1. Fr. Allen

    Shilo, this is by turns beautiful, practical, challenging, opiniated, yet all without being “hey, I’ve found the answer and you’all need to get on board and do exactly like I’m doing.” I’d have to say it’s what I aim at in my own preaching but rarely achieve. Congrats! Not that what you’re proposing is at all easy to do; so thanks for that as well! 🙂 I’m hopelessly compromised in my use/abuse of animal products though my dear partner and children have been lovingly helping me become more consistent. Since I’m basically a boorish male who is largely beauty-product negligient, the issue with me is hamburgers! Having a heart condition helps! I’m supposed to be eating more “mediterranean” which sounds so “riviera!” but is just case upon case of vegetables. As a result hamburgers have become less regular and thus more enticing. In case you’re wondering, Triple-O’s, single with cheese (yes to the extra slice of processed cheese!), pickle inside. No fries or drink except H20.

    The reflections on the religious texts are striking. Isn’t it interesting how the “ancient world” “saw?” Of course, being the rationalist that I am and wanting to take all knowledge on board I’m wondering if we can include in the conversation the evolutionary data. We could develop our particular capacities (somewhere between 200k-300k years ago) because we had learned how to kill and cook animals. Our brains are the most the most energy-sucking device evolution has ever come up with and it’s not really possible to imagine our existence without our ancestors ingesting regular portions of cooked (easily digestible) muscle fibre. Perhaps a relationship with the created order more in tune with it’s rhythms, as most North American indigenous cultures used to be able to maintain strikes a more reasonable balance?

    Would love to chat more about this. I hope to read some more of your great writing!

    • Birch

      I think it’s very possible, given what we’ve learned about how ‘keto diets’ help with alzheimers and parkinsons and various types of epilepsy and mood disorders that high fat content does something wonderous for the brain as far as getting signals and messages across and protecting various parts of our wiring . Maybe we needed to do that to get to where we are – but now that we are there…. do we still need to? At the very least we could make ethical choices perhaps. Maybe now we can move away from that point since we have learned about other ways of getting what we need – eggs and dairy can be obtained very ethically and totally cruelty free if we still want animal proteins but don’t want to kill our non-human friends 😀

      • Fr. Allen

        Yes, even the sustainability of our planet requires what you say but the question remains; doesn’t evolution require us to acknowledge that the path to “peace” required (and not just for humans!) an almost unimaginable amount of “violence” if that’s what we want to call it? Ethically, we have good grounds to move away from meat consumption but we don’t have incisors for nothin’. 🙂

        • Well, I think we have incisors because it has allowed us as a species to survive during cold periods when vegetation was not available, though we lack the carnassial teeth that carnivores have. Also very likely that our primate ancestors ate left overs from the carnivores – as our teeth even back then were not made for properly tearing meat (we needed tools to do that) I think that they served a purpose and still do when no other food is available – but having them does not mean we are destined meat eaters forever. As said here: “Meat was clearly pivotal in the evolution of the human brain, but that doesn’t mean that meat is still an irreplaceable part of the modern human diet. Zaraska says any calorie-dense food would have had the same effect on our ancient evolving brains—“it could have been peanut butter”—but that meat happened to be available. ” https://www.history.com/news/why-humans-eat-meat A very good article about the history of our meat eating.

          • Also from that article and very true ““The goals of life for our ancestors was very different than ours,” says Zaraska. “Their goal was to survive to the next day.” — Now that we do have access to other proteins as evolved civilized beings (haha, mostly civil, just dont put a bunch of us in one room to make one decision or have a discussion on the internet!) it makes sense to use our evolvement in ways that better our environment as a whole, and in turn our world. Ethical practices of obtaining animal proteins – ethical practices of any sort of farming in general because this cuts down on the extreme levels of mass production that cause environmental damage and in the case of zoonotic diseases, damage to humankind as well.

    • Birch

      Perhaps, but I don’t agree that there is an ethical issue with eating eggs that poultry lays, or eating products from lactating mammals if those mammals are not kept in unnatural states of being. So what is Ideal to you is not necessarily the same for myself. Now if this WERE an ‘ideal’ world, we would be physically optimized for veggies only, but we are not. We are able to use what is available to us as a survival feature. The problem is, the same people who are so very vehemently vegan also seem to have no issue using cell phones, or computers, or putting gas in their car or in many other ways contributing to the physical break down of our world. Supporting capitalism and devastating pollution by tapping away on one’s cell phone to tout the evils of not being vegan enough is narcissistic. There are many ways that we are effectively killing ourselves and the host on which we reside. Dairy and eggs are a tiny, tiny part of a much larger problem. Bless <3

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