Veganism

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Horizon
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Veganism

Postby Horizon » 15 Feb 2014, 13:53

I'd like to discuss how veganism informs our spiritual path. In peace, I'd like to keep it on topic and friendly--ie no posts trying to justify non-vegan choices, no vegans trashing non-vegans. And let us keep the definition of vegan pure: one who lives a life trying to do the least harm possible which means eating no animal products, wearing no animal products, using no products tested on animals, etc. This is not a thread for plant based diet vegans who wear leather shoes...
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Re: Veganism

Postby Horizon » 15 Feb 2014, 13:57

The Druid's Prayer....as I recite this, veganism comes to the forefront when I say "love of justice" or the word I sometimes substitute which is "awareness". The more I know, the more I feel an ethical necessity to remain true to veganism because to do otherwise is unthinkable. Veganism strengthens the web of life for me as I feel a kinship with all sentient beings and would no more dream of torturing and killing them for food than I would my fellow humans.
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Re: Veganism

Postby ShadowCat » 15 Feb 2014, 14:09

I'm fascinated by the whole vegan-thing. I've been a vegetarian for several years but currently I've reverted to omnivore. I'm still searching my path.

All life feeds on other life in an eternal cycle. The lifeforce in food, whether animalbased or plantbased, is what keeps us going. That's why so many people living on processed foods are overfed, yet undernourished. I care about the food I eat, plantbased or animalbased, so that it comes from a balanced source and I treat it with respect.A lot of my diet is based on both rawfoodprinciples/fermentation and paleostyle pure cooking. Animal products have a role to play here. A limited and concious role, yet a role that can't be substituted by natural plantbased foods completely imho.

My eggs come from my own freerange chickens, animals that where cast off by others as too old. Hens as old as 8 years still lay naturally here, while sharing in our bounty of available foods and roaming with their rooster. And whenever they don't abandon their eggs in their nest but try to brood on them, they cry when you lift them off. Eggs are chickenbabies and I do feel mean whenever I take eggs from under them.

The beef we eat comes from a Biodynamic farm about 2 km down the road. The whole animal is treated kind, calmly and with respect. As I type this, I've even salvaged the skin of the last cow so that several people can use it in the making of sacred drums.

Just some questions that I often play with (I don't know the answers): What's the difference between a cow and a carrot but a vertebrae-bias? Are mammals somehow more than fish or tomatoes? Are trees less sensitive to pain then a boar? How do we know? In a gentle, mediterreanean climate, a fruitarian diet might be sustainable, but then you might still kill the baby-plants and seeds while eating.

For myself, I've found a middleground in the use of natural products: So I prefer vege-tan leather over toxic plastics and pure meat over processed soy for example. Looking forward to reading more informed, concious choices made by Obodies...
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Re: Veganism

Postby Aphritha » 15 Feb 2014, 17:01

Currently, I'm a vegetarian. I made this choice when I was 12, much at the dismay of my parents. In the region I live in, beef and pork farming is very prominent, so when you say you're vegetarian, people can't figure out what in the world you eat. I've been off and on with veganism through the years. My longest stretch was 7 years; from 16 to 23. I gave it up at that time to be able to eat more meals with my son(who wasn't vegan). Turned out he was lactose intolerant. Went back to being vegan again from awhile, but could not handle it with my last pregnancy. Seemed the only things the boy would allow in my stomach without rejecting it was ice cream and chocolate.
The more I learn, it seems plants do sense trauma, much like animals. I'm leaning towards the idea that they 'faint' before they're inflicted much harm(based on materials I've read), but essentially, you must still kill it in order to eat it much of the time. This does not seem like a reason to say 'to heck with it', and give up vegetarianism to me, though. I never cared for meat in general, and I feel that I've been much healthier without it. I did feel healthiest as vegan, and would like to go back that route soon enough.
My eggs come from my own freerange chickens, animals that where cast off by others as too old. Hens as old as 8 years still lay naturally here, while sharing in our bounty of available foods and roaming with their rooster. And whenever they don't abandon their eggs in their nest but try to brood on them, they cry when you lift them off. Eggs are chickenbabies and I do feel mean whenever I take eggs from under them.
I had believed that most eggs in a person's diet are unfertilized. I see here your experience is personal, but must it be that way with all eggs? If I were to obtain hens for myself, would they lay without a rooster?(Curious)
Essentially, we're all going to have to take life to sustain life at some point. Where and how we do this is up to the individual. Personally, I feel the awesome bounty of vegetables the place I live in produces is more than enough. I feel animal farming here is a bit frivilous, at least on the scale in which its done. More of our vegetables grown in this state go to feed cattle, rather than humans, which I find to be a waste. The cattle farms produce massive amounts of pollution, and our water was almost deemed undrinkable a few years ago. I feel if people here were going to eat meat, they'd be better off hunting, as the Native people here did.
I do recognize this won't work everywhere, though. Some communities in areas with less fertile land or few natural animals may need to farm animals in order for their own survival. My husband had talked to a Mexican man that said when he was growing up, they had to slaughter animals(for food) that got too old to work because they couldn't afford to feed them; they could barely afford to feed themselves. By doing this, they ensured their own survival. I think when you live in a well off country, its easy to forget the food situations of others.
Spiritually speaking, I think its best for each individual to find a harmony between themselves and the land, taking as little as they can, giving back as much they can. :)


