the wild. We crowd them. We either chemically or physically remove their weed friends who would help keep the drying heat of the sun from the soil around their roots, we play god with their children, and in terms of industrial agriculture, we rip them out of the ground en masse without so much as a "Hey, thanks for feeding me!"

If animals can feel, how about plants? There is some evidence that plants can communicate and can sense danger, and that they have their own defenses against being harmed. So we may disagree about the level of sentience a plant or an animal has, however in the shamanic sense plant and animal both have spirit. If we are grateful and send our thanks to all of the lives, objects, plants and animals we touch in any way, we must benefit.

On this week's Let's Heal the World Together, we will have a brief discussion about the Shamanic concept of food. Please join us on Monday at 5pm EST (2pm PST) for our call.

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