Ok... not *really*....
BUT I am always baffled by the idea that plants are somehow *less* living than animals, specifically when it comes to vegetarianism. I've heard so many times "I am a vegetarian because taking a life is wrong." or "I could never, ever kill anything." So my initial question, "What do you eat?" Well the answer of course is plants. So again, I ask, how are plants *less* living than animals?
In basic interaction science, there is a visual tool called an energy pyramid that deals with the transfer of energy from one organism to another. At the bottom of the pyramid are plants who receive their energy directly from the sun. The pyramid progresses, showing energy loss, to herbivores, then omnivores, and then carnivores at the top. Therefore, from an energy stand point plants could arguably be *more* alive than animals (including humans). Those of us that work with energy can attest that there is a *lifeforce* in plants. So why is this lifeforce less important than that of animals?
I can only conclude that it is a comfort thing. Plants do not cry, whine, or do cute little animal things. It is easy to *ignore* the fact that they are indeed alive. But this is in fact a delusion. Even science is beginning to provide proof that plants communicate:
Next, I would go on to ask a person providing this arguement for vegetarianism why they are incredulous when a human (humans ARE animals btw people) partakes in the eating of meat, but not when the same is done by the animals they love so much? I can assure you that the beef I eat came to a much nicer end than the antelope taken down by the lioness, or the mouse teased and tortured by your beloved house cat. Are humans now somehow above the cycle of life?
This brings me to my biggest problem with the posts I have encountered, and the reason why I have posted this here on Real Pagans. In addition to being indignant about consuming meat, *many* seem to want to push vegetarianism as a dogma of paganism or Wicca. "How can you condone the killing of innocent animals when you are pagan. Pagans are suppose to be about protecting nature." Ok.. well how about this... I am for protecting the natural balance in nature, and this means the cycle of life, which in turn means consuming meat. Not only is there absolutely no support for the claim that vegetarianism is a component of paganism as a whole or Wicca, paganism has a long history of animal sacrifice.
In addition, I ask these people, do you bathe? Do you take antibiotics? Do you wash you hands? Do you walk on the grass? All of these lead to death. But again, these deaths are easily *ignored.* The *cuteness factor* has been removed. And, again, that's what it really comes down to, your own personal comfort level. YOUR *personal* comfort level.... so do not get indignant when our level is different than yours. My path is about amplifying my connection with the divine energy of the universe, and part of that is recognizing my natural place in the cycle of life, not removing myself from it. Vegetarianism is NOT a pagan concept. Please do not try to sell it as such.
I think that if someone chooses to be a vegatarian- because of health, or whatever reason- so be it! However vegatarianism doesn't make a person a *better* person. In my opinion- what is natural is usually most right. How do we know what nature intends? Look to the past, to our genetics and to changes in them.
Humans, like it or not are not "made to be vegetarians". We have canines- a trait held by carnivore and omnivores. (we also have other traits too- but those are one of the easiest to point out). Can we live without meat- sure... but it isn't exactly "easy".If every human on the planet decided to be a vegatarian today, it would throw the world into disarray. We are a part of the food chain- and although we might not be the "best" part- our peice helps keep balance too.
The only thing I would add to your post is that people can still be concious of thier impact and have compassion towards the foods that sustain them- without needing to be anti-meat. What we are missing today are people who truly understand how thier food goes from "cow" to "beef"- or from "corn" to "corn flakes". If you want to make a difference in how those foods are "treated" make SMART choices by spending a little more on Free Range, Game, or organic foods- IF you can afford it. And if you can't- or your neighbor cant- that doesn't make you or them an evil demon either!