23 January 2009

Fear Meat

"My kids love eating game. They think eating deer and buffalo make you run faster and jump higher..."

This quote jumped out at me from an article, The other dark meat: Raccoon is making it to the table. Children are little intuitive beacons of forgotten knowledge, and if we just listened a little bit more to them...(see If Only Everyone Could Think Like Blue)

Chad and I discuss "fear" meat. Fear meat is the stuff that is raised on large industrial commercial farms. These animals are raised and slaughtered in conditions that elevate the level of fear hormone and adrenaline in the animal. These animals are mistreated kept in awful stinky feed lots (anyone driven past one of these places?) or caged in tiny pens in deplorable conditions. These animals walk or lie in their own shit. They are fed Monsanto corn. I can imagine that animals are depressed and sick (hence the over abundance of antibiotic usage to keep them "healthy"). When a person eats meat from one of these places, they eat the accumulation of fear, adrenaline, depression, illness, GMO corn, antibiotic, and filth. It is all stored within the animal. No wonder our society is so unhealthy.

The native peoples know (knew) the importance of giving reverence to an animal. Free animals eat from Earth and contain the spirit of Earth. Compare wild and free animals to caged and penned animals. Which are naturally healthier? Meat contains life force, just like vegetables (which is why the fresher, the better). Warriors eat the heart because it contains the most powerful Spirit of the animal. Native hunters knew that they could obtain the spirit of the animal through eating it, and that is they expressed gratitude for its gift of life. The treatment of animals is a direct correlation to our reverence for life on Earth.

In the article, the writer briefly mentions the ethics of the raccoon hunters, "try to kill as humanely as possible...It's part of the culture." Culture. Raccoon hunter's culture. This is something our society seriously lacks in killing methodology. Hunters shoot animals from moving helicopters with high powered rifles. Industrial meat producers line 'em up and thwack! Sometimes, the animal isn't even dead yet when they put it on the hook. All the other animals in the "herd" are watching as fear hormones and adrenaline are frantically released into the system right before death. There is no grace or dignity in this kind of killing.

Chad told me of a woman goat farmer who sits down with a goat, in the field, strokes it with great love, and cuts its throat. My first reaction was to think, "How horrible." But the reality is, that goat is being honored and being shown great respect for its life. At least this woman is completely aware of where her food comes from unlike most people who buy meat in neat little packages. If we were forced to kill our own meat, we may have more reverence for life in general. If we had to kill our own meat, we definitely wouldn't be as wasteful, and we wouldn't eat as much of it. To eat meat for all three meals each and every day is excessive, and if anything, as with the "financial" crisis, we are seeing the consequences of excess. When we take more than we need, something's got to give (or fail).

Eating meat from a local free range source is a better choice. I think that these animals probably contain levels of fear hormone too, but not as excessive as industrial meats (is my guess). These animals must have adrenaline bursts when traveling in the trailer to the slaughter house. When they arrive at the slaughter house, they probably smell the death raising fear levels. Animals are so instinctive. They know. So, yes, even our free range meats contain levels of fear hormone, but I'm hoping not as much because maybe they trust their farmer or the trip isn't as traumatic or because they have had a better life in the field…

Will I stop eating meat altogether? Maybe one day. Not right now, but I can be more particular about the meat I eat. I can cut back on my animal consumption. I can show gratitude for the life of the animal which helps me to sustain my life force.

But what if the meat we eat affects our personality and/or abilities? If it does, like those kids believe, we could all benefit by being more aware of what passes our lips.

P.S. None of what I write is cited because what I write is strictly my intuitive opinion.

Thanks for reading.

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