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Jun 12, 1998 12:40 PM
by Eldon B Tucker

Since it's lunchtime, and I'm sitting here with my
vegetarian chili cup-of-cup, and in reading all the
many food comments, I thought I'd add a few ideas
and comments to the discussion.

It seems more civilized and refined to eat lower
rather than higher life forms. It's possible for
most people to have a healthy and tasty diet based
upon vegetarian principles.

There are exceptions. Some people have health
problems requiring them to eat a meat diet -- but
this is not commonplace. And for certain peoples,
like the Tibetans, their climate doesn't support
the adequate production of vegetable foods, so
they typically eat meat, even though their Western
followers are often vegetarians. But it's easy to
fall back on excuses when the real reasons are
inertia against change, an enjoyment of the old
habits of life, and a not wanting to hear about
better and kinder ways of living.

There are many reasons not to eat meat. One is
with regard to harmlessness. We want to minimize
our impact upon the world, taking the minimum of
sentient life in order to sustain our own. This
can be done respectfully, like when an American
Indian may say a little prayer expressing respect
and appreciation for the animal whose life he may
be taking for food.

Another reason is with regard to the grossness
of the life energies involved. The plant kingdom
energies are simpler and easier, I think, to
break down and assimilate. Eating animals, especially
those apparently more sentient, like household pets,
would have higher, more complex energies to break
down. Cannibalism would be bad, but the worst would
be eating the flesh of a higher kingdom, like when
a tiger may eat a human or in a Tibetan sky burial,
where the departed person's body is hacked into
small pieces to be eaten by vultures on some remote

I don't think that we can make a general rule that
applies to everyone. I've heard stories of children
that go "yuck!" and won't touch meat. Perhaps we'll
all have a natural aversion to it at some point. For
the present, unless someone is undergoing some
spiritual training that requires the vegetarian
diet, I'd leave it to the discretion of each person,
leave it as a personal life decision along with the
decision to drink or not drink alcohol, fast or not
fast, meditate or not meditate, exercise or not, etc.

At some point, we'll evolve to need less and less
for physical sustenance, until we one day, perhaps,
live on prana and immaterial life energies. Until
this happens, though, we still need to find food
for the dinner table, balancing our appetites with
health and ethical concerns.

As an ending thought, I recall the statement that
"we are the food of the gods." I don't think that
this means that we're cooked and served up on their
dinner table like a leg of lamb. It may be that
when we're caught up by archetypes, having our
lives changed and patterned after them, that the
beings behind those archetypes have in a way
assimilated us, using us as "food" to sustain their
"physical existence". ... Something to think about.

-- Eldon

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