Last week I ate Meat after almost 20yrs.
And I’m eating it again tonight.
It has been a very very conscious decision.
In fact, preparing an organic chicken for my first meat meal was one of the most ‘present’ moments I have ever been in whilst cooking, preparing and eating food.
This was not a quick decision.
It has taken some time to come to this and also to get my head around.
I grew up being a meat eater and never had any issues with eating it. We were very much a meat and 3 vege family but also expanded our food source outside of the supermarket.
My step father used to go pig hunting and would bring home a full size boar in which we would prepare a Hāngi to cook it. And we would eat the lot. Every weird bit of it.
We also lived across a dirt road from Lake Macquarie and as a child I would collect cockles, eat oysters off the rocks and my brother and step father would catch blue swimmer crabs, octopuses, abalones and boo boos. Including catching fish.
So let’s go back 20 years ago to why I chose to eliminate meat (beef, chicken, pork and game) from my diet.
In my early 20’s I started questioning the meat industry and how, as a society, we had become very disconnected to the whole process of where our food came from. Especially meat.
I also started reading books on how reframing from eating meat was a good environmental choice.
At the time there was no internet.
No organic butchers.
No sustainable produce (that I was aware of).
And so I relied on magazines and books to gain my knowledge.
Part of my belief was…
‘What gives me the right to eat beef, pig or chicken if I couldn’t possibly kill one?’
And, of course, I love animals.
And so I stopped eating them.
I continued to eat fish because I knew from my upbringing I could kill and eat a fish, I could crack open an oyster shell and throw a few cockles on hot coals and eat them.
And so I eliminated meat thinking I was contributing to a better environment, better health and without too much more consideration for almost 20 yrs…. until last week.
But why did I change my mind?
And how did I come to this transition period?
My first moment of wanting to eat meat was when I was pregnant with our 2nd child. I had bought a roast chicken from the supermarket for Harry (partner) and Orlando (1st child) and when I brought it out of the shopping bag still hot and smelling of cooked chicken, my body leaned in and my mouth started salivating.
The feeling was so strong, I almost reached in with my fingers to rip off a bit of flesh and shove it in my mouth. But I didn’t.
I thought… ‘Bloody hormones, bloody weird pregnancy cravings.‘
And I brushed it off.
Just over a year ago I became sick.
Mainly my gut became sick.
So much so, I was rushed to hospital in an ambulance because they thought I was on the verge of having a heart attack. My god that was one of the most scariest times of my life.
Thankfully, I wasn’t having a heart attack. It was very bad reflux which had come on suddenly under a lot of stress I had in my life at the time.
Both this event and my gut being unwell triggered quite extreme anxiety for me. It was so extreme that I had to will myself to walk from one room to the other. It would come and go and I would be filled with dread.
Little did I know at the time that physiologically your gut health is related to your mind and visa versa; both are intertwined. I knew this on an energetic level but didn’t realise it was actual medical knowledge.
More info about the brain and gut health connection by Dr Mercola >>
Though I had doctors suggest I try meditation to help ease the anxiety and then laughed at me when I told them that I was a meditation facilitator.
It didn’t matter what I tried to do to ease the anxiety with mindfulness or meditation it wouldn’t ease, mainly because my gut was still very sore, inflamed, bloated and painful.
I have had many trips to doctors, specialists, naturopaths, acupuncturists and blood tests to get to the bottom what is going on.
I’ve eliminated gluten, sugar, yeast, dairy and fruit.
And I found out… I was one point away from being anaemic, extremely low in zinc which is needed for digestion and was B12 and Vit D deficient.
With such low vitamin and mineral count and also the elimination of the foods above, I wondered how I was going improve my health and not lose more nutrients?
If my gut was unwell and not absorbing, how could it heal on such a limited diet longterm?
And I also knew that in my current state, I was not thriving. Whatever I was doing, was not sustaining me or my health. And something had to change.
I also believed that, even though supplements are great in improving health when required and needed, I don’t believe that I should be on artificial vitamins and minerals longterm to maintain my health if I don’t have to.
I can’t say that my poor digestion or nutrients are a result of not eating meat. In fact, I still don’t know why I’m still unwell as have more tests to go.
