The Spirit Energy of the Animals We Eat

A lot has been said about the virtues of vegetarianism, but for those of us who aren't ready yet to give up our steaks, our burgers, our Korean barbeques, the question is: how does eating meat affect our bodies, our minds and most importantly, our spirits?

What It Says About You:

 Beef/Veal: You are a kind and somewhat conservative person with strong family values.
Beef/Veal: You are a kind and somewhat conservative person with strong family values. | Source

Beef and Veal

The meat of cows is widely eaten around the world, although in some countries (India, Nepal) cows are sacred and their slaughter is against the law. Cow/Bull's spirit energy stands for

  • Mother Goddess and fertility. Many pre-Christian religions chose cows as a symbol of the Great Goddess and motherhood. For example, Hathor, one of the most ancient goddesses in the world, is commonly depicted as a cow goddess with horns.
  • wealth. In India cows symbolize abundance and fullness of life. Krishna's given name "Govinda" means "protector of the cows".
  • alertness to danger. Cows are sensitive and intelligent animals. Other than their size and horns, they don't have great protective features like sharp teeth or a hard shell, so danger is something they're very familiar with. Being able to sense danger is one of their strong qualities.
  • holding your ground. These animals are rather known for their stubbornness. In a positive aspect it manifests as stability, sturdiness, determination and ability to hold your ground.
  • love, kindness, compassion. Cows also symbolize nourishment through sacrifice. Look into the deep soulful eyes of a cow to know how gentle these animals are. It's really a shame that we eat them.

What It Says About You:

Lamb: You are a thoughtful sensitive person who doesn't like confrontations.
Lamb: You are a thoughtful sensitive person who doesn't like confrontations. | Source

Lamb

Lamb refers to the meat from sheep. It's popular in many countries, especially in the cuisines of the Mediterranean. Sheep spirit represents

  • innocence. Remember in "Silence of the Lambs" Clarice tries to save the lambs from slaughter by freeing them, but they wouldn't run? Innocence is characterized by child-like qualities of purity and vulnerability.
  • renewal. If the Cow is associated with Hathor, the Sheep is associated with the Celtic goddess Brigit. Brigit is the goddess of spring, rebirth and purification.
  • conformity. In cultural terms, the sheep represent the weak and the gullible, hence words like "sheepish" or "sheeple", referring to the herd mentality of following the crowd, the majority, the trends.
  • self-acceptance. The sheep also symbolize the need to accept oneself and one's limitations, and the need to take better care of oneself. We all neglect our needs sometimes, so it's important to renew our commitment to spiritual growth.
  • peace. Lambs are very peaceful, docile animals, except during a mating period or when the offspring is threatened.

Sheep are playful and affectionate animals. Researchers discovered that sheep can remember 50 different faces of other sheep.
Sheep are playful and affectionate animals. Researchers discovered that sheep can remember 50 different faces of other sheep. | Source

What It Says About You:

Pork: You are an optimistic easy-going person who likes to enjoy life's many pleasures.
Pork: You are an optimistic easy-going person who likes to enjoy life's many pleasures. | Source

Pork

Pork is pig's meat. Although pork is forbidden by a number of religions groups, it is the most commonly eaten meat, accounting for over 36% of the world's meat consumption. The characteristics of the pig are

  • intelligence. Pigs are one of the smartest animals in the world. An adult pig is as smart as a 3-year old human child, and according to a PBS documentary The Joy of Pigs, they are "smarter than any other domestic animal".
  • resourcefulness. Pigs are very adaptable, tenacious animals. In one form or another, pigs exist in every part of the world.
  • cleanliness. Contrary to a popular belief, pigs are very clean animals. They only roll in mud to cool down because they don't have the sweat glands. So when someone says: "I'm sweating like a pig," clearly, they know nothing about pigs.
  • achievement. When something is extremely unlikely to happen, they say: "When pigs fly". The pig symbolizes high achievement that no one saw coming, something almost miraculous, yet real.
  • having fun. Pigs really know how to relax and just enjoy the moment. They prefer sensual delights to almost anything in the world. The pig symbolizes pure pleasure-seeking mentality and an easy-going nature.

