Once a month I make a pilgrimage to Delux Burger in Phoenix. I’ve been doing this for years and years now. It satiates my red meat cravings and my body’s nutritional requirements. When I first started going there for my burger craving satiation I was not fully aware of why I was led there. But in time it became clear to me. They use meat from conscious cattle ranches. I am quite sure they have other meals on the menu but I only and always get the same dish: Delux Burger, medium rare, lettuce wrap it please (occasionally, I’ll bun it up), sweet potato fries, and all aioli sauce, (hold the ketchup – why would anyone want ketchup when the aioli sauce is so delicious – i could drink it as a milkshake – not quite, but almost), please. I have tried other burger places, but I always gravitate back to Delux.
Initially, I ate, consumed, enjoyed the burger mindlessly, not fully aware of what I was doing and the ripple effect I was creating from a simple act of feeding myself one meal – well in actuality two for me. That is until I started becoming more and more sensitive to my purchasing decisions, to the animal spirit world, and to energy. This awareness and Gift opened up a whole world of blessings and HUGE responsibilities. The blessings came in the form of me choosing food and personal care products which were clean, conscious, and Love based. The responsibility came in the form of now that I knew better, I could no longer in good conscience not do not better. The double negative said another way is that in knowing and feeling the energy of what I was eating or putting on or in my body, I could no longer choose food and personal care products that were not made with integrity and love.
In an earlier HerStory article of mine called “It’s Very Complicated”, I shared how difficult it became for me to eat meat. I began knowing and feeling the Oneness with everyone, animals, nature, and inanimate objects. I began seeing animals as my soul brothers and sisters. It repulsed me to eat meat of any kind because I felt like I was eating my sister or brother. That’s how sensitive and attuned I got. Many people are experiencing these shifts in these days. There were times when I saw others eating meat that I wanted to throw up because it was so revolting to me. During this period I visited the Biosphere 2 in Oracle/Tuscon, AZ. There I learned that the human inhabitants became so close to their animal companions, which were supposed to be their protein food source that no one could do the “deed” (slaughtering). Thus they became vegetarians for the duration of the experiment and the animals were spared. Life was mirroring back to me my inner and outer journeys of what I was struggling with and working through. Although I was not raising any animals, but because I became so sensitive, such an empath, that I felt them and was at one with them. I did not want their blood on my hands. I did not want to be responsible for their slaughter. I was not going to be a cannibal. I would live without eating my brothers and sisters. Or so I thought and so I tried.
Over a period of three to four years several times I went vegan. Each time I lasted about thirty to forty days. Each time I almost made myself sick because I felt so depleted in the nutrients provided from meat. Each time when I went back to eating meat, I would crycrycry and then cry some more, feel tremendous guilt, and apologize profusely to the sacrificed animal, my sister, that I was eating her. In this phase I would tell people that I outsourced or subcontracted my killing or murdering. Oh yes, I dragged others along on my inner guilt trip. On one such occasion, the person responded back by saying that “cows are delicious”. This statement haunted me for years. Yet, on the other hand, I also felt much better after I did eat meat, I felt like life was coming back into my body. I felt strong again in ways that plant, legume, and nut proteins could not fulfill. It was a heavy duty catch twenty two. If I ate meat, I felt selfish. If I did not eat meat, I felt the life force leaving me and me becoming weaker and weaker. That’s what happens when you become closer to feeling and knowing Oneness with all of Creation. You feel deeply every one and everything that enters your orbital sphere.
As always, Grace came riding in on a white horse sweeping me out of my emotional quagmire, my mental conundrum, and my energetic dilemma. Grace showed over time through various books, conversations, and insights how it does not have to be an either/or stance, that it can be both. It can be an “and” way of life. Grace rescued me from me. Grace eased my mental and emotional anguish and showed me how to make wise, loving, gracious and gratitude based choices. Grace showed me that everything and everyone is a gift, a blessing, and a sacrifice. We are gifts to each other. We are a blessing to each other. We also offer ourselves as a sacrifice to each other. The sacrifice looks different for everyone. Each has their own path, their own mission, their own passion.
Passion = pass + i + on. We pass on the “i” of us to others and thus to God. We pass on our i or eye or essence to Creation. This passing on of ourselves nourishes others and is our redeeming gift and privilege.
With this shift and insight, my burger eating experience took on another dimension. I became deeply and profoundly grateful for the nourishment and the joy in the journey of my nourishing . I went form being a mindless consumer where the end justifies the means to a grateful participant in the entire circle of living life on our earth biosphere bubble. Now, when the hamburger is presented to me and before me, I don’t dig into it. I stop. I take a breath. I think of everyone involved with getting this burger on the plate. There is first and foremost the Holy Spirit of the Cow which was sacrificed; there is the farmer and all her/his helpers; the veterinarian; the people who helped build the barns and the fences around the pastures and the suppliers of the barn and fence materials; there is that person who did the “deed”, or the person who invented the machine that is doing the “deed”; there are the people, knives, packaging, and electricity it takes to then dismember, package, and refrigerate the sacrificed cow; then there are the trucking companies and drivers and distributors; then there are the restauranteurs with their art and helpers of creating a delicious meal. It takes the whole village to keep the village going. The globe is the village. Lastly and most importantly, there is God for sending sun and rain and grass and the Gift of the Cow. Now I can begin eating and enjoying my hamburger, consciously, gracefully, graciously, and gratefully. I now know just how many people it takes for something simple to appear: many, countless.
Just like the Native Americans used to thank the Buffalo Spirit in advance of their hunt for offering itself up to them, we too need to take a moment to practice mindfulness and gratitude before a meal – especially if there is meat in it.
I still remember the first time I consciously ate a wild caught salmon. I had been purchasing my fish from regular food stores but in this awareness journey I began purchasing some of my nourishment at Whole Foods. They have a fresh fish department whose focus is on sustainability and they will cook the fish for you. Since my kitchen is primarily for display purposes only (very basic cooking is what I do), I loved that they prepared the fish. I was so excited to bring home and eat a salmon that was not farmed but one that had roamed the wild seas. The night that I ate the wild caught salmon I had a dream. I dreamt that I was in the ocean swimming with the salmon and then I and the salmon merged – our energy became One. We became One. We/i swam in the cold waters off of the coast of Alaska. The sense of freedom was wonderful. The feeling of the freedom entered into my blood, my veins, and my energy. It was after this meal and this dream that I realized that we absorb and we become the energy that we eat. “Irena, now that you know this, be VERY MINDFUL of how you nourish your body.”, was an imprint onto my being. I am and will always be grateful to the Holy Spirit of that Salmon that gave me that Gift of merging with him.
The opposite is also true. If one eats the soul&spirit of an animal that has been raised in tight cruel quarters, that energy will also merge with theirs.
I have come full circle in my meat eating journey.
- Take Charge of your life, nutrition, and experiences,
- Irena As I Am and Mudryk, Conscious and Grateful Carnivores