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Why I struggle with eating meat

Yesterday I bought a whole chicken to roast which is one of my very favorite things. I chose a local, organic, humanely raised chicken from a farm and I was so excited about this choice! So responsible! So fresh! Such a good decision!

But when I got home I realized it looked SO fresh, I really thought a skilled vet could probably still resuscitate it. It still had feet, a neck, and sooo many feathers, I could hardly stand to look at it! I was like, “I can literally brush this chicken’s hair & shake its hand… I want to name it Larry, not put it in the oven!”

And this is my struggle with eating meat. I feel like a hypocrite and a coward because if I had to kill my own food or even prep it to this degree every time I ate it, I’d be vegetarian in a SECOND. It was SO disturbing to me that it looked so much like what it was: an animal.

I really think if we all forced ourselves to be a little closer to the meat & animal products we consumed, we’d cut back BIG TIME. Factory farming blinds us to the consequences of our consumption because by the time meat gets to us, it resembles “food,” but generally not a whole animal. So we know it’s chicken but we don’t connect to the reality that it’s A CHICKEN!

Believe it or not, I actually don’t eat a lot of meat! But every time I prep a whole animal for a meal, I remember the weight of my decision. I said a little prayer of gratitude to my chicken friend yesterday & thanked it for it’s sacrifice and nourishment.

Not everyone can easily access or afford organic, local, farm-raised meat, but we can all respect whatever meat we DO consume by being more mindful, minimizing waste, and even cutting back one day a week (for example!).

Does anyone else struggle with this?! How do you cope with that inner conflict?

(I put this in my stories yesterday and got SO many responses, IG couldn’t even count them. It just stayed at 99+ all day! So sharing this here to keep the convo going…)

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    June 22, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I have the same problem. I have a 13 year old son so often I am cooking meat for him, but if he isn’t around, I don’t tend to go for a meat filled meal on my own. I try to be as responsible as possible when picking out my food, but I can’t help but feel the weight of my decision when I am prepping a whole chicken knowing very well I’d never kill and prepare the animal myself. At the same time, I am not fond of the processed fake veg “meats” either, not because of taste alone but just because they aren’t healthy food in general. Constant struggle.

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    June 22, 2018 at 10:39 am

    I struggle a lot too: I’ve tried to go meat-free but actually find my entire emotional balance is off (I have a background of mental health issues) and though I am eating the right nutrients, I just can’t seem to feel balanced but I do express gratitude like you and try to get free range where I can and try to go without if I can too. It’s really hard and I do feel like a very bad yogi for it!

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    June 22, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    I was a casual vegetarian for about three years before I started my yoga teacher training. During the training, the studio made it very clear that (as we all know) “rule one” of being a yogi is ahimsa. And ahimsa starts with vegetarianism. It’s not a difficult commitment, but it is a commitment. Like any new habit, you just need time to adjust to it and discover that you can eat very well, and happily, without meat. In my experience, going veg was the start of lots of other good habits. So I’d encourage you to try again.

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    June 22, 2018 at 6:24 pm

    I share your feelings Erin. A number of years ago my mom and I came home to find a pot’o fresh Dungeness crabs on the doorstep courtesy of a fisherman friend. We brought them inside and exclaimed “great, crab for dinner.” However, these crab were still alive, barely. Which meant I’d need to bring a LARGE pot of water to a boil and drop those somewhat live carbs in the boiling water. I turned to my mom and exclaimed “I wouldn’t be a good hunter gatherer!”

    Let me ask you this….what if you lived on a farm and raised chickens (or pigs or cows) for your family to eat? How would you feel about getting that chicken from it’s pasture to your table? Yes, we as a culture have become quite removed from the process of raising food, killing it, and eating it. At the end of the day, it’s up to each individual & their decision about what they eat: meat, pork, poultry, honey, dairy, processed foods based on our bodies, beliefs, culture, etc.

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    September 7, 2019 at 6:57 pm

    I was vegan for ~8 years and recently started eating meat again because of health issues. I struggle with it every day and still don’t know what to do!

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