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Re: Veganism

Postby ShadowCat » 15 Feb 2014, 18:18

Spiritually speaking, I think its best for each individual to find a harmony between themselves and the land, taking as little as they can, giving back as much they can. :)
:tiphat:
Exactly!

On the eggs: having a rooster with every 15 hens or so is a matter of animal welfare: the chickens are much happier, don't fight among themselves to establish dominance and the rooster "herds" the chickens away from harm. Most "modern" chickenbreeds lay well without a rooster, but they still go broody, so the "don't take my baby-cry" will still be heard every once in a while. Several of my chickens are part-silky though and they have an especially welldeveloped motherinstinct. So maybe other heirloombreeds won't be as sensitive in that regard.

I've found that fertilized eggs keep for months when stored cool, and unfertilized eggs go off within a few weeks. I translate this as a higher "vitality" in fertilized eggs. It also means that I often use up the surplus of spring-eggs in my christmasbaking, which is sound practice from an ecological view.
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Re: Veganism

Postby amethystDragon » 16 Feb 2014, 15:40

I struggle with the very idea of Veganism and whilst I admire those able to make that choice, I do believe that they are really missing the point.

A purely plant based diet still involves the death of animals, the vegetables that are grown are either sprayed to kill pests and even if organic there are pest controls in place. Is the death of a rabbit who has tried to get to the tasty looking veg less than killing a cow to eat it's meat and use its skin for leather? Or is it simply that by choosing a plant based diet one can ignore that there is no life without death?

Is it because western society has become so disconnected from the cycle of life, all meat is in plastic trays in supermarkets, that the very idea of having to kill in order to survive had become such an anathema?

My own personal approach is as follows:

1) Meat - sourcing meat from ethical sources, eating less of it and treating it as something special, eating the whole animal not just the choice cuts, making stock from the bones etc. I have bred my own chickens and raised the cockerels until they were heavy enough to eat, then culled them quickly and fast as I could.
2) Vegetables - buying seasonally and choosing organic where possible. Growing as much myself as possible whilst gardening in a organic way.
3) Dairy - again buying from ethical and local sources where possible. I do have a bit of a lactose intolerance so tend to substitute Almond milk for cows milk.
4) Eggs - Only ever buying free-range eggs or keeping chickens myself.
5) Honey - Bee's are in sharp decline and the majority of wild colonies have died out, so to ensure their future, people need to buy honey from small scale hobby beekeepers who live locally. I have kept bee's myself and intend to do so in the future, I try to keep them in an unobtrusive way only going into the colony when I really need to.

I do believe this means I'm connected to the cycle of life, in all it's shades. The juxtaposition of this is that I have been vegetarian, my partner is Veggie and I eat a 70/30 Vegetarian diet. I don't believe that just because I eat meat, I should eat meat all the time. Our ancestors didn't, meat was something very special and to be cherished
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Re: Veganism

Postby Horizon » 17 Feb 2014, 21:42

Sigh......I had framed this question to attract vegans to share with vegans....yet every post so far has been non-vegans justifying meat eating. Oh well...I guess this discussion was not meant to be.
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Re: Veganism

Postby Aphritha » 18 Feb 2014, 01:48

Hm. I'm sorry the information you were looking for isn't what was given...perhaps you could give us some examples of ways veganism has enhanced your spiritual path so we have something to go off of? :D Or, maybe if you were wanting vegans to respond, you could mention it in the title.
Just friendly suggestions! It can be hard to get the right answer sometimes...


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Re: Veganism

Postby ShadowCat » 18 Feb 2014, 06:13

Sigh......I had framed this question to attract vegans to share with vegans....yet every post so far has been non-vegans justifying meat eating.
I was already expecting you to feel a bit like this, since you stayed silent after your openingspost.

Several people above are sharing open and respectful views on how and why they eat, often having experimented with vegetarianism or veganism yet making other choices based on their worldview. Those posts are not about "justifying meat eating" in my opinion, since "justifying" implies doing something wrong in the first place.
Oh well...I guess this discussion was not meant to be.
Any discussion benefits from opposing views being explained tho and fro. Without opposing views it's not a discussion but just a bunch of people saying the same thing. That's boring.

