Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

the Ethical Omnivore

It took me longer than I intended to find the time to think about being an Ethical Omnivore. We have CMA festival coming up in two weeks, has more information. But as part of the festival, I signed up to possibly do a workshop on the ethics of being an omnivore.

My diet is pretty light. I eat a lot of grainy breakfasts (oatmeal, a bagel, sometimes cereal) and a lot of meatless lunches (today is “shrimp-flavored” ramen, because grocery day is Friday). Dinner is my main meat meal, and even then it’s usually a small portion of meat with a huge portion of sides.

I grew up with half my plate covered in grilled steak at least 2-3 times a week. I didn’t mind it, until I became a pescatarian (eating only seafood as a meat product) for a few years. After I converted back to eating regularly, I just couldn’t stomach those huge portions of meat anymore. Even favorites like baked chicken are limited to two smaller pieces or one breast (realistic portions compared to my past).

Recently, my spiritual path has been tiptoeing to my plate. That’s where my vegetarian experiment came from, the thought that I should see how much of a difference removing meat really meant to me. I’ve also found myself working with spirit animals more, with respect from animal to animal (because I’m a human animal, not a god). I’ve found that I feel no urge to drop my omnivore habits in order to work with the animals. For example, I didn’t feel any anger or negativity from Cow when I meditated with her; instead, it felt like she was glad someone was reaching out.

I feel like spiritually and ethically it’s necessary to recognize where my foods come from. Not just meats, but plants. All creatures, all things on earth, have energy. When we consume something, we take that energy into ourselves. I gain more from eating meat when I take a moment to recognize the animal it came from.

If I had the skill and time, I’d hunt for my own meats and stock up. I think hunting is a wonderful way to give animals a fair chance at the predator/prey relationship.

Doing research, I’ve come to discover that I’m only small steps from becoming more ethical than I naturally appear to be. Taking time to research my meat sources, finding ways to get hormone-free, free-range foods… I can make a difference for myself and my spirituality.

Part of my research made me think about my recently-crafted spirit pouch and my tails. They’re made from furs, and I’m not sure how the sources treated and processed the animals. I can’t undo buying those furs, but as a pagan I can take the time now to honor Fox and Rabbit and Cow for the sacred materials I use. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s more than nothing.

Becoming an ethical omnivore is far easier than veganism or vegetarianism. It requires more research, but less of a lifestyle change. You still eat the foods you used to eat, but you check where they’re from first. It can even lead to more variety, as you research and discover food sources you didn’t realize you had access to (like a nearby butcher who sells hunted venison during hunting seasons).

I’m going to make efforts to change. I already have the ability to limit my meat intake; now I just have to ensure the meat I *do* eat is ethical by my standards. This is just one more experiment I can sink my teeth into.

Posted in [witchcraft & wonder]

CMA Samhain (one week left!)

It’s time to get excited! YAY!

CMA Samhain will be here in a week. Next Wednesday I’ll be heading down with other early-arrivers to help with the overall setup. We’ll be arranging the vendor’s booths, getting the various stations prepared, and doing any last-minute clearing that needs to be done (we’ve had some stormy weather lately).

Unfortunately, I won’t be having a booth to sell my books. The cost of getting the books, even with my author’s discount, was more than I could handle. I will, however, have order forms for anyone wanting an autographed copy.

And my workshop is officially on Friday, October 16th at 2:30-3:30pm in Brighid’s Crossing. I’m hoping to see a dozen or so people there, but we’ll see.

My profile on Myspace is now open to the public (as opposed to its once locked-down status), so feel free to check it out. Many of my blogs are open to the public and semi-spiritual in nature, and I even have my awesome order form in my pictures.

May the stars sparkle in your night skies!

Posted in [poetry], [writer stuff]

Poetic Musings

I’ve been rereading my own book in order to get some ideas of what I want to do, say, and show during my upcoming workshop. And I have to say, it’s definitely an interesting experience.

Keep in mind that these poems were ripped from my heart. For most of the poems I chose to publish in “Dark-Hearted”, I couldn’t NOT write them out. Think of the most painful, persistent heartburn you’ve ever had… and then imagine the relief your antacid (or whatever cure you use) gives you. That’s how the poems were for me; holding them in hurt so bad it was hard to breathe, but writing them out made the pain subside, at least partly.

Another quirk of rereading my own poetry is thinking of the inspirations. My poetry is organized on my computer in a very specific way: title, date, why it was written, complete poem. I like having a record of everything that made the poems come out. But in “Dark-Hearted”, I selected poems that fit the theme and then organized them by their emotions (anger, sorrow, etc.). I wanted the poems to flow, and I succeeded… but for me, as I read, they’re out of chronological order.

My final poetic musing is that I published less than 25% of the poems I’ve written so far. I’m now trying to decide if I want to publish a second collection, including all of my lighter-themed poetry (and corny middle-school stuff). It’d have to be more autobiographical, in order for some of the poetry to make any sense. And that’s a whole new can of worms.