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I was a vegetarian for seven years. I loved it. I believed it was a superior choice for my health and the moral repugnance of killing of animals, stealing their eggs or imprisoning them for their milk outweighed any benefits that I might derive from eating animal foods. Gradually new information and experiences have led me to resume eating animal foods.
Morally I find that having greater health and vitality with which to serve my family and society means so much to me that I am willing to take the lives of animal to further that. But I do not like killing animals and therefore I aspire to return to vegetarianism. I do not do so because I doubt I am presently skilled enough to sustain my level of aliveness without animal foods.
I no longer believe vegetarianism is a superior choice for my health. The research of Weston Price seems to offer irrefutable evidence that human beings eating a diet abundant in animal products can sustain not merely good health, but impeccable health, better than any vegetarian society has ever demonstrated.
Health destroying residues of pesticides, antibiotics and hormones are not inherent in animal foods anymore than they are in plants. Both animals and plants when raised in violation of natural law are going to produce illness and suffering in those who feed on them.
Personally, I find that by eating animal products I reduce my cravings for sweets and carbohydrates, my energy is greater, I am stronger, have better endurance and my moods are more stable. I have less gas, the taste of my mouth is more pleasant and I get far fewer colds and sore throats.
My personal experience is confirmed in observing thousands of patients over 25 years. In my practice I see many vegetarians damaged by over consumption of carbohydrates. This occurs because animal foods are our richest source of nutrients and therefore quite satiating. When a person omits these nutrient dense animal foods they will often turn to inferior foods for satiation and nourishment. Unskillful vegetarians satiate their cravings by eating large amounts of bread, baked goods, pasta and beans. Eating complex carbohydrates in excess stimulates a craving for sweets which they indulge in the form of honey, maple syrup and so called “health food” candy, pastries and sodas. A sense of fullness is also obtained by eating inferior sources of fats and oils such as peanut butter, roasted nuts, cheese and cheese substitutes, “natural” chips, fried foods and vegetable oils.
Vegetarianism done unintelligently and self indulgently causes men to grow thin, weak, spacey and passive.
Women become overweight, tired, depressed and moody.
Conversely, the unintelligent overindulgence of animal foods, often accompanied by excesses of fat, coffee, alcohol and salty foods, contributes to becoming a thin, tense, overactive, aggressive and competitive individual driven by anxiety.
Intelligence and kindness are what heal us and these qualities can inform and inspire our every choice in eating. A person who lovingly masters their desire for sweets, coffee, alcohol, salt, oils, who eats generous portions of salads, vegetables, fruit and some nuts and especially does not overeat will fare quite well, though perhaps not optimally, with or without animal foods.
My recommendations of the amount of animal foods a person should eat is unique for every individual and varies from none at all to three times a day. Most sick people have damaged their ability to metabolize one or all of the following: starch, sugar, protein or oil. Therefore they must limit or avoid these foods for periods that vary from weeks to a lifetime. I do not arbitrarily decide this. I try to understand the body’s needs by paying close attention to its responses to “feeding experiments” which I design.
Most of my clients, vegetarian or not, are not yet skillful in listening for and understanding their body’s messages. I try to teach them how to obtain the answers to their nutritional questions directly from their own experience. My own guidance for eating now comes minimally from books and the ideas of others and more directly from my own experience and intuition.
Vegetarianism continues to call to me. I believe that it may calm my mind by lessening the grip of fear, greed and anger thereby allowing me to concentrate and meditate more deeply. At the same time I am unwilling to decrease the energy and aliveness that I enjoy and invest in service to my family, friends and society. I still feel sadness and some shame that I contribute to the death and suffering of animals. For now I strive to use my sadness and shame to strengthen my commitment to transform their sacrifice into action that blesses the whole.
I would not raise a child as a vegetarian yet I hope to return to being a vegetarian myself. I see it as something I must earn both by becoming more self controlled in my eating but more importantly by becoming more skillful in energizing and healing myself directly through the power of my intention so that I will be able to sustain an even greater level of Health and service without the need of animal foods.
Vegetarianism remains for me an important question in my quest to embody Healing. I am trying to live this question honestly and share my experience respectfully.