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Saints, Sinners and Vegan hypocrisy.

 

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Dear friends, fellow vegans, non vegans and readers of this blog.

I have heard many disses of vegans over my years. They don’t bother me. I recall being on a course in Glastonbury and sitting next to the priestess leading it in a pub. As we perused the menu she started spitting her distaste and anger in no uncertain terms at self righteous, hypocritical, moralistic, idealistic and impractical vegans in one foul torrent of invective. That took me aback with its passionate swathe. It was in the context of expressing her disillusionment with a male love interest who was of course vegan ….   So I chose not to take it personally, but all the same vegans are a pretty easy target to project shit onto.

Stereotypes aside as far as arguments and disses go one of the big hitters that some omnivores/carnivores like to pelt vegans with concerning the subject of veganism is hypocrisy. …..even though like who isn’t a hypocrite at sometime in their human life.

“Hey you are killing the plants too….. plants have feelings and are sentient life forms. Whatever you eat you are killing life. You are a vegan hypocrite!”

And you know they are not wrong with this.

In the great interconnectivity of life to just to stop eating critters with eyes or faces doesn’t mean we are not still involved in an exchange of life whereby we are becoming something else by eating it and creating a cessation of its life.

“Plants feel too. You are still murderers.”

Aside from breatharians and fruitarians (people who only eat what gracious trees and shrubs offer us by way of their fruits, without harming the tree itself) yes maybe we are all still murderers. Maybe we are all murderers until we find a way to understand that plants and trees and herbs have a consciousness and if only we could listen can actually choose for themselves if they want us to eat them. Or not. That we get down with the idea of vegetable consent

ME ME ME TAKE ME I AM YOURS

Whoah Calliope! You are too “out there” Guinea-pig friend and are losing your readers/marbles/sanity…

Does your garden grass consent to it when you are munching it in your outdoor hutch? Is that why in your human form you SPEND SO LONG in organic veg shops trancing out in front of the vegetables ba ha ha ….

But think about it readers. How much do we scoff at or think that cows and horses and sheep and other ruminants have a terribly boring life with their noses pressed against the earth chewing grass for hour after hour for days, neigh their lives. Ruminants I think we call them. But what if they are simply connecting to every blade as they eat it. How do we know? And how do they know what piece of grass to eat next. Who knows whether the ponies and the shrubs and blades of grass are communicating with each other.

To watch New Forest Ponies keep the forest groomed is to marvel at their collective compass.

Why do we dismiss as “magical make believe thinking” the idea that plants and animals can connect with us and communicate

I am minded of a shamanic plant medicine retreat 8 years in Mexico a dear friend went on where weeks were spent in a hole in the desert waiting for the medicinal herb to make contact and tell her where to find it.

I am also minded of a story anthropologist Hugh Brody shared with us on a visit to my uni. About an indigenous community of peoples in the South American rain forest who mystified a visiting anthropologist for weeks with their “maybe tomorrow” for a hunt. Until he found out they had dreamers at the the four directions of the village who would wait until an animal visited them to tell them it had chosen to be caught and eaten and how to find it. That would be the signal that a hunt was happening.

It also reminds me of Barbara McClintock and her study of corn and the genetic discoveries she made through connecting with the corn, becoming the corn.

These shamanic ideas of life and connectivity become more and more acceptable as indigenous teachers spread their wings and come to teach westerners about things that will ultimately save the planet, connection as an ecological imperative. And western academics; anthropologists, phytogeneticists and biologists like Jeremy Narby, Rupert Sheldrake, Graham Hancock, Donna Harraway and our own homegrown David Luke and the conference for psychedelic studies have been paving the way for an intellectual understanding of this in the field of parapsychology.

In an experiment conducted by animal biologist Monica Gagliano with Mimosa plants she showed that plants are capable of memory and have the ability to react and respond to their external environment. Michael Pollan in his article the Intelligent Plant for the New Yorker in 2013 posited that ‘plants have all the same senses as humans, and then some. In addition to hearing, taste, for example, they can sense gravity, the presence of water, or even feel that an obstruction is in the way of its roots, before coming into contact with it.  And he suggests that plants may be able to teach humans a thing or two, such as how to process information without a central command post like a brain.’

So yes plants appear to have a consciousness, and an intelligence that doesn’t need a brain. And thus eating a plant is eating something that was alive.

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Following this train of thought maybe killing is not in itself murder. Maybe murder is the idea of the infliction of pain and violence on something or some-one, or the act of killing with the intent of doing harm, or the act of killing whilst being numb to the pain being exacted. I mean the body kills viruses and bacteria germs and cancer cells as part of a natural course. We don’t think of our bodies as murderers for doing this. And on that train of thought allopathic cancer treatments do evoke imagery of slaughter and battles which is a right turn off for me personally.

It could be argued that eating meat is not murder if done consciously and with gratitude. But what does that mean this conscious eating? (read here for my foray into conscious meat eating https://cancerguineapig.com/2012/07/31/the-carrot-or-a-stick/) Is our gratitude and awareness that the piece of flesh we are eating was once an animal (and how many carne and omnivores do I know who cannot actually stomach that connection either) make the lived life of the animal we are eating any better? No.

But connection is everything. The main difference between the act of eating plants that were alive and animals that were alive dear reader is the connection that our bodies, both physically and energetically make with our food. Something recognised in many different spiritual practices and schools who request that their disciples eat only vegetarian or vegan plant based diets (more on that in a future blog).

A plant might not have consented to be picked BUT more importantly, a plant is not likely to be force fed until its stalks snap and break like the legs of 6 week old male chickens for the chicken industry, or consistently raped with metal instruments and then the product of the rape, a baby taken away from it over and over again in order to produce milk for another species, or or or or ad nauseam ad infinitum.

If we are what we eat, then eating flesh that is saturated with suffering, pain, violence and non consent is basically energetically what we are receiving. So we might eat it “consciously” but actually the reason why myself and maybe others became vegans in the first place (for me that was 30 years ago) is not about the killing aspect but more the industrialisation of animals and the understanding of animals as units of currency, with no acknowledgement or a cultivated blindness to both the autonomy of the animal or its capacity for pain, feelings and consciousness. If I have to be a “murderer” then I would rather eat the consciousness of a plant than an animal.

Wishing you all a good start to the week.

Love peace and Empowerment

Calliope xxx

 

https://www.pri.org/stories/2014-01-09/new-research-plant-intelligence-may-forever-change-how-you-think-about-plants

Photo by Elaine Casap on Unsplash

 

 

 

 

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