Peak flow: 325
Breakfast: bowl of grapes and a glass of ice water
Dinner: porkchops and steamed veggies.
When I was a little girl I flatly refused to eat meat. I can still recall the epic battles my parents and I had over the dinner table when it came time to eat. I had no trouble scarfing down bread, veggies and fruits. But I wouldnt' eat the meat. I begged, I whined, finally howled and was taken away, kicking and screaming, to my room.
This didn't just happened at home. It happened at my grandparents, at friend's houses when we went to visit, anywhere where there was meat being prepared, I'd bawl and beg not to have to eat it. No amount of begging, pleading, or punishing me would make me eat it.
We were living in the Nation at the time. (i.e. The Cherokee Nation,) and I remember one evening one of the Elders came by to visit. As is customary in Cherokee household, the elder is invited to dinner. He happily accepted and when it came time to eat, and my father cut up my meat and placed it on my plate, my lower lip started trembling. Ah, I didn't want it! And yet, an elder was visiting us and I had to be on my best behavior! I ate my veggies and sweet potatoes, hoping to hold out until the elder left and the demand to be on my best behavior and not throw a fit at the dinner table was reprieved.
But the elder didn't leave. He sat and chatted with my parents. my baby brother happily banged his spoon on the highchair and I slipped him my pieces of beef, which he scarfed until my mother saw what I as doing and gave me an ugly scowl.
So came the time to finish my meal. My father gently but firmly insisted. I felt my stomach burning, that horrible catch in my throat. I looked down at that poor dead animal on my plate, and started to howl.
Oh I knew I was going to get the butt whooping of my life, but I couldnt' help myself. I just didnt want it. I loved my animals alive and warm and cuddly thank you, not at the end of a fork.
So that's when the elder cut in and told me a story a bout how at the beginning of time, the great animal counsel gathered togther because they were concerned about mankind. Man was poor, they thought, poor and naked and cannot hunt like the panther nor was as fierce as the bear. He had fire, that was true, but what good did it do him other than to keep his naked body warm? And when it rained the fire was useless.
So out of great compassion, the animal counsel agreed that man needed their help. the buffalo, deer and birds and fish agreed to sacrifice themselves in order to feed mankind and clothe them. It was out of this great compassion that mankind was able to survive. The elder told me gently that it was an insult to the animal spirit not to eat of its flesh because of the great agreement the animal counsel made on our behalf.
So, I agreed to eat my roast beef.
It was delicious. And I've been carniverous ever since.
But now that I'm Buddhist I find myself in conflict with that story. I know I know it was only a story but it is a part of the culture I was brought up as when I was a little girl and those cultural ties are still very much a part of me.
I'm not yet ready to renounce my desires for a good broiled steak (be it buffalo or angus) but in time Im sure I can let it go as well.
There are definate rules for consuming meat tho.
1. I never EVER eat organ meat. Whether it comes in sausage form or organ form. Another epic battle (which I won) was with my home ec teacher when she flopped a cows tongue on the counter and demanded I not only clean it, but to help in cooking and (gasp!) eating it.
The rest of that day was quietly and happily spent in detention.
2. I never eat anything that looks like the business end of a bathmat. That encludes, squid, octopi or anything else with tentacles.
3. I never eat hotdogs, bologna or anything of that nature. It's just high grade dogfood. (yeah, Hebrew Nationals are supposed to be kosher, but get a Rabbi to convince me of that)
4. No crawfish, lobsters, alligator or shark meat or any other exotic meat. That's just...ewww.
5. I dont' eat catfish. I refuse to eat anything that has a 'time of the month.'
6. I never eat free range chickens. We lived on a farm, I know what they eat if left to their own devices.
7. Meat must be cooked, thoroughly, not raw, not pink in the middle. I took microbiology in nursing school. That scarred me for life.
Come to think of it, why am I not already vegan? I'm already two steps there....
Something to think about.
om mani padme hum