But one thing I had researched is, how beneficial bone broth is to help heal the gut and improve digestion and overall health.
More info on the benefits of bone broth >>
And so this was the catalyst of returning to eating meat.
But my head just couldn’t grasp the concept. You know, because it had been 20 years! That’s a long time.
A long time to set my beliefs. A long time to follow a choice that I thought was a choice for life.
So every now and then, I would contemplate what it would be like to go back to it again.
I knew that if I did return to eating meat I would have to ritualise it in some way. It would have to be organic, ethically and sustainably sourced. But it was still a head f*ck.
And I couldn’t seem to get past the basic act of eating meat even though it may be something that could improve my health. And right now, my health is my priority.
I started to address my nutrient problems by supplementing iron, B12, Vit D, zinc and drinking an intestinal healing supplement. I stuck to my strict diet, followed Chinese 5 Element theory, had regular acupuncture and I started to improve.
Though not fully, not completely, just less pain and uncomfortableness.
So my focus again went towards meat and bone broth again.
And a few things occurred to make me open up to the possibility of introducing meat into my diet again…
It involved 3 things.
- A fish.
- An owl.
- And a chicken.
I hadn’t made any decision to eat meat at this stage.
It was the school holidays and it was ‘Orlando and Mummy day’ and so I asked him what he wanted to do for the day.
‘Fishing!’ was his reply.
Ever since his school took him on a fishing day in Kindergarten he was hooked. Though Harry, being a city boy, had never fished and so it was left up to me to take him.
I was a bit dubious because even though I ate fish, I hadn’t been fishing in a longtime and wasn’t sure how I felt about catching a fish anymore.
I hadn’t actually had to think about it.
I was just doing what I did – eat fish – because that’s just what I had decided all those years ago.
So putting my Spiritual hat on, I decided to leave it in the hands of Water Spirit and the collective fish consciousness.
I took on a practice that I have done many times for different situations. One that I also use for making my own flower essences.
Prior to leaving the home I would put the call out and say “Hey, I’m on my way to make up a flower essence. Which ever essence needs to come forth please show me the way” – and in doing so the consciousness of that flower will respond.
When I arrive at the destination the flower almost calls you, to choose it for the essence. And so it is with this intention that the flower had chosen to be picked for the essence.
So I decided to put the call out….
“Ok Universe, Water Spirit and Fish, I don’t know how I feel about fishing anymore. I don’t know if it feels ok. But also, I’m putting the call out that if you chose to participate, we are going fishing, we will throw you back in if you chose to jump on the hook.”
And then I just trusted whatever would happen at least I had consciously ask and made it clear our intentions, the rest was up to the Universe, Water Spirit and Fish.
Now the times I had gone fishing in the past, the biggest fish I had personally caught would have been maybe 10cm, quite small or like a little token.
Orlando and I had made the decision we would only go out for an hour. The full hour was almost up and we had just a few nibbles in that time, and I had said ‘OK, just 5 more cast-offs and we’ll go’.
And guess what happened on the 4th cast-off?
We caught a fish!
And not just any tiny little fish but a bit of a whooper. It was at least 40cm long… a species called Long Tom.
We got the fish off the line, was a little gobsmacked that we actually caught anything, let alone anything that big, and thanked the fish.
We soon left, washed our hands in the lake, thanked Water Spirit and Fish and was greeted by Stingray in the shallows. I felt Stingray was there as a Spirit symbol for us and a message in regards to stepping onto this path.
Stingray – He is letting you know that everything is now in place. You have the knowledge, you have the means, you have the tools and you have the skills – now get busy and get on with it. Everything you have worked toward is open to you so stop hesitating. Have faith in your abilities and follow your inner guidance.
Alternatively Stingray is asking you to stay on course and keep moving forward. Don’t allow distractions or drama to sway you from your journey. Do not be afraid to protect your own path.
And Wow. We actually caught a fish!
Did that fish have a choice in this activity?
My illness decided to take a turn for the worse and I had my Skype appointment with my Intuitive Business Mentor and friend Nicole Rowan Holt. I was going to cancel because I was in so much pain and discomfort but decided to continue because I wanted to get some answers as my health was definitely having a huge impact on my business.
And so we went into circle and meditation and called in my Spirit Guide and Owl, who had made an appearance earlier on.
