Vegetarianism

Putting together ones life with the modern world.

Do you keep a vegetarian diet?

 
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Nefastos
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Vegetarianism

Postby Nefastos » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:43 pm

In Finland it seems not to be rare that the spiritual approach goes hand in hand with some tendency towards vegetarianism; maybe a half of the people I know have esoteric interests also keep a vegetarian diet. In some other cultures like India it most likely is much more than that, but on the other hand it seems that in countries like America the tendencies toward vegetarianism seems not to be so common. Or are they?

What are your ideas about vegetarianism? How is it connected to one's spiritual side & occult energies, if at all?

Personally I have been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for eighteen years because of ethical reasons, not occult. But since our bodies are the straight product of what we eat, I think it's pretty safe to assume that our diet also affects our psychological & energetical tendencies in one way or another.
Faust: "Lo contempla. / Ei muove in tortuosa spire / e s'avvicina lento alla nostra volta. / Oh! se non erro, / orme di foco imprime al suol!"
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Jiva
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Jiva » Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:40 pm

Nefastos wrote:In Finland it seems not to be rare that the spiritual approach goes hand in hand with some tendency towards vegetarianism; maybe a half of the people I know have esoteric interests also keep a vegetarian diet. In some other cultures like India it most likely is much more than that, but on the other hand it seems that in countries like America the tendencies toward vegetarianism seems not to be so common. Or are they?
Yeah, I would say you're almost certainly correct here. Every Hindu (and Sikh, I think) I know is a lacto-ovo vegetarian. However, at least from a LHP perspective, Aghoris sometimes eat meat due to its perceived impurity.

In Britain, places have to provide at least one vegetarian option. And as London has everything, there are plenty of vegetarian and vegan restaurants, bars etc. It also looks like I get to the first to make the joke: Hail Seitan! 8-)
Nefastos wrote:What are your ideas about vegetarianism? How is it connected to one's spiritual side & occult energies, if at all?
Personally, I've been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for this year, due to ethical reasons as well. Previously I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian from the ages of 14-18, but started eating meat again after this due to an overwhelming apathy towards pretty much everything. However, I never ate much meat anyway but used fish as a cheap source of protein. I'm too lazy to devote much time to making food; usually I just eat the simplest thing that contains enough carbohydrates and protein e.g. muesli and protein powder.

I think the only psychological consequences of eating meat etc. is related to how one views the killing or exploitation of animals. Obviously if someone isn't comfortable with this but continues to eat meat nonetheless, then there will be negative psychological effects.

Actually, one constant thing that I've been thinking of lately is in relation to this is how I view eating insects. I guess this isn't popular in Finland (or indeed in Europe in general), but the city I live in has a huge immigrant population and so this is available (for the curious, I'd say they generally taste like croutons). I tend not to kill insects unless as a reflex action or if they're seriously affecting me e.g. my ridiculous reaction to mosquito bites :P. However, discussions with Heith and Aquila about shamanic animals and totems, in conjunction with some stuff from Old Norse mythology, made me realise I had some affinity with insects.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Heith
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Heith » Mon Oct 27, 2014 5:03 pm

Jiva wrote:However, discussions with Heith and Aquila about shamanic animals and totems, in conjunction with some stuff from Old Norse mythology, made me realise I had some affinity with insects.
How interesting! Would you care to specify?

I am also a lacto-ovo vegetarian. When I started some 16 years ago I also ate fish but that I dropped perhaps 6 or 8 years ago. I have been considering becoming a vegan lately, but as it looks like I will be moving next to a small dairy farm I would like to check them out and to buy milk straight from them. I like to support local production.

I'm a vegetarian for ethical & health options as well, but I do believe that what I eat affects also my energetic way of being and thus helps or hinders my occult studies. When I eat healthy food I stay in better shape and can work.

I hate wasting food, especially meat and such. So I may make the rare exception to my diet if I am in a situation where the food is prepared beforehand and it will be thrown away if not eaten. I try and take these moments as spiritual opportunities. I spend time contemplating the animal/s that have been prepared to be my food by thanking them, and try and picture them in my mind as vividly as possible. Sometimes I have also eaten things that were certainly impure, because it felt like a spiritual practice that I should try. So I am not easily repulsed by things.

