Vegetarianism, and for that matter Pescetarianism, and Veganism and other diets where one may only eat fruit, or raw food, and the like are all really new to us as a species. Even a few millenium ago, I don’t think it would have been possible to eat like this, and I acknowledge that vegetarianism is a product of the industrial age, and also it is not for everyone. In my core, I know I need meat and my own reasons for vegetarianism are for lack of better words or terms, pivoting on the realities of sustainability, ethic, and health. There is so much buildup of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and pollution in the grains and grasses that the omnivores of the field are eating, then most of them being pumped full of hormones, estrogen or testosterone, thowing our own balances out, and the severe overwhelming or underwhelming levels of the fats and minerals we need, in short, domestication and cultivation has ruined meat, and this can be closer to the form of Vegetarianism I have practiced over the past three years, while living a nomadic lifestyle.
To purvey further what I mean by that would mean a small window into the life demands this style of existing and thriving have. For instance, while traveling in Morocco or Mexico, I have been offered on occasion to spend some time with a family, these being poor peasant families, gypsies, or lower ‘class’, and when dinner time came around, I would be offered meat; wild deer, goat, or desert chicken. Usually these animals may have been slaughtered by the family that owns them, or hunted the same day, of course, being in such a situation, it is not acceptable or decent to pass it up ‘because I am a vegetarian’ I am one thing if not foolish, and this would be wild, healthy meat, with a much better diet. I became exceptionally grateful for these offerings, and did not waste a morcel. One of the only meat dishes I had last year was wild deer, served to me by a Mayan village man and his brother who had hunted it only that morning, it was sizzled in onions and fresh jalapeno’s from one of his pepper bushes, then we all ate it by hand in a circle, with 4 others, and another being some local haggis whilst living in the Scottish highlands.
Over this past year though, I have been gradually becoming more and more aware of the ingredients, cooking methods, and sources of what I am putting in my body, and have kept true to this vegetarian way. But I should say that is better to say that we are not simply eating ‘food’ but life, and that way we approach our diet in a much more respectful way, and everyone does have a diet, no matter if you think you don’t. Travelling my second time in Iceland, I was pleased to find many of the common markets to even hold a variety of superfoods, or super’life’, and these coming from as far away as india, brazil, asia, etc. and this is always a go to when we need to bring different species of plants and fungi into our diet. The Average American only eats 30 species of food a year. So I like to supplement these into what I am taking out of the ground, growing myself, or carefully selecting from the shelf, when I want holistic foods in my body for my most primal and optimal health.
A few of these which I have been big on are; coconut oil, hemp hearts, wild fruits, chia and flax, organic farm foods, plant oils, blueberries, cacao, avocados, blue cheese, black coffee, raw eggs, raw milk, kefir, kombucha, sour-dough bread, and all fermented foods, and am starting to bring in chaga and other medicinal mushrooms, lava salt, bee pollen, tinctures, and wild grains again. The books you could simply put together from these listed alone, are amply enough to keep the body vital in our industrial agrarian age, without meat, or fish, no death to animals.
Now, I don’t think individual animals should be immortal, and eventually I want to sink my teeth into the heart of a wild stag or catch my own fish, and feed my family with the rest, panting and exhausted from the hunt, of a kill made with my own manual and bodily weapons,worthwhile, sustainable and honest. But I can never ever bring myself to buying this fake, processed, plasticized meat wrapped in more poisons and a barcode, denouncing the complete value of the life inside, and unrecognizable from the beauty of the real animal. Soon, the slaves will all be eating their 3-d printed meat anways. My advice would be for anyone buying meat, look at the name of the farm or the source of the meat, put the package down, buy your vegetables and beer and go back home. Then, research the farm, visit it if it’s local, see what is going on there and talk to the ‘farmers’ if they are actual farmers at all and not slaves working in a factory. Then if you like what is going on there, and you would happily, and morally be comfortable with doing it yourself, then you can buy from them directly. Even if it is ethical, don’t buy from the chains or corporations. Buy local, from the source, and healthy meat. We need to start making use of ALL the animal, when it is so common that our meat is dissected and discarded of over half the life, while the ‘choice cuts’ are put into packaging. If we are going to eat meat, we need to all start wearing the fur to stop exploiting further earth resources for plastic, we need to eat the marrow and drink the blood for our optimal health and get over the taboos that these are the ‘unclean substances’ of an animal, we need to make more products from the available bone. They make great knives for the kitchen, tools for the workshop, and instruments, and we need to honor the kill, like any real hunter will tell you. He will either speak to the animal as he is cutting it, telling it exactly what it will be used for and how much it means to him or her, and spend time with the warm carcass of the dead animal, breathing in the spirit of it’s life retreating from the body. I read a story once about a man who hunted rabbits with snares, and one day he went to bed, and had a terrible nightmare about this trapped hare, a bloody vision of red life dripping on snow and writhing limbs, and the lackadaisical way in which he hunted, rather unconsciously, and using snares that didn’t kill the animal immediately, instead letting it suffer or starve to death on the cord, maybe never to be found again, and in this case, it easily happens on a hunter’s trapline. He woke, alarmed, and the next morning went to check his line, he had not planned to check it for another week. In one of his snares he found a pregnant hare, dead with obvious signs of struggle, he had dreamt and felt the tremendous pain it felt as it died on the cord for hours, and effected his dream. He stopped hunting afterwards. Its a beautiful story, and the change of heart at the end has some deeper sympathetic value. I think snares are not as effect as real life hunting, because they can easily be forgotten, but the reason I use the story is to represent the consciousness of eating meat, that is, taking a life. I think first if you can not watch an animal die, which I can’t yet, or you can not do the deed yourself, you have no right to eat meat. The same for fish, because fish is meat is life too. Meat eaters should not have cowardice in their hearts, but that doesn’t warrant cruelty either. A rag tag of newly outfitted beer buddies out for a hunt with the automatic winchesters, sittings in tree stands, not even giving nature a fair game to test your mettle is brazenly cowardly, and there is no such thing as a ‘trophy head’. You’re not some fuckin’ cowboy in your 4×4. When we hunt, or kill, it is a ritual, an important one, one that directly enacts our karma, but when we buy factory line animals in plasticene, we are using our ‘god trusting’ dollar to vote for this degenerative cultural destruction of The Wild Hunt. So choose vege for a while, why not?
Being vegetarian while on the road, has certainly had its challenges and pitfalls, but there is no reason one can not remain vital, with or without meat, it is about the consciousness we bring to the life that we eat. My advice to others on the gypsy trail, who might not always have the close by amenities while on the road, or even in your camp or settlement. Bring your shotgun, learn to forage, fast, or grow your own!
To end, many alterations have occurred in the last millennium that has impacted what we eat, and thus what we are, inside. Modern, cultivated, monoculture food is far more accessible, bought from the supermarket, prepacked so we don’t have to butcher it ourselves, and full of added chemicals from the production. Did our ancestors have to worry about BSE epidemics, genetically modified foods, and whether it was certified organic or not? They knew their meat fed on grasses, fruits, and fungi. Even our wild chicken progenitor ate small mammalian creatures. Perhaps our elders got it right after all, in the forest with their bows, or on the sea with their harpoons, after all, their food was organic and free range! Like we are supposed to be.