An Impediment to Our Spiritual Evolution

Garfish, Dominica, W.I. Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

Garfish, Dominica, W.I. Copyright 2008 by Blair Atherton

Nature is an all pervasive spirit of love and beauty that fills and nurtures all things. All living things are her offspring and each is loved equally by her. So too, all of her children should love one another to the same degree and without prejudice or favoritism.

Last week’s article on spirituality and nature raises issues about how we view and treat animals. These matters derive in part from the statement “If all things are a part of God, then all things are sacred and demand our reverence, respect, compassion, and protection.”

I believe that animals are at a higher level of consciousness than we may think. Each has its place and role in the spiritual ecology of our world. Animals have as much right to life and freedom as we.

As noted last week, it is our arrogance and self serving nature that leads us to view animals as inferior and/or as food items put here for our consumption. I believe deep inside of me that it is wrong to raise animals for food. For me, it is a fundamental spiritual truth that compelled me to become a vegetarian.

Like any wrong, raising animals in large numbers for food has consequences. Negative impacts on the environment like pollution and global warming are a few examples of the consequential damages of the meat industry (for more details see the author’s note below). There is also a huge toll on the spiritual progression of those who eat meat, support the farming of animals for food, or otherwise refuse to believe that animal life is as precious as human life.

Animals raised for food must endure a great deal of fear, pain, and suffering inflicted by the cultivation and slaughter process. Generally, we don’t want to know much about how livestock are treated and slaughtered because we don’t want to feel guilty about supporting such practices by consuming meat. We know it is wrong, but we do not want to give up our favorite foods. We have come to love the smell of burning flesh and the taste of blood. Would you give up meat if it would save the planet, or if it would remove a major impediment to your reaching new heights of spiritual awareness?

We try to rationalize our choice by saying that if we give up all meat, it will have no measurable effect on the meat industry or the environment. We tell ourselves that one person cannot change the world.

But this misses the point. The world is changed by one person at a time by doing what is right without regard to what others think or do. As more and more people act on their conscience, the next thing you know, changes can be seen, and over time the world is transformed.

One may argue that man has been killing animals for food since time immemorial. But man also has an equally long history of brutality and little regard for human life as well. However, through the ages, humanity as a whole has progressed in its spiritual evolution and now the brutality and large scale killing of humans is primarily reduced to relatively small groups of religious extremists, dictatorial governments, and fanatic groups.

As a race our spiritual awareness has reached the point where we have come to understand that killing each other is wrong. The next step in our spiritual evolution is to recognize that killing animals is wrong too.

Author’s comment:

I urge everyone to read one or more of the following short articles that summarize the environmental impacts of the livestock industry.

http://www.vegetariantimes.com/article/the-environmental-impact-of-a-meat-based-diet/

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/interviews/pollan.html

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=meat-and-environment

http://woods.stanford.edu/environmental-venture-projects/consequences-increased-global-meat-consumption-global-environment

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5 comments on “An Impediment to Our Spiritual Evolution

  1. Alma says:

    This is just my personal, somewhat random train of thought again :)……

    But there is a vein of New Age Spiritualism that believes a few basic premises: 1. We are all one. By “we,” I mean anything and everything – humans, animals, plants, material, immaterial – you name it. 2. Everything is energy.

    Therefore, if you believe that everything is comprised of energy, which would make everything one in the same, it is NOT a huge leap of mental processing to conclude that when a human kills a human, you are essentially “killing yourself,” or when a human consumes meat, they are essentially consuming their own composition – a type of “slant cannibalism.” <– This may sound "extreme," but it is a concept that is only made extreme by the Ego, which survives on the concept of separation. The soul understands the concept, and ultimate truth, of unity. Largely our human history has been directed by the ego, which has served the purpose of propagating the species. Now that propagation isn't as important, we are making the unified shift from a largely egoistic focus to a more collectivist, or soulful focus. Great timing, as always! 🙂

    In another tangent, some spiritualists posit that meat is not only unhealthy for humans morally/ethically, but also spiritually. Meat has a very dense vibrational frequency. Spirit has a very high vibrational frequency. If you consume meat, you are conversely consuming the energy, or vibrational frequency of the meat. This means that you are actually perpetuating a dense vibratory rate, as opposed to making choices which would raise your vibrational rate to be closer and closer to that of Spirit’s. In this view, the ultimate purpose of Life is to align as much as humanly possible with Spirit. Raising our vibrational rates is the way to do this.

    Last, some Spiritualists go so far as to say that when one kills an animal, that trauma, stress, and pain that the animal underwent stays locked within the cells of the animal. This “death state energy” that the animal underwent is energy which remains in the cellular composition of the animal. (Perhaps if the animal were allowed to remain alive, the stress energy embedded in their cells would disappear as the regeneration of new healthy cells began to take over within the animal. However, when the animal dies, this is not allowed to be.) Spiritualists posit that in turn, consuming the cellular matter, which contains this “death state energy” is willingly placing such energy within your own energy field. You are essentially poisoning yourself, in a sense. This would be another way to resist raising your vibrational rate to that of Spirit.

    As always, your blog has inspired me to become passionate and talkative in processing my own learning regarding spirituality! And as always, I appreciate the opportunity you allow me to do this attached to your blog, haha. 🙂 Thank you Blair for another wonderful and thought provocative post!! 🙂

    • Alma, thanks for sharing as always. The spiritualist beliefs that you shared are an interesting perspective. However, they are a bit too far out there for me. To each his own as they say.

  2. Blair, I agree with you 100%, but, actually living the belief that we are all one is a very difficult task especially since many of us were raised on steak and ta’dders. I’ve been able to eliminate beef and pork but with fish and chicken I’m still a predator. I guess my only justification is that Christ was a fisherman.

    Whenever I do eat fish or chicken I thank them for their sacrifice. I guess that makes me feel better. I’ve tried being a vegetarian but after a while I get grumpy and can’t stop eating junk food!

    I read an interesting article about a group in California that is flying (via airplane) 1000 chickens to the east coast as part of a rescue effort: http://www.today.com/pets/chickens-plane-1-000-take-red-eye-freedom-8C11033576

    That seemed so weird to me that I almost laughed out loud! But after reading the article I have to agree that it is a worthy mission. Seems to me there is a level of consciousness that is beginning to take hold that we are all one and we should respect the life force within all animals. (except mosquitoes).

    I’m working on it and I really appreciate your perspective. Thanks.

    Cheers to all.

    • Charlie, thanks for your comment and the link to the chicken story. The idea does sound crazy at first, but you have to admire the organization’s commitment.

      I have been an ovolacto vegetarian for about the last year and a half. I eat eggs, but only from pastuer-raised hens that are allowed to run free in the great outdoors. My diet is also gluten-free making my choices even more restricted. One consequence is that there are precious few restaurants that can accommodate my diet. Nevertheless, I have remained faithful to my commitment.

      I am sorry you have been unable to “go all the way” as yet, but any reductions in animal consumption are positive contributions to the planet and the spiritual collective. The fact that you tried to go vegetarian and have managed to eliminate some types of animal foods from your diet is an important step forward and means a lot. No one says you have to go “cold turkey” (no pun intended). A gradual concerted effort to move into vegetarianism is a good way to eventually get there.

      I found that I had to make sure I was getting enough calories (at least 2000 per day) and protein (at least 70 grams per day). Eating eggs and organic dairy products is a compromise that made it possible for me to succeed. Perhaps in the next life I’ll go vegan!

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