I should do this kind of contemplation with everything that I eat, really. But I'm a little bit like Jiva in this sense, I don't spend time cooking and can even go hungry rather than fix anything to eat. Although the latter is generally a kind of self- prescribed punishment for when I feel that I haven't worked hard or well enough.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Cancer » Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:36 pm

I've been a vegetarian for about five years, due to ethical reasons as well. Among the people I mostly deal with (young, living in Helsinki) it's quite common also without any spiritual motivation, which I didn't initially have either. I just found the meat industry disgusting, as I still do. Raising animals in horrible conditions solely to kill and eat them seems to me like creating pointless suffering for its own sake. (And now that I come to think of it, isn't this precisely a "spiritual motivation"?)

Considering how common vegetarianism has become, it's surprising how strongly some people still react when the subject is brought up. It's almost like talking about religion or politics. People make jokes about vegetarians trying to be saints etc. but beneath the surface there is real tension. This might be partially because vegetarianism is sometimes seen, at least in Finland, as a question of "class" - something for the educated only - but I believe it's more because of real ethical distress. It's such an unsettling thought that we are indirectly, but very really, responsible for the suffering of countless innocent beings, and I'm not talking only about animals that get eaten, but also about people in poor countries who work sixteen hours a day to produce smartphones and cheap clothes for us westerners etc. etc. It's a huge cliche I know, but it's that because it's true. I think ex fra. Lux put it well in a conversation on the Finnish forum: if the illusion of temporal and spatial distance disappeared, everyone of us would be sitting on a throne made of skulls.

So I do not think that one becomes a better person just by being a vegetarian, or that eating meat automatically makes one worse. It's not the individuals fault that our culture is so selfish. The individual can certainly try to make it less so with his/her choices, but I'm not eager to blame anyone who feels that it's useless, as I've myself sometimes felt so hopeless in the face of all this absurd suffering, that is, on the most abstract level, inherently a part of existence as such, not just our culture. Vegetarianism can be an abstract statement against this suffering, but in practice it's impact is depressingly small.

Never the less: Hail Seitan from me also. :D
Tiden läker inga sår.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Insanus » Tue Oct 28, 2014 5:45 pm

Heith wrote:I hate wasting food, especially meat and such. So I may make the rare exception to my diet if I am in a situation where the food is prepared beforehand and it will be thrown away if not eaten. I try and take these moments as spiritual opportunities. I spend time contemplating the animal/s that have been prepared to be my food by thanking them, and try and picture them in my mind as vividly as possible. Sometimes I have also eaten things that were certainly impure, because it felt like a spiritual practice that I should try. So I am not easily repulsed by things.
Sums up my feelings about the subject.
Basically I don't BUY meat, but might eat it in some conditions, for example in a case where it's specifically prepared for me or rots if someone doesn't eat it.
Cancer wrote: Vegetarianism can be an abstract statement against this suffering, but in practice it's impact is depressingly small.
Absolutely, but abstract statements understood are far more powerful (and in larger scales: also more practical) than practical actions for many reasons.
Myrkky sattuu siihen jolla on haava.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Kenazis » Wed Oct 29, 2014 8:55 am

I'm also lacto-ovo vegetarian. There's much been said already, so I feel that I have little to offer. First I dropped out the mammals (about 5 years ago), then birds (about 3 years ago). Fish has been on my menu, but now Iive dropped it out (might eat if someone is serving it and so forth...for a while). Use of eggs and milk-products is decreasing all the time. I have been drinking milk for all my life, but dropped that out totally also about year ago.