Pigs are the smartypants of the animal world. The only animals smarter than pigs are dolphins, chimps and elephants.
Pigs are the smartypants of the animal world. The only animals smarter than pigs are dolphins, chimps and elephants. | Source

What It Says About You:

Poultry: You are an eternal student. You have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to share that knowledge.
Poultry: You are an eternal student. You have a thirst for knowledge and a desire to share that knowledge. | Source

Poultry

Poultry refers to the meat of domesticated birds such as chickens, turkeys, ducks etc. It is the second most popular meat (after pork), accounting for 33% of the world meat consumption. These birds' spirit energy is associated with

  • curiosity. The Chicken will peck-peck-peck away until it gets to that coveted seed of truth.
  • knowledge and learning. The Chicken represents the ability to collect knowledge, and to spread it. It possesses openness to new ideas, strong mental powers and a unique personal perspective.
  • family and community. Birds typically live in flocks so there aren't that many "loner" birds, especially among domesticated birds.
  • forgiveness. Ducks let go of the past easily. They can have a confrontation with another duck, and forget about it in a few minutes. As a water bird, duck also represents deep emotions.
  • fertility and sexuality. Chicken is a "yin" feminine energy associated with life, nourishment, growth, and reproduction.
  • courage. A rooster energy is quite different from a chicken/hen's. Roosters are a "yang" energy known for being bold, proud, competitive, and even pugilistic. That's why we may call someone "cocky" when we mean "confident", and why we say: "Don't be chicken" when we want to encourage someone to be brave.
  • having a voice. Rooster is also known for its distinctive loud crowing that says: "Good morning, world! I'm ready to meet you." Rooster represents strong communication skills and having the power of persuasion.

People born in the year of Rooster are considered honest, communicative and a little eccentric.
People born in the year of Rooster are considered honest, communicative and a little eccentric. | Source

We should probably all be veterin...I mean, vegetarians.

But if you had to choose, what is your favorite meat?

See results without voting

This is all good BUT

One important thing to remember is that the energy of meat is not the same everywhere. The way an animal is treated and how it's killed has a tremendous effect on the subsequent meat product.

Given the conditions at the animal farms in America and most other countries, and their overall negative impact on the land and the environment, I am surprised that more people are not outraged. Most of American meat is of very poor quality, both chemically and energetically. Finding the meat from humanely raised healthy livestock remains a challenge, even if you only buy organic grass-fed meat.

The Western way of life is built upon the destruction of nature in the name of progress. In that sense, we can learn a lot from the Native Americans - their sense of kinship with nature, respect for all living creatures and belief in a Great Spirit that pervades everything. Animals were hunted only for food, and people gave thanks to the animal's spirit for making a sacrifice.

Nobody wants to be reminded of the fact that the meat they're about to eat was alive at some point, but it's important to say a silent prayer to thank the animal spirit whose flesh you are consuming. It can be something simple, like: "I am thankful for your life and the nourishment you provide for my family and I. May you be at peace, always. Amen."

© 2014 Lana Zakinov

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Comments 13 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 2 years ago from California Gold Country

What an interesting perspective. It is always appropriate to be mindful and thankful for food.

Could not vote in your poll, because I like all kinds of meat-- though in moderation.

I can be completely satisfied with vegetarian meals, but not exclusively.

We currently have three hens which are good layers. I cannot imagine eating one of them at this point. They have become 'pets', and we let them free range every day on our property. They run to greet us every time we are outside-- especially if we have kitchen scraps to share. When "caged" they still have a very large fenced area to roam. Their eggs are wonderful (no rooster needed).


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 2 years ago from California Author

Thank you Rochelle! (what a beautiful name) I've added the "all of the above" option in the poll, just for you!

I agree about the moderation. I've tried to be a vegetarian for a year, for ethical reasons, and it just didn't take. For better or worse, I am a carnivore. But I rarely eat red meat, and if I do eat it, I pair it with vegetables or something more or less healthy (as opposed to pasta or potatoes).

How wonderful that you have your own hens and that you treat them like pets! I wish our condo had a bigger patio or a nicer HOA :-)


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

Very wonderful hub concept. I agree with you about our being wasteful exploiters of nature - millions upon millions of buffalo were slaughtered in the 19th century just for their tongues. Not many people realize or care that we share this planet with other living creatures, except as a source of food. Great hub!


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 2 years ago from California Author

Thank you Mel! My carnivorous habits are a constant source of guilt... I don't want anyone to die. At all. Not even for food. But... if we use animals for meat, at least let them have a good life... There's nothing in the world that makes me sadder than the treatment of animals on this planet.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

I really enjoyed this article, and I love your final paragraph. We raise chickens in the city...we have yet to eat one, but I can tell you that all of our animals are raised with respect. I think that is so important. I know we are grateful to our animals for the eggs they lay and the meat they will soon provide, and I believe that's the way it should be with all people.


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 2 years ago from California Author

Thank you William :-) If only more people were like you...