I'd love to hear your experiences and why you might, based on the same druidic way of thinking that prompts some of us to revert to eating natural animalproducts, have a different outlook and refuse the use of any animal for human benefit (food/clothes/medication etcetcetc).
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Re: Veganism

Postby elementalheart » 18 Feb 2014, 09:41

I rarely feel in druidic community the sense that I am "wrong" or something about me and the truth of my life as I perceive it to be unacceptable. Today it has happened twice already. :-(

I don't want to justify my life choices along the way, or why vegetarian has been my path for over 30 years and veganism, fruitarianism and other options have come and gone. Nor do I want to feel judged or excluded from a conversation because I don't agree with someone's strongly held beliefs when they feel angry that others with different experiences wish to share company with them. :???:

Seems my teachings for today are about sadness and separation. My thanks for the second pointer, I was still upset about the first and didn't see it until now. Better late than never I guess.. :anx:
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Re: Veganism

Postby Bracken » 18 Feb 2014, 14:08

Hi, Horizon.

If you type 'veganism' into the search box up there on the right, you'll find pages of discussion exploring how different members feel about food choices and why.
You might feel like joining in to one of those.
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Re: Veganism

Postby Aphritha » 18 Feb 2014, 18:38

I rarely feel in druidic community the sense that I am "wrong" or something about me and the truth of my life as I perceive it to be unacceptable. Today it has happened twice already. :-(

I don't want to justify my life choices along the way, or why vegetarian has been my path for over 30 years and veganism, fruitarianism and other options have come and gone. Nor do I want to feel judged or excluded from a conversation because I don't agree with someone's strongly held beliefs when they feel angry that others with different experiences wish to share company with them. :???:

Seems my teachings for today are about sadness and separation. My thanks for the second pointer, I was still upset about the first and didn't see it until now. Better late than never I guess.. :anx:
I'm sorry you were made to feel that way. I always enjoy hearing your points of view and experiences; you're a very interesting writer! :hug:
I think the only thing Druids agree on is we can't agree on anything, but I have a feeling I can find at least a few who will argue the point with me.


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Re: Veganism

Postby Shaun » 19 Feb 2014, 09:10

As the circle of life goes around, we all feed off something & in the end Mother Earth feeds off us. I live on a small suburban block, I keep a vegetable patch & a couple of fruit trees, as well as a small flock of hens with no rooster. My son is a keen fisherman & we often eat his catch, whether it be yabbies, trout or yellow belly. As a kid the humble rabbit made a regular appearance on our kitchen table. Treat the earth with as much respect as you can & she'll continue to look after you. Give away a dozen eggs & a few veges from time to time & your luck in the garden tends to hold.
Having said all that with a wife & 4 kids to feed I can't be completely self sufficient, but even then there's a few small things I can do. This week a butcher gave me 10 kilos of meat that was no good anymore for human consumption, but he assured me that it was still fine for dog meat. Waste not want not helps a little bit too.
Above all remember that whatever decisions or actions you make in your life. You're the one that's got to live with them & karma is a natural law, just like the law of gravity.

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Re: Veganism

Postby JamesNewell » 20 Feb 2014, 05:14

One thing that might be noted is that people who don't know should be informed about eating the right foods to produce a complete protein.

The easiest thing is to always eat a grain with a legume, if not at the same meal, then the same day. Both grains and legumes lack all the essential amino acids, but they lack different amino acids. Together, they provide all the essential amino acids.

I will note that being a vegetarian has improved my relationship with animals.

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Re: Veganism

Postby DJ Droood » 20 Feb 2014, 13:09

One thing that might be noted is that people who don't know should be informed about eating the right foods to produce a complete protein.

The easiest thing is to always eat a grain with a legume, if not at the same meal, then the same day. Both grains and legumes lack all the essential amino acids, but they lack different amino acids. Together, they provide all the essential amino acids.

I think you can get a complete protein from soy and quinoa, if I'm not mistaken.
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Re: Veganism

Postby amethystDragon » 20 Feb 2014, 23:04

Sigh......I had framed this question to attract vegans to share with vegans....yet every post so far has been non-vegans justifying meat eating. Oh well...I guess this discussion was not meant to be.
I was picking up on the bit about how Veganism informs the path and giving my own view. If you just wanted to be validated in your choice, you should have said it was for Vegans only.

I do dislike being told that my point of view is only so I can justify eating meat and therefore my view is somehow less worthy that a Vegan is. It's as though only those who have chosen the Vegan way are truly enlightened, completely ignoring that others may have equally enlightened opposing opinions.

