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Gratitude for the Gift of Life - Essay Example

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While many may face an ethical dilemma eating meat, at the heart of the matter is biology, spirituality, and generosity, animals willingly share their flesh so that all may live. From a physiological standpoint humans are omnivores. We eat animals and we eat plants…
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Gratitude for the Gift of Life
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Download file to see previous pages A unique aspect of the kingdom Animalia is that we cannot produce our own food and we all must eat other organisms in order to survive. Animals have an instinctive knowing about this phenomenon. We share an intimate relationship with each other as the eaters and the eaten. Animals are intelligent creatures. They are aware of their particular part in the human food chain. Animals make the ultimate gift of their flesh to us, just as all creatures must eventually give away their earthly vessel to someone else. Even humans must succumb to death and give their flesh to the earth itself to nourish the soil and feed the plants. Humans feed the parasites and micro-organisms which consume them posthumously. We must change our perspective on animals. They are not dumb and they are certainly not helpless victims. Animals and humans have engaged in a symbiotic relationship for eons. That relationship is not for anyone to judge, though it is worth investigating.
About 80 years ago, a dentist by the name of Weston Price visited pre-westernized indigenous cultures around the globe to study their diets. Wherever he visited, he found that people were eating animals as food in the same manner as their ancestors before them had done for many generations. Together the humans and animals formed a sustainable chain of life. Dr. Price found that there was a direct correlation between meat eating and physical health. The more meat that was eaten by any particular society the healthier the population. One group in particular, the Masai warriors of the Kalahari Desert in Africa live on a diet consisting almost exclusively of fresh cow's blood, milk, and beef. A symbiotic relationship exists between the cows and the Masai, otherwise known as the "lion people". Cows are treated as if they were part of the family. Masai warriors constantly protect the herd of cows from all predators, 24 hours per day and 365 days per year. In return the cows provide food for the Masai people. Both species have lived peacefully together for countless generations. Cows are an esteemed part of Masai society. The generous Masai gifted the United States with several head of cattle after they found out about the World Trade Center disaster. It is interesting to note that there is a neighboring tribe to the Masai who practice something close to vegetarianism. These nearby villagers eat a diet high in plant protein. The Masai warriors have dominated these people for a very long time since they cannot match the physical prowess of the meat-eaters.
Closer to home, the American Indians possessed a deep spiritual relationship with the buffalo. The "White Buffalo Calf Woman" is a special being from the buffalo nation who is the recipient of much thanks and honor in Native American society. She has granted many gifts to the human species besides physical nourishment. Yet that should not diminish the flesh offering from this species. Only by hunting and eating buffalo were the Indians able to survive during the pre-industrial age in North America. The buffalo benefitted from this as well. Human involvement kept the buffalo from over-population which would have thrown the entire ecosystem out of balance. The land has a carrying capacity for any particular species and too many buffalo would cause stress on the environment. The ecosystem is like a finely tuned homeostatic ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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