My reasons to this diet is ethical, health and ecological. In this order. Every meat for me indicates unnnecessary violence (in our culture). I see eating meat for survival very differently than eating meat for habit and "sensepleasure". Also I'm very aware of what I eat, and I'm always trying to increase the quality of food that decreases the quantity needed. Ecological aspect is the area I'm least interested. One main reason to this dis-interest is that if your nutrition is healthy and ethical, it is ecological.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Kenazis » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:47 am

Kenazis wrote:One main reason to this dis-interest is that if your nutrition is healthy and ethical, it is ecological.
Also I see that to "save the world" from being destroyed, much bigger choises must be done. I'm optimistic, but same time many scientists etc. are saying that the line has been crossed allready.
"In darkness let me dwell, The ground shall sorrow be..."
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Jiva
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Jiva » Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:19 pm

Heith wrote:
Jiva wrote:However, discussions with Heith and Aquila about shamanic animals and totems, in conjunction with some stuff from Old Norse mythology, made me realise I had some affinity with insects.
How interesting! Would you care to specify?
I answered in the 'Animal Symbolism' thread as I realised I'd previously mentioned a bit about insects there.
Heith wrote:I hate wasting food, especially meat and such. So I may make the rare exception to my diet if I am in a situation where the food is prepared beforehand and it will be thrown away if not eaten. I try and take these moments as spiritual opportunities. I spend time contemplating the animal/s that have been prepared to be my food by thanking them, and try and picture them in my mind as vividly as possible. Sometimes I have also eaten things that were certainly impure, because it felt like a spiritual practice that I should try. So I am not easily repulsed by things.
Hmmm... I sometimes think of doing this, but then I'd probably start trying to manufacture situations where I'd get to eat meat. Plus, I know friends would start to offer me pre-cooked meat they keep in the fridge. However, I do something similar on a retroactive basis if I've accidentally eaten meat e.g. someone's cooked something with a meat Oxo cube in or I've eaten some sweets with gelatin in. Same with leather items of clothing I already own.
'Oh Krishna, restless and overpowering, this mind is overwhelmingly strong; I think we might as easily gain control over the wind as over this.'
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Cancer » Wed Oct 29, 2014 10:10 pm

Insanus wrote:
Cancer wrote: Vegetarianism can be an abstract statement against this suffering, but in practice it's impact is depressingly small.
Absolutely, but abstract statements understood are far more powerful (and in larger scales: also more practical) than practical actions for many reasons.
When writing this, I knew with 100% certainty that you would come to say precisely that. :D

And I agree. I also would like to add that there are no separate "practical" and "abstract" actions: there is that which happens in practice, and the idea that the action symbolizes. And the latter almost always has more of an impact in form of reactions for or against the idea. I know that by not eating meat I haven't saved one single animal from being killed, but I hope that my choice will make it easier for other people to do the same. The depressing thing is that suffering itself is not abstract. I can't just stop feeling bad about all the suffering that takes place RIGHT NOW regardless of any abstract statements.
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Re: Vegetarianism

Postby Heith » Thu Oct 30, 2014 11:06 am

Jiva wrote: Hmmm... I sometimes think of doing this, but then I'd probably start trying to manufacture situations where I'd get to eat meat. Plus, I know friends would start to offer me pre-cooked meat they keep in the fridge. However, I do something similar on a retroactive basis if I've accidentally eaten meat e.g. someone's cooked something with a meat Oxo cube in or I've eaten some sweets with gelatin in. Same with leather items of clothing I already own.
To me the taste of meat has lot its charm years ago. I never really liked it very much if I recall correctly. It was just something one got used to eating as a kid. But taste is not so important a sense to me personally and I would even say my sense of taste is somewhat weaker than most people, even if I am not a smoker.

As to leather (which sides the topic), I do wear leather hiking shoes for example. I think it is a better option than other kind of shoes that would break all the time, adding to the pile of waste. I think there will always be people who eat meat, and then there will be leather. That is alright- it's just the way of production & animal treatment in today's world that is not alright. It's also that we have too much animal products readily available, so we don't respect it anymore.

With good care, my shoes might still be with me ten years from now. I am not very interested of clothes and get new ones reluctantly, I just want things that are functional and will last a long time. I like making my own if possible, or ask a friend to do so- clothes from shops are poorly made and of rather bad materials which break or don't breathe.

I also work leather which I get from friends and relatives in the form of old clothes and such. In the same way I acquire fur from time to time- or by skinning the occasional freshly dead I find. With second-hand fur I often find it necessary to perform a ritual before I can use it to anything. Same prior to skinning. Otherwise, the animal lingers and in the case of fur farm product, it's a very negative feeling.

But these are just my typical delusions as an animist.

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