NonCopyBook profile image

NonCopyBook 20 months ago from NSW Australia

Well this is why I'm vegetarian (or vegan when people don't give me cakes with the wrong ingredients etc). It is very easy these days; but I remember how I was as a meat eater, probably a similar kind of addiction to how I am with chocolate or coffee now where not eating it seems like words being said in a foreign language. But it is interestingly enough one of the biggest sources of joy- maybe a kindness/get what you give thing? As such the ideas above- that eating lambs or pigs confers (good) vibes or certain personality traits to people- doesn't make any sense to me, perhaps you believe in animal spirits and that makes it make more sense, but why would eating them give (good or any) energy? Especially when you didn't meet or for that matter kill the animal, it's a red slab in a supermarket really, no? I like your writing, although these concepts just don't make sense to me. I'm going to go check out your 10 best books now ;)


NonCopyBook profile image

NonCopyBook 20 months ago from NSW Australia

(If I didn't accidentally delete the first comment..) P.s. I just realised a minute too late that the books link was to someone else... I was also going to add, do you have similar things to say about people who eat chimpanzees, dolphins, dogs, whales, fish and insects (or people, for that matter...!)? As well as being a slab in the supermarket it's largely culturally determined, so I wouldn't say that people have certain character traits from buying and eating them, that they're not easy-going because they buy bacon... That's my two cents- cheers ;)


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 20 months ago from California Author

NonCopyBook, thank you for your comments. I love when my writing incites a reaction.

As you could probably tell I'm sure, this article was not really written for the vegetarians. It was my (perhaps, feeble and futile) attempt to put a "face" on the meat people eat. To say: hey, this is not just flesh, this used to be an animal at some point, with a distinct personality and characteristics. Whether or not these characteristics are transferable by the act of consuming the meat - that concept, I agree, is questionable.

I was referencing some ancient cultures (like the Native Americans) that did believe that, and for that reason treated the animals with great respect. More warring tribes even believed that by consuming the enemy's flesh or organs (heart, brain etc) you could acquire that person's strength or intelligence. I think there is something to it, but, of course, you're absolutely right: the way the animals are raised and slaughtered, I doubt there's any positivity there. That's why I recommend to at least pray over the meat, and try to only eat organic humanely raised meat.

I'm sorry, I'm sure it all sounds awful to a vegetarian. My final segments talks about this aspect. I think not everyone can be a vegetarian, but everyone can make more responsible choices about the meat they eat (or any food for that matter), including the choice to practice gratitude and awareness about the sources of the food on our plates. Cheers :)


NonCopyBook profile image

NonCopyBook 20 months ago from NSW Australia

Why can't everyone be a vegetarian? You mean greediness rather than nutrients I think? I think everyone can relate to the ideas- as in if someone else feels disgust and a little anger at people eating chimps, dogs, cats and dolphins etc then they know the feelings I have about pigs and lambs (& why even if I needed the nutrients I'd rather take supplements.. ;) I know the world's not simple though- I mean, dogs and cats are treated like gods in our culture, and we kills animals for them too, the same with zoo animals..) Yeah I know what you mean about the gratitude thing (I read about Native Americans and then saw it in "Avatar" as well when the aliens thank animals for their sacrifice while killing them..). In the final analysis I'd rather be friends with an animal than kill them, it's a hard cycle to break with the way we're raised though..


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 20 months ago from California Author

I've been a vegetarian for a year, for ethical reasons. What I remember about that year is that I was so hungry and craving meat all the time, and I felt so superior to everyone who weren't a vegetarian. Not to say that that's how all vegetarians are...I really don't have an explanation why everyone can't be a vegetarian. For me, I grew up in a very meat-heavy culture, so it's almost like I'm hard-wired to eat meat. I know it's not an excuse, and I really hate myself for still eating meat when I know so well the horrors of the meat industry, and I really love animals...I don't know how to change it.


NonCopyBook profile image

NonCopyBook 20 months ago from NSW Australia

I don't know if you live in a great space for restaurants, but where I am for example I had vegan lasagna last night that actually surprised me how delicious it was! Also had a mango lassi and elaborate salad.. Some people/famous veg's seem to find a simple diet easy (Gandhi, George Bernard Shaw, Da Vinci, Tolstoy, Shelley), but perhaps because of our indulgent culture we desire a lot (including to be full) and I am no different, so I'll often have pasta or burritoes or a large helping of sushi or Indian or even bread & chocolate along with something very filling, but it's possible to wean yourself down a bit and thrive on (organic) vegetables & fruits.. It sounds like you just need more vegie friends and to go to some great restaurants with some filling meals (at least if like me you often or sometimes crave really filling meals..) ;)


kalinin1158 profile image

kalinin1158 20 months ago from California Author

I think you're right - I need some vegie friends :) - all my friends are unapologetic carnivores. And I do crave filling meals - something psychological, I'm sure. Like a desire to fill the emptiness. I remember that when I didn't eat meat, I ate a lot of dairy products, especially cheeses, and then breads and cakes. I know, horrible

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