Coming out as non-vegetarian

I EAT meat.

There. I said it. I’m waiting for the lightening bolt. Or the lentil bolt. Or whatever it is all those who take issue with my choice might throw at me.

I’ve always eaten meat. When I don’t, I actually crave it. I am one huge carnivore (because omnivore doesn’t sound quite so dramatic).

Does that mean I don’t care about animals? No. Does it make me less spiritual? I don’t believe so.

Why am I coming out now (and it does feel a bit like that)?

1) because I’m tired of people assuming I’m either vegetarian or vegan, just because I follow a spiritual path and like to meditate.
2) I’ve just had someone attempt to take me to task over double standards (at least I THINK that’s what was being suggested) because I said I would never kill a spider.

For me, there’s a massive difference between eating something raised for that purpose and killing something simply because you don’t like it or are afraid of it. If a cow wandered through my front door, I wouldn’t attempt to squash it, even if I did have a giant fly swat to hand, just as I choose not to kill spiders, flies, moths or any other creatures.

Killing through fear or dislike is, for me, an entirely different matter and can’t be fairly equated with eating meat. And thank goodness, or people would be killing dogs, snakes, cats, bank managers, politicians, Facebook trolls and any other beings people are commonly phobic of without a second thought!

In opting to eat meat, I take care to check where the animal has come from and how it has been treated as much as possible; I shop at my local organic butcher when I can, I won’t buy eggs that are not free range and, out of personal preference, I avoid dairy quite a lot. Why dairy? Let’s just say I’ve spent a fair bit of time behind the scenes when it comes to animal and dairy production and made some personal choices accordingly.

Do I start a moral crusade against anyone I meet who loves to guzzle double cream? No – each of us has free will and we all have to live in a way that works for us.

I’m not perfect, and I don’t claim to be so. My ideals might not meet your ideals and vice versa but, you know what, we all have to share this world, and we all have to live by our own internal compass. Equal doesn’t always mean ‘the same’, just as different doesn’t always mean ‘wrong’.

There’s a massive grey area when it comes to animal meat and by products, and there’s a massive trench of judgement out there. What’s more, many of us are full of dichotomies – me included!

I choose to eat meat. I choose to feel passionately about the welfare of animals bred for their meat, just as I feel passionately about conditions when it comes to wild game, and have pretty strong personal opinions about who, and who should not, be able to hunt those animals and birds, and the need to have some way to ensure that the marksman is a good shot, rather than anyone who happens to be able to afford a gun, a safe to keep it in and a license. I also struggle to understand people who derive pleasure from the taking of life, rather than seeing their chosen ‘sport’ as a job that needs to be done for the greater welfare of the beings in question.

I am totally opposed to the fur trade, yet I have no issue recycling old animal byproducts and rebirthing them as ceremonial/medicine items, where the spirit of that animal might be honoured, just as I have no issue using the skins of deer bred for meat for drums and rattles. It’s about being respectful as possible and, in the event of an animal being bred for its meat (or being culled as part of herd control in the wild), I believe as much of that animal’s remains should be used as possible, so that its life might not have been in vain.

Personally, the issues come when animals aren’t cared for properly, when their living conditions are cramped, unclean or simply cruel, or when care is not taken to ensure end of life is as stress and pain-free as possible. And, for those of us who DO eat meat, this is where we can make a difference, simply by choosing where to buy our meat and asking questions.

And you know what, we could go on and on and on about this. I could harp on about antelope medicine (anyone here read the Sams/Carson Medicine Cards book?) for starters. As an animist, I believe everything has an energy and is, therefore, alive in some way. I remember one of my shamanic teachers – also a meat eater – telling the circle I was working in at the time that we killed a carrot every time we bit into one. Where do we draw the line? Your line might be in a very different place to mine, and I respect that, just as I would hope you’d respect the positioning of mine.