Actually the small amount of meat I eat, I need to eat. I have a chronic problem with absorption of vitamins from my diet due to my Auto-Immune Thyroid Condition and if I ate a purely Vegan diet, I'd probably die. As it is I have to have regular Vitamin B12 injections, eat Gluten Free and take a whole host of other vitamins and minerals and that's with meat in my diet.
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Re: Veganism

Postby ShadowCat » 21 Feb 2014, 09:11

I have to say I'm a quite bit disappointed with the way this thread is turning out. I've read and reread it, thinking what I might have said or done wrong. Yet I can't really figure it out...

I've shared why I eat how I eat now and in the past and looked forward to exchange views with people who eat vegan and their experiences. It could have been an nice thread to compare notes and see/learn about the ways veganism might influence our druidic/spiritual studies and even inspire to try it out for some meateaters or "leather shoe wearing vegetarians".

Just like AmethystDragon I feel that my whole view and the time I took to explain it being dismissed as "justifying eating meat" without any nuance or attempt at understanding is hurtful and completely uncalled for. If you are a vegan eating vegan only wanting to talk to other vegans about how great is it to eat vegan I might suggest a vegan forum.

Discussing here how physical nourishment influences and incorporates spiritual and intellectual nourishment would be much more inspiring imho.
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Re: Veganism

Postby Horizon » 21 Feb 2014, 13:54

I made a mistake posting here at all. I had tried to frame the question in a way that made it clear it was for vegans to discuss how veganism affects their spirituality. I thought I made that point clear enough that non-vegans would understand this and so wouldn't bother posting why they aren't vegans. Again...my fault because obviously my sloppy writing skills did not impart my meaning.

The reason I wanted to keep this to vegans only is because veganism is a touchy subject and meat eaters tend to go on the defensive to justify their meat eating and those threads just never end well. I had really had hoped to avoid that but that's what happened here all the same. So...will just leave it at that. If I went on the defensive, things would get even uglier and that was never the intent of starting this thread and I will not participate in taking it to that level. Not in this forum anyway.
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Re: Veganism

Postby ShadowCat » 21 Feb 2014, 14:06

The reason I wanted to keep this to vegans only is because veganism is a touchy subject and meat eaters tend to go on the defensive to justify their meat eating and those threads just never end well.
I'm saddened to conclude that the only defensive posts I see above are the veganbased i.e. the touchy replies come mainly from vegan contributers to this thread. :-( The others are explanatory, inquisitive and/of contain open questions and discussion-opportunities that go largely unanswered.

Anyway, let's agree to disagree.
Best wishes and hope you find the affirmation and information you seek elsewhere.
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Re: Veganism

Postby amethystDragon » 21 Feb 2014, 22:03

The reason I wanted to keep this to vegans only is because veganism is a touchy subject and meat eaters tend to go on the defensive to justify their meat eating and those threads just never end well.
I'm saddened to conclude that the only defensive posts I see above are the veganbased i.e. the touchy replies come mainly from vegan contributers to this thread. :-( The others are explanatory, inquisitive and/of contain open questions and discussion-opportunities that go largely unanswered.
I agree with you ShadowCat, I have no desire to resort to a slanging match but I am interested in the choices people have made and why. One of my closest friends has recently become Vegan, apart from warn him how disgusting vegan cheese is, I haven't tried in any way shape or form tried to dissuade him from that path, it is after all his path to choose.

In his case, he was pretty much Vegan anyway being a very picky eater and although his mainly vegetarian diet did include some fish it wasn't much. My first thoughts on hearing his choice was to go looking for some interesting Vegan recipe resources for him because along the way I may find some interesting things to make myself.

I really am interested in why those who choose to exclude all animal products from their diet get their heads around the concept of monoculture agriculture (soy) or pest control because anyone who has ever grown their own food knows just how difficult it is to keep the slugs,snails, mice, bird and rabbits off their veg. Is it a case of minimising their effect or is it sticking ones head in the sand and believing not eating meat means no harm to animals?

I have spent years and years hanging around smallholders and small-medium scale farmers, who take a lot of pride in producing meat to the very highest quality and ensuring their animals are looked after to the highest standard right up until the point of slaughter. One farming couple in particular go out of their way to produce all winter food stuffs on their farm so they don't have to buy in GM-Soy based feed products and also buy in Jersey Bull calves, which are surplus to the dairy industry and lovingly rear them to just shy of 36 months old completely grass-fed before producing some of the best beef I've ever tasted. These are calves that would otherwise be shot at a few days old. Their herd of Dexters are used on lowland heath with SSSI designations to help with the sward management and maintain the special conditions that would otherwise disappear.

I do believe the west eats far far too much meat and we should be consuming more vegetables and less meat. I also believe that the meat should be of the highest possible quality as well as more wild meat such as rabbit and pigeon.

I worry about the survival of bee's in a Vegan world that eschews the keeping of honey bees especially as we live in a joined up world where without strict controls in place it's very easy to bring in pathogens from outside - that's how Varroa got here to the UK in the first place

I would have loved to debate all this and more in a respectful way
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