Continuing our discussion concerning mindful eating,* I recently came across this quote from Alisha Little Tree, who occupied a redwood tree to prevent logging:
I stopped being a vegetarian after that tree sit because I connected with that tree so intensely . . . it has really changed my whole reality. Now I'm thinking of beings not as conscious creatures, but as life-force. There's a really strong life-force in all of us, and in this forest in these trees. Connecting to the tree [is like just being,] it's not like you talk to the tree, because it can't hear, but there's this feeling. I don't know how to describe it, [it is], like a deep rootedness, very powerful, not superior to us, but certainly not inferior to us and more primitive or less evolved than us.
~quoted in Dark Green Religion: Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future by Bron Taylor.
Taylor asked Alisha Little Tree about how the experience impacted her eating habits and she replied:
Because I just started to appreciate the incredible life-force in plants . . . and the line between animal and plants blurred. It's all just different forms of life-force.
For Lierre Keith, the change in her habits appears to have been related to becoming aware of various scientific studies that highlighted the consciousness of plants (although she discusses the desire that this information created within her for a direct experience with plants) while, for Alisha Little Tree, the change came about as a result of a direct experience, in nature, of the consciousness of plants. In both cases, the women were willing to accept new information (however received) about the interconnection of everything and to change their behavior based upon the new information. What would you do differently if you were even more vibrantly aware of this interconnection?
I'll suggest that practicing mindfulness and gratitude when purchasing, preparing, eating, and disposing of food can be a transformational spiritual practice. Stopping for a moment to be aware of the sacrifices/gifts involved in the food you are about to consume is a good place to start. What would it mean for you to eat as a sacred act, to eat as a Priestess/Priest? Does any part of your practice involve offering food to the Goddesses, Gods, ancestors?
*I'll repeat that I'm not making any judgments about how or what people eat, nor am I advising any eating regimen. I don't think it's my business to tell other people what to eat. People make choices about food based on a wide variety of personal likes and dislikes, health reasons, ethical decisions, and other factors. I am suggesting that we include more mindfulness and gratitude in our daily eating practices.
Picture found here.