Now, where’s that spider? I’ll just go and ask how she can live with herself for dining on all those flies…

Until next time,

Walk in truth and beauty,


PS: Do feel free to comment, but please let’s not turn this into an argument. I didn’t post this to start a debate, I posted it to answer questions and to point out that things aren’t always as black and white as we’d like them to be. Whether or not you eat meat, dairy or GMO food is really none of my concern; we must all make our own choices in this life and, so long as we’ve educated ourselves fully in making those choices, it’s up to us to live by them.

About Taz Thornton (

Speaker | writer | firewalker | empowerment coach | shamanic artist | mentor | encourager. Debut tome underway for Moon Books. Follow me on Twitter - @TazThornton and find FirechildShamanism and TazThorntonOfficial on Facebook.
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1 Response to Coming out as non-vegetarian

  1. Barbara ( 'B' to friends) says:

    Thank you Taz for sharing that useful and interesting information and for pointing out the ‘respect Pointers’ .
    I’m. Vegetarian and yet I can totally identify with the fact that we are ‘all at liberty to make choices that are right for us as individuals’.
    I recall being invited and going with a vegetarian group for a social meet up and a meal once when Ifirst moved to My local area.
    We had a lovely time a veggie meal in a local pub and some sharing in conversation, however I felt I was being ‘scrutinised ‘ as I had on leather shoes!!
    One of the younger members of the group ‘advised me to ‘avoid letting the young man , ‘deemed as some sort of ‘leader of the group’ , see my shoes as ‘ he would definitely not approve!!

    I entered into a conversation to point out ‘firmly but sensitively’ , that firstly I am ‘my own person,’ and did not exist to ‘people please!, also , (though this was by no means ‘justification for my footwear, ) went on to inform her there was a ‘medical reason why I had to abstain from wearing plastic shoes continuously, ( and suggested she & her ‘leader figures researched on information into the ‘chemicals’ that go into some plastics, including footwear as well as kitchen wear!)

    Needless to say I was pleased I had chosen ‘not to wear my ‘feather earrings,’ bought from a Native American exhibition , and accompanied by a small card explains that the feathers were discarded naturally by the Birds , & therefore incurred ‘no suffering!

    Also needless to say I ‘never joined the group, where in ‘my opinion ,’ judgements and dogma ‘were more important than educating each other on the best veggie recipes or enjoying the sharing together!
    All my children as well as my Husband are meat eaters, I cook meat for Jon ( my Hubby) as do I for friends and family, not to mention our cats and dogs, ( that’s – cook for our pets , not eat them!) Lol!.
    I chose ‘personally to avoid Red meat following battling with Cancer’ , & that was followed through to white meat within six months later! I do eat fish though , ( sometimes frowned upon by some veggie friends) , but again this is their problem , & not mine!

    We all are ‘Born in! therefore ‘All have individual rights to individual choices for ourselves that are ‘comfortable to us’ and as you say Taz, providing we research and do the best we can to remain ‘passionate about the welfare of Animals ‘ – whether bred for food supply , or domestic or Wild animals, then we are moving in the right direction!
    Needless to say here too, ‘Respecting other peoples choices about to eat meat or not is vital!

    If you eat meat ! I’m certainly not going to judge you or try to get you to join me as a Vegetarian! What right do I have to make that demand on anyone else?
    Why that would be as ‘insensitive as my saying I’m on a spiritual Path that ‘You too Must be on’
    And goodness me, we have only to look back in time, and around us now, to recognise where that blinkered attitude leads us to!!

    As for the Spider thing Taz, no I would never dream of killing one, they are ‘the weavers of the web of life ‘ – No , I have a ‘wonderful tool called a bug wand’ bought from Lakeland , with a tube and cap attached to a minute battery in the handle just powerful enough to ‘suck them into the long tube, & place the cap on , which I use to collect one , and release it outside , along with any other trapped bugs butterflies , wasps or bees- £9.99 – marvellous!

    Bright Blessings ‘B’ xx


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