Episode 37 – Spirituality and Eating
In this episode, Rev. Carol engages best-selling author and lifestyle coach, Victoria Moran, in dialogue on spirituality and eating, the original teachings and practices of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore on ethical vegetarianism, and the new spiritually-focused documentary, A Prayer for Compassion. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian or omnivore, this dialogue brings to the surface our need to examine the way we have been culturally conditioned to eat, as we do our best to live as Compassion and Peace, and create a sustainable future for everyone on our planet.
From the documentary, A Prayer for Compassion:
“Can compassion grow to include all beings? Can people who identify as religious or spiritual come to embrace the call to include all human and nonhuman beings in our circle of respect and caring and love?”
“How can we expect ourselves to have lives of joy and freedom and spiritual clarity when we are sewing the seeds of the opposite of that?”
So for a few moments, in which we’re enjoying what is really just a palette preference, we’re taking what is most essential to animals – their very lives. And that is the opposite of compassion.”
Unity Statement of Faith, 1921
We believe that all life is sacred and that man should not kill or be a party to the killing of animals for food; also that cruelty, war, and wanton destruction of human life will continue so long as men destroy animals.
Charles Fillmore, Co-founder of Unity:
“The master on the spiritual plane is not a slave driver. He does not use force. The only law that he recognizes is love. To this law he must be true in all its ramifications throughout the universe of forms. He must love every creature, every beast in the field, every fowl of the air. His love must flow forth in protecting streams when any creature is in danger of violence or destruction. He must recognize all life as God’s life, destined by a wise arrangement to be in its right place wherever he finds it. Thus he cannot in any way sanction the killing of animals for food, nor can he give passive assent by eating the flesh of those slain by the hands of ignorant man.
He recognizes the right of every creature to fill out the full measure of its years, without interference on the part of men. This is a quality of mercy and justice which quickly falls into the mind opened toward God.” From Flesh-Eating Metaphysically Considered, 1910
In my last comment after Molly’s share, I didn’t have in front of me the exact statistics I wanted to share. Here they are:
At every meal we can choose to:
Serve 1.5 million tons of organic plant foods;
Restore 1.5 million acres of forest;
Save 3 trillion gallons of water;
Save the animals; and save the Earth;
Serve 9 million tons of conventional foods;
Starve 6,000 people to death;
Kill 40,000 people through diseases if excess;
Drive 70 species extinct;
Kill 2 billion animals;
Destroy 20,000 acres of forest;
Degrade 7 million acres of land; and
Hypoxify 1 million acres of ocean dead zones.
WHICH SHOULD WE CHOOSE?
But what I missed saying to Molly was the statement below, because she expressed a feeling of loss. A lot of people think that shifting to a plant-based diet requires giving up so much. In reality, it adds a whole lot to your life!
What is your honest gut and heart reaction to everything that was shared today? What comes up for you?
Prayer Inspired by St. Francis
I make myself an instrument of Peace.
Where there is hatred, I sow love;
Wherever there is injury, I refrain from injuring;
Where there is doubt, l have faith in my own convictions and ability to move mountains;
Where there is despair, l give hope;
Where there is ignorance, I bring illumination;
Where there is darkness, I bear light;
Where there is entrenchment, I inspire with a new vision;
Where there is sadness, I allow myself to feel from the depth of my soul and stay focused on what is good and right and possible in the world.
Knowing the Divine Truth that we are all One,
I bless ALL of Life – all living beings,
Not just those I consider to be like me.
I commit myself to living as Loving-Kindness and Compassion.
No beings tremble before me,
For I AM Love, Peace and Freedom.
And so it is.
— Rev. Carol