Monday, February 16, 2009

further thoughts on post-vegetatianism

"...I can't claim I felt emotionally neutral as I took these creatures in my hands, my fingers registering downy softness and a vulnerable heartbeat. I felt maternal, while at the same time looking straight down the pipe toward the purpose of this enterprise. These babies were not pets. I know this is a controversial point, but in our family we'd decided if we meant to eat anything, meat included, we'd be more responsible tenants of our food chain if we could participate in the steps that bring it to the table. We already knew a lot of dying went into our living: the animals, the plants in our garden, the beetles we pull off our bean vines and crunch underfoot, the weeds we rip off the potato hills. Plants have the karmic advantage of creating their own food out of pure air and sunlight, whereas we animals, lacking green chlorophyll in our skin, must eat something some formerly living things every single day. You can leave the killing to others and pretend it never happened, or you can look it in the eye and know it. I would never presume to make that call for anyone else, but for ourselves we'd settled on a strategy of giving our food a good life until it was good on the table..."

-barbara kingsolver in animal, vegetable, miracle

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