Owl came and sat on my shoulder and we asked, “Tell me what I need to know about eating meat and slaughtering animals?”
Owl then showed me that she actually had a rat in her talons. There was no shame or guilt with her having to kill the rat for her food. It just was.
I asked, “How does it feel about eating your prey?”
And the answer I received was… that there is an agreement within all the animal kingdom.
They know that Rat feeds Owl. Zebra feeds Lion. Lizard feeds Snake. Ant feeds Echidna. And it goes on throughout the whole kingdom and cycle.
They just know. And there is a contract; an agreement. It’s just the way it is.
And so we went deeper into this. And approached the spirit of farm animals.
We bought in the word ‘slaughter’ and asked Cow, “How do you feel to be slaughtered and eaten?”
The cow was happy in her moment. She didn’t respond. Did she understand my question?
And we realised that maybe Cow didn’t see her destiny as being slaughtered.
So we asked another way. ‘How do you feel about serving and giving your life?’
And Cow responded, “It’s just what we do”
And when questioned, “What else do I need to learn?”
She replied, “Just to give thanks.”
I went to the other farm animals and each was the same except for Chicken.
Chicken was busy and had a very protective ‘mother’ energy with her. And I asked her the same questions. Except this time Chicken had a few conditions placed around her acceptance of serving. “As long as I can give life first, then I am happy to give my life”.
Ahhhh ok so her mother energy was to be able to give life, to keep the cycle going and to produce.
I questioned how am I supposed to know whether a chicken has produced life?? And Nicole quite quickly reminded me of Fish.
Put the call out. Put to call out to which chicken would be happy to gift itself for me to eat.
And the energy and lesson that came from this session was of ‘life nourishes life’.
I then went back to my Spirit Guides who are currently Australian Aboriginal Spirits.
I have a very deep respect for indigenous culture and ancient wisdom and asked if he had any message to provide around eating meat. He then showed me a cooked kangaroo in front of us as he started feeding his people with the meat. Handing it out to nourish his family.
He then very strongly and instantly knelt down eye to eye with a kangaroo, moving his finger back and forth between his eyes and the kangaroo’s eyes and said, “We are one”.
There is no separation.
It’s just life nourishing life. There is no separation between it all. That’s our oneness.
Nicole then channelled “It’s the ‘Meating Place’ where we form physical union”.
It’s the union of the physical oneness.
It’s the ‘receiving’.
It’s the cycle of life – of life nourishing life – there are no boundaries between us.
It’s actually an honour and privilege to be gifted a life to nourish our own life and families.
So I decided that chicken was going to be my first meat meal after 20 years. I would not only cook it for a dinner but also use the bones for my first bone broth. And thought I would check out the local supermarket for organic, free range produce. So I put the call out to the Universe and Chicken before leaving the house and asked for a happy, healthy chicken that had given life.
The only whole chicken that came close to being sustainable and organic was a free range chicken. I picked it up and thought “Wow, they are smaller than I remember them” and looked at the packaging.
Immediately I heard a “I haven’t had babies yet!”
OMG the chicken just talked to me!
I apologised and put the chicken back. I found it a little disturbing to be honest and I started to question whether I wanted to proceed and follow this change in food preference.
It took me a few days to look into this again but with my gut starting to become painful again, I felt I needed to at least give it a second look.
I went to a local organic grocery store and cafe which sold organic meats and when I arrived there was one whole chicken left in the fridge. I think I was in the store for at least 20 mins (its not a huge store) before I got the courage to tune in to the energy of the chicken.
But when I did, wow what a difference. Before even looking at the label I tuned in and felt a very peaceful and content energy. Something I didn’t think I would feel.
This was totally something new to me. I don’t know what I was expecting but I know I didn’t expect ‘peaceful’.
And it was this energy that led me to picking up the chicken and taking it home. The chicken was big and felt healthy and solid. And the label told me that it was sustainable, organic, free range and allowed to live to maturity. (This is the chicken I buy >>)
That night, I prepared the chicken for cooking and feeding myself and my family.
I have to say, it was one of the most ‘present’ processes in cooking and eating I have been in. (and I used to teach mindful eating in my mediation classes) This was a whole new ball game.
Before I decided to eat the chicken that night I went into circle and meditated with my Spirit Guide asking if there was anything else he wanted me to know about eating meat again or honouring the process.
Then he did something I was totally not expecting…
He started to get ‘fresh’ with me. He started to kiss my neck, admire my body, and passionately kiss me.
What was this?
And then I realised he wanted me to eat this chicken and meat with passion!
Not with guilt, but with pleasure!
As it was such an honour to eat meat, that to eat it with love, admiration and passion was to actually honour and appreciate the animal.
And so that night I sat down for the first time to eat meat with my family.
Harry, my partner was trying his best not to watch me as I took my first bite of the roast chicken.
And I ate it.
And my body remembered it. The taste, the texture and the juice.
And so I picked up the drumstick and ate the chicken with passion. Licking my fingers after and thanking Chicken for serving me and my family – for life nourishing life.
And it was delicious, filling and fulfilling.
A few hours after dinner, Harry came to me and said, “I’m really proud of you.”
At first I thought it was because I had become a meat eater like him.
But then he said, “It shows that what you have done today, you have the ability to be flexible within different paradigms.” Oh wow. ok. Thank you.
And so here I am today, slowly and consciously reintroducing meat into my life, my body and my energy.
I am still processing and being very deliberate and conscious with what I eat, how I chose it and how the meat is prepared.
I have actually taken much joy in the process of tuning into the energy of the animal, preparing and cooking it with gratitude and being able to use the whole of a chicken, especially in regards to making bone broth. And I feel like I am providing my family with whole conscious cooking and healthier food.
Though I was a little bit wary of sharing this story for a few different reasons.
- My vegan and vegetarian friends may not like me any more.
- I would look like a hypocrite
- People would judge me and look at the inconsistencies in my belief.
- That it’s a little woo woo and a bit weird talking to dead chickens.
- That it wasn’t important or relevant in my work.
But something changed my mind to complete and hit publish on this post.
A few days ago I posted a picture on IG and FB of my newly purchased Pete Evans “Going Paleo’ book. I feel it provides great information on how to make bone broth, as well as healing the gut.
The feedback was mostly supportive though there was one comment that stuck out and which really allowed me to expand my awareness further…
“Oh , please try plant based eating. Think of the animals. From a spiritual point of view eating animals is not good karma”. (this comment has since been taken off my FB page, not because I didn’t like it, but because I don’t believe the person who wrote it needs to be identified. I’m purely using this quote to highlight how my awareness expanded again)
Little did this person know that I had been predominantly plant based eating for 20 years and for me personally, I felt like it was glaringly obvious my body wasn’t thriving. Something had to change even after all the supplements, ensuring I eating non-allergy foods, seeing naturopaths and acupuncturists and all the healings and clearings I was personally doing.
The quote also triggered the ‘spiritual’ aspect in me. As this was my belief on some level. That even though I didn’t judge people who ate meat, after all my children and partner ate it, I had placed a personal belief on animals.
And then I realised, (as my beliefs also aligned with and honoured a lot of indigenous cultures) that most indigenous cultures ate meat that was sustainable and with spiritual awareness and respect. I believe these cultures are highly spiritual and ancient in their connection to spirit. If that quote was true – ‘it’s bad karma’ – how could indigenous cultures have got it wrong for so many centuries?
I googled some websites and came across some information about the different spiritual beliefs and practices with hunting, cooking and eating meat within the Australian Aboriginal communities and this is what I found…
In some communities only women were allowed to prepare and cook meat, whilst in another community, only the men were allowed.
In some communities only women were allowed to hunt and in others only men were allowed.
In other communities men and women ate separately and whilst in others they ate together.
I hadn’t even considered the differences within each community. I hadn’t considered that within cultures and spiritual beliefs there are subcultures and sub-spirituality.
And thats it’s ok. It doesn’t make it more or less spiritual or relevant.
And that there is really only one truth….
And that is…
What your truth is… is truth.
In that moment in time. Either for your lifetime or for a short time.
When you follow your truth, it is truth. But it certainly, most probably, not be the truth for everyone, within every paradigm or every plane of existence.
So for now, for this time, this is my truth.
Nothing is permanent.
Everything is open to change.
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